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Sample records for adult motor neurons

  1. 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 ...

  2. 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 ...

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    1991-11-01

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

  8. 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

  9. Motor Neurons that Multitask

    PubMed Central

    Goulding, Martyn

    2013-01-01

    Animals use a form of sensory feedback termed proprioception to monitor their body position and modify the motor programs that control movement. In this issue of Neuron, Wen et al. (2012) provide evidence that a subset of motor neurons function as proprioceptors in C. elegans, where B-type motor neurons sense body curvature to control the bending movements that drive forward locomotion. PMID:23177952

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Electrodiagnosis of motor neuron disease.

    PubMed

    Duleep, Anuradha; Shefner, Jeremy

    2013-02-01

    Electrodiagnostic testing has proved useful in helping to establish the diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis by eliminating possible disease mimics and by demonstrating abnormalities in body areas that are clinically unaffected. Electrodiagnosis begins with an understanding of the clinical features of the disease, because clinical correlation is essential. To improve the sensitivity of the electrophysiologic evaluation, the Awaji criteria have been proposed as a modification to the revised El Escorial criteria. Although techniques to evaluate corticomotor neuron abnormalities and to quantify lower motor neuron loss have been developed, they remain primarily research techniques and have not yet influenced clinical practice.

  15. 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

  16. Changes in motor unit populations in motor neurone disease.

    PubMed Central

    Carleton, S A; Brown, W F

    1979-01-01

    In motor neurone disease changes in the functional properties of motor units, including the surface voltage, latency, conduction velocity, and response to repetitive stimulation, were investigated. Progression was marked by motor unit loss, increase in the proportion of larger motor unit potentials, and inclusion of motor unit potentials larger than normal in the remaining motor unit population. Even late in the disease, motor unit potentials with a low surface voltage persisted. The relationship between motor unit potentials, surface voltage, and latency, present in control subjects, broke down in motor neurone disease, large motor unit potentials having abnormally long latencies and small motor unit potentials unexpectedly short latencies. Amplitude decrements were more frequent and severe in motor unit potentials at later stages in the disease, particularly in those units with lower surface voltages. In one surviving motor unit potential there was evidence suggestive of functional recovery. The observations point to complex changes in the functional properties of motor units in motor neurone disease. PMID:216781

  17. Pleiotrophin is a neurotrophic factor for spinal motor neurons.

    PubMed

    Mi, Ruifa; Chen, Weiran; Höke, Ahmet

    2007-03-13

    Regeneration in the peripheral nervous system is poor after chronic denervation. Denervated Schwann cells act as a "transient target" by secreting growth factors to promote regeneration of axons but lose this ability with chronic denervation. We discovered that the mRNA for pleiotrophin (PTN) was highly up-regulated in acutely denervated distal sciatic nerves, but high levels of PTN mRNA were not maintained in chronically denervated nerves. PTN protected spinal motor neurons against chronic excitotoxic injury and caused increased outgrowth of motor axons out of the spinal cord explants and formation of "miniventral rootlets." In neonatal mice, PTN protected the facial motor neurons against cell death induced by deprivation from target-derived growth factors. Similarly, PTN significantly enhanced regeneration of myelinated axons across a graft in the transected sciatic nerve of adult rats. Our findings suggest a neurotrophic role for PTN that may lead to previously unrecognized treatment options for motor neuron disease and motor axonal regeneration.

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-06-20

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

  20. 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

  1. Motor neurons and the sense of place.

    PubMed

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

    2011-11-01

    Seventy years ago George Romanes began to document the anatomical organization of the spinal motor system, uncovering a multilayered topographic plan that links the clustering and settling position of motor neurons to the spatial arrangement and biomechanical features of limb muscles. To this day, these findings have provided a structural foundation for analysis of the neural control of movement and serve as a guide for studies to explore mechanisms that direct the wiring of spinal motor circuits. In this brief essay we outline the core of Romanes's findings and place them in the context of recent studies that begin to provide insight into molecular programs that assign motor pool position and to resolve how motor neuron position shapes circuit assembly. Romanes's findings reveal how and why neuronal positioning contributes to sensory-motor connectivity and may have relevance to circuit organization in other regions of the central nervous system.

  2. A computational model of motor neuron degeneration.

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-20

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

  3. 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

  4. Neuronal control of turtle hindlimb motor rhythms.

    PubMed

    Stein, P S G

    2005-03-01

    The turtle, Trachemys scripta elegans, uses its hindlimb during the rhythmic motor behaviors of walking, swimming, and scratching. For some tasks, one or more motor strategies or forms may be produced, e.g., forward swimming or backpaddling. This review discusses experiments that reveal characteristics of the spinal neuronal networks producing these motor behaviors. Limb-movement studies show shared properties such as rhythmic alternation between hip flexion and hip extension, as well as variable properties such as the timing of knee extension in the cycle of hip movements. Motor-pattern studies show shared properties such as rhythmic alternation between hip flexor and hip extensor motor activities, as well as variable properties such as modifiable timing of knee extensor motor activity in the cycle of hip motor activity. Motor patterns also display variations such as the hip-extensor deletion of rostral scratching. Neuronal-network studies reveal mechanisms responsible for movement and motor-pattern properties. Some interneurons in the spinal cord have shared activities, e.g., each unit is active during more than one behavior, and have distinct characteristics, e.g., each unit is most excited during a specific behavior. Interneuronal recordings during variations support the concept of modular organization of central pattern generators in the spinal cord.

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

    PubMed

    Tan, Chan Lek; Plotkin, Joshua L; Venø, Morten T; von Schimmelmann, Melanie; Feinberg, Philip; Mann, Silas; Handler, Annie; Kjems, Jørgen; Surmeier, D James; O'Carroll, Dónal; Greengard, Paul; Schaefer, Anne

    2013-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

  8. 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

  9. TNF-α triggers rapid membrane insertion of Ca(2+) permeable AMPA receptors into adult motor neurons and enhances their susceptibility to slow excitotoxic injury.

    PubMed

    Yin, Hong Z; Hsu, Cheng-I; Yu, Stephen; Rao, Shyam D; Sorkin, Linda S; Weiss, John H

    2012-12-01

    Excitotoxicity (caused by over-activation of glutamate receptors) and inflammation both contribute to motor neuron (MN) damage in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and other diseases of the spinal cord. Microglial and astrocytic activation in these conditions results in release of inflammatory mediators, including the cytokine, tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α). TNF-α has complex effects on neurons, one of which is to trigger rapid membrane insertion of α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) type glutamate receptors, and in some cases, specific insertion of GluA2 lacking, Ca(2+) permeable AMPA receptors (Ca-perm AMPAr). In the present study, we use a histochemical stain based upon kainate stimulated uptake of cobalt ions ("Co(2+) labeling") to provide the first direct demonstration of the presence of substantial numbers of Ca-perm AMPAr in ventral horn MNs of adult rats under basal conditions. We further find that TNF-α exposure causes a rapid increase in the numbers of these receptors, via a phosphatidylinositol 3 kinase (PI3K) and protein kinase A (PKA) dependent mechanism. Finally, to assess the relevance of TNF-α to slow excitotoxic MN injury, we made use of organotypic spinal cord slice cultures. Co(2+) labeling revealed that MNs in these cultures possess Ca-perm AMPAr. Addition of either a low level of TNF-α, or of the glutamate uptake blocker, trans-pyrrolidine-2,4-dicarboxylic acid (PDC) to the cultures for 48 h resulted in little MN injury. However, when combined, TNF-α+PDC caused considerable MN degeneration, which was blocked by the AMPA/kainate receptor blocker, 2,3-Dihydroxy-6-nitro-7-sulfamoylbenzo (F) quinoxaline (NBQX), or the Ca-perm AMPAr selective blocker, 1-naphthyl acetylspermine (NASPM). Thus, these data support the idea that prolonged TNF-α elevation, as may be induced by glial activation, acts in part by increasing the numbers of Ca-perm AMPAr on MNs to enhance injurious excitotoxic effects of deficient

  10. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  12. Modeling ALS using motor neurons derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells

    PubMed Central

    Sances, S; Bruijn, LI; Chandran, S; Eggan, K; Ho, R; Klim, J; Livesey, MR; Lowry, E; Macklis, JD; Rushton, D; Sadegh, C; Sareen, D; Wichterle, H; Zhang, SC; Svendsen, CN

    2016-01-01

    Directing the differentiation of induced pluripotent stem cells into motor neurons has allowed investigators to develop novel models of ALS. However, techniques vary between laboratories and the cells do not appear to mature into fully functional adult motor neurons. Here we discuss common developmental principles of both lower and upper motor neuron development that have led to specific derivation techniques. We then suggest how these motor neurons may be matured further either through direct expression or administration of specific factors or co-culture approaches with other tissues. Ultimately, through a greater understanding of motor neuron biology, it will be possible to establish more reliable models of ALS. These in turn will have a greater chance of validating new drugs that may be effective for the disease. PMID:27021939

  13. Frontal lobe dementia and motor neuron disease.

    PubMed Central

    Neary, D; Snowden, J S; Mann, D M; Northen, B; Goulding, P J; Macdermott, N

    1990-01-01

    Four patients are described, in whom a profound and rapidly progressive dementia occurred in association with clinical features of motor neuron disease. The pattern of dementia indicated impaired frontal lobe function, confirmed by reduced tracer uptake in the frontal lobes on single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT). Pathological examination of the brains of two patients revealed frontal-lobe atrophy, with mild gliosis and spongiform change. The spinal cord changes were consistent with motor neuron disease. The clinical picture and pathological findings resembled those of dementia of frontal-lobe type and were distinct from those of Alzheimer's disease. The findings have implications for the understanding of the spectrum of non-Alzheimer forms of primary degenerative dementia. Images PMID:2303828

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-20

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-20

    Glutathione peroxidase 4 (GPX4), an antioxidant defense enzyme active in repairing oxidative damage to lipids, is a key inhibitor of ferroptosis, a non-apoptotic form of cell death involving lipid reactive oxygen species. Here we show that GPX4 is essential for motor neuron health and survival in vivo. Conditional ablation of Gpx4 in neurons of adult mice resulted in rapid onset and progression of paralysis and death. Pathological inspection revealed that the paralyzed mice had a dramatic degeneration of motor neurons in the spinal cord but had no overt neuron degeneration in the cerebral cortex. Consistent with the role of GPX4 as a ferroptosis inhibitor, spinal motor neuron degeneration induced by Gpx4 ablation exhibited features of ferroptosis, including no caspase-3 activation, no TUNEL staining, activation of ERKs, and elevated spinal inflammation. Supplementation with vitamin E, another inhibitor of ferroptosis, delayed the onset of paralysis and death induced by Gpx4 ablation. Also, lipid peroxidation and mitochondrial dysfunction appeared to be involved in ferroptosis of motor neurons induced by Gpx4 ablation. Taken together, the dramatic motor neuron degeneration and paralysis induced by Gpx4 ablation suggest that ferroptosis inhibition by GPX4 is essential for motor neuron health and survival in vivo. PMID:26400084

  16. Macrophage migration inhibitory factor as a component of selective vulnerability of motor neurons in ALS

    PubMed Central

    Abu-Hamad, Salah; Israelson, Adrian

    2015-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive adult-onset neurodegenerative disorder characterized by the selective loss of upper and lower motor neurons. Mutations in superoxide dismutase (SOD1) cause about 20 percent of familial ALS which is accompanied by accumulation of misfolded SOD1 onto intracellular organelles. Recently, we identified the 12 kDa macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) as a chaperone for mutant SOD1 which is abundant in non-neuronal tissues. Purified recombinant MIF was shown to directly inhibit mutant SOD1 misfolding and association with mitochondria and ER. Elevating MIF in neuronal cells inhibited the accumulation of misfolded SOD1 and its association with mitochondria and ER, and extended survival of mutant SOD1-expressing motor neurons. Our results revealed that the levels of MIF protein are very low in motor neurons, implicating low chaperone activity as a component of selective vulnerability of motor neurons to mutant SOD1 misfolding and toxicity. PMID:26459694

  17. Motor neuron disease and polio in Scotland.

    PubMed Central

    Swingler, R J; Fraser, H; Warlow, C P

    1992-01-01

    An analysis of mortality and morbidity rates for motor neuron disease (MND) in Scotland has confirmed earlier observations that the disease is more common in men and older age groups. The geographical distribution is non-uniform and related to discharge rates for all neurological diseases. Discharge and mortality rates are increasing but there has been no decline in populations who would have been vaccinated against polio. PMID:1479388

  18. Accelerated and widespread neuronal loss occurs in motor neuron degeneration (mnd) mice expressing a neurofilament-disrupting transgene.

    PubMed

    Plummer, J; Peterson, A; Messer, A

    1995-12-01

    To examine the effects of multiple stressors on the onset and specificity of a neurodegenerative disease, we derived mnd/mnd mice expressing a neurofilament-H/lacZ transgene. The mnd mutation causes adult-onset motor dysfunction, and produces abnormal ubiquitous accumulation of autofluorescent lipopigment, with retinal degeneration and late-onset motor neuron degeneration. The neurofilament H-beta-galactosidase fusion protein causes endogenous neurofilament subunits to precipitate in perikarya, but shows neither significant neuronal degeneration nor behavioral changes until advanced age. In mnd/mnd-transgenic animals, neurological symptoms, lipopigment accumulation, and motor neuron loss were substantially accelerated. Newly vulnerable populations of neurons also degenerated, including cerebellar Purkinje cells and dorsal roots. This study exemplifies a synergistic interaction between a neuron-specific and a ubiquitous defect, leading to significant neurological consequences. It further indicates that cytoskeletal abnormalities similar to those observed in late-onset human neurodegenerative disorders can interact with other cellular defects and contribute to pathogenesis.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Chronic multifocal demyelinating neuropathy simulating motor neuron disease.

    PubMed

    Di Bella, P; Logullo, F; Dionisi, L; Danni, M; Scarpelli, M; Angeleri, F

    1991-02-01

    We describe a patient with a chronic acquired predominantly motor polyneuropathy. His clinical picture initially led to a diagnosis of lower motor neuron form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. However electrophysiological examination revealed multifocal, prevalently proximal, conduction blocks at sites not prone to compression. Distinguishing this unusual polyneuropathy from motor neuron diseases is critical, since the former is a potentially, treatable disorder.

  3. Motor neurons control locomotor circuit function retrogradely via gap junctions.

    PubMed

    Song, Jianren; Ampatzis, Konstantinos; Björnfors, E Rebecka; El Manira, Abdeljabbar

    2016-01-21

    Motor neurons are the final stage of neural processing for the execution of motor behaviours. Traditionally, motor neurons have been viewed as the 'final common pathway', serving as passive recipients merely conveying to the muscles the final motor program generated by upstream interneuron circuits. Here we reveal an unforeseen role of motor neurons in controlling the locomotor circuit function via gap junctions in zebrafish. These gap junctions mediate a retrograde analogue propagation of voltage fluctuations from motor neurons to control the synaptic release and recruitment of the upstream V2a interneurons that drive locomotion. Selective inhibition of motor neurons during ongoing locomotion de-recruits V2a interneurons and strongly influences locomotor circuit function. Rather than acting as separate units, gap junctions unite motor neurons and V2a interneurons into functional ensembles endowed with a retrograde analogue computation essential for locomotor rhythm generation. These results show that motor neurons are not a passive recipient of motor commands but an integral component of the neural circuits responsible for motor behaviour.

  4. Histological and Functional Benefit Following Transplantation of Motor Neuron Progenitors to the Injured Rat Spinal Cord

    PubMed Central

    Wyatt, Tanya; Yin, Hong Zhen; Poole, Aleksandra J.; Weiss, John H.; Gardener, Matthew J.; Dijkstra, Sipke; Fischer, David F.; Keirstead, Hans S.

    2010-01-01

    Background Motor neuron loss is characteristic of cervical spinal cord injury (SCI) and contributes to functional deficit. Methodology/Principal Findings In order to investigate the amenability of the injured adult spinal cord to motor neuron differentiation, we transplanted spinal cord injured animals with a high purity population of human motor neuron progenitors (hMNP) derived from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs). In vitro, hMNPs displayed characteristic motor neuron-specific markers, a typical electrophysiological profile, functionally innervated human or rodent muscle, and secreted physiologically active growth factors that caused neurite branching and neuronal survival. hMNP transplantation into cervical SCI sites in adult rats resulted in suppression of intracellular signaling pathways associated with SCI pathogenesis, which correlated with greater endogenous neuronal survival and neurite branching. These neurotrophic effects were accompanied by significantly enhanced performance on all parameters of the balance beam task, as compared to controls. Interestingly, hMNP transplantation resulted in survival, differentiation, and site-specific integration of hMNPs distal to the SCI site within ventral horns, but hMNPs near the SCI site reverted to a neuronal progenitor state, suggesting an environmental deficiency for neuronal maturation associated with SCI. Conclusions/Significance These findings underscore the barriers imposed on neuronal differentiation of transplanted cells by the gliogenic nature of the injured spinal cord, and the physiological relevance of transplant-derived neurotrophic support to functional recovery. PMID:20686613

  5. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-09-22

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

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

    PubMed

    Thomson, Sophie R; Nahon, Joya E; Mutsaers, Chantal A; Thomson, Derek; Hamilton, Gillian; Parson, Simon H; Gillingwater, Thomas H

    2012-01-01

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

  8. Neuronal mechanisms of motor learning are age dependent.

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-01

    There is controversy whether age-related neuroanatomical and neurophysiological changes in the central nervous system affect healthy old adults' abilities to acquire and retain motor skills. We examined the effects of age on motor skill acquisition and retention and potential underlying mechanisms by measuring corticospinal and intracortical excitability, using transcranial magnetic stimulation. Healthy young (n = 24, 22 years) and old (n = 22, 71 years) adults practiced a wrist flexion-extention visuomotor task or only watched the templates as an attentional control for 20 minutes. Old compared with young adults performed less well at baseline. Although the absolute magnitude of skill acquisition and retention was similar in the 2 age groups (age × intervention × time, p = 0.425), a comparison of baseline-similar age sub-groups revealed impaired skill acquisition but not retention in old versus young. Furthermore, the neuronal mechanisms differed as revealed by an opposite direction of associations in the age-groups between relative skill acquisition and intracortical facilitation during the task, and opposite changes during skill retention in corticospinal excitability at rest and during the task and intracortical inhibition during the task. PMID:27494184

  9. Neuronal mechanisms of motor learning are age dependent.

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-01

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

  10. Zebrafish models of human motor neuron diseases: advantages and limitations.

    PubMed

    Babin, Patrick J; Goizet, Cyril; Raldúa, Demetrio

    2014-07-01

    Motor neuron diseases (MNDs) are an etiologically heterogeneous group of disorders of neurodegenerative origin, which result in degeneration of lower (LMNs) and/or upper motor neurons (UMNs). Neurodegenerative MNDs include pure hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP), which involves specific degeneration of UMNs, leading to progressive spasticity of the lower limbs. In contrast, spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) involves the specific degeneration of LMNs, with symmetrical muscle weakness and atrophy. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), the most common adult-onset MND, is characterized by the degeneration of both UMNs and LMNs, leading to progressive muscle weakness, atrophy, and spasticity. A review of the comparative neuroanatomy of the human and zebrafish motor systems showed that, while the zebrafish was a homologous model for LMN disorders, such as SMA, it was only partially relevant in the case of UMN disorders, due to the absence of corticospinal and rubrospinal tracts in its central nervous system. Even considering the limitation of this model to fully reproduce the human UMN disorders, zebrafish offer an excellent alternative vertebrate model for the molecular and genetic dissection of MND mechanisms. Its advantages include the conservation of genome and physiological processes and applicable in vivo tools, including easy imaging, loss or gain of function methods, behavioral tests to examine changes in motor activity, and the ease of simultaneous chemical/drug testing on large numbers of animals. This facilitates the assessment of the environmental origin of MNDs, alone or in combination with genetic traits and putative modifier genes. Positive hits obtained by phenotype-based small-molecule screening using zebrafish may potentially be effective drugs for treatment of human MNDs.

  11. Zebrafish models of human motor neuron diseases: advantages and limitations.

    PubMed

    Babin, Patrick J; Goizet, Cyril; Raldúa, Demetrio

    2014-07-01

    Motor neuron diseases (MNDs) are an etiologically heterogeneous group of disorders of neurodegenerative origin, which result in degeneration of lower (LMNs) and/or upper motor neurons (UMNs). Neurodegenerative MNDs include pure hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP), which involves specific degeneration of UMNs, leading to progressive spasticity of the lower limbs. In contrast, spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) involves the specific degeneration of LMNs, with symmetrical muscle weakness and atrophy. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), the most common adult-onset MND, is characterized by the degeneration of both UMNs and LMNs, leading to progressive muscle weakness, atrophy, and spasticity. A review of the comparative neuroanatomy of the human and zebrafish motor systems showed that, while the zebrafish was a homologous model for LMN disorders, such as SMA, it was only partially relevant in the case of UMN disorders, due to the absence of corticospinal and rubrospinal tracts in its central nervous system. Even considering the limitation of this model to fully reproduce the human UMN disorders, zebrafish offer an excellent alternative vertebrate model for the molecular and genetic dissection of MND mechanisms. Its advantages include the conservation of genome and physiological processes and applicable in vivo tools, including easy imaging, loss or gain of function methods, behavioral tests to examine changes in motor activity, and the ease of simultaneous chemical/drug testing on large numbers of animals. This facilitates the assessment of the environmental origin of MNDs, alone or in combination with genetic traits and putative modifier genes. Positive hits obtained by phenotype-based small-molecule screening using zebrafish may potentially be effective drugs for treatment of human MNDs. PMID:24705136

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-05-01

    Motor neuron diseases are characterized by the selective chronic dysfunction of a subset of motor neurons and the subsequent impairment of neuromuscular function. To reproduce in the mouse these hallmarks of diseases affecting motor neurons, we generated a mouse line in which ~40% of motor neurons in the spinal cord and the brainstem become unable to sustain neuromuscular transmission. These mice were obtained by conditional knockout of the gene encoding choline acetyltransferase (ChAT), the biosynthetic enzyme for acetylcholine. The mutant mice are viable and spontaneously display abnormal phenotypes that worsen with age including hunched back, reduced lifespan, weight loss, as well as striking deficits in muscle strength and motor function. This slowly progressive neuromuscular dysfunction is accompanied by muscle fiber histopathological features characteristic of neurogenic diseases. Unexpectedly, most changes appeared with a 6-month delay relative to the onset of reduction in ChAT levels, suggesting that compensatory mechanisms preserve muscular function for several months and then are overwhelmed. Deterioration of mouse phenotype after ChAT gene disruption is a specific aging process reminiscent of human pathological situations, particularly among survivors of paralytic poliomyelitis. These mutant mice may represent an invaluable tool to determine the sequence of events that follow the loss of function of a motor neuron subset as the disease progresses, and to evaluate therapeutic strategies. They also offer the opportunity to explore fundamental issues of motor neuron biology. PMID:24486622

  18. 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…

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-02-01

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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-06-19

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-06-19

    It is widely accepted that dorsal striatum neurons participate in either the direct pathway (expressing dopamine D1 receptors) or the indirect pathway (expressing D2 receptors), controlling voluntary movements in an antagonistically balancing manner. The D1- and D2-expressing neurons are activated and inactivated, respectively, by dopamine released from substantia nigra neurons encoding reward expectation. However, little is known about the functional representation of motor information and its reward modulation in individual striatal neurons constituting the two pathways. In this study, we juxtacellularly recorded the spike activity of single neurons in the dorsolateral striatum of rats performing voluntary forelimb movement in a reward-predictable condition. Some of these neurons were identified morphologically by a combination of juxtacellular visualization and in situ hybridization for D1 mRNA. We found that the striatal neurons exhibited distinct functional activations before and during the forelimb movement, regardless of the expression of D1 mRNA. They were often positively, but rarely negatively, modulated by expecting a reward for the correct motor response. The positive reward modulation was independent of behavioral differences in motor performance. In contrast, regular-spiking and fast-spiking neurons in any layers of the motor cortex displayed only minor and unbiased reward modulation of their functional activation in relation to the execution of forelimb movement. Our results suggest that the direct and indirect pathway neurons cooperatively rather than antagonistically contribute to spatiotemporal control of voluntary movements, and that motor information is subcortically integrated with reward information through dopaminergic and other signals in the skeletomotor loop of the basal ganglia. PMID:23785137

  5. Activity of motor cortex neurons during backward locomotion.

    PubMed

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

    2011-06-01

    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.

  6. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is an autosomal recessive disorder that is the leading genetic cause of infantile death. SMA is characterized by loss of motor neurons in the ventral horn of the spinal cord, leading to weakness and muscle atrophy. SMA occurs as a result of homozygous deletion or mutations in Survival Motor Neuron-1 (SMN1). Loss of SMN1 leads to a dramatic reduction in SMN protein, which is essential for motor neuron survival. SMA disease severity ranges from extremely severe to a relatively mild adult onset form of proximal muscle atrophy. Severe SMA patients typically die mostly within months or a few years as a consequence of respiratory insufficiency and bulbar paralysis. SMA is widely known as a motor neuron disease; however, there are numerous clinical reports indicating the involvement of additional peripheral organs contributing to the complete picture of the disease in severe cases. In this review, we have compiled clinical and experimental reports that demonstrate the association between the loss of SMN and peripheral organ deficiency and malfunction. Whether defective peripheral organs are a consequence of neuronal damage/muscle atrophy or a direct result of SMN loss will be discussed. PMID:23876144

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Motor neuron disease: a chemical perspective.

    PubMed

    Wood, Laura K; Langford, Steven J

    2014-08-14

    This Perspective provides a background to the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative disease and specifically amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and gives an overview of the many pathways, both genetically inheritable and sporadic, that may lead to the premature activation of apoptotic pathways in neurons, as well as current and proposed approaches toward interrupting these pathways.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Schwab, Andrew J; Ebert, Allison D

    2014-01-01

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

  17. The role of motor neuron drive in muscle fatigue.

    PubMed

    Ranieri, Federico; Di Lazzaro, Vincenzo

    2012-12-01

    Large experimental evidence indicates that motor neuron drive plays an important role in the origin of fatigue. Some key findings from electrophysiological investigations provide evidence for central fatigue during prolonged exercise: (1) maximal voluntary activation is usually below maximal muscle force; (2) the amount of voluntary activation decreases and (3) motor unit firing rate tends to decline during maximal voluntary isometric contractions. Spinal and supra-spinal mechanisms can be involved. A fundamental contribution to the comprehension of these mechanisms is provided by non-invasive brain stimulation techniques, such as transcranial magnetic stimulation. They have revealed a general reduction of motor cortical excitability and central drive during fatiguing exercise, also confirmed by direct recording of corticospinal activity. Additional data suggesting concomitant intracortical inhibitory and facilitatory phenomena during sustained muscle contraction are discussed. The picture is made more complex in all pathological conditions where the motor unit pool is reduced by muscle disease. Recent findings showed the capacity of specific repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation protocols to reinforce facilitatory processes within the motor cortex and to reduce the loss of muscle force during exercise. This approach might represent a way of access to central processes underlying muscle fatigue in motor neuron and neuromuscular disorders. PMID:23182631

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-30

    Defecation allows the body to eliminate waste, an essential step in food processing for animal survival. In contrast to the extensive studies of feeding, its obligate counterpart, defecation, has received much less attention until recently. In this study, we report our characterizations of the defecation behavior of Drosophila larvae and its neural basis. Drosophila larvae display defecation cycles of stereotypic frequency, involving sequential contraction of hindgut and anal sphincter. The defecation behavior requires two groups of motor neurons that innervate hindgut and anal sphincter, respectively, and can excite gut muscles directly. These two groups of motor neurons fire sequentially with the same periodicity as the defecation behavior, as revealed by in vivo Ca(2+) imaging. Moreover, we identified a single mechanosensitive sensory neuron that innervates the anal slit and senses the opening of the intestine terminus. This anus sensory neuron relies on the TRP channel NOMPC but not on INACTIVE, NANCHUNG, or PIEZO for mechanotransduction.

  20. 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

  1. Cholestenoic acids regulate motor neuron survival via liver X receptors

    PubMed Central

    Theofilopoulos, Spyridon; Griffiths, William J.; Crick, Peter J.; Yang, Shanzheng; Meljon, Anna; Ogundare, Michael; Kitambi, Satish Srinivas; Lockhart, Andrew; Tuschl, Karin; Clayton, Peter T.; Morris, Andrew A.; Martinez, Adelaida; Reddy, M. Ashwin; Martinuzzi, Andrea; Bassi, Maria T.; Honda, Akira; Mizuochi, Tatsuki; Kimura, Akihiko; Nittono, Hiroshi; De Michele, Giuseppe; Carbone, Rosa; Criscuolo, Chiara; Yau, Joyce L.; Seckl, Jonathan R.; Schüle, Rebecca; Schöls, Ludger; Sailer, Andreas W.; Kuhle, Jens; Fraidakis, Matthew J.; Gustafsson, Jan-Åke; Steffensen, Knut R.; Björkhem, Ingemar; Ernfors, Patrik; Sjövall, Jan; Arenas, Ernest; Wang, Yuqin

    2014-01-01

    Cholestenoic acids are formed as intermediates in metabolism of cholesterol to bile acids, and the biosynthetic enzymes that generate cholestenoic acids are expressed in the mammalian CNS. Here, we evaluated the cholestenoic acid profile of mammalian cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and determined that specific cholestenoic acids activate the liver X receptors (LXRs), enhance islet-1 expression in zebrafish, and increase the number of oculomotor neurons in the developing mouse in vitro and in vivo. While 3β,7α-dihydroxycholest-5-en-26-oic acid (3β,7α-diHCA) promoted motor neuron survival in an LXR-dependent manner, 3β-hydroxy-7-oxocholest-5-en-26-oic acid (3βH,7O-CA) promoted maturation of precursors into islet-1+ cells. Unlike 3β,7α-diHCA and 3βH,7O-CA, 3β-hydroxycholest-5-en-26-oic acid (3β-HCA) caused motor neuron cell loss in mice. Mutations in CYP7B1 or CYP27A1, which encode enzymes involved in cholestenoic acid metabolism, result in different neurological diseases, hereditary spastic paresis type 5 (SPG5) and cerebrotendinous xanthomatosis (CTX), respectively. SPG5 is characterized by spastic paresis, and similar symptoms may occur in CTX. Analysis of CSF and plasma from patients with SPG5 revealed an excess of the toxic LXR ligand, 3β-HCA, while patients with CTX and SPG5 exhibited low levels of the survival-promoting LXR ligand 3β,7α-diHCA. Moreover, 3β,7α-diHCA prevented the loss of motor neurons induced by 3β-HCA in the developing mouse midbrain in vivo.Our results indicate that specific cholestenoic acids selectively work on motor neurons, via LXR, to regulate the balance between survival and death. PMID:25271621

  2. 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

  3. Differential involvement of excitatory and inhibitory neurons of cat motor cortex in coincident spike activity related to behavioral context.

    PubMed

    Putrino, David; Brown, Emery N; Mastaglia, Frank L; Ghosh, Soumya

    2010-06-01

    To assess temporal associations in spike activity between pairs of neurons in the primary motor cortex (MI) related to different behaviors, we compared the incidence of coincident spiking activity of task-related (TR) and non-task-related (NTR) neurons during a skilled motor task and sitting quietly in adult cats (Felis domestica). Chronically implanted microwires were used to record spike activity of MI neurons in four animals (two male and two female) trained to perform a skilled reaching task or sit quietly. Neurons were identified as TR if spike activity was modulated during the task (and NTR if not). Based on spike characteristics, they were also classified as either regular-spiking (RS, putatively excitatory) or fast-spiking (FS, putatively inhibitory) neurons. Temporal associations in the activities of simultaneously recorded neurons were evaluated using shuffle-corrected cross-correlograms. Pairs of NTR and TR neurons showed associations in their firing patterns over wide areas of MI (representing forelimb and hindlimb movements) during quiet sitting, more commonly involving RS neurons. During skilled task performance, however, significantly coincident firing was seen almost exclusively between TR neurons in a smaller part of MI (representing forelimb movements), involving mainly FS neurons. The findings of this study show evidence for widespread interactions in MI when the animal sits quietly, which changes to a more specific and restricted pattern of interactions during task performance. Different populations of excitatory and inhibitory neurons appear to be synchronized during skilled movement and quiet sitting.

  4. Long-range neuronal circuits underlying the interaction between sensory and motor cortex.

    PubMed

    Mao, Tianyi; Kusefoglu, Deniz; Hooks, Bryan M; Huber, Daniel; Petreanu, Leopoldo; Svoboda, Karel

    2011-10-01

    In the rodent vibrissal system, active sensation and sensorimotor integration are mediated in part by connections between barrel cortex and vibrissal motor cortex. Little is known about how these structures interact at the level of neurons. We used Channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) expression, combined with anterograde and retrograde labeling, to map connections between barrel cortex and pyramidal neurons in mouse motor cortex. Barrel cortex axons preferentially targeted upper layer (L2/3, L5A) neurons in motor cortex; input to neurons projecting back to barrel cortex was particularly strong. Barrel cortex input to deeper layers (L5B, L6) of motor cortex, including neurons projecting to the brainstem, was weak, despite pronounced geometric overlap of dendrites with axons from barrel cortex. Neurons in different layers received barrel cortex input within stereotyped dendritic domains. The cortico-cortical neurons in superficial layers of motor cortex thus couple motor and sensory signals and might mediate sensorimotor integration and motor learning.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. A hindbrain segmental scaffold specifying neuronal location in the adult goldfish, Carassius auratus.

    PubMed

    Gilland, E; Straka, H; Wong, T W; Baker, R; Zottoli, S J

    2014-07-01

    The vertebrate hindbrain develops as a series of well-defined neuroepithelial segments or rhombomeres. While rhombomeres are visible in all vertebrate embryos, generally there is not any visible segmental anatomy in the brains of adults. Teleost fish are exceptional in retaining a rhombomeric pattern of reticulospinal neurons through embryonic, larval, and adult periods. We use this feature to map more precisely the segmental imprint in the reticular and motor basal hindbrain of adult goldfish. Analysis of serial sections cut in three planes and computer reconstructions of retrogradely labeled reticulospinal neurons yielded a segmental framework compatible with previous reports and more amenable to correlation with surrounding neuronal features. Cranial nerve motoneurons and octavolateral efferent neurons were aligned to the reticulospinal scaffold by mapping neurons immunopositive for choline acetyltransferase or retrogradely labeled from cranial nerve roots. The mapping corresponded well with the known ontogeny of these neurons and helps confirm the segmental territories defined by reticulospinal anatomy. Because both the reticulospinal and the motoneuronal segmental patterns persist in the hindbrain of adult goldfish, we hypothesize that a permanent "hindbrain framework" may be a general property that is retained in adult vertebrates. The establishment of a relationship between individual segments and neuronal phenotypes provides a convenient method for future studies that combine form, physiology, and function in adult vertebrates.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

    The type III RNAse, Dicer, is responsible for the processing of microRNA (miRNA) precursors into functional miRNA molecules, non-coding RNAs that bind to and target messenger RNAs for repression. Dicer expression is essential for mouse midbrain development and dopaminergic (DAergic) neuron maintenance and survival during the early post-natal period. However, the role of Dicer in adult mouse DAergic neuron maintenance and survival is unknown. To bridge this gap in knowledge, we selectively knocked-down Dicer expression in individual DAergic midbrain areas, including the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc) via viral-mediated expression of Cre in adult floxed Dicer knock-in mice (Dicer(flox/flox)). Bilateral Dicer loss in the VTA resulted in progressive hyperactivity that was significantly reduced by the dopamine agonist, amphetamine. In contrast, decreased Dicer expression in the SNpc did not affect locomotor activity but did induce motor-learning impairment on an accelerating rotarod. Knock-down of Dicer in both midbrain regions of adult Dicer(flox/flox) mice resulted in preferential, progressive loss of DAergic neurons likely explaining motor behavior phenotypes. In addition, knock-down of Dicer in midbrain areas triggered neuronal death via apoptosis. Together, these data indicate that Dicer expression and, as a consequence, miRNA function, are essential for DAergic neuronal maintenance and survival in adult midbrain DAergic neuron brain areas.

  10. 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

  11. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Shaw, Christopher A.; Petrik, Michael S.

    2010-01-01

    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

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

    PubMed Central

    Cullins, Miranda J.; Shaw, Kendrick M.; Gill, Jeffrey P.

    2014-01-01

    How does motor neuronal variability affect behavior? To explore this question, we quantified activity of multiple individual identified motor neurons mediating biting and swallowing in intact, behaving Aplysia californica by recording from the protractor muscle and the three nerves containing the majority of motor neurons controlling the feeding musculature. We measured multiple motor components: duration of the activity of identified motor neurons as well as their relative timing. At the same time, we measured behavioral efficacy: amplitude of grasping movement during biting and amplitude of net inward food movement during swallowing. We observed that the total duration of the behaviors varied: Within animals, biting duration shortened from the first to the second and third bites; between animals, biting and swallowing durations varied. To study other sources of variation, motor components were divided by behavior duration (i.e., normalized). Even after normalization, distributions of motor component durations could distinguish animals as unique individuals. However, the degree to which a motor component varied among individuals depended on the role of that motor component in a behavior. Motor neuronal activity that was essential for the expression of biting or swallowing was similar among animals, whereas motor neuronal activity that was not essential for that behavior varied more from individual to individual. These results suggest that motor neuronal activity that matters most for the expression of a particular behavior may vary least from individual to individual. Shaping individual variability to ensure behavioral efficacy may be a general principle for the operation of motor systems. PMID:25411463

  14. Histone deacetylases and their role in motor neuron degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Lazo-Gómez, Rafael; Ramírez-Jarquín, Uri N.; Tovar-y-Romo, Luis B.; Tapia, Ricardo

    2013-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease, characterized by the progressive loss of motor neurons. The cause of this selective neuronal death is unknown, but transcriptional dysregulation is recently emerging as an important factor. The physical substrate for the regulation of the transcriptional process is chromatin, a complex assembly of histones and DNA. Histones are subject to several post-translational modifications, like acetylation, that are a component of the transcriptional regulation process. Histone acetylation and deacetylation is performed by a group of enzymes (histone acetyltransferases (HATs) and deacetylases, respectively) whose modulation can alter the transcriptional state of many regions of the genome, and thus may be an important target in diseases that share this pathogenic process, as is the case for ALS. This review will discuss the present evidence of transcriptional dysregulation in ALS, the role of histone deacetylases (HDACs) in disease pathogenesis, and the novel pharmacologic strategies that are being comprehensively studied to prevent motor neuron death, with focus on sirtuins (SIRT) and their effectors. PMID:24367290

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Visualization of peripheral nervous system axons and cell bodies is important to understand their development, target recognition, and integration into complex circuitries. Numerous studies have used protein gene product (PGP) 9.5 [a.k.a. ubiquitin carboxy-terminal hydrolase L1 (UCHL1)] expression as a marker to label sensory neurons and their axons. Enhanced green fluorescent protein (eGFP) expression, under the control of UCHL1 promoter, is stable and long lasting in the UCHL1-eGFP reporter line. In addition to the genetic labeling of corticospinal motor neurons in the motor cortex and degeneration-resistant spinal motor neurons in the spinal cord, here we report that neurons of the peripheral nervous system are also fluorescently labeled in the UCHL1-eGFP reporter line. eGFP expression is turned on at embryonic ages and lasts through adulthood, allowing detailed studies of cell bodies, axons and target innervation patterns of all sensory neurons in vivo. In addition, visualization of both the sensory and the motor neurons in the same animal offers many advantages. In this report, we used UCHL1-eGFP reporter line in two different disease paradigms: diabetes and motor neuron disease. eGFP expression in sensory axons helped determine changes in epidermal nerve fiber density in a high-fat diet induced diabetes model. Our findings corroborate previous studies, and suggest that more than five months is required for significant skin denervation. Crossing UCHL1-eGFP with hSOD1G93A mice generated hSOD1G93A-UeGFP reporter line of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and revealed sensory nervous system defects, especially towards disease end-stage. Our studies not only emphasize the complexity of the disease in ALS, but also reveal that UCHL1-eGFP reporter line would be a valuable tool to visualize and study various aspects of sensory nervous system development and degeneration in the context of numerous diseases. PMID:26222784

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  17. 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

  18. Four cases of equine motor neuron disease in Japan

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    A fundamental question in neuroscience is how entire neural circuits generate behavior and adapt it to changes in sensory feedback. Here we use two-photon calcium imaging to record activity of large populations of neurons at the cellular level throughout the brain of larval zebrafish expressing a genetically-encoded calcium sensor, while the paralyzed animals interact fictively with a virtual environment and rapidly adapt their motor output to changes in visual feedback. We decompose the network dynamics involved in adaptive locomotion into four types of neural response properties, and provide anatomical maps of the corresponding sites. A subset of these signals occurred during behavioral adjustments and are candidates for the functional elements that drive motor learning. Lesions to the inferior olive indicate a specific functional role for olivocerebellar circuitry in adaptive locomotion. This study enables the analysis of brain-wide dynamics at single-cell resolution during behavior. PMID:22622571

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. Experience-dependent plasticity of mature adult-born neurons.

    PubMed

    Livneh, Yoav; Mizrahi, Adi

    2012-01-01

    The adult olfactory bulb and hippocampus are continuously supplied with newborn neurons that are thought to possess a capacity for plasticity only at a young neuronal age, mainly during the early stages of integration into the network. We find that the two main types of adult-born neurons in the mouse olfactory bulb undergo experience-dependent plasticity long after maturation and integration, as evidenced by stabilization of synaptic turnover rates. Thus, the potential time window for plasticity of adult-born neurons extends well into maturity. PMID:22081159

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Clinical significance of upper airway dysfunction in motor neurone disease.

    PubMed Central

    García-Pachón, E.; Martí, J.; Mayos, M.; Casan, P.; Sanchis, J.

    1994-01-01

    BACKGROUND--To assess the occurrence, functional characteristics and prognostic value of upper airway dysfunction in motor neurone disease, 27 patients unselected for respiratory symptoms were studied. METHODS--Upper airway function was evaluated by analysis of the maximal flow-volume loop. Neurological diagnosis was established from the clinical history and physical examination. The degree of impairment was quantified by the Appel score. RESULTS--Twelve patients (group A) showed abnormalities of the maximal flow-volume loop consistent with flow limitation (seven patients) or instability of upper airway function (gross oscillations of airflow, five patients). The remaining 15 patients (group B) exhibited a normal or generally reduced maximal flow-volume loop, suggestive of muscle weakness. No differences were observed between groups in general physical condition, rate of disease progression, or duration of disease. CONCLUSIONS--Upper airway dysfunction in patients with motor neurone disease was a frequent finding. It was present more often, but not exclusively, in patients with bulbar features and was unrelated to prognosis. PMID:7940430

  6. 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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1991-03-01

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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Activity-driven synaptic and axonal degeneration in canine motor neuron disease.

    PubMed

    Carrasco, Dario I; Rich, Mark M; Wang, Qingbo; Cope, Timothy C; Pinter, Martin J

    2004-08-01

    The role of neuronal activity in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative disease is largely unknown. In this study, we examined the effects of increasing motor neuron activity on the pathogenesis of a canine version of inherited motor neuron disease (hereditary canine spinal muscular atrophy). Activity of motor neurons innervating the ankle extensor muscle medial gastrocnemius (MG) was increased by denervating close synergist muscles. In affected animals, 4 wk of synergist denervation accelerated loss of motor-unit function relative to control muscles and decreased motor axon conduction velocities. Slowing of axon conduction was greatest in the most distal portions of motor axons. Morphological analysis of neuromuscular junctions (NMJs) showed that these functional changes were associated with increased loss of intact innervation and with the appearance of significant motor axon and motor terminal sprouting. These effects were not observed in the MG muscles of age-matched, normal animals with synergist denervation for 5 wk. The results indicate that motor neuron action potential activity is a major contributing factor to the loss of motor-unit function and degeneration in inherited canine motor neuron disease.

  12. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-26

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

  14. Dissecting the role of Engrailed in adult dopaminergic neurons--Insights into Parkinson disease pathogenesis.

    PubMed

    Rekaik, Hocine; Blaudin de Thé, François-Xavier; Prochiantz, Alain; Fuchs, Julia; Joshi, Rajiv L

    2015-12-21

    The homeoprotein Engrailed (Engrailed-1/Engrailed-2, collectively En1/2) is not only a survival factor for mesencephalic dopaminergic (mDA) neurons during development, but continues to exert neuroprotective and physiological functions in adult mDA neurons. Loss of one En1 allele in the mouse leads to progressive demise of mDA neurons in the ventral midbrain starting from 6 weeks of age. These mice also develop Parkinson disease-like motor and non-motor symptoms. The characterization of En1 heterozygous mice have revealed striking parallels to central mechanisms of Parkinson disease pathogenesis, mainly related to mitochondrial dysfunction and retrograde degeneration. Thanks to the ability of homeoproteins to transduce cells, En1/2 proteins have also been used to protect mDA neurons in various experimental models of Parkinson disease. This neuroprotection is partly linked to the ability of En1/2 to regulate the translation of certain nuclear-encoded mitochondrial mRNAs for complex I subunits. Other transcription factors that govern mDA neuron development (e.g. Foxa1/2, Lmx1a/b, Nurr1, Otx2, Pitx3) also continue to function for the survival and maintenance of mDA neurons in the adult and act through partially overlapping but also diverse mechanisms.

  15. Dissecting the role of Engrailed in adult dopaminergic neurons: Insights into Parkinson disease pathogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Rekaik, Hocine; Blaudin de Thé, François-Xavier; Prochiantz, Alain; Fuchs, Julia; Joshi, Rajiv L.

    2016-01-01

    The homeoprotein Engrailed (Engrailed-1/Engrailed-2, collectively En1/2) is not only a survival factor for mesencephalic dopaminergic (mDA) neurons during development, but continues to exert neuroprotective and physiological functions in adult mDA neurons. Loss of one En1 allele in the mouse leads to progressive demise of mDA neurons in the ventral midbrain starting from 6 weeks of age. These mice also develop Parkinson disease-like motor and non-motor symptoms. The characterization of En1 heterozygous mice have revealed striking parallels to central mechanisms of Parkinson disease pathogenesis, mainly related to mitochondrial dysfunction and retrograde degeneration. Thanks to the ability of homeoproteins to transduce cells, En1/2 proteins have also been used to protect mDA neurons in various experimental models of Parkinson disease. This neuroprotection is partly linked to the ability of En1/2 to regulate the translation of certain nuclear-encoded mitochondrial mRNAs for complex I subunits. Other transcription factors that govern mDA neuron development (e.g. Foxa1/2, Lmx1a/b, Nurr1, Otx2, Pitx3) also continue to function for the survival and maintenance of mDA neurons in the adult and act through partially overlapping but also diverse mechanisms. PMID:26459030

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Recruitment of motor neuronal persistent inward currents shapes withdrawal reflexes in the frog

    PubMed Central

    Perrier, Jean-François; Tresch, Matthew C

    2005-01-01

    The details of behaviour are determined by the interplay of synaptic connectivity within neuronal circuitry and the intrinsic membrane properties of individual neurones. One particularly dramatic intrinsic property displayed by neurones in many regions of the nervous system is membrane potential bistability, in which transient excitation of a neurone results in a persistent depolarization outlasting the initial excitation. Here we characterize the contribution of such intrinsic bistability, also referred to as plateau properties and mediated by persistent inward currents (PICs), in spinal motor neurones to the production of withdrawal behaviours in the frog. We performed experiments on the isolated frog spinal cord with attached hindlimb. This preparation allowed the simultaneous monitoring of muscle activations during motor behaviour and intracellular neuronal recordings. We found that PICs, following their potentiation by serotonin (5-HT), are recruited and contribute to the production of withdrawal behaviours. These properties conferred a voltage-dependent prolongation to the duration of motor neuronal activity. Consistent with this potentiation of motor neuronal PICs, 5-HT also increased the duration of evoked muscle activations. This behavioural potentiation, as well as the expression of PICs in individual neurones, was reduced following antagonism of L-type Ca2+ channels. These results demonstrate that PICs in motor neurones can be recruited during the production of behaviour and play a role in specifying the temporal details of motor output. PMID:15528248

  20. A compensatory subpopulation of motor neurons in a mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Schaefer, Anneliese M; Sanes, Joshua R; Lichtman, Jeff W

    2005-09-26

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a fatal paralytic disease that targets motor neurons, leading to motor neuron death and widespread denervation atrophy of muscle. Previous electrophysiological data have shown that some motor axon branches attempt to compensate for loss of innervation, resulting in enlarged axonal arbors. Recent histological assays have shown that during the course of the disease some axonal branches die back. We thus asked whether the two types of behavior, die-back and compensatory growth, occur in different branches of single neurons or, alternatively, whether entire motor units are of one type or the other. We used high-resolution in vivo imaging in the G93A SOD1 mouse model, bred to express transgenic yellow fluorescent protein in all or subsets of motor neurons. Time-lapse imaging showed that degenerative axon branches are easily distinguished from those undergoing compensatory reinnervation, showing fragmentation of terminal branches but sparing of the more proximal axon. Reconstruction of entire motor units showed that some were abnormally large. Surprisingly, these large motor units contained few if any degenerating synapses. Some small motor units, however, no longer possessed any neuromuscular contacts at all, giving the appearance of "winter trees." Thus, degenerative versus regenerative changes are largely confined to distinct populations of neurons within the same motor pool. Identification of factors that protect "compensatory" motor neurons from degenerative changes may provide new targets for therapeutic intervention.

  1. Spinal motor neuron migration and the significance of topographic organization in the nervous system.

    PubMed

    Kania, Artur

    2014-01-01

    The nervous system displays a high degree of topographic organisation such that neuronal soma position is closely correlated to axonal trajectory. One example of such order is the myotopic organisation of the motor system where spinal motor neuron position parallels that of target muscles. This chapter will discuss the molecular mechanisms underlying motor neuron soma positioning, which include transcriptional control of Reelin signaling and cadherin expression. As the same transcription factors have been shown to control motor axon innervation of target muscles, a simple mechanism of topographic organisation specification is becoming evident raising the question of how coordinating soma position with axon trajectory might be important for nervous system wiring and its function.

  2. Dendritic development of newly generated neurons in the adult brain.

    PubMed

    Ribak, Charles E; Shapiro, Lee A

    2007-10-01

    Ramon y Cajal described the fundamental morphology of the dendritic and axonal growth cones of neurons during development. However, technical limitations at the time prevented him from describing such growth cones from newborn neurons in the adult brain. The phenomenon of adult neurogenesis is briefly reviewed, and the structural description of dendritic and axonal outgrowth for these newly generated neurons in the adult brain is discussed. Axonal outgrowth into the hilus and CA3 region of the hippocampus occurs later than the outgrowth of dendrites into the molecular layer, and the ultrastructural analysis of axonal outgrowth has yet to be completed. In contrast, growth cones on dendrites from newborn neurons in the adult dentate gyrus have been described and this observation suggests that dendrites in adult brains grow in a similar way to those found in immature brains. However, dendrites in adult brains have to navigate through a denser neuropil and a more complex cell layer. Therefore, some aspects of dendritic outgrowth of neurons born in the adult dentate gyrus are different as compared to that found in development. These differences include the radial process of radial glial cells acting as a lattice to guide apical dendritic growth through the granule cell layer and a much thinner dendrite to grow through the neuropil of the molecular layer. Therefore, similarities and differences exist for dendritic outgrowth from newborn neurons in the developing and adult brain.

  3. Projection neurons in the cortex and hippocampus: differential effects of chronic khat and ethanol exposure in adult male rats

    PubMed Central

    Alele, Paul E; Matovu, Daniel; Imanirampa, Lawrence; Ajayi, Abayomi M; Kasule, Gyaviira T

    2016-01-01

    Background Recent evidence suggests that many individuals who chew khat recreationally also drink ethanol to offset the stimulating effect of khat. The objective of this study was to describe the separate and interactive effects of chronic ethanol and khat exposure on key projection neurons in the cortex and hippocampus of young adult male rats. Methods Young adult male Sprague Dawley rats were divided into six treatment groups: 2 g/kg khat, 4 g/kg khat, 4 g/kg ethanol, combined khat and ethanol (4 g/kg each), a normal saline control, and an untreated group. Treatments were administered orally for 28 continuous days; brains were then harvested, sectioned, and routine hematoxylin–eosin staining was done. Following photomicrography, ImageJ® software captured data regarding neuron number and size. Results No differences occurred in counts of both granular and pyramidal projection neurons in the motor cortex and all four subfields of the hippocampal formation. Khat dose-dependently increased pyramidal neuron size in the motor cortex and the CA3 region, but had different effects on granular neuron size in the dentate gyrus and the motor cortex. Mean pyramidal neuron size for the ethanol-only treatment was larger than that for the 2 g/kg khat group, and the saline control group, in CA3 and in the motor cortex. Concomitant khat and ethanol increased granular neuron size in the motor cortex, compared to the 2 g/kg khat group, the 4 g/kg khat group, and the 4 g/kg ethanol group. In the CA3 region, the 4 g/kg ethanol group showed a larger mean pyramidal neuron size than the combined khat and ethanol group. Conclusion These results suggest that concomitant khat and ethanol exposure changes granular and pyramidal projection neuron sizes differentially in the motor cortex and hippocampus, compared to the effects of chronic exposure to these two drugs separately. PMID:27785113

  4. 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

  5. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Fallini, Claudia; Guo, Peng; Zhang, Honglai; Singer, Robert H.; Rossoll, Wilfried; Bassell, Gary J.

    2013-01-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a lethal neurodegenerative disease specifically affecting spinal motor neurons. SMA is caused by the homozygous deletion or mutation of the survival of motor neuron 1 (SMN1) gene. The SMN protein plays an essential role in the assembly of spliceosomal ribonucleoproteins. However, it is still unclear how low levels of the ubiquitously expressed SMN protein lead to the selective degeneration of motor neurons. An additional role for SMN in the regulation of the axonal transport of mRNA-binding proteins (mRBPs) and their target mRNAs has been proposed. Indeed, several mRBPs have been shown to interact with SMN, and the axonal levels of few mRNAs, such as the β-actin mRNA, are reduced in SMA motor neurons. In this study we have identified the β-actin mRNA-binding protein IMP1/ZBP1 as a novel SMN-interacting protein. Using a combination of biochemical assays and quantitative imaging techniques in primary motor neurons, we show that IMP1 associates with SMN in individual granules that are actively transported in motor neuron axons. Furthermore, we demonstrate that IMP1 axonal localization depends on SMN levels, and that SMN deficiency in SMA motor neurons leads to a dramatic reduction of IMP1 protein levels. In contrast, no difference in IMP1 protein levels was detected in whole brain lysates from SMA mice, further suggesting neuron specific roles of SMN in IMP1 expression and localization. Taken together, our data support a role for SMN in the regulation of mRNA localization and axonal transport through its interaction with mRBPs such as IMP1. PMID:23897586

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Dyrk1A is dynamically expressed on subsets of motor neurons and in the neuromuscular junction: possible role in Down syndrome.

    PubMed

    Arque, Gloria; Casanovas, Anna; Dierssen, Mara

    2013-01-01

    Individuals with Down syndrome (DS) present important motor deficits that derive from altered motor development of infants and young children. DYRK1A, a candidate gene for DS abnormalities has been implicated in motor function due to its expression in motor nuclei in the adult brain, and its overexpression in DS mouse models leads to hyperactivity and altered motor learning. However, its precise role in the adult motor system, or its possible involvement in postnatal locomotor development has not yet been clarified. During the postnatal period we observed time-specific expression of Dyrk1A in discrete subsets of brainstem nuclei and spinal cord motor neurons. Interestingly, we describe for the first time the presence of Dyrk1A in the presynaptic terminal of the neuromuscular junctions and its axonal transport from the facial nucleus, suggesting a function for Dyrk1A in these structures. Relevant to DS, Dyrk1A overexpression in transgenic mice (TgDyrk1A) produces motor developmental alterations possibly contributing to DS motor phenotypes and modifies the numbers of motor cholinergic neurons, suggesting that the kinase may have a role in the development of the brainstem and spinal cord motor system. PMID:23342120

  11. Purification and culture of adult rat dorsal root ganglia neurons.

    PubMed

    Delree, P; Leprince, P; Schoenen, J; Moonen, G

    1989-06-01

    To study the trophic requirements of adult rat dorsal root ganglia neurons (DRG) in vitro, we developed a purification procedure that yields highly enriched neuronal cultures. Forty to fifty ganglia are dissected from the spinal column of an adult rat. After enzymatic and mechanical dissociation of the ganglia, myelin debris are eliminated by centrifugation on a Percoll gradient. The resulting cell suspension is layered onto a nylon mesh with a pore size of 10 microns. Most of the neurons, the diameter of which ranged from 17 microns to greater than 100 microns, are retained on the upper surface of the sieve; most of the non-neuronal cells with a caliber of less than 10 microns after trypsinization go through it. Recovery of neurons is achieved by reversing the mesh onto a Petri dish containing culture medium. Neurons to non-neurons ratio is 1 to 10 in the initial cell suspension and 1 to 1 after separation. When these purified neurons are seeded at a density of 3,000 neurons/cm2 in 6 mm polyornithine-laminin (PORN-LAM) coated wells, neuronal survival (assessed by the ability to extend neurites), measured after 48 hr of culture, is very low (from 0 to 16%). Addition of nerve growth factor (NGF) does not improve neuronal survival. However, when neurons are cultured in the presence of medium conditioned (CM) by astrocytes or Schwann cells, 60-80% of the seeded, dye-excluding neurons survive. So, purified adult DRG neurons require for their short-term survival and regeneration in culture, a trophic support that is present in conditioned medium from PNS or CNS glia.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  12. ACR-12 ionotropic acetylcholine receptor complexes regulate inhibitory motor neuron activity in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Petrash, Hilary A; Philbrook, Alison; Haburcak, Marian; Barbagallo, Belinda; Francis, Michael M

    2013-03-27

    Heterogeneity in the composition of neurotransmitter receptors is thought to provide functional diversity that may be important in patterning neural activity and shaping behavior (Dani and Bertrand, 2007; Sassoè-Pognetto, 2011). However, this idea has remained difficult to evaluate directly because of the complexity of neuronal connectivity patterns and uncertainty about the molecular composition of specific receptor types in vivo. Here we dissect how molecular diversity across receptor types contributes to the coordinated activity of excitatory and inhibitory motor neurons in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. We show that excitatory and inhibitory motor neurons express distinct populations of ionotropic acetylcholine receptors (iAChRs) requiring the ACR-12 subunit. The activity level of excitatory motor neurons is influenced through activation of nonsynaptic iAChRs (Jospin et al., 2009; Barbagallo et al., 2010). In contrast, synaptic coupling of excitatory and inhibitory motor neurons is achieved through a second population of iAChRs specifically localized at postsynaptic sites on inhibitory motor neurons. Loss of ACR-12 iAChRs from inhibitory motor neurons leads to reduced synaptic drive, decreased inhibitory neuromuscular signaling, and variability in the sinusoidal motor pattern. Our results provide new insights into mechanisms that establish appropriately balanced excitation and inhibition in the generation of a rhythmic motor behavior and reveal functionally diverse roles for iAChR-mediated signaling in this process. PMID:23536067

  13. 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.

  14. Neuronal fate determinants of adult olfactory bulb neurogenesis.

    PubMed

    Hack, Michael A; Saghatelyan, Armen; de Chevigny, Antoine; Pfeifer, Alexander; Ashery-Padan, Ruth; Lledo, Pierre-Marie; Götz, Magdalena

    2005-07-01

    Adult neurogenesis in mammals is restricted to two small regions, including the olfactory bulb, where GABAergic and dopaminergic interneurons are newly generated throughout the entire lifespan. However, the mechanisms directing them towards a specific neuronal phenotype are not yet understood. Here, we demonstrate the dual role of the transcription factor Pax6 in generating neuronal progenitors and also in directing them towards a dopaminergic periglomerular phenotype in adult mice. We present further evidence that dopaminergic periglomerular neurons originate in a distinct niche, the rostral migratory stream, and are fewer derived from precursors in the zone lining the ventricle. This regionalization of the adult precursor cells is further supported by the restricted expression of the transcription factor Olig2, which specifies transit-amplifying precursor fate and opposes the neurogenic role of Pax6. Together, these data explain both extrinsic and intrinsic mechanisms controlling neuronal identity in adult neurogenesis.

  15. An examination of motor unit number index in adults with cerebral palsy.

    PubMed

    Marciniak, Christina; Li, Xiaoyan; Zhou, Ping

    2015-06-01

    Spinal motor neuron loss may be a factor contributing to weakness in central disorders. The aim of this study was to assess whether motor unit numbers are reduced in the hand musculature of adults with cerebral palsy (CP) using the motor unit number index (MUNIX) technique. In this prospective, case-control study, 10 adults with CP were matched with healthy controls. MUNIX was computed using area and power of voluntary surface hypothenar electromyographic (EMG) signals and the compound muscle action potential (CMAP) recorded with ulnar nerve stimulation. The motor unit size index (MUSIX) was calculated based on maximum CMAP amplitude and MUNIX value. Gross Motor Function Classification Scale (GMFCS) and Manual Abilities Classification Scale (MACS) levels were rated for CP subjects. MUNIX was significantly lower for CP participants (Mean 167.8 vs. 214.4, p=.022). MUNIX values did not correlate with GMFCS or MACS. MUSIX values were higher, though not significantly, for CP subjects (p=.11). MUSIX increased with increasing MACS levels (r(2)=.4017, p=.049). Thus, motor unit numbers in ulnar hand muscles may be decreased with CP. MUSIX values are associated with greater hand impairment. Therefore, peripheral motor unit loss as a component of the weakness found with CP deserves further evaluation. PMID:25840713

  16. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

    Direct gene delivery to the neurons of interest, without affecting other neuron populations in the cerebral cortex, represent a challenge owing to the heterogeneity and cellular complexity of the brain. Genetic modulation of corticospinal motor neurons (CSMN) is required for developing effective and long-term treatment strategies for motor neuron diseases, in which voluntary movement is impaired. Adeno-associated viruses (AAV) have been widely used for neuronal transduction studies owing to long-term and stable gene expression as well as low immunoreactivity in humans. Here we report that AAV2-2 transduces CSMN with high efficiency upon direct cortex injection and that transduction efficiencies are similar during presymptomatic and symptomatic stages in hSOD1(G93A) transgenic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) mice. Our findings reveal that choice of promoter improves selectivity as AAV2-2 chicken β-actin promoter injection results in about 70% CSMN transduction, the highest percentage reported to date. CSMN transduction in both wild-type and transgenic ALS mice allows detailed analysis of single axon fibers within the corticospinal tract in both cervical and lumbar spinal cord and reveals circuitry defects, which mainly occur between CSMN and spinal motor neurons in hSOD1(G93A) transgenic ALS mice. Our findings set the stage for CSMN gene therapy in ALS and related motor neuron diseases. PMID:26704722

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    Direct gene delivery to the neurons of interest, without affecting other neuron populations in the cerebral cortex, represent a challenge owing to the heterogeneity and cellular complexity of the brain. Genetic modulation of corticospinal motor neurons (CSMN) is required for developing effective and long-term treatment strategies for motor neuron diseases, in which voluntary movement is impaired. Adeno-associated viruses (AAV) have been widely used for neuronal transduction studies owing to long-term and stable gene expression as well as low immunoreactivity in humans. Here we report that AAV2-2 transduces CSMN with high efficiency upon direct cortex injection and that transduction efficiencies are similar during presymptomatic and symptomatic stages in hSOD1G93A transgenic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) mice. Our findings reveal that choice of promoter improves selectivity as AAV2-2 chicken β-actin promoter injection results in about 70% CSMN transduction, the highest percentage reported to date. CSMN transduction in both wild-type and transgenic ALS mice allows detailed analysis of single axon fibers within the corticospinal tract in both cervical and lumbar spinal cord and reveals circuitry defects, which mainly occur between CSMN and spinal motor neurons in hSOD1G93A transgenic ALS mice. Our findings set the stage for CSMN gene therapy in ALS and related motor neuron diseases. PMID:26704722

  19. Intraganglionic interactions between satellite cells and adult sensory neurons.

    PubMed

    Christie, Kimberly; Koshy, Dilip; Cheng, Chu; Guo, GuiFang; Martinez, Jose A; Duraikannu, Arul; Zochodne, Douglas W

    2015-07-01

    Perineuronal satellite cells have an intimate anatomical relationship with sensory neurons that suggests close functional collaboration and mutual support. We examined several facets of this relationship in adult sensory dorsal root ganglia (DRG). Collaboration included the support of process outgrowth by clustering of satellite cells, induction of distal branching behavior by soma signaling, the capacity of satellite cells to respond to distal axon injury of its neighboring neurons, and evidence of direct neuron-satellite cell exchange. In vitro, closely adherent coharvested satellite cells routinely clustered around new outgrowing processes and groups of satellite cells attracted neurite processes. Similar clustering was encountered in the pseudounipolar processes of intact sensory neurons within intact DRG in vivo. While short term exposure of distal growth cones of unselected adult sensory neurons to transient gradients of a PTEN inhibitor had negligible impacts on their behavior, exposure of the soma induced early and substantial growth of their distant neurites and branches, an example of local soma signaling. In turn, satellite cells sensed when distal neuronal axons were injured by enlarging and proliferating. We also observed that satellite cells were capable of internalizing and expressing a neuron fluorochrome label, diamidino yellow, applied remotely to distal injured axons of the neuron and retrogradely transported to dorsal root ganglia sensory neurons. The findings illustrate a robust interaction between intranganglionic neurons and glial cells that involve two way signals, features that may be critical for both regenerative responses and ongoing maintenance. PMID:25979201

  20. Intraganglionic interactions between satellite cells and adult sensory neurons.

    PubMed

    Christie, Kimberly; Koshy, Dilip; Cheng, Chu; Guo, GuiFang; Martinez, Jose A; Duraikannu, Arul; Zochodne, Douglas W

    2015-07-01

    Perineuronal satellite cells have an intimate anatomical relationship with sensory neurons that suggests close functional collaboration and mutual support. We examined several facets of this relationship in adult sensory dorsal root ganglia (DRG). Collaboration included the support of process outgrowth by clustering of satellite cells, induction of distal branching behavior by soma signaling, the capacity of satellite cells to respond to distal axon injury of its neighboring neurons, and evidence of direct neuron-satellite cell exchange. In vitro, closely adherent coharvested satellite cells routinely clustered around new outgrowing processes and groups of satellite cells attracted neurite processes. Similar clustering was encountered in the pseudounipolar processes of intact sensory neurons within intact DRG in vivo. While short term exposure of distal growth cones of unselected adult sensory neurons to transient gradients of a PTEN inhibitor had negligible impacts on their behavior, exposure of the soma induced early and substantial growth of their distant neurites and branches, an example of local soma signaling. In turn, satellite cells sensed when distal neuronal axons were injured by enlarging and proliferating. We also observed that satellite cells were capable of internalizing and expressing a neuron fluorochrome label, diamidino yellow, applied remotely to distal injured axons of the neuron and retrogradely transported to dorsal root ganglia sensory neurons. The findings illustrate a robust interaction between intranganglionic neurons and glial cells that involve two way signals, features that may be critical for both regenerative responses and ongoing maintenance.

  1. Modulation of motor cortex neuronal activity and motor behavior during subthalamic nucleus stimulation in the normal primate.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Luke A; Xu, Weidong; Baker, Kenneth B; Zhang, Jianyu; Vitek, Jerrold L

    2015-04-01

    Deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the subthalamic nucleus (STN) is a well-established surgical therapy for advanced Parkinson's disease (PD). An emerging hypothesis is that the therapeutic benefit of DBS is derived from direct modulation of primary motor cortex (M1), yet little is known about the influence of STN DBS on individual neurons in M1. We investigated the effect of STN DBS, delivered at discrete interval intensities (20, 40, 60, 80, and 100%) of corticospinal tract threshold (CSTT), on motor performance and M1 neuronal activity in a naive nonhuman primate. Motor performance during a food reach and retrieval task improved during low-intensity stimulation (20% CSTT) but worsened as intensity approached the threshold for activation of corticospinal fibers (80% and 100% CSTT). To assess cortical effects of STN DBS, spontaneous, extracellular neuronal activity was collected from M1 neurons before, during, and after DBS at the same CSTT stimulus intensities. STN DBS significantly modulated the firing of a majority of M1 neurons; however, the direction of effect varied with stimulus intensity such that, at 20% CSTT, most neurons were suppressed, whereas at the highest stimulus intensities the majority of neurons were activated. At a population level, firing rates increased as stimulus intensity increased. These results show that STN DBS influences both motor performance and M1 neuronal activity systematically according to stimulus intensity. In addition, the unanticipated reduction in reach times suggests that STN DBS, at stimulus intensities lower than typically used for treatment of PD motor signs, can enhance normal motor performance.

  2. Demonstration of motor imagery movement and phantom movement-related neuronal activity in human thalamus.

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-26

    Functional imaging studies show that motor imagery activates multiple structures in the human forebrain. We now show that phantom movements in an amputee and imagined movements in intact individuals elicit responses from neurons in several human thalamic nuclei. These include the somatic sensory nucleus receiving input from the periphery (ventral caudal), and the motor nuclei receiving input from the cerebellum [ventral intermediate (Vim)] and the basal ganglia [ventral oral posterior (Vop)]. Seven neurons in the amputee showed phantom movement-related activity (three Vim, two Vop, and two ventral caudal). In addition, seven neurons in a group of three controls showed motor imagery-related activity (four Vim and three Vop). These studies were performed during single neuron recording sessions in patients undergoing therapeutic treatment of phantom pain, tremor, and chronic pain conditions by thalamic stimulation. The activity of neurons in these sensory and motor nuclei, respectively, may encode the expected sensory consequences and the dynamics of planned movements.

  3. Coordinated motor neuron axon growth and neuromuscular synaptogenesis are promoted by CPG15 in vivo.

    PubMed

    Javaherian, Ashkan; Cline, Hollis T

    2005-02-17

    We have used in vivo time-lapse two-photon imaging of single motor neuron axons labeled with GFP combined with labeling of presynaptic vesicle clusters and postsynaptic acetylcholine receptors in Xenopus laevis tadpoles to determine the dynamic rearrangement of individual axon branches and synaptogenesis during motor axon arbor development. Control GFP-labeled axons are highly dynamic during the period when axon arbors are elaborating. Axon branches emerge from sites of synaptic vesicle clusters. These data indicate that motor neuron axon elaboration and synaptogenesis are concurrent and iterative. We tested the role of Candidate Plasticity Gene 15 (CPG15, also known as Neuritin), an activity-regulated gene that is expressed in the developing motor neurons in this process. CPG15 expression enhances the development of motor neuron axon arbors by promoting neuromuscular synaptogenesis and by increasing the addition of new axon branches. PMID:15721237

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-30

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

  5. 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

  6. Long-Range Neuronal Circuits Underlying the Interaction between Sensory and Motor Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Mao, Tianyi; Kusefoglu, Deniz; Hooks, Bryan M.; Huber, Daniel; Petreanu, Leopoldo; Svoboda, Karel

    2016-01-01

    SUMMARY In the rodent vibrissal system, active sensation and sensorimotor integration are mediated in part by connections between barrel cortex and vibrissal motor cortex. Little is known about how these structures interact at the level of neurons. We used Channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) expression, combined with anterograde and retrograde labeling, to map connections between barrel cortex and pyramidal neurons in mouse motor cortex. Barrel cortex axons preferentially targeted upper layer (L2/3, L5A) neurons in motor cortex; input to neurons projecting back to barrel cortex was particularly strong. Barrel cortex input to deeper layers (L5B, L6) of motor cortex, including neurons projecting to the brainstem, was weak, despite pronounced geometric overlap of dendrites with axons from barrel cortex. Neurons in different layers received barrel cortex input within stereotyped dendritic domains. The cortico-cortical neurons in superficial layers of motor cortex thus couple motor and sensory signals and might mediate sensorimotor integration and motor learning. PMID:21982373

  7. Egr2-neurons control the adult respiratory response to hypercapnia

    PubMed Central

    Ray, Russell S.; Corcoran, Andrea E.; Brust, Rachael D.; Soriano, Laura P.; Nattie, Eugene E.; Dymecki, Susan M.

    2013-01-01

    ‘The early growth response 2 transcription factor, Egr2, establishes a population of brainstem neurons essential for normal breathing at birth. Egr2-null mice die perinatally of respiratory insufficiency characterized by subnormal respiratory rate and severe apneas. Here we bypass this lethality using a noninvasive pharmacogenetic approach to inducibly perturb neuron activity postnatally, and ask if Egr2-neurons control respiration in adult mice. We found that the normal ventilatory increase in response to elevated tissue CO2 was impaired, blunted by 63.1±8.7% after neuron perturbation due to deficits in both respiratory amplitude and frequency. By contrast, room-air breathing was unaffected, suggesting that the drive for baseline breathing may not require those Egr2-neurons manipulated here. Of the multiple brainstem sites proposed to affect ventilation in response to hypercapnia, only the retrotrapezoid nucleus, a portion of the serotonergic raphé, and a portion of the A5 nucleus have a history of Egr2 expression. We recently showed that acute inhibition of serotonergic neurons en masse blunts the CO2 chemoreflex in adults, causing a difference in hypercapnic response of ~50% after neuron perturbation through effects on respiratory amplitude only. The suppressed respiratory frequency upon perturbation of Egr2-neurons thus may stem from non-serotonergic neurons within the Egr2 domain. Perturbation of Egr2-neurons did not affect body temperature, even on exposure to ambient 4 °C. These findings support a model in which Egr2-neurons are a critical component of the respiratory chemoreflex into adulthood. Methodologically, these results highlight how pharmacogenetic approaches allow neuron function to be queried in unanesthetized adult animals, reaching beyond the roadblocks of developmental lethality and compensation as well as the anatomical disturbances associated with invasive methods. PMID:23261662

  8. Releasing the peri-neuronal net to patch-clamp neurons in adult CNS.

    PubMed

    Morales, Ezequiel; Fernandez, Fernando R; Sinclair, Suzanne; Molineux, Michael L; Mehaffey, W Hamish; Turner, Ray W

    2004-05-01

    The extracellular matrix of adult neural tissue contains chondroitin sulphated proteogylcans that form a dense peri-neuronal net surrounding the cell body and proximal dendrites of many neuronal classes. Development of the peri-neuronal net beyond approximately postnatal day 17 obscures visualization and often access by patch electrodes to neuronal membranes with the result that patch clamp recordings are most readily obtained from early postnatal animals. We describe a technique in which the surface tension of a sucrose-based medium promotes partial dissociation of thin tissue slices from adult tissue. Surface tension spreads the tissue and loosens the peri-neuronal net from neuronal membranes within minutes and in the absence of proteolytic enzymes. Furthermore, the extent of dissociation can be controlled so as to maintain the overall slice structure and allow identification of specific cell classes. Excellent structural preservation of neurons and dendrites can be obtained and full access by patch electrodes made possible for current- or voltage-clamp recordings in tissue well beyond the development of peri-neuronal nets. We demonstrate the feasibility of using this approach through patch recordings from neurons in the brainstem and cerebellum of adult gymnotiform fish and in deep cerebellar nuclei of rats as old as 6 months.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. PTEN regulates AMPA receptor-mediated cell viability in iPS-derived motor neurons.

    PubMed

    Yang, D-J; Wang, X-L; Ismail, A; Ashman, C J; Valori, C F; Wang, G; Gao, S; Higginbottom, A; Ince, P G; Azzouz, M; Xu, J; Shaw, P J; Ning, K

    2014-02-27

    Excitatory transmission in the brain is commonly mediated by the α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionic acid (AMPA) receptors. In amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), AMPA receptors allow cytotoxic levels of calcium into neurons, contributing to motor neuron injury. We have previously shown that oculomotor neurons resistant to the disease process in ALS show reduced AMPA-mediated inward calcium currents compared with vulnerable spinal motor neurons. We have also shown that PTEN (phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted on chromosome 10) knockdown via siRNA promotes motor neuron survival in models of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) and ALS. It has been reported that inhibition of PTEN attenuates the death of hippocampal neurons post injury by decreasing the effective translocation of the GluR2 subunit into the membrane. In addition, leptin can regulate AMPA receptor trafficking via PTEN inhibition. Thus, we speculate that manipulation of AMPA receptors by PTEN may represent a potential therapeutic strategy for neuroprotective intervention in ALS and other neurodegenerative disorders. To this end, the first step is to establish a fibroblast-iPS-motor neuron in vitro cell model to study AMPA receptor manipulation. Here we report that iPS-derived motor neurons from human fibroblasts express AMPA receptors. PTEN depletion decreases AMPA receptor expression and AMPA-mediated whole-cell currents, resulting in inhibition of AMPA-induced neuronal death in primary cultured and iPS-derived motor neurons. Taken together, our results imply that PTEN depletion may protect motor neurons by inhibition of excitatory transmission that represents a therapeutic strategy of potential benefit for the amelioration of excitotoxicity in ALS and other neurodegenerative disorders.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-01-01

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

  14. Self-controlled practice benefits motor learning in older adults.

    PubMed

    Lessa, Helena Thofehrn; Chiviacowsky, Suzete

    2015-04-01

    Providing learners with the chance to choose over certain aspects of practice has been consistently shown to facilitate the acquisition of motor skills in several populations. However, studies investigating the effects of providing autonomy support during the learning process of older adults remain scarce. The objective of the present study was to investigate the effects of self-controlled amount of practice on the learning of a sequential motor task in older adults. Participants in the self-control group were able to choose when to stop practicing a speed cup stacking task, while the number of practice trials for a yoked group was pre-determined, mirroring the self-control group. The opportunity to choose when stop practicing facilitated motor performance and learning compared to the yoked condition. The findings suggest that letting older adult learners choose the amount of practice, supporting their autonomy needs, has a positive influence on motor learning.

  15. Neuropathologic and biochemical changes during disease progression in liver X receptor beta-/- mice, a model of adult neuron disease.

    PubMed

    Bigini, Paolo; Steffensen, Knut R; Ferrario, Anna; Diomede, Luisa; Ferrara, Giovanni; Barbera, Sara; Salzano, Sonia; Fumagalli, Elena; Ghezzi, Pietro; Mennini, Tiziana; Gustafsson, Jan-Ake

    2010-06-01

    In amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), there is selective degeneration of motor neurons that leads to paralysis and death. Although the etiology of ALS is unclear, its heterogeneity suggests that a combination of factors (endogenous and/or environmental) may induce progressive motor neuron stress that results in the activation of different cell death pathways. Alterations of brain cholesterol homeostasis have recently been considered as possible cofactors in many neurodegenerative disorders, including ALS. The liver X receptor beta (LXRbeta) receptor is involved in lipogenesis and cholesterol metabolism, and we previously found that adult-onset motor neuron pathology occurs in LXRbeta mice. Here, we investigated neuromuscular alterations of LXRbeta mice from ages 3 to 24 months. Increased cholesterol levels, gliosis, and inflammation preceded motor neuron loss and clinical disease onset; the mice showed progressivemotor neuron deficits starting from age 7 months. The numbers ofmotor neurons and neuromuscular junctions were decreased in 24-month-old mice, but neither paralysis nor reduced life span was observed. Moreover, other spinal neurons were also lost in these mice. These results suggest that LXRbeta may inhibit neuroinflammation and maintain cholesterol homeostasis, and that LXRbeta mice represent a potential model for investigating the role of cholesterol in ALS and other neurodegenerative disorders.

  16. 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

  17. [Pharmacological therapy of sialorrhea in patients with motor neuron disease].

    PubMed

    Levitskiĭ, G N; Alekhin, A V; Serdiuk, A V; Morgunova, M S; Koneva, O N; Skvortsova, V I

    2005-01-01

    A comparative trial of amithryptiline and dysport (botulinic toxin type A) in the treatment of sialorrhea in patients with motor neuron disease (MND) was conducted in 10 MND patients with sialorrhea, of whom 5 were treated with subcutaneous injections of Dysport and 5 with Amithriptiline, and 6 controls without salivary dysfunction. Gravimetry and scintigraphy of salivary glands were used before and after treatment. Compared to controls, saliva production was significantly decreased in MND patients. Both amithryptilin and dysport used in mean therapeutic doses decreased sialorrhea with similar effect. However, 3 patients, receiving amythryptiline in dosage 50 mg/day, experienced side effects (constipation, accommodation disturbances, dry mouth, sleepiness and poor concentration). Reducing of amithryptiline dose, along with prescribing dysport, removed the side-effects in these patients, while sialorrhea did not increase. The authors concluded that due to high efficacy and low cost of amithryptiline therapy of sialorrhea proved to be a golden standard of palliative care in MDN. However, in these terms dysport can not be an alternative to amithryptiline in sialorrhea therapy. Nevertheless, in cases when amithryptiline treatment is accomplished with side-effects, the drug dosage can be reduced and combined with dysport.

  18. Response of serotonergic caudal raphe neurons in relation to specific motor activities in freely moving cats.

    PubMed

    Veasey, S C; Fornal, C A; Metzler, C W; Jacobs, B L

    1995-07-01

    Serotonergic neuronal responses during three specific motor activities were studied in nuclei raphe obscurus (NRO) and raphe pallidus (NRP) of freely moving cats by means of extracellular single-unit recordings. Responses to treadmill-induced locomotion were primarily excitatory, with 21 of 24 neurons displaying increased firing rates, directly related to treadmill speed. Individual regression analyses determined three response patterns: maximal activation at low speed (0.25 m/sec), augmentation of neuronal activity only at high treadmill speed (0.77 m/sec), and a linear increase. A smaller fraction of NRO and NRP serotonergic neurons (6 of 27) also responded to hypercarbic ventilatory challenge with increased firing rates. The magnitude of neuronal response was dependent upon the fraction of inspired CO2 and was related to ventilatory motor output, specifically, inspiratory amplitude. A subgroup of neurons responsive to hypercarbia in wakefulness demonstrated significant reductions in neuronal response to hypercarbia in slow-wave sleep. Finally, unit activity for 12 of 29 cells increased in response to spontaneous feeding, displaying two distinct patterns of neuronal response in relation to onset and termination of feeding: rapid activation and deactivation versus a gradual increase and decrease. More than half of the cells studied under all three conditions were responsive to more than one motor task. These results indicate that serotonergic caudal raphe neurons are responsive to specific motor system challenges, with many neurons responsive to multiple motor tasks, and that the responsiveness of serotonergic neurons to at least one motor task, hypercarbic ventilatory challenge, is state dependent.

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

    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).

  20. The complement factor C5a receptor is upregulated in NFL-/- mouse motor neurons.

    PubMed

    Humayun, Saima; Gohar, May; Volkening, Kathryn; Moisse, Katie; Leystra-Lantz, Cheryl; Mepham, Jennifer; McLean, Jesse; Strong, Michael J

    2009-05-29

    In NFL-/- mice, a model of motor neuron degeneration in ALS, degenerating spinal motor neurons express high levels of the receptor for the C5a anaphylatoxin (C5aR) early in the disease process. C5a is a potent in vitro neurotoxin for both Neuro2A and NGF-differentiated PC12 cells. While no interaction was observed between glutamate and C5a, both C5a and kainate upregulated the expression of activated C5aR. C5aR expression was increased in motor neurons in ALS. This data suggests that the early upregulation of C5aR may contribute to motor neuron damage that potentiates excitotoxicity in ALS.

  1. 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

  2. RANK-ORDER-SELECTIVE NEURONS FORM A TEMPORAL BASIS SET FOR THE GENERATION OF MOTOR SEQUENCES

    PubMed Central

    Salinas, Emilio

    2009-01-01

    Many behaviors are composed of a series of elementary motor actions that must occur in a specific order, but the neuronal mechanisms by which such motor sequences are generated are poorly understood. In particular, if a sequence consists of a few motor actions, a primate can learn to replicate it from memory after practicing it for just a few trials. How do the motor and premotor areas of the brain assemble motor sequences so fast? The network model presented here reveals part of the solution to this problem. The model is based on experiments showing that, during the performance of motor sequences, some cortical neurons are always activated at specific times, regardless of which motor action is being executed. In the model, a population of such rank-order-selective (ROS) cells drives a layer of downstream motor neurons so that these generate specific movements at different times in different sequences. A key ingredient of the model is that the amplitude of the ROS responses must be modulated by sequence identity. Because of this modulation, which is consistent with experimental reports, the network is able not only to produce multiple sequences accurately but also to learn a new sequence with minimal changes in connectivity. The ROS neurons modulated by sequence identity thus serve as a basis set for constructing arbitrary sequences of motor responses downstream. The underlying mechanism is analogous to the mechanism described in parietal areas for generating coordinate transformations in the spatial domain. PMID:19357265

  3. The Contradictory Effects of Neuronal Hyperexcitation on Adult Hippocampal Neurogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Pineda, José R.; Encinas, Juan M.

    2016-01-01

    Adult hippocampal neurogenesis is a highly plastic process that responds swiftly to neuronal activity. Adult hippocampal neurogenesis can be regulated at the level of neural stem cell recruitment and activation, progenitor proliferation, as well as newborn cell survival and differentiation. An “excitation-neurogenesis” rule was proposed after the demonstration of the capability of cultured neural stem and progenitor cells to intrinsically sense neuronal excitatory activity. In vivo, this property has remained elusive although recently the direct response of neural stem cells to GABA in the hippocampus via GABAA receptors has evidenced a mechanism for a direct talk between neurons and neural stem cells. As it is pro-neurogenic, the effect of excitatory neuronal activity has been generally considered beneficial. But what happens in situations of neuronal hyperactivity in which neurogenesis can be dramatically boosted? In animal models, electroconvulsive shock markedly increases neurogenesis. On the contrary, in epilepsy rodent models, seizures induce the generation of misplaced neurons with abnormal morphological and electrophysiological properties, namely aberrant neurogenesis. We will herein discuss what is known about the mechanisms of influence of neurons on neural stem cells, as well as the severe effects of neuronal hyperexcitation on hippocampal neurogenesis. PMID:26973452

  4. Abundance of gap junctions at glutamatergic mixed synapses in adult Mosquitofish spinal cord neurons

    PubMed Central

    Serrano-Velez, Jose L.; Rodriguez-Alvarado, Melanie; Torres-Vazquez, Irma I.; Fraser, Scott E.; Yasumura, Thomas; Vanderpool, Kimberly G.; Rash, John E.; Rosa-Molinar, Eduardo

    2014-01-01

    “Dye-coupling”, whole-mount immunohistochemistry for gap junction channel protein connexin 35 (Cx35), and freeze-fracture replica immunogold labeling (FRIL) reveal an abundance of electrical synapses/gap junctions at glutamatergic mixed synapses in the 14th spinal segment that innervates the adult male gonopodium of Western Mosquitofish, Gambusia affinis (Mosquitofish). To study gap junctions’ role in fast motor behavior, we used a minimally-invasive neural-tract-tracing technique to introduce gap junction-permeant or -impermeant dyes into deep muscles controlling the gonopodium of the adult male Mosquitofish, a teleost fish that rapidly transfers (complete in <20 mS) spermatozeugmata into the female reproductive tract. Dye-coupling in the 14th spinal segment controlling the gonopodium reveals coupling between motor neurons and a commissural primary ascending interneuron (CoPA IN) and shows that the 14th segment has an extensive and elaborate dendritic arbor and more gap junctions than do other segments. Whole-mount immunohistochemistry for Cx35 results confirm dye-coupling and show it occurs via gap junctions. Finally, FRIL shows that gap junctions are at mixed synapses and reveals that >50 of the 62 gap junctions at mixed synapses are in the 14th spinal segment. Our results support and extend studies showing gap junctions at mixed synapses in spinal cord segments involved in control of genital reflexes in rodents, and they suggest a link between mixed synapses and fast motor behavior. The findings provide a basis for studies of specific roles of spinal neurons in the generation/regulation of sex-specific behavior and for studies of gap junctions’ role in regulating fast motor behavior. Finally, the CoPA IN provides a novel candidate neuron for future studies of gap junctions and neural control of fast motor behaviors. PMID:25018700

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Speech Motor Learning in Profoundly Deaf Adults

    PubMed Central

    Nasir, Sazzad M.; Ostry, David J.

    2008-01-01

    Speech production, like other sensorimotor behaviors, relies on multiple sensory inputs — audition, proprioceptive inputs from muscle spindles, and cutaneous inputs from mechanoreceptors in the skin and soft tissues of the vocal tract. However, the capacity for intelligible speech by deaf speakers suggests that somatosensory input on its own may contribute to speech motor control and perhaps even to speech learning. We assessed speech motor learning in cochlear implant recipients who were tested with their implants turned off. A robotic device was used to alter somatosensory feedback by displacing the jaw during speech. We found that with training implant subjects progressively adapted to the mechanical perturbation. Moreover, the corrections we observed were for movement deviations that were exceedingly small, on the order of millimetres, indicating that speakers have precise somatosensory expectations. Speech motor learning is significantly dependent on somatosensory input. PMID:18794839

  9. Motor regulation problems and pain in adults diagnosed with ADHD

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Most children who are diagnosed with attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have moderate-to-severe motor problems using the Motor Function Neurological Assessment battery (MFNU). The MFNU focuses on specific muscle adjustment problems associated with ADHD, especially motor inhibition problems and high muscle tone. Here we investigated whether adults with ADHD/hyperkinetic disorder (HKD) have similar motor problems. In our clinical experience, adults with ADHD often complain about back, shoulder, hip, and leg pain. We also investigate reported pain in adults with ADHD. Methods Twenty-five adult outpatients diagnosed with ADHD/HKD who were responders to methylphenidate (MPH) were compared to 23 non-ADHD controls on 16 MFNU subtests and using a ‘total score’ (‘TS’) parameter. The MFNU test leader was blinded to group identity. The two groups were also compared using the Pain Drawing and Numerical Pain Rating Scale. Results The adult ADHD group had significantly (p < .001) more motor problems (higher TS) than controls. On the muscle regulation subtests, 36–96% of the ADHD group showed ‘moderate’ to ‘severe’ problems compared to 13–52% of the control group, and 80% of the ADHD group reported widespread pain. Highly significant differences were found between the ADHD and control groups for the variables ‘pain level’ (p < .001) and ‘pain location’ (p < .001). Significant correlations were found between TS and ‘pain location’ and between TS and ‘pain level’. Conclusions These findings suggest that similar to children with ADHD, adults diagnosed with ADHD also have motor inhibition problems and heightened muscle tone. The presence of significantly higher pain levels and more widespread pain in the ADHD group compared to non-ADHD controls might indicate that pain is a long-term secondary effect of heightened muscle tone and restricted movement that can be demonstrated in children and adults by the MFNU

  10. Androgen-induced neurite outgrowth is mediated by neuritin in motor neurones.

    PubMed

    Marron, T U; Guerini, V; Rusmini, P; Sau, D; Brevini, T A L; Martini, L; Poletti, A

    2005-01-01

    In the brain, the spinal cord motor neurones express the highest levels of the androgen receptor (AR). Experimental data have suggested that neurite outgrowth in these neurones may be regulated by testosterone or its derivative 5alpha-dihydrotestosterone (DHT), formed by the 5alpha-reductase type 2 enzyme. In this study we have produced and characterized a model of immortalized motor neuronal cells expressing the mouse AR (mAR) [neuroblastoma-spinal cord (NSC) 34/mAR] and analysed the role of androgens in motor neurones. Androgens either activated or repressed several genes; one has been identified as the mouse neuritin, a protein responsible for neurite elongation. Real-time PCR analysis has shown that the neuritin gene is expressed in the basal condition in immortalized motor neurones and is selectively up-regulated by androgens in NSC34/mAR cells; the DHT effect is counteracted by the anti-androgen Casodex. Moreover, DHT induced neurite outgrowth in NSC34/mAR, while testosterone was less effective and its action was counteracted by the 5alpha-reductase type 2 enzyme inhibitor finasteride. Finally, the androgenic effect on neurite outgrowth was abolished by silencing neuritin with siRNA. Therefore, the trophic effects of androgens in motor neurones may be explained by the androgenic regulation of neuritin, a protein linked to neurone development, elongation and regeneration. PMID:15606892

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-01-01

    Children exposed to alcohol in utero have significantly delayed gross and fine motor skills, as well as deficiencies in reflex development. The reasons that underlie the motor deficits caused by ethanol (EtOH) exposure remain to be fully elucidated. The present study was undertaken to investigate the effects of embryonic alcohol exposure (1.5%, 2% and 2.5% EtOH) on motor neuron and muscle fiber morphology in 3 days post fertilization (dpf) larval zebrafish. EtOH treated fish exhibited morphological deformities and fewer bouts of swimming in response to touch, compared with untreated fish. Immunolabelling with anti-acetylated tubulin indicated that fish exposed to 2.5% EtOH had significantly higher rates of motor neuron axon defects. Immunolabelling of primary and secondary motor neurons, using znp-1 and zn-8, revealed that fish exposed to 2% and 2.5% EtOH exhibited significantly higher rates of primary and secondary motor neuron axon defects compared to controls. Examination of red and white muscle fibers revealed that fish exposed to EtOH had significantly smaller fibers compared with controls. These findings indicate that motor neuron and muscle fiber morphology is affected by early alcohol exposure in zebrafish embryos, and that this may be related to deficits in locomotion. PMID:20211721

  12. Engrailed expression in subsets of adult Drosophila sensory neurons

    PubMed Central

    Blagburn, Jonathan M.

    2008-01-01

    Engrailed (En) has an important role in neuronal development in vertebrates and invertebrates. In adult Drosophila, although En expression persists throughout adulthood, a detailed description of its expression in sensory neurons has not been made. In this study, en-GAL4 was used to drive UAS-CD8::GFP expression and the projections of sensory neurons were examined with confocal microscopy. En protein expression was confirmed using immunocytochemistry. In the antenna, En is present in subsets of Johnston’s organ neurons and of olfactory neurons. En-driven GFP is expressed in axons projecting to 18 identifed olfactory glomeruli, originating from basiconic, trichoid and coeloconic sensilla. In most cases both neurons of a sensillum express En. En expression overlaps with that of Acj6, another transcription factor. En-driven GFP is also expressed in a subset of maxillary palp olfactory neurons and in all mechanosensory and gustatory sensilla in the posterior compartment of the labial palps. In the legs and halteres, en-driven GFP is expressed in only a subset of the sensory neurons of different modalities that arise in the posterior compartment. Finally, en-driven GFP is expressed in a single multidendritic sensory neuron in each abdominal segment. PMID:18597129

  13. Neurons in the White Matter of the Adult Human Neocortex

    PubMed Central

    Suárez-Solá, M. Luisa; González-Delgado, Francisco J.; Pueyo-Morlans, Mercedes; Medina-Bolívar, O. Carolina; Hernández-Acosta, N. Carolina; González-Gómez, Miriam; Meyer, Gundela

    2009-01-01

    The white matter (WM) of the adult human neocortex contains the so-called “interstitial neurons”. They are most numerous in the superficial WM underlying the cortical gyri, and decrease in density toward the deep WM. They are morphologically heterogeneous. A subgroup of interstitial neurons display pyramidal-cell like morphologies, characterized by a polarized dendritic tree with a dominant apical dendrite, and covered with a variable number of dendritic spines. In addition, a large contingent of interstitial neurons can be classified as interneurons based on their neurochemical profile as well as on morphological criteria. WM- interneurons have multipolar or bipolar shapes and express GABA and a variety of other neuronal markers, such as calbindin and calretinin, the extracellular matrix protein reelin, or neuropeptide Y, somatostatin, and nitric oxide synthase. The heterogeneity of interstitial neurons may be relevant for the pathogenesis of Alzheimer disease and schizophrenia. Interstitial neurons are most prominent in human brain, and only rudimentary in the brain of non-primate mammals. These evolutionary differences have precluded adequate experimental work on this cell population, which is usually considered as a relict of the subplate, a transient compartment proper of development and without a known function in the adult brain. The primate-specific prominence of the subplate in late fetal stages points to an important role in the establishment of interstitial neurons. Neurons in the adult WM may be actively involved in coordinating inter-areal connectivity and regulation of blood flow. Further studies in primates will be needed to elucidate the developmental history, adult components and activities of this large neuronal system. PMID:19543540

  14. Self-regulation of adult thalamocortical neurons.

    PubMed

    Kasten, Michael R; Anderson, Matthew P

    2015-07-01

    The thalamus acts as a conduit for sensory and other information traveling to the cortex. In response to continuous sensory stimulation in vivo, the firing rate of thalamocortical neurons initially increases, but then within a minute firing rate decreases and T-type Ca(2+) channel-dependent action potential burst firing emerges. While neuromodulatory systems could play a role in this inhibitory response, we instead report a novel and cell-autonomous inhibitory mechanism intrinsic to the thalamic relay neuron. Direct intracellular stimulation of thalamocortical neuron firing initially triggered a continuous and high rate of action potential discharge, but within a minute membrane potential (Vm) was hyperpolarized and firing rate to the same stimulus was decreased. This self-inhibition was observed across a wide variety of thalamic nuclei, and in a subset firing mode switched from tonic to bursting. The self-inhibition resisted blockers of intracellular Ca(2+) signaling, Na(+)-K(+)-ATPases, and G protein-regulated inward rectifier (GIRK) channels as implicated in other neuron subtypes, but instead was in part inhibited by an ATP-sensitive K(+) channel blocker. The results identify a new homeostatic mechanism within the thalamus capable of gating excitatory signals at the single-cell level. PMID:25948871

  15. New neurons in the adult striatum: from rodents to humans

    PubMed Central

    Inta, Dragos; Cameron, Heather A.; Gass, Peter

    2015-01-01

    Most neurons are generated during development and are not replaced during adulthood, even if they are lost to injury or disease. It is firmly established, however, that new neurons are generated in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus of virtually all adult mammals, including humans [1]. Many questions still remain, however, regarding adult neurogenesis in other brain regions and particularly in humans, where standard birthdating methods are not generally feasible. Exciting recent evidence indicates that calretinin-expressing interneurons are added to the adult human striatum at a substantial rate [2]. The role of new neurons is unknown, but studies in rodents will be able to further elucidate their identity and origin and then begin to understand their regulation and function. PMID:26298770

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Zelenin, Pavel V; Deliagina, Tatiana G; Orlovsky, Grigori N; Karayannidou, Anastasia; Dasgupta, Namrata M; Sirota, Mikhail G; Beloozerova, Irina N

    2011-03-23

    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.

  18. Orientation-dependent changes in single motor neuron activity during adaptive soft-bodied locomotion.

    PubMed

    Metallo, Cinzia; Trimmer, Barry A

    2015-01-01

    Recent major advances in understanding the organizational principles underlying motor control have focused on a small number of animal species with stiff articulated skeletons. These model systems have the advantage of easily quantifiable mechanics, but the neural codes underlying different movements are difficult to characterize because they typically involve a large population of neurons controlling each muscle. As a result, studying how neural codes drive adaptive changes in behavior is extremely challenging. This problem is highly simplified in the tobacco hawkmoth Manduca sexta, which, in its larval stage (caterpillar), is predominantly soft-bodied. Since each M. sexta muscle is innervated by one, occasionally two, excitatory motor neurons, the electrical activity generated by each muscle can be mapped to individual motor neurons. In the present study, muscle activation patterns were converted into motor neuron frequency patterns by identifying single excitatory junction potentials within recorded electromyographic traces. This conversion was carried out with single motor neuron resolution thanks to the high signal selectivity of newly developed flexible microelectrode arrays, which were specifically designed to record from M. sexta muscles. It was discovered that the timing of motor neuron activity and gait kinematics depend on the orientation of the plane of motion during locomotion. We report that, during climbing, the motor neurons monitored in the present study shift their activity to correlate with movements in the animal's more anterior segments. This orientation-dependent shift in motor activity is in agreement with the expected shift in the propulsive forces required for climbing. Our results suggest that, contrary to what has been previously hypothesized, M.sexta uses central command timing for adaptive load compensation. PMID:25765841

  19. Mirror Neurons System Engagement in Late Adolescents and Adults While Viewing Emotional Gestures.

    PubMed

    Salvia, Emilie; Süß, Moritz; Tivadar, Ruxandra; Harkness, Sarah; Grosbras, Marie-Hélène

    2016-01-01

    Observing others' actions enhances muscle-specific cortico-spinal excitability, reflecting putative mirror neurons activity. The exposure to emotional stimuli also modulates cortico-spinal excitability. We investigated how those two phenomena might interact when they are combined, i.e., while observing a gesture performed with an emotion, and whether they change during the transition between adolescence and adulthood, a period of social and brain maturation. We delivered single-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) over the hand area of the left primary motor cortex of 27 healthy adults and adolescents and recorded their right first dorsal interossus (FDI) muscle activity (i.e., motor evoked potential - MEP), while they viewed either videos of neutral or angry hand actions and facial expressions, or neutral objects as a control condition. We reproduced the motor resonance and the emotion effects - hand-actions and emotional stimuli induced greater cortico-spinal excitability than the faces/control condition and neutral videos, respectively. Moreover, the influence of emotion was present for faces but not for hand actions, indicating that the motor resonance and the emotion effects might be non-additive. While motor resonance was observed in both groups, the emotion effect was present only in adults and not in adolescents. We discuss the possible neural bases of these findings. PMID:27489547

  20. Mirror Neurons System Engagement in Late Adolescents and Adults While Viewing Emotional Gestures.

    PubMed

    Salvia, Emilie; Süß, Moritz; Tivadar, Ruxandra; Harkness, Sarah; Grosbras, Marie-Hélène

    2016-01-01

    Observing others' actions enhances muscle-specific cortico-spinal excitability, reflecting putative mirror neurons activity. The exposure to emotional stimuli also modulates cortico-spinal excitability. We investigated how those two phenomena might interact when they are combined, i.e., while observing a gesture performed with an emotion, and whether they change during the transition between adolescence and adulthood, a period of social and brain maturation. We delivered single-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) over the hand area of the left primary motor cortex of 27 healthy adults and adolescents and recorded their right first dorsal interossus (FDI) muscle activity (i.e., motor evoked potential - MEP), while they viewed either videos of neutral or angry hand actions and facial expressions, or neutral objects as a control condition. We reproduced the motor resonance and the emotion effects - hand-actions and emotional stimuli induced greater cortico-spinal excitability than the faces/control condition and neutral videos, respectively. Moreover, the influence of emotion was present for faces but not for hand actions, indicating that the motor resonance and the emotion effects might be non-additive. While motor resonance was observed in both groups, the emotion effect was present only in adults and not in adolescents. We discuss the possible neural bases of these findings.

  1. Mirror Neurons System Engagement in Late Adolescents and Adults While Viewing Emotional Gestures

    PubMed Central

    Salvia, Emilie; Süß, Moritz; Tivadar, Ruxandra; Harkness, Sarah; Grosbras, Marie-Hélène

    2016-01-01

    Observing others’ actions enhances muscle-specific cortico-spinal excitability, reflecting putative mirror neurons activity. The exposure to emotional stimuli also modulates cortico-spinal excitability. We investigated how those two phenomena might interact when they are combined, i.e., while observing a gesture performed with an emotion, and whether they change during the transition between adolescence and adulthood, a period of social and brain maturation. We delivered single-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) over the hand area of the left primary motor cortex of 27 healthy adults and adolescents and recorded their right first dorsal interossus (FDI) muscle activity (i.e., motor evoked potential – MEP), while they viewed either videos of neutral or angry hand actions and facial expressions, or neutral objects as a control condition. We reproduced the motor resonance and the emotion effects – hand-actions and emotional stimuli induced greater cortico-spinal excitability than the faces/control condition and neutral videos, respectively. Moreover, the influence of emotion was present for faces but not for hand actions, indicating that the motor resonance and the emotion effects might be non-additive. While motor resonance was observed in both groups, the emotion effect was present only in adults and not in adolescents. We discuss the possible neural bases of these findings. PMID:27489547

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

  3. Reducing Lissencephaly-1 levels augments mitochondrial transport and has a protective effect in adult Drosophila neurons

    PubMed Central

    Vagnoni, Alessio; Hoffmann, Patrick C.; Bullock, Simon L.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Defective transport of mitochondria in axons is implicated in the pathogenesis of several age-associated neurodegenerative diseases. However, the regulation and function of axonal mitochondrial motility during normal ageing is poorly understood. Here, we use novel imaging procedures to characterise axonal transport of these organelles in the adult Drosophila wing nerve. During early adult life there is a boost and progressive decline in the proportion of mitochondria that are motile, which is not due to general changes in cargo transport. Experimental inhibition of the mitochondrial transport machinery specifically in adulthood accelerates the appearance of focal protein accumulations in ageing axons, which is suggestive of defects in protein homeostasis. Unexpectedly, lowering levels of Lissencephaly-1 (Lis1), a dynein motor co-factor, augments axonal mitochondrial transport in ageing wing neurons. Lis1 mutations suppress focal protein accumulations in ageing neurons, including those caused by interfering with the mitochondrial transport machinery. Our data provide new insights into the dynamics of mitochondrial motility in adult neurons in vivo, identify Lis1 as a negative regulator of transport of these organelles, and provide evidence of a link between mitochondrial movement and neuronal protein homeostasis. PMID:26598558

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-03-01

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

  5. 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

  6. Adult neurogenesis restores dopaminergic neuronal loss in the olfactory bulb.

    PubMed

    Lazarini, Françoise; Gabellec, Marie-Madeleine; Moigneu, Carine; de Chaumont, Fabrice; Olivo-Marin, Jean-Christophe; Lledo, Pierre-Marie

    2014-10-22

    Subventricular zone (SVZ) neurogenesis continuously provides new GABA- and dopamine (DA)-containing interneurons for the olfactory bulb (OB) in most adult mammals. DAergic interneurons are located in the glomerular layer (GL) where they participate in the processing of sensory inputs. To examine whether adult neurogenesis might contribute to regeneration after circuit injury in mice, we induce DAergic neuronal loss by injecting 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) in the dorsal GL or in the right substantia nigra pars compacta. We found that a 6-OHDA treatment of the OB produces olfactory deficits and local inflammation and partially decreases the number of neurons expressing the enzyme tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) near the injected site. Blockade of inflammation by minocycline treatment immediately after the 6-OHDA administration rescued neither TH(+) interneuron number nor the olfactory deficits, suggesting that the olfactory impairments are most likely linked to TH(+) cell death and not to microglial activation. TH(+) interneuron number was restored 1 month later. This rescue resulted at least in part from enhanced recruitment of immature neurons targeting the lesioned GL area. Seven days after 6-OHDA lesion in the OB, we found that the integration of lentivirus-labeled adult-born neurons was biased: newly formed neurons were preferentially incorporated into glomerular circuits of the lesioned area. Behavioral rehabilitation occurs 2 months after lesion. This study establishes a new model into which loss of DAergic cells could be compensated by recruiting newly formed neurons. We propose that adult neurogenesis not only replenishes the population of DAergic bulbar neurons but that it also restores olfactory sensory processing. PMID:25339754

  7. Transcription factors FOXA1 and FOXA2 maintain dopaminergic neuronal properties and control feeding behavior in adult mice

    PubMed Central

    Pristerà, Alessandro; Lin, Wei; Kaufmann, Anna-Kristin; Brimblecombe, Katherine R.; Threlfell, Sarah; Dodson, Paul D.; Magill, Peter J.; Fernandes, Cathy; Cragg, Stephanie J.; Ang, Siew-Lan

    2015-01-01

    Midbrain dopaminergic (mDA) neurons are implicated in cognitive functions, neuropsychiatric disorders, and pathological conditions; hence understanding genes regulating their homeostasis has medical relevance. Transcription factors FOXA1 and FOXA2 (FOXA1/2) are key determinants of mDA neuronal identity during development, but their roles in adult mDA neurons are unknown. We used a conditional knockout strategy to specifically ablate FOXA1/2 in mDA neurons of adult mice. We show that deletion of Foxa1/2 results in down-regulation of tyrosine hydroxylase, the rate-limiting enzyme of dopamine (DA) biosynthesis, specifically in dopaminergic neurons of the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc). In addition, DA synthesis and striatal DA transmission were reduced after Foxa1/2 deletion. Furthermore, the burst-firing activity characteristic of SNc mDA neurons was drastically reduced in the absence of FOXA1/2. These molecular and functional alterations lead to a severe feeding deficit in adult Foxa1/2 mutant mice, independently of motor control, which could be rescued by l-DOPA treatment. FOXA1/2 therefore control the maintenance of molecular and physiological properties of SNc mDA neurons and impact on feeding behavior in adult mice. PMID:26283356

  8. Engrailed-1 and netrin-1 regulate axon pathfinding by association interneurons that project to motor neurons.

    PubMed

    Saueressig, H; Burrill, J; Goulding, M

    1999-10-01

    During early development, multiple classes of interneurons are generated in the spinal cord including association interneurons that synapse with motor neurons and regulate their activity. Very little is known about the molecular mechanisms that generate these interneuron cell types, nor is it known how axons from association interneurons are guided toward somatic motor neurons. By targeting the axonal reporter gene &tgr;-lacZ to the En1 locus, we show the cell-type-specific transcription factor Engrailed-1 (EN1) defines a population of association neurons that project locally to somatic motor neurons. These EN1 interneurons are born early and their axons pioneer an ipsilateral longitudinal projection in the ventral spinal cord. The EN1 interneurons extend axons in a stereotypic manner, first ventrally, then rostrally for one to two segments where their axons terminate close to motor neurons. We show that the growth of EN1 axons along a ventrolateral pathway toward motor neurons is dependent on netrin-1 signaling. In addition, we demonstrate that En1 regulates pathfinding and fasciculation during the second phase of EN1 axon growth in the ventrolateral funiculus (VLF); however, En1 is not required for the early specification of ventral interneuron cell types in the embryonic spinal cord.

  9. Engrailed-1 and netrin-1 regulate axon pathfinding by association interneurons that project to motor neurons.

    PubMed

    Saueressig, H; Burrill, J; Goulding, M

    1999-10-01

    During early development, multiple classes of interneurons are generated in the spinal cord including association interneurons that synapse with motor neurons and regulate their activity. Very little is known about the molecular mechanisms that generate these interneuron cell types, nor is it known how axons from association interneurons are guided toward somatic motor neurons. By targeting the axonal reporter gene &tgr;-lacZ to the En1 locus, we show the cell-type-specific transcription factor Engrailed-1 (EN1) defines a population of association neurons that project locally to somatic motor neurons. These EN1 interneurons are born early and their axons pioneer an ipsilateral longitudinal projection in the ventral spinal cord. The EN1 interneurons extend axons in a stereotypic manner, first ventrally, then rostrally for one to two segments where their axons terminate close to motor neurons. We show that the growth of EN1 axons along a ventrolateral pathway toward motor neurons is dependent on netrin-1 signaling. In addition, we demonstrate that En1 regulates pathfinding and fasciculation during the second phase of EN1 axon growth in the ventrolateral funiculus (VLF); however, En1 is not required for the early specification of ventral interneuron cell types in the embryonic spinal cord. PMID:10477289

  10. 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

  11. Neuronal labeling patterns in the spinal cord of adult transgenic Zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Stil, Aurélie; Drapeau, Pierre

    2016-06-01

    We describe neuronal patterns in the spinal cord of adult zebrafish. We studied the distribution of cells and processes in the three spinal regions reported in the literature: the 8th vertebra used as a transection injury site, the 15th vertebra mainly used for motor cell recordings and also for crush injury, and the 24th vertebra used to record motor nerve activity. We used well-known transgenic lines in which expression of green fluorescent protein (GFP) is driven by promoters to hb9 and isl1 in motoneurons, alx/chx10 and evx1 interneurons, ngn1 in sensory neurons and olig2 in oligodendrocytes, as well as antibodies for neurons (HuC/D, NF and SV2) and glia (GFAP). In isl1:GFP fish, GFP-positive processes are retained in the upper part of ventral horns and two subsets of cell bodies are observed. The pattern of the transgene in hb9:GFP adults is more diffuse and fibers are present broadly through the adult spinal cord. In alx/chx10 and evx1 lines we respectively observed two and three different GFP-positive populations. Finally, the ngn1:GFP transgene identifies dorsal root ganglion and some cells in dorsal horns. Interestingly some GFP positive fibers in ngn1:GFP fish are located around Mauthner axons and their density seems to be related to a rostrocaudal gradient. Many other cell types have been described in embryos and need to be studied in adults. Our findings provide a reference for further studies on spinal cytoarchitecture. Combined with physiological, histological and pathological/traumatic approaches, these studies will help clarify the operation of spinal locomotor circuits of adult zebrafish.

  12. Interaction of survival of motor neuron (SMN) and HuD proteins with mRNA cpg15 rescues motor neuron axonal deficits.

    PubMed

    Akten, Bikem; Kye, Min Jeong; Hao, Le T; Wertz, Mary H; Singh, Sasha; Nie, Duyu; Huang, Jia; Merianda, Tanuja T; Twiss, Jeffery L; Beattie, Christine E; Steen, Judith A J; Sahin, Mustafa

    2011-06-21

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), caused by the deletion of the SMN1 gene, is the leading genetic cause of infant mortality. SMN protein is present at high levels in both axons and growth cones, and loss of its function disrupts axonal extension and pathfinding. SMN is known to associate with the RNA-binding protein hnRNP-R, and together they are responsible for the transport and/or local translation of β-actin mRNA in the growth cones of motor neurons. However, the full complement of SMN-interacting proteins in neurons remains unknown. Here we used mass spectrometry to identify HuD as a novel neuronal SMN-interacting partner. HuD is a neuron-specific RNA-binding protein that interacts with mRNAs, including candidate plasticity-related gene 15 (cpg15). We show that SMN and HuD form a complex in spinal motor axons, and that both interact with cpg15 mRNA in neurons. CPG15 is highly expressed in the developing ventral spinal cord and can promote motor axon branching and neuromuscular synapse formation, suggesting a crucial role in the development of motor axons and neuromuscular junctions. Cpg15 mRNA previously has been shown to localize into axonal processes. Here we show that SMN deficiency reduces cpg15 mRNA levels in neurons, and, more importantly, cpg15 overexpression partially rescues the SMN-deficiency phenotype in zebrafish. Our results provide insight into the function of SMN protein in axons and also identify potential targets for the study of mechanisms that lead to the SMA pathology and related neuromuscular diseases. PMID:21652774

  13. Carbachol-Induced Reduction in the Activity of Adult Male Zebra Finch RA Projection Neurons.

    PubMed

    Meng, Wei; Wang, Song-Hua; Li, Dong-Feng

    2016-01-01

    Cholinergic mechanism is involved in motor behavior. In songbirds, the robust nucleus of the arcopallium (RA) is a song premotor nucleus in the pallium and receives cholinergic inputs from the basal forebrain. The activity of projection neurons in RA determines song motor behavior. Although many evidences suggest that cholinergic system is implicated in song production, the cholinergic modulation of RA is not clear until now. In the present study, the electrophysiological effects of carbachol, a nonselective cholinergic receptor agonist, were investigated on the RA projection neurons of adult male zebra finches through whole-cell patch-clamp techniques in vitro. Our results show that carbachol produced a significant decrease in the spontaneous and evoked action potential (AP) firing frequency of RA projection neurons, accompanying a hyperpolarization of the membrane potential, an increase in the evoked AP latency, afterhyperpolarization (AHP) peak amplitude, and AHP time to peak, and a decrease in the membrane input resistance, membrane time constant, and membrane capacitance. These results indicate that carbachol reduces the activity of RA projection neurons by hyperpolarizing the resting membrane potential and increasing the AHP and the membrane conductance, suggesting that the cholinergic modulation of RA may play an important role in song production. PMID:26904300

  14. Muscle expression of mutant androgen receptor protein accounts for systemic and motor neuron disease phenotypes in Spinal & Bulbar Muscular Atrophy

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    X-linked spinal & bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA) is characterized by adult-onset muscle weakness and lower motor neuron degeneration. SBMA is caused by CAG-polyglutamine (polyQ) repeat expansions in the androgen receptor (AR) gene. Pathological findings include motor neuron loss, with polyQ-AR accumulation in intranuclear inclusions. SBMA patients exhibit myopathic features, suggesting a role for muscle in disease pathogenesis. To determine the contribution of muscle, we developed a BAC mouse model featuring a floxed first exon to permit cell-type-specific excision of human AR121Q. BAC fxAR121 mice develop systemic and neuromuscular phenotypes, including shortened survival. After validating termination of AR121 expression and full rescue with ubiquitous Cre, we crossed BAC fxAR121 mice with Human Skeletal Actin-Cre mice. Muscle-specific excision prevented weight loss, motor phenotypes, muscle pathology, and motor neuronopathy, and dramatically extended survival. Our results reveal a crucial role for muscle expression of polyQ-AR in SBMA, and suggest muscle-directed therapies as effective treatments. PMID:24742458

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-16

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

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

    PubMed

    Lee, Joonyeol; Lisberger, Stephen G

    2013-12-11

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

  17. Transcription factor-induced lineage programming of noradrenaline and motor neurons from embryonic stem cells.

    PubMed

    Mong, Jamie; Panman, Lia; Alekseenko, Zhanna; Kee, Nigel; Stanton, Lawrence W; Ericson, Johan; Perlmann, Thomas

    2014-03-01

    An important goal in stem cell biology is to develop methods for efficient generation of clinically interesting cell types from relevant stem cell populations. This is particularly challenging for different types of neurons of the central nervous system where hundreds of distinct neuronal cell types are generated during embryonic development. We previously used a strategy based on forced transcription factor expression in embryonic stem cell-derived neural progenitors to generate specific types of neurons, including dopamine and serotonin neurons. Here, we extend these studies and show that noradrenergic neurons can also be generated from pluripotent embryonic stem cells by forced expression of the homeobox transcription factor Phox2b under the signaling influence of fibroblast growth factor 8 (FGF8) and bone morphogenetic proteins. In neural progenitors exposed to FGF8 and sonic hedgehog both Phox2b and the related Phox2a instead promoted the generation of neurons with the characteristics of mid- and hindbrain motor neurons. The efficient generation of these neuron types enabled a comprehensive genome-wide gene expression analysis that provided further validation of the identity of generated cells. Moreover, we also demonstrate that the generated cell types are amenable to drug testing in vitro and we show that variants of the differentiation protocols can be applied to cultures of human pluripotent stem cells for the generation of human noradrenergic and visceral motor neurons. Thus, these studies provide a basis for characterization of yet an additional highly clinically relevant neuronal cell type.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. ALS disrupts spinal motor neuron maturation and aging pathways within gene co-expression networks.

    PubMed

    Ho, Ritchie; Sances, Samuel; Gowing, Genevieve; Amoroso, Mackenzie Weygandt; O'Rourke, Jacqueline G; Sahabian, Anais; Wichterle, Hynek; Baloh, Robert H; Sareen, Dhruv; Svendsen, Clive N

    2016-09-01

    Modeling amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) with human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) aims to reenact embryogenesis, maturation and aging of spinal motor neurons (spMNs) in vitro. As the maturity of spMNs grown in vitro compared to spMNs in vivo remains largely unaddressed, it is unclear to what extent this in vitro system captures critical aspects of spMN development and molecular signatures associated with ALS. Here, we compared transcriptomes among iPSC-derived spMNs, fetal spinal tissues and adult spinal tissues. This approach produced a maturation scale revealing that iPSC-derived spMNs were more similar to fetal spinal tissue than to adult spMNs. Additionally, we resolved gene networks and pathways associated with spMN maturation and aging. These networks enriched for pathogenic familial ALS genetic variants and were disrupted in sporadic ALS spMNs. Altogether, our findings suggest that developing strategies to further mature and age iPSC-derived spMNs will provide more effective iPSC models of ALS pathology. PMID:27428653

  1. A role for Fas II in the stabilization of motor neuron branches during pruning in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Hebbar, Sarita; Fernandes, Joyce J

    2005-09-01

    During insect metamorphosis, the nervous system is extensively remodeled resulting in the development of new circuits that will execute adult-specific behaviors. The peripheral remodeling seen during development of innervation to the Dorsal Longitudinal (flight) Muscle (DLM) in Drosophila involves an initial retraction of larval neuromuscular junctions followed by adult-specific branch outgrowth. Subsequently, a phase of pruning occurs during which motor neuron branches are pruned back to reveal the stereotypic pattern of multiple contact points (or arbors) along the length of each DLM fiber. In this study, we show that the cell adhesion molecule, Fasciclin II (Fas II), is important for generating the stereotypic pattern. In Fas II hypomorphs, the number of contact points is increased, and the phenotype is rescued by targeted expression of Fas II in either synaptic partner. Arbor development has three distinct phases: outgrowth and elaboration, pruning and stabilization, and expansion of stabilized arbors. Fas II is expressed during the first two phases. A subset of branches is labeled during the elaboration phase, which is likely to initiate a stabilization pathway allowing branches to survive the pruning phase. However, since not all Fas II positive branches are retained, we propose that it primes branches for stabilization. Our data suggest that Fas II functions to restrict branch length and arbor expanse.

  2. Effects of limb exercise after spinal cord injury on motor neuron dendrite structure.

    PubMed

    Gazula, Valeswara-Rao; Roberts, Melinda; Luzzio, Christopher; Jawad, Abbas F; Kalb, Robert Gordon

    2004-08-16

    An integration center subserving locomotor leg movements resides in the upper lumbar spinal cord. If this neuronal network is preserved after a spinal cord injury, it is possible to stimulate this circuitry to initiate and promote walking. The several effective approaches (electrical stimulation, pharmacologic agents, physical therapy training programs) may all share a common modus operandi of altering synaptic activity within segmental spinal cord. To understand the neural substrate for the use-dependent behavioral improvement, we studied the dendritic architecture of spinal motor neurons. In the first experiment, we compared three groups of animals: animals with an intact spinal cord, animals that had a complete spinal cord transection (SCT) and animals with SCT who engaged in a daily exercise program of actively moving paralyzed hindlimbs through the motions of walking. When compared with animals with an intact spinal cord, the motor neurons from animals with SCT displayed marked atrophy, with loss of dendritic membrane and elimination of branching throughout the visible tree within transverse tissue slices. None of these regressive changes were found in the motor neurons from SCT animals that underwent exercise. In a second experiment, we inquired whether exercise of animals with an intact spinal cord influenced dendrite structure. Increased exercise had very modest effects on dendrite morphology, indicating an upper limit of use-dependent dendrite growth. Our findings suggest that the dendritic tree of motor neurons deprived of descending influences is rapidly pruned, and this finding is not observed in motor neurons after SCT if hindlimbs are exercised. The functional benefits of exercise after SCT injury may be subserved, in part, by stabilizing or remodeling the dendritic tree of motor neurons below the injury site.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. A θ-γ oscillation code for neuronal coordination during motor behavior.

    PubMed

    Igarashi, Jun; Isomura, Yoshikazu; Arai, Kensuke; Harukuni, Rie; Fukai, Tomoki

    2013-11-20

    Sequential motor behavior requires a progression of discrete preparation and execution states. However, the organization of state-dependent activity in neuronal ensembles of motor cortex is poorly understood. Here, we recorded neuronal spiking and local field potential activity from rat motor cortex during reward-motivated movement and observed robust behavioral state-dependent coordination between neuronal spiking, γ oscillations, and θ oscillations. Slow and fast γ oscillations appeared during distinct movement states and entrained neuronal firing. γ oscillations, in turn, were coupled to θ oscillations, and neurons encoding different behavioral states fired at distinct phases of θ in a highly layer-dependent manner. These findings indicate that θ and nested dual band γ oscillations serve as the temporal structure for the selection of a conserved set of functional channels in motor cortical layer activity during animal movement. Furthermore, these results also suggest that cross-frequency couplings between oscillatory neuronal ensemble activities are part of the general coding mechanism in cortex.

  7. Neuroserpin, a brain-associated inhibitor of tissue plasminogen activator is localized primarily in neurons. Implications for the regulation of motor learning and neuronal survival.

    PubMed

    Hastings, G A; Coleman, T A; Haudenschild, C C; Stefansson, S; Smith, E P; Barthlow, R; Cherry, S; Sandkvist, M; Lawrence, D A

    1997-12-26

    A cDNA clone for the serine proteinase inhibitor (serpin), neuroserpin, was isolated from a human whole brain cDNA library, and recombinant protein was expressed in insect cells. The purified protein is an efficient inhibitor of tissue type plasminogen activator (tPA), having an apparent second-order rate constant of 6. 2 x 10(5) M-1 s-1 for the two-chain form. However, unlike other known plasminogen activator inhibitors, neuroserpin is a more effective inactivator of tPA than of urokinase-type plasminogen activator. Neuroserpin also effectively inhibited trypsin and nerve growth factor-gamma but reacted only slowly with plasmin and thrombin. Northern blot analysis showed a 1.8 kilobase messenger RNA expressed predominantly in adult human brain and spinal cord, and immunohistochemical studies of normal mouse tissue detected strong staining primarily in neuronal cells with occasionally positive microglial cells. Staining was most prominent in the ependymal cells of the choroid plexus, Purkinje cells of the cerebellum, select neurons of the hypothalamus and hippocampus, and in the myelinated axons of the commissura. Expression of tPA within these regions is reported to be high and has previously been correlated with both motor learning and neuronal survival. Taken together, these data suggest that neuroserpin is likely to be a critical regulator of tPA activity in the central nervous system, and as such may play an important role in neuronal plasticity and/or maintenance.

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

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Hong; Boychuk, Jeffery A.; Boychuk, Carie R.; Uteshev, Victor V.

    2014-01-01

    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

  9. Effect of hindlimb unloading on motor activity in adult rats: impact of prenatal stress.

    PubMed

    Canu, M H; Darnaudéry, M; Falempin, M; Maccari, S; Viltart, O

    2007-02-01

    Environmental changes that occur in daily life or, in particular, in situations like actual or simulated microgravity require neuronal adaptation of sensory and motor functions. Such conditions can exert long-lasting disturbances on an individual's adaptive ability. Additionally, prenatal stress also leads to behavioral and physiological abnormalities in adulthood. Therefore, the aims of the present study were (a) to evaluate in adult rats the behavioral motor adaptation that follows 14 days of exposure to simulated microgravity (hindlimb unloading) and (b) to determine whether restraint prenatal stress influences this motor adaptation. For this purpose, the authors assessed rats' motor reactivity to novelty, their skilled walking on a ladder, and their swimming performance. Results showed that unloading severely impaired motor activity and skilled walking. By contrast, it had no effect on swimming performance. Moreover, results demonstrated for the first time that restraint prenatal stress exacerbates the effects of unloading. These results are consistent with the role of a steady prenatal environment in allowing an adequate development and maturation of sensorimotor systems to generate adapted responses to environmental challenges during adulthood. PMID:17324062

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. PTEN Deletion Enhances the Regenerative Ability of Adult Corticospinal Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Kai; Lu, Yi; Lee, Jae K.; Samara, Ramsey; Willenberg, Rafer; Sears-Kraxberger, Ilse; Tedeschi, Andrea; Park, Kevin Kyungsuk; Jin, Duo; Cai, Bin; Xu, Bengang; Connolly, Lauren; Steward, Oswald; Zheng, Binhai; He, Zhigang

    2010-01-01

    Despite the essential role of the corticospinal tract (CST) in controlling voluntary movements, successful regeneration of large numbers of injured CST axons beyond a spinal cord lesion has never been achieved. Here we demonstrate a critical involvement of PTEN/mTOR in controlling the regenerative capacity of mouse corticospinal neurons. Upon the completion of development, the regrowth potential of CST axons lost and this is accompanied by a down-regulation of mTOR activity in corticospinal neurons. Axonal injury further diminishes neuronal mTOR activity in these neurons. Forced up-regulation of mTOR activity in corticospinal neurons by conditional deletion of PTEN, a negative regulator of mTOR, enhances compensatory sprouting of uninjured CST axons and even more strikingly, enables successful regeneration of a cohort of injured CST axons past a spinal cord lesion. Furthermore, these regenerating CST axons possess the ability to reform synapses in spinal segments distal to the injury. Thus, modulating neuronal intrinsic PTEN/mTOR activity represents a potential therapeutic strategy for promoting axon regeneration and functional repair after adult spinal cord injury. PMID:20694004

  14. 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

  15. Layer 5 Pyramidal Neurons' Dendritic Remodeling and Increased Microglial Density in Primary Motor Cortex in a Murine Model of Facial Paralysis.

    PubMed

    Urrego, Diana; Troncoso, Julieta; Múnera, Alejandro

    2015-01-01

    This work was aimed at characterizing structural changes in primary motor cortex layer 5 pyramidal neurons and their relationship with microglial density induced by facial nerve lesion using a murine facial paralysis model. Adult transgenic mice, expressing green fluorescent protein in microglia and yellow fluorescent protein in projecting neurons, were submitted to either unilateral section of the facial nerve or sham surgery. Injured animals were sacrificed either 1 or 3 weeks after surgery. Two-photon excitation microscopy was then used for evaluating both layer 5 pyramidal neurons and microglia in vibrissal primary motor cortex (vM1). It was found that facial nerve lesion induced long-lasting changes in the dendritic morphology of vM1 layer 5 pyramidal neurons and in their surrounding microglia. Dendritic arborization of the pyramidal cells underwent overall shrinkage. Apical dendrites suffered transient shortening while basal dendrites displayed sustained shortening. Moreover, dendrites suffered transient spine pruning. Significantly higher microglial cell density was found surrounding vM1 layer 5 pyramidal neurons after facial nerve lesion with morphological bias towards the activated phenotype. These results suggest that facial nerve lesions elicit active dendrite remodeling due to pyramidal neuron and microglia interaction, which could be the pathophysiological underpinning of some neuropathic motor sequelae in humans.

  16. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Hitherto, membralin has been a protein of unknown function. Here, we show that membralin mutant mice manifest a severe and early-onset motor neuron disease in an autosomal recessive manner, dying by postnatal day 5–6. Selective death of lower motor neurons, including those innervating the limbs, intercostal muscles, and diaphragm, is predominantly responsible for this fatal phenotype. Neural expression of a membralin transgene completely rescues membralin mutant mice. Mechanistically, we show that membralin interacts with Erlin2, an endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membrane protein that is located in lipid rafts and known to be important in ER-associated protein degradation (ERAD). Accordingly, the degradation rate of ERAD substrates is attenuated in cells lacking membralin. Membralin mutations or deficiency in mouse models induces ER stress, rendering neurons more vulnerable to cell death. Our study reveals a critical role of membralin in motor neuron survival and suggests a novel mechanism for early-onset motor neuron disease. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.06500.001 PMID:25977983

  18. Hindlimb Motor Neurons Require Cu/Zn Superoxide Dismutase for Maintenance of Neuromuscular Junctions

    PubMed Central

    Flood, Dorothy G.; Reaume, Andrew G.; Gruner, John A.; Hoffman, Eric K.; Hirsch, James D.; Lin, Yin-Guo; Dorfman, Karen S.; Scott, Richard W.

    1999-01-01

    The role of oxidative damage in neurodegenerative disease was investigated in mice lacking cytoplasmic Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD), created by deletion of the SOD1 gene (SOD1−/−). SOD1−/− mice developed a chronic peripheral hindlimb axonopathy. Mild denervation of muscle was detected at 2 months, and behavioral and physiological motor deficits were present at 5–7 months of age. Ventral root axons were shrunken but were normal in number. The somatosensory system in SOD1−/− mice was mildly affected. SOD1−/− mice expressing Cu/Zn SOD only in brain and spinal cord were generated using transgenic mice expressing mouse SOD1 driven by the neuron-specific synapsin promoter. Neuron-specific expression of Cu/Zn SOD in SOD1−/− mice rescued motor neurons from the neuropathy. Therefore, Cu/Zn SOD is not required for normal motor neuron survival, but is necessary for the maintenance of normal neuromuscular junctions by hindlimb motor neurons. PMID:10433959

  19. Motor neurone acetylcholinesterase release precedes neurotoxicity caused by systemic administration of excitatory amino acids and strychnine.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Ithurralde, D; Maruri, A; Rodríguez, X

    1998-10-01

    We have proposed that neuronal overactivation by either stimulation of excitatory receptors or hypofunction of inhibitory circuits is a cause of excessive acetylcholinesterase (AChE) release, which, in turn, can contribute to ALS/MND pathogenesis. We investigated histochemical and histopathological changes in cell populations of the mouse spinal ventral horn upon in vivo stimulation of glutamate receptors with L-aspartate (ASP, 10-50 mg/kg, intraperitoneal: i.p.), or blockade of glycine receptors with strychnine (STRY, 2 mg/kg, i.p.). ASP in P4-P13 (postnatal age in days) but not in older mice, and STRY irrespective of age, provoked rapid, striking depletions of motor neurone AChE, and appearance of AChE activity in astrocytes. This was followed by recovery of the enzyme in most motor neurones, astrocyte activation and statistically significant changes in: brain macrophage infiltration, loss of interneurones and motor neurones and neuronophagic images including rosettes of glial cells surrounding a central 'ghost-like' motor neurone. Although AChE release preceded the neuropathology found, it is not known if its uptake is a cause of glial activation. However, it has been shown that the enzyme potentiates non-N-metyl-D-aspartate receptors identical to those that mediate astrocyte activation. AChE activity produces protons and choline, possible microglial activators. These are putative routes towards long-lasting neuropathology.

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

    Watzlawik, Jens O; Kahoud, Robert J; O'Toole, Ryan J; White, Katherine A M; Ogden, Alyssa R; Painter, Meghan M; Wootla, Bharath; Papke, Louisa M; Denic, Aleksandar; Weimer, Jill M; Carey, William A; Rodriguez, Moses

    2015-01-01

    Neonatal white matter injury (nWMI) is an increasingly common cause of cerebral palsy that results predominantly from hypoxic injury to progenitor cells including those of the oligodendrocyte lineage. Existing mouse models of nWMI utilize prolonged periods of hypoxia during the neonatal period, require complex cross-fostering and exhibit poor growth and high mortality rates. Abnormal CNS myelin composition serves as the major explanation for persistent neuro-motor deficits. Here we developed a simplified model of nWMI with low mortality rates and improved growth without cross-fostering. Neonatal mice are exposed to low oxygen from postnatal day (P) 3 to P7, which roughly corresponds to the period of human brain development between gestational weeks 32 and 36. CNS hypomyelination is detectable for 2-3 weeks post injury and strongly correlates with levels of body and brain weight loss. Immediately following hypoxia treatment, cell death was evident in multiple brain regions, most notably in superficial and deep cortical layers as well as the subventricular zone progenitor compartment. PDGFαR, Nkx2.2, and Olig2 positive oligodendrocyte progenitor cell were significantly reduced until postnatal day 27. In addition to CNS dysmyelination we identified a novel pathological marker for adult hypoxic animals that strongly correlates with life-long neuro-motor deficits. Mice reared under hypoxia reveal an abnormal spinal neuron composition with increased small and medium diameter axons and decreased large diameter axons in thoracic lateral and anterior funiculi. Differences were particularly pronounced in white matter motor tracts left and right of the anterior median fissure. Our findings suggest that 4 days of exposure to hypoxia are sufficient to induce experimental nWMI in CD1 mice, thus providing a model to test new therapeutics. Pathological hallmarks of this model include early cell death, decreased OPCs and hypomyelination in early postnatal life, followed by

  2. Abbreviated Exposure to Hypoxia Is Sufficient to Induce CNS Dysmyelination, Modulate Spinal Motor Neuron Composition, and Impair Motor Development in Neonatal Mice

    PubMed Central

    Watzlawik, Jens O.; Kahoud, Robert J.; O’Toole, Ryan J.; White, Katherine A. M.; Ogden, Alyssa R.; Painter, Meghan M.; Wootla, Bharath; Papke, Louisa M.; Denic, Aleksandar; Weimer, Jill M.; Carey, William A.; Rodriguez, Moses

    2015-01-01

    Neonatal white matter injury (nWMI) is an increasingly common cause of cerebral palsy that results predominantly from hypoxic injury to progenitor cells including those of the oligodendrocyte lineage. Existing mouse models of nWMI utilize prolonged periods of hypoxia during the neonatal period, require complex cross-fostering and exhibit poor growth and high mortality rates. Abnormal CNS myelin composition serves as the major explanation for persistent neuro-motor deficits. Here we developed a simplified model of nWMI with low mortality rates and improved growth without cross-fostering. Neonatal mice are exposed to low oxygen from postnatal day (P) 3 to P7, which roughly corresponds to the period of human brain development between gestational weeks 32 and 36. CNS hypomyelination is detectable for 2–3 weeks post injury and strongly correlates with levels of body and brain weight loss. Immediately following hypoxia treatment, cell death was evident in multiple brain regions, most notably in superficial and deep cortical layers as well as the subventricular zone progenitor compartment. PDGFαR, Nkx2.2, and Olig2 positive oligodendrocyte progenitor cell were significantly reduced until postnatal day 27. In addition to CNS dysmyelination we identified a novel pathological marker for adult hypoxic animals that strongly correlates with life-long neuro-motor deficits. Mice reared under hypoxia reveal an abnormal spinal neuron composition with increased small and medium diameter axons and decreased large diameter axons in thoracic lateral and anterior funiculi. Differences were particularly pronounced in white matter motor tracts left and right of the anterior median fissure. Our findings suggest that 4 days of exposure to hypoxia are sufficient to induce experimental nWMI in CD1 mice, thus providing a model to test new therapeutics. Pathological hallmarks of this model include early cell death, decreased OPCs and hypomyelination in early postnatal life, followed by

  3. Age-Dependent TDP-43-Mediated Motor Neuron Degeneration Requires GSK3, hat-trick, and xmas-2.

    PubMed

    Sreedharan, Jemeen; Neukomm, Lukas J; Brown, Robert H; Freeman, Marc R

    2015-08-17

    The RNA-processing protein TDP-43 is central to the pathogenesis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), the most common adult-onset motor neuron (MN) disease. TDP-43 is conserved in Drosophila, where it has been the topic of considerable study, but how TDP-43 mutations lead to age-dependent neurodegeneration is unclear and most approaches have not directly examined changes in MN morphology with age. We used a mosaic approach to study age-dependent MN loss in the adult fly leg where it is possible to resolve single motor axons, NMJs and active zones, and perform rapid forward genetic screens. We show that expression of TDP-43(Q331K) caused dying-back of NMJs and axons, which could not be suppressed by mutations that block Wallerian degeneration. We report the identification of three genes that suppress TDP-43 toxicity, including shaggy/GSK3, a known modifier of neurodegeneration. The two additional novel suppressors, hat-trick and xmas-2, function in chromatin modeling and RNA export, two processes recently implicated in human ALS. Loss of shaggy/GSK3, hat-trick, or xmas-2 does not suppress Wallerian degeneration, arguing TDP-43(Q331K)-induced and Wallerian degeneration are genetically distinct processes. In addition to delineating genetic factors that modify TDP-43 toxicity, these results establish the Drosophila adult leg as a valuable new tool for the in vivo study of adult MN phenotypes.

  4. Selective Gating of Neuronal Activity by Intrinsic Properties in Distinct Motor Rhythms.

    PubMed

    Li, Wen-Chang

    2015-07-01

    Many neural circuits show fast reconfiguration following altered sensory or modulatory inputs to generate stereotyped outputs. In the motor circuit of Xenopus tadpoles, I study how certain voltage-dependent ionic currents affect firing thresholds and contribute to circuit reconfiguration to generate two distinct motor patterns, swimming and struggling. Firing thresholds of excitatory interneurons [i.e., descending interneurons (dINs)] in the swimming central pattern generator are raised by depolarization due to the inactivation of Na(+) currents. In contrast, the thresholds of other types of neurons active in swimming or struggling are raised by hyperpolarization from the activation of fast transient K(+) currents. The firing thresholds are then compared with the excitatory synaptic drives, which are revealed by blocking action potentials intracellularly using QX314 during swimming and struggling. During swimming, transient K(+) currents lower neuronal excitability and gate out neurons with weak excitation, whereas their inactivation by strong excitation in other neurons increases excitability and enables fast synaptic potentials to drive reliable firing. During struggling, continuous sensory inputs lead to high levels of network excitation. This allows the inactivation of Na(+) currents and suppression of dIN activity while inactivating transient K(+) currents, recruiting neurons that are not active in swimming. Therefore, differential expression of these currents between neuron types can explain why synaptic strength does not predict firing reliability/intensity during swimming and struggling. These data show that intrinsic properties can override fast synaptic potentials, mediate circuit reconfiguration, and contribute to motor-pattern switching.

  5. Global control of motor neuron topography mediated by the repressive actions of a single hox gene.

    PubMed

    Jung, Heekyung; Lacombe, Julie; Mazzoni, Esteban O; Liem, Karel F; Grinstein, Jonathan; Mahony, Shaun; Mukhopadhyay, Debnath; Gifford, David K; Young, Richard A; Anderson, Kathryn V; Wichterle, Hynek; Dasen, Jeremy S

    2010-09-01

    In the developing spinal cord, regional and combinatorial activities of Hox transcription factors are critical in controlling motor neuron fates along the rostrocaudal axis, exemplified by the precise pattern of limb innervation by more than fifty Hox-dependent motor pools. The mechanisms by which motor neuron diversity is constrained to limb levels are, however, not well understood. We show that a single Hox gene, Hoxc9, has an essential role in organizing the motor system through global repressive activities. Hoxc9 is required for the generation of thoracic motor columns, and in its absence, neurons acquire the fates of limb-innervating populations. Unexpectedly, multiple Hox genes are derepressed in Hoxc9 mutants, leading to motor pool disorganization and alterations in the connections by thoracic and forelimb-level subtypes. Genome-wide analysis of Hoxc9 binding suggests that this mode of repression is mediated by direct interactions with Hox regulatory elements, independent of chromatin marks typically associated with repressed Hox genes.

  6. 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

  7. Disrupting the ipsilateral motor cortex interferes with training of a complex motor task in older adults.

    PubMed

    Zimerman, Máximo; Heise, Kirstin-F; Gerloff, Christian; Cohen, Leonardo G; Hummel, Friedhelm C

    2014-04-01

    Performance of unimanual movements is associated with bihemispheric activity in the motor cortex in old adults. However, the causal functional role of the ipsilateral MC (iMC) for motor control is still not completely known. Here, the behavioral consequences of interference of the iMC during training of a complex motor skill were tested. Healthy old (58-85 years) and young volunteers (22-35 years) were tested in a double-blind, cross-over, sham-controlled design. Participants attended 2 different study arms with either cathodal transcranial direct current stimulation (ctDCS) or sham concurrent with training. Motor performance was evaluated before, during, 90 min, and 24 h after training. During training, a reduced slope of performance with ctDCS relative to sham was observed in old compared with young (F = 5.8, P = 0.02), with a decrease of correctly rehearsed sequences, an effect that was evident even after 2 consecutive retraining periods without intervention. Furthermore, the older the subject, the more prominent was the disruptive effect of ctDCS (R(2) = 0.50, P = 0.01). These data provide direct evidence for a causal functional link between the iMC and motor skill acquisition in old subjects pointing toward the concept that the recruitment of iMC in old is an adaptive process in response to age-related declines in motor functions.

  8. 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

  9. Speech dynamics are coded in the left motor cortex in fluent speakers but not in adults who stutter

    PubMed Central

    Hoang, T. N. Linh; Neef, Andreas; Paulus, Walter; Sommer, Martin

    2015-01-01

    The precise excitability regulation of neuronal circuits in the primary motor cortex is central to the successful and fluent production of speech. Our question was whether the involuntary execution of undesirable movements, e.g. stuttering, is linked to an insufficient excitability tuning of neural populations in the orofacial region of the primary motor cortex. We determined the speech-related time course of excitability modulation in the left and right primary motor tongue representation. Thirteen fluent speakers (four females, nine males; aged 23–44) and 13 adults who stutter (four females, nine males, aged 21–55) were asked to build verbs with the verbal prefix ‘auf’. Single-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation was applied over the primary motor cortex during the transition phase between a fixed labiodental articulatory configuration and immediately following articulatory configurations, at different latencies after transition onset. Bilateral electromyography was recorded from self-adhesive electrodes placed on the surface of the tongue. Off-line, we extracted the motor evoked potential amplitudes and normalized these amplitudes to the individual baseline excitability during the fixed configuration. Fluent speakers demonstrated a prominent left hemisphere increase of motor cortex excitability in the transition phase (P = 0.009). In contrast, the excitability of the right primary motor tongue representation was unchanged. Interestingly, adults afflicted with stuttering revealed a lack of left-hemisphere facilitation. Moreover, the magnitude of facilitation was negatively correlated with stuttering frequency. Although orofacial midline muscles are bilaterally innervated from corticobulbar projections of both hemispheres, our results indicate that speech motor plans are controlled primarily in the left primary speech motor cortex. This speech motor planning-related asymmetry towards the left orofacial motor cortex is missing in stuttering. Moreover, a

  10. Speech dynamics are coded in the left motor cortex in fluent speakers but not in adults who stutter.

    PubMed

    Neef, Nicole E; Hoang, T N Linh; Neef, Andreas; Paulus, Walter; Sommer, Martin

    2015-03-01

    The precise excitability regulation of neuronal circuits in the primary motor cortex is central to the successful and fluent production of speech. Our question was whether the involuntary execution of undesirable movements, e.g. stuttering, is linked to an insufficient excitability tuning of neural populations in the orofacial region of the primary motor cortex. We determined the speech-related time course of excitability modulation in the left and right primary motor tongue representation. Thirteen fluent speakers (four females, nine males; aged 23-44) and 13 adults who stutter (four females, nine males, aged 21-55) were asked to build verbs with the verbal prefix 'auf'. Single-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation was applied over the primary motor cortex during the transition phase between a fixed labiodental articulatory configuration and immediately following articulatory configurations, at different latencies after transition onset. Bilateral electromyography was recorded from self-adhesive electrodes placed on the surface of the tongue. Off-line, we extracted the motor evoked potential amplitudes and normalized these amplitudes to the individual baseline excitability during the fixed configuration. Fluent speakers demonstrated a prominent left hemisphere increase of motor cortex excitability in the transition phase (P = 0.009). In contrast, the excitability of the right primary motor tongue representation was unchanged. Interestingly, adults afflicted with stuttering revealed a lack of left-hemisphere facilitation. Moreover, the magnitude of facilitation was negatively correlated with stuttering frequency. Although orofacial midline muscles are bilaterally innervated from corticobulbar projections of both hemispheres, our results indicate that speech motor plans are controlled primarily in the left primary speech motor cortex. This speech motor planning-related asymmetry towards the left orofacial motor cortex is missing in stuttering. Moreover, a negative

  11. 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

  12. Endolysosomal Deficits Augment Mitochondria Pathology in Spinal Motor Neurons of Asymptomatic fALS Mice

    PubMed Central

    Xie, Yuxiang; Zhou, Bing; Lin, Mei-Yao; Wang, Shiwei; Foust, Kevin D.; Sheng, Zu-Hang

    2015-01-01

    One pathological hallmark in ALS motor neurons (MNs) is axonal accumulation of damaged mitochondria. A fundamental question remains: does reduced degradation of those mitochondria by impaired autophagy-lysosomal system contribute to mitochondrial pathology? Here, we reveal MN-targeted progressive lysosomal deficits accompanied by impaired autophagic degradation beginning at asymptomatic stages in fALS-linked hSOD1G93A mice. Lysosomal deficits result in accumulation of autophagic vacuoles engulfing damaged mitochondria along MN axons. Live imaging of spinal MNs from the adult disease mice demonstrates impaired dynein-driven retrograde transport of late endosomes (LEs). Expressing dynein-adaptor snapin reverses transport defects by competing with hSOD1G93A for binding dynein, thus rescuing autophagy-lysosomal deficits, enhancing mitochondria turnover, improving MN survival, and ameliorating the disease phenotype in hSOD1G93A mice. Our study provides a new mechanistic link for hSOD1G93A-mediated impairment of LE transport to autophagy-lysosome deficits and mitochondria pathology. Understanding these early pathological events benefits development of new therapeutic interventions for fALS-linked MN degeneration. PMID:26182418

  13. Endolysosomal Deficits Augment Mitochondria Pathology in Spinal Motor Neurons of Asymptomatic fALS Mice.

    PubMed

    Xie, Yuxiang; Zhou, Bing; Lin, Mei-Yao; Wang, Shiwei; Foust, Kevin D; Sheng, Zu-Hang

    2015-07-15

    One pathological hallmark in ALS motor neurons (MNs) is axonal accumulation of damaged mitochondria. A fundamental question remains: does reduced degradation of those mitochondria by an impaired autophagy-lysosomal system contribute to mitochondrial pathology? We reveal MN-targeted progressive lysosomal deficits accompanied by impaired autophagic degradation beginning at asymptomatic stages in fALS-linked hSOD1(G93A) mice. Lysosomal deficits result in accumulation of autophagic vacuoles engulfing damaged mitochondria along MN axons. Live imaging of spinal MNs from the adult disease mice demonstrates impaired dynein-driven retrograde transport of late endosomes (LEs). Expressing dynein-adaptor snapin reverses transport defects by competing with hSOD1(G93A) for binding dynein, thus rescuing autophagy-lysosomal deficits, enhancing mitochondrial turnover, improving MN survival, and ameliorating the disease phenotype in hSOD1(G93A) mice. Our study provides a new mechanistic link for hSOD1(G93A)-mediated impairment of LE transport to autophagy-lysosomal deficits and mitochondrial pathology. Understanding these early pathological events benefits development of new therapeutic interventions for fALS-linked MN degeneration.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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…

  17. Altered mRNA Splicing in SMN-Depleted Motor Neuron-Like Cells

    PubMed Central

    Todd, A. Gary; Astroski, Jacob W.; Lin, Hai; Liu, Yunlong

    2016-01-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is an intractable neurodegenerative disease afflicting 1 in 6–10,000 live births. One of the key functions of the SMN protein is regulation of spliceosome assembly. Reduced levels of the SMN protein that are observed in SMA have been shown to result in aberrant mRNA splicing. SMN-dependent mis-spliced transcripts in motor neurons may cause stresses that are particularly harmful and may serve as potential targets for the treatment of motor neuron disease or as biomarkers in the SMA patient population. We performed deep RNA sequencing using motor neuron-like NSC-34 cells to screen for SMN-dependent mRNA processing changes that occur following acute depletion of SMN. We identified SMN-dependent splicing changes, including an intron retention event that results in the production of a truncated Rit1 transcript. This intron-retained transcript is stable and is mis-spliced in spinal cord from symptomatic SMA mice. Constitutively active Rit1 ameliorated the neurite outgrowth defect in SMN depleted NSC-34 cells, while expression of the truncated protein product of the mis-spliced Rit1 transcript inhibited neurite extension. These results reveal new insights into the biological consequence of SMN-dependent splicing in motor neuron-like cells. PMID:27736905

  18. 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…

  19. 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

  20. Normal Dendrite Growth in Drosophila Motor Neurons Requires the AP-1 Transcription Factor

    PubMed Central

    Hartwig, Cortnie L.; Worrell, Jason; Levine, Richard B.; Ramaswami, Mani; Sanyal, Subhabrata

    2009-01-01

    During learning and memory formation, information flow through networks is regulated significantly through structural alterations in neurons. Dendrites, sites of signal integration, are key targets of activity-mediated modifications. Although local mechanisms of dendritic growth ensure synapse-specific changes, global mechanisms linking neural activity to nuclear gene expression may have profound influences on neural function. Fos, being an immediate-early gene, is ideally suited to be an initial transducer of neural activity, but a precise role for the AP-1 transcription factor in dendrite growth remains to be elucidated. Here we measure changes in the dendritic fields of identified Drosophila motor neurons in vivo and in primary culture to investigate the role of the immediate-early transcription factor AP-1 in regulating endogenous and activity-induced dendrite growth. Our data indicate that (a) increased neural excitability or depolarization stimulates dendrite growth, (b) AP-1 (a Fos, Jun heterodimer) is required for normal motor neuron dendritic growth during development and in response to activity induction, and (c) neuronal Fos protein levels are rapidly but transiently induced in motor neurons following neural activity. Taken together, these results show that AP-1 mediated transcription is important for dendrite growth, and that neural activity influences global dendritic growth through a gene-expression dependent mechanism gated by AP-1. PMID:18548486

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-12

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1995-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Zalialova, Z A

    2014-01-01

    The most frequent causes of disability of patients with neurological diseases are motor disorders in the upper motor neuron lesion caused by the damage of the brain and/or the spinal cord that resulted in the formation of spastic paresis and paralysis. The correct understanding of the pathophysiological basis of clinical presentations of the upper motor neuron lesion will allow to chose the most adequate and prognostically successful methods of treatment. Currently, treatment with botulotoxin can be considered as such a method. This method in the combination with non-pharmacological rehabilitation decreases the activity of phasic and tonic stretching reflexes, associated contractions, synkinesia, spastic dystonia and spasticity that leads to the increase in muscle elasticity, mobility of extremities, reduction of pain, joint stiffness and soft tissue deformation that, in its turn, can increase the independence of the patient from any help. PMID:25389539

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. White Matter Neurons in Young Adult and Aged Rhesus Monkey

    PubMed Central

    Mortazavi, Farzad; Wang, Xiyue; Rosene, Douglas L.; Rockland, Kathleen S.

    2016-01-01

    In humans and non-human primates (NHP), white matter neurons (WMNs) persist beyond early development. Their functional importance is largely unknown, but they have both corticothalamic and corticocortical connectivity and at least one subpopulation has been implicated in vascular regulation and sleep. Several other studies have reported that the density of WMNs in humans is altered in neuropathological or psychiatric conditions. The present investigation evaluates and compares the density of superficial and deep WMNs in frontal (FR), temporal (TE), and parietal (Par) association regions of four young adult and four aged male rhesus monkeys. A major aim was to determine whether there was age-related neuronal loss, as might be expected given the substantial age-related changes known to occur in the surrounding white matter environment. Neurons were visualized by immunocytochemistry for Neu-N in coronal tissue sections (30 μm thickness), and neuronal density was assessed by systematic random sampling. Per 0.16 mm2 sampling box, this yielded about 40 neurons in the superficial WM and 10 in the deep WM. Consistent with multiple studies of cell density in the cortical gray matter of normal brains, neither the superficial nor deep WM populations showed statistically significant age-related neuronal loss, although we observed a moderate decrease with age for the deep WMNs in the frontal region. Morphometric analyses, in contrast, showed significant age effects in soma size and circularity. In specific, superficial WMNs were larger in FR and Par WM regions of the young monkeys; but in the TE, these were larger in the older monkeys. An age effect was also observed for soma circularity: superficial WMNs were more circular in FR and Par of the older monkeys. This second, morphometric result raises the question of whether other age-related morphological, connectivity, or molecular changes occur in the WMNs. These could have multiple impacts, given the wide range of putative

  12. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Yu, You-lai; Li, Hai-yan; Zhang, Pei-xun; Yin, Xiao-feng; Han, Na; Kou, Yu-hui; Jiang, Bao-guo

    2015-01-01

    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

  14. 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.

  15. Motor Control in Children and Adults during a Non-Speech Oral Task.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Clark, Heather M.; Robin, Donald A.; McCullagh, Gail; Schmidt, Richard A.

    2001-01-01

    This study examined the accuracy and stability of oral motor control in 20 adults and 20 children. Although the children were less accurate and less stable, adults and children exhibited similar variability in their generalized motor program. Results are discussed within the framework of a schema model of motor control, especially the strategic…

  16. Cell and neuron densities in the primary motor cortex of primates

    PubMed Central

    Young, Nicole A.; Collins, Christine E.; Kaas, Jon H.

    2013-01-01

    Cell and neuron densities vary across the cortical sheet in a predictable manner across different primate species (Collins et al., 2010b). Primary motor cortex, M1, is characterized by lower neuron densities relative to other cortical areas. M1 contains a motor representation map of contralateral body parts from tail to tongue in a mediolateral sequence. Different functional movement representations within M1 likely require specialized microcircuitry for control of different body parts, and these differences in circuitry may be reflected by variation in cell and neuron densities. Here we determined cell and neuron densities for multiple sub-regions of M1 in six primate species, using the semi-automated flow fractionator method. The results verify previous reports of lower overall neuron densities in M1 compared to other parts of cortex in the six primate species examined. The most lateral regions of M1 that correspond to face and hand movement representations, are more neuron dense relative to medial locations in M1, which suggests differences in cortical circuitry within movement zones. PMID:23450743

  17. 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

  18. Modulation of adult-born neurons in the inflamed hippocampus

    PubMed Central

    Belarbi, Karim; Rosi, Susanna

    2013-01-01

    Throughout life new neurons are continuously added to the hippocampal circuitry involved with spatial learning and memory. These new cells originate from neural precursors in the subgranular zone of the dentate gyrus, migrate into the granule cell layer, and integrate into neural networks encoding spatial and contextual information. This process can be influenced by several environmental and endogenous factors and is modified in different animal models of neurological disorders. Neuroinflammation, as defined by the presence of activated microglia, is a common key factor to the progression of neurological disorders. Analysis of the literature shows that microglial activation impacts not only the production, but also the migration and the recruitment of new neurons. The impact of microglia on adult-born neurons appears much more multifaceted than ever envisioned before, combining both supportive and detrimental effects that are dependent upon the activation phenotype and the factors being released. The development of strategies aimed to change microglia toward states that promote functional neurogenesis could therefore offer novel therapeutic opportunities against neurological disorders associated with cognitive deficits and neuroinflammation. The present review summarizes the current knowledge on how production, distribution, and recruitment of new neurons into behaviorally relevant neural networks are modified in the inflamed hippocampus. PMID:24046730

  19. 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

  20. Regeneration of supraspinal projection neurons in the adult goldfish.

    PubMed

    Sharma, S C; Jadhao, A G; Rao, P D

    1993-08-27

    Regeneration of descending supraspinal projections were identified in adult goldfish following administration of HRP to different levels of the spinal cord. While in the untreated normal fish 17 nuclei were shown to project into the spinal cord, only 11 of them seem to have participated in the process of regeneration. The nuclei whose axons regenerated include the nucleus ventromedialis (NVMD), nucleus of the median longitudinal fasciculus (NMLF), nucleus reticularis superior (NRS), nucleus reticularis medialis (NRM), nucleus reticularis inferior (NRI), anterior octaval nucleus (AON), magnocellular octaval nucleus (MON), descending octaval nucleus (DON) and certain neurons of the facial lobe. The neurons of the magnocellular preoptic nucleus (NPO), raphe nucleus (NR), Mauthner cell (MC), posterior octaval nucleus (PON) and somata located adjacent to the descending trigeminal tract were not labeled. The nuclei that apparently participated in the regeneration process were significantly larger in size than the corresponding cell bodies in the untreated normal fish.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    The recent investigation suggested that the TDP-43 protein was closely related to the motor neuron degeneration in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), but the pathogenesis contributed to motor neuron degeneration largely remained unknown. Therefore, we detected the alteration of TDP-43 expression and distribution in the adult spinal cord of the SOD1 G93A transgenic mouse model for searching the possible pathogenesis of ALS. We examined the TDP-43 expression and distribution in the different anatomic regions, segments and neural cells in the adult spinal cord at the different stages of the SOD1 wild-type and G93A transgenic model by the fluorescent immunohistochemical technology. We revealed that the amount of TDP-43 positive cell was cervical>lumbar>thoracic segment, that in the ventral horn was more than that in the dorsal horn, a few of TDP-43 protein sparsely expressed and distributed in the other regions, the TDP-43 protein weren't detected in the white matter and the central canal. The TDP-43 protein was mostly expressed and distributed in the nuclear of neuron cells and the cytoplasm of oligodendrocyte cells of the gray matter surrounding the central canal of spinal cord by the granular shape in the SOD1 wild-type and G93A transgenic mice. The amount of TDP-43 positive cell significantly increased at the onset and progression stages of ALS following with the increase of neuron death in spinal cord, particularly in the ventral horn of cervical segment at the progression stage. Our results suggested that the overexpression of TDP-43 protein in the neuron and oligodendrocyte cell causes the progressive motor neuron degeneration in the ALS-like mouse model. PMID:27570488

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    The recent investigation suggested that the TDP-43 protein was closely related to the motor neuron degeneration in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), but the pathogenesis contributed to motor neuron degeneration largely remained unknown. Therefore, we detected the alteration of TDP-43 expression and distribution in the adult spinal cord of the SOD1 G93A transgenic mouse model for searching the possible pathogenesis of ALS. We examined the TDP-43 expression and distribution in the different anatomic regions, segments and neural cells in the adult spinal cord at the different stages of the SOD1 wild-type and G93A transgenic model by the fluorescent immunohistochemical technology. We revealed that the amount of TDP-43 positive cell was cervical>lumbar>thoracic segment, that in the ventral horn was more than that in the dorsal horn, a few of TDP-43 protein sparsely expressed and distributed in the other regions, the TDP-43 protein weren't detected in the white matter and the central canal. The TDP-43 protein was mostly expressed and distributed in the nuclear of neuron cells and the cytoplasm of oligodendrocyte cells of the gray matter surrounding the central canal of spinal cord by the granular shape in the SOD1 wild-type and G93A transgenic mice. The amount of TDP-43 positive cell significantly increased at the onset and progression stages of ALS following with the increase of neuron death in spinal cord, particularly in the ventral horn of cervical segment at the progression stage. Our results suggested that the overexpression of TDP-43 protein in the neuron and oligodendrocyte cell causes the progressive motor neuron degeneration in the ALS-like mouse model. PMID:27570488

  3. 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.

  4. Nonnative SOD1 trimer is toxic to motor neurons in a model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Fee, Lanette; Tao, Yazhong; Redler, Rachel L.; Fay, James M.; Zhang, Yuliang; Lv, Zhengjian; Mercer, Ian P.; Deshmukh, Mohanish; Lyubchenko, Yuri L.; Dokholyan, Nikolay V.

    2016-01-01

    Since the linking of mutations in the Cu,Zn superoxide dismutase gene (sod1) to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in 1993, researchers have sought the connection between SOD1 and motor neuron death. Disease-linked mutations tend to destabilize the native dimeric structure of SOD1, and plaques containing misfolded and aggregated SOD1 have been found in the motor neurons of patients with ALS. Despite advances in understanding of ALS disease progression and SOD1 folding and stability, cytotoxic species and mechanisms remain unknown, greatly impeding the search for and design of therapeutic interventions. Here, we definitively link cytotoxicity associated with SOD1 aggregation in ALS to a nonnative trimeric SOD1 species. We develop methodology for the incorporation of low-resolution experimental data into simulations toward the structural modeling of metastable, multidomain aggregation intermediates. We apply this methodology to derive the structure of a SOD1 trimer, which we validate in vitro and in hybridized motor neurons. We show that SOD1 mutants designed to promote trimerization increase cell death. Further, we demonstrate that the cytotoxicity of the designed mutants correlates with trimer stability, providing a direct link between the presence of misfolded oligomers and neuron death. Identification of cytotoxic species is the first and critical step in elucidating the molecular etiology of ALS, and the ability to manipulate formation of these species will provide an avenue for the development of future therapeutic strategies. PMID:26719414

  5. 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

  6. Slow active potentials in ventral inhibitory motor neurons of the nematode Ascaris.

    PubMed

    Angstadt, J D; Stretton, A O

    1989-12-01

    The ability of ventral inhibitory motor neurons of the nematode Ascaris to generate slow depolarizing potentials was investigated using intracellular recording and current injection. In quiescent cells, regenerative depolarizations with peak amplitudes of approximately 20 mV and durations of several 100 ms were evoked in response to brief depolarizing current pulses. Repetitive slow potentials were produced in response to sustained depolarizing currents in a threshold-dependent manner. Repetitive slow potentials also occurred spontaneously, exhibiting cycle periods of about 700 ms. The ability of inhibitory motor neurons to generate slow potentials was blocked by addition of Co++, Cd++, or other Ca-channel blockers to the saline but not by TTX or substitution of Na+ with Tris. The amplitude and duration of slow potentials were increased in the presence of Ba++, Sr++, and TEA. Spontaneous slow potentials exhibited characteristics expected of intrinsically generated oscillations, including frequency modulation by injection of prolonged offset currents, phase resetting by brief current pulses, and suppression by strong hyperpolarization. Slow potentials appear to be generated in the ventral nerve cord processes and/or cell body of the motor neuron, and they produce rhythmic inhibitory postsynaptic potentials in ventral muscle cells. Slow potentials may therefore contribute to locomotory or other motor behaviors of the animal. PMID:2607486

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-15

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

  8. Non-Aggregating Tau Phosphorylation by Cyclin-Dependent Kinase 5 Contributes to Motor Neuron Degeneration in Spinal Muscular Atrophy

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Mechanisms underlying motor neuron degeneration in spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), the leading inherited cause of infant mortality, remain largely unknown. Many studies have established the importance of hyperphosphorylation of the microtubule-associated protein tau in various neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. However, tau phosphorylation in SMA pathogenesis has yet to be investigated. Here we show that tau phosphorylation on serine 202 (S202) and threonine 205 (T205) is increased significantly in SMA motor neurons using two SMA mouse models and human SMA patient spinal cord samples. Interestingly, phosphorylated tau does not form aggregates in motor neurons or neuromuscular junctions (NMJs), even at late stages of SMA disease, distinguishing it from other tauopathies. Hyperphosphorylation of tau on S202 and T205 is mediated by cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (Cdk5) in SMA disease condition, because tau phosphorylation at these sites is significantly reduced in Cdk5 knock-out mice; genetic knock-out of Cdk5 activating subunit p35 in an SMA mouse model also leads to reduced tau phosphorylation on S202 and T205 in the SMA;p35−/− compound mutant mice. In addition, expression of the phosphorylation-deficient tauS202A,T205A mutant alleviates motor neuron defects in a zebrafish SMA model in vivo and mouse motor neuron degeneration in culture, whereas expression of phosphorylation-mimetic tauS202E,T205E promotes motor neuron defects. More importantly, genetic knock-out of tau in SMA mice rescues synapse stripping on motor neurons, NMJ denervation, and motor neuron degeneration in vivo. Altogether, our findings suggest a novel mechanism for SMA pathogenesis in which hyperphosphorylation of non-aggregating tau by Cdk5 contributes to motor neuron degeneration. PMID:25878277

  9. Genetic and functional modularity of Hox activities in the specification of limb-innervating motor neurons.

    PubMed

    Lacombe, Julie; Hanley, Olivia; Jung, Heekyung; Philippidou, Polyxeni; Surmeli, Gulsen; Grinstein, Jonathan; Dasen, Jeremy S

    2013-01-01

    A critical step in the assembly of the neural circuits that control tetrapod locomotion is the specification of the lateral motor column (LMC), a diverse motor neuron population targeting limb musculature. Hox6 paralog group genes have been implicated as key determinants of LMC fate at forelimb levels of the spinal cord, through their ability to promote expression of the LMC-restricted genes Foxp1 and Raldh2 and to suppress thoracic fates through exclusion of Hoxc9. The specific roles and mechanisms of Hox6 gene function in LMC neurons, however, are not known. We show that Hox6 genes are critical for diverse facets of LMC identity and define motifs required for their in vivo specificities. Although Hox6 genes are necessary for generating the appropriate number of LMC neurons, they are not absolutely required for the induction of forelimb LMC molecular determinants. In the absence of Hox6 activity, LMC identity appears to be preserved through a diverse array of Hox5-Hox8 paralogs, which are sufficient to reprogram thoracic motor neurons to an LMC fate. In contrast to the apparently permissive Hox inputs to early LMC gene programs, individual Hox genes, such as Hoxc6, have specific roles in promoting motor neuron pool diversity within the LMC. Dissection of motifs required for Hox in vivo specificities reveals that either cross-repressive interactions or cooperativity with Pbx cofactors are sufficient to induce LMC identity, with the N-terminus capable of promoting columnar, but not pool, identity when transferred to a heterologous homeodomain. These results indicate that Hox proteins orchestrate diverse aspects of cell fate specification through both the convergent regulation of gene programs regulated by many paralogs and also more restricted actions encoded through specificity determinants in the N-terminus.

  10. Regulation of motor patterns by the central spike-initiation zone of a sensory neuron.

    PubMed

    Daur, Nelly; Nadim, Farzan; Stein, Wolfgang

    2009-09-01

    Sensory feedback from muscles and peripheral sensors acts to initiate, tune or reshape motor activity according to the state of the body. Yet, sensory neurons often show low levels of activity even in the absence of sensory input. Here we examine the functional role of spontaneous low-frequency activity of such a sensory neuron. The anterior gastric receptor (AGR) is a muscle-tendon organ in the crab stomatogastric nervous system whose phasic activity shapes the well-characterized gastric mill (chewing) and pyloric (filtering) motor rhythms. Phasic activity is driven by a spike-initiation zone near the innervated muscle. We demonstrate that AGR possesses a second spike-initiation zone, which is located spatially distant from the innervated muscle in a central section of the axon. This initiation zone generates tonic activity and is responsible for the spontaneous activity of AGR in vivo, but does not code sensory information. Rather, it is sensitive to the neuromodulator octopamine. A computational model indicates that the activity at this initiation zone is not caused by excitatory input from another neuron, but generated intrinsically. This tonic activity is functionally relevant, because it modifies the activity state of the gastric mill motor circuit and changes the pyloric rhythm. The sensory function of AGR is not impaired as phasic activity suppresses spiking at the central initiation zone. Our results thus demonstrate that sensory neurons are not mere reporters of sensory signals. Neuromodulators can elicit non-sensory coding activity in these neurons that shapes the state of the motor system.

  11. Motor neuron disease. SMN2 splicing modifiers improve motor function and longevity in mice with spinal muscular atrophy.

    PubMed

    Naryshkin, Nikolai A; Weetall, Marla; Dakka, Amal; Narasimhan, Jana; Zhao, Xin; Feng, Zhihua; Ling, Karen K Y; Karp, Gary M; Qi, Hongyan; Woll, Matthew G; Chen, Guangming; Zhang, Nanjing; Gabbeta, Vijayalakshmi; Vazirani, Priya; Bhattacharyya, Anuradha; Furia, Bansri; Risher, Nicole; Sheedy, Josephine; Kong, Ronald; Ma, Jiyuan; Turpoff, Anthony; Lee, Chang-Sun; Zhang, Xiaoyan; Moon, Young-Choon; Trifillis, Panayiota; Welch, Ellen M; Colacino, Joseph M; Babiak, John; Almstead, Neil G; Peltz, Stuart W; Eng, Loren A; Chen, Karen S; Mull, Jesse L; Lynes, Maureen S; Rubin, Lee L; Fontoura, Paulo; Santarelli, Luca; Haehnke, Daniel; McCarthy, Kathleen D; Schmucki, Roland; Ebeling, Martin; Sivaramakrishnan, Manaswini; Ko, Chien-Ping; Paushkin, Sergey V; Ratni, Hasane; Gerlach, Irene; Ghosh, Anirvan; Metzger, Friedrich

    2014-08-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a genetic disease caused by mutation or deletion of the survival of motor neuron 1 (SMN1) gene. A paralogous gene in humans, SMN2, produces low, insufficient levels of functional SMN protein due to alternative splicing that truncates the transcript. The decreased levels of SMN protein lead to progressive neuromuscular degeneration and high rates of mortality. Through chemical screening and optimization, we identified orally available small molecules that shift the balance of SMN2 splicing toward the production of full-length SMN2 messenger RNA with high selectivity. Administration of these compounds to Δ7 mice, a model of severe SMA, led to an increase in SMN protein levels, improvement of motor function, and protection of the neuromuscular circuit. These compounds also extended the life span of the mice. Selective SMN2 splicing modifiers may have therapeutic potential for patients with SMA.

  12. Robust neuronal dynamics in premotor cortex during motor planning

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    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 mouse premotor cortex to probe robustness of persistent neural representations during motor planning. 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 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 premotor cortex, is a hallmark of robust control systems. Network models incorporating these principles show robustness that is consistent with data. PMID:27074502

  13. Toward an Interdisciplinary Perspective: A Review of Adult Learning Frameworks and Theoretical Models of Motor Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Roessger, Kevin M.

    2012-01-01

    Researchers have yet to agree on an approach that supports how adults best learn novel motor skills in formal educational contexts. The literature fails to adequately discuss adult motor learning from the standpoint of adult education. Instead, the subject is addressed by other disciplines. This review attempts to integrate perspectives across…

  14. Reduced survival of motor neuron (SMN) protein in motor neuronal progenitors functions cell autonomously to cause spinal muscular atrophy in model mice expressing the human centromeric (SMN2) gene.

    PubMed

    Park, Gyu-Hwan; Maeno-Hikichi, Yuka; Awano, Tomoyuki; Landmesser, Lynn T; Monani, Umrao R

    2010-09-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a common (approximately 1:6400) autosomal recessive neuromuscular disorder caused by a paucity of the survival of motor neuron (SMN) protein. Although widely recognized to cause selective spinal motor neuron loss when deficient, the precise cellular site of action of the SMN protein in SMA remains unclear. In this study we sought to determine the consequences of selectively depleting SMN in the motor neurons of model mice. Depleting but not abolishing the protein in motor neuronal progenitors causes an SMA-like phenotype. Neuromuscular weakness in the model mice is accompanied by peripheral as well as central synaptic defects, electrophysiological abnormalities of the neuromuscular junctions, muscle atrophy, and motor neuron degeneration. However, the disease phenotype is more modest than that observed in mice expressing ubiquitously low levels of the SMN protein, and both symptoms as well as early electrophysiological abnormalities that are readily apparent in neonates were attenuated in an age-dependent manner. We conclude that selective knock-down of SMN in motor neurons is sufficient but may not be necessary to cause a disease phenotype and that targeting these cells will be a requirement of any effective therapeutic strategy. This realization is tempered by the relatively mild SMA phenotype in our model mice, one explanation for which is the presence of normal SMN levels in non-neuronal tissue that serves to modulate disease severity.

  15. Environmental Impact on Direct Neuronal Reprogramming In Vivo in the Adult Brain

    PubMed Central

    López-Juárez, Alejandro; Howard, Jennifer; Sakthivel, Bhuvaneswari; Aronow, Bruce; Campbell, Kenneth; Nakafuku, Masato

    2013-01-01

    Direct reprogramming of non-neuronal cells to generate new neurons is a promising approach to repair damaged brains. Impact of the in vivo environment on neuronal reprogramming, however, is poorly understood. Here we show that regional differences and injury conditions have significant influence on the efficacy of reprogramming and subsequent survival of newly generated neurons in the adult rodent brain. A combination of local exposure to growth factors and retrovirus-mediated overexpression of the neurogenic transcription factor Neurogenin2 (Neurog2) can induce new neurons from non-neuronal cells in the adult neocortex and striatum where neuronal turnover is otherwise very limited. These two regions respond to growth factors and Neurog2 differently and instruct new neurons to exhibit distinct molecular phenotypes. Moreover, ischemic insult differentially affects differentiation of new neurons in these regions. These results demonstrate strong environmental impact on direct neuronal reprogramming in vivo. PMID:23974433

  16. Environmental impact on direct neuronal reprogramming in vivo in the adult brain.

    PubMed

    Grande, Andrew; Sumiyoshi, Kyoko; López-Juárez, Alejandro; Howard, Jennifer; Sakthivel, Bhuvaneswari; Aronow, Bruce; Campbell, Kenneth; Nakafuku, Masato

    2013-01-01

    Direct reprogramming of non-neuronal cells to generate new neurons is a promising approach to repair damaged brains. Impact of the in vivo environment on neuronal reprogramming, however, is poorly understood. Here we show that regional differences and injury conditions have significant influence on the efficacy of reprogramming and subsequent survival of the newly generated neurons in the adult rodent brain. A combination of local exposure to growth factors and retrovirus-mediated overexpression of the neurogenic transcription factor Neurogenin2 can induce new neurons from non-neuronal cells in the adult neocortex and striatum where neuronal turnover is otherwise very limited. These two regions respond to growth factors and Neurogenin2 differently and instruct new neurons to exhibit distinct molecular phenotypes. Moreover, ischaemic insult differentially affects differentiation of new neurons in these regions. These results demonstrate strong environmental impact on direct neuronal reprogramming in vivo.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Beadex function in the motor neurons is essential for female reproduction in Drosophila melanogaster.

    PubMed

    Kairamkonda, Subhash; Nongthomba, Upendra

    2014-01-01

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

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  3. 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

  4. Progressive synaptic pathology of motor cortical neurons in a BAC transgenic mouse model of Huntington's disease.

    PubMed

    Spampanato, J; Gu, X; Yang, X W; Mody, I

    2008-12-01

    Huntington's disease (HD) is a neurodegenerative disorder caused by a polyglutamine repeat expansion in huntingtin. A newly developed bacterial artificial chromosome transgenic mouse model (BACHD) reproduces phenotypic features of HD including predominantly neuropil-associated protein aggregation and progressive motor dysfunction with selective neurodegenerative pathology. Motor dysfunction has been shown to precede neuropathology in BACHD mice. We therefore investigated the progression of synaptic pathology in pyramidal cells and interneurons of the superficial motor cortex of BACHD mice. Whole-cell patch clamp recordings were performed on layer 2/3 primary motor cortical pyramidal cells and parvalbumin interneurons from BACHD mice at 3 months, when the mice begin to demonstrate mild motor dysfunction, and at 6 months, when the motor dysfunction is more severe. Changes in synaptic variances were detectable at 3 months, and at 6 months BACHD mice display progressive synaptic pathology in the form of reduced cortical excitation and loss of inhibition onto pyramidal cells. These results suggest that progressive alterations of the superficial cortical circuitry may contribute to the decline of motor function in BACHD mice. The synaptic pathology occurs prior to neuronal degeneration and may therefore prove useful as a target for future therapeutic design. PMID:18854207

  5. Intracisternal delivery of AAV9 results in oligodendrocyte and motor neuron transduction in the whole central nervous system of cats

    PubMed Central

    Bucher, T; Dubreil, L; Colle, M-A; Maquigneau, M; Deniaud, J; Ledevin, M; Moullier, P; Joussemet, B

    2014-01-01

    Systemic and intracerebrospinal fluid delivery of adeno-associated virus serotype 9 (AAV9) has been shown to achieve widespread gene delivery to the central nervous system (CNS). However, after systemic injection, the neurotropism of the vector has been reported to vary according to age at injection, with greater neuronal transduction in newborns and preferential glial cell tropism in adults. This difference has not yet been reported after cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) delivery. The present study analyzed both neuronal and glial cell transduction in the CNS of cats according to age of AAV9 CSF injection. In both newborns and young cats, administration of AAV9-GFP in the cisterna magna resulted in high levels of motor neurons (MNs) transduction from the cervical (84±5%) to the lumbar (99±1%) spinal cord, demonstrating that the remarkable tropism of AAV9 for MNs is not affected by age at CSF delivery. Surprisingly, numerous oligodendrocytes were also transduced in the brain and in the spinal cord white matter of young cats, but not of neonates, indicating that (i) age of CSF delivery influences the tropism of AAV9 for glial cells and (ii) AAV9 intracisternal delivery could be relevant for both the treatment of MN and demyelinating disorders. PMID:24572783

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

    PubMed Central

    Feng, Shanxi; Arnold, Don B.

    2016-01-01

    This review focuses on techniques that facilitate the visualization of protein trafficking. In the mid-1990’s the cloning of GFP allowed fluorescently tagged proteins to be expressed in cells and then visualized in real time. This advance allowed a glimpse, for the first time, of the complex system within cells for distributing proteins. It quickly became apparent, however, that time-lapse sequences of exogenously expressed GFP-labeled proteins can be difficult to interpret. Reasons for this include the relatively low signal that comes from moving proteins and high background rates from stationary proteins and other sources, as well as the difficulty of identifying the origins and destinations of specific vesicular carriers. In this review we will examine a range of techniques that have overcome these issues to varying degrees and discuss the insights into protein trafficking that they have enabled. We will concentrate on neurons, as they are highly polarized and, thus, their trafficking systems tend to be accessible for study. PMID:26800506

  7. GABA regulates synaptic integration of newly generated neurons in the adult brain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ge, Shaoyu; Goh, Eyleen L. K.; Sailor, Kurt A.; Kitabatake, Yasuji; Ming, Guo-Li; Song, Hongjun

    2006-02-01

    Adult neurogenesis, the birth and integration of new neurons from adult neural stem cells, is a striking form of structural plasticity and highlights the regenerative capacity of the adult mammalian brain. Accumulating evidence suggests that neuronal activity regulates adult neurogenesis and that new neurons contribute to specific brain functions. The mechanism that regulates the integration of newly generated neurons into the pre-existing functional circuitry in the adult brain is unknown. Here we show that newborn granule cells in the dentate gyrus of the adult hippocampus are tonically activated by ambient GABA (γ-aminobutyric acid) before being sequentially innervated by GABA- and glutamate-mediated synaptic inputs. GABA, the major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the adult brain, initially exerts an excitatory action on newborn neurons owing to their high cytoplasmic chloride ion content. Conversion of GABA-induced depolarization (excitation) into hyperpolarization (inhibition) in newborn neurons leads to marked defects in their synapse formation and dendritic development in vivo. Our study identifies an essential role for GABA in the synaptic integration of newly generated neurons in the adult brain, and suggests an unexpected mechanism for activity-dependent regulation of adult neurogenesis, in which newborn neurons may sense neuronal network activity through tonic and phasic GABA activation.

  8. SynCAM 1 improves survival of adult-born neurons by accelerating synapse maturation.

    PubMed

    Doengi, Michael; Krupp, Alexander J; Körber, Nils; Stein, Valentin

    2016-03-01

    The survival of adult-born dentate gyrus granule cells critically depends on their synaptic integration into the existing neuronal network. Excitatory inputs are thought to increase the survival rate of adult born neurons. Therefore, whether enhancing the stability of newly formed excitatory synapses by overexpressing the synaptic cell adhesion molecule SynCAM 1 improves the survival of adult-born neurons was tested. Here it is shown that overexpression of SynCAM 1 improves survival of adult-born neurons, but has no effect on the proliferation rate of precursor cells. As expected, overexpression of SynCAM 1 increased the synapse density in adult-born granule neurons. While adult-born granule neurons have very few functional synapses 15 days after birth, it was found that at this age adult-born neurons in SynCAM 1 overexpressing mice exhibited around three times more excitatory synapses, which were stronger than synapses of adult-born neurons of control littermates. In summary, the data indicated that additional SynCAM 1 accelerated synapse maturation, which improved the stability of newly formed synapses and in turn increased the likelihood of survival of adult-born neurons.

  9. In vitro reactive nitrating species toxicity in dissociated spinal motor neurons from NFL (-/-) and hNFL (+/+) transgenic mice.

    PubMed

    Strong, Michael; Sopper, Maggie; He, Bei Ping

    2003-06-01

    We utilized fetal spinal motor neurons isolated from either NFL (-/-) or hNFL (+/+) transgenic mice to determine whether the loss of the low molecular weight neurofilament protein (NFL) places spinal motor neurons at a greater risk for cell death triggered by reactive nitrating species (RNS). After 21 days in serum-free, antibiotic-free medium, both the NFL (-/-) and hNFL (+/+) motor neurons developed neurofilamentous aggregates. Cultures were then exposed to nitric oxide(100 microM NOC 5, 100 microM NOC 12, or 2 mM sodium nitroprusside) or to peroxynitrite (250 mM SIN-1) forvarying intervals. NFL (-/-) cultures demonstrated extensive numbers of apoptotic neurons within six hours and complete cell loss by 24 hours in response to NOC 5 and NOC 12. In contrast, apoptosis was only observed in the motor neurons derived from control (C57bl/6) or hNLF (+/+) mice at 24 hours. In response to 2 mM sodium nitroprusside, necrosis was induced in all cells within 60 minutes. In response to 250 mM SIN-1, both C57bl/6 and hNFL (+/+) cells survived to six hours with only minimal evidence of degeneration while NFL (-/-) motor neurons were necrotic by 60 minutes. These observations suggest that NFL deficient motor neurons are at an enhanced risk of cell death mediated by RNS.

  10. Ultrastructural characteristics of human adult and infant cerebral cortical neurons.

    PubMed Central

    Ong, W Y; Garey, L J

    1991-01-01

    Biopsy specimens of human cerebral cortex from three adults and two infants were studied by correlating their light microscopic features in semithin sections with their ultrastructural characteristics. There was good tissue preservation, due to a minimum delay between obtaining the specimens and fixation. Pyramidal cells had a prominent apical dendrite, fine heterochromatin clumps in the nucleus and generally small numbers of cytoplasmic organelles, except for numerous free ribosomes in some of the large pyramids of Layers III to VI. Non-pyramidal cells lacked an apical dendrite and were further classified, on size and ultrastructure, into small, medium and large types. Large numbers of asymmetrical and symmetrical synapses were present in the neuropil but very few axosomatic synapses were found in the human cerebral cortex compared with subhuman primates and other mammals. Some symmetrical synapses were characterised by the presence of wide pre- and postsynaptic densities. The same general features of the adult cortex were also encountered in the infant, with certain exceptions. Many of the infant neurons had less densely packed heterochromatin, but greater numbers of free ribosomes, compared with the adult, and lipofuscin was absent. There was a total absence of myelinated fibres from the infant cortex; more large diameter dendrites were present than in the adult and axosomatic synapses were commoner. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 3 Fig. 4 Fig. 5 Fig. 6 Fig. 7 Fig. 8 Fig. 9 Fig. 10 Fig. 11 Fig. 12 Fig. 13 Fig. 14 Fig. 15 PMID:2050578

  11. 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.

  12. Lentiviral and adeno-associated vector-based therapy for motor neuron disease through RNAi.

    PubMed

    Towne, Chris; Aebischer, Patrick

    2009-01-01

    RNAi holds promise for neurodegenerative disorders caused by gain-of-function mutations. We and others have demonstrated proof-of-principle for viral-mediated RNAi in a mouse model of motor neuron disease. Lentivirus and adeno-associated virus have been used to knockdown levels of mutated superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) in the G93A SOD1 mouse model of familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (fALS) to result in beneficial therapeutic outcomes. This chapter describes the design, production, and titration of lentivirus and adeno-associated virus capable of mediating SOD1 knockdown in vivo. The delivery of the virus to the spinal cord directly, through intraspinal injection, or indirectly, through intramuscular injection, is also described, as well as the methods pertaining to the analysis of spinal cord transduction, SOD1 silencing, and determination of motor neuron protection.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Neuronal replacement from endogenous precursors in the adult brain after stroke.

    PubMed

    Arvidsson, Andreas; Collin, Tove; Kirik, Deniz; Kokaia, Zaal; Lindvall, Olle

    2002-09-01

    In the adult brain, new neurons are continuously generated in the subventricular zone and dentate gyrus, but it is unknown whether these neurons can replace those lost following damage or disease. Here we show that stroke, caused by transient middle cerebral artery occlusion in adult rats, leads to a marked increase of cell proliferation in the subventricular zone. Stroke-generated new neurons, as well as neuroblasts probably already formed before the insult, migrate into the severely damaged area of the striatum, where they express markers of developing and mature, striatal medium-sized spiny neurons. Thus, stroke induces differentiation of new neurons into the phenotype of most of the neurons destroyed by the ischemic lesion. Here we show that the adult brain has the capacity for self-repair after insults causing extensive neuronal death. If the new neurons are functional and their formation can be stimulated, a novel therapeutic strategy might be developed for stroke in humans. PMID:12161747

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Excitability properties of motor axons in adults with cerebral palsy

    PubMed Central

    Klein, Cliff S.; Zhou, Ping; Marciniak, Christina

    2015-01-01

    Cerebral palsy (CP) is a permanent disorder caused by a lesion to the developing brain that significantly impairs motor function. The neurophysiological mechanisms underlying motor impairment are not well understood. Specifically, few have addressed whether motoneuron or peripheral axon properties are altered in CP, even though disruption of descending inputs to the spinal cord may cause them to change. In the present study, we have compared nerve excitability properties in seven adults with CP and fourteen healthy controls using threshold tracking techniques by stimulating the median nerve at the wrist and recording the compound muscle action potential over the abductor pollicis brevis. The excitability properties in the CP subjects were found to be abnormal. Early and late depolarizing and hyperpolarizing threshold electrotonus was significantly larger (i.e., fanning out), and resting current–threshold (I/V) slope was smaller, in CP compared to control. In addition resting threshold and rheobase tended to be larger in CP. According to a modeling analysis of the data, an increase in leakage current under or through the myelin sheath, i.e., the Barrett–Barrett conductance, combined with a slight hyperpolarization of the resting membrane potential, best explained the group differences in excitability properties. There was a trend for those with greater impairment in gross motor function to have more abnormal axon properties. The findings indicate plasticity of motor axon properties far removed from the site of the lesion. We suspect that this plasticity is caused by disruption of descending inputs to the motoneurons at an early age around the time of their injury. PMID:26089791

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

  2. 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

  3. Recruitment in a heterogeneous population of motor neurons that innervates the depressor muscle of the crayfish walking leg muscle.

    PubMed

    Hill, Andrew A V; Cattaert, Daniel

    2008-02-01

    According to the size principle the fine control of muscle tension depends on the orderly recruitment of motor neurons from a heterogeneous pool. We took advantage of the small number of excitatory motor neurons (about 12) that innervate the depressor muscle of the crayfish walking leg to determine if the size principle applies to this muscle. We found that in accordance with the size principle, when stimulated by proprioceptive input, neurons with small extracellular spikes were recruited before neurons with medium or large spikes. Because only a small fraction of the motor neurons responded strongly enough to sensory input to be recruited in this way, we extended our analysis to all neurons by characterizing properties that have classically been associated with recruitment order such as speed of axonal conduction and extracellular spike amplitude. Through a combination of physiological and anatomical criteria we were able to identify seven classes of excitatory depressor motor neurons. The majority of these classes responded to proprioceptive input with a resistance reflex, while a few responded with an assistance reflex, and yet others did not respond. Our results are in general agreement with the size principle. However, we found qualitative differences between neuronal classes in terms of synaptic input and neuronal structure that would in theory be unnecessary, according to a strict interpretation of the size principle. We speculate that the qualitative heterogeneity observed may be due to the fact that the depressor is a complex muscle, consisting of two muscle bundles that share a single insertion but have multiple origins.

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

    PubMed Central

    de Munck, Estefanía; Palomo, Valle; Muñoz-Sáez, Emma; Perez, Daniel I.; Gómez-Miguel, Begoña; Solas, M. Teresa; Gil, Carmen; Martínez, Ana; Arahuetes, Rosa M.

    2016-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive motor neuron degenerative disease that has no effective treatment up to date. Drug discovery tasks have been hampered due to the lack of knowledge in its molecular etiology together with the limited animal models for research. Recently, a motor neuron disease animal model has been developed using β-N-methylamino-L-alanine (L-BMAA), a neurotoxic amino acid related to the appearing of ALS. In the present work, the neuroprotective role of VP2.51, a small heterocyclic GSK-3 inhibitor, is analysed in this novel murine model together with the analysis of autophagy. VP2.51 daily administration for two weeks, starting the first day after L-BMAA treatment, leads to total recovery of neurological symptoms and prevents the activation of autophagic processes in rats. These results show that the L-BMAA murine model can be used to test the efficacy of new drugs. In addition, the results confirm the therapeutic potential of GSK-3 inhibitors, and specially VP2.51, for the disease-modifying future treatment of motor neuron disorders like ALS. PMID:27631495

  5. Impairment of spinal motor neurons in spinocerebellar ataxia type 1-knock-in mice.

    PubMed

    Takechi, Yasuhiko; Mieda, Tokue; Iizuka, Akira; Toya, Syutaro; Suto, Nana; Takagishi, Kenji; Nakazato, Yoichi; Nakamura, Kazuhiro; Hirai, Hirokazu

    2013-02-22

    Spinocerebellar ataxia type 1 (SCA1) is an autosomal dominant neurodegenerative disorder caused by the expansion of polyglutamine repeats in the Ataxin-1 protein. An accumulating body of cerebellar, histological and behavioral analyses has proven that SCA1-knock-in mice (in which the endogenous Atxn1 gene is replaced with mutant Atxn1 that has abnormally expanded 154 CAG repeats) work as a good tool, which resembles the central nervous system pathology of SCA1 patients. However, the peripheral nervous system pathology of the model mice has not been studied despite the fact that the clinical manifestation is also characterized by peripheral involvement. We show here that spinal motor neurons are degenerated in SCA1-knock-in mice. Histologically, some spinal motor neurons of the SCA1-knock-in mice have polyglutamine aggregates in their nuclei and also thinner and demyelinated axons. Electrophysiological examinations of the mice showed slower nerve conduction velocities in spinal motor neurons and lower amplitudes of muscle action potential, compared to wild-type mice. Consistently, the mice displayed decrease in rearing number and total rearing time. These results suggest that the knock-in mice serve as a definite model that reproduces peripheral involvement and are therefore useful for research on the peripheral nervous system pathology in SCA1 patients.

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

    PubMed

    de Munck, Estefanía; Palomo, Valle; Muñoz-Sáez, Emma; Perez, Daniel I; Gómez-Miguel, Begoña; Solas, M Teresa; Gil, Carmen; Martínez, Ana; Arahuetes, Rosa M

    2016-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive motor neuron degenerative disease that has no effective treatment up to date. Drug discovery tasks have been hampered due to the lack of knowledge in its molecular etiology together with the limited animal models for research. Recently, a motor neuron disease animal model has been developed using β-N-methylamino-L-alanine (L-BMAA), a neurotoxic amino acid related to the appearing of ALS. In the present work, the neuroprotective role of VP2.51, a small heterocyclic GSK-3 inhibitor, is analysed in this novel murine model together with the analysis of autophagy. VP2.51 daily administration for two weeks, starting the first day after L-BMAA treatment, leads to total recovery of neurological symptoms and prevents the activation of autophagic processes in rats. These results show that the L-BMAA murine model can be used to test the efficacy of new drugs. In addition, the results confirm the therapeutic potential of GSK-3 inhibitors, and specially VP2.51, for the disease-modifying future treatment of motor neuron disorders like ALS. PMID:27631495

  7. MicroRNA-125b regulates microglia activation and motor neuron death in ALS

    PubMed Central

    Parisi, C; Napoli, G; Amadio, S; Spalloni, A; Apolloni, S; Longone, P; Volonté, C

    2016-01-01

    Understanding the means by which microglia self-regulate the neuroinflammatory response helps modulating their reaction during neurodegeneration. In amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), classical NF-κB pathway is related to persistent microglia activation and motor neuron injury; however, mechanisms of negative control of NF-κB activity remain unexplored. One of the major players in the termination of classical NF-κB pathway is the ubiquitin-editing enzyme A20, which has recognized anti-inflammatory functions. Lately, microRNAs are emerging as potent fine-tuners of neuroinflammation and reported to be regulated in ALS, for instance, by purinergic P2X7 receptor activation. In this work, we uncover an interplay between miR-125b and A20 protein in the modulation of classical NF-κB signaling in microglia. In particular, we establish the existence of a pathological circuit in which termination of A20 function by miR-125b strengthens and prolongs the noxious P2X7 receptor-dependent activation of NF-κB in microglia, with deleterious consequences on motor neurons. We prove that, by restoring A20 levels, miR-125b inhibition then sustains motor neuron survival. These results introduce miR-125b as a key mediator of microglia dynamics in ALS. PMID:26794445

  8. Known and unexpected constraints evoke different kinematic, muscle, and motor cortical neuron responses during locomotion

    PubMed Central

    Stout, Erik E.; Sirota, Mikhail G.; Beloozerova, Irina N.

    2015-01-01

    During navigation through complex natural environments, people and animals must adapt their movements when the environment changes. The neural mechanisms of such adaptations are poorly understood, especially in respect to constraints that are unexpected and must be adapted to quickly. In this study, we recorded forelimb-related kinematics, muscle activity, and the activity of motor cortical neurons in cats walking along a raised horizontal ladder, a complex locomotion task requiring accurate limb placement. One of the crosspieces was motorized, and displaced before the cat stepped on the ladder or at different points along the cat’s progression over the ladder, either toward or away from the cat. We found that when the crosspiece was displaced before the cat stepped onto the ladder, kinematic modifications were complex and involved alterations of dynamics of all forelimb joints. When the crosspiece displaced unexpectedly while the cat was on the ladder, kinematic modifications were minimalistic and primarily involved distal joints. The activity of M. triceps and M. extensor digitorum communis differed based on the direction of displacement. Out of 151 neurons tested, 69% responded to at least one condition; however, neurons were significantly more likely to respond when crosspiece displacement was unexpected. Most often they responded during the swing phase. These results suggest that different neural mechanisms and motor control strategies are used to overcome constraints for locomotor movements depending on whether they are known or unexpectedly emerge. PMID:26302230

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

    PubMed

    de Munck, Estefanía; Palomo, Valle; Muñoz-Sáez, Emma; Perez, Daniel I; Gómez-Miguel, Begoña; Solas, M Teresa; Gil, Carmen; Martínez, Ana; Arahuetes, Rosa M

    2016-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive motor neuron degenerative disease that has no effective treatment up to date. Drug discovery tasks have been hampered due to the lack of knowledge in its molecular etiology together with the limited animal models for research. Recently, a motor neuron disease animal model has been developed using β-N-methylamino-L-alanine (L-BMAA), a neurotoxic amino acid related to the appearing of ALS. In the present work, the neuroprotective role of VP2.51, a small heterocyclic GSK-3 inhibitor, is analysed in this novel murine model together with the analysis of autophagy. VP2.51 daily administration for two weeks, starting the first day after L-BMAA treatment, leads to total recovery of neurological symptoms and prevents the activation of autophagic processes in rats. These results show that the L-BMAA murine model can be used to test the efficacy of new drugs. In addition, the results confirm the therapeutic potential of GSK-3 inhibitors, and specially VP2.51, for the disease-modifying future treatment of motor neuron disorders like ALS.

  10. Functional Mapping of Protein Kinase A Reveals Its Importance in Adult Schistosoma mansoni Motor Activity

    PubMed Central

    de Saram, Paulu S. R.; Ressurreição, Margarida; Davies, Angela J.; Rollinson, David; Emery, Aidan M.; Walker, Anthony J.

    2013-01-01

    Cyclic AMP (cAMP)-dependent protein kinase/protein kinase A (PKA) is the major transducer of cAMP signalling in eukaryotic cells. Here, using laser scanning confocal microscopy and ‘smart’ anti-phospho PKA antibodies that exclusively detect activated PKA, we provide a detailed in situ analysis of PKA signalling in intact adult Schistosoma mansoni, a causative agent of debilitating human intestinal schistosomiasis. In both adult male and female worms, activated PKA was consistently found associated with the tegument, oral and ventral suckers, oesophagus and somatic musculature. In addition, the seminal vesicle and gynaecophoric canal muscles of the male displayed activated PKA whereas in female worms activated PKA localized to the ootype wall, the ovary, and the uterus particularly around eggs during expulsion. Exposure of live worms to the PKA activator forskolin (50 µM) resulted in striking PKA activation in the central and peripheral nervous system including at nerve endings at/near the tegument surface. Such neuronal PKA activation was also observed without forskolin treatment, but only in a single batch of worms. In addition, PKA activation within the central and peripheral nervous systems visibly increased within 15 min of worm-pair separation when compared to that observed in closely coupled worm pairs. Finally, exposure of adult worms to forskolin induced hyperkinesias in a time and dose dependent manner with 100 µM forskolin significantly increasing the frequency of gross worm movements to 5.3 times that of control worms (P≤0.001). Collectively these data are consistent with PKA playing a central part in motor activity and neuronal communication, and possibly interplay between these two systems in S. mansoni. This study, the first to localize a protein kinase when exclusively in an activated state in adult S. mansoni, provides valuable insight into the intricacies of functional protein kinase signalling in the context of whole schistosome physiology

  11. Functional mapping of protein kinase A reveals its importance in adult Schistosoma mansoni motor activity.

    PubMed

    de Saram, Paulu S R; Ressurreição, Margarida; Davies, Angela J; Rollinson, David; Emery, Aidan M; Walker, Anthony J

    2013-01-01

    Cyclic AMP (cAMP)-dependent protein kinase/protein kinase A (PKA) is the major transducer of cAMP signalling in eukaryotic cells. Here, using laser scanning confocal microscopy and 'smart' anti-phospho PKA antibodies that exclusively detect activated PKA, we provide a detailed in situ analysis of PKA signalling in intact adult Schistosoma mansoni, a causative agent of debilitating human intestinal schistosomiasis. In both adult male and female worms, activated PKA was consistently found associated with the tegument, oral and ventral suckers, oesophagus and somatic musculature. In addition, the seminal vesicle and gynaecophoric canal muscles of the male displayed activated PKA whereas in female worms activated PKA localized to the ootype wall, the ovary, and the uterus particularly around eggs during expulsion. Exposure of live worms to the PKA activator forskolin (50 µM) resulted in striking PKA activation in the central and peripheral nervous system including at nerve endings at/near the tegument surface. Such neuronal PKA activation was also observed without forskolin treatment, but only in a single batch of worms. In addition, PKA activation within the central and peripheral nervous systems visibly increased within 15 min of worm-pair separation when compared to that observed in closely coupled worm pairs. Finally, exposure of adult worms to forskolin induced hyperkinesias in a time and dose dependent manner with 100 µM forskolin significantly increasing the frequency of gross worm movements to 5.3 times that of control worms (P≤0.001). Collectively these data are consistent with PKA playing a central part in motor activity and neuronal communication, and possibly interplay between these two systems in S. mansoni. This study, the first to localize a protein kinase when exclusively in an activated state in adult S. mansoni, provides valuable insight into the intricacies of functional protein kinase signalling in the context of whole schistosome physiology.

  12. 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

  13. How does environmental enrichment reduce repetitive motor behaviors? Neuronal activation and dendritic morphology in the indirect basal ganglia pathway of a mouse model.

    PubMed

    Bechard, Allison R; Cacodcar, Nadia; King, Michael A; Lewis, Mark H

    2016-02-15

    Repetitive motor behaviors are observed in many neurodevelopmental and neurological disorders (e.g., autism spectrum disorders, Tourette syndrome, fronto-temporal dementia). Despite their clinical importance, the neurobiology underlying these highly stereotyped, apparently functionless behaviors is poorly understood. Identification of mechanisms that mediate the development of repetitive behaviors will aid in the discovery of new therapeutic targets and treatment development. Using a deer mouse model, we have shown that decreased indirect basal ganglia pathway activity is associated with high levels of repetitive behavior. Environmental enrichment (EE) markedly attenuates the development of such aberrant behaviors in mice, although mechanisms driving this effect are unknown. We hypothesized that EE would reduce repetitive motor behaviors by increasing indirect basal ganglia pathway function. We assessed neuronal activation and dendritic spine density in basal ganglia of adult deer mice reared in EE and standard housing. Significant increases in neuronal activation and dendritic spine densities were observed only in the subthalamic nucleus (STN) and globus pallidus (GP), and only for those mice that exhibited an EE-induced decrease in repetitive motor behavior. As the STN and GP lie within the indirect pathway, these data suggest that EE-induced attenuation of repetitive motor behaviors is associated with increased functional activation of the indirect basal ganglia pathway. These results are consistent with our other findings highlighting the importance of the indirect pathway in mediating repetitive motor behaviors. PMID:26620495

  14. How does environmental enrichment reduce repetitive motor behaviors? Neuronal activation and dendritic morphology in the indirect basal ganglia pathway of a mouse model.

    PubMed

    Bechard, Allison R; Cacodcar, Nadia; King, Michael A; Lewis, Mark H

    2016-02-15

    Repetitive motor behaviors are observed in many neurodevelopmental and neurological disorders (e.g., autism spectrum disorders, Tourette syndrome, fronto-temporal dementia). Despite their clinical importance, the neurobiology underlying these highly stereotyped, apparently functionless behaviors is poorly understood. Identification of mechanisms that mediate the development of repetitive behaviors will aid in the discovery of new therapeutic targets and treatment development. Using a deer mouse model, we have shown that decreased indirect basal ganglia pathway activity is associated with high levels of repetitive behavior. Environmental enrichment (EE) markedly attenuates the development of such aberrant behaviors in mice, although mechanisms driving this effect are unknown. We hypothesized that EE would reduce repetitive motor behaviors by increasing indirect basal ganglia pathway function. We assessed neuronal activation and dendritic spine density in basal ganglia of adult deer mice reared in EE and standard housing. Significant increases in neuronal activation and dendritic spine densities were observed only in the subthalamic nucleus (STN) and globus pallidus (GP), and only for those mice that exhibited an EE-induced decrease in repetitive motor behavior. As the STN and GP lie within the indirect pathway, these data suggest that EE-induced attenuation of repetitive motor behaviors is associated with increased functional activation of the indirect basal ganglia pathway. These results are consistent with our other findings highlighting the importance of the indirect pathway in mediating repetitive motor behaviors.

  15. Grasping synergies: a motor-control approach to the mirror neuron mechanism.

    PubMed

    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.

  16. 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.

  17. Dynamic restructuring of a rhythmic motor program by a single mechanoreceptor neuron in lobster.

    PubMed

    Combes, D; Meyrand, P; Simmers, J

    1999-05-01

    We have explored the synaptic and cellular mechanisms by which a single primary mechanosensory neuron, the anterior gastric receptor (AGR), reconfigures motor output of the gastric mill central pattern generator (CPG) in the stomatogastric nervous system (STNS) of the lobster Homarus gammarus. AGR is activated in vivo by contraction of the medial tooth protractor muscle gm1 and accesses the gastric CPG via excitation of two in-parallel interneurons, the excitatory commissural gastric (CG) and the inhibitory gastric inhibitor (GI). In the spontaneously active STNS in vitro, weak firing of AGR in time with gastric mill motoneurons (GM) reinforces an ongoing type I gastric mill rhythm in which all gastric teeth power-stroke motoneurons are synchronously active. With strong AGR firing, these phase relationships switch abruptly to a type II pattern in which lateral and medial teeth power-stroke motoneurons fire in antiphase. Our results suggest that these bimodal actions on the gastric mill rhythm depend on the balance of firing of the CG and GI interneurons and that selection of the pathway resides in their different postsynaptic sensitivities to AGR. Whereas high intrinsic firing rates of the CG neuron ensure that the excitatory pathway predominates during low levels of sensory input, strong synaptic facilitation in the GI neuron favors the inhibitory pathway during high levels of receptor activity. Feedback from a single mechanosensory neuron is thus able, in an activity-dependent manner, to specify different motor programs from a single central pattern-generating network. PMID:10212320

  18. 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.

  19. Frizzled3 controls axonal development in distinct populations of cranial and spinal motor neurons

    PubMed Central

    Hua, Zhong L; Smallwood, Philip M; Nathans, Jeremy

    2013-01-01

    Disruption of the Frizzled3 (Fz3) gene leads to defects in axonal growth in the VIIth and XIIth cranial motor nerves, the phrenic nerve, and the dorsal motor nerve in fore- and hindlimbs. In Fz3−/− limbs, dorsal axons stall at a precise location in the nerve plexus, and, in contrast to the phenotypes of several other axon path-finding mutants, Fz3−/− dorsal axons do not reroute to other trajectories. Affected motor neurons undergo cell death 2 days prior to the normal wave of developmental cell death that coincides with innervation of muscle targets, providing in vivo evidence for the idea that developing neurons with long-range axons are programmed to die unless their axons arrive at intermediate targets on schedule. These experiments implicate planar cell polarity (PCP) signaling in motor axon growth and they highlight the question of how PCP proteins, which form cell–cell complexes in epithelia, function in the dynamic context of axonal growth. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.01482.001 PMID:24347548

  20. [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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Neural correlates of the age-related changes in motor sequence learning and motor adaptation in older adults.

    PubMed

    King, Bradley R; Fogel, Stuart M; Albouy, Geneviève; Doyon, Julien

    2013-01-01

    As the world's population ages, a deeper understanding of the relationship between aging and motor learning will become increasingly relevant in basic research and applied settings. In this context, this review aims to address the effects of age on motor sequence learning (MSL) and motor adaptation (MA) with respect to behavioral, neurological, and neuroimaging findings. Previous behavioral research investigating the influence of aging on motor learning has consistently reported the following results. First, the initial acquisition of motor sequences is not altered, except under conditions of increased task complexity. Second, older adults demonstrate deficits in motor sequence memory consolidation. And, third, although older adults demonstrate deficits during the exposure phase of MA paradigms, the aftereffects following removal of the sensorimotor perturbation are similar to young adults, suggesting that the adaptive ability of older adults is relatively intact. This paper will review the potential neural underpinnings of these behavioral results, with a particular emphasis on the influence of age-related dysfunctions in the cortico-striatal system on motor learning.

  4. Rhythmic patterns evoked in locust leg motor neurons by the muscarinic agonist pilocarpine.

    PubMed

    Ryckebusch, S; Laurent, G

    1993-05-01

    1. When an isolated metathoracic ganglion of the locust was superfused with the muscarinic cholinergic agonist pilocarpine, rhythmic activity was induced in leg motor neurons. The frequency of this induced rhythm increased approximately linearly from 0 to 0.2 Hz with concentrations of pilocarpine from 10(-5) to 10(-4) M. Rhythmic activity evoked by pilocarpine could be completely and reversibly blocked by 3 x 10(-5) M atropine, but was unaffected by 10(-4) M d-tubocurarine. 2. For each hemiganglion, the observed rhythm was characterized by two main phases: a levator phase, during which the anterior coxal rotator, levators of the trochanter, flexors of the tibia, and common inhibitory motor neurons were active; and a depressor phase, during which depressors of the trochanter, extensors of the tibia, and depressors of the tarsus were active. Activity in depressors of the trochanter followed the activity of the levators of the trochanter with a short, constant interburst latency. Activity in the levator of the tarsus spanned both phases. 3. The levator phase was short compared with the period (0.5-2 s, or 10-20% of the period) and did not depend on the period. The interval between the end of a levator burst and the beginning of the following one thus increased with cycle period. The depressor phase was more variable, and was usually shorter than the interval between successive levator bursts. 4. Motor neurons in a same pool often received common discrete synaptic potentials (e.g., levators of trochanter or extensors of tibia), suggesting common drive during the rhythm. Coactive motor neurons on opposite sides (such as left trochanteral depressors and right trochanteral levators), however, did not share obvious common postsynaptic potentials. Depolarization of a pool of motor neurons during its phase of activity was generally accompanied by hyperpolarization of its antagonist(s) on the same side. 5. Rhythmic activity was generally evoked in both hemiganglia of the

  5. Expression of polysialylated neural cell adhesion molecules on adult stem cells after neuronal differentiation of inner ear spiral ganglion neurons

    SciTech Connect

    Park, Kyoung Ho; Yeo, Sang Won; Troy, Frederic A.

    2014-10-17

    Highlights: • PolySia expressed on neurons primarily during early stages of neuronal development. • PolySia–NCAM is expressed on neural stem cells from adult guinea pig spiral ganglion. • PolySia is a biomarker that modulates neuronal differentiation in inner ear stem cells. - Abstract: During brain development, polysialylated (polySia) neural cell adhesion molecules (polySia–NCAMs) modulate cell–cell adhesive interactions involved in synaptogenesis, neural plasticity, myelination, and neural stem cell (NSC) proliferation and differentiation. Our findings show that polySia–NCAM is expressed on NSC isolated from adult guinea pig spiral ganglion (GPSG), and in neurons and Schwann cells after differentiation of the NSC with epidermal, glia, fibroblast growth factors (GFs) and neurotrophins. These differentiated cells were immunoreactive with mAb’s to polySia, NCAM, β-III tubulin, nestin, S-100 and stained with BrdU. NSC could regenerate and be differentiated into neurons and Schwann cells. We conclude: (1) polySia is expressed on NSC isolated from adult GPSG and on neurons and Schwann cells differentiated from these NSC; (2) polySia is expressed on neurons primarily during the early stage of neuronal development and is expressed on Schwann cells at points of cell–cell contact; (3) polySia is a functional biomarker that modulates neuronal differentiation in inner ear stem cells. These new findings suggest that replacement of defective cells in the inner ear of hearing impaired patients using adult spiral ganglion neurons may offer potential hope to improve the quality of life for patients with auditory dysfunction and impaired hearing disorders.

  6. 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

  7. Motor neuron-specific overexpression of the presynaptic choline transporter: impact on motor endurance and evoked muscle activity.

    PubMed

    Lund, D; Ruggiero, A M; Ferguson, S M; Wright, J; English, B A; Reisz, P A; Whitaker, S M; Peltier, A C; Blakely, R D

    2010-12-29

    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 h. 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 h, 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.

  8. Development of Young Adults' Fine Motor Skills when Learning to Play Percussion Instruments

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gzibovskis, Talis; Marnauza, Mara

    2012-01-01

    When playing percussion instruments, the main activity is done with the help of a motion or motor skills; to perform it, developed fine motor skills are necessary: the speed and precision of fingers, hands and palms. The aim of the research was to study and test the development of young adults' fine motor skills while learning to play percussion…

  9. 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…

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. The Complete Genome Sequences, Unique Mutational Spectra, and Developmental Potency of Adult Neurons Revealed by Cloning.

    PubMed

    Hazen, Jennifer L; Faust, Gregory G; Rodriguez, Alberto R; Ferguson, William C; Shumilina, Svetlana; Clark, Royden A; Boland, Michael J; Martin, Greg; Chubukov, Pavel; Tsunemoto, Rachel K; Torkamani, Ali; Kupriyanov, Sergey; Hall, Ira M; Baldwin, Kristin K

    2016-03-16

    Somatic mutation in neurons is linked to neurologic disease and implicated in cell-type diversification. However, the origin, extent, and patterns of genomic mutation in neurons remain unknown. We established a nuclear transfer method to clonally amplify the genomes of neurons from adult mice for whole-genome sequencing. Comprehensive mutation detection and independent validation revealed that individual neurons harbor ∼100 unique mutations from all classes but lack recurrent rearrangements. Most neurons contain at least one gene-disrupting mutation and rare (0-2) mobile element insertions. The frequency and gene bias of neuronal mutations differ from other lineages, potentially due to novel mechanisms governing postmitotic mutation. Fertile mice were cloned from several neurons, establishing the compatibility of mutated adult neuronal genomes with reprogramming to pluripotency and development. PMID:26948891

  15. The Complete Genome Sequences, Unique Mutational Spectra, and Developmental Potency of Adult Neurons Revealed by Cloning.

    PubMed

    Hazen, Jennifer L; Faust, Gregory G; Rodriguez, Alberto R; Ferguson, William C; Shumilina, Svetlana; Clark, Royden A; Boland, Michael J; Martin, Greg; Chubukov, Pavel; Tsunemoto, Rachel K; Torkamani, Ali; Kupriyanov, Sergey; Hall, Ira M; Baldwin, Kristin K

    2016-03-16

    Somatic mutation in neurons is linked to neurologic disease and implicated in cell-type diversification. However, the origin, extent, and patterns of genomic mutation in neurons remain unknown. We established a nuclear transfer method to clonally amplify the genomes of neurons from adult mice for whole-genome sequencing. Comprehensive mutation detection and independent validation revealed that individual neurons harbor ∼100 unique mutations from all classes but lack recurrent rearrangements. Most neurons contain at least one gene-disrupting mutation and rare (0-2) mobile element insertions. The frequency and gene bias of neuronal mutations differ from other lineages, potentially due to novel mechanisms governing postmitotic mutation. Fertile mice were cloned from several neurons, establishing the compatibility of mutated adult neuronal genomes with reprogramming to pluripotency and development.

  16. Motor Control Test Responses to Balance Perturbations in Adults with an Intellectual Disability

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hale, Leigh; Miller, Rebekah; Barach, Alice; Skinner, Margot; Gray, Andrew

    2009-01-01

    Background: The aims of this small exploratory study were to determine (1) whether adults with intellectual disability who had a recent history of falling had slower motor responses to postural perturbations than a sample of adults without disability when measured with the Motor Control Test (MCT) and (2) to identify any learning effects…

  17. Spinal motor and sensory neurons are androgen targets in an acrobatic bird.

    PubMed

    Fuxjager, Matthew J; Schultz, J Douglas; Barske, Julia; Feng, Ni Y; Fusani, Leonida; Mirzatoni, Anahid; Day, Lainy B; Hau, Michaela; Schlinger, Barney A

    2012-08-01

    Sex steroids affect the motivation to court mates, but less is known about how they influence motor movements associated with courtship behavior. Steroidal control of motor function may be especially important for species in which courtship requires superior strength, stamina, and neuromuscular coordination. Here we use the golden-collared manakin (Manacus vitellinus) to examine whether the neuromuscular circuitry that controls motoric aspects of courtship activity is sensitive to androgens. Males of this tropical species attract mates by rapidly jumping among branches in a courtship arena and using their wings to produce loud wing snaps. Testosterone activates this display via the androgen receptor (AR), and past work reveals that manakins injected with radio-labeled T ((3)H-T) accumulate radioactivity in the spinal cord. Thus, we used quantitative PCR to measure AR, estrogen receptor-α (ER-α) subtype, and aromatase (AROM) mRNA in spinal cords of male and female manakins and zebra finches. Expression of AR, but not ER-α or aromatase, was higher throughout the manakin spinal cord compared with the zebra finch. Next, we tested whether AR-expressing skeletal muscles are innervated by motor and sensory neurons that also express AR. To do this, we backfilled spinal neurons by injecting fluorescent tracers into select AR-sensitive wing and leg muscles of wild caught male and female manakins. We then removed these spinal cords and measured AR expression with in situ hybridization. Both sexes showed abundant AR mRNA in the cervical and lumbosacral spinal enlargements as well as in dorsal root ganglia attached to these enlargements. Together our findings suggest that androgens act widely on peripheral motor and sensory circuits in golden-collared manakins to influence wing snapping displays. PMID:22635677

  18. A Large-Scale Behavioral Screen to Identify Neurons Controlling Motor Programs in the Drosophila Brain

    PubMed Central

    Flood, Thomas F.; Gorczyca, Michael; White, Benjamin H.; Ito, Kei; Yoshihara, Motojiro

    2013-01-01

    Drosophila is increasingly used for understanding the neural basis of behavior through genetically targeted manipulation of specific neurons. The primary approach in this regard has relied on the suppression of neuronal activity. Here, we report the results of a novel approach to find and characterize neural circuits by expressing neuronal activators to stimulate subsets of neurons to induce behavior. Classical electrophysiological studies demonstrated that stimulation of command neurons could activate neural circuits to trigger fixed action patterns. Our method was designed to find such command neurons for diverse behaviors by screening flies in which random subsets of brain cells were activated. We took advantage of the large collection of Gal4 lines from the NP project and crossed 835 Gal4 strains with relatively limited Gal4 expression in the brain to flies carrying a UAS transgene encoding TRPM8, a cold-sensitive ion channel. Low temperatures opened the TRPM8 channel in Gal4-expressing cells, leading to their excitation, and in many cases induced overt behavioral changes in adult flies. Paralysis was reproducibly observed in the progeny of crosses with 84 lines, whereas more specific behaviors were induced with 24 other lines. Stimulation performed using the heat-activated channel, TrpA1, resulted in clearer and more robust behaviors, including flight, feeding, and egg-laying. Through follow-up studies starting from this screen, we expect to find key components of the neural circuits underlying specific behaviors, thus providing a new avenue for their functional analysis. PMID:23934998

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

  20. Retinoid signaling and Neurogenin2 function are coupled for the specification of spinal motor neurons through a chromatin modifier CBP

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Seunghee; Lee, Bora; Lee, Jae W.; Lee, Soo-Kyung

    2009-01-01

    SUMMARY Extracellular signals and cell-intrinsic transcription factors cooperatively instruct generation of diverse neurons. However, little is known about how neural progenitors integrate both cues and orchestrate chromatin changes for neuronal specification. Here, we report that extrinsic signal retinoic acid (RA) and intrinsic transcription factor Neurogenin2 (Ngn2) collaboratively trigger transcriptionally active chromatin in spinal motor neuron genes during development. Retinoic acid receptor (RAR) binds Ngn2 and is thereby recruited to motor neuron genes targeted by Ngn2. RA then facilitates the recruitment of a histone acetyltransferase CBP to the Ngn2/RAR-complex, markedly inducing histone H3/H4-acetylation. Correspondingly, timely inactivation of CBP and its paralogue p300 results in profound defects in motor neuron specification and motor axonal projection, accompanied by significantly reduced histone H3-acetylation of the motor neuron enhancer. Our study uncovers the mechanism by which extrinsic RA-signal and intrinsic transcription factor Ngn2 cooperate for cell-fate specification through their synergistic activity to trigger transcriptionally active chromatin. PMID:19524524

  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. 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

  3. Riluzole suppresses postinhibitory rebound in an excitatory motor neuron of the medicinal leech.

    PubMed

    Angstadt, James D; Simone, Amanda M

    2014-08-01

    Postinhibitory rebound (PIR) is an intrinsic property often exhibited by neurons involved in generating rhythmic motor behaviors. Cell DE-3, a dorsal excitatory motor neuron in the medicinal leech exhibits PIR responses that persist for several seconds following the offset of hyperpolarizing stimuli and are suppressed in reduced Na(+) solutions or by Ca(2+) channel blockers. The long duration and Na(+) dependence of PIR suggest a possible role for persistent Na(+) current (I NaP). In vertebrate neurons, the neuroprotective agent riluzole can produce a selective block of I NaP. This study demonstrates that riluzole inhibits cell DE-3 PIR in a concentration- and Ca(2+)-dependent manner. In 1.8 mM Ca(2+) solution, 50-100 µM riluzole selectively blocked the late phase of PIR, an effect similar to that of the neuromodulator serotonin. However, 200 µM riluzole blocked both the early and late phases of PIR. Increasing extracellular Ca(2+) to 10 mM strengthened PIR, but high riluzole concentrations continued to suppress both phases of PIR. These results indicate that riluzole may suppress PIR via a nonspecific inhibition of Ca(2+) conductances and suggest that a Ca(2+)-activated nonspecific current (I(CAN)), rather than I NaP, may underlie the Na(+)-dependent component of PIR.

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

    We have performed whole-exome sequencing in a family trio with a 16-year-old girl suffering of progressive motor neuron disease. There was no family history of the disease and no parental consanguinity. Our exome analysis indicated the proband as a compound heterozygote for two missense variants in the TECPR2 gene according to a recessive mode of inheritance. The TECPR2 gene has been reported as a positive regulator of autophagy which is an essential mechanism for maintaining neuron homeostasis and survival and plays a key role in major adult and pediatric neurodegenerative diseases. Variants in this gene have been found responsible for a recently described form of hereditary spastic paraplegia called SPG49 in two previous reports. We propose that both variants causing amino acid substitution, p.Leu684Val and p.Thr903Met, inherited in trans-phase compound heterozygote form, can be responsible for the phenotype observed in our patient. We also consider the possible contribution of a heterozygous variant in the SPG7 gene. Sanger sequencing confirmed the segregation of variants within the family tree including the patient's unaffected brother. PMID:27406698

  6. 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.

  7. Mutated CTSF in adult-onset neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis and FTD

    PubMed Central

    van der Zee, Julie; Mariën, Peter; Crols, Roeland; Van Mossevelde, Sara; Dillen, Lubina; Perrone, Federica; Engelborghs, Sebastiaan; Verhoeven, Jo; D'aes, Tine; Ceuterick-De Groote, Chantal; Sieben, Anne; Versijpt, Jan; Cras, Patrick; Martin, Jean-Jacques

    2016-01-01

    Objective: To investigate the molecular basis of a Belgian family with autosomal recessive adult-onset neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (ANCL or Kufs disease [KD]) with pronounced frontal lobe involvement and to expand the findings to a cohort of unrelated Belgian patients with frontotemporal dementia (FTD). Methods: Genetic screening in the ANCL family and FTD cohort (n = 461) was performed using exome sequencing and targeted massive parallel resequencing. Results: We identified a homozygous mutation (p.Ile404Thr) in the Cathepsin F (CTSF) gene cosegregating in the ANCL family. No other mutations were found that could explain the disease in this family. All 4 affected sibs developed motor symptoms and early-onset dementia with prominent frontal features. Two of them evolved to akinetic mutism. Disease presentation showed marked phenotypic variation with the onset ranging from 26 to 50 years. Myoclonic epilepsy in one of the sibs was suggestive for KD type A, while epilepsy was not present in the other sibs who presented with clinical features of KD type B. In a Belgian cohort of unrelated patients with FTD, the same heterozygous p.Arg245His mutation was identified in 2 patients who shared a common haplotype. Conclusions: A homozygous CTSF mutation was identified in a recessive ANCL pedigree. In contrast to the previous associations of CTSF with KD type B, our findings suggest that CTSF genetic testing should also be considered in patients with KD type A as well as in early-onset dementia with prominent frontal lobe and motor symptoms.

  8. Empathy, autistic traits, and motor resonance in adults with Turner syndrome.

    PubMed

    Lepage, Jean-François; Lortie, Mélissa; Deal, Cheri L; Théoret, Hugo

    2014-01-01

    Turner syndrome is a genetic condition resulting from the partial or complete absence of an X-chromosome in phenotypic females. Individuals with Turner syndrome often display social difficulties that are reminiscent of those associated with autistic spectrum disorders (ASD), conditions associated with empathy and mirror-neuron system (MNS) deficits. The goal of the present study was (1) to investigate the extent to which adults with Turner syndrome display autistic and empathic traits, and (2) to probe the integrity of the MNS in this neurogenetic disorder. Sixteen individuals with Turner syndrome and 16 age-, sex-, and IQ-matched controls took part in a neuropsychological assessment where the Weschler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence, the Autism Spectrum Quotient and the Empathy Quotient were administered. Functioning of the MNS was assessed by measuring motor cortex activity with transcranial magnetic stimulation during an action-observation task. Results show that individuals with Turner syndrome do not differ significantly from controls regarding autistic or empathic traits, and present normal functioning of the MNS during action observation. Correlational analysis showed a significant positive relationship between scores on the Empathy Quotient and motor facilitation during action observation, bringing further support to the hypothesis that MNS activity is related to sociocognitive competence.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-05-01

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

  12. Functional analysis of the sensory motor pathway of resistance reflex in crayfish. II. Integration Of sensory inputs in motor neurons.

    PubMed

    Le Ray, D; Clarac, F; Cattaert, D

    1997-12-01

    The in vitro preparation of the fifth thoracic ganglion of the crayfish was used to analyze the connections supporting the monosynaptic reflex responses recorded from the depressor motor neurons (Dep MNs). Dep MNs are directly connected by the release-sensitive afferents from a proprioceptor, the coxo-basipodite chordotonal organ (CBCO), which is released by upward movements of the leg. Sine-wave movements, applied to the CBCO strand from the most released position, allowed us to stimulate the greatest part of release-sensitive CBCO fibers. Systematic intracellular recordings from all Dep MNs performed in high divalent cation saline allowed us to determine the connections between CBCO afferents and their postsynaptic Dep MNs: it highlighted the sequential activation of the different Dep MNs involved in the monosynaptic reflex. The convergence of different sensory afferents onto a given Dep MN, and the divergence of a given sensory afferent onto several Dep MNs illustrates the complexity of the sensory-motor reflex loops involved in the control of locomotion and posture. Electrophysiological experiments and simulations were performed to analyze the mechanisms by which Dep MNs integrate the large amount of sensory input that they receive. Paired intracellular recording experiments demonstrated that postsynaptic response shapes characteristic of both phasic and phaso-tonic afferents could be induced by varying the presynaptic firing frequency, whatever the postsynaptic Dep MN. Compartment model simulations were used to analyze the role of the sensory-motor synapse characteristics in the summation properties of postsynaptic MN. They demonstrated the importance of the postsynaptic compartment geometry, because large postsynaptic compartments allowed to generate greater excitatory postsynaptic potential (EPSP) summations than small ones. The results presented show that velocity information is the most effective to elicit large compound EPSPs in MNs. We therefore suggest

  13. Emergency Department Visits by Older Adults for Motor Vehicle Collisions

    PubMed Central

    Vogel, Jody A.; Ginde, Adit A.; Lowenstein, Steven R.; Betz, Marian E.

    2013-01-01

    Introduction: To describe the epidemiology and characteristics of emergency department (ED) visits by older adults for motor vehicle collisions (MVC) in the United States (U.S.). Methods: We analyzed ED visits for MVCs using data from the 2003–2007 National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NHAMCS). Using U.S. Census data, we calculated annual incidence rates of driver or passenger MVC-related ED visits and examined visit characteristics, including triage acuity, tests performed and hospital admission or discharge. We compared older (65+ years) and younger (18–64 years) MVC patients and calculated odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) to measure the strength of associations between age group and various visit characteristics. Multivariable logistic regression was used to identify independent predictors of admissions for MVC-related injuries among older adults. Results: From 2003–2007, there were an average of 237,000 annual ED visits by older adults for MVCs. The annual ED visit rate for MVCs was 6.4 (95% CI 4.6–8.3) visits per 1,000 for older adults and 16.4 (95% CI 14.0–18.8) visits per 1,000 for younger adults. Compared to younger MVC patients, after adjustment for gender, race and ethnicity, older MVC patients were more likely to have at least one imaging study performed (OR 3.69, 95% CI 1.46–9.36). Older MVC patients were not significantly more likely to arrive by ambulance (OR 1.47; 95% CI 0.76–2.86), have a high triage acuity (OR 1.56; 95% CI 0.77–3.14), or to have a diagnosis of a head, spinal cord or torso injury (OR 0.97; 95% CI 0.42–2.23) as compared to younger MVC patients after adjustment for gender, race and ethnicity. Overall, 14.5% (95% CI 9.8–19.2) of older MVC patients and 6.1% (95% CI 4.8–7.5) of younger MVC patients were admitted to the hospital. There was also a non-statistically significant trend toward hospital admission for older versus younger MVC patients (OR 1.78; 95% CI 0.71–4.43), and

  14. Innexins in the lobster stomatogastric nervous system: cloning, phylogenetic analysis, developmental changes and expression within adult identified dye and electrically coupled neurons.

    PubMed

    Ducret, E; Alexopoulos, H; Le Feuvre, Y; Davies, J A; Meyrand, P; Bacon, J P; Fénelon, V S

    2006-12-01

    Gap junctions play a key role in the operation of neuronal networks by enabling direct electrical and metabolic communication between neurons. Suitable models to investigate their role in network operation and plasticity are invertebrate motor networks, which are built of comparatively few identified neurons, and can be examined throughout development; an excellent example is the lobster stomatogastric nervous system. In invertebrates, gap junctions are formed by proteins that belong to the innexin family. Here, we report the first molecular characterization of two crustacean innexins: the lobster Homarus gammarus innexin 1 (Hg-inx1) and 2 (Hg-inx2). Phylogenetic analysis reveals that innexin gene duplication occurred within the arthropod clade before the separation of insect and crustacean lineages. Using in situ hybridization, we find that each innexin is expressed within the adult and developing lobster stomatogastric nervous system and undergoes a marked down-regulation throughout development within the stomatogastric ganglion (STG). The number of innexin expressing neurons is significantly higher in the embryo than in the adult. By combining in situ hybridization, dye and electrical coupling experiments on identified neurons, we demonstrate that adult neurons that express at least one innexin are dye and electrically coupled with at least one other STG neuron. Finally, two STG neurons display no detectable amount of either innexin mRNAs but may express weak electrical coupling with other STG neurons, suggesting the existence of other forms of innexins. Altogether, we provide evidence that innexins are expressed within small neuronal networks built of dye and electrically coupled neurons and may be developmentally regulated. PMID:17156373

  15. The Role of Adult-Born Neurons in the Constantly Changing Olfactory Bulb Network

    PubMed Central

    Malvaut, Sarah; Saghatelyan, Armen

    2016-01-01

    The adult mammalian brain is remarkably plastic and constantly undergoes structurofunctional modifications in response to environmental stimuli. In many regions plasticity is manifested by modifications in the efficacy of existing synaptic connections or synapse formation and elimination. In a few regions, however, plasticity is brought by the addition of new neurons that integrate into established neuronal networks. This type of neuronal plasticity is particularly prominent in the olfactory bulb (OB) where thousands of neuronal progenitors are produced on a daily basis in the subventricular zone (SVZ) and migrate along the rostral migratory stream (RMS) towards the OB. In the OB, these neuronal precursors differentiate into local interneurons, mature, and functionally integrate into the bulbar network by establishing output synapses with principal neurons. Despite continuous progress, it is still not well understood how normal functioning of the OB is preserved in the constantly remodelling bulbar network and what role adult-born neurons play in odor behaviour. In this review we will discuss different levels of morphofunctional plasticity effected by adult-born neurons and their functional role in the adult OB and also highlight the possibility that different subpopulations of adult-born cells may fulfill distinct functions in the OB neuronal network and odor behaviour. PMID:26839709

  16. Multiple forebrain systems converge on motor neurons innervating the thyroarytenoid muscle

    PubMed Central

    Van Daele, Douglas J.; Cassell, Martin D.

    2009-01-01

    The present study investigated the central connections of motor neurons innervating the thyroarytenoid laryngeal muscle that is active in swallowing, respiration and vocalization. In both intact and sympathectomized rats, the pseudorabies virus (PRV) was inoculated into the muscle. After initial infection of laryngomotor neurons in the ipsilateral loose division of the nucleus ambiguous (NA) by 3 days post-inoculation., PRV spread to the ipsilateral compact portion of the NA, the central and intermediate divisions of the nucleus tractus solitarii (NTS), the Botzinger complex, and the parvocellular reticular formation by 4 days. Infection was subsequently expanded to include the ipsilateral granular and dysgranular parietal insular cortex, the ipsilateral medial division of the central nucleus of the amygdala, the lateral, paraventricular, ventrolateral and medial preoptic nuclei of the hypothalamus (generally bilaterally), the lateral periaqueductal gray, the A7 and oral and caudal pontine nuclei. At the latest time points sampled post-inoculation (5 days), infected neurons were identified in the ipsilateral agranular insular cortex, the caudal parietal insular cortex, the anterior cingulate cortex, and the contralateral motor cortex. In the amygdala, infection had spread to the lateral central nucleus and the parvocellular portion of the basolateral nucleus. Hypothalamic infection was largely characterized by an increase in the number of infected cells in earlier infected regions though the posterior, dorsomedial, tuberomammillary and mammillary nuclei contained infected cells. Comparison with previous connectional data suggest PRV followed three interconnected systems originating in the forebrain; a bilateral system including the ventral anterior cingulate cortex, periaqueductal gray and ventral respiratory group; an ipsilateral system involving the parietal insular cortex, central nucleus of the amygdala and parvicellular reticular formation, and a minor

  17. Antinociception induced by motor cortex stimulation: somatotopy of behavioral response and profile of neuronal activation.

    PubMed

    França, Nubia R M; Toniolo, Elaine F; Franciosi, Adriano C; Alves, Adilson S; de Andrade, Daniel C; Fonoff, Erich T; Britto, Luiz R; Dale, Camila S

    2013-08-01

    Motor cortex stimulation (MCS) is used as a therapy for patients with refractory neuropathic pain. Experimental evidence suggests that the motor cortex (MC) is involved in the modulation of normal nociceptive response, but the underlying mechanisms have not been clarified yet. In previous studies, we demonstrated that MCS increases the nociceptive threshold of naive conscious rats by inhibiting thalamic sensory neurons and disinhibiting the neurons in periaqueductal gray (PAG), with the involvement of the opioid system. The aim of this study was to investigate the possible somatotopy of the motor cortex on MCS-induced antinociception and the pattern of neuronal activation evaluated by Fos and Egr-1 immunolabel in an attempt to better understand the relation between MC and analgesia. Rats received epidural electrode implants placed over the MC, in three distinct areas (forelimb, hindlimb or tail), according to a functional mapping established in previous studies. Nociceptive threshold was evaluated under 15-min electrical stimulating sessions. MCS induced selective antinociception in the limb related to the stimulated cortex, with no changes in other evaluated areas. MCS decreased Fos immunoreactivity (Fos-IR) in the superficial layers of the dorsal horn of the spinal cord for all evaluated groups and increased Fos-IR in the PAG, although no changes were observed in the PAG for the tail group. Egr-1 results were similar to those obtained for Fos. Data shown herein demonstrate that MCS elicits a substantial and selective antinociceptive effect, which is mediated, at least in part, by the activation of descendent inhibitory pain pathway.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Cobben, J.M.; Steege, G. van der; Grootscholten, P.

    1995-10-01

    DNA studies in 103 spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) patients from The Netherlands revealed homozygosity for a survival motor neuron (SMN) deletion in 96 (93%) of 103. Neuronal apoptosis inhibitory protein deletions were found in 38 (37%) of 103 and occurred most frequently in SMA type 1. SMN deletions have not yet been described to occur in healthy subjects. In this study, however, four unaffected sibs from two SMA families showed homozygosity for SMN deletions. Homozygosity for an SMN deletion in unaffected persons seems to be very rare. Therefore, demonstration of a homozygous SMN deletion in a clinically presumed SMA patient should be considered as a confirmation of the diagnosis, whether or not SMN is in fact the causal gene for SMA. 19 refs., 2 figs.

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  1. A critical period for experience-dependent remodeling of adult-born neuron connectivity.

    PubMed

    Bergami, Matteo; Masserdotti, Giacomo; Temprana, Silvio G; Motori, Elisa; Eriksson, Therese M; Göbel, Jana; Yang, Sung Min; Conzelmann, Karl-Klaus; Schinder, Alejandro F; Götz, Magdalena; Berninger, Benedikt

    2015-02-18

    Neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus (DG) of the adult hippocampus is a process regulated by experience. To understand whether experience also modifies the connectivity of new neurons, we systematically investigated changes in their innervation following environmental enrichment (EE). We found that EE exposure between 2-6 weeks following neuron birth, rather than merely increasing the number of new neurons, profoundly affected their pattern of monosynaptic inputs. Both local innervation by interneurons and to even greater degree long-distance innervation by cortical neurons were markedly enhanced. Furthermore, following EE, new neurons received inputs from CA3 and CA1 inhibitory neurons that were rarely observed under control conditions. While EE-induced changes in inhibitory innervation were largely transient, cortical innervation remained increased after returning animals to control conditions. Our findings demonstrate an unprecedented experience-dependent reorganization of connections impinging onto adult-born neurons, which is likely to have important impact on their contribution to hippocampal information processing.

  2. 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

  3. Information transfer between neurons in the motor cortex triggered by visual cues.

    PubMed

    Kim, Sanggyun; Takahashi, Kazutaka; Hatsopoulos, Nicholas G; Coleman, Todd P

    2011-01-01

    It was previously shown that beta oscillations of local field potentials in the arm area of the primary motor cortex (MI) of nonhuman primates propagate as travelling waves across MI of monkeys during movement preparation and execution and are believed to subserve cortical information transfer. To investigate the information transfer and its change over time at the single-cell level, we analyzed simultaneously recorded multiple MI neural spike trains of a monkey using a Granger causality measure for point process models before and after visual cues instructing the onset of reaching movements. In this analysis, we found that more pairs of neurons showed information transfer between them after appearances of upcoming movement targets than before, and the directions of the information transfer across neurons in MI were coincident with the directions of the propagating waves. These results suggest that the neuron pairs identified in the current study are the candidates of neurons that travel with spatiotemporal dynamics of beta oscillations in the MI.

  4. Ceftriaxone Ameliorates Motor Deficits and Protects Dopaminergic Neurons in 6-Hydroxydopamine-Lesioned Rats

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Parkinson’s disease is caused by the degeneration of dopaminergic neurons in substantia nigra. There is no current promising treatment for neuroprotection of dopaminergic neurons. Ceftriaxone is a beta-lactam antibiotic and has been reported to offer neuroprotective effects (Rothstein, J.-D., Patel, S., Regan, M.-R., Haenggeli, C., Huang, Y.-H., Bergles, D.-E., Jin, L., Dykes, H.-M., Vidensky, S., Chung, D.-S., Toan, S.-V., Bruijn, L.-I., Su, Z.-Z., Gupta, P., and Fisher, P.-B. (2005) Beta-lactam antibiotics offer neuroprotection by increasing glutamate transporter expression Nature433, 73–77). In the present study, efficacy of ceftriaxone in neuroprotection of dopaminergic neurons and amelioration of motor deficits in a rat model of Parkinson’s disease were investigated. Ceftriaxone was administrated in 6-hydroxydopamine-lesioned rats. Using behavioral tests, grip strength and numbers of apomorphine-induced contralateral rotation were declined in the ceftriaxone-treated group. More importantly, cell death of dopaminergic neurons was found to decrease. In addition, both the protein expression and immunoreactivity for GLT-1 were up-regulated. The present results strongly indicate that ceftriaxone is a potential agent in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. PMID:22860178

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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

    2009-02-01

    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 x 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 x 10(-12) (start codon morpholino) and -0.46, P=4.05 x 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.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  8. Fronto-cerebellar systems are associated with infant motor and adult executive functions in healthy adults but not in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Ridler, Khanum; Veijola, Juha M; Tanskanen, Päivikki; Miettunen, Jouko; Chitnis, Xavier; Suckling, John; Murray, Graham K; Haapea, Marianne; Jones, Peter B; Isohanni, Matti K; Bullmore, Edward T

    2006-10-17

    Delineating longitudinal relationships between early developmental markers, adult cognitive function, and adult brain structure could clarify the pathogenesis of neurodevelopmental disorders such as schizophrenia. We aimed to identify brain structural correlates of infant motor development (IMD) and adult executive function in nonpsychotic adults and to test for abnormal associations between these measures in people with schizophrenia. Representative samples of nonpsychotic adults (n = 93) and people with schizophrenia (n = 49) were drawn from the Northern Finland 1966 general population birth cohort. IMD was prospectively assessed at age 1 year; executive function testing and MRI were completed at age 33-35 years. We found that earlier motor development in infancy was correlated with superior executive function in nonpsychotic subjects. Earlier motor development was also normally associated with increased gray matter density in adult premotor cortex, striatum, and cerebellum and increased white matter density in frontal and parietal lobes. Adult executive function was normally associated with increased gray matter density in a fronto-cerebellar system that partially overlapped, but was not identical to, the gray matter regions normally associated with IMD. People with schizophrenia had relatively delayed IMD and impaired adult executive function in adulthood. Furthermore, they demonstrated no normative associations between fronto-cerebellar structure, IMD, or executive function. We conclude that frontal cortico-cerebellar systems correlated with adult executive function are anatomically related to systems associated with normal infant motor development. Disruption of this anatomical system may underlie both the early developmental and adult cognitive abnormalities in schizophrenia.

  9. Regeneration of central cholinergic neurones in the adult rat brain.

    PubMed

    Svendgaard, N A; Björklund, A; Stenevi, U

    1976-01-30

    The regrowth of lesioned central acetylcholinesterase (AChE)-positive axons in the adult rat was studied in irides implanted to two different brain sites: in the caudal diencephalon and hippocampus, and in the hippocampal fimbria. At both implantation sites the cholinergic septo-hippocampal pathways were transected. At 2-4 weeks after lesion, newly formed, probably sprouting fibres could be followed in abundance from the lesioned proximal axon stumps into the iris transplant. Growth of newly formed AChE-positive fibres into the transplant was also observed from lesioned axons in the anterior thalamus, and to a minor extent also from the dorsal and ventral tegmental AChE-positive pathways and the habenulo-interpeduncular tract. The regrowth process of the sprouting AChE-positive, presumed cholinergic fibres into the iris target was studied in further detail in whole-mount preparations of the transplants. For this purpose the irides were removed from the brain, unfolded, spread out on microscope slides, and then stained for AChE. During the first 2-4 weeks after transplantation the sprouting central fibres grew out over large areas of the iris. The new fibres branched profusely into a terminal plexus that covered maximally about half of the iris surface, and in some areas the patterning of the regenerated central fibres mimicked closely that of the normal autonomic cholinergic innervation of the iris. In one series of experiments the AChE-staining was combined with fluorescence histochemical visualization of regenerated adrenergic fibres in the same specimens. In many areas there was a striking congruence in the distributional patterns of the regenerated central cholinergic and adrenergic fibres in the transplant. This indicates that - as in the normal iris - the sprouting cholinergic axons (primarily originating in the lesioned septo-hippocampal pathways) and adrenergic axons (primarily originating in the lesioned axons of the locus neurones) regenerate together

  10. Neuron regeneration reverses 3-acetylpyridine-induced cell loss in the cerebral cortex of adult lizards.

    PubMed

    Font, E; García-Verdugo, J M; Alcántara, S; López-García, C

    1991-06-14

    Systemic administration of the neurotoxin 3-acetylpyridine to adult lizards results in extensive loss of neurons in the medial cerebral cortex, other brain areas remaining largely unaffected. After the neurotoxic trauma, new cells are produced by mitotic division of cells in the ventricular wall. The new cells migrate along radial glial fibers and replace lost neurons in the medial cortex. Electron microscopic examination of cells labeled with [3H]thymidine confirms that the newly generated cells are neurons. Thus, neuron regeneration can occur in the cerebral cortex of adult lizards.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Lentiviral vectors carrying enhancer elements of Hb9 promoter drive selective transgene expression in mouse spinal cord motor neurons.

    PubMed

    Peviani, Marco; Kurosaki, Mami; Terao, Mineko; Lidonnici, Dario; Gensano, Francesco; Battaglia, Elisa; Tortarolo, Massimo; Piva, Roberto; Bendotti, Caterina

    2012-03-30

    Recombinant lentiviral vectors (rLVs) have emerged as versatile tools for gene delivery applications due to a number of favorable features, such as the possibility to maintain long-term transgene expression, the flexibility in the design of the expression cassettes and recent improvements in their biosafety profile. Since rLVs are able to infect multiple cell types including post-mitotic cells such as neurons and skeletal muscle cells, several studies have been exploring their application for the study and cure of neurodegenerative diseases. In particular, the introduction of rLVs carrying cell-type specific promoters could restrict the transgene expression either to neuronal or glial cells, thus helping to better dissect in vivo the role played by these cell populations in several neurodegenerative processes. In this study we developed rLVs carrying motor neuron specific regulatory sequences derived from the promoter of homeobox gene Hb9, and demonstrated that these constructs can represent a suitable platform for selective gene-targeting of murine spinal cord motor neurons, in vivo. This tool could be instrumental in the dissection of the molecular mechanisms involved in the selective degeneration of motor neurons occurring in Motor Neuron Diseases.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Current perspectives on motor functioning in infants, children, and adults with autism spectrum disorders.

    PubMed

    Bhat, Anjana N; Landa, Rebecca J; Galloway, James Cole

    2011-07-01

    Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are the most common pediatric diagnoses in the United States. In this perspective article, we propose that a diverse set of motor impairments are present in children and adults with ASDs. Specifically, we will discuss evidence related to gross motor, fine motor, postural control, and imitation/praxis impairments. Moreover, we propose that early motor delays within the first 2 years of life may contribute to the social impairments of children with ASDs; therefore, it is important to address motor impairments through timely assessments and effective interventions. Lastly, we acknowledge the limitations of the evidence currently available and suggest clinical implications for motor assessment and interventions in children with ASDs. In terms of assessment, we believe that comprehensive motor evaluations are warranted for children with ASDs and infants at risk for ASDs. In terms of interventions, there is an urgent need to develop novel embodied interventions grounded in movement and motor learning principles for children with autism.

  17. 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

  18. Migration of neuronal precursors from the telencephalic ventricular zone into the olfactory bulb in adult zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Kishimoto, Norihito; Alfaro-Cervello, Clara; Shimizu, Kohei; Asakawa, Kazuhide; Urasaki, Akihiro; Nonaka, Shigenori; Kawakami, Koichi; Garcia-Verdugo, Jose Manuel; Sawamoto, Kazunobu

    2011-12-01

    In the brain of adult mammals, neuronal precursors are generated in the subventricular zone in the lateral wall of the lateral ventricles and migrate into the olfactory bulbs (OBs) through a well-studied route called the rostral migratory stream (RMS). Recent studies have revealed that a comparable neural stem cell niche is widely conserved at the ventricular wall of adult vertebrates. However, little is known about the migration route of neuronal precursors in nonmammalian adult brains. Here, we show that, in the adult zebrafish, a cluster of neuronal precursors generated in the telencephalic ventricular zone migrates into the OB via a route equivalent to the mammalian RMS. Unlike the mammalian RMS, these neuronal precursors are not surrounded by glial tubes, although radial glial cells with a single cilium lined the telencephalic ventricular wall, much as in embryonic and neonatal mammals. To observe the migrating neuronal precursors in living brain tissue, we established a brain hemisphere culture using a zebrafish line carrying a GFP transgene driven by the neurogenin1 (ngn1) promoter. In these fish, GFP was observed in the neuronal precursors migrating in the RMS, some of which were aligned with blood vessels. Numerous ngn1:gfp-positive cells were observed migrating tangentially in the RMS-like route medial to the OB. Taken together, our results suggest that the RMS in the adult zebrafish telencephalon is a functional migratory pathway. This is the first evidence for the tangential migration of neuronal precursors in a nonmammalian adult telencephalon.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    At the post-transcriptional level, expression of protein-coding genes is controlled by a series of RNA regulatory events including nuclear processing of primary transcripts, transport of mature mRNAs to specific cellular compartments, translation and ultimately, turnover. These processes are orchestrated through the dynamic association of mRNAs with RNA binding proteins and ribonucleoprotein (RNP) complexes. Accurate formation of RNPs in vivo is fundamentally important to cellular development and function, and its impairment often leads to human disease. The survival motor neuron (SMN) protein is key to this biological paradigm: SMN is essential for the biogenesis of various RNPs that function in mRNA processing, and genetic mutations leading to SMN deficiency cause the neurodegenerative disease spinal muscular atrophy. Here we review the expanding role of SMN in the regulation of gene expression through its multiple functions in RNP assembly. We discuss advances in our understanding of SMN activity as a chaperone of RNPs and how disruption of SMN-dependent RNA pathways can cause motor neuron disease. PMID:24769255

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

    Liu, Yun; Sugiura, Yoshie; Wu, Fenfen; Mi, Wentao; Taketo, Makoto M; Cannon, Steve; Carroll, Thomas; Lin, Weichun

    2012-06-15

    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.

  9. Persistent production of neurons from adult brain stem cells during recovery after stroke.

    PubMed

    Thored, Pär; Arvidsson, Andreas; Cacci, Emanuele; Ahlenius, Henrik; Kallur, Therése; Darsalia, Vladimer; Ekdahl, Christine T; Kokaia, Zaal; Lindvall, Olle

    2006-03-01

    Neural stem cells in the subventricular zone of adult rodents produce new striatal neurons that may replace those that have died after stroke; however, the neurogenic response has been considered acute and transient, yielding only small numbers of neurons. In contrast, we show herein that striatal neuroblasts are generated without decline at least for 4 months after stroke in adult rats. Neuroblasts formed early or late after stroke either differentiate into mature neurons, which survive for several months, or die through caspase-mediated apoptosis. The directed migration of the new neurons toward the ischemic damage is regulated by stromal cell-derived factor-1alpha and its receptor CXCR4. These results show that endogenous neural stem cells continuously supply the injured adult brain with new neurons, which suggests novel self-repair strategies to improve recovery after stroke. PMID:16210404

  10. Loss of Npn1 from motor neurons causes postnatal deficits independent from Sema3A signaling.

    PubMed

    Helmbrecht, Michaela S; Soellner, Heidi; Truckenbrodt, Anna M L; Sundermeier, Julia; Cohrs, Christian; Hans, Wolfgang; de Angelis, Martin Hrabě; Feuchtinger, Annette; Aichler, Michaela; Fouad, Karim; Huber, Andrea B

    2015-03-01

    The correct wiring of neuronal circuits is of crucial importance for the function of the vertebrate nervous system. Guidance cues like the neuropilin receptors (Npn) and their ligands, the semaphorins (Sema) provide a tight spatiotemporal control of sensory and motor axon growth and guidance. Among this family of guidance partners the Sema3A-Npn1 interaction has been shown to be of great importance, since defective signaling leads to wiring deficits and defasciculation. For the embryonic stage these defects have been well described, however, also after birth the organism can adapt to new challenges by compensational mechanisms. Therefore, we used the mouse lines Olig2-Cre;Npn1(cond) and Npn1(Sema-) to investigate how postnatal organisms cope with the loss of Npn1 selectively from motor neurons or a systemic dysfunctional Sema3A-Npn1 signaling in the entire organism, respectively. While in Olig2-Cre(+);Npn1(cond-/-) mice clear anatomical deficits in paw posturing, bone structure, as well as muscle and nerve composition became evident, Npn1(Sema-) mutants appeared anatomically normal. Furthermore, Olig2-Cre(+);Npn1(cond) mutants revealed a dysfunctional extensor muscle innervation after single-train stimulation of the N.radial. Interestingly, these mice did not show obvious deficits in voluntary locomotion, however, skilled motor function was affected. In contrast, Npn1(Sema-) mutants were less affected in all behavioral tests and able to improve their performance over time. Our data suggest that loss of Sema3A-Npn1 signaling is not the only cause for the observed deficits in Olig2-Cre(+);Npn1(cond-/-) mice and that additional, yet unknown binding partners for Npn1 may be involved that allow Npn1(Sema-) mutants to compensate for their developmental deficits.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Sleep-dependent motor memory consolidation in older adults depends on task demands.

    PubMed

    Gudberg, Christel; Wulff, Katharina; Johansen-Berg, Heidi

    2015-03-01

    It is often suggested that sleep-dependent consolidation of motor learning is impaired in older adults. The current study challenges this view and suggests that the degree of motor consolidation seen with sleep in older age groups depends on the kinematic demands of the task. We show that, when tested with a classic sequence learning task, requiring individuated finger movements, older adults did not show sleep-dependent consolidation. By contrast, when tested with an adapted sequence learning task, in which movements were performed with the whole hand, sleep-dependent motor improvement was observed in older adults. We suggest that age-related decline in fine motor dexterity may in part be responsible for the previously described deficit in sleep-dependent motor consolidation with aging. PMID:25618616

  15. Cocaine increases dopaminergic neuron and motor activity via midbrain α1 adrenergic signaling.

    PubMed

    Goertz, Richard Brandon; Wanat, Matthew J; Gomez, Jorge A; Brown, Zeliene J; Phillips, Paul E M; Paladini, Carlos A

    2015-03-13

    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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Marongelli, Ellisha N.; Thoroughman, Kurt A.

    2013-01-01

    Human motor adaptation to novel environments is often modeled by a basis function network that transforms desired movement properties into estimated forces. This network employs a layer of nodes that have fixed broad tunings that generalize across the input domain. Learning is achieved by updating the weights of these nodes in response to training experience. This conventional model is unable to account for rapid flexibility observed in human spatial generalization during motor adaptation. However, added plasticity in the widths of the basis function tunings can achieve this flexibility, and several neurophysiological experiments have revealed flexibility in tunings of sensorimotor neurons. We found a model, Locally Weighted Projection Regression (LWPR), which uniquely possesses the structure of a basis function network in which both the weights and tuning widths of the nodes are updated incrementally during adaptation. We presented this LWPR model with training functions of different spatial complexities and monitored incremental updates to receptive field widths. An inverse pattern of dependence of receptive field adaptation on experienced error became evident, underlying both a relationship between generalization and complexity, and a unique behavior in which generalization always narrows after a sudden switch in environmental complexity. These results implicate a model that is flexible in both basis function widths and weights, like LWPR, as a viable alternative model for human motor adaptation that can account for previously observed plasticity in spatial generalization. This theory can be tested by using the behaviors observed in our experiments as novel hypotheses in human studies. PMID:23888141

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

    PubMed

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

    1995-02-01

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

  20. The Association between Motor Skill Competence and Physical Fitness in Young Adults

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stodden, David; Langendorfer, Stephen; Roberton, Mary Ann

    2009-01-01

    We examined the relationship between competence in three fundamental motor skills (throwing, kicking, and jumping) and six measures of health-related physical fitness in young adults (ages 18-25). We assessed motor skill competence using product scores of maximum kicking and throwing speed and maximum jumping distance. A factor analysis indicated…

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

    During embryonic development, complex events such as cellular proliferation, differentiation, survival, and guidance of axons are orchestrated and regulated by a variety of extracellular signals. Receptor tyrosine kinases mediate many of these events with several playing critical roles in neuronal survival and axonal guidance. It is evident that not all the receptor tyrosine kinases that play key roles in regulating neuronal development have been identified. In this study, we have characterized the spatial-temporal expression profile of a recently identified receptor tyrosine kinase, anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK), in embryonic chick by means of whole mount in situ hybridization in conjunction with immunohistochemistry. Our findings reveal that Alk is expressed in sympathetic and dorsal root ganglia as early as stage 19. In addition, mRNA is expressed from stage 23/24 (E4) until stage 39 (E13) in discrete motor neuron subsets of chick spinal cord along with a select group of muscles that are innervated by one of these particular motor neuron clusters. Interestingly, expression within the spinal cord is coincident with the onset and duration of motor neuron programmed cell death and during the period of musculature innervation and synapse formation. Hence, the data presented here identify ALK as a novel candidate receptor for regulating critical events in the development of neurons in both the central and peripheral nervous system. PMID:16435287

  2. Implicit Motor Sequence Learning and Working Memory Performance Changes Across the Adult Life Span

    PubMed Central

    Meissner, Sarah Nadine; Keitel, Ariane; Südmeyer, Martin; Pollok, Bettina

    2016-01-01

    Although implicit motor sequence learning is rather well understood in young adults, effects of aging on this kind of learning are controversial. There is first evidence that working memory (WM) might play a role in implicit motor sequence learning in young adults as well as in adults above the age of 65. However, the knowledge about the development of these processes across the adult life span is rather limited. As the average age of our population continues to rise, a better understanding of age-related changes in motor sequence learning and potentially mediating cognitive processes takes on increasing significance. Therefore, we investigated aging effects on implicit motor sequence learning and WM. Sixty adults (18–71 years) completed verbal and visuospatial n-back tasks and were trained on a serial reaction time task (SRTT). Randomly varying trials served as control condition. To further assess consolidation indicated by off-line improvement and reduced susceptibility to interference, reaction times (RTs) were determined 1 h after initial learning. Young and older but not middle-aged adults showed motor sequence learning. Nine out of 20 older adults (compared to one young/one middle-aged) exhibited some evidence of sequence awareness. After 1 h, young and middle-aged adults showed off-line improvement. However, RT facilitation was not specific to sequence trials. Importantly, susceptibility to interference was reduced in young and older adults indicating the occurrence of consolidation. Although WM performance declined in older participants when load was high, it was not significantly related to sequence learning. The data reveal a decline in motor sequence learning in middle-aged but not in older adults. The use of explicit learning strategies in older adults might account for the latter result. PMID:27199736

  3. Distinct roles of hand2 in developing and adult autonomic neurons.

    PubMed

    Stanzel, Sabine; Stubbusch, Jutta; Pataskar, Abhijeet; Howard, Marthe J; Deller, Thomas; Ernsberger, Uwe; Tiwari, Vijay K; Rohrer, Hermann; Tsarovina, Konstantina

    2016-10-01

    The bHLH transcription factor Hand2 is essential for the acquisition and maintenance of noradrenergic properties of embryonic sympathetic neurons and controls neuroblast proliferation. Hand2 is also expressed in embryonic and postnatal parasympathetic ganglia and remains expressed in sympathetic neurons up to the adult stage. Here, we address its function in developing parasympathetic and adult sympathetic neurons. We conditionally deleted Hand2 in the parasympathetic sphenopalatine ganglion by crossing a line of floxed Hand2 mice with DbhiCre transgenic mice, taking advantage of the transient Dbh expression in parasympathetic ganglia. Hand2 elimination does not affect Dbh expression and sphenopalatine ganglion size at E12.5 and E16.5, in contrast to sympathetic ganglia. These findings demonstrate different functions for Hand2 in the parasympathetic and sympathetic lineage. Our previous Hand2 knockdown in postmitotic, differentiated chick sympathetic neurons resulted in decreased expression of noradrenergic marker genes but it was unclear whether Hand2 is required for maintaining noradrenergic neuron identity in adult animals. We now show that Hand2 elimination in adult Dbh-expressing sympathetic neurons does not decrease the expression of Th and Dbh, in contrast to the situation during development. However, gene expression profiling of adult sympathetic neurons identified 75 Hand2-dependent target genes. Interestingly, a notable proportion of down-regulated genes (15%) encode for proteins with synaptic and neurotransmission functions. These results demonstrate a change in Hand2 target genes during maturation of sympathetic neurons. Whereas Hand2 controls genes regulating noradrenergic differentiation during development, Hand2 seems to be involved in the regulation of genes controlling neurotransmission in adult sympathetic neurons. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Develop Neurobiol 76: 1111-1124, 2016. PMID:26818017

  4. 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

  5. Motor neuronal control of tail-directed and head-directed siphon responses in Aplysia californica.

    PubMed

    Hickie, C; Walters, E T

    1995-07-01

    1. Cutaneous stimulation of opposite ends of the body causes qualitatively different siphon responses: tail stimulation causes flaring and backward bending (the siphon T response), whereas head stimulation causes constriction and slight anterior bending (the siphon H response). This paper characterizes the motor neuronal control of siphon T and siphon H responses. 2. The siphon response to tail nerve (p9) shock in a semi-intact preparation was indistinguishable from the siphon T response in intact or parapodectomized animals. Similarly, the siphon response to head nerve (c2) shock in this preparation was indistinguishable from the siphon H response in intact or parapodectomized animals. 3. Central siphon motor neurons (SMNs) were found to cause a wider variety of movements than previously reported. The movements produced by the LFSB cells strongly resemble the flaring response of the siphon to tail or tail nerve stimulation. The movements produced by RDS and LDS1 resemble components of the constricting response of the siphon to head or head nerve stimulation. 4. Among central SMNs, the LFSB cells show the strongest activation by posterior stimulation, whereas RDS and LDS1 show the strongest activation by anterior stimulation. The LFSA cells, which produce much weaker siphon constriction, are only activated slightly by posterior stimulation and are inhibited by anterior stimulation. Peripheral SMNs are inhibited by stimulation of head and tail nerves, and thus their activity does not directly contribute to siphon T and H responses. 5. Artificially activating central SMNs with the pattern of activity previously exhibited after tail or head nerve stimulation indicated the sufficiency of the LFSB cells for the siphon T response, and of RDS and LDS1 for the siphon H response. 6. Dramatic behavioral deficits produced by hyperpolarizing the LFSB cells during tail nerve stimulation, or by hyperpolarizing RDS and LDS1 during head nerve stimulation, indicated the necessity

  6. Disrupted-In-Schizophrenia 1 regulates integration of newly generated neurons in the adult brain

    PubMed Central

    Duan, Xin; Chang, Jay H.; Ge, Shaoyu; Faulkner, Regina L.; Kim, Ju Young; Kitabatake, Yasuji; Liu, Xiao-bo; Yang, Chih-Hao; Jordan, J. Dedrick; Ma, Dengke K.; Liu, Cindy Y.; Ganesan, Sundar; Cheng, Hwai-Jong; Ming, Guo-li; Lu, Bai; Song, Hongjun

    2007-01-01

    Summary Adult neurogenesis occurs throughout life in discrete regions of the adult mammalian brain. Little is known about the mechanism governing the sequential developmental process that leads to integration of new neurons from adult neural stem cells into the existing circuitry. Here, we investigated roles of Disrupted-In-Schizophrenia 1 (DISC1), a schizophrenia susceptibility gene, in adult hippocampal neurogenesis. Unexpectedly, down regulation of DISC1 leads to accelerated neuronal integration, resulting in aberrant morphological development and mis-positioning of new dentate granule cells in a cell-autonomous fashion. Functionally, newborn neurons with DISC1 knockdown exhibit enhanced excitability and accelerated dendritic development and synapse formation. Furthermore, DISC1 cooperates with its binding partner Ndel1 in regulating adult neurogenesis. Taken together, our study identifies DISC1 as a key regulator that orchestrates the tempo of functional neuronal integration in the adult brain and demonstrates essential roles of a susceptibility gene for major mental illness in neuronal development, including adult neurogenesis. PMID:17825401

  7. Transgenic neuronal nitric oxide synthase expression induces axotomy-like changes in adult motoneurons.

    PubMed

    Montero, Fernando; Sunico, Carmen R; Liu, Behui; Paton, Julian F R; Kasparov, Sergey; Moreno-López, Bernardo

    2010-09-15

    Dysregulation of protein expression, function and/or aggregation is a hallmark of a number of neuropathological conditions. Among them, upregulation and/or de novo expression of the neuronal isoform of nitric oxide (NO) synthase (nNOS) commonly occurs in diverse neurodegenerative diseases and in axotomized motoneurons. We used adenoviral (AVV) and lentiviral (LVV) vectors to study the effects of de novo nNOS expression on the functional properties and synaptic array of motoneurons. AVV-nNOS injection into the genioglossus muscle retrogradely transduced neonatal hypoglossal motoneurons (HMNs). Ratiometric real-time NO imaging confirmed that transduced HMNs generated NO gradients in brain parenchyma (space constant: 12.3 μm) in response to a glutamatergic stimulus. Unilateral AVV-nNOS microinjection in the hypoglossal nucleus of adult rats induced axotomy-like changes in HMNs. Specifically, we found alterations in axonal conduction properties and the recruitment order of motor units and reductions in responsiveness to synaptic drive and in the linear density of synaptophysin-positive puncta opposed to HMN somata. Functional alterations were fully prevented by chronic treatment with nNOS or soluble guanylyl cyclase inhibitors. Synaptic and functional changes were also completely avoided by prior intranuclear injection of a neuron-specific LVV system for miRNA-mediated nNOS knock-down (LVV-miR-shRNA/nNOS). Furthermore, synaptic and several functional changes evoked by XIIth nerve injury were to a large extent prevented by intranuclear administration of LVV-miR-shRNA/nNOS. We suggest that nNOS up-regulation creates a repulsive NO gradient for synaptic boutons underlying most of the functional impairment undergone by injured motoneurons. This further strengthens the case for nNOS targeting as a plausible strategy for treatment of peripheral neuropathies and neurodegenerative disorders.

  8. Transgenic neuronal nitric oxide synthase expression induces axotomy-like changes in adult motoneurons

    PubMed Central

    Montero, Fernando; Sunico, Carmen R; Liu, Behui; Paton, Julian F R; Kasparov, Sergey; Moreno-López, Bernardo

    2010-01-01

    Dysregulation of protein expression, function and/or aggregation is a hallmark of a number of neuropathological conditions. Among them, upregulation and/or de novo expression of the neuronal isoform of nitric oxide (NO) synthase (nNOS) commonly occurs in diverse neurodegenerative diseases and in axotomized motoneurons. We used adenoviral (AVV) and lentiviral (LVV) vectors to study the effects of de novo nNOS expression on the functional properties and synaptic array of motoneurons. AVV-nNOS injection into the genioglossus muscle retrogradely transduced neonatal hypoglossal motoneurons (HMNs). Ratiometric real-time NO imaging confirmed that transduced HMNs generated NO gradients in brain parenchyma (space constant: ∼12.3 μm) in response to a glutamatergic stimulus. Unilateral AVV-nNOS microinjection in the hypoglossal nucleus of adult rats induced axotomy-like changes in HMNs. Specifically, we found alterations in axonal conduction properties and the recruitment order of motor units and reductions in responsiveness to synaptic drive and in the linear density of synaptophysin-positive puncta opposed to HMN somata. Functional alterations were fully prevented by chronic treatment with nNOS or soluble guanylyl cyclase inhibitors. Synaptic and functional changes were also completely avoided by prior intranuclear injection of a neuron-specific LVV system for miRNA-mediated nNOS knock-down (LVV-miR-shRNA/nNOS). Furthermore, synaptic and several functional changes evoked by XIIth nerve injury were to a large extent prevented by intranuclear administration of LVV-miR-shRNA/nNOS. We suggest that nNOS up-regulation creates a repulsive NO gradient for synaptic boutons underlying most of the functional impairment undergone by injured motoneurons. This further strengthens the case for nNOS targeting as a plausible strategy for treatment of peripheral neuropaties and neurodegenerative disorders. PMID:20660560

  9. Mutated CTSF in adult-onset neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis and FTD

    PubMed Central

    van der Zee, Julie; Mariën, Peter; Crols, Roeland; Van Mossevelde, Sara; Dillen, Lubina; Perrone, Federica; Engelborghs, Sebastiaan; Verhoeven, Jo; D'aes, Tine; Ceuterick-De Groote, Chantal; Sieben, Anne; Versijpt, Jan; Cras, Patrick; Martin, Jean-Jacques

    2016-01-01

    Objective: To investigate the molecular basis of a Belgian family with autosomal recessive adult-onset neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (ANCL or Kufs disease [KD]) with pronounced frontal lobe involvement and to expand the findings to a cohort of unrelated Belgian patients with frontotemporal dementia (FTD). Methods: Genetic screening in the ANCL family and FTD cohort (n = 461) was performed using exome sequencing and targeted massive parallel resequencing. Results: We identified a homozygous mutation (p.Ile404Thr) in the Cathepsin F (CTSF) gene cosegregating in the ANCL family. No other mutations were found that could explain the disease in this family. All 4 affected sibs developed motor symptoms and early-onset dementia with prominent frontal features. Two of them evolved to akinetic mutism. Disease presentation showed marked phenotypic variation with the onset ranging from 26 to 50 years. Myoclonic epilepsy in one of the sibs was suggestive for KD type A, while epilepsy was not present in the other sibs who presented with clinical features of KD type B. In a Belgian cohort of unrelated patients with FTD, the same heterozygous p.Arg245His mutation was identified in 2 patients who shared a common haplotype. Conclusions: A homozygous CTSF mutation was identified in a recessive ANCL pedigree. In contrast to the previous associations of CTSF with KD type B, our findings suggest that CTSF genetic testing should also be considered in patients with KD type A as well as in early-onset dementia with prominent frontal lobe and motor symptoms. PMID:27668283

  10. Increased activity in frontal motor cortex compensates impaired speech perception in older adults

    PubMed Central

    Du, Yi; Buchsbaum, Bradley R.; Grady, Cheryl L.; Alain, Claude

    2016-01-01

    Understanding speech in noisy environments is challenging, especially for seniors. Although evidence suggests that older adults increasingly recruit prefrontal cortices to offset reduced periphery and central auditory processing, the brain mechanisms underlying such compensation remain elusive. Here we show that relative to young adults, older adults show higher activation of frontal speech motor areas as measured by functional MRI during a syllable identification task at varying signal-to-noise ratios. This increased activity correlates with improved speech discrimination performance in older adults. Multivoxel pattern classification reveals that despite an overall phoneme dedifferentiation, older adults show greater specificity of phoneme representations in frontal articulatory regions than auditory regions. Moreover, older adults with stronger frontal activity have higher phoneme specificity in frontal and auditory regions. Thus, preserved phoneme specificity and upregulation of activity in speech motor regions provide a means of compensation in older adults for decoding impoverished speech representations in adverse listening conditions. PMID:27483187

  11. 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

  12. "It Gives Me My Freedom": Technology and Responding to Bodily Limitations in Motor Neuron Disease.

    PubMed

    Pavey, Amanda; Warren, Narelle; Allen-Collinson, Jacquelyn

    2015-01-01

    People living with motor neuron disease (MND) experience profound and rapidly progressing impairment. In order to maintain their physical and social functioning, people so affected employ a range of technologies and technological aids (body auxiliaries) to enhance their life and maintain well-being. Using a phenomenological study design, we explored the experiences of 42 men and women who had been diagnosed with MND. Although many participants initially resisted the adoption of aids (often-electronic devices that enabled continued participation in daily life) or tools (the instruments that allowed achievement of specific tasks), such technologies offered a way for people with MND to overcome, to some extent, the limitations posed by their physical degeneration. Through generating a sense of 'normality,' these kinds of 'enabling' technologies promoted social engagement and the maintenance of valued relationships or activities. Technologies can provide people with MND with some positive experiences within a way of being-in-the-world that has become so difficult and challenging.

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  15. A Sodium Leak Current Regulates Pacemaker Activity of Adult Central Pattern Generator Neurons in Lymnaea Stagnalis

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Tom Z.; Feng, Zhong-Ping

    2011-01-01

    The resting membrane potential of the pacemaker neurons is one of the essential mechanisms underlying rhythm generation. In this study, we described the biophysical properties of an uncharacterized channel (U-type channel) and investigated the role of the channel in the rhythmic activity of a respiratory pacemaker neuron and the respiratory behaviour in adult freshwater snail Lymnaea stagnalis. Our results show that the channel conducts an inward leak current carried by Na+ (ILeak-Na). The ILeak-Na contributed to the resting membrane potential and was required for maintaining rhythmic action potential bursting activity of the identified pacemaker RPeD1 neurons. Partial knockdown of the U-type channel suppressed the aerial respiratory behaviour of the adult snail in vivo. These findings identified the Na+ leak conductance via the U-type channel, likely a NALCN-like channel, as one of the fundamental mechanisms regulating rhythm activity of pacemaker neurons and respiratory behaviour in adult animals. PMID:21526173

  16. Id2 IS REQUIRED FOR SPECIFICATION OF DOPAMINERGIC NEURONS DURING ADULT OLFACTORY NEUROGENESIS

    PubMed Central

    Havrda, Matthew C.; Harris, Brent T.; Mantani, Akio; Ward, Nora M.; Paolella, Brenton R.; Cuzon, Verginia C.; Yeh, Hermes H.; Israel, Mark A.

    2009-01-01

    Understanding the biology of adult neural stem cells has important implications for nervous system development and may contribute to our understanding of neurodegenerative disorders and their treatment. We have characterized the process of olfactory neurogenesis in adult mice lacking Inhibitor of DNA Binding 2 (Id2). We found a diminished olfactory bulb containing reduced numbers of granular and periglomerular neurons with a distinct paucity of dopaminergic periglomerular neurons. While no deficiency of the stem cell compartment was detectable, migrating neuroblasts in Id2−/− mutant mice prematurely undergo astroglial differentiation within a disorganized rostral migratory stream. Further, when evaluated in vitro loss of Id2 results in decreased proliferation of neural progenitors and decreased expression of the Hes1 and Mash1 transcription factors, known mediators of neuronal differentiation. These data support a novel role for sustained Id2 expression in migrating neural progenitors mediating olfactory dopaminergic neuronal differentiation in adult animals. PMID:19109490

  17. New neurons and new memories: how does adult hippocampal neurogenesis affect learning and memory?

    PubMed Central

    Deng, Wei; Aimone, James B.; Gage, Fred H.

    2010-01-01

    The integration of adult-born neurons into the circuitry of the adult hippocampus suggests an important role for adult hippocampal neurogenesis in learning and memory, but its specific function in these processes has remained elusive. In this article, we summarize recent progress in this area, including advances based on behavioural studies and insights provided by computational modelling. Increasingly, evidence suggests that newborn neurons might be involved in hippocampal functions that are particularly dependent on the dentate gyrus, such as pattern separation. Furthermore, newborn neurons at different maturation stages may make distinct contributions to learning and memory. In particular, computational studies suggest that, before newborn neurons are fully mature, they might function as a pattern integrator by introducing a degree of similarity to the encoding of events that occur closely in time. PMID:20354534

  18. Proliferating subventricular zone cells in the adult mammalian forebrain can differentiate into neurons and glia.

    PubMed Central

    Lois, C; Alvarez-Buylla, A

    1993-01-01

    Subventricular zone (SVZ) cells proliferate spontaneously in vivo in the telencephalon of adult mammals. Several studies suggest that SVZ cells do not differentiate after mitosis into neurons or glia but die. In the present work, we show that SVZ cells labeled in the brains of adult mice with [3H]thymidine differentiate directly into neurons and glia in explant cultures. In vitro labeling with [3H]thymidine shows that 98% of the neurons that differentiate from the SVZ explants are derived from precursor cells that underwent their last division in vivo. This report identifies the SVZ cells as neuronal precursors in an adult mammalian brain. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 3 PMID:8446631

  19. Reorganization and plasticity in the adult brain during learning of motor skills.

    PubMed

    Doyon, Julien; Benali, Habib

    2005-04-01

    On the basis of brain imaging studies, Doyon and Ungerleider recently proposed a model describing the cerebral plasticity that occurs in both cortico-striatal and cortico-cerebellar systems of the adult brain during learning of new motor skilled behaviors. This theoretical framework makes several testable predictions with regards to the contribution of these neural systems based on the phase (fast, slow, consolidation, automatization, and retention) and nature of the motor learning processes (motor sequence versus motor adaptation) acquired through repeated practice. There has been recent behavioral, lesion and additional neuroimaging studies that have addressed the assumptions made in this theory that will help in the revision of this model.

  20. A Subset of Serotonergic Neurons Evokes Hunger in Adult Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Albin, Stephanie D; Kaun, Karla R; Knapp, Jon-Michael; Chung, Phuong; Heberlein, Ulrike; Simpson, Julie H

    2015-09-21

    Hunger is a complex motivational state that drives multiple behaviors. The sensation of hunger is caused by an imbalance between energy intake and expenditure. One immediate response to hunger is increased food consumption. Hunger also modulates behaviors related to food seeking such as increased locomotion and enhanced sensory sensitivity in both insects and vertebrates. In addition, hunger can promote the expression of food-associated memory. Although progress is being made, how hunger is represented in the brain and how it coordinates these behavioral responses is not fully understood in any system. Here, we use Drosophila melanogaster to identify neurons encoding hunger. We found a small group of neurons that, when activated, induced a fed fly to eat as though it were starved, suggesting that these neurons are downstream of the metabolic regulation of hunger. Artificially activating these neurons also promotes appetitive memory performance in sated flies, indicating that these neurons are not simply feeding command neurons but likely play a more general role in encoding hunger. We determined that the neurons relevant for the feeding effect are serotonergic and project broadly within the brain, suggesting a possible mechanism for how various responses to hunger are coordinated. These findings extend our understanding of the neural circuitry that drives feeding and enable future exploration of how state influences neural activity within this circuit.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Corticospinal Motor Neurons Are Susceptible to Increased ER Stress and Display Profound Degeneration in the Absence of UCHL1 Function

    PubMed Central

    Jara, Javier H.; Genç, Barış; Cox, Gregory A.; Bohn, Martha C.; Roos, Raymond P.; Macklis, Jeffrey D.; Ulupınar, Emel; Özdinler, P. Hande

    2015-01-01

    Corticospinal motor neurons (CSMN) receive, integrate, and relay cerebral cortex's input toward spinal targets to initiate and modulate voluntary movement. CSMN degeneration is central for numerous motor neuron disorders and neurodegenerative diseases. Previously, 5 patients with mutations in the ubiquitin carboxy-terminal hydrolase-L1 (UCHL1) gene were reported to have neurodegeneration and motor neuron dysfunction with upper motor neuron involvement. To investigate the role of UCHL1 on CSMN health and stability, we used both in vivo and in vitro approaches, and took advantage of the Uchl1nm3419 (UCHL1−/−) mice, which lack all UCHL1 function. We report a unique role of UCHL1 in maintaining CSMN viability and cellular integrity. CSMN show early, selective, progressive, and profound cell loss in the absence of UCHL1. CSMN degeneration, evident even at pre-symptomatic stages by disintegration of the apical dendrite and spine loss, is mediated via increased ER stress. These findings bring a novel understanding to the basis of CSMN vulnerability, and suggest UCHL1−/− mice as a tool to study CSMN pathology. PMID:25596590

  5. Alterations in cyclin-dependent protein kinase 5 (CDK5) protein levels, activity and immunocytochemistry in canine motor neuron disease.

    PubMed

    Green, S L; Vulliet, P R; Pinter, M J; Cork, L C

    1998-11-01

    Hereditary canine spinal muscular atrophy (HCSMA) is a dominantly inherited motor neuron disease in Brittany spaniels that is clinically characterized by progressive muscle weakness leading to paralysis. Histopathologically, degeneration is confined to motor neurons with accumulation of phosphorylated neurofilaments in axonal internodes. Cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (CDK5), a kinase related to the cell cycle kinase cdc2, phosphorylates neurofilaments and regulates neurofilament dynamics. We examined CDK5 activity, protein levels, and cellular immunoreactivity in nervous tissue from dogs with HCSMA, from closely age-matched controls and from dogs with other neurological diseases. On immunoblot analysis, CDK5 protein levels were increased in the HCSMA dogs (by approximately 1.5-fold in both the cytosolic and the particulate fractions). CDK5 activity was significantly increased (by approximately 3-fold) in the particulate fractions in the HCSMA dogs compared to all controls. The finding that CDK5 activity was increased in the young HCSMA homozygotes with the accelerated form of the disease, who do not show axonal swellings histologically, suggests that alterations in CDK5 occurs early in the pathogenesis, prior to the development of significant neurofilament pathology. Immunocytochemically, there was strong CDK5 staining of the nuclei, cytoplasm and axonal processes of the motor neurons in both control dogs and dogs with HCSMA. Further immunocytochemical studies demonstrated CDK5 staining where neurofilaments accumulated, in axonal swellings in the dogs with HCSMA. Our observations suggest phosphorylation-dependent events mediated by CDK5 occur in canine motor neuron disease.

  6. Pre-existing astrocytes form functional perisynaptic processes on neurons generated in the adult hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Krzisch, Marine; Temprana, Silvio G; Mongiat, Lucas A; Armida, Jan; Schmutz, Valentin; Virtanen, Mari A; Kocher-Braissant, Jacqueline; Kraftsik, Rudolf; Vutskits, Laszlo; Conzelmann, Karl-Klaus; Bergami, Matteo; Gage, Fred H; Schinder, Alejandro F; Toni, Nicolas

    2015-07-01

    The adult dentate gyrus produces new neurons that morphologically and functionally integrate into the hippocampal network. In the adult brain, most excitatory synapses are ensheathed by astrocytic perisynaptic processes that regulate synaptic structure and function. However, these processes are formed during embryonic or early postnatal development and it is unknown whether astrocytes can also ensheathe synapses of neurons born during adulthood and, if so, whether they play a role in their synaptic transmission. Here, we used a combination of serial-section immuno-electron microscopy, confocal microscopy, and electrophysiology to examine the formation of perisynaptic processes on adult-born neurons. We found that the afferent and efferent synapses of newborn neurons are ensheathed by astrocytic processes, irrespective of the age of the neurons or the size of their synapses. The quantification of gliogenesis and the distribution of astrocytic processes on synapses formed by adult-born neurons suggest that the majority of these processes are recruited from pre-existing astrocytes. Furthermore, the inhibition of astrocytic glutamate re-uptake significantly reduced postsynaptic currents and increased paired-pulse facilitation in adult-born neurons, suggesting that perisynaptic processes modulate synaptic transmission on these cells. Finally, some processes were found intercalated between newly formed dendritic spines and potential presynaptic partners, suggesting that they may also play a structural role in the connectivity of new spines. Together, these results indicate that pre-existing astrocytes remodel their processes to ensheathe synapses of adult-born neurons and participate to the functional and structural integration of these cells into the hippocampal network.

  7. Motor activity is modulated via different neuronal circuits in rats with chronic liver failure than in normal rats.

    PubMed

    Cauli, Omar; Mlili, Nisrin; Llansola, Marta; Felipo, Vicente

    2007-04-01

    The mechanisms by which liver failure alters motor function remain unclear. It has been suggested that liver disease alters the neuronal circuit between basal ganglia and cortex that modulates motor function. Activation of group I metabotropic glutamate receptors in the nucleus accumbens (NAcc) by injecting (S)-3,5-dihydroxyphenylglycine (DHPG) activates this circuit and induces locomotion We analysed by in vivo brain microdialysis the function of the circuits that modulate motor function in rats with liver failure due to portacaval shunt (PCS). We inserted cannulae in the NAcc and microdialysis probes in the NAcc, ventral pallidum (VP), substantia nigra pars reticulata (SNr), medio-dorsal thalamus (MDT), ventro-medial thalamus (VMT) or prefrontal cortex (PFCx). We injected DHPG in the NAcc and analysed extracellular neurotransmitters concentration in these areas. The results indicate that in control rats DHPG induces locomotion by activating the 'normal' neuronal circuit: NAcc --> VP --> MDT --> PFCx. In PCS rats this circuit is not activated. In PCS rats, DHPG injection activates an 'alternative' circuit: NAcc --> SNr --> VMT --> PFCx. This circuit is not activated in control rats. DHPG injection increases dopamine in the NAcc of control but not of PCS rats, and glutamate in PCS but not in control rats. DHPG-induced increase in dopamine would activate the 'normal' neuronal circuit, while an increase in glutamate would activate the 'alternative' circuit. The identification of the mechanisms responsible for altered motor function and coordination in liver disease would allow designing treatments to improve motor function in patients with hepatic encephalopathy.

  8. The microtubule destabilizing protein stathmin controls the transition from dividing neuronal precursors to postmitotic neurons during adult hippocampal neurogenesis.

    PubMed

    Boekhoorn, Karin; van Dis, Vera; Goedknegt, Erika; Sobel, André; Lucassen, Paul J; Hoogenraad, Casper C

    2014-12-01

    The hippocampus is one of the two areas in the mammalian brain where adult neurogenesis occurs. Adult neurogenesis is well known to be involved in hippocampal physiological functions as well as pathophysiological conditions. Microtubules (MTs), providing intracellular transport, stability, and transmitting force, are indispensable for neurogenesis by facilitating cell division, migration, growth, and differentiation. Although there are several examples of MT-stabilizing proteins regulating different aspects of adult neurogenesis, relatively little is known about the function of MT-destabilizing proteins. Stathmin is such a MT-destabilizing protein largely restricted to the CNS, and in contrast to its developmental family members, stathmin is also expressed at significant levels in the adult brain, notably in areas involved in adult neurogenesis. Here, we show an important role for stathmin during adult neurogenesis in the subgranular zone of the mouse hippocampus. After carefully mapping stathmin expression in the adult dentate gyrus (DG), we investigated its role in hippocampal neurogenesis making use of stathmin knockout mice. Although hippocampus development appears normal in these animals, different aspects of adult neurogenesis are affected. First, the number of proliferating Ki-67+ cells is decreased in stathmin knockout mice, as well as the expression of the immature markers Nestin and PSA-NCAM. However, newborn cells that do survive express more frequently the adult marker NeuN and have a more mature morphology. Furthermore, our data suggest that migration in the DG might be affected. We propose a model in which stathmin controls the transition from neuronal precursors to early postmitotic neurons.

  9. The microtubule destabilizing protein stathmin controls the transition from dividing neuronal precursors to postmitotic neurons during adult hippocampal neurogenesis.

    PubMed

    Boekhoorn, Karin; van Dis, Vera; Goedknegt, Erika; Sobel, André; Lucassen, Paul J; Hoogenraad, Casper C

    2014-12-01

    The hippocampus is one of the two areas in the mammalian brain where adult neurogenesis occurs. Adult neurogenesis is well known to be involved in hippocampal physiological functions as well as pathophysiological conditions. Microtubules (MTs), providing intracellular transport, stability, and transmitting force, are indispensable for neurogenesis by facilitating cell division, migration, growth, and differentiation. Although there are several examples of MT-stabilizing proteins regulating different aspects of adult neurogenesis, relatively little is known about the function of MT-destabilizing proteins. Stathmin is such a MT-destabilizing protein largely restricted to the CNS, and in contrast to its developmental family members, stathmin is also expressed at significant levels in the adult brain, notably in areas involved in adult neurogenesis. Here, we show an important role for stathmin during adult neurogenesis in the subgranular zone of the mouse hippocampus. After carefully mapping stathmin expression in the adult dentate gyrus (DG), we investigated its role in hippocampal neurogenesis making use of stathmin knockout mice. Although hippocampus development appears normal in these animals, different aspects of adult neurogenesis are affected. First, the number of proliferating Ki-67+ cells is decreased in stathmin knockout mice, as well as the expression of the immature markers Nestin and PSA-NCAM. However, newborn cells that do survive express more frequently the adult marker NeuN and have a more mature morphology. Furthermore, our data suggest that migration in the DG might be affected. We propose a model in which stathmin controls the transition from neuronal precursors to early postmitotic neurons. PMID:24909416

  10. Populations of subplate and interstitial neurons in fetal and adult human telencephalon

    PubMed Central

    Judaš, Miloš; Sedmak, Goran; Pletikos, Mihovil; Jovanov-Milošević, Nataša

    2010-01-01

    In the adult human telencephalon, subcortical (gyral) white matter contains a special population of interstitial neurons considered to be surviving descendants of fetal subplate neurons [Kostovic & Rakic (1980) Cytology and the time of origin of interstitial neurons in the white matter in infant and adult human and monkey telencephalon. J Neurocytol9, 219]. We designate this population of cells as superficial (gyral) interstitial neurons and describe their morphology and distribution in the postnatal and adult human cerebrum. Human fetal subplate neurons cannot be regarded as interstitial, because the subplate zone is an essential part of the fetal cortex, the major site of synaptogenesis and the ‘waiting’ compartment for growing cortical afferents, and contains both projection neurons and interneurons with distinct input–output connectivity. However, although the subplate zone is a transient fetal structure, many subplate neurons survive postnatally as superficial (gyral) interstitial neurons. The fetal white matter is represented by the intermediate zone and well-defined deep periventricular tracts of growing axons, such as the corpus callosum, anterior commissure, internal and external capsule, and the fountainhead of the corona radiata. These tracts gradually occupy the territory of transient fetal subventricular and ventricular zones.The human fetal white matter also contains distinct populations of deep fetal interstitial neurons, which, by virtue of their location, morphology, molecular phenotypes and advanced level of dendritic maturation, remain distinct from subplate neurons and neurons in adjacent structures (e.g. basal ganglia, basal forebrain). We describe the morphological, histochemical (nicotinamide-adenine dinucleotide phosphate-diaphorase) and immunocytochemical (neuron-specific nuclear protein, microtubule-associated protein-2, calbindin, calretinin, neuropeptide Y) features of both deep fetal interstitial neurons and deep (periventricular

  11. Zebrafish adult-derived hypothalamic neurospheres generate gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons

    PubMed Central

    Cortés-Campos, Christian; Letelier, Joaquín; Ceriani, Ricardo; Whitlock, Kathleen E.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) is a hypothalamic decapeptide essential for fertility in vertebrates. Human male patients lacking GnRH and treated with hormone therapy can remain fertile after cessation of treatment suggesting that new GnRH neurons can be generated during adult life. We used zebrafish to investigate the neurogenic potential of the adult hypothalamus. Previously we have characterized the development of GnRH cells in the zebrafish linking genetic pathways to the differentiation of neuromodulatory and endocrine GnRH cells in specific regions of the brain. Here, we developed a new method to obtain neural progenitors from the adult hypothalamus in vitro. Using this system, we show that neurospheres derived from the adult hypothalamus can be maintained in culture and subsequently differentiate glia and neurons. Importantly, the adult derived progenitors differentiate into neurons containing GnRH and the number of cells is increased through exposure to either testosterone or GnRH, hormones used in therapeutic treatment in humans. Finally, we show in vivo that a neurogenic niche in the hypothalamus contains GnRH positive neurons. Thus, we demonstrated for the first time that neurospheres can be derived from the hypothalamus of the adult zebrafish and that these neural progenitors are capable of producing GnRH containing neurons. PMID:26209533

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Central nervous system-specific deletion of transcription factor Nrf1 causes progressive motor neuronal dysfunction.

    PubMed

    Kobayashi, Akira; Tsukide, Takako; Miyasaka, Tomohiro; Morita, Tomoko; Mizoroki, Tatsuya; Saito, Yoshiro; Ihara, Yasuo; Takashima, Akihiko; Noguchi, Noriko; Fukamizu, Akiyoshi; Hirotsu, Yosuke; Ohtsuji, Makiko; Katsuoka, Fumiki; Yamamoto, Masayuki

    2011-06-01

    Cap'n'Collar (CNC) proteins heterodimerize with small Maf proteins and regulate the transcription of various genes. Small Maf-deficient mice develop severe neurodegeneration, and it remains unclear whether CNC proteins are involved in this process. In this study, we examined the contribution of Nrf1, one of the CNC proteins, to neuronal homeostasis in vivo. As Nrf1 gene knockout mice are embryonic lethal, we developed a central nervous system (CNS)-specific Nrf1 knockout (CKO) mouse line using mice bearing an Nrf1(flox) allele and Nestin-Cre allele. At birth, the CKO mice appeared indistinguishable from control mice, but thereafter they showed progressive motor ataxia and severe weight loss. All Nrf1 CKO mice died within 3 weeks. These phenotypes are similar to those reported in small Maf-deficient mice, suggesting the presence of collaboration between Nrf1 and small Maf proteins. We also found aberrant accumulation of polyubiquitinated proteins in various CNS regions and apparent neuronal loss in the hippocampus of Nrf1 CKO mice. An oxidative stress marker was accumulated in the spinal cords of the mice, but the expression patterns of oxidative stress response genes regulated by Nrf2 did not change substantially. These results show that Nrf1 sustains the CNS homeostasis through regulating target genes distinct from those regulated by Nrf2. PMID:21554501

  15. Neuronal connectome of a sensory-motor circuit for visual navigation

    PubMed Central

    Randel, Nadine; Asadulina, Albina; Bezares-Calderón, Luis A; Verasztó, Csaba; Williams, Elizabeth A; Conzelmann, Markus; Shahidi, Réza; Jékely, Gáspár

    2014-01-01

    Animals use spatial differences in environmental light levels for visual navigation; however, how light inputs are translated into coordinated motor outputs remains poorly understood. Here we reconstruct the neuronal connectome of a four-eye visual circuit in the larva of the annelid Platynereis using serial-section transmission electron microscopy. In this 71-neuron circuit, photoreceptors connect via three layers of interneurons to motorneurons, which innervate trunk muscles. By combining eye ablations with behavioral experiments, we show that the circuit compares light on either side of the body and stimulates body bending upon left-right light imbalance during visual phototaxis. We also identified an interneuron motif that enhances sensitivity to different light intensity contrasts. The Platynereis eye circuit has the hallmarks of a visual system, including spatial light detection and contrast modulation, illustrating how image-forming eyes may have evolved via intermediate stages contrasting only a light and a dark field during a simple visual task. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.02730.001 PMID:24867217

  16. 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

  17. Survival Motor Neuron (SMN) protein is required for normal mouse liver development

    PubMed Central

    Szunyogova, Eva; Zhou, Haiyan; Maxwell, Gillian K.; Powis, Rachael A.; Francesco, Muntoni; Gillingwater, Thomas H.; Parson, Simon H.

    2016-01-01

    Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) is caused by mutation or deletion of the survival motor neuron 1 (SMN1) gene. Decreased levels of, cell-ubiquitous, SMN protein is associated with a range of systemic pathologies reported in severe patients. Despite high levels of SMN protein in normal liver, there is no comprehensive study of liver pathology in SMA. We describe failed liver development in response to reduced SMN levels, in a mouse model of severe SMA. The SMA liver is dark red, small and has: iron deposition; immature sinusoids congested with blood; persistent erythropoietic elements and increased immature red blood cells; increased and persistent megakaryocytes which release high levels of platelets found as clot-like accumulations in the heart. Myelopoiesis in contrast, was unaffected. Further analysis revealed significant molecular changes in SMA liver, consistent with the morphological findings. Antisense treatment from birth with PMO25, increased lifespan and ameliorated all morphological defects in liver by postnatal day 21. Defects in the liver are evident at birth, prior to motor system pathology, and impair essential liver function in SMA. Liver is a key recipient of SMA therapies, and systemically delivered antisense treatment, completely rescued liver pathology. Liver therefore, represents an important therapeutic target in SMA. PMID:27698380

  18. Adult axolotls can regenerate original neuronal diversity in response to brain injury.

    PubMed

    Amamoto, Ryoji; Huerta, Violeta Gisselle Lopez; Takahashi, Emi; Dai, Guangping; Grant, Aaron K; Fu, Zhanyan; Arlotta, Paola

    2016-01-01

    The axolotl can regenerate multiple organs, including the brain. It remains, however, unclear whether neuronal diversity, intricate tissue architecture, and axonal connectivity can be regenerated; yet, this is critical for recovery of function and a central aim of cell replacement strategies in the mammalian central nervous system. Here, we demonstrate that, upon mechanical injury to the adult pallium, axolotls can regenerate several of the populations of neurons present before injury. Notably, regenerated neurons acquire functional electrophysiological traits and respond appropriately to afferent inputs. Despite the ability to regenerate specific, molecularly-defined neuronal subtypes, we also uncovered previously unappreciated limitations by showing that newborn neurons organize within altered tissue architecture and fail to re-establish the long-distance axonal tracts and circuit physiology present before injury. The data provide a direct demonstration that diverse, electrophysiologically functional neurons can be regenerated in axolotls, but challenge prior assumptions of functional brain repair in regenerative species. PMID:27156560

  19. 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.

  20. 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