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Sample records for lamina-specific axon targeting

  1. Topoisomerase IIβ is required for lamina-specific targeting of retinal ganglion cell axons and dendrites

    PubMed Central

    Nevin, Linda M.; Xiao, Tong; Staub, Wendy; Baier, Herwig

    2011-01-01

    The specific partnering of synaptically connected neurons is central to nervous system function. Proper wiring requires the interchange of signals between a postmitotic neuron and its environment, a distinct pattern of transcription in the nucleus, and deployment of guidance and adhesion cues to the cell surface. To identify genes involved in neurite targeting by retinal ganglion cells (GCs), their presynaptic partners in the retina, and their postsynaptic targets in the optic tectum, we undertook a forward genetic screen for mutations disrupting visual responses in zebrafish. This rapid primary screen was subsequently refined by immunohistochemical labeling of retinal and tectal neurites to detect patterning errors. From this unbiased screen, the notorious (noto) mutant exhibited the most specific phenotypes: intact retinal and tectal differentiation but multiple neurite targeting defects in the retinal inner plexiform layer (IPL) and tectal neuropil. Positional cloning and morpholino phenocopy revealed that the mutation disrupts Topoisomerase IIβ (Top2b), a broadly distributed nuclear protein involved in chromatin modifications during postmitotic differentiation. Top2b-DNA interactions are known to regulate transcription of developmentally important genes, including axon guidance factors and cell adhesion molecules, but a specific role in local synaptic targeting has not been previously described. The neurite targeting defects among GC axons are largely restricted to crossovers between sublaminae of a specific layer, SFGS, and were shown by mosaic analysis to be autonomous to the GC axons. The noto mutant provides the first example of the importance of an epigenetic regulator, Top2b, in the intricate series of events that lead to a properly wired visual system. PMID:21610027

  2. Target-controlled differentiation of axon terminals and synaptic organization.

    PubMed Central

    Campbell, G; Frost, D O

    1987-01-01

    These experiments investigate the processes regulating the morphological differentiation of synaptic connections. Electron microscopy showed that the terminal boutons and synaptic complexes of retinal afferent axons in the main thalamic visual nucleus, the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus, differ in their morphology from those of ascending afferent axons in the main thalamic somatosensory (ventrobasal) nucleus. Developing retinal ganglion cell axons in hamsters were made to project permanently to the ventrobasal nucleus, rather than to the lateral geniculate nucleus. With respect to most of the ultrastructural features examined, the terminals and synaptic complexes of mature, anterogradely labeled retino-ventrobasal axons more closely resembled those of normal somatosensory afferents to the ventrobasal nucleus than they did those of normal retinofugal axons within the lateral geniculate nucleus. These results suggest that the ultrastructural differentiation of axon terminals and synaptic complexes is regulated largely by the target environment, although some features appear to be intrinsic to the afferent axons themselves. Images PMID:2443913

  3. Distorted Coarse Axon Targeting and Reduced Dendrite Connectivity Underlie Dysosmia after Olfactory Axon Injury

    PubMed Central

    Iwata, Ryo; Fujimoto, Satoshi; Aihara, Shuhei

    2016-01-01

    The glomerular map in the olfactory bulb (OB) is the basis for odor recognition. Once established during development, the glomerular map is stably maintained throughout the life of an animal despite the continuous turnover of olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs). However, traumatic damage to OSN axons in the adult often leads to dysosmia, a qualitative and quantitative change in olfaction in humans. A mouse model of dysosmia has previously indicated that there is an altered glomerular map in the OB after the OSN axon injury; however, the underlying mechanisms that cause the map distortion remain unknown. In this study, we examined how the glomerular map is disturbed and how the odor information processing in the OB is affected in the dysosmia model mice. We found that the anterior–posterior coarse targeting of OSN axons is disrupted after OSN axon injury, while the local axon sorting mechanisms remained. We also found that the connectivity of mitral/tufted cell dendrites is reduced after injury, leading to attenuated odor responses in mitral/tufted cells. These results suggest that existing OSN axons are an essential scaffold for maintaining the integrity of the olfactory circuit, both OSN axons and mitral/tufted cell dendrites, in the adult. PMID:27785463

  4. Target-Independent EphrinA/EphA-Mediated Axon-Axon Repulsion as a Novel Element in Retinocollicular Mapping

    PubMed Central

    Suetterlin, Philipp; Drescher, Uwe

    2014-01-01

    Summary EphrinAs and EphAs play critical roles during topographic map formation in the retinocollicular projection; however, their complex expression patterns in both the retina and superior colliculus (SC) have made it difficult to uncover their precise mechanisms of action. We demonstrate here that growth cones of temporal axons collapse when contacting nasal axons in vitro, and removing ephrinAs from axonal membranes by PI-PLC treatment abolishes this response. In conditional knockout mice, temporal axons display no major targeting defects when ephrinA5 is removed only from the SC, but substantial mapping defects were observed when ephrinA5 expression was removed from both the SC and from the retina, with temporal axons invading the target areas of nasal axons. Together, these data indicate that ephrinA5 drives repellent interactions between temporal and nasal axons within the SC, and demonstrates for the first time that target-independent mechanisms play an essential role in retinocollicular map formation in vivo. PMID:25451192

  5. Assembly of lamina-specific neuronal connections by Slit bound to type IV Collagen

    PubMed Central

    Xiao, Tong; Staub, Wendy; Robles, Estuardo; Gosse, Nathan J.; Cole, Gregory J.; Baier, Herwig

    2011-01-01

    The mechanisms that generate specific neuronal connections in the brain are under intense investigation. In zebrafish, retinal ganglion cells project their axons into at least six layers within the neuropil of the midbrain tectum. Each axon elaborates a single, planar arbor in one of the target layers and forms synapses onto the dendrites of tectal neurons. We show that the laminar specificity of retinotectal connections does not depend on self-sorting interactions among RGC axons. Rather, tectum-derived Slit1, signaling through axonal Robo2, guides neurites to their target layer. Genetic and biochemical studies indicate that Slit binds to Dragnet (Col4a5), a type IV Collagen, which forms the basement membrane on the surface of the tectum. We further show that radial glial endfeet are required for the basement-membrane anchoring of Slit. We propose that Slit1 signaling, perhaps in the form of a superficial-to-deep gradient, presents laminar positional cues to ingrowing retinal axons. PMID:21729787

  6. Oligodendrocyte Development in the Absence of Their Target Axons In Vivo

    PubMed Central

    Lyons, David

    2016-01-01

    Oligodendrocytes form myelin around axons of the central nervous system, enabling saltatory conduction. Recent work has established that axons can regulate certain aspects of oligodendrocyte development and myelination, yet remarkably oligodendrocytes in culture retain the ability to differentiate in the absence of axons and elaborate myelin sheaths around synthetic axon-like substrates. It remains unclear the extent to which the life-course of oligodendrocytes requires the presence of, or signals derived from axons in vivo. In particular, it is unclear whether the specific axons fated for myelination regulate the oligodendrocyte population in a living organism, and if so, which precise steps of oligodendrocyte-cell lineage progression are regulated by target axons. Here, we use live-imaging of zebrafish larvae carrying transgenic reporters that label oligodendrocyte-lineage cells to investigate which aspects of oligodendrocyte development, from specification to differentiation, are affected when we manipulate the target axonal environment. To drastically reduce the number of axons targeted for myelination, we use a previously identified kinesin-binding protein (kbp) mutant, in which the first myelinated axons in the spinal cord, reticulospinal axons, do not fully grow in length, creating a region in the posterior spinal cord where most initial targets for myelination are absent. We find that a 73% reduction of reticulospinal axon surface in the posterior spinal cord of kbp mutants results in a 27% reduction in the number of oligodendrocytes. By time-lapse analysis of transgenic OPC reporters, we find that the reduction in oligodendrocyte number is explained by a reduction in OPC proliferation and survival. Interestingly, OPC specification and migration are unaltered in the near absence of normal axonal targets. Finally, we find that timely differentiation of OPCs into oligodendrocytes does not depend at all on the presence of target axons. Together, our data

  7. Role of GPR55 during Axon Growth and Target Innervation.

    PubMed

    Cherif, Hosni; Argaw, Anteneh; Cécyre, Bruno; Bouchard, Alex; Gagnon, Jonathan; Javadi, Pasha; Desgent, Sébastien; Mackie, Ken; Bouchard, Jean-François

    2015-01-01

    Guidance molecules regulate the navigation of retinal ganglion cell (RGC) projections toward targets in the visual thalamus. In this study, we demonstrate that the G-protein-coupled receptor 55 (GPR55) is expressed in the retina during development, and regulates growth cone (GC) morphology and axon growth. In vitro, neurons obtained from gpr55 knock-out (gpr55(-/-) ) mouse embryos have smaller GCs, less GC filopodia, and have a decreased outgrowth compared with gpr55(+/+) neurons. When gpr55(+/+) neurons were treated with GPR55 agonists, lysophosphatidylinositol (LPI) and O-1602, we observed a chemo-attractive effect and an increase in GC size and filopodia number. In contrast, cannabidiol (CBD) decreased the GC size and filopodia number inducing chemo-repulsion. In absence of the receptor (gpr55(-/-) ), no pharmacologic effects of the GPR55 ligands were observed. In vivo, compared to their wild-type (WT) littermates, gpr55(-/-) mice revealed a decreased branching in the dorsal terminal nucleus (DTN) and a lower level of eye-specific segregation of retinal projections in the superior colliculus (SC) and in the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus (dLGN). Moreover, a single intraocular injection of LPI increased branching in the DTN, whereas treatment with CBD, an antagonist of GPR55, decreased it. These results indicate that GPR55 modulates the growth rate and the targets innervation of retinal projections and highlight, for the first time, an important role of GPR55 in axon refinement during development. PMID:26730399

  8. Role of GPR55 during Axon Growth and Target Innervation

    PubMed Central

    Cherif, Hosni; Argaw, Anteneh; Cécyre, Bruno; Bouchard, Alex; Gagnon, Jonathan; Javadi, Pasha; Desgent, Sébastien; Mackie, Ken

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Guidance molecules regulate the navigation of retinal ganglion cell (RGC) projections toward targets in the visual thalamus. In this study, we demonstrate that the G-protein-coupled receptor 55 (GPR55) is expressed in the retina during development, and regulates growth cone (GC) morphology and axon growth. In vitro, neurons obtained from gpr55 knock-out (gpr55-/-) mouse embryos have smaller GCs, less GC filopodia, and have a decreased outgrowth compared with gpr55+/+ neurons. When gpr55+/+ neurons were treated with GPR55 agonists, lysophosphatidylinositol (LPI) and O-1602, we observed a chemo-attractive effect and an increase in GC size and filopodia number. In contrast, cannabidiol (CBD) decreased the GC size and filopodia number inducing chemo-repulsion. In absence of the receptor (gpr55-/-), no pharmacologic effects of the GPR55 ligands were observed. In vivo, compared to their wild-type (WT) littermates, gpr55-/- mice revealed a decreased branching in the dorsal terminal nucleus (DTN) and a lower level of eye-specific segregation of retinal projections in the superior colliculus (SC) and in the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus (dLGN). Moreover, a single intraocular injection of LPI increased branching in the DTN, whereas treatment with CBD, an antagonist of GPR55, decreased it. These results indicate that GPR55 modulates the growth rate and the targets innervation of retinal projections and highlight, for the first time, an important role of GPR55 in axon refinement during development. PMID:26730399

  9. The Sushi domains of GABAB receptors function as axonal targeting signals.

    PubMed

    Biermann, Barbara; Ivankova-Susankova, Klara; Bradaia, Amyaouch; Abdel Aziz, Said; Besseyrias, Valerie; Kapfhammer, Josef P; Missler, Markus; Gassmann, Martin; Bettler, Bernhard

    2010-01-27

    GABA(B) receptors are the G-protein-coupled receptors for GABA, the main inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain. Two receptor subtypes, GABA(B(1a,2)) and GABA(B(1b,2)), are formed by the assembly of GABA(B1a) and GABA(B1b) subunits with GABA(B2) subunits. The GABA(B1b) subunit is a shorter isoform of the GABA(B1a) subunit lacking two N-terminal protein interaction motifs, the sushi domains. Selectively GABA(B1a) protein traffics into the axons of glutamatergic neurons, whereas both the GABA(B1a) and GABA(B1b) proteins traffic into the dendrites. The mechanism(s) and targeting signal(s) responsible for the selective trafficking of GABA(B1a) protein into axons are unknown. Here, we provide evidence that the sushi domains are axonal targeting signals that redirect GABA(B1a) protein from its default dendritic localization to axons. Specifically, we show that mutations in the sushi domains preventing protein interactions preclude axonal localization of GABA(B1a). When fused to CD8alpha, the sushi domains polarize this uniformly distributed protein to axons. Likewise, when fused to mGluR1a the sushi domains redirect this somatodendritic protein to axons, showing that the sushi domains can override dendritic targeting information in a heterologous protein. Cell surface expression of the sushi domains is not required for axonal localization of GABA(B1a). Altogether, our findings are consistent with the sushi domains functioning as axonal targeting signals by interacting with axonally bound proteins along intracellular sorting pathways. Our data provide a mechanistic explanation for the selective trafficking of GABA(B(1a,2)) receptors into axons while at the same time identifying a well defined axonal delivery module that can be used as an experimental tool.

  10. Dual Function of NRP1 in Axon Guidance and Subcellular Target Recognition in Cerebellum.

    PubMed

    Telley, Ludovic; Cadilhac, Christelle; Cioni, Jean-Michel; Saywell, Veronique; Jahannault-Talignani, Céline; Huettl, Rosa E; Sarrailh-Faivre, Catherine; Dayer, Alexandre; Huber, Andrea B; Ango, Fabrice

    2016-09-21

    Subcellular target recognition in the CNS is the culmination of a multiple-step program including axon guidance, target recognition, and synaptogenesis. In cerebellum, basket cells (BCs) innervate the soma and axon initial segment (AIS) of Purkinje cells (PCs) to form the pinceau synapse, but the underlying mechanisms remain incompletely understood. Here, we demonstrate that neuropilin-1 (NRP1), a Semaphorin receptor expressed in BCs, controls both axonal guidance and subcellular target recognition. We show that loss of Semaphorin 3A function or specific deletion of NRP1 in BCs alters the stereotyped organization of BC axon and impairs pinceau synapse formation. Further, we identified NRP1 as a trans-synaptic binding partner of the cell adhesion molecule neurofascin-186 (NF186) expressed in the PC AIS during pinceau synapse formation. These findings identify a dual function of NRP1 in both axon guidance and subcellular target recognition in the construction of GABAergic circuitry. PMID:27618676

  11. The T1 domain of Kv1.3 mediates intracellular targeting to axons.

    PubMed

    Rivera, Jacqueline F; Chu, Po-Ju; Arnold, Don B

    2005-10-01

    Shaker K+ channels play an important role in modulating electrical excitability of axons. Recent work has demonstrated that the T1 tetramerization domain of Kv1.2 is both necessary and sufficient for targeting of the channel to the axonal surface [Gu, C., Jan, Y.N. & Jan, L.Y. (2003) Science,301, 646-649]. Here we use a related channel, Kv1.3, as a model to investigate cellular mechanisms that mediate axonal targeting. We show that the T1 domain of Kv1.3 is necessary and sufficient to mediate targeting of the channel to the axonal surface in pyramidal neurons in slices of cortex from neonatal rat. The T1 domain is also sufficient to cause preferential axonal localization of intracellular protein, which indicates that the domain probably does not work through compartment-specific endocytosis or compartment-specific vesicle docking. To determine whether the T1 domain mediates axonal trafficking of transport vesicles, we compared the trafficking of vesicles containing green fluorescent protein-labelled transferrin receptor with those containing the same protein fused with the T1 domain in living cortical neurons. Vesicles containing the wild-type transferrin receptor did not traffic to the axon, in accord with previously published results; however, those containing the transferrin receptor fused to T1 did traffic to the axon. These results are consistent with the T1 domain of Kv1.3 mediating axonal targeting by causing transport vesicles to traffic to axons and they represent the first evidence that such a mechanism might underlie axonal targeting. PMID:16262625

  12. Parameter exploration of staircase-shape extracellular stimulation for targeted stimulation of myelinated axon.

    PubMed

    Ueno, Ayako; Karashima, Akihiro; Nakao, Mitsuyuki; Katayama, Norihiro

    2011-01-01

    Spatio-temporal dynamics of a mathematical model of myelinated axon in response to staircase-shape extracellular electrical stimulation, which was developed for selective nerve stimulation, is investigated by the computer simulation. It is shown that the response is classified into four types: subthreshold response, cathodic excitation, anodal block and anodal break excitation. Based on the simulation results, simple diagrams representing the response characteristics of the axon are constructed as functions of stimulation parameters and distance between the axon and electrode. The diagram would be useful for determining simulation parameters for dynamic targeted stimulation of myelinated axon. PMID:22254459

  13. Quantitative morphological comparison of axon-targeting strategies for gene therapies directed to the nigro-striatal projection.

    PubMed

    Padmanabhan, S; Kareva, T; Kholodilov, N; Burke, R E

    2014-02-01

    Cellular targeting of mRNAs and proteins to axons is essential for axon growth during development and is likely to be important for adult maintenance as well. Given the importance and potency of these axon-targeting motifs to the biology of axons, it seems possible that they can be used in the design of transgenes that are intended to enhance axon growth or maintenance, so as to improve potency and minimize off-target effects. To investigate this possibility, it is first essential to assess known motifs for their efficacy. We have therefore evaluated four axon-targeting motifs, using adeno-associated viral vector-mediated gene delivery in the nigro-striatal dopaminergic system, a projection that is predominantly affected in Parkinson's disease. We have tested two mRNA axonal zipcodes, the 3' untranslated region (UTR) of β-actin and 3' UTR of tau, and two axonal-targeting protein motifs, the palmitoylation signal sequence in GAP-43 and the last 15 amino acids in the amyloid precursor protein, to direct the expression of the fluorescent protein Tomato in axons. These sequences, fused to Tomato, were able to target its expression to dopaminergic axons. Based on quantification of Tomato-positive axons, and the density of striatal innervation, we conclude that the C-terminal of the amyloid precursor protein is the most effective axon-targeting motif. PMID:24305419

  14. Axonal Targeting of Trk Receptors via Transcytosis Regulates Sensitivity to Neurotrophin Responses

    PubMed Central

    Ascaño, Maria; Richmond, Alissa; Borden, Philip; Kuruvilla, Rejji

    2009-01-01

    Axonal targeting of trophic receptors is critical for neuronal responses to extracellular developmental cues, yet the underlying trafficking mechanisms remain unclear. Here, we report that Trk receptors for target-derived neurotrophins are anterogradely trafficked to axons via transcytosis in sympathetic neurons. Using compartmentalized cultures, we show that mature receptors on neuronal soma surfaces are endocytosed and remobilized via Rab11-positive recycling endosomes into axons. Inhibition of dynamin-dependent endocytosis disrupted anterograde transport and localization of TrkA receptors in axons. Anterograde TrkA delivery and exocytosis into axon growth cones is enhanced by nerve growth factor (NGF), acting locally on distal axons. Perturbing endocytic recycling attenuated NGF-dependent signaling and axon growth, while enhancing recycling conferred increased neuronal sensitivity to NGF. Our results reveal regulated transcytosis as an unexpected mode of Trk trafficking that serves to rapidly mobilize ready-synthesized receptors to growth cones, thus providing a positive feedback mechanism by which limiting concentrations of target-derived neurotrophins enhance neuronal sensitivity. PMID:19759314

  15. A microfluidic device to investigate axon targeting by limited numbers of purified cortical projection neuron subtypes

    PubMed Central

    Tharin, Suzanne; Kothapalli, Chandrasekhar R.; Ozdinler, Pembe Hande; Pasquina, Lincoln; Chung, Seok; Varner, Johanna; DeValence, Sarra; Kamm, Roger; Macklis, Jeffrey D.

    2012-01-01

    While much is known about general controls over axon guidance of broad classes of projection neurons (those with long-distance axonal connections), molecular controls over specific axon targeting by distinct neuron subtypes are poorly understood. Corticospinal motor neurons (CSMN) are prototypical and clinically important cerebral cortex projection neurons; they are the brain neurons that degenerate in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and related motor neuron diseases, and their injury is central to the loss of motor function in spinal cord injury. Primary culture of purified immature murine CSMN has been recently established, using either fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) or immunopanning, enabling a previously unattainable level of subtype-specific investigation, but the resulting number of CSMN is quite limiting for standard approaches to study axon guidance. We developed a microfluidic system specifically designed to investigate axon targeting of limited numbers of purified CSMN and other projection neurons in culture. The system contains two chambers for culturing target tissue explants, allowing for biologically revealing axonal growth “choice” experiments. This device will be uniquely enabling for investigation of controls over axon growth and neuronal survival of many types of neurons, particularly those available only in limited numbers. PMID:23034677

  16. Interstitial branch formation within the red nucleus by deep cerebellar nuclei-derived commissural axons during target recognition.

    PubMed

    Hara, Satoshi; Kaneyama, Takeshi; Inamata, Yasuyuki; Onodera, Ryota; Shirasaki, Ryuichi

    2016-04-01

    Target recognition by developing axons is one of the fundamental steps for establishing the proper pattern of neuronal connectivity during development. However, knowledge of the mechanisms that underlie this critical event is still limited. In this study, to examine how commissural axons in vertebrates recognize their targets after crossing the midline, we analyzed in detail the behavior of postcrossing commissural axons derived from the deep cerebellar nuclei (DCN) in the developing mouse cerebellum. For this, we employed a cell-type-specific genetic labeling approach to selectively visualize DCN axons during the time when these axons project to the red nucleus (RN), one of the well-characterized targets of DCN axons. We found that, when DCN axons initially entered the RN at its caudal end, these axons continued to grow rostrally through the RN without showing noticeable morphological signs of axon branching. Interestingly, after a delay, DCN axons started forming interstitial branches from the portion of the axon shaft selectively within the RN. Because commissural axons acquire responsiveness to several guidance cues when they cross the midline, we further addressed whether midline crossing is a prerequisite for subsequent targeting by using a Robo3 knockdown strategy. We found that DCN axons were still capable of forming interstitial branches within the RN even in the absence of midline crossing. These results therefore suggest that the mechanism of RN recognition by DCN axons involves a delayed interstitial branching, and that these axons possess an intrinsic ability to respond to the target-derived cues irrespective of midline crossing.

  17. Dscam and Sidekick proteins direct lamina-specific synaptic connections in vertebrate retina.

    PubMed

    Yamagata, Masahito; Sanes, Joshua R

    2008-01-24

    Synaptic circuits in the retina transform visual input gathered by photoreceptors into messages that retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) send to the brain. Processes of retinal interneurons (amacrine and bipolar cells) form synapses on dendrites of RGCs in the inner plexiform layer (IPL). The IPL is divided into at least 10 parallel sublaminae; subsets of interneurons and RGCs arborize and form synapses in just one or a few of them. These lamina-specific circuits determine the visual features to which RGC subtypes respond. Here we show that four closely related immunoglobulin superfamily (IgSF) adhesion molecules--Dscam (Down's syndrome cell adhesion molecule), DscamL (refs 6-9), Sidekick-1 and Sidekick-2 (ref. 10)--are expressed in chick by non-overlapping subsets of interneurons and RGCs that form synapses in distinct IPL sublaminae. Moreover, each protein is concentrated within the appropriate sublaminae and each mediates homophilic adhesion. Loss- and gain-of-function studies in vivo indicate that these IgSF members participate in determining the IPL sublaminae in which synaptic partners arborize and connect. Thus, vertebrate Dscams, like Drosophila Dscams, play roles in neural connectivity. Together, our results on Dscams and Sidekicks suggest the existence of an IgSF code for laminar specificity in retina and, by implication, in other parts of the central nervous system. PMID:18216854

  18. Axonal patterns and targets of dA1 interneurons in the chick hindbrain.

    PubMed

    Kohl, Ayelet; Hadas, Yoav; Klar, Avihu; Sela-Donenfeld, Dalit

    2012-04-25

    Hindbrain dorsal interneurons that comprise the rhombic lip relay sensory information and coordinate motor outputs. The progenitor dA1 subgroup of interneurons, which is formed along the dorsal-most region of the caudal rhombic lip, gives rise to the cochlear and precerebellar nuclei. These centers project sensory inputs toward upper-brain regions. The fundamental role of dA1 interneurons in the assembly and function of these brainstem nuclei is well characterized. However, the precise en route axonal patterns and synaptic targets of dA1 interneurons are not clear as of yet. Novel genetic tools were used to label dA1 neurons and trace their axonal trajectories and synaptic connections at various stages of chick embryos. Using dA1-specific enhancers, two contralateral ascending axonal projection patterns were identified; one derived from rhombomeres 6-7 that elongated in the dorsal funiculus, while the other originated from rhombomeres 2-5 and extended in the lateral funiculus. Targets of dA1 axons were followed at later stages using PiggyBac-mediated DNA transposition. dA1 axons were found to project and form synapses in the auditory nuclei and cerebellum. Investigation of mechanisms that regulate the patterns of dA1 axons revealed a fundamental role of Lim-homeodomain (HD) proteins. Switch in the expression of the specific dA1 Lim-HD proteins Lhx2/9 into Lhx1, which is typically expressed in dB1 interneurons, modified dA1 axonal patterns to project along the routes of dB1 subgroup. Together, the results of this research provided new tools and knowledge to the assembly of trajectories and connectivity of hindbrain dA1 interneurons and of molecular mechanisms that control these patterns.

  19. Hindsight regulates photoreceptor axon targeting through transcriptional control of jitterbug/Filamin and multiple genes involved in axon guidance in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Oliva, Carlos; Molina-Fernandez, Claudia; Maureira, Miguel; Candia, Noemi; López, Estefanía; Hassan, Bassem; Aerts, Stein; Cánovas, José; Olguín, Patricio; Sierralta, Jimena

    2015-09-01

    During axon targeting, a stereotyped pattern of connectivity is achieved by the integration of intrinsic genetic programs and the response to extrinsic long and short-range directional cues. How this coordination occurs is the subject of intense study. Transcription factors play a central role due to their ability to regulate the expression of multiple genes required to sense and respond to these cues during development. Here we show that the transcription factor HNT regulates layer-specific photoreceptor axon targeting in Drosophila through transcriptional control of jbug/Filamin and multiple genes involved in axon guidance and cytoskeleton organization.Using a microarray analysis we identified 235 genes whose expression levels were changed by HNT overexpression in the eye primordia. We analyzed nine candidate genes involved in cytoskeleton regulation and axon guidance, six of which displayed significantly altered gene expression levels in hnt mutant retinas. Functional analysis confirmed the role of OTK/PTK7 in photoreceptor axon targeting and uncovered Tiggrin, an integrin ligand, and Jbug/Filamin, a conserved actin- binding protein, as new factors that participate of photoreceptor axon targeting. Moreover, we provided in silico and molecular evidence that supports jbug/Filamin as a direct transcriptional target of HNT and that HNT acts partially through Jbug/Filamin in vivo to regulate axon guidance. Our work broadens the understanding of how HNT regulates the coordinated expression of a group of genes to achieve the correct connectivity pattern in the Drosophila visual system. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Develop Neurobiol 75: 1018-1032, 2015.

  20. Hindsight regulates photoreceptor axon targeting through transcriptional control of jitterbug/Filamin and multiple genes involved in axon guidance in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Oliva, Carlos; Molina-Fernandez, Claudia; Maureira, Miguel; Candia, Noemi; López, Estefanía; Hassan, Bassem; Aerts, Stein; Cánovas, José; Olguín, Patricio; Sierralta, Jimena

    2015-09-01

    During axon targeting, a stereotyped pattern of connectivity is achieved by the integration of intrinsic genetic programs and the response to extrinsic long and short-range directional cues. How this coordination occurs is the subject of intense study. Transcription factors play a central role due to their ability to regulate the expression of multiple genes required to sense and respond to these cues during development. Here we show that the transcription factor HNT regulates layer-specific photoreceptor axon targeting in Drosophila through transcriptional control of jbug/Filamin and multiple genes involved in axon guidance and cytoskeleton organization.Using a microarray analysis we identified 235 genes whose expression levels were changed by HNT overexpression in the eye primordia. We analyzed nine candidate genes involved in cytoskeleton regulation and axon guidance, six of which displayed significantly altered gene expression levels in hnt mutant retinas. Functional analysis confirmed the role of OTK/PTK7 in photoreceptor axon targeting and uncovered Tiggrin, an integrin ligand, and Jbug/Filamin, a conserved actin- binding protein, as new factors that participate of photoreceptor axon targeting. Moreover, we provided in silico and molecular evidence that supports jbug/Filamin as a direct transcriptional target of HNT and that HNT acts partially through Jbug/Filamin in vivo to regulate axon guidance. Our work broadens the understanding of how HNT regulates the coordinated expression of a group of genes to achieve the correct connectivity pattern in the Drosophila visual system. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Develop Neurobiol 75: 1018-1032, 2015. PMID:25652545

  1. Neurofascin as a novel target for autoantibody-mediated axonal injury

    PubMed Central

    Mathey, Emily K.; Derfuss, Tobias; Storch, Maria K.; Williams, Kieran R.; Hales, Kimberly; Woolley, David R.; Al-Hayani, Abdulmonem; Davies, Stephen N.; Rasband, Matthew N.; Olsson, Tomas; Moldenhauer, Anja; Velhin, Sviataslau; Hohlfeld, Reinhard; Meinl, Edgar; Linington, Christopher

    2007-01-01

    Axonal injury is considered the major cause of disability in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), but the underlying effector mechanisms are poorly understood. Starting with a proteomics-based approach, we identified neurofascin-specific autoantibodies in patients with MS. These autoantibodies recognize the native form of the extracellular domains of both neurofascin 186 (NF186), a neuronal protein concentrated in myelinated fibers at nodes of Ranvier, and NF155, the oligodendrocyte-specific isoform of neurofascin. Our in vitro studies with hippocampal slice cultures indicate that neurofascin antibodies inhibit axonal conduction in a complement-dependent manner. To evaluate whether circulating antineurofascin antibodies mediate a pathogenic effect in vivo, we cotransferred these antibodies with myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein–specific encephalitogenic T cells to mimic the inflammatory pathology of MS and breach the blood–brain barrier. In this animal model, antibodies to neurofascin selectively targeted nodes of Ranvier, resulting in deposition of complement, axonal injury, and disease exacerbation. Collectively, these results identify a novel mechanism of immune-mediated axonal injury that can contribute to axonal pathology in MS. PMID:17846150

  2. Dynamic responses of Xenopus retinal ganglion cell axon growth cones to netrin-1 as they innervate their in vivo target

    PubMed Central

    Shirkey, Nicole J.; Manitt, Colleen; Zuniga, Liliana; Cohen-Cory, Susana

    2012-01-01

    Netrin-1 influences retinal ganglion cell (RGC) axon pathfinding and also participates in the branching and synaptic differentiation of mature RGC axons at their target. To investigate whether netrin also serves as an early target recognition signal in the brain, we examined the dynamic behavior of Xenopus RGC axons soon after they innervate the optic tectum. Time-lapse confocal microscopy imaging of RGC axons expressing EYFP demonstrated that netrin-1 is involved in early axon branching, as recombinant netrin-1 halted further advancement of growth cones into the tectum and induced back branching. RGC growth cones exhibited differential responses to netrin-1 that depended on the degree of differentiation of the axon and the developmental stage of the tadpole. Netrin-1 decreased the total number of branches on newly arrived RGC growth cones at the target, but increased the dynamic branching of more mature arbors at the later developmental stage. To further explore the response of axonal growth cones to netrin, Xenopus RGC axons were followed in culture by time-lapse imaging. Exposure to netrin-1 rapidly increased the forward advancement of the axon and decreased the size and expanse of the growth cone, while also inducing back branching. Taken together, the differential in vivo and in vitro responses to netrin-1 suggest that netrin alone is not sufficient to induce the cessation of growth cone advancement in the absence of a target, but can independently modulate axon branching. Collectively, our findings reveal a novel role for netrin on RGC axon branch initiation as growth cones innervate their target. PMID:21858928

  3. Pre-target sorting of retino-collicular axons in the mouse

    PubMed Central

    Plas, Daniel T.; Lopez, Joshua E.; Crair, Michael C.

    2008-01-01

    The map of the retina onto the optic tectum is a highly conserved feature of the vertebrate visual system and the mechanism by which this mapping is accomplished during development is a long-standing problem of neurobiology. The early suggestion by Roger Sperry that the map is formed through interactions between retinal ganglion cell axons and target cells within the tectum has gained significant experimental support and wide spread acceptance. Nonetheless, reports in a variety of species indicate that some aspects of retinotopic order exist within the optic tract, leading to the suggestion that this ‘pre-ordering’ of retinal axons may play a role in the formation of the mature tectal map. A satisfactory account of pre-target order must provide the mechanism by which such axon order develops. Insofar as this mechanism must ultimately be genetically determined, the mouse suggests itself as the natural species in which to pursue these studies. Quantitative and repeatable methods are required to asses the contribution of candidate genes in mouse models. For these reasons, we have undertaken a quantitative study of the degree of retinotopic order within the optic tract and nerve of wild type mice both before and after the development of the retinotectal map. Our methods are based on tract-tracing using lipophilic dyes and our results indicate that there is a reestablishment of dorsoventral but not nasotemporal retinal order when the axons pass through the chiasm, and that this order is maintained throughout the subsequent tract. Furthermore, this dorsoventral retinotopic order is well-established by the day after birth, long before the final target zone is discernible within the tectum. We conclude that pretarget sorting of axons according to origin along the dorsoventral axis of the retina is both spatially and chronologically appropriate to contribute to the formation of the retinotectal map, and suggest that these methods be used to search for the molecular

  4. Organophosphates induce distal axonal damage, but not brain oedema, by inactivating neuropathy target esterase

    SciTech Connect

    Read, David J.; Li Yong; Chao, Moses V.; Cavanagh, John B.; Glynn, Paul

    2010-05-15

    Single doses of organophosphorus compounds (OP) which covalently inhibit neuropathy target esterase (NTE) can induce lower-limb paralysis and distal damage in long nerve axons. Clinical signs of neuropathy are evident 3 weeks post-OP dose in humans, cats and chickens. By contrast, clinical neuropathy in mice following acute dosing with OPs or any other toxic compound has never been reported. Moreover, dosing mice with ethyloctylphosphonofluoridate (EOPF) - an extremely potent NTE inhibitor - causes a different (subacute) neurotoxicity with brain oedema. These observations have raised the possibility that mice are intrinsically resistant to neuropathies induced by acute toxic insult, but may incur brain oedema, rather than distal axonal damage, when NTE is inactivated. Here we provide the first report that hind-limb dysfunction and extensive axonal damage can occur in mice 3 weeks after acute dosing with a toxic compound, bromophenylacetylurea. Three weeks after acutely dosing mice with neuropathic OPs no clinical signs were observed, but distal lesions were present in the longest spinal sensory axons. Similar lesions were evident in undosed nestin-cre:NTEfl/fl mice in which NTE had been genetically-deleted from neural tissue. The extent of OP-induced axonal damage in mice was related to the duration of NTE inactivation and, as reported in chickens, was promoted by post-dosing with phenylmethanesulfonylfluoride. However, phenyldipentylphosphinate, another promoting compound in chickens, itself induced in mice lesions different from the neuropathic OP type. Finally, EOPF induced subacute neurotoxicity with brain oedema in both wild-type and nestin-cre:NTEfl/fl mice indicating that the molecular target for this effect is not neural NTE.

  5. Ephrin-B3 coordinates timed axon targeting and amygdala spinogenesis for innate fear behaviour

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Xiao-Na; Liu, Xian-Dong; Sun, Suya; Zhuang, Hanyi; Yang, Jing-Yu; Henkemeyer, Mark; Xu, Nan-Jie

    2016-01-01

    Innate emotion response to environmental stimuli is a fundamental brain function that is controlled by specific neural circuits. Dysfunction of early emotional circuits may lead to neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism and schizophrenia. However, how the functional circuits are formed to prime initial emotional behaviours remain elusive. We reveal here using gene-targeted mutations an essential role for ephrin-B3 ligand-like activity in the development of innate fear in the neonatal brain. We further demonstrate that ephrin-B3 controls axon targeting and coordinates spinogenesis and neuronal activity within the amygdala. The morphological and behavioural abnormalities in ephrin-B3 mutant mice are rescued by conditional knock-in of wild-type ephrin-B3 during the critical period when axon targeting and fear responses are initiated. Our results thus define a key axonal molecule that participates in the wiring of amygdala circuits and helps bring about fear emotion during the important adolescence period. PMID:27008987

  6. Electroporation of the hindbrain to trace axonal trajectories and synaptic targets in the chick embryo.

    PubMed

    Kohl, Ayelet; Hadas, Yoav; Klar, Avihu; Sela-Donenfeld, Dalit

    2013-05-29

    Electroporation of the chick embryonic neural tube has many advantages such as being quick and efficient for the expression of foreign genes into neuronal cells. In this manuscript we provide a method that demonstrates uniquely how to electroporate DNA into the avian hindbrain at E2.75 in order to specifically label a subset of neuronal progenitors, and how to follow their axonal projections and synaptic targets at much advanced stages of development, up to E14.5. We have utilized novel genetic tools including specific enhancer elements, Cre/Lox - based plasmids and the PiggyBac-mediated DNA transposition system to drive GFP expression in a subtype of hindbrain cells (the dorsal most subgroup of interneurons, dA1). Axonal trajectories and targets of dA1 axons are followed at early and late embryonic stages at various brainstem regions. This strategy contributes advanced techniques for targeting cells of interest in the embryonic hindbrain and for tracing circuit formation at multiple stages of development.

  7. Dynamic Change and Target Prediction of Axon-Specific MicroRNAs in Regenerating Sciatic Nerve

    PubMed Central

    Phay, Monichan; Kim, Hak Hee; Yoo, Soonmoon

    2015-01-01

    Injury to axons in the peripheral nervous system induces rapid and local regenerative responses to form a new growth cone, and to generate a retrogradely transporting injury signal. The evidence for essential roles of intra-axonal protein synthesis during regeneration is now compelling. MicroRNA (miRNA) has recently been recognized as a prominent player in post-transcriptional regulation of axonal protein synthesis. Here, we directly contrast temporal changes of miRNA levels in the sciatic nerve following injury, as compared to those in an uninjured nerve using deep sequencing. Small RNAs (<200 nucleotides in length) were fractionated from the proximal nerve stumps to improve the representation of differential miRNA levels. Of 141 axoplasmic miRNAs annotated, 63 rat miRNAs showed significantly differential levels at five time points following injury, compared to an uninjured nerve. The differential changes in miRNA levels responding to injury were processed for hierarchical clustering analyses, and used to predict target mRNAs by Targetscan and miRanda. By overlapping these predicted targets with 2,924 axonally localizing transcripts previously reported, the overlapping set of 214 transcripts was further analyzed by the Gene Ontology enrichment and Ingenuity Pathway Analyses. These results suggest the possibility that the potential targets for these miRNAs play key roles in numerous neurological functions involved in ER stress response, cytoskeleton dynamics, vesicle formation, and neuro-degeneration and-regeneration. Finally, our results suggest that miRNAs could play a direct role in regenerative response and may be manipulated to promote regenerative ability of injured nerves. PMID:26331719

  8. Secreted Semaphorins from Degenerating Larval ORN Axons Direct Adult Projection Neuron Dendrite Targeting

    PubMed Central

    Sweeney, Lora B.; Chou, Ya-Hui; Wu, Zhuhao; Joo, William; Komiyama, Takaki; Potter, Christopher J.; Kolodkin, Alex L.; Garcia, K. Christopher; Luo, Liqun

    2012-01-01

    SUMMARY During assembly of the Drosophila olfactory circuit, projection neuron (PN) dendrites pre-pattern the developing antennal lobe before the arrival of axons from their presynaptic partners, the adult olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs). We previously found that levels of transmembrane Semaphorin-1a, which acts as a receptor, instruct PN dendrite targeting along the dorsolateral-ventromedial axis. Here we show that two secreted semaphorins, Sema-2a and Sema-2b, provide spatial cues for PN dendrite targeting. Sema-2a and Sema-2b proteins are distributed in gradients opposing the Sema-1a protein gradient, and Sema-1a binds to Sema-2a-expressing cells. In Sema-2a and Sema-2b double mutants, PN dendrites that normally target dorsolaterally in the antennal lobe mistarget ventromedially, phenocopying cell-autonomous Sema-1a removal from these PNs. Cell ablation, cell-specific knockdown, and rescue experiments indicate that secreted semaphorins from degenerating larval ORN axons direct dendrite targeting. Thus, a degenerating brain structure instructs the wiring of a developing circuit through the repulsive action of secreted semaphorins. PMID:22153371

  9. Active mechanistic target of rapamycin plays an ancillary rather than essential role in zebrafish CNS axon regeneration

    PubMed Central

    Diekmann, Heike; Kalbhen, Pascal; Fischer, Dietmar

    2015-01-01

    The developmental decrease of the intrinsic regenerative ability of the mammalian central nervous system (CNS) is associated with reduced activity of mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) in mature neurons such as retinal ganglion cells (RGCs). While mTOR activity is further decreased upon axonal injury, maintenance of its pre-injury level, for instance by genetic deletion of the phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN), markedly promotes axon regeneration in mammals. The current study now addressed the question whether active mTOR might generally play a central role in axon regeneration by analyzing its requirement in regeneration-competent zebrafish. Remarkably, regulation of mTOR activity after optic nerve injury in zebrafish is fundamentally different compared to mammals. Hardly any activity was detected in naïve RGCs, whereas it was markedly increased upon axotomy in vivo as well as in dissociated cell cultures. After a short burst, mTOR activity was quickly attenuated, which is contrary to the requirements for axon regeneration in mammals. Surprisingly, mTOR activity was not essential for axonal growth per se, but correlated with cytokine- and PTEN inhibitor-induced neurite extension in vitro. Moreover, inhibition of mTOR using rapamycin significantly reduced axon regeneration in vivo and compromised functional recovery after optic nerve injury. Therefore, axotomy-induced mTOR activity is involved in CNS axon regeneration in zebrafish similar to mammals, although it plays an ancillary rather than essential role in this regeneration-competent species. PMID:26217179

  10. Liprin-alpha has LAR-independent functions in R7 photoreceptor axon targeting.

    PubMed

    Hofmeyer, Kerstin; Maurel-Zaffran, Corinne; Sink, Helen; Treisman, Jessica E

    2006-08-01

    In the Drosophila visual system, the color-sensing photoreceptors R7 and R8 project their axons to two distinct layers in the medulla. Loss of the receptor tyrosine phosphatase LAR from R7 photoreceptors causes their axons to terminate prematurely in the R8 layer. Here we identify a null mutation in the Liprin-alpha gene based on a similar R7 projection defect. Liprin-alpha physically interacts with the inactive D2 phosphatase domain of LAR, and this domain is also essential for R7 targeting. However, another LAR-dependent function, egg elongation, requires neither Liprin-alpha nor the LAR D2 domain. Although human and Caenorhabditis elegans Liprin-alpha proteins have been reported to control the localization of LAR, we find that LAR localizes to focal adhesions in Drosophila S2R+ cells and to photoreceptor growth cones in vivo independently of Liprin-alpha. In addition, Liprin-alpha overexpression or loss of function can affect R7 targeting in the complete absence of LAR. We conclude that Liprin-alpha does not simply act by regulating LAR localization but also has LAR-independent functions. PMID:16864797

  11. Therapeutic Targeting of the Axonal and Microvascular Change Associated with Repetitive Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

    PubMed Central

    Miyauchi, Takashi; Wei, Enoch P.

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Recent interest in mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) has increased the recognition that repetitive mTBI occurring within the sports and military settings can exacerbate the adverse consequences of the initial injury. While multiple studies have recently reported the pathological, metabolic, and functional changes associated with repetitive mTBI, no consideration has been given to the development of therapeutic approaches to attenuate these abnormalities. In this study, we used the model of repetitive impact acceleration insult previously reported by our laboratory to cause no initial structural and functional changes, yet evoke dramatic change following second insult of the same intensity. Using this model, we employed established neuroprotective agents including FK506 and hypothermia that were administered 1 h after the second insult. Following either therapeutic intervention, changes of cerebral vascular reactivity to acetylcholine were assessed through a cranial window. Following the completion of the vascular studies, the animals were prepared to access the numbers of amyloid precursor protein (APP) positive axons, a marker of axonal damage. Following repetitive injury, cerebral vascular reactivity was dramatically preserved by either therapeutic intervention or the combination thereof compared to control group in which no intervention was employed. Similarly, APP density was significantly lower in the therapeutic intervention group compared in controls. Although the individual use of FK506 or hypothermia exerted significant protection, no additive benefit was found when both therapies were combined. In sum, the current study demonstrates that the exacerbated pathophysiological changes associated with repetitive mTBI can be therapeutically targeted. PMID:23796228

  12. Toll receptors instruct axon and dendrite targeting and participate in synaptic partner matching in a Drosophila olfactory circuit.

    PubMed

    Ward, Alex; Hong, Weizhe; Favaloro, Vincenzo; Luo, Liqun

    2015-03-01

    Our understanding of the mechanisms that establish wiring specificity of complex neural circuits is far from complete. During Drosophila olfactory circuit assembly, axons of 50 olfactory receptor neuron (ORN) classes and dendrites of 50 projection neuron (PN) classes precisely target to 50 discrete glomeruli, forming parallel information-processing pathways. Here we show that Toll-6 and Toll-7, members of the Toll receptor family best known for functions in innate immunity and embryonic patterning, cell autonomously instruct the targeting of specific classes of PN dendrites and ORN axons, respectively. The canonical ligands and downstream partners of Toll receptors in embryonic patterning and innate immunity are not required for the function of Toll-6/Toll-7 in wiring specificity, nor are their cytoplasmic domains. Interestingly, both Toll-6 and Toll-7 participate in synaptic partner matching between ORN axons and PN dendrites. Our investigations reveal that olfactory circuit assembly involves dynamic and long-range interactions between PN dendrites and ORN axons.

  13. Do growth-stimulated retinal ganglion cell axons find their central targets after optic nerve injury? New insights by three-dimensional imaging of the visual pathway.

    PubMed

    Diekmann, Heike; Leibinger, Marco; Fischer, Dietmar

    2013-10-01

    Retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) do not normally regenerate injured axons. However, several strategies to transform RGCs into a potent regenerative state have been developed in recent years. Intravitreal CNTF application combined with conditional PTEN and SOCS3 deletion or zymosan-induced inflammatory stimulation together with cAMP analogue injection and PTEN-deletion in RGCs induce long-distance regeneration into the optic nerve of adult mice. A recent paper by the Benowitz group (de Lima et al.) claimed that the latter treatment enables full-length regeneration, with axons correctly navigating to their central target zones and partial recovery of visual behaviors. To gain a more detailed view of the extent and the trajectories of regenerating axons, Luo et al. applied a tissue clearing method and fluorescent microscopy to allow the tracing of naïve and regenerating RGC axons in whole ON and all the way to their brain targets. Using this approach, the authors found comparable axon regeneration in the optic nerve after both above-mentioned experimental treatments. Regeneration was accompanied by prevalent aberrant axon growth in the optic nerve and significant axonal misguidance at the optic chiasm. Less than 120 axons per animal reached the optic chiasm and only few entered the correct optic tract. Importantly, no axons reached visual targets in the olivary pretectal nucleus, the lateral geniculate nucleus or the superior colliculus, thereby contradicting and challenging previous claims by the Benowitz group. The data provided by Luo et al. rather suggest that potent stimulation of axonal growth per se is insufficient to achieve functional recovery and underscore the need to investigate regeneration-relevant axon guidance mechanisms in the mature visual system. PMID:23816572

  14. Axonal pathology in Krabbe's disease: The cytoskeleton as an emerging therapeutic target.

    PubMed

    Nogueira-Rodrigues, Joana; Brites, Pedro; Sousa, Mónica Mendes

    2016-11-01

    In Krabbe's disease (KD), demyelination and myelin-independent axonal and neuronal defects contribute to the severe neuropathology. The toxic substrate that accumulates in this disease, psychosine, induces alterations in membrane lipid rafts with downstream consequences to cellular signaling pathways that include impaired protein kinase C, ERK, and AKT-glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK3β) activation. In addition to impaired recruitment of signaling proteins to lipid rafts, endocytosis and axonal transport are affected in KD. Defects in AKT-GSK3β activation, a central pathway regulating microtubule stability, together with alterations in neurofilaments and microtubules and severely defective axonal transport, highlight the importance of the neuronal cytoskeleton in KD. This Review critically discusses these primary neuronal defects as well as new windows for action opened by their identification that may contribute to effectively correct the neuropathology that underlies this disorder. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  15. Axonal pathology in Krabbe's disease: The cytoskeleton as an emerging therapeutic target.

    PubMed

    Nogueira-Rodrigues, Joana; Brites, Pedro; Sousa, Mónica Mendes

    2016-11-01

    In Krabbe's disease (KD), demyelination and myelin-independent axonal and neuronal defects contribute to the severe neuropathology. The toxic substrate that accumulates in this disease, psychosine, induces alterations in membrane lipid rafts with downstream consequences to cellular signaling pathways that include impaired protein kinase C, ERK, and AKT-glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK3β) activation. In addition to impaired recruitment of signaling proteins to lipid rafts, endocytosis and axonal transport are affected in KD. Defects in AKT-GSK3β activation, a central pathway regulating microtubule stability, together with alterations in neurofilaments and microtubules and severely defective axonal transport, highlight the importance of the neuronal cytoskeleton in KD. This Review critically discusses these primary neuronal defects as well as new windows for action opened by their identification that may contribute to effectively correct the neuropathology that underlies this disorder. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:27638589

  16. Target Selection of Proprioceptive and Motor Axon Synapses on Neonatal V1-Derived Ia Inhibitory Interneurons and Renshaw Cells

    PubMed Central

    Siembab, Valerie C.; Smith, Courtney A.; Zagoraiou, Laskaro; Berrocal, Maria C.; Mentis, George Z.; Alvarez, Francisco J.

    2011-01-01

    The diversity of premotor interneurons in the mammalian spinal cord is generated from a few phylogenetically conserved embryonic classes of interneurons (V0, V1, V2, V3). Their mechanisms of diversification remain unresolved, although these are clearly important to understand motor circuit assembly in the spinal cord. Some Ia inhibitory interneurons (IaINs) and all Renshaw cells (RCs) derive from embryonic V1 interneurons; however, in adult they display distinct functional properties and synaptic inputs, for example proprioceptive inputs preferentially target IaINs, while motor axons target RCs. Previously, we found that both inputs converge on RCs in neonates, raising the possibility that proprioceptive (VGLUT1-positive) and motor axon synapses (VAChT-positive) initially target several different V1 interneurons populations and then become selected or deselected postnatally. Alternatively, specific inputs might precisely connect only with predefined groups of V1 interneurons. To test these hypotheses we analyzed synaptic development on V1-derived IaINs and compared them to RCs of the same age and spinal cord levels. V1-interneurons were labeled using genetically encoded lineage markers in mice. The results show that although neonatal V1-derived IaINs and RCs are competent to receive proprioceptive synapses, these synapses preferentially target the proximal somato-dendritic regions of IaINs and postnatally proliferate on IaINs, but not on RCs. In contrast, cholinergic synapses on RCs are specifically derived from motor axons, while on IaINs they originate from Pitx2 V0c interneurons. Thus, motor, proprioceptive, and even some interneuron inputs are biased toward specific subtypes of V1-interneurons. Postnatal strengthening of these inputs is later superimposed on this initial preferential targeting. PMID:20963823

  17. Orthodenticle Is Required for the Expression of Principal Recognition Molecules That Control Axon Targeting in the Drosophila Retina.

    PubMed

    Mencarelli, Chiara; Pichaud, Franck

    2015-06-01

    Parallel processing of neuronal inputs relies on assembling neural circuits into distinct synaptic-columns and layers. This is orchestrated by matching recognition molecules between afferent growth cones and target areas. Controlling the expression of these molecules during development is crucial but not well understood. The developing Drosophila visual system is a powerful genetic model for addressing this question. In this model system, the achromatic R1-6 photoreceptors project their axons in the lamina while the R7 and R8 photoreceptors, which are involved in colour detection, project their axons to two distinct synaptic-layers in the medulla. Here we show that the conserved homeodomain transcription factor Orthodenticle (Otd), which in the eye is a main regulator of rhodopsin expression, is also required for R1-6 photoreceptor synaptic-column specific innervation of the lamina. Our data indicate that otd function in these photoreceptors is largely mediated by the recognition molecules flamingo (fmi) and golden goal (gogo). In addition, we find that otd regulates synaptic-layer targeting of R8. We demonstrate that during this process, otd and the R8-specific transcription factor senseless/Gfi1 (sens) function as independent transcriptional inputs that are required for the expression of fmi, gogo and the adhesion molecule capricious (caps), which govern R8 synaptic-layer targeting. Our work therefore demonstrates that otd is a main component of the gene regulatory network that regulates synaptic-column and layer targeting in the fly visual system. PMID:26114289

  18. Functional and structural characterization of axonal opioid receptors as targets for analgesia

    PubMed Central

    Mambretti, Egle M; Kistner, Katrin; Mayer, Stefanie; Massotte, Dominique; Kieffer, Brigitte L; Hoffmann, Carsten; Reeh, Peter W; Brack, Alexander; Asan, Esther

    2016-01-01

    Background Opioids are the gold standard for the treatment of acute pain despite serious side effects in the central and enteric nervous system. µ-opioid receptors (MOPs) are expressed and functional at the terminals of sensory axons, when activated by exogenous or endogenous ligands. However, the presence and function of MOP along nociceptive axons remains controversial particularly in naïve animals. Here, we characterized axonal MOPs by immunofluorescence, ultrastructural, and functional analyses. Furthermore, we evaluated hypertonic saline as a possible enhancer of opioid receptor function. Results Comparative immunolabeling showed that, among several tested antibodies, which all provided specific MOP detection in the rat central nervous system (CNS), only one monoclonal MOP-antibody yielded specificity and reproducibility for MOP detection in the rat peripheral nervous system including the sciatic nerve. Double immunolabeling documented that MOP immunoreactivity was confined to calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) positive fibers and fiber bundles. Almost identical labeling and double labeling patterns were found using mcherry-immunolabeling on sciatic nerves of mice producing a MOP-mcherry fusion protein (MOP-mcherry knock-in mice). Preembedding immunogold electron microscopy on MOP-mcherry knock-in sciatic nerves indicated presence of MOP in cytoplasm and at membranes of unmyelinated axons. Application of [D-Ala2, N-MePhe4, Gly-ol]-enkephalin (DAMGO) or fentanyl dose-dependently inhibited depolarization-induced CGRP release from rat sciatic nerve axons ex vivo, which was blocked by naloxone. When the lipophilic opioid fentanyl was applied perisciatically in naïve Wistar rats, mechanical nociceptive thresholds increased. Subthreshold doses of fentanyl or the hydrophilic opioid DAMGO were only effective if injected together with hypertonic saline. In vitro, using β-arrestin-2/MOP double-transfected human embryonic kidney cells, DAMGO as well as fentanyl

  19. MiR-133b ameliorates axon degeneration induced by MPP(+) via targeting RhoA.

    PubMed

    Niu, M; Xu, R; Wang, J; Hou, B; Xie, A

    2016-06-14

    Increasing evidence suggests that microRNAs (miRs) play a significant role in the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease (PD). MiR-133b, which is significantly decreased in the PD midbrain, has recently been shown to promote neurite outgrowth and enhance neural functional recovery. However, the role of miR-133b in PD has not been clearly established. Here, using a well-established PD model culture based on the neurotoxin 1-methyl-4-phenyl-pyridinium (MPP(+)), we demonstrated that miR-133b could promote axon outgrowth in dopaminergic neurons (DNs) and ameliorated MPP(+)-induced axon degeneration. Additional experiments suggested that the mechanisms of this miR-133b-mediated effect might rely on RhoA inhibition. We demonstrated that RhoA, an inhibitor of axonal growth, was increased in DNs under MPP(+) treatment, and this increase could be attenuated by miR-133b overexpression. Moreover, we demonstrated that the induced expression of miR-133b could inhibit α-synuclein, which is critically involved in the pathological process of PD. Furthermore, we found that overexpression of miR-133b abrogated the MPP(+)-induced decrease in the Bcl-2/Bax ratio and upregulated phosphorylated Akt (p-Akt), which is a pro-survival kinase. Together these findings reveal novel roles for miR-133b in the pathogenesis of PD and provide new therapeutic avenues for the treatment of the disease. PMID:27012608

  20. Inhibitory axons are targeted in hippocampal cell culture by anti-Caspr2 autoantibodies associated with limbic encephalitis

    PubMed Central

    Pinatel, Delphine; Hivert, Bruno; Boucraut, José; Saint-Martin, Margaux; Rogemond, Véronique; Zoupi, Lida; Karagogeos, Domna; Honnorat, Jérôme; Faivre-Sarrailh, Catherine

    2015-01-01

    Contactin-associated protein-like 2 (Caspr2), also known as CNTNAP2, is a cell adhesion molecule that clusters voltage-gated potassium channels (Kv1.1/1.2) at the juxtaparanodes of myelinated axons and may regulate axonal excitability. As a component of the Kv1 complex, Caspr2 has been identified as a target in neuromyotonia and Morvan syndrome, but also in some cases of autoimmune limbic encephalitis (LE). How anti-Caspr2 autoimmunity is linked with the central neurological symptoms is still elusive. In the present study, using anti-Caspr2 antibodies from seven patients affected by pure LE, we determined that IgGs in the cerebrospinal fluid of four out seven patients were selectively directed against the N-terminal Discoïdin and LamininG1 modules of Caspr2. Using live immunolabeling of cultured hippocampal neurons, we determined that serum IgGs in all patients strongly targeted inhibitory interneurons. Caspr2 was highly detected on GAD65-positive axons that are surrounding the cell bodies and at the VGAT-positive inhibitory presynaptic contacts. Functional assays indicated that LE autoantibodies may induce alteration of Gephyrin clusters at inhibitory synaptic contacts. Next, we generated a Caspr2-Fc chimera to reveal Caspr2 receptors on hippocampal neurons localized at the somato-dendritic compartment and post-synapse. Caspr2-Fc binding was strongly increased on TAG-1-transfected neurons and conversely, Caspr2-Fc did not bind hippocampal neurons from TAG-1-deficient mice. Our data indicate that Caspr2 may participate as a cell recognition molecule in the dynamics of inhibitory networks. This study provides new insight into the potential pathogenic effect of anti-Caspr2 autoantibodies in central hyperexcitability that may be related with perturbation of inhibitory interneuron activity. PMID:26217189

  1. Axonal regeneration in zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Becker, Thomas; Becker, Catherina G

    2014-08-01

    In contrast to mammals, fish and amphibia functionally regenerate axons in the central nervous system (CNS). The strengths of the zebrafish model, that is, transgenics and mutant availability, ease of gene expression analysis and manipulation and optical transparency of larvae lend themselves to the analysis of successful axonal regeneration. Analyses in larval and adult zebrafish suggest a high intrinsic capacity for axon regrowth, yet signaling pathways employed in axonal growth and pathfinding are similar to those in mammals. However, the lesioned CNS environment in zebrafish shows remarkably little scarring or expression of inhibitory molecules and regenerating axons use molecular cues in the environment to successfully navigate to their targets. Future zebrafish research, including screening techniques, will complete our picture of the mechanisms behind successful CNS axon regeneration in this vertebrate model organism.

  2. Targeted axonal import (TAxI) peptide delivers functional proteins into spinal cord motor neurons after peripheral administration.

    PubMed

    Sellers, Drew L; Bergen, Jamie M; Johnson, Russell N; Back, Heidi; Ravits, John M; Horner, Philip J; Pun, Suzie H

    2016-03-01

    A significant unmet need in treating neurodegenerative disease is effective methods for delivery of biologic drugs, such as peptides, proteins, or nucleic acids into the central nervous system (CNS). To date, there are no operative technologies for the delivery of macromolecular drugs to the CNS via peripheral administration routes. Using an in vivo phage-display screen, we identify a peptide, targeted axonal import (TAxI), that enriched recombinant bacteriophage accumulation and delivered protein cargo into spinal cord motor neurons after intramuscular injection. In animals with transected peripheral nerve roots, TAxI delivery into motor neurons after peripheral administration was inhibited, suggesting a retrograde axonal transport mechanism for delivery into the CNS. Notably, TAxI-Cre recombinase fusion proteins induced selective recombination and tdTomato-reporter expression in motor neurons after intramuscular injections. Furthermore, TAxI peptide was shown to label motor neurons in the human tissue. The demonstration of a nonviral-mediated delivery of functional proteins into the spinal cord establishes the clinical potential of this technology for minimally invasive administration of CNS-targeted therapeutics.

  3. Targeted axonal import (TAxI) peptide delivers functional proteins into spinal cord motor neurons after peripheral administration

    PubMed Central

    Sellers, Drew L.; Bergen, Jamie M.; Johnson, Russell N.; Back, Heidi; Ravits, John M.; Horner, Philip J.; Pun, Suzie H.

    2016-01-01

    A significant unmet need in treating neurodegenerative disease is effective methods for delivery of biologic drugs, such as peptides, proteins, or nucleic acids into the central nervous system (CNS). To date, there are no operative technologies for the delivery of macromolecular drugs to the CNS via peripheral administration routes. Using an in vivo phage-display screen, we identify a peptide, targeted axonal import (TAxI), that enriched recombinant bacteriophage accumulation and delivered protein cargo into spinal cord motor neurons after intramuscular injection. In animals with transected peripheral nerve roots, TAxI delivery into motor neurons after peripheral administration was inhibited, suggesting a retrograde axonal transport mechanism for delivery into the CNS. Notably, TAxI-Cre recombinase fusion proteins induced selective recombination and tdTomato-reporter expression in motor neurons after intramuscular injections. Furthermore, TAxI peptide was shown to label motor neurons in the human tissue. The demonstration of a nonviral-mediated delivery of functional proteins into the spinal cord establishes the clinical potential of this technology for minimally invasive administration of CNS-targeted therapeutics. PMID:26888285

  4. Targeted GAS6 Delivery to the CNS Protects Axons from Damage during Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis

    PubMed Central

    Gruber, Ross C.; Ray, Alex K.; Johndrow, Christopher T.; Guzik, Hillary; Burek, Dominika; de Frutos, Pablo García

    2014-01-01

    Growth arrest-specific protein 6 (GAS6) is a soluble agonist of the TYRO3, AXL, MERTK (TAM) family of receptor tyrosine kinases identified to have anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective, and promyelinating properties. During experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), wild-type (WT) mice demonstrate a significant induction of Gas6, Axl, and Mertk but not Pros1 or Tyro3 mRNA. We tested the hypothesis that intracerebroventricular delivery of GAS6 directly into the CNS of WT mice during myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG)-induced EAE would improve the clinical course of disease relative to artificial CSF (ACSF)-treated mice. GAS6 did not delay disease onset, but significantly reduced the clinical scores during peak and chronic EAE. Mice receiving GAS6 for 28 d had preserved SMI31+ neurofilament immunoreactivity, significantly fewer SMI32+ axonal swellings and spheroids and less demyelination relative to ACSF-treated mice. Alternate-day subcutaneous IFNβ injection did not enhance GAS6 treatment effectiveness. Gas6−/− mice sensitized with MOG35-55 peptide exhibit higher clinical scores during late peak to early chronic disease, with significantly increased SMI32+ axonal swellings and Iba1+ microglia/macrophages, enhanced expression of several proinflammatory mRNA molecules, and decreased expression of early oligodendrocyte maturation markers relative to WT mouse spinal cords with scores for 8 consecutive days. During acute EAE, flow cytometry showed significantly more macrophages but not T-cell infiltrates in Gas6−/− spinal cords than WT spinal cords. Our data are consistent with GAS6 being protective during EAE by dampening the inflammatory response, thereby preserving axonal integrity and myelination. PMID:25471571

  5. Phenotyping the Function of TRPV1-Expressing Sensory Neurons by Targeted Axonal Silencing

    PubMed Central

    Brenneis, Christian; Kistner, Katrin; Puopolo, Michelino; Segal, David; Roberson, David; Sisignano, Marco; Labocha, Sandra; Ferreirós, Nerea; Strominger, Amanda; Cobos, Enrique J.; Ghasemlou, Nader; Geisslinger, Gerd; Reeh, Peter W.; Bean, Bruce P.; Woolf, Clifford J.

    2013-01-01

    Specific somatosensations may be processed by different subsets of primary afferents. C-fibers expressing heat-sensitive TRPV1 channels are proposed, for example, to be heat but not mechanical pain detectors. To phenotype in rats the sensory function of TRPV1+ afferents, we rapidly and selectively silenced only their activity, by introducing the membrane-impermeant sodium channel blocker QX-314 into these axons via the TRPV1 channel pore. Using tandem mass spectrometry we show that upon activation with capsaicin, QX-314 selectively accumulates in the cytosol only of TRPV1-expressing cells, and not in control cells. Exposure to QX-314 and capsaicin induces in small DRG neurons a robust sodium current block within 30 s. In sciatic nerves, application of extracellular QX-314 with capsaicin persistently reduces C-fiber but not A-fiber compound action potentials and this effect does not occur in TRPV1−/− mice. Behavioral phenotyping after selectively silencing TRPV1+ sciatic nerve axons by perineural injections of QX-314 and capsaicin reveals deficits in heat and mechanical pressure but not pinprick or light touch perception. The response to intraplantar capsaicin is substantially reduced, as expected. During inflammation, silencing TRPV1+ axons abolishes heat, mechanical, and cold hyperalgesia but tactile and cold allodynia remain following peripheral nerve injury. These results indicate that TRPV1-expressing sensory neurons process particular thermal and mechanical somatosensations, and that the sensory channels activated by mechanical and cold stimuli to produce pain in naive/inflamed rats differ from those in animals after peripheral nerve injury. PMID:23283344

  6. Targeted GAS6 delivery to the CNS protects axons from damage during experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis.

    PubMed

    Gruber, Ross C; Ray, Alex K; Johndrow, Christopher T; Guzik, Hillary; Burek, Dominika; de Frutos, Pablo García; Shafit-Zagardo, Bridget

    2014-12-01

    Growth arrest-specific protein 6 (GAS6) is a soluble agonist of the TYRO3, AXL, MERTK (TAM) family of receptor tyrosine kinases identified to have anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective, and promyelinating properties. During experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), wild-type (WT) mice demonstrate a significant induction of Gas6, Axl, and Mertk but not Pros1 or Tyro3 mRNA. We tested the hypothesis that intracerebroventricular delivery of GAS6 directly into the CNS of WT mice during myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG)-induced EAE would improve the clinical course of disease relative to artificial CSF (ACSF)-treated mice. GAS6 did not delay disease onset, but significantly reduced the clinical scores during peak and chronic EAE. Mice receiving GAS6 for 28 d had preserved SMI31(+) neurofilament immunoreactivity, significantly fewer SMI32(+) axonal swellings and spheroids and less demyelination relative to ACSF-treated mice. Alternate-day subcutaneous IFNβ injection did not enhance GAS6 treatment effectiveness. Gas6(-/-) mice sensitized with MOG35-55 peptide exhibit higher clinical scores during late peak to early chronic disease, with significantly increased SMI32(+) axonal swellings and Iba1(+) microglia/macrophages, enhanced expression of several proinflammatory mRNA molecules, and decreased expression of early oligodendrocyte maturation markers relative to WT mouse spinal cords with scores for 8 consecutive days. During acute EAE, flow cytometry showed significantly more macrophages but not T-cell infiltrates in Gas6(-/-) spinal cords than WT spinal cords. Our data are consistent with GAS6 being protective during EAE by dampening the inflammatory response, thereby preserving axonal integrity and myelination. PMID:25471571

  7. Differential subcellular mRNA targeting: deletion of a single nucleotide prevents the transport to axons but not to dendrites of rat hypothalamic magnocellular neurons.

    PubMed Central

    Mohr, E; Morris, J F; Richter, D

    1995-01-01

    It has previously been shown that mRNA encoding the arginine vasopressin (AVP) precursor is targeted to axons of rat magnocellular neurons of the hypothalamo-neurohypophyseal tract. In the homozygous Brattle-boro rat, which has a G nucleotide deletion in the coding region of the AVP gene, no such targeting is observed although the gene is transcribed. RNase protection and heteroduplex analyses demonstrate that, in heterozygous animals, which express both alleles of the AVP gene, the wild-type but not the mutant transcript is subject to axonal compartmentation. In contrast, wild-type and mutant AVP mRNAs are present in dendrites. These data suggest the existence of different mechanisms for mRNA targeting to the two subcellular compartments. Axonal mRNA localization appears to take place after protein synthesis; the mutant transcript is not available for axonal targeting because it lacks a stop codon preventing its release from ribosomes. Dendritic compartmentation, on the other hand, is likely to precede translation and, thus, would be unable to discriminate between the two mRNAs. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 3 Fig. 4 Fig. 5 Fig. 6 PMID:7753814

  8. MicroRNA-8 promotes robust motor axon targeting by coordinate regulation of cell adhesion molecules during synapse development

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Cecilia S.; Zhai, Bo; Mauss, Alex; Landgraf, Matthias; Gygi, Stephen; Van Vactor, David

    2014-01-01

    Neuronal connectivity and specificity rely upon precise coordinated deployment of multiple cell-surface and secreted molecules. MicroRNAs have tremendous potential for shaping neural circuitry by fine-tuning the spatio-temporal expression of key synaptic effector molecules. The highly conserved microRNA miR-8 is required during late stages of neuromuscular synapse development in Drosophila. However, its role in initial synapse formation was previously unknown. Detailed analysis of synaptogenesis in this system now reveals that miR-8 is required at the earliest stages of muscle target contact by RP3 motor axons. We find that the localization of multiple synaptic cell adhesion molecules (CAMs) is dependent on the expression of miR-8, suggesting that miR-8 regulates the initial assembly of synaptic sites. Using stable isotope labelling in vivo and comparative mass spectrometry, we find that miR-8 is required for normal expression of multiple proteins, including the CAMs Fasciclin III (FasIII) and Neuroglian (Nrg). Genetic analysis suggests that Nrg and FasIII collaborate downstream of miR-8 to promote accurate target recognition. Unlike the function of miR-8 at mature larval neuromuscular junctions, at the embryonic stage we find that miR-8 controls key effectors on both sides of the synapse. MiR-8 controls multiple stages of synapse formation through the coordinate regulation of both pre- and postsynaptic cell adhesion proteins. PMID:25135978

  9. Time dependent integration of matrix metalloproteinases and their targeted substrates directs axonal sprouting and synaptogenesis following central nervous system injury

    PubMed Central

    Phillips, Linda L.; Chan, Julie L.; Doperalski, Adele E.; Reeves, Thomas M.

    2014-01-01

    Over the past two decades, many investigators have reported how extracellular matrix molecules act to regulate neuroplasticity. The majority of these studies involve proteins which are targets of matrix metalloproteinases. Importantly, these enzyme/substrate interactions can regulate degenerative and regenerative phases of synaptic plasticity, directing axonal and dendritic reorganization after brain insult. The present review first summarizes literature support for the prominent role of matrix metalloproteinases during neuroregeneration, followed by a discussion of data contrasting adaptive and maladaptive neuroplasticity that reveals time-dependent metalloproteinase/substrate regulation of postinjury synaptic recovery. The potential for these enzymes to serve as therapeutic targets for enhanced neuroplasticity after brain injury is illustrated with experiments demonstrating that metalloproteinase inhibitors can alter adaptive and maladaptive outcome. Finally, the complexity of metalloproteinase role in reactive synaptogenesis is revealed in new studies showing how these enzymes interact with immune molecules to mediate cellular response in the local regenerative environment, and are regulated by novel binding partners in the brain extracellular matrix. Together, these different examples show the complexity with which metalloproteinases are integrated into the process of neuroregeneration, and point to a promising new angle for future studies exploring how to facilitate brain plasticity. PMID:25206824

  10. MicroRNA-8 promotes robust motor axon targeting by coordinate regulation of cell adhesion molecules during synapse development.

    PubMed

    Lu, Cecilia S; Zhai, Bo; Mauss, Alex; Landgraf, Matthias; Gygi, Stephen; Van Vactor, David

    2014-09-26

    Neuronal connectivity and specificity rely upon precise coordinated deployment of multiple cell-surface and secreted molecules. MicroRNAs have tremendous potential for shaping neural circuitry by fine-tuning the spatio-temporal expression of key synaptic effector molecules. The highly conserved microRNA miR-8 is required during late stages of neuromuscular synapse development in Drosophila. However, its role in initial synapse formation was previously unknown. Detailed analysis of synaptogenesis in this system now reveals that miR-8 is required at the earliest stages of muscle target contact by RP3 motor axons. We find that the localization of multiple synaptic cell adhesion molecules (CAMs) is dependent on the expression of miR-8, suggesting that miR-8 regulates the initial assembly of synaptic sites. Using stable isotope labelling in vivo and comparative mass spectrometry, we find that miR-8 is required for normal expression of multiple proteins, including the CAMs Fasciclin III (FasIII) and Neuroglian (Nrg). Genetic analysis suggests that Nrg and FasIII collaborate downstream of miR-8 to promote accurate target recognition. Unlike the function of miR-8 at mature larval neuromuscular junctions, at the embryonic stage we find that miR-8 controls key effectors on both sides of the synapse. MiR-8 controls multiple stages of synapse formation through the coordinate regulation of both pre- and postsynaptic cell adhesion proteins.

  11. Axon-axon interactions in neuronal circuit assembly: lessons from olfactory map formation.

    PubMed

    Imai, Takeshi; Sakano, Hitoshi

    2011-11-01

    During the development of the nervous system, neurons often connect axons and dendrites over long distances, which are navigated by chemical cues. During the past few decades, studies on axon guidance have focused on chemical cues provided by the axonal target or intermediate target. However, recent studies have shed light on the roles and mechanisms underlying axon-axon interactions during neuronal circuit assembly. The roles of axon-axon interactions are best exemplified in recent studies on olfactory map formation in vertebrates. Pioneer-follower interaction is essential for the axonal pathfinding process. Pre-target axon sorting establishes the anterior-posterior map order. The temporal order of axonal projection is converted to dorsal-ventral topography with the aid of secreted molecules provided by early-arriving axons. An activity-dependent process to form a discrete map also depends on axon sorting. Thus, an emerging principle of olfactory map formation is the 'self-organisation' of axons rather than the 'lock and key' matching between axons and targets. In this review, we discuss how axon-axon interactions contribute to neuronal circuit assembly. PMID:22103421

  12. Cortical Axons, Isolated in Channels, Display Activity-Dependent Signal Modulation as a Result of Targeted Stimulation

    PubMed Central

    Lewandowska, Marta K.; Radivojević, Miloš; Jäckel, David; Müller, Jan; Hierlemann, Andreas R.

    2016-01-01

    Mammalian cortical axons are extremely thin processes that are difficult to study as a result of their small diameter: they are too narrow to patch while intact, and super-resolution microscopy is needed to resolve single axons. We present a method for studying axonal physiology by pairing a high-density microelectrode array with a microfluidic axonal isolation device, and use it to study activity-dependent modulation of axonal signal propagation evoked by stimulation near the soma. Up to three axonal branches from a single neuron, isolated in different channels, were recorded from simultaneously using 10–20 electrodes per channel. The axonal channels amplified spikes such that propagations of individual signals along tens of electrodes could easily be discerned with high signal to noise. Stimulation from 10 up to 160 Hz demonstrated similar qualitative results from all of the cells studied: extracellular action potential characteristics changed drastically in response to stimulation. Spike height decreased, spike width increased, and latency increased, as a result of reduced propagation velocity, as the number of stimulations and the stimulation frequencies increased. Quantitatively, the strength of these changes manifested itself differently in cells at different frequencies of stimulation. Some cells' signal fidelity fell to 80% already at 10 Hz, while others maintained 80% signal fidelity at 80 Hz. Differences in modulation by axonal branches of the same cell were also seen for different stimulation frequencies, starting at 10 Hz. Potassium ion concentration changes altered the behavior of the cells causing propagation failures at lower concentrations and improving signal fidelity at higher concentrations. PMID:27013945

  13. Reinnervation by axon collaterals from single facial motoneurons to multiple muscle targets following axotomy in the adult guinea pig.

    PubMed

    Ito, M; Kudo, M

    1994-01-01

    To study the process of recovery from facial palsy experimentally, the location of cranial motoneurons supplying the posterior belly of the digastric muscle (PDG) and the extratemporal portion of the facial nerve trunk was examined in a double-labeling paradigm using two retrograde tracers in the adult guinea pig of which the facial nerve had been surgically injured. In different stages after the induced facial palsy had recovered functionally (4-13 weeks after the surgical operation), wheat germ-agglutinated horseradish peroxidase (WGA-HRP) was injected into the PDG and Fluoro-Ruby (FR) was applied to the proximal cut end of the extratemporal portion of the facial nerve trunk. Distribution of neurons retrogradely labeled with WGA-HRP and/or FR was plotted in the brainstem and compared with that of the controls. In the intact cases, HRP-labeled neurons were restrictedly seen in the accessory facial nucleus (Acs7), while FR-labeled neurons were found within the main facial nucleus (FMN). In the axotomized cases: (1) HRP-labeled neurons were seen diffusely in the Acs7 as well as in the FMN, where normal myotopical representation no longer seemed to be maintained. (2) FR-labeled neurons were also observed diffusely in the FMN and the Acs7. (3) A considerable number of neurons were doubly labeled with WGA-HRP and FR in both the Acs and the FMN in cases with shorter survival periods (4-7 weeks), but not in cases with longer survival periods (12-13 weeks). Thus, new findings show that connections are temporarily maintained by single, facial motoneurons with axon collaterals to multiple muscle targets in adult mammals.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  14. Cellular Strategies of Axonal Pathfinding

    PubMed Central

    Raper, Jonathan; Mason, Carol

    2010-01-01

    Axons follow highly stereotyped and reproducible trajectories to their targets. In this review we address the properties of the first pioneer neurons to grow in the developing nervous system and what has been learned over the past several decades about the extracellular and cell surface substrata on which axons grow. We then discuss the types of guidance cues and their receptors that influence axon extension, what determines where cues are expressed, and how axons respond to the cues they encounter in their environment. PMID:20591992

  15. Cellular strategies of axonal pathfinding.

    PubMed

    Raper, Jonathan; Mason, Carol

    2010-09-01

    Axons follow highly stereotyped and reproducible trajectories to their targets. In this review we address the properties of the first pioneer neurons to grow in the developing nervous system and what has been learned over the past several decades about the extracellular and cell surface substrata on which axons grow. We then discuss the types of guidance cues and their receptors that influence axon extension, what determines where cues are expressed, and how axons respond to the cues they encounter in their environment. PMID:20591992

  16. Axonal mRNA in uninjured and regenerating cortical mammalian axons

    PubMed Central

    Taylor, Anne M.; Berchtold, Nicole C.; Perreau, Victoria M.; Tu, Christina H.; Jeon, Noo Li; Cotman, Carl W.

    2013-01-01

    Using a novel microfluidic chamber that allows the isolation of axons without contamination by non-axonal material, we have for the first time purified mRNA from naïve, matured CNS axons, and identified the presence of >300 mRNA transcripts. We demonstrate that the transcripts are axonal in nature, and that many of the transcripts present in uninjured CNS axons overlap with those previously identified in PNS injury-conditioned DRG axons. The axonal transcripts detected in matured cortical axons are enriched for protein translational machinery, transport, cytoskeletal components, and mitochondrial maintenance. We next investigated how the axonal mRNA pool changes after axotomy, revealing that numerous gene transcripts related to intracellular transport, mitochondria and the cytoskeleton show decreased localization two days after injury. In contrast, gene transcripts related to axonal targeting and synaptic function show increased localization in regenerating cortical axons, suggesting that there is an increased capacity for axonal outgrowth and targeting, and increased support for synapse formation and presynaptic function in regenerating CNS axons after injury. Our data demonstrate that CNS axons contain many mRNA species of diverse functions, and suggest that, like invertebrate and PNS axons, CNS axons synthesize proteins locally, maintaining a degree of autonomy from the cell body. PMID:19369540

  17. TALE-class homeodomain transcription factors, homothorax and extradenticle, control dendritic and axonal targeting of olfactory projection neurons in the Drosophila brain.

    PubMed

    Ando, Mai; Totani, Yoko; Walldorf, Uwe; Furukubo-Tokunaga, Katsuo

    2011-10-01

    Precise neuronal connectivity in the nervous system depends on specific axonal and dendritic targeting of individual neurons. In the Drosophila brain, olfactory projection neurons convey odor information from the antennal lobe to higher order brain centers such as the mushroom body and the lateral horn. Here, we show that Homothorax (Hth), a TALE-class homeodomain transcription factor, is expressed in many of the antennal lobe neurons including projection neurons and local interneurons. In addition, HTH is expressed in the progenitors of the olfactory projection neurons, and the activity of hth is required for the generation of the lateral but not for the anterodorsal and ventral lineages. MARCM analyses show that the hth is essential for correct dendritic targeting of projection neurons in the antennal lobe. Moreover, the activity of hth is required for axonal fasciculation, correct routing and terminal branching of the projection neurons. We also show that another TALE-class homeodomain protein, Extradenticle (Exd), is required for the dendritic and axonal development of projection neurons. Mutation of exd causes projection neuron defects that are reminiscent of the phenotypes caused by the loss of the hth activity. Double immunostaining experiments show that Hth and Exd are coexpressed in olfactory projection neurons and their progenitors, and that the expressions of Hth and Exd require the activity of each other gene. These results thus demonstrate the functional importance of the TALE-class homeodomain proteins in cell-type specification and precise wiring of the Drosophila olfactory network.

  18. Targeting Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis Lesions to a Predetermined Axonal Tract System Allows for Refined Behavioral Testing in an Animal Model of Multiple Sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Kerschensteiner, Martin; Stadelmann, Christine; Buddeberg, Bigna S.; Merkler, Doron; Bareyre, Florence M.; Anthony, Daniel C.; Linington, Christopher; Brück, Wolfgang; Schwab, Martin E.

    2004-01-01

    In multiple sclerosis (MS) the structural damage to axons determines the persistent clinical deficit patients acquire during the course of the disease. It is therefore important to test therapeutic strategies that can prevent or reverse this structural damage. The conventional animal model of MS, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), typically shows disseminated inflammation in the central nervous system, which leads to a clinical deficit that cannot be directly attributed to a defined tract system. For this reason we have developed a localized EAE model, in which large inflammatory lesions are targeted to the dorsal columns of the spinal cord, an area including the corticospinal tract. These lesions show the pathological hallmarks of MS plaques and lead to reproducible and pronounced deficits in hindlimb locomotion. Because of the anatomical specificity of this technique we can now use highly sensitive behavioral tests that assess the functional integrity of specific axonal tracts. We show that these tests are predictive of the site and extent of a given lesion and are more sensitive for assessing the clinical course than the scales commonly used for disseminated EAE models. We believe that this targeted EAE model will become a helpful new tool for the evaluation of therapeutic approaches for MS that attempt to protect axons or support their repair. PMID:15039233

  19. Microfluorimetry defines early axonal damage in a rat model of optic neuritis: a novel method targeting early CNS autoimmunity.

    PubMed

    Stokely, Martha E; Bhat, Manzoor A; Koulen, Peter

    2007-11-30

    Autoimmune optic neuritis is a common early manifestation of multiple sclerosis (MS), yet early therapeutic interventions for MS often have high ocular toxicity associated with increased risks for glaucoma, cataract, or retinopathy. This need to discover better early treatment options prompted our development of a sensitive and reliable means to quantify the broad range of pathologies that potentially develop very early in autoimmune optic neuritis. Tissue microfluorimetry was used to measure seven established markers for human MS pathology in normal and autoimmune optic nerves 13 days after antigen exposure, in a Brown Norway rat model of myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG) peptide (35-55)-induced autoimmune optic neuritis. Optic neuritis rats demonstrated early and significant pathologic changes in five established indices for neuroinflammation, immune infiltration, and demyelination that accurately modeled pathologies characteristic of MS. Two indices of MS-like axon damage advanced significantly within 13 days of antigen exposure. Fluorimetrically measured immunoreactivity (-ir) was significantly decreased for paranodin (PN, the requisite axonal paranodal junction protein) and significantly increased for amyloid precursor protein (APP), indicating loss of paranodal junctions and impaired fast axonal transport, respectively. Measurements showing decreased PN-ir with increased APP-ir quantitatively defined a pattern of early axonal damage in autoimmune optic neuritis. PMID:17719649

  20. Electrophysiology of Axonal Constrictions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, Christopher; Jung, Peter; Brown, Anthony

    2013-03-01

    Axons of myelinated neurons are constricted at the nodes of Ranvier, where they are directly exposed to the extracellular space and where the vast majority of the ion channels are located. These constrictions are generated by local regulation of the kinetics of neurofilaments the most important cytoskeletal elements of the axon. In this paper we discuss how this shape affects the electrophysiological function of the neuron. Specifically, although the nodes are short (about 1 μm) in comparison to the distance between nodes (hundreds of μm) they have a substantial influence on the conduction velocity of neurons. We show through computational modeling that nodal constrictions (all other features such as numbers of ion channels left constant) reduce the required fiber diameter for a given target conduction velocity by up to 50% in comparison to an unconstricted axon. We further show that the predicted optimal fiber morphologies closely match reported fiber morphologies. Supported by The National Science Foundation (IOS 1146789)

  1. Rules ventral prefrontal cortical axons use to reach their targets: implications for diffusion tensor imaging tractography and deep brain stimulation for psychiatric illness.

    PubMed

    Lehman, Julia F; Greenberg, Benjamin D; McIntyre, Cameron C; Rasmussen, Steve A; Haber, Suzanne N

    2011-07-13

    The ventral prefrontal cortex (vPFC) is involved in reinforcement-based learning and is associated with depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and addiction. Neuroimaging is increasingly used to develop models of vPFC connections, to examine white matter (WM) integrity, and to target surgical interventions, including deep brain stimulation. We used primate (Macaca nemestrina/Macaca fascicularis) tracing studies and 3D reconstructions of WM tracts to delineate the rules vPFC projections follow to reach their targets. vPFC efferent axons travel through the uncinate fasciculus, connecting different vPFC regions and linking different functional regions. The uncinate fasciculus also is a conduit for vPFC fibers to reach other cortical bundles. Fibers in the internal capsule are organized according to destination. Thalamic fibers from each vPFC region travel dorsal to their brainstem fibers. The results show regional differences in the trajectories of fibers from different vPFC areas. Overall, the medial/lateral vPFC position dictates the route that fibers take to enter major WM tracts, as well as the position within specific tracts: axons from medial vPFC regions travel ventral to those from more lateral areas. This arrangement, coupled with dorsal/ventral organization of thalamic/brainstem fibers through the internal capsule, results in a complex mingling of thalamic and brainstem axons from different vPFC areas. Together, these data provide the foundation for dividing vPFC WM bundles into functional components and for predicting what is likely to be carried at different points through each bundle. These results also help determine the specific connections that are likely to be captured at different neurosurgical targets. PMID:21753016

  2. Light and electron microscopic analysis of enkephalin-like immunoreactivity in the basolateral amygdala, including evidence for convergence of enkephalin-containing axon terminals and norepinephrine transporter-containing axon terminals onto common targets.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jingyi; McDonald, Alexander J

    2016-04-01

    Modulatory interactions of opioids and norepinephrine (NE) in the anterior subdivision of the basolateral nucleus of the amygdala (BLa) are critical for the consolidation of memories of emotionally arousing experiences. Although there have been several studies of the noradrenergic system in the amygdalar basolateral nuclear complex (BLC), little is known about the chemical neuroanatomy of opioid systems in this region. To address this knowledge gap the present study first examined the distribution of met-enkephalin-like immunoreactivity (ENK-ir) in the BLC at the light microscopic level, and then utilized dual-labeling immunocytochemistry combined with electron microscopy to investigate the extent of convergence of NE and ENK terminals onto common structures in the BLa. Antibodies to ENK and the norepinephrine transporter (NET) were used in these studies. Light microscopic examination revealed that a subpopulation of small nonpyramidal neurons expressed ENK-ir in all nuclei of the BLC. In addition, the somata of some pyramidal cells exhibited light to moderate ENK-ir. ENK+ axon terminals were also observed. Ultrastructural analysis confined to the BLa revealed that most ENK+ axon terminals formed asymmetrical synapses that mainly contacted spines and shafts of thin dendrites. ENK+ terminals forming symmetrical synapses mainly contacted dendritic shafts. Approximately 20% of NET+ terminals contacted a structure that was also contacted by an ENK+ terminal and 6% of NET+ terminals contacted an ENK+ terminal. These findings suggest that ENK and NE terminals in the BLa may interact by targeting common dendrites and by direct interactions between the two types of terminals. PMID:26835559

  3. Sec24- and ARFGAP1-dependent trafficking of GABA transporter-1 is a prerequisite for correct axonal targeting.

    PubMed

    Reiterer, Veronika; Maier, Susanne; Sitte, Harald H; Kriz, Alexander; Rüegg, Markus A; Hauri, Hans-Peter; Freissmuth, Michael; Farhan, Hesso

    2008-11-19

    The GABA transporter-1 (GAT1) is a prototypical protein of the synaptic specialization. Export of GAT1 from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is contingent on its interaction with the COPII (coatomer protein-II) coat subunit Sec24D. Here we show that silencing all four Sec24 isoforms strongly inhibits transport of GAT1 to the cell surface. In contrast, transport of GAT1-RL/AS, a mutant that is deficient in Sec24D recruitment, was not inhibited, suggesting a nonconventional, COPII-independent pathway. However, ARFGAP1 bound directly to the C terminus of both GAT1-RL/AS and wild-type GAT1. Surface expression of GAT1-RL/AS involved ARFGAP1. GAT1-RL/AS appeared to bypass the ER-Golgi-intermediate compartment, but its pathway to the plasma membrane still involved passage through the Golgi. Thus, the GAT1-RL/AS mutant allowed to test whether COPII-dependent ER-export is required for correct sorting of GAT1 to the axon terminal in neuronal cells. In contrast to wild-type GAT1, GAT1-RL/AS failed to be specifically enriched at the tip of neurite extensions of CAD.a cells (a neuroblastoma cell line that can be differentiated into a neuron-like phenotype) and in the axon terminals of hippocampal neurons. These findings indicate that correct sorting to the axon is contingent on ER export via the COPII machinery and passage through the ER-Golgi-intermediate compartment.

  4. Proteoglycan-mediated axon degeneration corrects pretarget topographic sorting errors.

    PubMed

    Poulain, Fabienne E; Chien, Chi-Bin

    2013-04-10

    Proper arrangement of axonal projections into topographic maps is crucial for brain function, especially in sensory systems. An important mechanism for map formation is pretarget axon sorting, in which topographic ordering of axons appears in tracts before axons reach their target, but this process remains poorly understood. Here, we show that selective axon degeneration is used as a correction mechanism to eliminate missorted axons in the optic tract during retinotectal development in zebrafish. Retinal axons are not precisely ordered during initial pathfinding but become corrected later, with missorted axons selectively fragmenting and degenerating. We further show that heparan sulfate is required non-cell-autonomously to correct missorted axons and that restoring its synthesis at late stages in a deficient mutant is sufficient to restore topographic sorting. These findings uncover a function for developmental axon degeneration in ordering axonal projections and identify heparan sulfate as a key regulator of that process. PMID:23583107

  5. Sexual divergence in microtubule function: the novel intranasal microtubule targeting SKIP normalizes axonal transport and enhances memory.

    PubMed

    Amram, N; Hacohen-Kleiman, G; Sragovich, S; Malishkevich, A; Katz, J; Touloumi, O; Lagoudaki, R; Grigoriadis, N C; Giladi, E; Yeheskel, A; Pasmanik-Chor, M; Jouroukhin, Y; Gozes, I

    2016-10-01

    Activity-dependent neuroprotective protein (ADNP), essential for brain formation, is a frequent autism spectrum disorder (ASD)-mutated gene. ADNP associates with microtubule end-binding proteins (EBs) through its SxIP motif, to regulate dendritic spine formation and brain plasticity. Here, we reveal SKIP, a novel four-amino-acid peptide representing an EB-binding site, as a replacement therapy in an outbred Adnp-deficient mouse model. We discovered, for the first time, axonal transport deficits in Adnp(+/-) mice (measured by manganese-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging), with significant male-female differences. RNA sequencing evaluations showed major age, sex and genotype differences. Function enrichment and focus on major gene expression changes further implicated channel/transporter function and the cytoskeleton. In particular, a significant maturation change (1 month-five months) was observed in beta1 tubulin (Tubb1) mRNA, only in Adnp(+/+) males, and sex-dependent increase in calcium channel mRNA (Cacna1e) in Adnp(+/+) males compared with females. At the protein level, the Adnp(+/-) mice exhibited impaired hippocampal expression of the calcium channel (voltage-dependent calcium channel, Cacnb1) as well as other key ASD-linked genes including the serotonin transporter (Slc6a4), and the autophagy regulator, BECN1 (Beclin1), in a sex-dependent manner. Intranasal SKIP treatment normalized social memory in 8- to 9-month-old Adnp(+/-)-treated mice to placebo-control levels, while protecting axonal transport and ameliorating changes in ASD-like gene expression. The control, all d-amino analog D-SKIP, did not mimic SKIP activity. SKIP presents a novel prototype for potential ASD drug development, a prevalent unmet medical need. PMID:26782054

  6. Sexual divergence in microtubule function: the novel intranasal microtubule targeting SKIP normalizes axonal transport and enhances memory.

    PubMed

    Amram, N; Hacohen-Kleiman, G; Sragovich, S; Malishkevich, A; Katz, J; Touloumi, O; Lagoudaki, R; Grigoriadis, N C; Giladi, E; Yeheskel, A; Pasmanik-Chor, M; Jouroukhin, Y; Gozes, I

    2016-10-01

    Activity-dependent neuroprotective protein (ADNP), essential for brain formation, is a frequent autism spectrum disorder (ASD)-mutated gene. ADNP associates with microtubule end-binding proteins (EBs) through its SxIP motif, to regulate dendritic spine formation and brain plasticity. Here, we reveal SKIP, a novel four-amino-acid peptide representing an EB-binding site, as a replacement therapy in an outbred Adnp-deficient mouse model. We discovered, for the first time, axonal transport deficits in Adnp(+/-) mice (measured by manganese-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging), with significant male-female differences. RNA sequencing evaluations showed major age, sex and genotype differences. Function enrichment and focus on major gene expression changes further implicated channel/transporter function and the cytoskeleton. In particular, a significant maturation change (1 month-five months) was observed in beta1 tubulin (Tubb1) mRNA, only in Adnp(+/+) males, and sex-dependent increase in calcium channel mRNA (Cacna1e) in Adnp(+/+) males compared with females. At the protein level, the Adnp(+/-) mice exhibited impaired hippocampal expression of the calcium channel (voltage-dependent calcium channel, Cacnb1) as well as other key ASD-linked genes including the serotonin transporter (Slc6a4), and the autophagy regulator, BECN1 (Beclin1), in a sex-dependent manner. Intranasal SKIP treatment normalized social memory in 8- to 9-month-old Adnp(+/-)-treated mice to placebo-control levels, while protecting axonal transport and ameliorating changes in ASD-like gene expression. The control, all d-amino analog D-SKIP, did not mimic SKIP activity. SKIP presents a novel prototype for potential ASD drug development, a prevalent unmet medical need.

  7. Giant Axonal Neuropathy

    MedlinePlus

    ... Diversity Find People About NINDS NINDS Giant Axonal Neuropathy Information Page Table of Contents (click to jump ... done? Clinical Trials Organizations What is Giant Axonal Neuropathy? Giant axonal neuropathy (GAN) is a rare inherited ...

  8. Transcriptome Profiling Identifies Multiplexin as a Target of SAGA Deubiquitinase Activity in Glia Required for Precise Axon Guidance During Drosophila Visual Development

    PubMed Central

    Ma, Jingqun; Brennan, Kaelan J.; D’Aloia, Mitch R.; Pascuzzi, Pete E.; Weake, Vikki M.

    2016-01-01

    The Spt-Ada-Gcn5 Acetyltransferase (SAGA) complex is a transcriptional coactivator with histone acetylase and deubiquitinase activities that plays an important role in visual development and function. In Drosophila melanogaster, four SAGA subunits are required for the deubiquitination of monoubiquitinated histone H2B (ubH2B): Nonstop, Sgf11, E(y)2, and Ataxin 7. Mutations that disrupt SAGA deubiquitinase activity cause defects in neuronal connectivity in the developing Drosophila visual system. In addition, mutations in SAGA result in the human progressive visual disorder spinocerebellar ataxia type 7 (SCA7). Glial cells play a crucial role in both the neuronal connectivity defect in nonstop and sgf11 flies, and in the retinal degeneration observed in SCA7 patients. Thus, we sought to identify the gene targets of SAGA deubiquitinase activity in glia in the Drosophila larval central nervous system. To do this, we enriched glia from wild-type, nonstop, and sgf11 larval optic lobes using affinity-purification of KASH-GFP tagged nuclei, and then examined each transcriptome using RNA-seq. Our analysis showed that SAGA deubiquitinase activity is required for proper expression of 16% of actively transcribed genes in glia, especially genes involved in proteasome function, protein folding and axon guidance. We further show that the SAGA deubiquitinase-activated gene Multiplexin (Mp) is required in glia for proper photoreceptor axon targeting. Mutations in the human ortholog of Mp, COL18A1, have been identified in a family with a SCA7-like progressive visual disorder, suggesting that defects in the expression of this gene in SCA7 patients could play a role in the retinal degeneration that is unique to this ataxia. PMID:27261002

  9. Transcriptome Profiling Identifies Multiplexin as a Target of SAGA Deubiquitinase Activity in Glia Required for Precise Axon Guidance During Drosophila Visual Development.

    PubMed

    Ma, Jingqun; Brennan, Kaelan J; D'Aloia, Mitch R; Pascuzzi, Pete E; Weake, Vikki M

    2016-01-01

    The Spt-Ada-Gcn5 Acetyltransferase (SAGA) complex is a transcriptional coactivator with histone acetylase and deubiquitinase activities that plays an important role in visual development and function. In Drosophila melanogaster, four SAGA subunits are required for the deubiquitination of monoubiquitinated histone H2B (ubH2B): Nonstop, Sgf11, E(y)2, and Ataxin 7. Mutations that disrupt SAGA deubiquitinase activity cause defects in neuronal connectivity in the developing Drosophila visual system. In addition, mutations in SAGA result in the human progressive visual disorder spinocerebellar ataxia type 7 (SCA7). Glial cells play a crucial role in both the neuronal connectivity defect in nonstop and sgf11 flies, and in the retinal degeneration observed in SCA7 patients. Thus, we sought to identify the gene targets of SAGA deubiquitinase activity in glia in the Drosophila larval central nervous system. To do this, we enriched glia from wild-type, nonstop, and sgf11 larval optic lobes using affinity-purification of KASH-GFP tagged nuclei, and then examined each transcriptome using RNA-seq. Our analysis showed that SAGA deubiquitinase activity is required for proper expression of 16% of actively transcribed genes in glia, especially genes involved in proteasome function, protein folding and axon guidance. We further show that the SAGA deubiquitinase-activated gene Multiplexin (Mp) is required in glia for proper photoreceptor axon targeting. Mutations in the human ortholog of Mp, COL18A1, have been identified in a family with a SCA7-like progressive visual disorder, suggesting that defects in the expression of this gene in SCA7 patients could play a role in the retinal degeneration that is unique to this ataxia. PMID:27261002

  10. Degeneration and regeneration of ganglion cell axons.

    PubMed

    Weise, J; Ankerhold, R; Bähr, M

    2000-01-15

    The retino-tectal system has been used to study developmental aspects of axon growth, synapse formation and the establishment of a precise topographic order as well as degeneration and regeneration of adult retinal ganglion cell (RGC) axons after axonal lesion. This paper reviews some novel findings that provide new insights into the mechanisms of developmental RGC axon growth, pathfinding, and target formation. It also focuses on the cellular and molecular cascades that underlie RGC degeneration following an axonal lesion and on some therapeutic strategies to enhance survival of axotomized RGCs in vivo. In addition, this review deals with problems related to the induction of regeneration after axonal lesion in the adult CNS using the retino-tectal system as model. Different therapeutic approaches to promote RGC regeneration and requirements for specific target formation of regenerating RGCs in vitro and in vivo are discussed. PMID:10649506

  11. Systematic substrate identification indicates a central role for the metalloprotease ADAM10 in axon targeting and synapse function

    PubMed Central

    Kuhn, Peer-Hendrik; Colombo, Alessio Vittorio; Schusser, Benjamin; Dreymueller, Daniela; Wetzel, Sebastian; Schepers, Ute; Herber, Julia; Ludwig, Andreas; Kremmer, Elisabeth; Montag, Dirk; Müller, Ulrike; Schweizer, Michaela; Saftig, Paul; Bräse, Stefan; Lichtenthaler, Stefan F

    2016-01-01

    Metzincin metalloproteases have major roles in intercellular communication by modulating the function of membrane proteins. One of the proteases is the a-disintegrin-and-metalloprotease 10 (ADAM10) which acts as alpha-secretase of the Alzheimer's disease amyloid precursor protein. ADAM10 is also required for neuronal network functions in murine brain, but neuronal ADAM10 substrates are only partly known. With a proteomic analysis of Adam10-deficient neurons we identified 91, mostly novel ADAM10 substrate candidates, making ADAM10 a major protease for membrane proteins in the nervous system. Several novel substrates, including the neuronal cell adhesion protein NrCAM, are involved in brain development. Indeed, we detected mistargeted axons in the olfactory bulb of conditional ADAM10-/- mice, which correlate with reduced cleavage of NrCAM, NCAM and other ADAM10 substrates. In summary, the novel ADAM10 substrates provide a molecular basis for neuronal network dysfunctions in conditional ADAM10-/- mice and demonstrate a fundamental function of ADAM10 in the brain. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.12748.001 PMID:26802628

  12. Axonal oscillations in developing mammalian nerve axons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zeng, Shangyou; Jung, Peter

    2005-01-01

    We study neuronal spike propagation in a developing myelinated axon in various stages of its development through detailed computational modeling. Recently, a form of bursting (axonal bursting), has been reported in axons in developing nerves in the absence of potassium channels. We present a computational study using a detailed model for a myelinated nerve in development to explore under what circumstances such an effect can be expected. It is shown that axonal oscillation may be caused by backfiring between the nodes of Ranvier or through backfiring from internodal sodium channels or by reducing the thickness of the myelin wrapping the axon between the nodes of Ranvier.

  13. Dendritic and axonal targeting patterns of a genetically-specified class of retinal ganglion cells that participate in image-forming circuits

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background There are numerous functional types of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs), each participating in circuits that encode a specific aspect of the visual scene. This functional specificity is derived from distinct RGC morphologies and selective synapse formation with other retinal cell types; yet, how these properties are established during development remains unclear. Islet2 (Isl2) is a LIM-homeodomain transcription factor expressed in the developing retina, including approximately 40% of all RGCs, and has previously been implicated in the subtype specification of spinal motor neurons. Based on this, we hypothesized that Isl2+ RGCs represent a related subset that share a common function. Results We morphologically and molecularly characterized Isl2+ RGCs using a transgenic mouse line that expresses GFP in the cell bodies, dendrites and axons of Isl2+ cells (Isl2-GFP). Isl2-GFP RGCs have distinct morphologies and dendritic stratification patterns within the inner plexiform layer and project to selective visual nuclei. Targeted filling of individual cells reveals that the majority of Isl2-GFP RGCs have dendrites that are monostratified in layer S3 of the IPL, suggesting they are not ON-OFF direction-selective ganglion cells. Molecular analysis shows that most alpha-RGCs, indicated by expression of SMI-32, are also Isl2-GFP RGCs. Isl2-GFP RGCs project to most retino-recipient nuclei during early development, but specifically innervate the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus and superior colliculus (SC) at eye opening. Finally, we show that the segregation of Isl2+ and Isl2- RGC axons in the SC leads to the segregation of functional RGC types. Conclusions Taken together, these data suggest that Isl2+ RGCs comprise a distinct class and support a role for Isl2 as an important component of a transcription factor code specifying functional visual circuits. Furthermore, this study describes a novel genetically-labeled mouse line that will be a valuable resource in future

  14. Local translation and directional steering in axons

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Andrew C; Holt, Christine E

    2007-01-01

    The assembly of functional neural circuits in the developing brain requires neurons to extend axons to the correct targets. This in turn requires the navigating tips of axons to respond appropriately to guidance cues present along the axonal pathway, despite being cellular ‘outposts' far from the soma. Work over the past few years has demonstrated a critical role for local translation within the axon in this process in vitro, making axon guidance another process that requires spatially localized translation, among others such as synaptic plasticity, cell migration, and cell polarity. This article reviews recent findings in local axonal translation and discusses how new protein synthesis may function in growth cone guidance, with a comparative view toward models of local translation in other systems. PMID:17660744

  15. Axonal Amphoterin mRNA Is Regulated by Translational Control and Enhances Axon Outgrowth

    PubMed Central

    Merianda, Tanuja T.; Coleman, Jennifer; Kim, Hak Hee; Kumar Sahoo, Pabitra; Gomes, Cynthia; Brito-Vargas, Paul; Rauvala, Heikki; Blesch, Armin; Yoo, Soonmoon

    2015-01-01

    High mobility group (HMG) proteins concentrate in the nucleus, interacting with chromatin. Amphoterin is an HMG protein (HMGB1) that has been shown to have extranuclear functions and can be secreted from some cell types. Exogenous amphoterin can increase neurite growth, suggesting that the secreted protein may have growth promoting activities in neurons. Consistent with this, we show that depletion of amphoterin mRNA from cultured adult rat DRG neurons attenuates neurite outgrowth, pointing to autocrine or paracrine mechanisms for its growth-promoting effects. The mRNA encoding amphoterin localizes to axonal processes and we showed recently that its 3′-UTR is sufficient for axonal localization of heterologous transcripts (Donnelly et al., 2013). Here, we show that amphoterin mRNA is transported constitutively into axons of adult DRG neurons. A preconditioning nerve injury increases the levels of amphoterin protein in axons without a corresponding increase in amphoterin mRNA in the axons. A 60 nucleotide region of the amphoterin mRNA 3′-UTR is necessary and sufficient for its localization into axons of cultured sensory neurons. Amphoterin mRNA 3′-UTR is also sufficient for axonal localization in distal axons of DRG neurons in vivo. Overexpression of axonally targeted amphoterin mRNA increases axon outgrowth in cultured sensory neurons, but axon growth is not affected when the overexpressed mRNA is restricted to the cell body. PMID:25855182

  16. The challenges of axon survival: introduction to the special issue on axonal degeneration.

    PubMed

    Coleman, Michael P

    2013-08-01

    Early axon loss is a common feature of many neurodegenerative disorders. It renders neurons functionally inactive, or less active if axon branches are lost, in a manner that is often irreversible. In the CNS, there is no long-range axon regeneration and even peripheral nerve axons are unlikely to reinnervate their targets while the cause of the problem persists. In most disorders, axon degeneration precedes cell death so it is not simply a consequence of it, and it is now clear that axons have at least one degeneration mechanism that differs from that of the soma. It is important to understand these degeneration mechanisms and their contribution to axon loss in neurodegenerative disorders. In this way, it should become possible to prevent axon loss as well as cell death. This special edition considers the roles and mechanisms of axon degeneration in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, hereditary spastic paraplegia, ischemic injury, traumatic brain injury, Alzheimer's disease, glaucoma, Huntington's disease and Parkinson's disease. Using examples from these and other disorders, this introduction considers some of the reasons for axon vulnerability. It also illustrates how molecular genetics and studies of Wallerian degeneration have contributed to our understanding of axon degeneration mechanisms. PMID:23769907

  17. Knockdown of the Drosophila FIG4 induces deficient locomotive behavior, shortening of motor neuron, axonal targeting aberration, reduction of life span and defects in eye development.

    PubMed

    Kyotani, Akane; Azuma, Yumiko; Yamamoto, Itaru; Yoshida, Hideki; Mizuta, Ikuko; Mizuno, Toshiki; Nakagawa, Masanori; Tokuda, Takahiko; Yamaguchi, Masamitsu

    2016-03-01

    Mutations in Factor-Induced-Gene 4 (FIG4) gene have been identified in Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease type 4J (CMT4J), Yunis-Varon syndrome and epilepsy with polymicrogyria. FIG4 protein regulates a cellular abundance of phosphatidylinositol 3,5-bisphosphate (PI(3,5)P2), a signaling lipid on the cytosolic surface of membranes of the late endosomal compartment. PI(3,5)P2 is required for retrograde membrane trafficking from lysosomal and late endosomal compartments to the Golgi. However, it is still unknown how the neurodegeneration that occurs in these diseases is related to the loss of FIG4 function. Drosophila has CG17840 (dFIG4) as a human FIG4 homolog. Here we specifically knocked down dFIG4 in various tissues, and investigated their phenotypes. Neuron-specific knockdown of dFIG4 resulted in axonal targeting aberrations of photoreceptor neurons, shortened presynaptic terminals of motor neurons in 3rd instar larvae and reduced climbing ability in adulthood and life span. Fat body-specific knockdown of dFIG4 resulted in enlarged lysosomes in cells that were detected by staining with LysoTracker. In addition, eye imaginal disk-specific knockdown of dFIG4 disrupted differentiation of pupal ommatidial cell types, such as cone cells and pigment cells, suggesting an additional role of dFIG4 during eye development.

  18. Knockdown of the Drosophila FIG4 induces deficient locomotive behavior, shortening of motor neuron, axonal targeting aberration, reduction of life span and defects in eye development.

    PubMed

    Kyotani, Akane; Azuma, Yumiko; Yamamoto, Itaru; Yoshida, Hideki; Mizuta, Ikuko; Mizuno, Toshiki; Nakagawa, Masanori; Tokuda, Takahiko; Yamaguchi, Masamitsu

    2016-03-01

    Mutations in Factor-Induced-Gene 4 (FIG4) gene have been identified in Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease type 4J (CMT4J), Yunis-Varon syndrome and epilepsy with polymicrogyria. FIG4 protein regulates a cellular abundance of phosphatidylinositol 3,5-bisphosphate (PI(3,5)P2), a signaling lipid on the cytosolic surface of membranes of the late endosomal compartment. PI(3,5)P2 is required for retrograde membrane trafficking from lysosomal and late endosomal compartments to the Golgi. However, it is still unknown how the neurodegeneration that occurs in these diseases is related to the loss of FIG4 function. Drosophila has CG17840 (dFIG4) as a human FIG4 homolog. Here we specifically knocked down dFIG4 in various tissues, and investigated their phenotypes. Neuron-specific knockdown of dFIG4 resulted in axonal targeting aberrations of photoreceptor neurons, shortened presynaptic terminals of motor neurons in 3rd instar larvae and reduced climbing ability in adulthood and life span. Fat body-specific knockdown of dFIG4 resulted in enlarged lysosomes in cells that were detected by staining with LysoTracker. In addition, eye imaginal disk-specific knockdown of dFIG4 disrupted differentiation of pupal ommatidial cell types, such as cone cells and pigment cells, suggesting an additional role of dFIG4 during eye development. PMID:26708557

  19. Regulating Axonal Responses to Injury: The Intersection between Signaling Pathways Involved in Axon Myelination and The Inhibition of Axon Regeneration.

    PubMed

    Rao, Sudheendra N R; Pearse, Damien D

    2016-01-01

    Following spinal cord injury (SCI), a multitude of intrinsic and extrinsic factors adversely affect the gene programs that govern the expression of regeneration-associated genes (RAGs) and the production of a diversity of extracellular matrix molecules (ECM). Insufficient RAG expression in the injured neuron and the presence of inhibitory ECM at the lesion, leads to structural alterations in the axon that perturb the growth machinery, or form an extraneous barrier to axonal regeneration, respectively. Here, the role of myelin, both intact and debris, in antagonizing axon regeneration has been the focus of numerous investigations. These studies have employed antagonizing antibodies and knockout animals to examine how the growth cone of the re-growing axon responds to the presence of myelin and myelin-associated inhibitors (MAIs) within the lesion environment and caudal spinal cord. However, less attention has been placed on how the myelination of the axon after SCI, whether by endogenous glia or exogenously implanted glia, may alter axon regeneration. Here, we examine the intersection between intracellular signaling pathways in neurons and glia that are involved in axon myelination and axon growth, to provide greater insight into how interrogating this complex network of molecular interactions may lead to new therapeutics targeting SCI.

  20. Regulating Axonal Responses to Injury: The Intersection between Signaling Pathways Involved in Axon Myelination and The Inhibition of Axon Regeneration

    PubMed Central

    Rao, Sudheendra N. R.; Pearse, Damien D.

    2016-01-01

    Following spinal cord injury (SCI), a multitude of intrinsic and extrinsic factors adversely affect the gene programs that govern the expression of regeneration-associated genes (RAGs) and the production of a diversity of extracellular matrix molecules (ECM). Insufficient RAG expression in the injured neuron and the presence of inhibitory ECM at the lesion, leads to structural alterations in the axon that perturb the growth machinery, or form an extraneous barrier to axonal regeneration, respectively. Here, the role of myelin, both intact and debris, in antagonizing axon regeneration has been the focus of numerous investigations. These studies have employed antagonizing antibodies and knockout animals to examine how the growth cone of the re-growing axon responds to the presence of myelin and myelin-associated inhibitors (MAIs) within the lesion environment and caudal spinal cord. However, less attention has been placed on how the myelination of the axon after SCI, whether by endogenous glia or exogenously implanted glia, may alter axon regeneration. Here, we examine the intersection between intracellular signaling pathways in neurons and glia that are involved in axon myelination and axon growth, to provide greater insight into how interrogating this complex network of molecular interactions may lead to new therapeutics targeting SCI. PMID:27375427

  1. Axonal interferon responses and alphaherpesvirus neuroinvasion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Song, Ren

    Infection by alphaherpesviruses, including herpes simplex virus (HSV) and pseudorabies virus (PRV), typically begins at a peripheral epithelial surface and continues into the peripheral nervous system (PNS) that innervates this tissue. Inflammatory responses are induced at the infected peripheral site prior to viral invasion of the PNS. PNS neurons are highly polarized cells with long axonal processes that connect to distant targets. When the peripheral tissue is first infected, only the innervating axons are exposed to this inflammatory milieu, which include type I interferon (e.g. IFNbeta) and type II interferon (i.e. IFNgamma). IFNbeta can be produced by all types of cells, while IFNgamma is secreted by some specific types of immune cells. And both types of IFN induce antiviral responses in surrounding cells that express the IFN receptors. The fundamental question is how do PNS neurons respond to the inflammatory milieu experienced only by their axons. Axons must act as potential front-line barriers to prevent PNS infection and damage. Using compartmented cultures that physically separate neuron axons from cell bodies, I found that pretreating isolated axons with IFNbeta or IFNgamma significantly diminished the number of HSV-1 and PRV particles moving from axons to the cell bodies in an IFN receptor-dependent manner. Furthermore, I found the responses in axons are activated differentially by the two types of IFNs. The response to IFNbeta is a rapid, axon-only response, while the response to IFNgamma involves long distance signaling to the PNS cell body. For example, exposing axons to IFNbeta induced STAT1 phosphorylation (p-STAT1) only in axons, while exposure of axons to IFNgamma induced p-STAT1 accumulation in distant cell body nuclei. Blocking transcription in cell bodies eliminated IFNgamma-, but not IFNbeta-mediated antiviral effects. Proteomic analysis of IFNbeta- or IFNgamma-treated axons identified several differentially regulated proteins. Therefore

  2. Augmented synaptic release by one excitatory axon in regions in which a synergistic axon was removed in lobster muscle.

    PubMed Central

    Dudel, J; Parnas, I

    1987-01-01

    1. In the lobster, every fibre of the lateral abdominal extensor muscle is innervated by two excitatory axons. When one of the excitatory axons (the common excitor) was removed chronically by intracellular injection of pronase, terminals of the remaining axon (the specific L1 excitor) showed augmented transmitter release. 2. Evidence as to the mechanism of this strengthening can be obtained taking advantage of the peculiar innervation pattern of the abdominal extensors. The L1 excitor axon of one segment sends a branch to part of the next posterior segment. The common excitor axon innervates only muscle fibres of its own segment. 3. 10-20 days after removing the common excitor axon of segment II, the quantum content of release of terminals of the L1 excitor axon was measured in segments I, II and III. Terminals of the L1 excitor axon of segment I which innervate segment II released much more transmitter than controls, while the terminals of the same axon innervating segment I remained normal. Similarly, terminals of the L1 excitor axon of segment II became 'stronger' in segment II but remained normal in segment III. 4. It is concluded that only those terminals of one axon which innervate targets with reduced innervation increased the average release rate. It seems that the signal for synaptic strengthening, after removal of a synergistic axon, is generated and acts locally in partially denervated muscle fibres. PMID:3443933

  3. Imaging axon pathfinding in zebrafish in vivo.

    PubMed

    Leung, Louis; Holt, Christine E

    2012-09-01

    Axon pathfinding in the developing animal involves a highly dynamic process in which the axonal growth cone makes continuous decisions as it navigates toward its target. Changes occurring in the growth cone with respect to retracting from or extending into complex new territories can occur in minutes. Thus, the advent of strategies to visualize axon path-finding in vivo in a live intact animal is crucial for a better understanding of how the growth cone makes such rapid decisions in response to multiple cues. Combining these strategies with loss-of-function and/or gain-of-function techniques, one can gain some insight as to which molecules are crucial to particular growth cone behaviors at specific choice points during navigation. The major advantage of using zebrafish lies in the accessibility of major axon tracts for live microscopy, as their embryonic development occurs ex utero. Furthermore, the robust embryos remain healthy during immobilization and allow for good imaging for long periods. This protocol describes the method for stabilizing and preparing live zebrafish embryos for imaging labeled axonal tracts at high spatial and temporal resolution for up to 72 h. It has been used for retinotectal axon pathfinding, but can be adapted to visualize other axon tracts of interest. PMID:22949713

  4. Genetic labeling of both the axons of transduced, glutamatergic neurons in rat postrhinal cortex and their postsynaptic neurons in other neocortical areas by herpes simplex virus vectors that coexpress an axon-targeted β-galactosidase and wheat germ agglutinin from a vesicular glutamate transporter-1 promoter.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Guo-rong; Cao, Haiyan; Li, Xu; Zhao, Hua; Geller, Alfred I

    2010-11-18

    Neuronal circuits comprise the foundation for neuronal physiology and synaptic plasticity, and thus for consequent behaviors and learning, but our knowledge of neocortical circuits is incomplete. Mapping neocortical circuits is a challenging problem because these circuits contain large numbers of neurons, a high density of synapses, and numerous classes and subclasses of neurons that form many different types of synapses. Expression of specific genetic tracers in small numbers of specific subclasses of neocortical neurons has the potential to map neocortical circuits. Suitable genetic tracers have been established in neurons in subcortical areas, but application to neocortical circuits has been limited. Enabling this approach, Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV-1) plasmid (amplicon) vectors can transduce small numbers of neurons in a specific neocortical area. Further, expression of a particular genetic tracer can be restricted to specific subclasses of neurons; in particular, the vesicular glutamate transporter-1 (VGLUT1) promoter supports expression in VGLUT1-containing glutamatergic neurons in rat postrhinal (POR) cortex. Here, we show that expression of an axon-targeted β-galactosidase (β-gal) from such vectors supports mapping specific commissural and associative projections of the transduced neurons in POR cortex. Further, coexpression of wheat germ agglutinin (WGA) and an axon-targeted β-gal supports mapping both specific projections of the transduced neurons and identifying specific postsynaptic neurons for the transduced neurons. The neocortical circuit mapping capabilities developed here may support mapping specific neocortical circuits that have critical roles in cognitive learning.

  5. microRNAs in axon guidance

    PubMed Central

    Iyer, Archana N.; Bellon, Anaïs; Baudet, Marie-Laure

    2014-01-01

    Brain wiring is a highly intricate process in which trillions of neuronal connections are established. Its initial phase is particularly crucial in establishing the general framework of neuronal circuits. During this early step, differentiating neurons extend axons, which reach their target by navigating through a complex environment with extreme precision. Research in the past 20 years has unraveled a vast and complex array of chemotropic cues that guide the leading tip of axons, the growth cone, throughout its journey. Tight regulation of these cues, and of their receptors and signaling pathways, is necessary for the high degree of accuracy required during circuit formation. However, little is known about the nature of regulatory molecules or mechanisms fine-tuning axonal cue response. Here we review recent, and somewhat fragmented, research on the possibility that microRNAs (miRNAs) could be key fine-tuning regulatory molecules in axon guidance. miRNAs appear to shape long-range axon guidance, fasciculation and targeting. We also present several lines of evidence suggesting that miRNAs could have a compartmentalized and differential action at the cell soma, and within axons and growth cones. PMID:24672429

  6. Branch management: mechanisms of axon branching in the developing vertebrate CNS

    PubMed Central

    Kalil, Katherine; Dent, Erik W.

    2014-01-01

    The remarkable ability of a single axon to extend multiple branches and form terminal arbors allows vertebrate neurons to integrate information from divergent regions of the nervous system. Axons select appropriate pathways during development, but it is the branches that extend interstitially from the axon shaft and arborize at specific targets that are responsible for virtually all of the synaptic connectivity in the vertebrate CNS. How do axons form branches at specific target regions? Recent studies have identified molecular cues that activate intracellular signalling pathways in axons and mediate dynamic reorganization of the cytoskeleton to promote the formation of axon branches. PMID:24356070

  7. Axonal GABAA receptors.

    PubMed

    Trigo, Federico F; Marty, Alain; Stell, Brandon M

    2008-09-01

    Type A GABA receptors (GABA(A)Rs) are well established as the main inhibitory receptors in the mature mammalian forebrain. In recent years, evidence has accumulated showing that GABA(A)Rs are prevalent not only in the somatodendritic compartment of CNS neurons, but also in their axonal compartment. Evidence for axonal GABA(A)Rs includes new immunohistochemical and immunogold data: direct recording from single axonal terminals; and effects of local applications of GABA(A)R modulators on action potential generation, on axonal calcium signalling, and on neurotransmitter release. Strikingly, whereas presynaptic GABA(A)Rs have long been considered inhibitory, the new studies in the mammalian brain mostly indicate an excitatory action. Depending on the neuron that is under study, axonal GABA(A)Rs can be activated by ambient GABA, by GABA spillover, or by an autocrine action, to increase either action potential firing and/or transmitter release. In certain neurons, the excitatory effects of axonal GABA(A)Rs persist into adulthood. Altogether, axonal GABA(A)Rs appear as potent neuronal modulators of the mammalian CNS.

  8. Imaging axon pathfinding in Xenopus in vivo.

    PubMed

    Leung, Louis; Holt, Christine E

    2012-09-01

    Axon pathfinding in the developing animal involves a highly dynamic process in which the axonal growth cone makes continuous decisions as it navigates toward its target. Changes occurring in the growth cone with respect to retracting from or extending into complex new territories can occur in minutes. Thus, the advent of strategies to visualize axon path-finding in vivo in a live intact animal is crucial for a better understanding of how the growth cone makes such rapid decisions in response to multiple cues. Combining these strategies with loss-of-function and/or gain-of-function techniques allows one to gain some insight as to which molecules are crucial to particular growth cone behaviors at specific choice points during navigation. The main advantage of using Xenopus lies in the accessibility of major axon tracts for live microscopy, as their embryonic development occurs ex utero. Furthermore, the robust embryos remain healthy during immobilization and allow for good imaging for long periods. This protocol describes the methods for stabilizing and preparing live Xenopus embryos for imaging labeled axonal tracts at high spatial and temporal resolution for up to 72 h. This approach can been used to investigate how the knockdown of certain gene functions can affect the speed of navigation through the well-studied Xenopus retinotectal pathway. It can be adapted to visualize other axon tracts of interest. PMID:22949712

  9. Regulation of conduction time along axons.

    PubMed

    Seidl, A H

    2014-09-12

    speed of signal propagation, i.e. the speed at which an action potential travels. Conduction time refers to the time it takes for a specific signal to travel from its origin to its target, i.e. neuronal cell body to axonal terminal.

  10. Axons take a dive

    PubMed Central

    Tong, Cheuk Ka; Cebrián-Silla, Arantxa; Paredes, Mercedes F; Huang, Eric J; García-Verdugo, Jose Manuel; Alvarez-Buylla, Arturo

    2015-01-01

    In the walls of the lateral ventricles of the adult mammalian brain, neural stem cells (NSCs) and ependymal (E1) cells share the apical surface of the ventricular–subventricular zone (V–SVZ). In a recent article, we show that supraependymal serotonergic (5HT) axons originating from the raphe nuclei in mice form an extensive plexus on the walls of the lateral ventricles where they contact E1 cells and NSCs. Here we further characterize the contacts between 5HT supraependymal axons and E1 cells in mice, and show that suprependymal axons tightly associated to E1 cells are also present in the walls of the human lateral ventricles. These observations raise interesting questions about the function of supraependymal axons in the regulation of E1 cells. PMID:26413556

  11. White matter involvement after TBI: Clues to axon and myelin repair capacity.

    PubMed

    Armstrong, Regina C; Mierzwa, Amanda J; Marion, Christina M; Sullivan, Genevieve M

    2016-01-01

    Impact-acceleration forces to the head cause traumatic brain injury (TBI) with damage in white matter tracts comprised of long axons traversing the brain. White matter injury after TBI involves both traumatic axonal injury (TAI) and myelin pathology that evolves throughout the post-injury time course. The axon response to initial mechanical forces and secondary insults follows the process of Wallerian degeneration, which initiates as a potentially reversible phase of intra-axonal damage and proceeds to an irreversible phase of axon fragmentation. Distal to sites of axon disconnection, myelin sheaths remain for prolonged periods, which may activate neuroinflammation and inhibit axon regeneration. In addition to TAI, TBI can cause demyelination of intact axons. These evolving features of axon and myelin pathology also represent opportunities for repair. In experimental TBI, demyelinated axons exhibit remyelination, which can serve to both protect axons and facilitate recovery of function. Myelin remodeling may also contribute to neuroplasticity. Efficient clearance of myelin debris is a potential target to attenuate the progression of chronic pathology. During the early phase of Wallerian degeneration, interventions that prevent the transition from reversible damage to axon disconnection warrant the highest priority, based on the poor regenerative capacity of axons in the CNS. Clinical evaluation of TBI will need to address the challenge of accurately detecting the extent and stage of axon damage. Distinguishing the complex white matter changes associated with axons and myelin is necessary for interpreting advanced neuroimaging approaches and for identifying a broader range of therapeutic opportunities to improve outcome after TBI.

  12. Axonal cap-dependent translation regulates presynaptic p35

    PubMed Central

    Hsiao, Kuangfu; Bozdagi, Ozlem; Benson, Deanna L.

    2014-01-01

    Axonal growth cones synthesize proteins during development and in response to injury in adult animals. Proteins locally translated in axons are used to generate appropriate responses to guidance cues, contribute to axon growth, and can serve as retrograde messengers. In addition to growth cones, mRNAs and translational machinery are also found along the lengths of axons where synapses form en passant, but contributions of intra-axonal translation to developing synapses are poorly understood. Here, we engineered a subcellular-targeting translational repressor to inhibit mRNA translation in axons, and we used this strategy to investigate presynaptic contributions of cap-dependent protein translation to developing CNS synapses. Our data show that intra-axonal mRNA translation restrains synaptic vesicle recycling pool size and that one target of this regulation is p35, a Cdk5 activating protein. Cdk5/p35 signaling regulates the size of vesicle recycling pools, p35 levels diminish when cap-dependent translation is repressed, and restoring p35 levels rescues vesicle recycling pools from the effects of spatially targeted translation repression. Together our findings show that intra-axonal synthesis of p35 is required for normal vesicle recycling in developing neurons, and that targeted translational repression provides a novel strategy to investigate extrasomal protein synthesis in neurons. PMID:24254883

  13. L1CAM/Neuroglian controls the axon-axon interactions establishing layered and lobular mushroom body architecture.

    PubMed

    Siegenthaler, Dominique; Enneking, Eva-Maria; Moreno, Eliza; Pielage, Jan

    2015-03-30

    The establishment of neuronal circuits depends on the guidance of axons both along and in between axonal populations of different identity; however, the molecular principles controlling axon-axon interactions in vivo remain largely elusive. We demonstrate that the Drosophila melanogaster L1CAM homologue Neuroglian mediates adhesion between functionally distinct mushroom body axon populations to enforce and control appropriate projections into distinct axonal layers and lobes essential for olfactory learning and memory. We addressed the regulatory mechanisms controlling homophilic Neuroglian-mediated cell adhesion by analyzing targeted mutations of extra- and intracellular Neuroglian domains in combination with cell type-specific rescue assays in vivo. We demonstrate independent and cooperative domain requirements: intercalating growth depends on homophilic adhesion mediated by extracellular Ig domains. For functional cluster formation, intracellular Ankyrin2 association is sufficient on one side of the trans-axonal complex whereas Moesin association is likely required simultaneously in both interacting axonal populations. Together, our results provide novel mechanistic insights into cell adhesion molecule-mediated axon-axon interactions that enable precise assembly of complex neuronal circuits. PMID:25825519

  14. Axonal bleb recording.

    PubMed

    Hu, Wenqin; Shu, Yousheng

    2012-08-01

    Patch-clamp recording requires direct accessibility of the cell membrane to patch pipettes and allows the investigation of ion channel properties and functions in specific cellular compartments. The cell body and relatively thick dendrites are the most accessible compartments of a neuron, due to their large diameters and therefore great membrane surface areas. However, axons are normally inaccessible to patch pipettes because of their thin structure; thus studies of axon physiology have long been hampered by the lack of axon recording methods. Recently, a new method of patch-clamp recording has been developed, enabling direct and tight-seal recording from cortical axons. These recordings are performed at the enlarged structure (axonal bleb) formed at the cut end of an axon after slicing procedures. This method has facilitated studies of the mechanisms underlying the generation and propagation of the main output signal, the action potential, and led to the finding that cortical neurons communicate not only in action potential-mediated digital mode but also in membrane potential-dependent analog mode. PMID:22833034

  15. Microchannels as axonal amplifiers.

    PubMed

    Fitzgerald, James J; Lacour, Stéphanie P; McMahon, Stephen B; Fawcett, James W

    2008-03-01

    An implantable neural interface capable of reliable long-term high-resolution recording from peripheral nerves has yet to be developed. Device design is challenging because extracellular axonal signals are very small, decay rapidly with distance from the axon, and in myelinated fibres are concentrated close to nodes of Ranvier, which are around 1 mum long and spaced several hundred micrometers apart. We present a finite element model examining the electrical behavior of axons in microchannels, and demonstrate that confining axons in such channels substantially amplifies the extracellular signal. For example, housing a 10-microm myelinated axon in a 1-cm-long channel with a 1000-microm(2) cross section is predicted to generate a peak extracellular voltage of over 10 mV. Furthermore, there is little radial signal decay within the channel, and a smooth axial variation of signal amplitude along the channel, irrespective of node location. Additional benefits include a greater extracellular voltage generated by large myelinated fibres compared to small unmyelinated axons, and the reduction of gain to unity at the end of the channel which ensures that there can be no crosstalk with electrodes in other channels nearby. A microchannel architecture seems well suited to the requirements of a peripheral nerve interface.

  16. Specificity of peripheral nerve regeneration: interactions at the axon level.

    PubMed

    Allodi, Ilary; Udina, Esther; Navarro, Xavier

    2012-07-01

    Peripheral nerves injuries result in paralysis, anesthesia and lack of autonomic control of the affected body areas. After injury, axons distal to the lesion are disconnected from the neuronal body and degenerate, leading to denervation of the peripheral organs. Wallerian degeneration creates a microenvironment distal to the injury site that supports axonal regrowth, while the neuron body changes in phenotype to promote axonal regeneration. The significance of axonal regeneration is to replace the degenerated distal nerve segment, and achieve reinnervation of target organs and restitution of their functions. However, axonal regeneration does not always allows for adequate functional recovery, so that after a peripheral nerve injury, patients do not recover normal motor control and fine sensibility. The lack of specificity of nerve regeneration, in terms of motor and sensory axons regrowth, pathfinding and target reinnervation, is one the main shortcomings for recovery. Key factors for successful axonal regeneration include the intrinsic changes that neurons suffer to switch their transmitter state to a pro-regenerative state and the environment that the axons find distal to the lesion site. The molecular mechanisms implicated in axonal regeneration and pathfinding after injury are complex, and take into account the cross-talk between axons and glial cells, neurotrophic factors, extracellular matrix molecules and their receptors. The aim of this review is to look at those interactions, trying to understand if some of these molecular factors are specific for motor and sensory neuron growth, and provide the basic knowledge for potential strategies to enhance and guide axonal regeneration and reinnervation of adequate target organs. PMID:22609046

  17. Traumatic Axonal Injury: Mechanisms and Translational Opportunities.

    PubMed

    Hill, Ciaran S; Coleman, Michael P; Menon, David K

    2016-05-01

    Traumatic axonal injury (TAI) is an important pathoanatomical subgroup of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and a major driver of mortality and functional impairment. Experimental models have provided insights into the effects of mechanical deformation on the neuronal cytoskeleton and the subsequent processes that drive axonal injury. There is also increasing recognition that axonal or white matter loss may progress for years post-injury and represent one mechanistic framework for progressive neurodegeneration after TBI. Previous trials of novel therapies have failed to make an impact on clinical outcome, in both TBI in general and TAI in particular. Recent advances in understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms of injury have the potential to translate into novel therapeutic targets. PMID:27040729

  18. Glia to axon RNA transfer.

    PubMed

    Sotelo, José Roberto; Canclini, Lucía; Kun, Alejandra; Sotelo-Silveira, José Roberto; Calliari, Aldo; Cal, Karina; Bresque, Mariana; Dipaolo, Andrés; Farias, Joaquina; Mercer, John A

    2014-03-01

    The existence of RNA in axons has been a matter of dispute for decades. Evidence for RNA and ribosomes has now accumulated to a point at which it is difficult to question, much of the disputes turned to the origin of these axonal RNAs. In this review, we focus on studies addressing the origin of axonal RNAs and ribosomes. The neuronal soma as the source of most axonal RNAs has been demonstrated and is indisputable. However, the surrounding glial cells may be a supplemental source of axonal RNAs, a matter scarcely investigated in the literature. Here, we review the few papers that have demonstrated that glial-to-axon RNA transfer is not only feasible, but likely. We describe this process in both invertebrate axons and vertebrate axons. Schwann cell to axon ribosomes transfer was conclusively demonstrated (Court et al. [2008]: J. Neurosci 28:11024-11029; Court et al. [2011]: Glia 59:1529-1539). However, mRNA transfer still remains to be demonstrated in a conclusive way. The intercellular transport of mRNA has interesting implications, particularly with respect to the integration of glial and axonal function. This evolving field is likely to impact our understanding of the cell biology of the axon in both normal and pathological conditions. Most importantly, if the synthesis of proteins in the axon can be controlled by interacting glia, the possibilities for clinical interventions in injury and neurodegeneration are greatly increased.

  19. Targeting the CD80/CD86 costimulatory pathway with CTLA4-Ig directs microglia toward a repair phenotype and promotes axonal outgrowth.

    PubMed

    Louveau, Antoine; Nerrière-Daguin, Véronique; Vanhove, Bernard; Naveilhan, Philippe; Neunlist, Michel; Nicot, Arnaud; Boudin, Hélène

    2015-12-01

    Among the costimulatory factors widely studied in the immune system is the CD28/cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen-4 (CTLA4)-CD80/CD86 pathway, which critically controls the nature and duration of the T-cell response. In the brain, up-regulated expression of CD80/CD86 during inflammation has consistently been reported in microglia. However, the role of CD80/CD86 molecules has mainly been studied in a context of microglia-T cell interactions in pathological conditions, while the function of CD80/CD86 in the regulation of intrinsic brain cells remains largely unknown. In this study, we used a transgenic pig line in which neurons express releasable CTLA4-Ig, a synthetic molecule mimicking CTLA4 and binding to CD80/CD86. The effects of CTLA4-Ig on brain cells were analyzed after intracerebral transplantation of CTLA4-Ig-expressing neurons or wild-type neurons as control. This model provided in vivo evidence that CTLA4-Ig stimulated axonal outgrowth, in correlation with a shift of the nearby microglia from a compact to a ramified morphology. In a culture system, we found that the CTLA4-Ig-induced morphological change of microglia was mediated through CD86, but not CD80. This was accompanied by microglial up-regulated expression of the anti-inflammatory molecule Arginase 1 and the neurotrophic factor BDNF, in an astrocyte-dependent manner through the purinergic P2Y1 receptor pathway. Our study identifies for the first time CD86 as a key player in the modulation of microglia phenotype and suggests that CTLA4-Ig-derived compounds might represent new tools to manipulate CNS microglia.

  20. Motoneuron axon pathfinding errors in zebrafish: Differential effects related to concentration and timing of nicotine exposure

    SciTech Connect

    Menelaou, Evdokia; Paul, Latoya T.; Perera, Surangi N.; Svoboda, Kurt R.

    2015-04-01

    Nicotine exposure during embryonic stages of development can affect many neurodevelopmental processes. In the developing zebrafish, exposure to nicotine was reported to cause axonal pathfinding errors in the later born secondary motoneurons (SMNs). These alterations in SMN axon morphology coincided with muscle degeneration at high nicotine concentrations (15–30 μM). Previous work showed that the paralytic mutant zebrafish known as sofa potato exhibited nicotine-induced effects onto SMN axons at these high concentrations but in the absence of any muscle deficits, indicating that pathfinding errors could occur independent of muscle effects. In this study, we used varying concentrations of nicotine at different developmental windows of exposure to specifically isolate its effects onto subpopulations of motoneuron axons. We found that nicotine exposure can affect SMN axon morphology in a dose-dependent manner. At low concentrations of nicotine, SMN axons exhibited pathfinding errors, in the absence of any nicotine-induced muscle abnormalities. Moreover, the nicotine exposure paradigms used affected the 3 subpopulations of SMN axons differently, but the dorsal projecting SMN axons were primarily affected. We then identified morphologically distinct pathfinding errors that best described the nicotine-induced effects on dorsal projecting SMN axons. To test whether SMN pathfinding was potentially influenced by alterations in the early born primary motoneuron (PMN), we performed dual labeling studies, where both PMN and SMN axons were simultaneously labeled with antibodies. We show that only a subset of the SMN axon pathfinding errors coincided with abnormal PMN axonal targeting in nicotine-exposed zebrafish. We conclude that nicotine exposure can exert differential effects depending on the levels of nicotine and developmental exposure window. - Highlights: • Embryonic nicotine exposure can specifically affect secondary motoneuron axons in a dose-dependent manner.

  1. Clinical Progression in Parkinson's Disease and the Neurobiology of Axons

    PubMed Central

    Cheng, Hsiao-Chun; Ulane, Christina M.; Burke, Robert E.

    2010-01-01

    In spite of tremendous growth in recent years in our knowledge of the molecular basis of Parkinson's disease and the molecular pathways of cell injury and death, we remain without therapies that forestall disease progression. While there are many possible explanations for this lack of success, one is that experimental therapeutics to date have not adequately focused on an important component of the disease process, that of axon degeneration. It remains unknown what neuronal compartment, either the soma or the axon, is involved at disease onset, although some have proposed that it is the axons and their terminals that take the initial brunt of injury. Nevertheless, this concept has not been formally incorporated into many of the current theories of disease pathogenesis, and it has not achieved a wide consensus. More importantly, in view of growing evidence that the molecular mechanisms of axon degeneration are separate and distinct from the canonical pathways of programmed cell death that mediate soma destruction, the possibility of early involvement of axons in PD has not been adequately emphasized as a rationale to explore the neurobiology of axons for novel therapeutic targets. We propose that it is ongoing degeneration of axons, not cell bodies, that is the primary determinant of clinically apparent progression of disease, and that future experimental therapeutics intended to forestall disease progression will benefit from a new focus on the distinct mechanisms of axon degeneration. PMID:20517933

  2. Axons of sacral preganglionic neurons in the cat: II. Axon collaterals.

    PubMed

    Morgan, C W

    2001-01-01

    Axon collaterals were identified in 21 of 24 preganglionic neurons in the lateral band of the sacral parasympathetic nucleus of the cat. Following the intracellular injection of HRP or neurobiotin the axons from 20 of these neurons were followed and 53 primary axon collaterals were found to originate from unmyelinated segments and from nodes of Ranvier. Detailed mapping done in the five best labeled cells showed bilateral axon collaterals distributions up to 25,000 microm in length with 950 varicosities and unilateral distributions up to 12,561 microm with 491 varicosities. The axon collaterals appeared to be unmyelinated, which was confirmed at EM, and were small in diameter (average 0.3 microm). Varicosities were located mostly in laminae I, V, VII, VIII and X and in the lateral funiculi. Most varicosities were not in contact with visible structures but some were seen in close apposition to Nissl stained somata and proximal dendrites. Varicosities had average minor diameters of 1.3 microm and major diameters of 2.3 microm. Most were boutons en passant while 10-20% were boutons termineaux. EM revealed axodendritic and axoaxonic synapses formed by varicosities and by the axons between varicosities. It is estimated that the most extensive of these axon collaterals systems may contact over 200 spinal neurons in multiple locations. These data lead to the conclusion that sacral preganglionic neurons have multiple functions within the spinal cord in addition to serving their target organ. As most preganglionic neurons in this location innervate the urinary bladder, it is possible that bladder preganglionic neurons have multiple functions.

  3. The Scaffold Protein POSH Regulates Axon Outgrowth

    PubMed Central

    Taylor, Jennifer; Chung, Kwan-Ho; Figueroa, Claudia; Zurawski, Jonathan; Dickson, Heather M.; Brace, E. J.; Avery, Adam W.; Turner, David L.

    2008-01-01

    How scaffold proteins integrate signaling pathways with cytoskeletal components to drive axon outgrowth is not well understood. We report here that the multidomain scaffold protein Plenty of SH3s (POSH) regulates axon outgrowth. Reduction of POSH function by RNA interference (RNAi) enhances axon outgrowth in differentiating mouse primary cortical neurons and in neurons derived from mouse P19 cells, suggesting POSH negatively regulates axon outgrowth. Complementation analysis reveals a requirement for the third Src homology (SH) 3 domain of POSH, and we find that the actomyosin regulatory protein Shroom3 interacts with this domain of POSH. Inhibition of Shroom3 expression by RNAi leads to increased process lengths, as observed for POSH RNAi, suggesting that POSH and Shroom function together to inhibit process outgrowth. Complementation analysis and interference of protein function by dominant-negative approaches suggest that Shroom3 recruits Rho kinase to inhibit process outgrowth. Furthermore, inhibition of myosin II function reverses the POSH or Shroom3 RNAi phenotype, indicating a role for myosin II regulation as a target of the POSH–Shroom complex. Collectively, these results suggest that the molecular scaffold protein POSH assembles an inhibitory complex that links to the actin–myosin network to regulate neuronal process outgrowth. PMID:18829867

  4. The scaffold protein POSH regulates axon outgrowth.

    PubMed

    Taylor, Jennifer; Chung, Kwan-Ho; Figueroa, Claudia; Zurawski, Jonathan; Dickson, Heather M; Brace, E J; Avery, Adam W; Turner, David L; Vojtek, Anne B

    2008-12-01

    How scaffold proteins integrate signaling pathways with cytoskeletal components to drive axon outgrowth is not well understood. We report here that the multidomain scaffold protein Plenty of SH3s (POSH) regulates axon outgrowth. Reduction of POSH function by RNA interference (RNAi) enhances axon outgrowth in differentiating mouse primary cortical neurons and in neurons derived from mouse P19 cells, suggesting POSH negatively regulates axon outgrowth. Complementation analysis reveals a requirement for the third Src homology (SH) 3 domain of POSH, and we find that the actomyosin regulatory protein Shroom3 interacts with this domain of POSH. Inhibition of Shroom3 expression by RNAi leads to increased process lengths, as observed for POSH RNAi, suggesting that POSH and Shroom function together to inhibit process outgrowth. Complementation analysis and interference of protein function by dominant-negative approaches suggest that Shroom3 recruits Rho kinase to inhibit process outgrowth. Furthermore, inhibition of myosin II function reverses the POSH or Shroom3 RNAi phenotype, indicating a role for myosin II regulation as a target of the POSH-Shroom complex. Collectively, these results suggest that the molecular scaffold protein POSH assembles an inhibitory complex that links to the actin-myosin network to regulate neuronal process outgrowth.

  5. Axonal PPARγ promotes neuronal regeneration after injury.

    PubMed

    Lezana, Juan Pablo; Dagan, Shachar Y; Robinson, Ari; Goldstein, Ronald S; Fainzilber, Mike; Bronfman, Francisca C; Bronfman, Miguel

    2016-06-01

    PPARγ is a ligand-activated nuclear receptor best known for its involvement in adipogenesis and glucose homeostasis. PPARγ activity has also been associated with neuroprotection in different neurological disorders, but the mechanisms involved in PPARγ effects in the nervous system are still unknown. Here we describe a new functional role for PPARγ in neuronal responses to injury. We found both PPAR transcripts and protein within sensory axons and observed an increase in PPARγ protein levels after sciatic nerve crush. This was correlated with increased retrograde transport of PPARγ after injury, increased association of PPARγ with the molecular motor dynein, and increased nuclear accumulation of PPARγ in cell bodies of sensory neurons. Furthermore, PPARγ antagonists attenuated the response of sensory neurons to sciatic nerve injury, and inhibited axonal growth of both sensory and cortical neurons in culture. Thus, axonal PPARγ is involved in neuronal injury responses required for axonal regeneration. Since PPARγ is a major molecular target of the thiazolidinedione (TZD) class of drugs used in the treatment of type II diabetes, several pharmaceutical agents with acceptable safety profiles in humans are available. Our findings provide motivation and rationale for the evaluation of such agents for efficacy in central and peripheral nerve injuries. PMID:26446277

  6. A model of axonal transport drug delivery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuznetsov, Andrey V.

    2012-04-01

    In this paper a model of targeted drug delivery by means of active (motor-driven) axonal transport is developed. The model is motivated by recent experimental research by Filler et al. (A.G. Filler, G.T. Whiteside, M. Bacon, M. Frederickson, F.A. Howe, M.D. Rabinowitz, A.J. Sokoloff, T.W. Deacon, C. Abell, R. Munglani, J.R. Griffiths, B.A. Bell, A.M.L. Lever, Tri-partite complex for axonal transport drug delivery achieves pharmacological effect, Bmc Neuroscience 11 (2010) 8) that reported synthesis and pharmacological efficiency tests of a tri-partite complex designed for axonal transport drug delivery. The developed model accounts for two populations of pharmaceutical agent complexes (PACs): PACs that are transported retrogradely by dynein motors and PACs that are accumulated in the axon at the Nodes of Ranvier. The transitions between these two populations of PACs are described by first-order reactions. An analytical solution of the coupled system of transient equations describing conservations of these two populations of PACs is obtained by using Laplace transform. Numerical results for various combinations of parameter values are presented and their physical significance is discussed.

  7. Microfluidic control of axonal guidance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gu, Ling; Black, Bryan; Ordonez, Simon; Mondal, Argha; Jain, Ankur; Mohanty, Samarendra

    2014-10-01

    The precision of axonal pathfinding and the accurate formation of functional neural circuitry are crucial for an organism during development as well as during adult central and peripheral nerve regeneration. While chemical cues are believed to be primarily responsible for axonal pathfinding, we hypothesize that forces due to localized fluid flow may directly affect neuronal guidance during early organ development. Here, we report direct evidence of fluid flow influencing axonal migration, producing turning angles of up to 90°. Microfluidic flow simulations indicate that an axon may experience significant bending force due to cross-flow, which may contribute to the observed axonal turning. This method of flow-based guidance was successfully used to fasciculate one advancing axon onto another, showcasing the potential of this technique to be used for the formation of in vitro neuronal circuits.

  8. Local Translation and mRNA Trafficking in Axon Pathfinding

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Axons and their growth cones are specialized neuronal sub-compartments that possess translation machinery and have distinct messenger RNAs (mRNAs). Several classes of mRNAs have been identified using candidate-based, as well as unbiased genome-wide-based approaches. Axonal mRNA localization serves to regulate spatially the protein synthesis; thereby, providing axons with a high degree of functional autonomy from the soma during axon pathfinding. Importantly, de novo protein synthesis in navigating axonal growth cones is necessary for chemotropic responses to various axon guidance cues. This chapter discusses the molecular components involved in regulating axonal mRNA trafficking, targeting, and translation, and focuses on RNA binding proteins (RNBPs) and microRNAs. The functional significance of local mRNA translation in the directional response of growth cones to a gradient is highlighted along with the downstream signaling events that mediate local protein synthesis. The view that emerges is that local translation is tightly coupled to extracellular cues, enabling growth cones to respond to new signals with exquisite adaptability and spatiotemporal control. PMID:19343311

  9. Astrocyte scar formation aids central nervous system axon regeneration.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Mark A; Burda, Joshua E; Ren, Yilong; Ao, Yan; O'Shea, Timothy M; Kawaguchi, Riki; Coppola, Giovanni; Khakh, Baljit S; Deming, Timothy J; Sofroniew, Michael V

    2016-04-14

    Transected axons fail to regrow in the mature central nervous system. Astrocytic scars are widely regarded as causal in this failure. Here, using three genetically targeted loss-of-function manipulations in adult mice, we show that preventing astrocyte scar formation, attenuating scar-forming astrocytes, or ablating chronic astrocytic scars all failed to result in spontaneous regrowth of transected corticospinal, sensory or serotonergic axons through severe spinal cord injury (SCI) lesions. By contrast, sustained local delivery via hydrogel depots of required axon-specific growth factors not present in SCI lesions, plus growth-activating priming injuries, stimulated robust, laminin-dependent sensory axon regrowth past scar-forming astrocytes and inhibitory molecules in SCI lesions. Preventing astrocytic scar formation significantly reduced this stimulated axon regrowth. RNA sequencing revealed that astrocytes and non-astrocyte cells in SCI lesions express multiple axon-growth-supporting molecules. Our findings show that contrary to the prevailing dogma, astrocyte scar formation aids rather than prevents central nervous system axon regeneration. PMID:27027288

  10. Synaptic Democracy and Vesicular Transport in Axons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bressloff, Paul C.; Levien, Ethan

    2015-04-01

    Synaptic democracy concerns the general problem of how regions of an axon or dendrite far from the cell body (soma) of a neuron can play an effective role in neuronal function. For example, stimulated synapses far from the soma are unlikely to influence the firing of a neuron unless some sort of active dendritic processing occurs. Analogously, the motor-driven transport of newly synthesized proteins from the soma to presynaptic targets along the axon tends to favor the delivery of resources to proximal synapses. Both of these phenomena reflect fundamental limitations of transport processes based on a localized source. In this Letter, we show that a more democratic distribution of proteins along an axon can be achieved by making the transport process less efficient. This involves two components: bidirectional or "stop-and-go" motor transport (which can be modeled in terms of advection-diffusion), and reversible interactions between motor-cargo complexes and synaptic targets. Both of these features have recently been observed experimentally. Our model suggests that, just as in human societies, there needs to be a balance between "efficiency" and "equality".

  11. Axonal loss and neuroprotection in optic neuropathies.

    PubMed

    Levin, Leonard A

    2007-06-01

    Most optic neuropathies do not have effective treatments. Examples are ischemic optic neuropathy, Leber hereditary optic neuropathy, optic neuritis, and traumatic optic neuropathy. In some cases, the pathophysiology of the optic nerve injury is not fully understood. For example, while the demyelinative aspects of optic neuritis have been studied, the mechanism by which the axonal loss occurs is less apparent. In other cases, although the pathophysiology of the optic neuropathy may be understood, there is difficulty treating the disease, for example, with traumatic optic neuropathy. In response to this therapeutic dearth, the concept of neuroprotection has arisen. Neuroprotection is a therapeutic paradigm for preventing death of neurons from injury and maintaining function. In optic neuropathies, the corresponding neuron is the retinal ganglion cell. These cells are unable to divide, and optic neuropathies irrevocably result in their death; therefore, the primary target of neuroprotection are retinal ganglion cells and their axons. This review emphasizes that most optic neuropathies are axonal and thus good targets for neuroprotection. PMID:17508035

  12. Axon guidance: FLRTing promotes attraction.

    PubMed

    Lowery, Laura Anne

    2014-03-01

    A recent study demonstrates a new mechanism by which crosstalk between multiple guidance cues is integrated during axon pathfinding. FLRT3 is a novel co-receptor for Robo1 that acts as a context-dependent modulator of Netrin-1 attraction in thalamocortical axons.

  13. Axon Guidance at the Midline: Of Mice and Flies

    PubMed Central

    Evans, Timothy A.; Bashaw, Greg J.

    2014-01-01

    In bilaterally symmetric organisms, the midline is a critical organizing center for the developing central nervous system. There is a striking conservation of the molecules and mechanisms that control axon path finding at the midline in vertebrate and invertebrate nervous systems. The majority of axons in the CNS cross the midline before projecting to their contralateral synaptic targets and this crossing decision is under exquisite spatial and temporal regulation. Growing commissural axons initially respond to attractive signals, while inhibiting responses to repulsive signals. Once across, repulsion dominates, allowing axons to leave and preventing them from re-entering the midline. Here we review recent advances in flies and mice that illuminate the molecular mechanisms underlying the establishment of precise connectivity at the midline. PMID:20074930

  14. Local Protein Synthesis in Axonal Growth Cones

    PubMed Central

    Šatkauskas, Saulius

    2007-01-01

    While initially thought to be essentially a developmental characteristic observed in artificial in vitro models, local protein synthesis in growth cones has been described in the adult, and more interestingly, during nerve regeneration. This emerging field is under intense investigation, revealing new functions of localized protein synthesis that include axon guidance, growth cone adaptation and sensitivity modulation at intermediate targets or axon regeneration. Here, we will review these functions and provide a short survey of the current knowledge on mechanisms of mRNA transport and regulation of localized protein synthesis. In addition, we will consider what lessons can be learned from localized protein synthesis in dendrites and what developments can be expected next in the field. This latter question relates to the crucial point of which technical strategy to adopt for an ideal and pertinent analysis of the phenomenon. PMID:19262143

  15. Signaling from Axon Guidance Receptors

    PubMed Central

    Bashaw, Greg J.; Klein, Rüdiger

    2010-01-01

    Determining how axon guidance receptors transmit signals to allow precise pathfinding decisions is fundamental to our understanding of nervous system development and may suggest new strategies to promote axon regeneration after injury or disease. Signaling mechanisms that act downstream of four prominent families of axon guidance cues—netrins, semaphorins, ephrins, and slits—have been extensively studied in both invertebrate and vertebrate model systems. Although details of these signaling mechanisms are still fragmentary and there appears to be considerable diversity in how different guidance receptors regulate the motility of the axonal growth cone, a number of common themes have emerged. Here, we review recent insights into how specific receptors for each of these guidance cues engage downstream regulators of the growth cone cytoskeleton to control axon guidance. PMID:20452961

  16. Signaling from axon guidance receptors.

    PubMed

    Bashaw, Greg J; Klein, Rüdiger

    2010-05-01

    Determining how axon guidance receptors transmit signals to allow precise pathfinding decisions is fundamental to our understanding of nervous system development and may suggest new strategies to promote axon regeneration after injury or disease. Signaling mechanisms that act downstream of four prominent families of axon guidance cues--netrins, semaphorins, ephrins, and slits--have been extensively studied in both invertebrate and vertebrate model systems. Although details of these signaling mechanisms are still fragmentary and there appears to be considerable diversity in how different guidance receptors regulate the motility of the axonal growth cone, a number of common themes have emerged. Here, we review recent insights into how specific receptors for each of these guidance cues engage downstream regulators of the growth cone cytoskeleton to control axon guidance. PMID:20452961

  17. Intraretinal grafting reveals growth requirements and guidance cues for optic axons in the developing avian retina.

    PubMed

    Halfter, W

    1996-07-10

    To study environmental factors controlling the growth and navigation of optic axons in the eye, grafts of retinal, optic disc, optic tectum, and floor plate tissue were transplanted into organ-cultured embryonic chick or quail eyes. The growth of axons into and out of the graft was studied in cross sections of the cultured eyes and by DiI tracing in retinal whole mounts. Based on the location and trajectory of axons and based on the quantity of axons that entered and exited the grafts, several requirements for axonal navigation were established: (1) Axonal growth is restricted to an approximately 10-microm-thick layer at the vitreal surface of the retina. (2) The retinal neuroepithelium prior to axogenesis is nonpermissive for neurite outgrowth. This nonpermissive quality is transient and recedes peripherally as the differentiation of the retina progresses. (3) Embryonic axons are able to grow into neonatal and adult retinal grafts, demonstrating that older retina remains permissive for axonal growth. (4) The trajectory of axons into and from retinal grafts that had been rotated in their peripheral-central orientation showed that the retina has an inherent polarity that permits axon growth toward and away from the optic disc, but does not allow axon growth perpendicular to this direction. This centroperipheral cue operates locally rather than by long distance. (5) The optic disc provides an exit for the axons from the retina, but has no detectable neurotropic activity. Finally, optic axons from the host retina readily enter grafts of their target tissue, the optic tectum, but few axons are able to leave tectal transplants. PMID:8660885

  18. The zinc finger RNA binding protein, ZFR, contributes to axon guidance in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Kjærgaard, Tine; Desdorf, Rasmus; Heuck, Anders; Olsen, Anders; Lykke-Hartmann, Karin

    2015-02-15

    ZFR is an ancient and highly conserved chromosome-associated protein from nematodes to mammals, embryologically expressed in most species, with the exception of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. The ZFR encodes zinc and RNA binding protein, and in rat, the nuclear-cytoplasmic shuttling ZFR has been found with transport and translation-associated RNA granule-like structures in the somatodendritic compartments of hippocampal neurons. The majority of axons cross the midline before projecting to their contralateral synaptic target and this crossing decision is under tight control. Molecular factors contributing to these processes have been identified, although the mechanisms are not fully understood. In this study, we tested the role of ceZFR in axon guidance using ceZfr RNAi-treated animals to analyse axon midline crossing, axon fasciculation and cord commissures. In adult stages, RNAi-induced depletion of the ceZfr transcript leads to several phenotypes related to axon guidance. A midline crossing defect was observed in the ventral nerve cord (VNC) in axon type D, DD/VD motoneuron axons and axon type 1, interneuron axons. We further detected a dorsal nerve cord (DNC) axon fasciculation. Some ceZfr RNAi-treated animals revealed that cord commissures fail to reach their synaptic target. We provide evidence that ceZFR has a role in axon guidance. When Zfr was depleted by RNAi, the phenotypes are characterized by defects in axon midline crossing, axon defasciculation and cord commissures. Our results thus support the hypothesis that ZFR has essential roles during neurogenesis, and could support early steps of RNA transport and localization through RNA granule formation in the nucleus and/or to their nucleo-cytoplasmic shuttling.

  19. Gogo Receptor Contributes to Retinotopic Map Formation and Prevents R1-6 Photoreceptor Axon Bundling

    PubMed Central

    Hein, Irina; Suzuki, Takashi; Grunwald Kadow, Ilona C.

    2013-01-01

    Background Topographic maps form the basis of neural processing in sensory systems of both vertebrate and invertebrate species. In the Drosophila visual system, neighboring R1–R6 photoreceptor axons innervate adjacent positions in the first optic ganglion, the lamina, and thereby represent visual space as a continuous map in the brain. The mechanisms responsible for the establishment of retinotopic maps remain incompletely understood. Results Here, we show that the receptor Golden goal (Gogo) is required for R axon lamina targeting and cartridge elongation in a partially redundant fashion with local guidance cues provided by neighboring axons. Loss of function of Gogo in large clones of R axons results in aberrant R1–R6 fascicle spacing. Gogo affects target cartridge selection only indirectly as a consequence of the disordered lamina map. Interestingly, small clones of gogo deficient R axons perfectly integrate into a proper retinotopic map suggesting that surrounding R axons of the same or neighboring fascicles provide complementary spatial guidance. Using single photoreceptor type rescue, we show that Gogo expression exclusively in R8 cells is sufficient to mediate targeting of all photoreceptor types in the lamina. Upon lamina targeting and cartridge selection, R axons elongate within their individual cartridges. Interestingly, here Gogo prevents bundling of extending R1-6 axons. Conclusion Taken together, we propose that Gogo contributes to retinotopic map formation in the Drosophila lamina by controlling the distribution of R1–R6 axon fascicles. In a later developmental step, the regular position of R1–R6 axons along the lamina plexus is crucial for target cartridge selection. During cartridge elongation, Gogo allows R1–R6 axons to extend centrally in the lamina cartridge. PMID:23826162

  20. Axon-glia interaction and membrane traffic in myelin formation

    PubMed Central

    White, Robin; Krämer-Albers, Eva-Maria

    2014-01-01

    In vertebrate nervous systems myelination of neuronal axons has evolved to increase conduction velocity of electrical impulses with minimal space and energy requirements. Myelin is formed by specialized glial cells which ensheath axons with a lipid-rich insulating membrane. Myelination is a multi-step process initiated by axon-glia recognition triggering glial polarization followed by targeted myelin membrane expansion and compaction. Thereby, a myelin sheath of complex subdomain structure is established. Continuous communication between neurons and glial cells is essential for myelin maintenance and axonal integrity. A diverse group of diseases, from multiple sclerosis to schizophrenia, have been linked to malfunction of myelinating cells reflecting the physiological importance of the axon-glial unit. This review describes the mechanisms of axonal signal integration by oligodendrocytes emphasizing the central role of the Src-family kinase Fyn during central nervous system (CNS) myelination. Furthermore, we discuss myelin membrane trafficking with particular focus on endocytic recycling and the control of proteolipid protein (PLP) transport by soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment protein receptor (SNARE) proteins. Finally, PLP mistrafficking is considered in the context of myelin diseases. PMID:24431989

  1. Dendrosomatic Sonic Hedgehog Signaling in Hippocampal Neurons Regulates Axon Elongation

    PubMed Central

    Petralia, Ronald S.; Ott, Carolyn; Wang, Ya-Xian; Lippincott-Schwartz, Jennifer; Mattson, Mark P.

    2015-01-01

    The presence of Sonic Hedgehog (Shh) and its signaling components in the neurons of the hippocampus raises a question about what role the Shh signaling pathway may play in these neurons. We show here that activation of the Shh signaling pathway stimulates axon elongation in rat hippocampal neurons. This Shh-induced effect depends on the pathway transducer Smoothened (Smo) and the transcription factor Gli1. The axon itself does not respond directly to Shh; instead, the Shh signal transduction originates from the somatodendritic region of the neurons and occurs in neurons with and without detectable primary cilia. Upon Shh stimulation, Smo localization to dendrites increases significantly. Shh pathway activation results in increased levels of profilin1 (Pfn1), an actin-binding protein. Mutations in Pfn1's actin-binding sites or reduction of Pfn1 eliminate the Shh-induced axon elongation. These findings indicate that Shh can regulate axon growth, which may be critical for development of hippocampal neurons. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Although numerous signaling mechanisms have been identified that act directly on axons to regulate their outgrowth, it is not known whether signals transduced in dendrites may also affect axon outgrowth. We describe here a transcellular signaling pathway in embryonic hippocampal neurons in which activation of Sonic Hedgehog (Shh) receptors in dendrites stimulates axon growth. The pathway involves the dendritic-membrane-associated Shh signal transducer Smoothened (Smo) and the transcription factor Gli, which induces the expression of the gene encoding the actin-binding protein profilin 1. Our findings suggest scenarios in which stimulation of Shh in dendrites results in accelerated outgrowth of the axon, which therefore reaches its presumptive postsynaptic target cell more quickly. By this mechanism, Shh may play critical roles in the development of hippocampal neuronal circuits. PMID:26658865

  2. Axon Self-Destruction: New Links among SARM1, MAPKs, and NAD+ Metabolism.

    PubMed

    Gerdts, Josiah; Summers, Daniel W; Milbrandt, Jeffrey; DiAntonio, Aaron

    2016-02-01

    Wallerian axon degeneration is a form of programmed subcellular death that promotes axon breakdown in disease and injury. Active degeneration requires SARM1 and MAP kinases, including DLK, while the NAD+ synthetic enzyme NMNAT2 prevents degeneration. New studies reveal that these pathways cooperate in a locally mediated axon destruction program, with NAD+ metabolism playing a central role. Here, we review the biology of Wallerian-type axon degeneration and discuss the most recent findings, with special emphasis on critical signaling events and their potential as therapeutic targets for axonopathy. PMID:26844829

  3. Therapy Development for Diffuse Axonal Injury

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Douglas H.; Hicks, Ramona

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Diffuse axonal injury (DAI) remains a prominent feature of human traumatic brain injury (TBI) and a major player in its subsequent morbidity. The importance of this widespread axonal damage has been confirmed by multiple approaches including routine postmortem neuropathology as well as advanced imaging, which is now capable of detecting the signatures of traumatically induced axonal injury across a spectrum of traumatically brain-injured persons. Despite the increased interest in DAI and its overall implications for brain-injured patients, many questions remain about this component of TBI and its potential therapeutic targeting. To address these deficiencies and to identify future directions needed to fill critical gaps in our understanding of this component of TBI, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke hosted a workshop in May 2011. This workshop sought to determine what is known regarding the pathogenesis of DAI in animal models of injury as well as in the human clinical setting. The workshop also addressed new tools to aid in the identification of this axonal injury while also identifying more rational therapeutic targets linked to DAI for continued preclinical investigation and, ultimately, clinical translation. This report encapsulates the oral and written components of this workshop addressing key features regarding the pathobiology of DAI, the biomechanics implicated in its initiating pathology, and those experimental animal modeling considerations that bear relevance to the biomechanical features of human TBI. Parallel considerations of alternate forms of DAI detection including, but not limited to, advanced neuroimaging, electrophysiological, biomarker, and neurobehavioral evaluations are included, together with recommendations for how these technologies can be better used and integrated for a more comprehensive appreciation of the pathobiology of DAI and its overall structural and functional implications. Lastly, the

  4. Equivalent Activities of Repulsive Axon Guidance Receptors

    PubMed Central

    Long, Hong; Yoshikawa, Shingo

    2016-01-01

    Receptors on the growth cone at the leading edge of elongating axons play critical guidance roles by recognizing cues via their extracellular domains and transducing signals via their intracellular domains, resulting in changes in direction of growth. An important concept to have emerged in the axon guidance field is the importance of repulsion as a major guidance mechanism. Given the number and variety of different repulsive receptors, it is generally thought that there are likely to be qualitative differences in the signals they transduce. However, the nature of these possible differences is unknown. By creating chimeras using the extracellular and intracellular domains of three different Drosophila repulsive receptors, Unc5, Roundabout (Robo), and Derailed (Drl) and expressing them in defined cells within the embryonic nervous system, we examined the responses elicited by their intracellular domains systematically. Surprisingly, we found no qualitative differences in growth cone response or axon growth, suggesting that, despite their highly diverged sequences, each intracellular domain elicits repulsion via a common pathway. In terms of the signaling pathway(s) used by the repulsive receptors, mutations in the guanine nucleotide exchange factor Trio strongly enhance the repulsive activity of all three intracellular domains, suggesting that repulsion by Unc5, Robo, and Drl, and perhaps repulsion in general, involves Trio activity. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT A prevailing concept that has emerged in the axon guidance field is the importance of repulsion as a guidance mechanism for steering axons to their appropriate targets. Given the number and variety of different repulsive receptors, it is generally thought that there are differences in the signals that they transduce. However, this has never been tested directly. We have used the advanced genetics of Drosophila to compare directly the outputs of different repulsive receptors. Surprisingly, we found no qualitative

  5. Pathfinding in a large vertebrate axon tract: isotypic interactions guide retinotectal axons at multiple choice points

    PubMed Central

    Pittman, Andrew J.; Law, Mei-Yee; Chien, Chi-Bin

    2008-01-01

    Summary Navigating axons respond to environmental guidance signals, but can also follow axons that have gone before—pioneer axons. Pioneers have been studied extensively in simple systems, but the role of axon-axon interactions remains largely unexplored in large vertebrate axon tracts, where cohorts of identical axons could potentially use isotypic interactions to guide each other through multiple choice points. Furthermore, the relative importance of axon-axon interactions compared to axon-autonomous receptor function has not been assessed. Here we test the role of axon-axon interactions in retinotectal development, by devising a technique to selectively remove or replace early-born retinal ganglion cells (RGCs). We find that early RGCs are both necessary and sufficient for later axons to exit the eye. Furthermore, introducing misrouted axons by transplantation reveals that guidance from eye to tectum relies heavily on interactions between axons, including both pioneer-follower and community effects. We conclude that axon-axon interactions and ligand-receptor signaling have coequal roles, cooperating to ensure the fidelity of axon guidance in developing vertebrate tracts. PMID:18653554

  6. Function and regulation of local axonal translation

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Andrew C; Holt, Christine E

    2013-01-01

    An increasing body of evidence indicates that local axonal translation is required for growing axons to respond appropriately to guidance cues and other stimuli. Recent studies suggest that asymmetrical synthesis of cytoskeletal proteins mediates growth cone turning and that local translation and retrograde transport of transcription factors mediate neuronal survival. Axonal translation is regulated partly by selective axonal localization of mRNAs and by translation initiation factors and RNA-binding proteins. We discuss possible rationales for local axonal translation, including distinct properties of nascent proteins, precise localization, and axonal autonomy. PMID:18508259

  7. The Yin and Yang of Wnt/Ryk axon guidance in development and regeneration.

    PubMed

    Clark, Charlotte E J; Liu, Yaobo; Cooper, Helen M

    2014-04-01

    In the developing embryo, nascent axons navigate towards their specific targets to establish the intricate network of axonal connections linking neurons within the mature nervous system. Molecular navigational systems comprising repulsive and attractive guidance cues form chemotactic gradients along the pathway of the exploring growth cone. Axon-bound receptors detect these gradients and determine the trajectory of the migrating growth cone. In contrast to their benevolent role in the developing nervous system, repulsive guidance receptors are detrimental to the axon's ability to regenerate after injury in the adult. In this review we explore the essential and beneficial role played by the chemorepulsive Wnt receptor, Ryk/Derailed in axon navigation in the embryonic nervous system (the Yin function). Specifically, we focus on the role of Wnt5a/Rykmediated guidance in the establishment of two major axon tracts in the mammalian central nervous system, the corticospinal tract and the corpus callosum. Recent studies have also identified Ryk as a major suppressor of axonal regeneration after spinal cord injury. Thus, we also discuss this opposing aspect of Ryk function in axonal regeneration where its activity is a major impediment to axon regrowth (the Yang function).

  8. Rapid in vivo forward genetic approach for identifying axon death genes in Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    Neukomm, Lukas J.; Burdett, Thomas C.; Gonzalez, Michael A.; Züchner, Stephan; Freeman, Marc R.

    2014-01-01

    Axons damaged by acute injury, toxic insults, or neurodegenerative diseases execute a poorly defined autodestruction signaling pathway leading to widespread fragmentation and functional loss. Here, we describe an approach to study Wallerian degeneration in the Drosophila L1 wing vein that allows for analysis of axon degenerative phenotypes with single-axon resolution in vivo. This method allows for the axotomy of specific subsets of axons followed by examination of progressive axonal degeneration and debris clearance alongside uninjured control axons. We developed new Flippase (FLP) reagents using proneural gene promoters to drive FLP expression very early in neural lineages. These tools allow for the production of mosaic clone populations with high efficiency in sensory neurons in the wing. We describe a collection of lines optimized for forward genetic mosaic screens using MARCM (mosaic analysis with a repressible cell marker; i.e., GFP-labeled, homozygous mutant) on all major autosomal arms (∼95% of the fly genome). Finally, as a proof of principle we screened the X chromosome and identified a collection eight recessive and two dominant alleles of highwire, a ubiquitin E3 ligase required for axon degeneration. Similar unbiased forward genetic screens should help rapidly delineate axon death genes, thereby providing novel potential drug targets for therapeutic intervention to prevent axonal and synaptic loss. PMID:24958874

  9. Oligodendrocytes: Myelination and Axonal Support.

    PubMed

    Simons, Mikael; Nave, Klaus-Armin

    2015-06-22

    Myelinated nerve fibers have evolved to enable fast and efficient transduction of electrical signals in the nervous system. To act as an electric insulator, the myelin sheath is formed as a multilamellar membrane structure by the spiral wrapping and subsequent compaction of the oligodendroglial plasma membrane around central nervous system (CNS) axons. Current evidence indicates that the myelin sheath is more than an inert insulating membrane structure. Oligodendrocytes are metabolically active and functionally connected to the subjacent axon via cytoplasmic-rich myelinic channels for movement of macromolecules to and from the internodal periaxonal space under the myelin sheath. This review summarizes our current understanding of how myelin is generated and also the role of oligodendrocytes in supporting the long-term integrity of myelinated axons.

  10. Inhibition of kinesin-5 improves regeneration of injured axons by a novel microtubule-based mechanism

    PubMed Central

    Baas, Peter W.; Matamoros, Andrew J.

    2015-01-01

    Microtubules have been identified as a powerful target for augmenting regeneration of injured adult axons in the central nervous system. Drugs that stabilize microtubules have shown some promise, but there are concerns that abnormally stabilizing microtubules may have only limited benefits for regeneration, while at the same time may be detrimental to the normal work that microtubules perform for the axon. Kinesin-5 (also called kif11 or Eg5), a molecular motor protein best known for its crucial role in mitosis, acts as a brake on microtubule movements by other motor proteins in the axon. Drugs that inhibit kinesin-5, originally developed to treat cancer, result in greater mobility of microtubules in the axon and an overall shift in the forces on the microtubule array. As a result, the axon grows faster, retracts less, and more readily enters environments that are inhibitory to axonal regeneration. Thus, drugs that inhibit kinesin-5 offer a novel microtubule-based means to boost axonal regeneration without the concerns that accompany abnormal stabilization of the microtubule array. Even so, inhibiting kinesin-5 is not without its own caveats, such as potential problems with navigation of the regenerating axon to its target, as well as morphological effects on dendrites that could affect learning and memory if the drugs reach the brain. PMID:26199587

  11. Neural circuits with long-distance axon tracts for determining functional connectivity.

    PubMed

    Tang-Schomer, Min D; Davies, Paul; Graziano, Daniel; Thurber, Amy E; Kaplan, David L

    2014-01-30

    The cortical circuitry in the brain consists of structurally and functionally distinct neuronal assemblies with reciprocal axon connections. To generate cell culture-based systems that emulate axon tract systems of an in vivo neural network, we developed a living neural circuit consisting of compartmentalized neuronal populations connected by arrays of two millimeter-long axon tracts that are integrated on a planar multi-electrode array (MEA). The millimeter-scale node-to-node separation allows for pharmacological and electrophysiological manipulations to simultaneously target multiple neuronal populations. The results show controlled selectivity of dye absorption by neurons in different compartments. MEA-transmitted electrical stimulation of targeted neurons shows ∼46% increase of intracellular calcium levels with 20 Hz stimulation, but ∼22% decrease with 2k Hz stimulation. The unique feature of long distance axons promotes in vivo-like fasciculation. These axon tracts are determined to be inhibitory afferents by showing increased action potential firing of downstream node upon selective application of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) to the upstream node. Together, this model demonstrates integrated capabilities for assessing multiple endpoints including axon tract tracing, calcium influx, network architecture and activities. This system can be used as a multi-functional platform for studying axon tract-associated CNS disorders in vitro, such as diffuse axonal injury after brain trauma. PMID:24216177

  12. Neural Circuits with Long-Distance Axon Tracts for Determining Functional Connectivity

    PubMed Central

    Tang-Schomer, Min D.; Davies, Paul; Graziano, Daniel; Thurber, Amy E.; Kaplan, David L.

    2013-01-01

    The cortical circuitry in the brain consists of structurally and functionally distinct neuronal assemblies with reciprocal axon connections. To generate cell culture-based systems that emulate axon tract systems of an in vivo neural network, we developed a living neural circuit consisting of compartmentalized neuronal populations connected by arrays of two millimeter-long axon tracts that are integrated on a planar multi-electrode array (MEA). The millimeter-scale node-to-node separation allows for pharmacological and electrophysiological manipulations to simultaneously target multiple neuronal populations. The results show controlled selectivity of dye absorption by neurons in different compartments. MEA-transmitted electrical stimulation of targeted neurons shows ∼46% increase of intracellular calcium levels with 20 Hz stimulation, but ∼22% decrease with 2k Hz stimulation. The unique feature of long distance axons promotes in vivo-like fasciculation. These axon tracts are determined to be inhibitory afferents by showing increased action potential firing of downstream node upon selective application of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) to the upstream node. Together, this model demonstrates integrated capabilities for assessing multiple endpoints including axon tract tracing, calcium influx, network architecture and activities. This system can be used as a multi-functional platform for studying axon tract-associated CNS disorders in vitro, such as diffuse axonal injury after brain trauma. PMID:24216177

  13. Neural circuits with long-distance axon tracts for determining functional connectivity.

    PubMed

    Tang-Schomer, Min D; Davies, Paul; Graziano, Daniel; Thurber, Amy E; Kaplan, David L

    2014-01-30

    The cortical circuitry in the brain consists of structurally and functionally distinct neuronal assemblies with reciprocal axon connections. To generate cell culture-based systems that emulate axon tract systems of an in vivo neural network, we developed a living neural circuit consisting of compartmentalized neuronal populations connected by arrays of two millimeter-long axon tracts that are integrated on a planar multi-electrode array (MEA). The millimeter-scale node-to-node separation allows for pharmacological and electrophysiological manipulations to simultaneously target multiple neuronal populations. The results show controlled selectivity of dye absorption by neurons in different compartments. MEA-transmitted electrical stimulation of targeted neurons shows ∼46% increase of intracellular calcium levels with 20 Hz stimulation, but ∼22% decrease with 2k Hz stimulation. The unique feature of long distance axons promotes in vivo-like fasciculation. These axon tracts are determined to be inhibitory afferents by showing increased action potential firing of downstream node upon selective application of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) to the upstream node. Together, this model demonstrates integrated capabilities for assessing multiple endpoints including axon tract tracing, calcium influx, network architecture and activities. This system can be used as a multi-functional platform for studying axon tract-associated CNS disorders in vitro, such as diffuse axonal injury after brain trauma.

  14. 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

  15. Axonal change in minor head injury.

    PubMed

    Povlishock, J T; Becker, D P; Cheng, C L; Vaughan, G W

    1983-05-01

    Anterograde axonal transport of horseradish peroxidase (HRP) in selected cerebral and cerebellar efferents was studied in cats subjected to minor head injury. After trauma, the animals were allowed to survive from one to 24 hours, when they were perfused with aldehydes and processed for the light and electron microscopic visualization of the peroxidase reaction product. By light microscopy, the brain injury elicited an initial intra-axonal peroxidase pooling. With longer post-traumatic survival, HRP pooling increased in size, demonstrated frequent lobulation, and ultimately formed large ball- or club-like swellings which suggested frank axonal separation from the distal axonal segment. Ultrastructural examination revealed that the initial intra-axonal peroxidase pooling was associated with organelle accumulation which occurred without any other form of axonal change or related parenchymal or vascular damage. This accumulation of organelles increased with time and was associated with conspicuous axonal swelling. Ultimately these organelle-laden swellings lost continuity with the distal axonal segment and the axonal swelling was either completely invested by a thin myelin sheath or protruded without myelin investment into the brain parenchyma. This study suggests that axonal change is a consistent feature of minor head injury. Since these axonal changes occurred without any evidence of focal parenchymal or vascular damage, minor brain injury may ultimately disrupt axons without physically shearing or tearing them. PMID:6188807

  16. Commissureless Regulation of Axon Outgrowth across the Midline Is Independent of Rab Function

    PubMed Central

    van den Brink, Daan M.; Banerji, Oishik; Tear, Guy

    2013-01-01

    Nervous system function requires that neurons within neural circuits are connected together precisely. These connections form during the process of axon guidance whereby each neuron extends an axon that migrates, often large distances, through a complex environment to reach its synaptic target. This task can be simplified by utilising intermediate targets to divide the route into smaller sections. This requires that axons adapt their behaviour as they migrate towards and away from intermediate targets. In the central nervous system the midline acts as an intermediate target for commissural axons. In Drosophila commissural axons switch from attraction towards to extension away from the midline by regulating the levels of the Roundabout receptor on their cell surface. This is achieved by Commissureless which directs Roundabout to an intracellular compartment in the soma prior to reaching the midline. Once across the midline Roundabout is allowed to reach the surface and acts as a receptor for the repellent ligand Slit that is secreted by cells at the midline. Here we investigated candidate intracellular mechanisms that may facilitate the intracellular targeting of Commissureless and Roundabout within the soma of commissural neurons. Using modified forms of Commissureless or Rabs we show that neither ubiquitination nor Rab activity are necessary for the intracellular targeting of Commissureless. In addition we reveal that axon outgrowth of many populations of neurons within the Drosophila central nervous system is also independent of Rab activity. PMID:23696892

  17. Axonal mRNA localization and local protein synthesis in nervous system assembly, maintenance and repair

    PubMed Central

    Jung, Hosung; Yoon, Byung C.; Holt, Christine E.

    2013-01-01

    mRNAs can be targeted to specific neuronal subcellular domains, which enables rapid changes in the local proteome through local translation. This mRNA-based mechanism links extrinsic signals to spatially restricted cellular responses and can mediate stimulus-driven adaptive responses such as dendritic plasticity. Local mRNA translation also occurs in growing axons where it can mediate directional responses to guidance signals. Recent profiling studies have revealed that both growing and mature axons possess surprisingly complex and dynamic transcriptomes, thereby suggesting that axonal mRNA localization is highly regulated and has a role in a broad range of processes, a view that is increasingly being supported by new experimental evidence. Here, we review current knowledge on the roles and regulatory mechanisms of axonal mRNA translation and discuss emerging links to axon guidance, survival, regeneration and neurological disorders. PMID:22498899

  18. BmRobo2/3 is required for axon guidance in the silkworm Bombyx mori.

    PubMed

    Li, Xiao-Tong; Yu, Qi; Zhou, Qi-Sheng; Zhao, Xiao; Liu, Zhao-Yang; Cui, Wei-Zheng; Liu, Qing-Xin

    2016-02-15

    Axon guidance is critical for proper wiring of the nervous system. During the neural development, the axon guidance molecules play a key role and direct axons to choose the correct way to reach the target. Robo, as the receptor of axon guidance molecule Slit, is evolutionarily conserved from planarians to humans. However, the function of Robo in the silkworm, Bombyx mori, remained unknown. In this study, we cloned robo2/3 from B. mori (Bmrobo2/3), a homologue of robo2/3 in Tribolium castaneum. Moreover, BmRobo2/3 was localized in the neuropil, and RNAi-mediated knockdown of Bmrobo2/3 resulted in the longitudinal connectives forming closer to the midline. These data demonstrate that BmRobo2/3 is required for axon guidance in the silkworm.

  19. Inhibition of clathrin-mediated endocytosis prevents amyloid β-induced axonal damage.

    PubMed

    Kuboyama, Tomoharu; Lee, Young-A; Nishiko, Hiroaki; Tohda, Chihiro

    2015-05-01

    Amyloid β (Aβ)-induced axonal degeneration is a major cause of Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathology. However, the critical target to prevent Aβ-induced axonal degeneration remains unknown. Here, we analyzed growth cone collapse elicited by Aβ, a putative early Aβ-induced event in axons. Although no study has yet shown influence of Aβ on the growth cone, we first visualized Aβ-initiated growth cone collapse in cultured neurons. Furthermore, we determined that the collapse was triggered by clathrin-mediated endocytosis probably via Aβ-Ca(2+) signaling. The inhibition of clathrin-mediated endocytosis prevented Aβ-induced axonal loss both in vitro and in vivo and prevented memory impairment in an AD mouse model. Our results clarified the important role of clathrin-mediated endocytosis in Aβ-induced collapse of growth cone that leads to axonal degeneration and memory impairment.

  20. BmRobo2/3 is required for axon guidance in the silkworm Bombyx mori.

    PubMed

    Li, Xiao-Tong; Yu, Qi; Zhou, Qi-Sheng; Zhao, Xiao; Liu, Zhao-Yang; Cui, Wei-Zheng; Liu, Qing-Xin

    2016-02-15

    Axon guidance is critical for proper wiring of the nervous system. During the neural development, the axon guidance molecules play a key role and direct axons to choose the correct way to reach the target. Robo, as the receptor of axon guidance molecule Slit, is evolutionarily conserved from planarians to humans. However, the function of Robo in the silkworm, Bombyx mori, remained unknown. In this study, we cloned robo2/3 from B. mori (Bmrobo2/3), a homologue of robo2/3 in Tribolium castaneum. Moreover, BmRobo2/3 was localized in the neuropil, and RNAi-mediated knockdown of Bmrobo2/3 resulted in the longitudinal connectives forming closer to the midline. These data demonstrate that BmRobo2/3 is required for axon guidance in the silkworm. PMID:26625973

  1. N-cadherin regulates primary motor axons growth and branching during zebrafish embryonic development

    PubMed Central

    Brusés, Juan L

    2013-01-01

    N-cadherin is a classical type I cadherin that contributes to the formation of neural circuits by regulating growth cone migration and the formation of synaptic contacts. This study analyzed the role of N-cadherin in primary motor axons growth during development of the zebrafish (Danio rerio) embryo. After exiting the spinal cord, primary motor axons migrate ventrally through a common pathway and form the first neuromuscular junction with the muscle pioneer cells located at the horizontal myoseptum, which serves as a choice point for cell-type specific pathway selection. Analysis of N-cadherin mutants (cdh2hi3644Tg) and embryos injected with N-cadherin antisense morpholinos showed primary motor axons extending aberrant axonal branches at the choice point in ~40% of the somitic hemisegments, and an ~150% increase in the number of branches per axon length within the ventral myotome. Analysis of individual axons trajectories showed that the caudal (CaP) and rostral (RoP) motor neurons axons formed aberrant branches at the choice point which abnormally extended in the rostrocaudal axis and ventrally to the horizontal myoseptum. Expression of a dominant-interfering N-cadherin cytoplasmic domain in primary motor neurons caused some axons to abnormally stall at the horizontal myoseptum and to impair their migration into the ventral myotome. However, in N-cadherin depleted embryos the majority of primary motor axons innervated their appropriate myotomal territories indicating that N-cadherin regulates motor axon growth and branching without severely affecting the mechanisms that control axonal target selection. PMID:21452216

  2. The gene ten-1 contributes to axon regeneration accuracy following femtosecond laser axotomy in C. elegans

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stevens, Dylan T.; Mathew, Manoj; Goksör, Mattias; Pilon, Marc

    2012-10-01

    The precise cutting of axons in C. elegans using short laser pulses permits the investigation of parameters that may influence axonal regeneration. This study began by building and optimizing a femtosecond laser axotomy setup that we first used to monitor the effect of cutting axons near or far from the cell body of the PLM mechanosensory neurons in C. elegans. To assess regeneration, we developed a scoring system where the angle between the regenerating trajectory and its direct line to the target is measured; we called this measurement the "angle of regeneration". The results indicate that axons cut near the cell body regenerate better than those cut far from the cell body but nearer their target. The role of teneurins, which are transmembrane proteins with a large extracellular domain that are thought to regulate the remodelling of the extracellular matrix, has not yet been explored as a potential contributor to axon regeneration. We cut PLM axons in wild-type or ten-1 mutant worms, and measured the angle of regeneration 48 hours later, and the frequency of reconnection to the target. Our results show that functional ten-1 contributes to successful axon regeneration.

  3. Computer modeling of mild axonal injury: implications for axonal signal transmission.

    PubMed

    Volman, Vladislav; Ng, Laurel J

    2013-10-01

    Diffusion imaging and postmortem studies of patients with mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) of the concussive type are consistent with the observations of diffuse axonal injury to the white matter axons. Mechanical trauma to axons affects the properties of tetrodotoxin-sensitive sodium channels at the nodes of Ranvier, leading to axonal degeneration through intra-axonal accumulation of calcium ions and activation of calcium proteases; however, the immediate implications of axonal trauma regarding axonal functionality and their relevance to transient impairment of function as observed in concussion remain elusive. A biophysically realistic computational model of a myelinated axon was developed to investigate how mTBI could immediately affect axonal function. Traumatized axons showed alterations in signal propagation properties that nonlinearly depended on the level of trauma; subthreshold traumatized axons had decreased spike propagation time, whereas suprathreshold traumatized axons exhibited a slowdown of spike propagation and spike propagation failure. Trauma had consistently reduced axonal spike amplitude. The susceptibility of an axon to trauma could be modulated by the function of an ATP-dependent sodium-potassium pump. The results suggest a mechanism by which concussive mTBI could lead to the immediate impairment of signal propagation through the axon and the emerging dysfunctional neuronal information exchange.

  4. Netrin1-DCC-Mediated Attraction Guides Post-Crossing Commissural Axons in the Hindbrain

    PubMed Central

    Shoja-Taheri, Farnaz; DeMarco, Arielle

    2015-01-01

    Commissural axons grow along precise trajectories that are guided by several cues secreted from the ventral midline. After initial attraction to the floor plate using Netrin1 activation of its main attractive receptor, DCC (deleted in colorectal cancer), axons cross the ventral midline, and many turn to grow longitudinally on the contralateral side. After crossing the midline, axons are thought to lose their responsiveness to Netrin1 and become sensitive to midline Slit-Robo repulsion. We aimed to address the in vivo significance of Netrin1 in guiding post-crossing axon trajectories in mouse embryos. Surprisingly, in contrast to the spinal cord, Netrin1 and DCC mutants had abundant commissural axons crossing in the hindbrain. In Netrin1 and DCC mutants, many post-crossing axons made normal turns to grow longitudinally, but projected abnormally at angles away from the midline. In addition, exposure of cultured hindbrain explants to ectopic Netrin1 caused attractive deflection of post-crossing axons. Thus, Netrin1-DCC signaling is not required to attract pre-crossing axons toward the hindbrain floor plate, but is active in post-crossing guidance. Also in contrast with spinal cord, analysis of hindbrain post-crossing axons in Robo1/2 mutant embryos showed that Slit-Robo repulsive signaling was not required for post-crossing trajectories. Our findings show that Netrin1-DCC attractive signaling, but not Slit-Robo repulsive signaling, remains active in hindbrain post-crossing commissural axons to guide longitudinal trajectories, suggesting surprising regional diversity in commissural axon guidance mechanisms. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The left and right sides of the brainstem and spinal cord are connected primarily by axon fibers that grow across the ventral midline, and then away on the other side to their targets. Based on spinal cord, axons are initially attracted by diffusible attractive protein signals to approach and cross the midline, and then are thought to switch

  5. NF-Protocadherin Regulates Retinal Ganglion Cell Axon Behaviour in the Developing Visual System

    PubMed Central

    Leung, Louis C.; Harris, William A.; Holt, Christine E.; Piper, Michael

    2015-01-01

    Cell adhesion molecules play a central role in mediating axonal tract development within the nascent nervous system. NF-protocadherin (NFPC), a member of the non-clustered protocadherin family, has been shown to regulate retinal ganglion cell (RGC) axon and dendrite initiation, as well as influencing axonal navigation within the mid-optic tract. However, whether NFPC mediates RGC axonal behaviour at other positions within the optic pathway remains unclear. Here we report that NFPC plays an important role in RGC axonogenesis, but not in intraretinal guidance. Moreover, axons with reduced NFPC levels exhibit insensitivity to Netrin-1, an attractive guidance cue expressed at the optic nerve head. Netrin-1 induces rapid turnover of NFPC localized to RGC growth cones, suggesting that the regulation of NFPC protein levels may underlie Netrin-1-mediated entry of RGC axons into the optic nerve head. At the tectum, we further reveal a function for NFPC in controlling RGC axonal entry into the final target area. Collectively, our results expand our understanding of the role of NFPC in RGC guidance and illustrate that this adhesion molecule contributes to axon behaviour at multiple points in the optic pathway. PMID:26489017

  6. The central role of mitochondria in axonal degeneration in multiple sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Campbell, Graham R; Worrall, Joseph T; Mahad, Don J

    2014-12-01

    Neurodegeneration in multiple sclerosis (MS) is related to inflammation and demyelination. In acute MS lesions and experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis focal immune attacks damage axons by injuring axonal mitochondria. In progressive MS, however, axonal damage occurs in chronically demyelinated regions, myelinated regions and also at the active edge of slowly expanding chronic lesions. How axonal energy failure occurs in progressive MS is incompletely understood. Recent studies show that oligodendrocytes supply lactate to myelinated axons as a metabolic substrate for mitochondria to generate ATP, a process which will be altered upon demyelination. In addition, a number of studies have identified mitochondrial abnormalities within neuronal cell bodies in progressive MS, leading to a deficiency of mitochondrial respiratory chain complexes or enzymes. Here, we summarise the mitochondrial abnormalities evident within neurons and discuss how these grey matter mitochondrial abnormalities may increase the vulnerability of axons to degeneration in progressive MS. Although neuronal mitochondrial abnormalities will culminate in axonal degeneration, understanding the different contributions of mitochondria to the degeneration of myelinated and demyelinated axons is an important step towards identifying potential therapeutic targets for progressive MS.

  7. Selective vulnerability and pruning of phasic motoneuron axons in motoneuron disease alleviated by CNTF.

    PubMed

    Pun, San; Santos, Alexandre Ferrão; Saxena, Smita; Xu, Lan; Caroni, Pico

    2006-03-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases can have long preclinical phases and insidious progression patterns, but the mechanisms of disease progression are poorly understood. Because quantitative accounts of neuronal circuitry affected by disease have been lacking, it has remained unclear whether disease progression reflects processes of stochastic loss or temporally defined selective vulnerabilities of distinct synapses or axons. Here we derive a quantitative topographic map of muscle innervation in the hindlimb. We show that in two mouse models of motoneuron disease (G93A SOD1 and G85R SOD1), axons of fast-fatiguable motoneurons are affected synchronously, long before symptoms appear. Fast-fatigue-resistant motoneuron axons are affected at symptom-onset, whereas axons of slow motoneurons are resistant. Axonal vulnerability leads to synaptic vesicle stalling and accumulation of BC12a1-a, an anti-apoptotic protein. It is alleviated by ciliary neurotrophic factor and triggers proteasome-dependent pruning of peripheral axon branches. Thus, motoneuron disease involves predictable, selective vulnerability patterns by physiological subtypes of axons, episodes of abrupt pruning in the target region and compensation by resistant axons.

  8. Soluble adenylyl cyclase is not required for axon guidance to netrin-1.

    PubMed

    Moore, Simon W; Lai Wing Sun, Karen; Xie, Fang; Barker, Philip A; Conti, Marco; Kennedy, Timothy E

    2008-04-01

    During development, axons are directed to their targets by extracellular guidance cues. The axonal response to the guidance cue netrin-1 is profoundly influenced by the concentration of cAMP within the growth cone. In some cases, cAMP affects the sensitivity of the growth cone to netrin-1, whereas in others it changes the response to netrin-1 from attraction to repulsion. The effects of cAMP on netrin-1 action are well accepted, but the critical issue of whether cAMP production is activated by a netrin-1 induced signaling cascade remains uncertain. A previous report has suggested that axon guidance in response to netrin-1 requires cAMP production mediated by soluble adenyl cyclase (sAC). We have used genetic, molecular and biochemical strategies to assess this issue. Surprisingly, we found only extremely weak expression of sAC in embryonic neurons and determined that, under conditions where netrin-1 directs axonal pathfinding, exposure to netrin-1 does not alter cAMP levels. Furthermore, although netrin-1-deficient mice exhibit major axon guidance defects, we show that pathfinding is normal in sAC-null mice. Therefore, although cAMP can alter the response of axons to netrin-1, we conclude that netrin-1 does not alter cAMP levels in axons attracted by this cue, and that sAC is not required for axon attraction to netrin-1. PMID:18400890

  9. Axon degeneration: context defines distinct pathways.

    PubMed

    Geden, Matthew J; Deshmukh, Mohanish

    2016-08-01

    Axon degeneration is an essential part of development, plasticity, and injury response and has been primarily studied in mammalian models in three contexts: 1) Axotomy-induced Wallerian degeneration, 2) Apoptosis-induced axon degeneration (axon apoptosis), and 3) Axon pruning. These three contexts dictate engagement of distinct pathways for axon degeneration. Recent advances have identified the importance of SARM1, NMNATs, NAD+ depletion, and MAPK signaling in axotomy-induced Wallerian degeneration. Interestingly, apoptosis-induced axon degeneration and axon pruning have many shared mechanisms both in signaling (e.g. DLK, JNKs, GSK3α/β) and execution (e.g. Puma, Bax, caspase-9, caspase-3). However, the specific mechanisms by which caspases are activated during apoptosis versus pruning appear distinct, with apoptosis requiring Apaf-1 but not caspase-6 while pruning requires caspase-6 but not Apaf-1. PMID:27197022

  10. Pioneer Axon Navigation Is Controlled by AEX-3, a Guanine Nucleotide Exchange Factor for RAB-3 in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Bhat, Jaffar M; Hutter, Harald

    2016-07-01

    Precise and accurate axon tract formation is an essential aspect of brain development. This is achieved by the migration of early outgrowing axons (pioneers) allowing later outgrowing axons (followers) to extend toward their targets in the embryo. In Caenorhabditis elegans the AVG neuron pioneers the right axon tract of the ventral nerve cord, the major longitudinal axon tract. AVG is essential for the guidance of follower axons and hence organization of the ventral nerve cord. In an enhancer screen for AVG axon guidance defects in a nid-1/Nidogen mutant background, we isolated an allele of aex-3 aex-3 mutant animals show highly penetrant AVG axon navigation defects. These defects are dependent on a mutation in nid-1/Nidogen, a basement membrane component. Our data suggest that AEX-3 activates RAB-3 in the context of AVG axon navigation. aex-3 genetically acts together with known players of vesicular exocytosis: unc-64/Syntaxin, unc-31/CAPS, and ida-1/IA-2. Furthermore our genetic interaction data suggest that AEX-3 and the UNC-6/Netrin receptor UNC-5 act in the same pathway, suggesting AEX-3 might regulate the trafficking and/or insertion of UNC-5 at the growth cone to mediate the proper guidance of the AVG axon.

  11. Coordinating Gene Expression and Axon Assembly to Control Axon Growth: Potential Role of GSK3 Signaling

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Chang-Mei; Hur, Eun-Mi; Zhou, Feng-Quan

    2012-01-01

    Axon growth requires the coordinated regulation of gene expression in the neuronal soma, local protein translation in the axon, anterograde transport of synthesized raw materials along the axon, and assembly of cytoskeleton and membranes in the nerve growth cone. Glycogen synthase kinase 3 (GSK3) signaling has recently been shown to play key roles in the regulation of axonal transport and cytoskeletal assembly during axon growth. GSK3 signaling is also known to regulate gene expression via controlling the functions of many transcription factors, suggesting that GSK3 may be an important regulator of gene transcription supporting axon growth. We review signaling pathways that control local axon assembly at the growth cone and gene expression in the soma during developmental or regenerative axon growth and discuss the potential involvement of GSK3 signaling in these processes, with a particular focus on how GSK3 signaling modulates the function of axon growth-associated transcription factors. PMID:22347166

  12. Promoting axon regeneration in the adult CNS by modulation of the melanopsin/GPCR signaling

    PubMed Central

    Li, Songshan; Yang, Chao; Zhang, Li; Gao, Xin; Wang, Xuejie; Liu, Wen; Wang, Yuqi; Jiang, Songshan; Wong, Yung Hou; Zhang, Yifeng; Liu, Kai

    2016-01-01

    Cell-type–specific G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) signaling regulates distinct neuronal responses to various stimuli and is essential for axon guidance and targeting during development. However, its function in axonal regeneration in the mature CNS remains elusive. We found that subtypes of intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs) in mice maintained high mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) levels after axotomy and that the light-sensitive GPCR melanopsin mediated this sustained expression. Melanopsin overexpression in the RGCs stimulated axonal regeneration after optic nerve crush by up-regulating mTOR complex 1 (mTORC1). The extent of the regeneration was comparable to that observed after phosphatase and tensin homolog (Pten) knockdown. Both the axon regeneration and mTOR activity that were enhanced by melanopsin required light stimulation and Gq/11 signaling. Specifically, activating Gq in RGCs elevated mTOR activation and promoted axonal regeneration. Melanopsin overexpression in RGCs enhanced the amplitude and duration of their light response, and silencing them with Kir2.1 significantly suppressed the increased mTOR signaling and axon regeneration that were induced by melanopsin. Thus, our results provide a strategy to promote axon regeneration after CNS injury by modulating neuronal activity through GPCR signaling. PMID:26831088

  13. Diabetic polyneuropathy. Axonal or demyelinating?

    PubMed

    Valls-Canals, J; Povedano, M; Montero, J; Pradas, J

    2002-01-01

    Diabetic polyneuropathy is the most common subgroup of diabetic neuropathy, but its nature is controversial as it might be demyelinating and/or axonal. We have tried to determine whether diabetic polyneuropathy is electrophysiologically axonal, demyelinating, or both. We have studied the sural and peroneal nerves and the electromyographies of leg muscles in 50 healthy subjects (average age 67.2 years, range 45 to 84 years), in 50 diabetic patients (average age 66.34 years, range 44 to 82 years) showing no symptoms and/or signs of polyneuropathy (DP1), and in 50 diabetic patients (average age 67.10 years, range 49 to 87 years) showing symptoms and/or signs of polyneuropathy (DP2). The amplitude (AMP) of sural and peroneal nerves in healthy and DP1 subjects was similar. Conduction velocity (CV) of sural and peroneal nerves was slower in DP1 subjects than in healthy subjects. DP2 subjects showed AMP and CV values significantly lower than those in DP1 subjects, and signs of acute and chronic denervation/reinervation were found in the leg muscles. We believe that this result indicates that diabetic patients have two types of polyneuropathies: a demyelinating disease that could appear in diabetic patients with and without symptoms of polyneuropathy, and an axonal loss that is responsible for most of the symptoms.

  14. Pretarget sorting of retinocollicular axons in the mouse.

    PubMed

    Plas, Daniel T; Lopez, Joshua E; Crair, Michael C

    2005-10-31

    The map of the retina onto the optic tectum is a highly conserved feature of the vertebrate visual system; the mechanism by which this mapping is accomplished during development is a long-standing problem of neurobiology. The early suggestion by Roger Sperry that the map is formed through interactions between retinal ganglion cell axons and target cells within the tectum has gained significant experimental support and widespread acceptance. Nonetheless, reports in a variety of species indicate that some aspects of retinotopic order exist within the optic tract, leading to the suggestion that this "preordering" of retinal axons may play a role in the formation of the mature tectal map. A satisfactory account of pretarget order must provide the mechanism by which such axon order develops. Insofar as this mechanism must ultimately be determined genetically, the mouse suggests itself as the natural species in which to pursue these studies. Quantitative and repeatable methods are required to assess the contribution of candidate genes in mouse models. For these reasons, we have undertaken a quantitative study of the degree of retinotopic order within the optic tract and nerve of wild-type mice both before and after the development of the retinotectal map. Our methods are based on tract tracing using lipophilic dyes, and our results indicate that there is a reestablishment of dorsoventral but not nasotemporal retinal order when the axons pass through the chiasm and that this order is maintained throughout the subsequent tract. Furthermore, this dorsoventral retinotopic order is well established by the day after birth, long before the final target zone is discernible within the tectum. We conclude that pretarget sorting of axons according to origin along the dorsoventral axis of the retina is both spatially and chronologically appropriate to contribute to the formation of the retinotectal map, and we suggest that these methods be used to search for the molecular basis of

  15. Pretarget sorting of retinocollicular axons in the mouse.

    PubMed

    Plas, Daniel T; Lopez, Joshua E; Crair, Michael C

    2005-10-31

    The map of the retina onto the optic tectum is a highly conserved feature of the vertebrate visual system; the mechanism by which this mapping is accomplished during development is a long-standing problem of neurobiology. The early suggestion by Roger Sperry that the map is formed through interactions between retinal ganglion cell axons and target cells within the tectum has gained significant experimental support and widespread acceptance. Nonetheless, reports in a variety of species indicate that some aspects of retinotopic order exist within the optic tract, leading to the suggestion that this "preordering" of retinal axons may play a role in the formation of the mature tectal map. A satisfactory account of pretarget order must provide the mechanism by which such axon order develops. Insofar as this mechanism must ultimately be determined genetically, the mouse suggests itself as the natural species in which to pursue these studies. Quantitative and repeatable methods are required to assess the contribution of candidate genes in mouse models. For these reasons, we have undertaken a quantitative study of the degree of retinotopic order within the optic tract and nerve of wild-type mice both before and after the development of the retinotectal map. Our methods are based on tract tracing using lipophilic dyes, and our results indicate that there is a reestablishment of dorsoventral but not nasotemporal retinal order when the axons pass through the chiasm and that this order is maintained throughout the subsequent tract. Furthermore, this dorsoventral retinotopic order is well established by the day after birth, long before the final target zone is discernible within the tectum. We conclude that pretarget sorting of axons according to origin along the dorsoventral axis of the retina is both spatially and chronologically appropriate to contribute to the formation of the retinotectal map, and we suggest that these methods be used to search for the molecular basis of

  16. Isolation and Analyses of Axonal Ribonucleoprotein Complexes

    PubMed Central

    Doron-Mandel, Ella; Alber, Stefanie; Oses, Juan A.; Medzihradszky, Katalin F.; Burlingame, Alma L.; Fainzilber, Mike; Twiss, Jeffery L.; Lee, Seung Joon

    2016-01-01

    Cytoskeleton-dependent RNA transport and local translation in axons are gaining increased attention as key processes in the maintenance and functioning of neurons. Specific axonal transcripts have been found to play roles in many aspects of axonal physiology including axon guidance, axon survival, axon to soma communication, injury response and regeneration. This axonal transcriptome requires long-range transport that is achieved by motor proteins carrying transcripts as messenger ribonucleoprotein (mRNP) complexes along microtubules. Other than transport, the mRNP complex plays a major role in the generation, maintenance and regulation of the axonal transcriptome. Identification of axonal RNA binding proteins (RBPs) and analyses of the dynamics of their mRNPs are of high interest to the field. Here we describe methods for the study of interactions between RNA and proteins in axons. First, we describe a protocol for identifying binding proteins for an RNA of interest by using RNA affinity chromatography. Subsequently, we discuss immunoprecipitation (IP) methods allowing the dissection of protein- RNA and protein-protein interactions in mRNPs under various physiological conditions. PMID:26794529

  17. EphB receptor forward signaling regulates area-specific reciprocal thalamic and cortical axon pathfinding

    PubMed Central

    Robichaux, Michael A.; Chenaux, George; Ho, Hsin-Yi Henry; Soskis, Michael J.; Dravis, Christopher; Kwan, Kenneth Y.; Šestan, Nenad; Greenberg, Michael Eldon; Henkemeyer, Mark; Cowan, Christopher W.

    2014-01-01

    In early brain development, ascending thalamocortical axons (TCAs) navigate through the ventral telencephalon (VTel) to reach their target regions in the young cerebral cortex. Descending, deep-layer cortical axons subsequently target appropriate thalamic and subcortical target regions. However, precisely how and when corticothalamic axons (CTAs) identify their appropriate, reciprocal thalamic targets remains unclear. We show here that EphB1 and EphB2 receptors control proper navigation of a subset of TCA and CTA projections through the VTel. We show in vivo that EphB receptor forward signaling and the ephrinB1 ligand are required during the early navigation of L1-CAM+ thalamic fibers in the VTel, and that the misguided thalamic fibers in EphB1/2 KO mice appear to interact with cortical subregion-specific axon populations during reciprocal cortical axon guidance. As such, our findings suggest that descending cortical axons identify specific TCA subpopulations in the dorsal VTel to coordinate reciprocal cortical–thalamic connectivity in the early developing brain. PMID:24453220

  18. MicroRNA 146a locally mediates distal axonal growth of dorsal root ganglia neurons under high glucose and sildenafil conditions.

    PubMed

    Jia, Longfei; Wang, Lei; Chopp, Michael; Zhang, Yi; Szalad, Alexandra; Zhang, Zheng Gang

    2016-08-01

    Axonal loss contributes to induction of diabetic peripheral neuropathy. Sildenafil, a phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitor, ameliorates neurological dysfunction in diabetic peripheral neuropathy. However, the direct effect of high glucose and sildenafil on axonal growth has not been extensively investigated. Using rat primary dorsal root ganglia (DRG) neurons cultured in a microfluidic chamber, we investigated the effect of axonal application of high glucose and sildenafil on distal axonal growth. We found that axonal, but not cell body, application of high glucose locally inhibited distal axonal growth. However, axonal application of sildenafil overcame high glucose-reduced axonal growth. Quantitative real-time RT-PCR (qRT-PCR) and Western blot analysis of distal axonal samples revealed that high glucose reduced axonal miR-146a levels and substantially increased miR-146a target genes, IRAK1 and TRAF6 in the axon. In contrast, sildenafil significantly reversed high glucose-reduced miR-146a levels and high glucose-increased IRAK1 and TRAF6. Gain- and loss-of function of miR-146a in DRG neurons revealed that miR-146a mediated the local effect of high glucose on the distal axonal growth. These in vitro data provide new insights into molecular mechanisms of diabetic peripheral neuropathy. PMID:27167084

  19. The beta-amyloid domain is essential for axonal sorting of amyloid precursor protein.

    PubMed Central

    Tienari, P J; De Strooper, B; Ikonen, E; Simons, M; Weidemann, A; Czech, C; Hartmann, T; Ida, N; Multhaup, G; Masters, C L; Van Leuven, F; Beyreuther, K; Dotti, C G

    1996-01-01

    We have analysed the axonal sorting signals of amyloid precursor protein (APP). Wild-type and mutant versions of human APP were expressed in hippocampal neurons using the Semliki forest virus system. We show that wild-type APP and mutations implicated in Alzheimer's disease and another brain beta-amyloidosis are sorted to the axon. By analysis of deletion mutants we found that the membrane-inserted APP ectodomain but not the cytoplasmic tail is required for axonal sorting. Systematic deletions of the APP ectodomain identified two regions required for axonal delivery: one encoded by exons 11-15 in the carbohydrate domain, the other encoded by exons 16-17 in the juxtamembraneous beta-amyloid domain. Treatment of the cells with the N-glycosylation inhibitor tunicamycin induced missorting of wild-type APP, supporting the importance of glycosylation in axonal sorting of APP. The data revealed a hierarchy of sorting signals on APP: the beta-amyloid-dependent membrane proximal signal was the major contributor to axonal sorting, while N-glycosylation had a weaker effect. Furthermore, recessive somatodendritic signals, most likely in the cytoplasmic tail, directed the protein to the dendrites when the ectodomain was deleted. Analysis of detergent solubility of APP and another axonally delivered protein, hemagglutinin, demonstrated that only hemagglutinin formed CHAPS-insoluble complexes, suggesting distinct mechanisms of axonal sorting for these two proteins. This study is the first delineation of sorting requirements of an axonally targeted protein in polarized neurons and indicates that the beta-amyloid domain plays a major role in axonal delivery of APP. Images PMID:8895567

  20. Construction of pathways to promote axon growth within the adult central nervous system.

    PubMed

    Smith, George M; Onifer, Stephen M

    2011-03-10

    Inducing significant axon growth or regeneration after spinal cord injury has been difficult, primarily due to the poor growth supportive environment and low intrinsic growth ability of neurons within the CNS. Neurotrophins alone have been shown to readily induce regeneration of sensory axons after dorsal root lesions, however if neurotrophin gradients are expressed within the spinal cord these axons fail to terminate within appropriate target regions. Under such conditions, addition of a "stop" signal reduces growth into deeper dorsal laminae to support more specific targeting. Such neurotrophin gradients alone lose their effectiveness when lesions are within the spinal cord, requiring a combined treatment regime. Construction of pathways using combined treatments support good regeneration when they increase the intrinsic growth properties of neurons, provide a bridge across the lesion site, and supply a growth supportive substrate to induce axon growth out of the bridge and back into the host. Neurotrophin gradients distal to the bridge greatly enhance axon outgrowth. In disorders where neuronal circuits are lost, construction of preformed growth supportive pathways sustain long distance axon growth from a neuronal transplant to distal target locations.

  1. AxonSeg: Open Source Software for Axon and Myelin Segmentation and Morphometric Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Zaimi, Aldo; Duval, Tanguy; Gasecka, Alicja; Côté, Daniel; Stikov, Nikola; Cohen-Adad, Julien

    2016-01-01

    Segmenting axon and myelin from microscopic images is relevant for studying the peripheral and central nervous system and for validating new MRI techniques that aim at quantifying tissue microstructure. While several software packages have been proposed, their interface is sometimes limited and/or they are designed to work with a specific modality (e.g., scanning electron microscopy (SEM) only). Here we introduce AxonSeg, which allows to perform automatic axon and myelin segmentation on histology images, and to extract relevant morphometric information, such as axon diameter distribution, axon density and the myelin g-ratio. AxonSeg includes a simple and intuitive MATLAB-based graphical user interface (GUI) and can easily be adapted to a variety of imaging modalities. The main steps of AxonSeg consist of: (i) image pre-processing; (ii) pre-segmentation of axons over a cropped image and discriminant analysis (DA) to select the best parameters based on axon shape and intensity information; (iii) automatic axon and myelin segmentation over the full image; and (iv) atlas-based statistics to extract morphometric information. Segmentation results from standard optical microscopy (OM), SEM and coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering (CARS) microscopy are presented, along with validation against manual segmentations. Being fully-automatic after a quick manual intervention on a cropped image, we believe AxonSeg will be useful to researchers interested in large throughput histology. AxonSeg is open source and freely available at: https://github.com/neuropoly/axonseg.

  2. Demyelination increases axonal stationary mitochondrial size and the speed of axonal mitochondrial transport

    PubMed Central

    Kiryu-Seo, Sumiko; Ohno, Nobuhiko; Kidd, Grahame J.; Komuro, Hitoshi; Trapp, Bruce D.

    2010-01-01

    Axonal degeneration contributes to permanent neurological disability in inherited and acquired diseases of myelin. Mitochondrial dysfunction has been proposed as a major contributor to this axonal degeneration. It remains to be determined, however, if myelination, demyelination or remyelination alter the size and distribution of axonal mitochondrial stationary sites or the rates of axonal mitochondrial transport. Using live myelinated rat dorsal root ganglion (DRG) cultures, we investigated whether myelination and lysolecithin-induced demyelination affect axonal mitochondria. Myelination increased the size of axonal stationary mitochondrial sites by 2.3 fold. Following demyelination, the size of axonal stationary mitochondrial sites was increased by an additional 2.2 fold and the transport velocity of motile mitochondria was increased by 47%. These measures returned to the levels of myelinated axons following remyelination. Demyelination induced activating transcription factor (ATF) 3 in DRG neurons. Knockdown of neuronal ATF3 by shRNA abolished the demyelination-induced increase in axonal mitochondrial transport and increased nitrotyrosine immunoreactivity in axonal mitochondria, suggesting that neuronal ATF3 expression and increased mitochondrial transport protect demyelinated axons from oxidative damage. In response to insufficient ATP production, demyelinated axons increase the size of stationary mitochondrial sites and thereby balance ATP production with the increased energy needs of nerve conduction. PMID:20463228

  3. AxonSeg: Open Source Software for Axon and Myelin Segmentation and Morphometric Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Zaimi, Aldo; Duval, Tanguy; Gasecka, Alicja; Côté, Daniel; Stikov, Nikola; Cohen-Adad, Julien

    2016-01-01

    Segmenting axon and myelin from microscopic images is relevant for studying the peripheral and central nervous system and for validating new MRI techniques that aim at quantifying tissue microstructure. While several software packages have been proposed, their interface is sometimes limited and/or they are designed to work with a specific modality (e.g., scanning electron microscopy (SEM) only). Here we introduce AxonSeg, which allows to perform automatic axon and myelin segmentation on histology images, and to extract relevant morphometric information, such as axon diameter distribution, axon density and the myelin g-ratio. AxonSeg includes a simple and intuitive MATLAB-based graphical user interface (GUI) and can easily be adapted to a variety of imaging modalities. The main steps of AxonSeg consist of: (i) image pre-processing; (ii) pre-segmentation of axons over a cropped image and discriminant analysis (DA) to select the best parameters based on axon shape and intensity information; (iii) automatic axon and myelin segmentation over the full image; and (iv) atlas-based statistics to extract morphometric information. Segmentation results from standard optical microscopy (OM), SEM and coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering (CARS) microscopy are presented, along with validation against manual segmentations. Being fully-automatic after a quick manual intervention on a cropped image, we believe AxonSeg will be useful to researchers interested in large throughput histology. AxonSeg is open source and freely available at: https://github.com/neuropoly/axonseg. PMID:27594833

  4. AxonSeg: Open Source Software for Axon and Myelin Segmentation and Morphometric Analysis.

    PubMed

    Zaimi, Aldo; Duval, Tanguy; Gasecka, Alicja; Côté, Daniel; Stikov, Nikola; Cohen-Adad, Julien

    2016-01-01

    Segmenting axon and myelin from microscopic images is relevant for studying the peripheral and central nervous system and for validating new MRI techniques that aim at quantifying tissue microstructure. While several software packages have been proposed, their interface is sometimes limited and/or they are designed to work with a specific modality (e.g., scanning electron microscopy (SEM) only). Here we introduce AxonSeg, which allows to perform automatic axon and myelin segmentation on histology images, and to extract relevant morphometric information, such as axon diameter distribution, axon density and the myelin g-ratio. AxonSeg includes a simple and intuitive MATLAB-based graphical user interface (GUI) and can easily be adapted to a variety of imaging modalities. The main steps of AxonSeg consist of: (i) image pre-processing; (ii) pre-segmentation of axons over a cropped image and discriminant analysis (DA) to select the best parameters based on axon shape and intensity information; (iii) automatic axon and myelin segmentation over the full image; and (iv) atlas-based statistics to extract morphometric information. Segmentation results from standard optical microscopy (OM), SEM and coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering (CARS) microscopy are presented, along with validation against manual segmentations. Being fully-automatic after a quick manual intervention on a cropped image, we believe AxonSeg will be useful to researchers interested in large throughput histology. AxonSeg is open source and freely available at: https://github.com/neuropoly/axonseg. PMID:27594833

  5. Serial Section Registration of Axonal Confocal Microscopy Datasets for Long-Range Neural Circuit Reconstruction

    SciTech Connect

    Hogrebe, Luke; Paiva, Antonio R.; Jurrus, Elizabeth R.; Christensen, Cameron; Bridge, Michael; Dai, Li; Pfeiffer, Rebecca; Hof, Patrick; Roysam, Badrinath; Korenberg, Julie; Tasdizen, Tolga

    2012-06-15

    In the context of long-range digital neural circuit reconstruction, this paper investigates an approach for registering axons across histological serial sections. Tracing distinctly labeled axons over large distances allows neuroscientists to study very explicit relationships between the brain's complex interconnects and, for example, diseases or aberrant development. Large scale histological analysis requires, however, that the tissue be cut into sections. In immunohistochemical studies thin sections are easily distorted due to the cutting, preparation, and slide mounting processes. In this work we target the registration of thin serial sections containing axons. Sections are first traced to extract axon centerlines, and these traces are used to define registration landmarks where they intersect section boundaries. The trace data also provides distinguishing information regarding an axon's size and orientation within a section. We propose the use of these features when pairing axons across sections in addition to utilizing the spatial relationships amongst the landmarks. The global rotation and translation of an unregistered section are accounted for using a random sample consensus (RANSAC) based technique. An iterative nonrigid refinement process using B-spline warping is then used to reconnect axons and produce the sought after connectivity information.

  6. Regulation of axon regeneration by the RNA repair/splicing pathway

    PubMed Central

    Song, Yuanquan; Sretavan, David; Salegio, Ernesto A; Berg, Jim; Huang, Xi; Cheng, Tong; Xiong, Xin; Meltzer, Shan; Han, Chun; Nguyen, Trong-Tuong; Bresnahan, Jacqueline C.; Beattie, Michael S.; Jan, Lily Yeh; Jan, Yuh Nung

    2015-01-01

    Mechanisms governing a neuron’s regenerative ability are important but not well understood. We identified Rtca, RNA 3′-terminal phosphate cyclase, as an inhibitor for axon regeneration. Removal of dRtca cell-autonomously enhanced axon regrowth in the Drosophila central nervous system, whereas its overexpression reduced axon regeneration in the periphery. Rtca along with the RNA ligase Rtcb and its catalyst Archease operate in the RNA repair/splicing pathway important for stress induced mRNA splicing, including that of Xbp1, a cellular stress sensor. dRtca and dArchease had opposing effects on Xbp1 splicing, and deficiency of dArchease or Xbp1 impeded axon regeneration in Drosophila. Moreover, overexpressing mammalian Rtca in cultured rodent neurons reduced axonal complexity in vitro, whereas reducing its function promoted retinal ganglion cell axon regeneration after optic nerve crush in mice. Our study thus links axon regeneration to cellular stress and RNA metabolism, revealing new potential therapeutic targets for treating nervous system trauma. PMID:25961792

  7. 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.

  8. Aquaporin-1 water permeability as a novel determinant of axonal regeneration in dorsal root ganglion neurons.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Hua; Verkman, A S

    2015-03-01

    Dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons transduce peripheral pain signals through small-diameter, non-myelinated C-fibers, which, when injured, can regenerate to restore pain sensation. Water channel aquaporin-1 (AQP1) is expressed at the plasma membrane of cell bodies and axons of DRG neurons, where it modulates the sensing of certain types of pain. Here, we found that AQP1 is also involved in DRG axonal growth and regeneration by a mechanism that may involve water transport-facilitated extension of axonal outgrowths. Spontaneous and nerve growth factor-stimulated axonal extension was reduced in cultures of AQP1-deficient DRG neurons and DRG explants compared to the wildtype. Axonal growth in AQP1-deficient DRG cultures was rescued by transfection with AQP1 or a different water-transporting AQP (AQP4), but not by a non-water-transporting AQP1 mutant. Following sciatic nerve compression injury AQP1 expression was increased in DRG neurons in wildtype mice, and DRG axonal growth was impaired in AQP1-deficient mice. Our results indicate AQP1 as a novel determinant of DRG axonal regeneration and hence a potential therapeutic target to accelerate neuronal regeneration.

  9. Ontophyletics of the nervous system: development of the corpus callosum and evolution of axon tracts.

    PubMed Central

    Katz, M J; Lasek, R J; Silver, J

    1983-01-01

    The evolution of nervous systems has included significant changes in the axon tracts of the central nervous system. These evolutionary changes required changes in axonal growth in embryos. During development, many axons reach their targets by following guidance cues that are organized as pathways in the embryonic substrate, and the overall pattern of the major axon tracts in the adult can be traced back to the fundamental pattern of such substrate pathways. Embryological and comparative anatomical studies suggest that most axon tracts, such as the anterior commissure, have evolved by the modified use of preexisting substrate pathways. On the other hand, recent developmental studies suggest that a few entirely new substrate pathways have arisen during evolution; these apparently provided opportunities for the formation of completely new axon tracts. The corpus callosum, which is found only in placental mammals, may be such a truly new axon tract. We propose that the evolution of the corpus callosum is founded on the emergence of a new preaxonal substrate pathway, the "glial sling," which bridges the two halves of the embryonic forebrain only in placental mammals. Images PMID:6577462

  10. Effects of axonal topology on the somatic modulation of synaptic outputs.

    PubMed

    Sasaki, Takuya; Matsuki, Norio; Ikegaya, Yuji

    2012-02-22

    Depolarization of the neuronal soma augments synaptic output onto postsynaptic neurons via long-range, axonal cable properties. Here, we report that the range of this somatic influence is spatially restricted by not only axonal path length but also a branching-dependent decrease in axon diameter. Cell-attached recordings of action potentials (APs) from multiple axon branches of a rat hippocampal CA3 pyramidal cell revealed that an AP was broadened following a 20 mV depolarization of the soma and reverted to a normal width during propagation down the axon. The narrowing of the AP depended on the distance traveled by the AP and on the number of axon branch points through which the AP passed. These findings were confirmed by optical imaging of AP-induced calcium elevations in presynaptic boutons, suggesting that the somatic membrane potential modifies synaptic outputs near the soma but not long-projection outputs. Consistent with this prediction, whole-cell recordings from synaptically connected neurons revealed that depolarization of presynaptic CA3 pyramidal cells facilitated synaptic transmission to nearby CA3 pyramidal cells, but not to distant pyramidal cells in CA3 or CA1. Therefore, axonal geometry enables the differential modulation of synaptic output depending on target location.

  11. AQUAPORIN-1 WATER PERMEABILITY AS A NOVEL DETERMINANT OF AXONAL REGENERATION IN DORSAL ROOT GANGLION NEURONS

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Hua; Verkman, A.S.

    2015-01-01

    Dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons transduce peripheral pain signals through small-diameter, non-myelinated C-fibers, which, when injured, can regenerate to restore pain sensation. Water channel aquaporin-1 (AQP1) is expressed at the plasma membrane of cell bodies and axons of DRG neurons, where it modulates the sensing of certain types of pain. Here, we found that AQP1 is also involved in DRG axonal growth and regeneration by a mechanism that may involve water transport-facilitated extension of axonal outgrowths. Spontaneous and nerve growth factor-stimulated axonal extension was reduced in cultures of AQP1-deficient DRG neurons and DRG explants compared to the wildtype. Axonal growth in AQP1-deficient DRG cultures was rescued by transfection with AQP1 or a different water-transporting AQP (AQP4), but not by a non-water-transporting AQP1 mutant. Following sciatic nerve compression injury AQP1 expression was increased in DRG neurons in wildtype mice, and DRG axonal growth was impaired in AQP1-deficient mice. Our results indicate AQP1 as a novel determinant of DRG axonal regeneration and hence a potential therapeutic target to accelerate neuronal regeneration. PMID:25585012

  12. 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

  13. The BMP roof plate chemorepellent regulates the rate of commissural axonal growth

    PubMed Central

    Phan, Keith D.; Hazen, Virginia M.; Frendo, Michele; Jia, Zhengping; Butler, Samantha J.

    2010-01-01

    Commissural spinal axons extend away from the roof plate (RP) in response to a chemorepellent mediated by the Bone Morphogenetic Proteins (BMPs). Previous studies have focused on the ability of commissural axons to translate a spatial gradient of BMPs into directional information in vitro. However, a notable feature of this system in vivo is that the gradient of BMPs is thought to act from behind the commissural cell bodies, making it possible for the BMPs to have a continued effect on commissural axons as they grow away from the RP. Here, we demonstrate that BMPs activate the cofilin regulator Limk1 to control the rate of commissural axon extension in the dorsal spinal cord. By modulating Limk1 activity in both rodent and chicken commissural neurons, the rate of axon growth can either be stalled or accelerated. Altering the activation state of Limk1 also influences subsequent guidance decisions: accelerated axons make rostrocaudal projection errors while navigating their intermediate target, the floor plate. These results suggest that guidance cues can specify information about the rate of growth, to ensure that axons reach subsequent signals either at particular times or speeds during development. PMID:21084599

  14. The use of proteomic analysis to study trafficking defects in axons.

    PubMed

    Fu, Xiaoqin; Brown, Kristy J; Rayavarapu, Sree; Nagaraju, Kanneboyina; Liu, Judy S

    2016-01-01

    Mutations in microtubule subunits and microtubule-associated proteins are the causes of many neurological disorders. These human conditions are usually associated with axonal tract defects or degeneration. The molecular mechanisms of these axonal dysfunction are still largely unknown. Conventional methods may not yield a complete analysis of downstream molecules related to axonal dysfunctions. Therefore, we devised a simple unbiased method to screen molecular motors and axonal molecules, which might be involved in axonal defects. We performed our analysis in the mouse with a targeted deletion in the doublecortin (Dcx) gene. Dcx is a microtubule-associated protein with direct effects on microtubule motors. Furthermore, the knockout of Dcx and its functionally redundant structurally similar paralog, doublecortin-like kinase 1 (Dclk1), in mouse results in thinner or absent axon tracts, including the corpus callosum and anterior commissures. We compared protein profiles of corpus callosum from Dcx knockout and wild-type mouse of P0-P2 using mass spectrometry. This strategy allowed us to identify novel candidates downstream of Dcx involved in axon transport.

  15. Floor plate-derived neuropilin-2 functions as a secreted semaphorin sink to facilitate commissural axon midline crossing.

    PubMed

    Hernandez-Enriquez, Berenice; Wu, Zhuhao; Martinez, Edward; Olsen, Olav; Kaprielian, Zaven; Maness, Patricia F; Yoshida, Yutaka; Tessier-Lavigne, Marc; Tran, Tracy S

    2015-12-15

    Commissural axon guidance depends on a myriad of cues expressed by intermediate targets. Secreted semaphorins signal through neuropilin-2/plexin-A1 receptor complexes on post-crossing commissural axons to mediate floor plate repulsion in the mouse spinal cord. Here, we show that neuropilin-2/plexin-A1 are also coexpressed on commissural axons prior to midline crossing and can mediate precrossing semaphorin-induced repulsion in vitro. How premature semaphorin-induced repulsion of precrossing axons is suppressed in vivo is not known. We discovered that a novel source of floor plate-derived, but not axon-derived, neuropilin-2 is required for precrossing axon pathfinding. Floor plate-specific deletion of neuropilin-2 significantly reduces the presence of precrossing axons in the ventral spinal cord, which can be rescued by inhibiting plexin-A1 signaling in vivo. Our results show that floor plate-derived neuropilin-2 is developmentally regulated, functioning as a molecular sink to sequester semaphorins, preventing premature repulsion of precrossing axons prior to subsequent down-regulation, and allowing for semaphorin-mediated repulsion of post-crossing axons.

  16. Floor plate-derived neuropilin-2 functions as a secreted semaphorin sink to facilitate commissural axon midline crossing

    PubMed Central

    Hernandez-Enriquez, Berenice; Wu, Zhuhao; Martinez, Edward; Olsen, Olav; Kaprielian, Zaven; Maness, Patricia F.; Yoshida, Yutaka; Tessier-Lavigne, Marc; Tran, Tracy S.

    2015-01-01

    Commissural axon guidance depends on a myriad of cues expressed by intermediate targets. Secreted semaphorins signal through neuropilin-2/plexin-A1 receptor complexes on post-crossing commissural axons to mediate floor plate repulsion in the mouse spinal cord. Here, we show that neuropilin-2/plexin-A1 are also coexpressed on commissural axons prior to midline crossing and can mediate precrossing semaphorin-induced repulsion in vitro. How premature semaphorin-induced repulsion of precrossing axons is suppressed in vivo is not known. We discovered that a novel source of floor plate-derived, but not axon-derived, neuropilin-2 is required for precrossing axon pathfinding. Floor plate-specific deletion of neuropilin-2 significantly reduces the presence of precrossing axons in the ventral spinal cord, which can be rescued by inhibiting plexin-A1 signaling in vivo. Our results show that floor plate-derived neuropilin-2 is developmentally regulated, functioning as a molecular sink to sequester semaphorins, preventing premature repulsion of precrossing axons prior to subsequent down-regulation, and allowing for semaphorin-mediated repulsion of post-crossing axons. PMID:26680304

  17. Three-dimensional evaluation of retinal ganglion cell axon regeneration and pathfinding in whole mouse tissue after injury.

    PubMed

    Luo, Xueting; Salgueiro, Yadira; Beckerman, Samuel R; Lemmon, Vance P; Tsoulfas, Pantelis; Park, Kevin K

    2013-09-01

    Injured retinal ganglion cell (RGC) axons do not regenerate spontaneously, causing loss of vision in glaucoma and after trauma. Recent studies have identified several strategies that induce long distance regeneration in the optic nerve. Thus, a pressing question now is whether regenerating RGC axons can find their appropriate targets. Traditional methods of assessing RGC axon regeneration use histological sectioning. However, tissue sections provide fragmentary information about axonal trajectory and termination. To unequivocally evaluate regenerating RGC axons, here we apply tissue clearance and light sheet fluorescence microscopy (LSFM) to image whole optic nerve and brain without physical sectioning. In mice with PTEN/SOCS3 deletion, a condition known to promote robust regeneration, axon growth followed tortuous paths through the optic nerve, with many axons reversing course and extending towards the eye. Such aberrant growth was prevalent in the proximal region of the optic nerve where strong astroglial activation is present. In the optic chiasms of PTEN/SOCS3 deletion mice and PTEN deletion/Zymosan/cAMP mice, many axons project to the opposite optic nerve or to the ipsilateral optic tract. Following bilateral optic nerve crush, similar divergent trajectory is seen at the optic chiasm compared to unilateral crush. Centrally, axonal projection is limited predominantly to the hypothalamus. Together, we demonstrate the applicability of LSFM for comprehensive assessment of optic nerve regeneration, providing in-depth analysis of the axonal trajectory and pathfinding. Our study indicates significant axon misguidance in the optic nerve and brain, and underscores the need for investigation of axon guidance mechanisms during optic nerve regeneration in adults. PMID:23510761

  18. Neuroanatomical technique for studying long axonal projections in the central nervous system: combined axonal staining and pre-labeling in parasagittal gerbil brain slices.

    PubMed

    Kuwabara, N

    2012-08-01

    A method is described for studying the morphological features of extensive axonal projections within the central nervous system of the gerbil, Meriones anguiculatus. Potentially long descending axonal projections between the auditory thalamus and lower brainstem were used as a model. The inferior colliculus (IC) in the tectum was injected in vivo with a fluorescent retrograde tracer, Fluoro-Gold, to label cells in the medial geniculate body (MGB) that had descending projections to the IC, and cells in the superior olivary complex (SOC) that had ascending projections to the IC. Another fluorescent retrograde tracer, fast blue, was injected into the cochlea to label olivocochlear (OC) cells in the SOC. Inferomedially curved parasagittal slices containing ipsilateral auditory cell groups from the thalamus to the brainstem were cut and descending axons of the pre-labeled MGB cells were traced anterogradely with Biocytin. After visualizing histologically the injected Biocytin, discretely labeled IC-projecting axons of the MGB cells were traced including their collaterals that extended further into the SOC. In the SOC, these axons terminated on pre-labeled cells including OC cells. The combination of anterograde and retrograde tracing in the slice preparations described here demonstrated extensive descending axonal projections from the thalamus to their targets in the lower brainstem that had known ascending/descending projections within the auditory system.

  19. Torsional Behavior of Axonal Microtubule Bundles

    PubMed Central

    Lazarus, Carole; Soheilypour, Mohammad; Mofrad, Mohammad R.K.

    2015-01-01

    Axonal microtubule (MT) bundles crosslinked by microtubule-associated protein (MAP) tau are responsible for vital biological functions such as maintaining mechanical integrity and shape of the axon as well as facilitating axonal transport. Breaking and twisting of MTs have been previously observed in damaged undulated axons. Such breaking and twisting of MTs is suggested to cause axonal swellings that lead to axonal degeneration, which is known as “diffuse axonal injury”. In particular, overstretching and torsion of axons can potentially damage the axonal cytoskeleton. Following our previous studies on mechanical response of axonal MT bundles under uniaxial tension and compression, this work seeks to characterize the mechanical behavior of MT bundles under pure torsion as well as a combination of torsional and tensile loads using a coarse-grained computational model. In the case of pure torsion, a competition between MAP tau tensile and MT bending energies is observed. After three turns, a transition occurs in the mechanical behavior of the bundle that is characterized by its diameter shrinkage. Furthermore, crosslink spacing is shown to considerably influence the mechanical response, with larger MAP tau spacing resulting in a higher rate of turns. Therefore, MAP tau crosslinking of MT filaments protects the bundle from excessive deformation. Simultaneous application of torsion and tension on MT bundles is shown to accelerate bundle failure, compared to pure tension experiments. MAP tau proteins fail in clusters of 10–100 elements located at the discontinuities or the ends of MT filaments. This failure occurs in a stepwise fashion, implying gradual accumulation of elastic tensile energy in crosslinks followed by rupture. Failure of large groups of interconnecting MAP tau proteins leads to detachment of MT filaments from the bundle near discontinuities. This study highlights the importance of torsional loading in axonal damage after traumatic brain injury

  20. Competition with Primary Sensory Afferents Drives Remodeling of Corticospinal Axons in Mature Spinal Motor Circuits

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Yu-Qiu; Zaaimi, Boubker

    2016-01-01

    Injury to the mature motor system drives significant spontaneous axonal sprouting instead of axon regeneration. Knowing the circuit-level determinants of axonal sprouting is important for repairing motor circuits after injury to achieve functional rehabilitation. Competitive interactions are known to shape corticospinal tract axon outgrowth and withdrawal during development. Whether and how competition contributes to reorganization of mature spinal motor circuits is unclear. To study this question, we examined plastic changes in corticospinal axons in response to two complementary proprioceptive afferent manipulations: (1) enhancing proprioceptive afferents activity by electrical stimulation; or (2) diminishing their input by dorsal rootlet rhizotomy. Experiments were conducted in adult rats. Electrical stimulation produced proprioceptive afferent sprouting that was accompanied by significant corticospinal axon withdrawal and a decrease in corticospinal connections on cholinergic interneurons in the medial intermediate zone and C boutons on motoneurons. In contrast, dorsal rootlet rhizotomy led to a significant increase in corticospinal connections, including those on cholinergic interneurons; C bouton density increased correspondingly. Motor cortex-evoked muscle potentials showed parallel changes to those of corticospinal axons, suggesting that reciprocal corticospinal axon changes are functional. Using the two complementary models, we showed that competitive interactions between proprioceptive and corticospinal axons are an important determinant in the organization of mature corticospinal axons and spinal motor circuits. The activity- and synaptic space-dependent properties of the competition enables prediction of the remodeling of spared corticospinal connection and spinal motor circuits after injury and informs the target-specific control of corticospinal connections to promote functional recovery. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Neuroplasticity is limited in maturity

  1. The axonal transport of mitochondria

    PubMed Central

    Saxton, William M.; Hollenbeck, Peter J.

    2012-01-01

    Vigorous transport of cytoplasmic components along axons over substantial distances is crucial for the maintenance of neuron structure and function. The transport of mitochondria, which serves to distribute mitochondrial functions in a dynamic and non-uniform fashion, has attracted special interest in recent years following the discovery of functional connections among microtubules, motor proteins and mitochondria, and their influences on neurodegenerative diseases. Although the motor proteins that drive mitochondrial movement are now well characterized, the mechanisms by which anterograde and retrograde movement are coordinated with one another and with stationary axonal mitochondria are not yet understood. In this Commentary, we review why mitochondria move and how they move, focusing particularly on recent studies of transport regulation, which implicate control of motor activity by specific cell-signaling pathways, regulation of motor access to transport tracks and static microtubule–mitochondrion linkers. A detailed mechanism for modulating anterograde mitochondrial transport has been identified that involves Miro, a mitochondrial Ca2+-binding GTPase, which with associated proteins, can bind and control kinesin-1. Elements of the Miro complex also have important roles in mitochondrial fission–fusion dynamics, highlighting questions about the interdependence of biogenesis, transport, dynamics, maintenance and degradation. PMID:22619228

  2. Rapid signalling in distinct dopaminergic axons during locomotion and reward.

    PubMed

    Howe, M W; Dombeck, D A

    2016-07-28

    Dopaminergic projection axons from the midbrain to the striatum are crucial for motor control, as their degeneration in Parkinson disease results in profound movement deficits. Paradoxically, most recording methods report rapid phasic dopamine signalling (~100-ms bursts) in response to unpredicted rewards, with little evidence for movement-related signalling. The leading model posits that phasic signalling in striatum-targeting dopamine neurons drives reward-based learning, whereas slow variations in firing (tens of seconds to minutes) in these same neurons bias animals towards or away from movement. However, current methods have provided little evidence to support or refute this model. Here, using new optical recording methods, we report the discovery of rapid phasic signalling in striatum-targeting dopaminergic axons that is associated with, and capable of triggering, locomotion in mice. Axons expressing these signals were largely distinct from those that responded to unexpected rewards. These results suggest that dopaminergic neuromodulation can differentially impact motor control and reward learning with sub-second precision, and indicate that both precise signal timing and neuronal subtype are important parameters to consider in the treatment of dopamine-related disorders. PMID:27398617

  3. Rapid signalling in distinct dopaminergic axons during locomotion and reward.

    PubMed

    Howe, M W; Dombeck, D A

    2016-07-28

    Dopaminergic projection axons from the midbrain to the striatum are crucial for motor control, as their degeneration in Parkinson disease results in profound movement deficits. Paradoxically, most recording methods report rapid phasic dopamine signalling (~100-ms bursts) in response to unpredicted rewards, with little evidence for movement-related signalling. The leading model posits that phasic signalling in striatum-targeting dopamine neurons drives reward-based learning, whereas slow variations in firing (tens of seconds to minutes) in these same neurons bias animals towards or away from movement. However, current methods have provided little evidence to support or refute this model. Here, using new optical recording methods, we report the discovery of rapid phasic signalling in striatum-targeting dopaminergic axons that is associated with, and capable of triggering, locomotion in mice. Axons expressing these signals were largely distinct from those that responded to unexpected rewards. These results suggest that dopaminergic neuromodulation can differentially impact motor control and reward learning with sub-second precision, and indicate that both precise signal timing and neuronal subtype are important parameters to consider in the treatment of dopamine-related disorders.

  4. Cable energy function of cortical axons.

    PubMed

    Ju, Huiwen; Hines, Michael L; Yu, Yuguo

    2016-01-01

    Accurate estimation of action potential (AP)-related metabolic cost is essential for understanding energetic constraints on brain connections and signaling processes. Most previous energy estimates of the AP were obtained using the Na(+)-counting method, which seriously limits accurate assessment of metabolic cost of ionic currents that underlie AP conduction along the axon. Here, we first derive a full cable energy function for cortical axons based on classic Hodgkin-Huxley (HH) neuronal equations and then apply the cable energy function to precisely estimate the energy consumption of AP conduction along axons with different geometric shapes. Our analytical approach predicts an inhomogeneous distribution of metabolic cost along an axon with either uniformly or nonuniformly distributed ion channels. The results show that the Na(+)-counting method severely underestimates energy cost in the cable model by 20-70%. AP propagation along axons that differ in length may require over 15% more energy per unit of axon area than that required by a point model. However, actual energy cost can vary greatly depending on axonal branching complexity, ion channel density distributions, and AP conduction states. We also infer that the metabolic rate (i.e. energy consumption rate) of cortical axonal branches as a function of spatial volume exhibits a 3/4 power law relationship.

  5. Cable energy function of cortical axons

    PubMed Central

    Ju, Huiwen; Hines, Michael L.; Yu, Yuguo

    2016-01-01

    Accurate estimation of action potential (AP)-related metabolic cost is essential for understanding energetic constraints on brain connections and signaling processes. Most previous energy estimates of the AP were obtained using the Na+-counting method, which seriously limits accurate assessment of metabolic cost of ionic currents that underlie AP conduction along the axon. Here, we first derive a full cable energy function for cortical axons based on classic Hodgkin-Huxley (HH) neuronal equations and then apply the cable energy function to precisely estimate the energy consumption of AP conduction along axons with different geometric shapes. Our analytical approach predicts an inhomogeneous distribution of metabolic cost along an axon with either uniformly or nonuniformly distributed ion channels. The results show that the Na+-counting method severely underestimates energy cost in the cable model by 20–70%. AP propagation along axons that differ in length may require over 15% more energy per unit of axon area than that required by a point model. However, actual energy cost can vary greatly depending on axonal branching complexity, ion channel density distributions, and AP conduction states. We also infer that the metabolic rate (i.e. energy consumption rate) of cortical axonal branches as a function of spatial volume exhibits a 3/4 power law relationship. PMID:27439954

  6. Molecular mechanisms of optic axon guidance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Inatani, Masaru

    2005-12-01

    Axon guidance is one of the critical processes during vertebrate central nervous system (CNS) development. The optic nerve, which contains the axons of retinal ganglion cells, has been used as a powerful model to elucidate some of the mechanisms underlying axon guidance because it is easily manipulated experimentally, and its function is well understood. Recent molecular biology studies have revealed that numerous guidance molecules control the development of the visual pathway. This review introduces the molecular mechanisms involved in each critical step during optic axon guidance. Axonal projections to the optic disc are thought to depend on adhesion molecules and inhibitory extracellular matrices such as chondroitin sulfate. The formation of the head of the optic nerve and the optic chiasm require ligand-receptor interactions between netrin-1 and the deleted in colorectal cancer receptor, and Slit proteins and Robo receptors, respectively. The gradient distributions of ephrin ligands and Eph receptors are essential for correct ipsilateral projections at the optic chiasm and the topographic mapping of axons in the superior colliculus/optic tectum. The precise gradient is regulated by transcription factors determining the retinal dorso-ventral and nasal-temporal polarities. Moreover, the axon guidance activities by Slit and semaphorin 5A require the existence of heparan sulfate, which binds to numerous guidance molecules. Recent discoveries about the molecular mechanisms underlying optic nerve guidance will facilitate progress in CNS developmental biology and axon-regeneration therapy.

  7. Optically Resolving Individual Microtubules in Live Axons

    PubMed Central

    Mudrakola, Harsha V.; Zhang, Kai; Cui, Bianxiao

    2010-01-01

    Summary Microtubules are essential cytoskeletal tracks for cargo transportation in axons and also serve as the primary structural scaffold of neurons. Structural assembly, stability, and dynamics of axonal microtubules are of great interest for understanding neuronal functions and pathologies. However, microtubules are so densely packed in axons that their separations are well below the diffraction limit of light, which precludes using optical microscopy for live-cell studies. Here, we present a single-molecule imaging method capable of resolving individual microtubules in live axons. In our method, unlabeled microtubules are revealed by following individual axonal cargos that travel along them. We resolved more than six microtubules in a 1 μm diameter axon by real-time tracking of endosomes containing quantum dots. Our live-cell study also provided direct evidence that endosomes switch between microtubules while traveling along axons, which has been proposed to be the primary means for axonal cargos to effectively navigate through the crowded axoplasmic environment. PMID:19913478

  8. Cable energy function of cortical axons.

    PubMed

    Ju, Huiwen; Hines, Michael L; Yu, Yuguo

    2016-01-01

    Accurate estimation of action potential (AP)-related metabolic cost is essential for understanding energetic constraints on brain connections and signaling processes. Most previous energy estimates of the AP were obtained using the Na(+)-counting method, which seriously limits accurate assessment of metabolic cost of ionic currents that underlie AP conduction along the axon. Here, we first derive a full cable energy function for cortical axons based on classic Hodgkin-Huxley (HH) neuronal equations and then apply the cable energy function to precisely estimate the energy consumption of AP conduction along axons with different geometric shapes. Our analytical approach predicts an inhomogeneous distribution of metabolic cost along an axon with either uniformly or nonuniformly distributed ion channels. The results show that the Na(+)-counting method severely underestimates energy cost in the cable model by 20-70%. AP propagation along axons that differ in length may require over 15% more energy per unit of axon area than that required by a point model. However, actual energy cost can vary greatly depending on axonal branching complexity, ion channel density distributions, and AP conduction states. We also infer that the metabolic rate (i.e. energy consumption rate) of cortical axonal branches as a function of spatial volume exhibits a 3/4 power law relationship. PMID:27439954

  9. Coupling of NF-protocadherin signalling to axon guidance by cue-induced translation

    PubMed Central

    Leung, Louis C.; Urbančič, Vasja; Baudet, Marie-Laure; Dwivedy, Asha; Bayley, Timothy G.; Lee, Aih Cheun; Harris, William A.; Holt, Christine E.

    2013-01-01

    Cell adhesion molecules and diffusible cues both regulate axon pathfinding, yet how these two modes of signalling interact is poorly understood. The homophilic cell adhesion molecule, NF-protocadherin (NFPC) is expressed in the mid-dorsal optic tract neuroepithelium and in the axons of developing retinal ganglion cells (RGC). Here we report that targeted disruption of NFPC function in RGC axons or the optic tract neuroepithelium results in unexpectedly localized pathfinding defects in the mid-optic tract. Sema3A, which lies adjacent to this turn, stimulates rapid protein synthesis-dependent increases in growth cone NFPC and its cofactor, TAF1, in vitro. In vivo, growth cones exhibit marked increases in NFPC translation reporter activity in this mid-optic tract region that are attenuated by blocking Neuropilin-1 function. Our results suggest that translation-linked coupling between regionally localised diffusible cues and cell adhesion can help axons navigate discrete segments of the pathway. PMID:23292679

  10. Ascending midbrain dopaminergic axons require descending GAD65 axon fascicles for normal pathfinding

    PubMed Central

    García-Peña, Claudia M.; Kim, Minkyung; Frade-Pérez, Daniela; Ávila-González, Daniela; Téllez, Elisa; Mastick, Grant S.; Tamariz, Elisa; Varela-Echavarría, Alfredo

    2014-01-01

    The Nigrostriatal pathway (NSP) is formed by dopaminergic axons that project from the ventral midbrain to the dorsolateral striatum as part of the medial forebrain bundle. Previous studies have implicated chemotropic proteins in the formation of the NSP during development but little is known of the role of substrate-anchored signals in this process. We observed in mouse and rat embryos that midbrain dopaminergic axons ascend in close apposition to descending GAD65-positive axon bundles throughout their trajectory to the striatum. To test whether such interaction is important for dopaminergic axon pathfinding, we analyzed transgenic mouse embryos in which the GAD65 axon bundle was reduced by the conditional expression of the diphtheria toxin. In these embryos we observed dopaminergic misprojection into the hypothalamic region and abnormal projection in the striatum. In addition, analysis of Robo1/2 and Slit1/2 knockout embryos revealed that the previously described dopaminergic misprojection in these embryos is accompanied by severe alterations in the GAD65 axon scaffold. Additional studies with cultured dopaminergic neurons and whole embryos suggest that NCAM and Robo proteins are involved in the interaction of GAD65 and dopaminergic axons. These results indicate that the fasciculation between descending GAD65 axon bundles and ascending dopaminergic axons is required for the stereotypical NSP formation during brain development and that known guidance cues may determine this projection indirectly by instructing the pathfinding of the axons that are part of the GAD65 axon scaffold. PMID:24926237

  11. Microtechnologies for studying the role of mechanics in axon growth and guidance

    PubMed Central

    Kilinc, Devrim; Blasiak, Agata; Lee, Gil U.

    2015-01-01

    The guidance of axons to their proper targets is not only a crucial event in neurodevelopment, but also a potential therapeutic target for neural repair. Axon guidance is mediated by various chemo- and haptotactic cues, as well as the mechanical interactions between the cytoskeleton and the extracellular matrix (ECM). Axonal growth cones, dynamic ends of growing axons, convert external stimuli to biochemical signals, which, in turn, are translated into behavior, e.g., turning or retraction, via cytoskeleton–matrix linkages. Despite the inherent mechanical nature of the problem, the role of mechanics in axon guidance is poorly understood. Recent years has witnessed the application of a range of microtechnologies in neurobiology, from microfluidic circuits to single molecule force spectroscopy. In this mini-review, we describe microtechnologies geared towards dissecting the mechanical aspects of axon guidance, divided into three categories: controlling the growth cone microenvironment, stimulating growth cones with externally applied forces, and measuring forces exerted by the growth cones. A particular emphasis is given to those studies that combine multiple techniques, as dictated by the complexity of the problem. PMID:26283918

  12. GABA release from mouse axonal growth cones

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Xiao-Bing; van den Pol, Anthony N

    2000-01-01

    Using developing hypothalamic neurons from transgenic mice that express high levels of green fluorescent protein in growing axons, and an outside-out patch from mature neuronal membranes that contain neurotransmitter receptors as a sensitive detector, we found that GABA is released by a vesicular mechanism from the growth cones of developing axons prior to synapse formation. A low level of GABA release occurs spontaneously from the growth cone, and this is substantially increased by evoked action potentials. Neurotransmitters such as acetylcholine can enhance protein kinase C (PKC) activity even prior to synapse formation; PKC activation caused a substantial increase in spontaneous GABA release from the growth cone, probably acting at the axon terminal. These data indicate that GABA is secreted from axons during a stage of neuronal development when GABA is excitatory, and that neuromodulators could alter GABA release from the growing axon, potentially enabling other developing neurons of different transmitter phenotype to modulate the early actions of GABA. PMID:10718743

  13. Early events in axon/dendrite polarization.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Pei-lin; Poo, Mu-ming

    2012-01-01

    Differentiation of axons and dendrites is a critical step in neuronal development. Here we review the evidence that axon/dendrite formation during neuronal polarization depends on the intrinsic cytoplasmic asymmetry inherited by the postmitotic neuron, the exposure of the neuron to extracellular chemical factors, and the action of anisotropic mechanical forces imposed by the environment. To better delineate the functions of early signals among a myriad of cellular components that were shown to influence axon/dendrite formation, we discuss their functions by distinguishing their roles as determinants, mediators, or modulators and consider selective degradation of these components as a potential mechanism for axon/dendrite polarization. Finally, we examine whether these early events of axon/dendrite formation involve local autocatalytic activation and long-range inhibition, as postulated by Alan Turing for the morphogenesis of patterned biological structure.

  14. Dynamics of Mitochondrial Transport in Axons

    PubMed Central

    Niescier, Robert F.; Kwak, Sang Kyu; Joo, Se Hun; Chang, Karen T.; Min, Kyung-Tai

    2016-01-01

    The polarized structure and long neurites of neurons pose a unique challenge for proper mitochondrial distribution. It is widely accepted that mitochondria move from the cell body to axon ends and vice versa; however, we have found that mitochondria originating from the axon ends moving in the retrograde direction never reach to the cell body, and only a limited number of mitochondria moving in the anterograde direction from the cell body arrive at the axon ends of mouse hippocampal neurons. Furthermore, we have derived a mathematical formula using the Fokker-Planck equation to characterize features of mitochondrial transport, and the equation could determine altered mitochondrial transport in axons overexpressing parkin. Our analysis will provide new insights into the dynamics of mitochondrial transport in axons of normal and unhealthy neurons. PMID:27242435

  15. Early events in axon/dendrite polarization.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Pei-lin; Poo, Mu-ming

    2012-01-01

    Differentiation of axons and dendrites is a critical step in neuronal development. Here we review the evidence that axon/dendrite formation during neuronal polarization depends on the intrinsic cytoplasmic asymmetry inherited by the postmitotic neuron, the exposure of the neuron to extracellular chemical factors, and the action of anisotropic mechanical forces imposed by the environment. To better delineate the functions of early signals among a myriad of cellular components that were shown to influence axon/dendrite formation, we discuss their functions by distinguishing their roles as determinants, mediators, or modulators and consider selective degradation of these components as a potential mechanism for axon/dendrite polarization. Finally, we examine whether these early events of axon/dendrite formation involve local autocatalytic activation and long-range inhibition, as postulated by Alan Turing for the morphogenesis of patterned biological structure. PMID:22715881

  16. Mapping mean axon diameter and axonal volume fraction by MRI using temporal diffusion spectroscopy

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Junzhong; Li, Hua; Harkins, Kevin D.; Jiang, Xiaoyu; Xie, Jingping; Kang, Hakmook; Does, Mark D.; Gore, John C.

    2014-01-01

    Mapping mean axon diameter and intra-axonal volume fraction may have significant clinical potential because nerve conduction velocity is directly dependent on axon diameter, and several neurodegenerative diseases affect axons of specific sizes and alter axon counts. Diffusion-weighted MRI methods based on the pulsed gradient spin echo (PGSE) sequence have been reported to be able to assess axon diameter and volume fraction non-invasively. However, due to the relatively long diffusion times used, e.g. > 20 ms, the sensitivity to small axons (diameter < 2 µm) is low, and the derived mean axon diameter has been reported to be overestimated. In the current study, oscillating gradient spin echo (OGSE) diffusion sequences with variable frequency gradients were used to assess rat spinal white matter tracts with relatively short effective diffusion times (1 – 5 ms). In contrast to previous PGSE-based methods, the extra-axonal diffusion cannot be modeled as hindered (Gaussian) diffusion when short diffusion times are used. Appropriate frequency-dependent rates are therefore incorporated into our analysis and validated by histology-based computer simulation of water diffusion. OGSE data were analyzed to derive mean axon diameters and intra-axonal volume fractions of rat spinal white matter tracts (mean axon diameter ~ 1.27 – 5.54 µm). The estimated values were in good agreement with histology, including the small axon diameters (< 2.5 µm). This study establishes a framework for quantification of nerve morphology using the OGSE method with high sensitivity to small axons. PMID:25225002

  17. Why do axons differ in caliber?

    PubMed Central

    Perge, János A.; Niven, Jeremy E.; Mugnaini, Enrico; Balasubramanian, Vijay; Sterling, Peter

    2012-01-01

    CNS axons differ in diameter (d) by nearly 100-fold (~ 0.1 to 10μm); therefore they differ in cross-sectional area (d2) and volume by nearly 10,000-fold. If, as found for optic nerve, mitochondrial volume-fraction is constant with axon diameter, energy capacity would rise with axon volume, also as d2. Given constraints on space and energy, we asked what functional requirements set an axon’s diameter? Surveying 16 fiber groups spanning nearly the full range of diameters in five species (guinea pig, rat, monkey, locust, octopus), we found that: (i) thin axons are most numerous; (ii) mean firing frequencies, estimated for 9 of the identified axon classes, are low for thin fibers and high for thick ones, ranging from ~1 to >100Hz; (iii) a tract’s distribution of fiber diameters, whether narrow or broad, and whether symmetric or skewed, reflects heterogeneity of information rates conveyed by its individual fibers; (iv) mitochondrial volume/axon length, rises ≥ d2. To explain the pressure towards thin diameters we note an established law of diminishing returns: an axon, to double its information rate, must more than double its firing rate. Since diameter is apparently linear with firing rate, doubling information rate would more than quadruple an axon’s volume and energy use. Thicker axons may be needed to encode features that cannot be efficiently decoded if their information is spread over several low-rate channels. Thus information rate may be the main variable that sets axon caliber - with axons constrained to deliver information at the lowest acceptable rate. PMID:22238098

  18. Mitochondrial fission augments capsaicin-induced axonal degeneration.

    PubMed

    Chiang, Hao; Ohno, Nobuhiko; Hsieh, Yu-Lin; Mahad, Don J; Kikuchi, Shin; Komuro, Hitoshi; Hsieh, Sung-Tsang; Trapp, Bruce D

    2015-01-01

    Capsaicin, an agonist of transient receptor potential vanilloid receptor 1, induces axonal degeneration of peripheral sensory nerves and is commonly used to treat painful sensory neuropathies. In this study, we investigated the role of mitochondrial dynamics in capsaicin-induced axonal degeneration. In capsaicin-treated rodent sensory axons, axonal swellings, decreased mitochondrial stationary site length and reduced mitochondrial transport preceded axonal degeneration. Increased axoplasmic Ca(2+) mediated the alterations in mitochondrial length and transport. While sustaining mitochondrial transport did not reduce axonal swellings in capsaicin-treated axons, preventing mitochondrial fission by overexpression of mutant dynamin-related protein 1 increased mitochondrial length, retained mitochondrial membrane potentials and reduced axonal loss upon capsaicin treatment. These results establish that mitochondrial stationary site size significantly affects axonal integrity and suggest that inhibition of Ca(2+)-dependent mitochondrial fission facilitates mitochondrial function and axonal survival following activation of axonal cationic channels.

  19. c-Jun activation in Schwann cells protects against loss of sensory axons in inherited neuropathy

    PubMed Central

    Hantke, Janina; Carty, Lucy; Wagstaff, Laura J.; Turmaine, Mark; Wilton, Daniel K.; Quintes, Susanne; Koltzenburg, Martin; Baas, Frank; Mirsky, Rhona

    2014-01-01

    Charcot–Marie–Tooth disease type 1A is the most frequent inherited peripheral neuropathy. It is generally due to heterozygous inheritance of a partial chromosomal duplication resulting in over-expression of PMP22. A key feature of Charcot–Marie–Tooth disease type 1A is secondary death of axons. Prevention of axonal loss is therefore an important target of clinical intervention. We have previously identified a signalling mechanism that promotes axon survival and prevents neuron death in mechanically injured peripheral nerves. This work suggested that Schwann cells respond to injury by activating/enhancing trophic support for axons through a mechanism that depends on upregulation of the transcription factor c-Jun in Schwann cells, resulting in the sparing of axons that would otherwise die. As c-Jun orchestrates Schwann cell support for distressed neurons after mechanical injury, we have now asked: do Schwann cells also activate a c-Jun dependent neuron-supportive programme in inherited demyelinating disease? We tested this by using the C3 mouse model of Charcot–Marie–Tooth disease type 1A. In line with our previous findings in humans with Charcot–Marie–Tooth disease type 1A, we found that Schwann cell c-Jun was elevated in (uninjured) nerves of C3 mice. We determined the impact of this c-Jun activation by comparing C3 mice with double mutant mice, namely C3 mice in which c-Jun had been conditionally inactivated in Schwann cells (C3/Schwann cell-c-Jun−/− mice), using sensory-motor tests and electrophysiological measurements, and by counting axons in proximal and distal nerves. The results indicate that c-Jun elevation in the Schwann cells of C3 nerves serves to prevent loss of myelinated sensory axons, particularly in distal nerves, improve behavioural symptoms, and preserve F-wave persistence. This suggests that Schwann cells have two contrasting functions in Charcot–Marie–Tooth disease type 1A: on the one hand they are the genetic source of

  20. Intraretinal projection of retinal ganglion cell axons as a model system for studying axon navigation

    PubMed Central

    Bao, Zheng-Zheng

    2008-01-01

    The initial step of retinal ganglion cell (RGC) axon pathfinding involves directed growth of RGC axons toward the center of the retina, the optic disc, a process termed “intraretinal guidance”. Due to the accessibility of the system, and with various embryological, molecular, and genetic approaches, significant progress has been made in recent years toward understanding the mechanisms involved in the precise guidance of the RGC axons. As axons are extending from RGCs located throughout the retina, a multitude of factors expressed along with the differentiation wave are important for the guidance of the RGC axons. To ensure that the RGC axons are oriented correctly, restricted to the optic fiber layer (OFL) of the retina, and exit the eye properly, different sets of positive and negative factors cooperate in the process. Fasciculation mediated by a number of cell adhesion molecules (CAMs) and modulation of axonal response to guidance factors provide additional mechanisms to ensure proper guidance of the RGC axons. The intraretinal axon guidance thus serves as an excellent model system for studying how different signals are regulated, modulated and integrated for guiding a large number of axons in three-dimensional space. PMID:17320832

  1. Emerging brain morphologies from axonal elongation

    PubMed Central

    Holland, Maria A.; Miller, Kyle E.; Kuhl, Ellen

    2015-01-01

    Understanding the characteristic morphology of our brain remains a challenging, yet important task in human evolution, developmental biology, and neurosciences. Mathematical modeling shapes our understanding of cortical folding and provides functional relations between cortical wavelength, thickness, and stiffness. Yet, current mathematical models are phenomenologically isotropic and typically predict non-physiological, periodic folding patterns. Here we establish a mechanistic model for cortical folding, in which macroscopic changes in white matter volume are a natural consequence of microscopic axonal growth. To calibrate our model, we consult axon elongation experiments in chick sensory neurons. We demonstrate that a single parameter, the axonal growth rate, explains a wide variety of in vitro conditions including immediate axonal thinning and gradual thickness restoration. We embed our axonal growth model into a continuum model for brain development using axonal orientation distributions motivated by diffusion spectrum imaging. Our simulations suggest that white matter anisotropy - as an emergent property from directional axonal growth - intrinsically induces symmetry breaking, and predicts more physiological, less regular morphologies with regionally varying gyral wavelengths and sulcal depths. Mechanistic modeling of brain development could establish valuable relationships between brain connectivity, brain anatomy, and brain function. PMID:25824370

  2. Cargo distributions differentiate pathological axonal transport impairments

    PubMed Central

    Mitchell, Cassie S.; Lee, Robert H.; Coulter, Wallace H.

    2012-01-01

    Axonal transport is an essential process in neurons, analogous to shipping goods, by which energetic and cellular building supplies are carried downstream (anterogradely) and wastes are carried upstream (retrogradely) by molecular motors, which act as cargo porters. Impairments in axonal transport have been linked to devastating and often lethal neurodegenerative diseases, such as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Huntington’s, and Alzheimer’s. Axonal transport impairment types include a decrease in available motors for cargo transport (motor depletion), the presence of defective or non-functional motors (motor dilution), and the presence of increased or larger cargos (protein aggregation). An impediment to potential treatment identification has been the inability to determine what type(s) of axonal transport impairment candidates that could be present in a given disease. In this study, we utilize a computational model and common axonal transport experimental metrics to reveal the axonal transport impairment general characteristics or “signatures” that result from three general defect types of motor depletion, motor dilution, and protein aggregation. Our results not only provide a means to discern these general impairments types, they also reveal key dynamic and emergent features of axonal transport, which potentially underlie multiple impairment types. The identified characteristics, as well as the analytical method, can be used to help elucidate the axonal transport impairments observed in experimental and clinical data. For example, using the model-predicted defect signatures, we identify the defect candidates, which are most likely to be responsible for the axonal transport impairments in the G93A SOD1 mouse model of ALS. PMID:22285784

  3. Kinesin I transports tetramerized Kv3 channels through the axon initial segment via direct binding

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Mingxuan; Gu, Yuanzheng; Barry, Joshua; Gu, Chen

    2010-01-01

    Precise targeting of various voltage-gated ion channels to proper membrane domains is crucial for their distinct roles in neuronal excitability and synaptic transmission. How each channel protein is transported within the cytoplasm is poorly understood. Here we report that KIF5/kinesin I transports Kv3.1 voltage-gated K+ (Kv) channels through the axon initial segment (AIS) via direct binding. First, we have identified a novel interaction between Kv3.1 and KIF5, confirmed by immunoprecipitation from mouse brain lysates and by pull down assays with exogenously-expressed proteins. The interaction is mediated by a direct binding between the Kv3.1 N-terminal T1 domain and a conserved region in KIF5 tail domains, in which proper T1 tetramerization is crucial. Over-expression of this region of KIF5B markedly reduces axonal levels of Kv3.1bHA. In mature hippocampal neurons, endogenous Kv3.1b and KIF5 colocalize. Suppressing the endogenous KIF5B level by siRNA significantly reduces the Kv3.1b axonal level. Furthermore, mutating the Zn2+-binding site within T1 markedly decreases channel axonal targeting and forward trafficking, likely through disrupting T1 tetramerization and hence eliminating the binding to KIF5 tail. The mutation also alters channel activity. Interestingly, co-expression of the YFP-tagged KIF5B assists dendritic Kv3.1a and even mutants with a faulty axonal targeting motif to penetrate the AIS. Finally, fluorescently tagged Kv3.1 channels co-localize and co-move with KIF5B along axons revealed by two-color time-lapse imaging. Our findings suggest that the binding to KIF5 ensures properly assembled and functioning Kv3.1 channels to be transported into axons. PMID:21106837

  4. A model for fast axonal transport.

    PubMed

    Blum, J J; Reed, M C

    1985-01-01

    A model for fast axonal transport is developed in which the essential features are that organelles may interact with mechanochemical cross-bridges that in turn interact with microtubules, forming an organelle-engine-microtubule complex which is transported along the microtubules. Computer analysis of the equations derived to describe such a system show that most of the experimental observations on fast axonal transport can be simulated by the model, indicating that the model is useful for the interpretation and design of experiments aimed at clarifying the mechanism of fast axonal transport. PMID:2416456

  5. [Progress on matrix metalloproteinase in axonal regeneration].

    PubMed

    Li, Yu-Ying; Ding, Yue-Min; Zhang, Xiong

    2015-01-01

    Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are zinc-dependent endopeptidases. MMPs can degrade and remodel extracellular matrix, also active or inactive many molecules attaching to matrix including receptors, growth factors and cytokines, so that injury-induced MMPs can change the extracellular environment to affect the axonal regeneration in central nervous system. In this review, with spinal cord injury (SCI) as an example we discuss the effects of MMPs on inflammation, neuronal viability, extracellular molecules, glial scar and axonal remyelination, which are all important to axonal regeneration.

  6. [Progress on matrix metalloproteinase in axonal regeneration].

    PubMed

    Li, Yu-Ying; Ding, Yue-Min; Zhang, Xiong

    2015-01-01

    Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are zinc-dependent endopeptidases. MMPs can degrade and remodel extracellular matrix, also active or inactive many molecules attaching to matrix including receptors, growth factors and cytokines, so that injury-induced MMPs can change the extracellular environment to affect the axonal regeneration in central nervous system. In this review, with spinal cord injury (SCI) as an example we discuss the effects of MMPs on inflammation, neuronal viability, extracellular molecules, glial scar and axonal remyelination, which are all important to axonal regeneration. PMID:25851983

  7. Genetic Dissection of the Function of Hindbrain Axonal Commissures

    PubMed Central

    Renier, Nicolas; Schonewille, Martijn; Giraudet, Fabrice; Badura, Aleksandra; Tessier-Lavigne, Marc; Avan, Paul; De Zeeuw, Chris I.; Chédotal, Alain

    2010-01-01

    In Bilateria, many axons cross the midline of the central nervous system, forming well-defined commissures. Whereas in mammals the functions of commissures in the forebrain and in the visual system are well established, functions at other axial levels are less clearly understood. Here, we have dissected the function of several hindbrain commissures using genetic methods. By taking advantage of multiple Cre transgenic lines, we have induced site-specific deletions of the Robo3 receptor. These lines developed with the disruption of specific commissures in the sensory, motor, and sensorimotor systems, resulting in severe and permanent functional deficits. We show that mice with severely reduced commissures in rhombomeres 5 and 3 have abnormal lateral eye movements and auditory brainstem responses, respectively, whereas mice with a primarily uncrossed climbing fiber/Purkinje cell projection are strongly ataxic. Surprisingly, although rerouted axons remain ipsilateral, they still project to their appropriate neuronal targets. Moreover, some Cre;Robo3 lines represent potential models that can be used to study human syndromes, including horizontal gaze palsy with progressive scoliosis (HGPPS). To our knowledge, this study is one of the first to link defects in commissural axon guidance with specific cellular and behavioral phenotypes. PMID:20231872

  8. Variability and Reliabiltiy in Axon Growth Cone Navigation Decision Making

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garnelo, Marta; Ricoult, Sébastien G.; Juncker, David; Kennedy, Timothy E.; Faisal, Aldo A.

    2015-03-01

    The nervous system's wiring is a result of axon growth cones navigating through specific molecular environments during development. In order to reach their target, growth cones need to make decisions under uncertainty as they are faced with stochastic sensory information and probabilistic movements. The overall system therefore exhibits features of whole organisms (perception, decision making, action) in the subset of a single cell. We aim to characterise growth cone navigation in defined nano-dot guidance cue environments, by using the tools of computational neuroscience to conduct ``molecular psychophysics.'' We start with a generative model of growth cone behaviour and we 1. characterise sensory and internal sources of noise contributing to behavioural variables, by combining knowledge of the underlying stochastic dynamics in cue sensing and the growth of the cytoskeleton. This enables us to 2. produce bottom-up lower limit estimates of behavioural response reliability and visualise it as probability distributions over axon growth trajectories. Given this information we can match our in silico model's ``psychometric'' decision curves with empirical data. Finally we use a Monte-Carlo approach to predict response distributions of axon trajectories from our model.

  9. The SNARE Protein Syntaxin 3 Confers Specificity for Polarized Axonal Trafficking in Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Soo Hoo, Linda; Banna, Chris D.; Radeke, Carolyn M.; Sharma, Nikunj; Albertolle, Mary E.; Low, Seng Hui; Weimbs, Thomas; Vandenberg, Carol A.

    2016-01-01

    Cell polarity and precise subcellular protein localization are pivotal to neuronal function. The SNARE machinery underlies intracellular membrane fusion events, but its role in neuronal polarity and selective protein targeting remain unclear. Here we report that syntaxin 3 is involved in orchestrating polarized trafficking in cultured rat hippocampal neurons. We show that syntaxin 3 localizes to the axonal plasma membrane, particularly to axonal tips, whereas syntaxin 4 localizes to the somatodendritic plasma membrane. Disruption of a conserved N-terminal targeting motif, which causes mislocalization of syntaxin 3, results in coincident mistargeting of the axonal cargos neuron-glia cell adhesion molecule (NgCAM) and neurexin, but not transferrin receptor, a somatodendritic cargo. Similarly, RNAi-mediated knockdown of endogenous syntaxin 3 leads to partial mistargeting of NgCAM, demonstrating that syntaxin 3 plays an important role in its targeting. Additionally, overexpression of syntaxin 3 results in increased axonal growth. Our findings suggest an important role for syntaxin 3 in maintaining neuronal polarity and in the critical task of selective trafficking of membrane protein to axons. PMID:27662481

  10. Upslope treadmill exercise enhances motor axon regeneration but not functional recovery following peripheral nerve injury.

    PubMed

    Cannoy, Jill; Crowley, Sam; Jarratt, Allen; Werts, Kelly LeFevere; Osborne, Krista; Park, Sohee; English, Arthur W

    2016-09-01

    Following peripheral nerve injury, moderate daily exercise conducted on a level treadmill results in enhanced axon regeneration and modest improvements in functional recovery. If the exercise is conducted on an upwardly inclined treadmill, even more motor axons regenerate successfully and reinnervate muscle targets. Whether this increased motor axon regeneration also results in greater improvement in functional recovery from sciatic nerve injury was studied. Axon regeneration and muscle reinnervation were studied in Lewis rats over an 11 wk postinjury period using stimulus evoked electromyographic (EMG) responses in the soleus muscle of awake animals. Motor axon regeneration and muscle reinnervation were enhanced in slope-trained rats. Direct muscle (M) responses reappeared faster in slope-trained animals than in other groups and ultimately were larger than untreated animals. The amplitude of monosynaptic H reflexes recorded from slope-trained rats remained significantly smaller than all other groups of animals for the duration of the study. The restoration of the amplitude and pattern of locomotor EMG activity in soleus and tibialis anterior and of hindblimb kinematics was studied during treadmill walking on different slopes. Slope-trained rats did not recover the ability to modulate the intensity of locomotor EMG activity with slope. Patterned EMG activity in flexor and extensor muscles was not noted in slope-trained rats. Neither hindblimb length nor limb orientation during level, upslope, or downslope walking was restored in slope-trained rats. Slope training enhanced motor axon regeneration but did not improve functional recovery following sciatic nerve transection and repair. PMID:27466130

  11. Signalling endosomes in axonal transport: travel updates on the molecular highway.

    PubMed

    Schmieg, Nathalie; Menendez, Guillermo; Schiavo, Giampietro; Terenzio, Marco

    2014-03-01

    Neurons are highly polarised cells. They make contact with their targets through long axons, along which a steady flux of proteins, lipids, nucleic acids and organelles is constantly maintained. This process is crucial to the development and maintenance of the nervous system, as proven by the many neurodegenerative disorders associated with defective axonal transport. Specific pools of endocytic organelles, which travel along the axon towards the cell body, have assumed a growing importance by virtue of their transported signals. These organelles, named signalling endosomes, vehicle growth factors, such as neurotrophins, and their signalling receptors all the way from the axon terminals to the neuronal cell body. Due to the central importance of neurotrophins in neuronal development and survival, significant efforts have gone over the years into the study of long-range neutrophin trafficking and signalling. Recent evidence has pointed to a role of signalling endosomes in the axonal retrograde transport of many morphogenetic and survival factors, increasing their importance even further. In light of these findings, signalling endosomes have shown potential for integration of different growth factors signals and the ability to decode them by differential sorting in the neuronal cell body. In this review we aim to discuss the state of the field regarding the nature and dynamics of signalling endosomes, their signalling capabilities, their energy requirements for axonal transport and last but not least, their importance in health and disease.

  12. Myelin Lipids Inhibit Axon Regeneration Following Spinal Cord Injury: a Novel Perspective for Therapy.

    PubMed

    Mar, Fernando M; da Silva, Tiago F; Morgado, Marlene M; Rodrigues, Lorena G; Rodrigues, Daniel; Pereira, Marta I L; Marques, Ana; Sousa, Vera F; Coentro, João; Sá-Miranda, Clara; Sousa, Mónica M; Brites, Pedro

    2016-03-01

    Lack of axon regeneration following spinal cord injury has been mainly ascribed to the inhibitory environment of the injury site, i.e., to chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans (CSPGs) and myelin-associated inhibitors (MAIs). Here, we used shiverer (shi) mice to assess axon regeneration following spinal cord injury in the presence of MAIs and CSPG but in the absence of compact myelin. Although in vitro shi neurons displayed a similar intrinsic neurite outgrowth to wild-type neurons, in vivo, shi fibers had increased regenerative capacity, suggesting that the wild-type spinal cord contains additional inhibitors besides MAIs and CSPG. Our data show that besides myelin protein, myelin lipids are highly inhibitory for neurite outgrowth and suggest that this inhibitory effect is released in the shi spinal cord given its decreased lipid content. Specifically, we identified cholesterol and sphingomyelin as novel myelin-associated inhibitors that operate through a Rho-dependent mechanism and have inhibitory activity in multiple neuron types. We further demonstrated the inhibitory action of myelin lipids in vivo, by showing that delivery of 2-hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin, a drug that reduces the levels of lipids specifically in the injury site, leads to increased axon regeneration of wild-type (WT) dorsal column axons following spinal cord injury. In summary, our work shows that myelin lipids are important modulators of axon regeneration that should be considered together with protein MAIs as critical targets in strategies aiming at improving axonal growth following injury.

  13. Odorant receptors can mediate axonal identity and gene choice via cAMP-independent mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Grosmaitre, Xavier; Feinstein, Paul

    2016-01-01

    Odorant receptors (ORs) control several aspects of cell fate in olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs), including singular gene choice and axonal identity. The mechanisms of OR-induced axon guidance have been suggested to principally rely on G-protein signalling. Here, we report that for a subset of OSNs, deleting G proteins or altering their levels of signalling does not affect axonal identity. Signalling-deficient ORs or surrogate receptors that are unable to couple to Gs/Golf still provide axons with distinct identities and the anterior–posterior targeting of axons does not correlate with the levels of cAMP produced by genetic modifications. In addition, we refine the models of negative feedback by showing that ectopic ORs can be robustly expressed without suppressing endogenous gene choice. In conclusion, our results uncover a new feature of ORs, showing that they can instruct axonal identity and regulate olfactory map formation independent of canonical G-protein signalling and cAMP production. PMID:27466441

  14. Drosophila Vap-33 is required for axonal localization of Dscam isoforms.

    PubMed

    Yang, Zhen; Huh, Sung Un; Drennan, J Michelle; Kathuria, Hitesh; Martinez, Juan S; Tsuda, Hiroshi; Hall, Mark C; Clemens, James C

    2012-11-28

    Mutations in VAPB have been identified in a familial form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and reduced VAPB levels have been found in patients with sporadic ALS. Vap protein family members from different species and cell types have been implicated in a number of cellular functions, but how Vap dysfunction in neurons and/or muscles contributes to motor neuron degeneration and death is poorly understood. Using Drosophila as a model organism, we show that Vap physically interacts with and affects the axonal functions of the Down syndrome cell adhesion molecule (Dscam). Dscam is a cell-surface receptor involved in axon and dendritic patterning and neuron self-recognition and avoidance. Alternative splicing of the Dscam transcript leads to the production of Dscam isoforms that contain one of two possible transmembrane (TM) domain and flanking sequences that either restrict the isoform to dendrites and cell bodies (TM1) or target the isoform to axon processes (TM2). We find that Vap specifically interacts with Dscam isoforms that contain the TM2 cytoplasmic juxtamembrane flanking sequences. Using loss-of-function genetics, we further show that Vap is required for localization of Dscam isoforms containing TM2 to axons and that Vap loss suppresses Dscam gain-of-function axon phenotypes. We propose that Vap function is required in neurons to selectively traffic proteins to axons, and disruption of this function may contribute to the pathology of ALS.

  15. Odorant receptors can mediate axonal identity and gene choice via cAMP-independent mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Movahedi, Kiavash; Grosmaitre, Xavier; Feinstein, Paul

    2016-07-01

    Odorant receptors (ORs) control several aspects of cell fate in olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs), including singular gene choice and axonal identity. The mechanisms of OR-induced axon guidance have been suggested to principally rely on G-protein signalling. Here, we report that for a subset of OSNs, deleting G proteins or altering their levels of signalling does not affect axonal identity. Signalling-deficient ORs or surrogate receptors that are unable to couple to Gs/Golf still provide axons with distinct identities and the anterior-posterior targeting of axons does not correlate with the levels of cAMP produced by genetic modifications. In addition, we refine the models of negative feedback by showing that ectopic ORs can be robustly expressed without suppressing endogenous gene choice. In conclusion, our results uncover a new feature of ORs, showing that they can instruct axonal identity and regulate olfactory map formation independent of canonical G-protein signalling and cAMP production. PMID:27466441

  16. Diverse roles for Wnt7a in ventral midbrain neurogenesis and dopaminergic axon morphogenesis.

    PubMed

    Fernando, Chathurini V; Kele, Julianna; Bye, Christopher R; Niclis, Jonathan C; Alsanie, Walaa; Blakely, Brette D; Stenman, Jan; Turner, Brad J; Parish, Clare L

    2014-09-01

    During development of the central nervous system, trophic, together with genetic, cues dictate the balance between cellular proliferation and differentiation. Subsequent to the birth of new neurons, additional intrinsic and extrinsic signals regulate the connectivity of these cells. While a number of regulators of ventral midbrain (VM) neurogenesis and dopaminergic (DA) axon guidance are known, we identify a number of novel roles for the secreted glycoprotein, Wnt7a, in this context. We demonstrate a temporal and spatial expression of Wnt7a in the VM, indicative of roles in neurogenesis, differentiation, and axonal growth and guidance. In primary VM cultures, and validated in Wnt7a-deficient mice, we show that the early expression within the VM is important for regulating VM progenitor proliferation, cell cycle progression, and cell survival, thereby dictating the number of midbrain Nurr1 precursors and DA neurons. During early development of the midbrain DA pathways, Wnt7a promotes axonal elongation and repels DA neurites out of the midbrain. Later, Wnt7a expression in the VM midline suggests a role in preventing axonal crossing while expression in regions flanking the medial forebrain bundle (thalamus and hypothalamus) ensured appropriate trajectory of DA axons en route to their forebrain targets. We show that the effects of Wnt7a in VM development are mediated, at least in part, by the β-catenin/canonical pathways. Together, these findings identify Wnt7a as a new regulator of VM neurogenesis and DA axon growth and guidance.

  17. Fast axonal transport in isolated axoplasm from the squid giant axon.

    PubMed

    Song, Yuyu; Kang, Minsu; Morfini, Gerardo; Brady, Scott T

    2016-01-01

    The giant axon of the squid provides a unique cell biological model for analyzing the biochemistry and cell biology of the axon. These axons may exceed 500 μm in diameter and can be readily dissected. Once the surrounding small axons and connective tissue are removed, the axoplasm can be extruded as an intact cylinder of isolated cytoplasm. This isolated axoplasm is morphologically indistinguishable from the intact axon, but without permeability barriers. Fast axonal transport will continue for more than 4 h after extrusion and can be visualized in real time. By perfusing defined concentrations of proteins and/or reagents into the axoplasm, this preparation represents a powerful model for study of intracellular trafficking and its underlying molecular mechanisms.

  18. Extrinsic and intrinsic regulation of axon regeneration at a crossroads

    PubMed Central

    Kaplan, Andrew; Ong Tone, Stephan; Fournier, Alyson E.

    2015-01-01

    Repair of the injured spinal cord is a major challenge in medicine. The limited intrinsic regenerative response mounted by adult central nervous system (CNS) neurons is further hampered by astrogliosis, myelin debris and scar tissue that characterize the damaged CNS. Improved axon regeneration and recovery can be elicited by targeting extrinsic factors as well as by boosting neuron-intrinsic growth regulators. Our knowledge of the molecular basis of intrinsic and extrinsic regulators of regeneration has expanded rapidly, resulting in promising new targets to promote repair. Intriguingly certain neuron-intrinsic growth regulators are emerging as promising targets to both stimulate growth and relieve extrinsic inhibition of regeneration. This crossroads between the intrinsic and extrinsic aspects of spinal cord injury is a promising target for effective therapies for this unmet need. PMID:26136657

  19. CELF RNA binding proteins promote axon regeneration in C. elegans and mammals through alternative splicing of Syntaxins

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Lizhen; Liu, Zhijie; Zhou, Bing; Wei, Chaoliang; Zhou, Yu; Rosenfeld, Michael G; Fu, Xiang-Dong; Chisholm, Andrew D; Jin, Yishi

    2016-01-01

    Axon injury triggers dramatic changes in gene expression. While transcriptional regulation of injury-induced gene expression is widely studied, less is known about the roles of RNA binding proteins (RBPs) in post-transcriptional regulation during axon regeneration. In C. elegans the CELF (CUGBP and Etr-3 Like Factor) family RBP UNC-75 is required for axon regeneration. Using crosslinking immunoprecipitation coupled with deep sequencing (CLIP-seq) we identify a set of genes involved in synaptic transmission as mRNA targets of UNC-75. In particular, we show that UNC-75 regulates alternative splicing of two mRNA isoforms of the SNARE Syntaxin/unc-64. In C. elegans mutants lacking unc-75 or its targets, regenerating axons form growth cones, yet are deficient in extension. Extending these findings to mammalian axon regeneration, we show that mouse Celf2 expression is upregulated after peripheral nerve injury and that Celf2 mutant mice are defective in axon regeneration. Further, mRNAs for several Syntaxins show CELF2 dependent regulation. Our data delineate a post-transcriptional regulatory pathway with a conserved role in regenerative axon extension. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.16072.001 PMID:27253061

  20. In vivo development of retinal ON-bipolar cell axonal terminals visualized in nyx::MYFP transgenic zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Schroeter, Eric H; Wong, Rachel O L; Gregg, Ronald G

    2006-01-01

    Axonal differentiation of retinal bipolar cells has largely been studied by comparing the morphology of these interneurons in fixed tissue at different ages. To better understand how bipolar axonal terminals develop in vivo, we imaged fluorescently labeled cells in the zebrafish retina using time-lapse confocal and two photon microscopy. Using the upstream regulatory sequences from the nyx gene that encodes nyctalopin, we constructed a transgenic fish in which a subset of retinal bipolar cells express membrane targeted yellow fluorescent protein (MYFP). Axonal terminals of these YFP-labeled bipolar cells laminated primarily in the inner half of the inner plexiform layer, suggesting that they are likely to be ON-bipolar cells. Transient expression of MYFP in isolated bipolar cells indicates that two or more subsets of bipolar cells, with one or two terminal boutons, are labeled. Live imaging of YFP-expressing bipolar cells in the nyx::MYFP transgenic fish at different ages showed that initially, filopodial-like structures extend and retract from their primary axonal process throughout the inner plexiform layer (IPL). Over time, filopodial exploration becomes concentrated at discrete foci prior to the establishment of large terminal boutons, characteristic of the mature form. This sequence of axonal differentiation suggests that synaptic targeting by bipolar cell axons may involve an early process of trial and error, rather than a process of directed outgrowth and contact. Our observations represent the first in vivo visualization of axonal development of bipolar cells in a vertebrate retina.

  1. Delayed Feedback Model of Axonal Length Sensing

    PubMed Central

    Karamched, Bhargav R.; Bressloff, Paul C.

    2015-01-01

    A fundamental question in cell biology is how the sizes of cells and organelles are regulated at various stages of development. Size homeostasis is particularly challenging for neurons, whose axons can extend from hundreds of microns to meters (in humans). Recently, a molecular-motor-based mechanism for axonal length sensing has been proposed, in which axonal length is encoded by the frequency of an oscillating retrograde signal. In this article, we develop a mathematical model of this length-sensing mechanism in which advection-diffusion equations for bidirectional motor transport are coupled to a chemical signaling network. We show that chemical oscillations emerge due to delayed negative feedback via a Hopf bifurcation, resulting in a frequency that is a monotonically decreasing function of axonal length. Knockdown of either kinesin or dynein causes an increase in the oscillation frequency, suggesting that the length-sensing mechanism would produce longer axons, which is consistent with experimental findings. One major prediction of the model is that fluctuations in the transport of molecular motors lead to a reduction in the reliability of the frequency-encoding mechanism for long axons. PMID:25954897

  2. Robo-3–mediated repulsive interactions guide R8 axons during Drosophila visual system development

    PubMed Central

    Pappu, Kartik S.; Morey, Marta; Nern, Aljoscha; Spitzweck, Bettina; Dickson, Barry J.; Zipursky, S. L.

    2011-01-01

    The formation of neuronal connections requires the precise guidance of developing axons toward their targets. In the Drosophila visual system, photoreceptor neurons (R cells) project from the eye into the brain. These cells are grouped into some 750 clusters comprised of eight photoreceptors or R cells each. R cells fall into three classes: R1 to R6, R7, and R8. Posterior R8 cells are the first to project axons into the brain. How these axons select a specific pathway is not known. Here, we used a microarray-based approach to identify genes expressed in R8 neurons as they extend into the brain. We found that Roundabout-3 (Robo3), an axon-guidance receptor, is expressed specifically and transiently in R8 growth cones. In wild-type animals, posterior-most R8 axons extend along a border of glial cells demarcated by the expression of Slit, the secreted ligand of Robo3. In contrast, robo3 mutant R8 axons extend across this border and fasciculate inappropriately with other axon tracts. We demonstrate that either Robo1 or Robo2 rescues the robo3 mutant phenotype when each is knocked into the endogenous robo3 locus separately, indicating that R8 does not require a function unique to the Robo3 paralog. However, persistent expression of Robo3 in R8 disrupts the layer-specific targeting of R8 growth cones. Thus, the transient cell-specific expression of Robo3 plays a crucial role in establishing neural circuits in the Drosophila visual system by selectively regulating pathway choice for posterior-most R8 growth cones. PMID:21490297

  3. Mistargeting hippocampal axons by expression of a truncated Eph receptor

    PubMed Central

    Yue, Yong; Chen, Zhi-Yong; Gale, Nick W.; Blair-Flynn, Jan; Hu, Tian-Jing; Yue, Xin; Cooper, Margaret; Crockett, David P.; Yancopoulos, George D.; Tessarollo, Lino; Zhou, Renping

    2002-01-01

    Topographic mapping of axon terminals is a general principle of neural architecture that underlies the interconnections among many neural structures. The Eph family tyrosine kinase receptors and their ligands, the ephrins, have been implicated in the formation of topographic projection maps. We show that multiple Eph receptors and ligands are expressed in the hippocampus and its major subcortical projection target, the lateral septum, and that expression of a truncated Eph receptor in the mouse brain results in a pronounced alteration of the hippocamposeptal topographic map. Our observations provide strong support for a critical role of Eph family guidance factors in regulating ontogeny of hippocampal projections. PMID:12124402

  4. Tri-partite complex for axonal transport drug delivery achieves pharmacological effect

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Targeted delivery of pharmaceutical agents into selected populations of CNS (Central Nervous System) neurons is an extremely compelling goal. Currently, systemic methods are generally used for delivery of pain medications, anti-virals for treatment of dermatomal infections, anti-spasmodics, and neuroprotectants. Systemic side effects or undesirable effects on parts of the CNS that are not involved in the pathology limit efficacy and limit clinical utility for many classes of pharmaceuticals. Axonal transport from the periphery offers a possible selective route, but there has been little progress towards design of agents that can accomplish targeted delivery via this intraneural route. To achieve this goal, we developed a tripartite molecular construction concept involving an axonal transport facilitator molecule, a polymer linker, and a large number of drug molecules conjugated to the linker, then sought to evaluate its neurobiology and pharmacological behavior. Results We developed chemical synthesis methodologies for assembling these tripartite complexes using a variety of axonal transport facilitators including nerve growth factor, wheat germ agglutinin, and synthetic facilitators derived from phage display work. Loading of up to 100 drug molecules per complex was achieved. Conjugation methods were used that allowed the drugs to be released in active form inside the cell body after transport. Intramuscular and intradermal injection proved effective for introducing pharmacologically effective doses into selected populations of CNS neurons. Pharmacological efficacy with gabapentin in a paw withdrawal latency model revealed a ten fold increase in half life and a 300 fold decrease in necessary dose relative to systemic administration for gabapentin when the drug was delivered by axonal transport using the tripartite vehicle. Conclusion Specific targeting of selected subpopulations of CNS neurons for drug delivery by axonal transport holds great promise

  5. The midline protein regulates axon guidance by blocking the reiteration of neuroblast rows within the Drosophila ventral nerve cord.

    PubMed

    Manavalan, Mary Ann; Gaziova, Ivana; Bhat, Krishna Moorthi

    2013-01-01

    Guiding axon growth cones towards their targets is a fundamental process that occurs in a developing nervous system. Several major signaling systems are involved in axon-guidance, and disruption of these systems causes axon-guidance defects. However, the specific role of the environment in which axons navigate in regulating axon-guidance has not been examined in detail. In Drosophila, the ventral nerve cord is divided into segments, and half-segments and the precursor neuroblasts are formed in rows and columns in individual half-segments. The row-wise expression of segment-polarity genes within the neuroectoderm provides the initial row-wise identity to neuroblasts. Here, we show that in embryos mutant for the gene midline, which encodes a T-box DNA binding protein, row-2 neuroblasts and their neuroectoderm adopt a row-5 identity. This reiteration of row-5 ultimately creates a non-permissive zone or a barrier, which prevents the extension of interneuronal longitudinal tracts along their normal anterior-posterior path. While we do not know the nature of the barrier, the axon tracts either stall when they reach this region or project across the midline or towards the periphery along this zone. Previously, we had shown that midline ensures ancestry-dependent fate specification in a neuronal lineage. These results provide the molecular basis for the axon guidance defects in midline mutants and the significance of proper specification of the environment to axon-guidance. These results also reveal the importance of segmental polarity in guiding axons from one segment to the next, and a link between establishment of broad segmental identity and axon guidance.

  6. ROCK2 is a major regulator of axonal degeneration, neuronal death and axonal regeneration in the CNS

    PubMed Central

    Koch, J C; Tönges, L; Barski, E; Michel, U; Bähr, M; Lingor, P

    2014-01-01

    The Rho/ROCK/LIMK pathway is central for the mediation of repulsive environmental signals in the central nervous system. Several studies using pharmacological Rho-associated protein kinase (ROCK) inhibitors have shown positive effects on neurite regeneration and suggest additional pro-survival effects in neurons. However, as none of these drugs is completely target specific, it remains unclear how these effects are mediated and whether ROCK is really the most relevant target of the pathway. To answer these questions, we generated adeno-associated viral vectors to specifically downregulate ROCK2 and LIM domain kinase (LIMK)-1 in rat retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) in vitro and in vivo. We show here that specific knockdown of ROCK2 and LIMK1 equally enhanced neurite outgrowth of RGCs on inhibitory substrates and both induced substantial neuronal regeneration over distances of more than 5 mm after rat optic nerve crush (ONC) in vivo. However, only knockdown of ROCK2 but not LIMK1 increased survival of RGCs after optic nerve axotomy. Moreover, knockdown of ROCK2 attenuated axonal degeneration of the proximal axon after ONC assessed by in vivo live imaging. Mechanistically, we demonstrate here that knockdown of ROCK2 resulted in decreased intraneuronal activity of calpain and caspase 3, whereas levels of pAkt and collapsin response mediator protein 2 and autophagic flux were increased. Taken together, our data characterize ROCK2 as a specific therapeutic target in neurodegenerative diseases and demonstrate new downstream effects of ROCK2 including axonal degeneration, apoptosis and autophagy. PMID:24832597

  7. Paraventricular hypothalamic nucleus: axonal projections to the brainstem

    PubMed Central

    Geerling, Joel C.; Shin, Jung-Won; Chimenti, Peter C.; Loewy, Arthur D.

    2010-01-01

    The paraventricular hypothalamic nucleus (PVH) contains many neurons that innervate the brainstem, but information regarding their target sites remains incomplete. Here, we labeled neurons in the rat PVH with an anterograde axonal tracer, Phaseolus vulgaris leucoagglutinin (PHAL) and studied their descending projections in reference to specific neuronal subpopulations throughout the brainstem. While many of their target sites were identified previously, numerous new observations were made. Major findings include: (1) In the midbrain, the PVH projects lightly to the ventral tegmental area, Edinger-Westphal nucleus, ventrolateral periaqueductal gray matter, reticular formation, pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus, and dorsal raphe nucleus. (2) In the dorsal pons, the PVH projects heavily to the pre-locus coeruleus, yet very little to the catecholamine neurons in the locus coeruleus, and selectively targets the viscerosensory subregions of the parabrachial nucleus; (3) In the ventral medulla, the superior salivatory nucleus, retrotrapezoid nucleus, compact and external formations of the nucleus ambiguus, A1 and caudal C1 catecholamine neurons, and caudal pressor area receive dense axonal projections, generally exceeding the PVH projection to the rostral C1 region; (4) The medial nucleus of the solitary tract (including A2 noradrenergic and aldosterone-sensitive neurons) receives the most extensive projections of the PVH, substantially more than the dorsal vagal nucleus or area postrema. Our findings suggest that the PVH may modulate a range of homeostatic functions, including cerebral and ocular blood flow, corneal and nasal hydration, ingestive behavior, sodium intake, and glucose metabolism, as well as cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, and respiratory activities. PMID:20187136

  8. Contribution of the Runx1 transcription factor to axonal pathfinding and muscle innervation by hypoglossal motoneurons.

    PubMed

    Yoshikawa, Masaaki; Hirabayashi, Mizuki; Ito, Ryota; Ozaki, Shigeru; Aizawa, Shin; Masuda, Tomoyuki; Senzaki, Kouji; Shiga, Takashi

    2015-11-01

    The runt-related transcription factor Runx1 contributes to cell type specification and axonal targeting projections of the nociceptive dorsal root ganglion neurons. Runx1 is also expressed in the central nervous system, but little is known of its functions in brain development. At mouse embryonic day (E) 17.5, Runx1-positive neurons were detected in the ventrocaudal subdivision of the hypoglossal nucleus. Runx1-positive neurons lacked calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) expression, whereas Runx1-negative neurons expressed CGRP. Expression of CGRP was not changed in Runx1-deficient mice at E17.5, suggesting that Runx1 alone does not suppress CGRP expression. Hypoglossal axon projections to the intrinsic vertical (V) and transverse (T) tongue muscles were sparser in Runx1-deficient mice at E17.5 compared to age-matched wild-type littermates. Concomitantly, vesicular acetylcholine transporter-positive axon terminals and acetylcholine receptor clusters were less dense in the V and T tongue muscles of Runx1-deficient mice. These abnormalities in axonal projection were not caused by a reduction in the total number hypoglossal neurons, failed synaptogenesis, or tongue muscles deficits. Our results implicate Runx1 in the targeting of ventrocaudal hypoglossal axons to specific tongue muscles. However, Runx1 deficiency did not alter neuronal survival or the expression of multiple motoneuron markers as in other neuronal populations. Thus, Runx1 appears to have distinct developmental functions in different brain regions.

  9. Axon diameter and axonal transport: In vivo and in vitro effects of androgens

    PubMed Central

    Pesaresi, M; Soon-Shiong, R; French, L; Kaplan, DR; Miller, FD; Paus, T.

    2015-01-01

    Testosterone is a sex hormone involved in brain maturation via multiple molecular mechanisms. Previous human studies described age-related changes in the overall volume and morphological properties of white matter during male puberty. Based on this work, we have proposed that testosterone may induce an increase of radial growth and, possibly, modulate axonal transport. In order to determine whether this is the case we have used two different experimental approaches. With electron microscopy, we have evaluated sex differences in the structural properties of axons in the corpus callosum (splenium) of young rats, and tested consequences of castration carried out after weaning. Then we examined in vitro the effect of the non-aromatizable androgen Mibolerone on the structure and bidirectional transport of wheat-germ agglutinin vesicles in the axons of cultured sympathetic neurons. With electron microscopy, we found robust sex differences in axonal diameter (males>females) and g ratio (males>females). Removal of endogenous testosterone by castration was associated with lower axon diameter and lower g ratio in castrated (vs. intact) males. In vitro, Mibolerone influenced the axonal transport in a time- and dose-dependent manner, and increased the axon caliber as compared with vehicle-treated neurons. These findings are consistent with the role of testosterone in shaping the axon by regulating its radial growth, as predicted by the initial human studies. PMID:25956809

  10. Prolyl Isomerase Pin1 Regulates Axon Guidance by Stabilizing CRMP2A Selectively in Distal Axons.

    PubMed

    Balastik, Martin; Zhou, Xiao Zhen; Alberich-Jorda, Meritxell; Weissova, Romana; Žiak, Jakub; Pazyra-Murphy, Maria F; Cosker, Katharina E; Machonova, Olga; Kozmikova, Iryna; Chen, Chun-Hau; Pastorino, Lucia; Asara, John M; Cole, Adam; Sutherland, Calum; Segal, Rosalind A; Lu, Kun Ping

    2015-10-27

    Axon guidance relies on precise translation of extracellular signal gradients into local changes in cytoskeletal dynamics, but the molecular mechanisms regulating dose-dependent responses of growth cones are still poorly understood. Here, we show that during embryonic development in growing axons, a low level of Semaphorin3A stimulation is buffered by the prolyl isomerase Pin1. We demonstrate that Pin1 stabilizes CDK5-phosphorylated CRMP2A, the major isoform of CRMP2 in distal axons. Consequently, Pin1 knockdown or knockout reduces CRMP2A levels specifically in distal axons and inhibits axon growth, which can be fully rescued by Pin1 or CRMP2A expression. Moreover, Pin1 knockdown or knockout increases sensitivity to Sema3A-induced growth cone collapse in vitro and in vivo, leading to developmental abnormalities in axon guidance. These results identify an important isoform-specific function and regulation of CRMP2A in controlling axon growth and uncover Pin1-catalyzed prolyl isomerization as a regulatory mechanism in axon guidance. PMID:26489457

  11. Robo-2 controls the segregation of a portion of basal vomeronasal sensory neuron axons to the posterior region of the accessory olfactory bulb.

    PubMed

    Prince, Janet E A; Cho, Jin Hyung; Dumontier, Emilie; Andrews, William; Cutforth, Tyler; Tessier-Lavigne, Marc; Parnavelas, John; Cloutier, Jean-François

    2009-11-11

    The ability of sensory systems to detect and process information from the environment relies on the elaboration of precise connections between sensory neurons in the periphery and second order neurons in the CNS. In mice, the accessory olfactory system is thought to regulate a wide variety of social and sexual behaviors. The expression of the Slit receptors Robo-1 and Robo-2 in vomeronasal sensory neurons (VSNs) suggests they may direct the stereotypic targeting of their axons to the accessory olfactory bulb (AOB). Here, we have examined the roles of Robo-1 and Robo-2 in the formation of connections by VSN axons within the AOB. While Robo-1 is not necessary for the segregation of VSN axons within the anterior and posterior regions of the AOB, Robo-2 is required for the targeting of some basal VSN axons to the posterior region of the AOB but is dispensable for the fasciculation of VSN axons. Furthermore, the specific ablation of Robo-2 expression in VSNs leads to mistargeting of a portion of basal VSN axons to the anterior region of the AOB, indicating that Robo-2 expression is required on projecting VSN axons. Together, these results identify Robo-2 as a receptor that controls the targeting of basal VSN axons to the posterior AOB.

  12. Sustained maximal voluntary contraction produces independent changes in human motor axons and the muscle they innervate.

    PubMed

    Milder, David A; Sutherland, Emily J; Gandevia, Simon C; McNulty, Penelope A

    2014-01-01

    The repetitive discharges required to produce a sustained muscle contraction results in activity-dependent hyperpolarization of the motor axons and a reduction in the force-generating capacity of the muscle. We investigated the relationship between these changes in the adductor pollicis muscle and the motor axons of its ulnar nerve supply, and the reproducibility of these changes. Ten subjects performed a 1-min maximal voluntary contraction. Activity-dependent changes in axonal excitability were measured using threshold tracking with electrical stimulation at the wrist; changes in the muscle were assessed as evoked and voluntary electromyography (EMG) and isometric force. Separate components of axonal excitability and muscle properties were tested at 5 min intervals after the sustained contraction in 5 separate sessions. The current threshold required to produce the target muscle action potential increased immediately after the contraction by 14.8% (p<0.05), reflecting decreased axonal excitability secondary to hyperpolarization. This was not correlated with the decline in amplitude of muscle force or evoked EMG. A late reversal in threshold current after the initial recovery from hyperpolarization peaked at -5.9% at ∼35 min (p<0.05). This pattern was mirrored by other indices of axonal excitability revealing a previously unreported depolarization of motor axons in the late recovery period. Measures of axonal excitability were relatively stable at rest but less so after sustained activity. The coefficient of variation (CoV) for threshold current increase was higher after activity (CoV 0.54, p<0.05) whereas changes in voluntary (CoV 0.12) and evoked twitch (CoV 0.15) force were relatively stable. These results demonstrate that activity-dependent changes in motor axon excitability are unlikely to contribute to concomitant changes in the muscle after sustained activity in healthy people. The variability in axonal excitability after sustained activity suggests that

  13. The role of Kif5B in axonal localization of Kv1 K(+) channels.

    PubMed

    Rivera, Jacqueline; Chu, Po-Ju; Lewis, Tommy L; Arnold, Don B

    2007-01-01

    Here we present evidence that the kinesin, Kif5B, is involved in the transportation and axonal targeting of Kv1 channels. We show that a dominant negative variant of Kif5B specifically blocks localization to the axon of expressed, tagged versions of Kv1.3 in cultured cortical slices. In addition, the dominant negative variant of Kif5B blocks axonal localization of endogenous Kv1.1, Kv1.2, and Kv1.4 in cortical neurons in dissociated cultures. We also found evidence that Kif5B interacts with Kv1 channels. Endogenous Kv1.2 colocalized with Kif5B in cortical neurons and coimmunoprecipitated with Kif5B from brain lysate. The T1 domain of Shaker K(+) channels has been shown to play a critical role in targeting the channel to the axon. We have three pieces of evidence to suggest that the T1 domain also mediates interaction between Kv1 channels and Kif5B: Addition of the T1 domain to a heterologous protein, TfR, is sufficient to cause the resulting fusion protein, TfRT1, to colocalize with Kif5B. Also, the T1 domain is necessary for interaction of Kv1.3 with Kif5B in a coimmunoprecipitation assay. Finally, dominant negative variants of Kif5B block axonal targeting of TfRT1, but have no effect on dendritic localization of TfR. Together these data suggest a model where Kif5B interacts with Kv1 channels either directly or indirectly via the T1 domain, causing the channels to be transported to axons. PMID:17241275

  14. Protein phosphorylation: Localization in regenerating optic axons

    SciTech Connect

    Larrivee, D. )

    1990-09-01

    A number of axonal proteins display changes in phosphorylation during goldfish optic nerve regeneration. (1) To determine whether the phosphorylation of these proteins was closely linked to their synthesis in the retinal ganglion cell body, cycloheximide was injected intraocularly into goldfish whose optic nerves had been regenerating for 3 weeks. Cycloheximide reduced the incorporation of (3H)proline and 32P orthophosphate into total nerve protein by 84% and 46%, respectively. Of the 20 individual proteins examined, 17 contained less than 15% of the (3H)proline label measured in corresponding controls, whereas 18 proteins contained 50% or more of the 32P label, suggesting that phosphorylation was largely independent of synthesis. (2) To determine whether the proteins were phosphorylated in the ganglion cell axons, axonal transport of proteins was blocked by intraocular injection of vincristine. Vincristine reduced (3H)proline labeling of total protein by 88% and 32P labeling by 49%. Among the individual proteins (3H)proline labeling was reduced by 90% or more in 18 cases but 32P labeling was reduced only by 50% or less. (3) When 32P was injected into the cranial cavity near the ends of the optic axons, all of the phosphoproteins were labeled more intensely in the optic tract than in the optic nerve. These results suggest that most of the major phosphoproteins that undergo changes in phosphorylation in the course of regeneration are phosphorylated in the optic axons.

  15. Xenopus cytoplasmic linker-associated protein 1 (XCLASP1) promotes axon elongation and advance of pioneer microtubules.

    PubMed

    Marx, Astrid; Godinez, William J; Tsimashchuk, Vasil; Bankhead, Peter; Rohr, Karl; Engel, Ulrike

    2013-05-01

    Dynamic microtubules (MTs) are required for neuronal guidance, in which axons extend directionally toward their target tissues. We found that depletion of the MT-binding protein Xenopus cytoplasmic linker-associated protein 1 (XCLASP1) or treatment with the MT drug Taxol reduced axon outgrowth in spinal cord neurons. To quantify the dynamic distribution of MTs in axons, we developed an automated algorithm to detect and track MT plus ends that have been fluorescently labeled by end-binding protein 3 (EB3). XCLASP1 depletion reduced MT advance rates in neuronal growth cones, very much like treatment with Taxol, demonstrating a potential link between MT dynamics in the growth cone and axon extension. Automatic tracking of EB3 comets in different compartments revealed that MTs increasingly slowed as they passed from the axon shaft into the growth cone and filopodia. We used speckle microscopy to demonstrate that MTs experience retrograde flow at the leading edge. Microtubule advance in growth cone and filopodia was strongly reduced in XCLASP1-depleted axons as compared with control axons, but actin retrograde flow remained unchanged. Instead, we found that XCLASP1-depleted growth cones lacked lamellipodial actin organization characteristic of protrusion. Lamellipodial architecture depended on XCLASP1 and its capacity to associate with MTs, highlighting the importance of XCLASP1 in actin-microtubule interactions. PMID:23515224

  16. Novel RNA- and FMRP-binding protein TRF2-S regulates axonal mRNA transport and presynaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Peisu; Abdelmohsen, Kotb; Liu, Yong; Tominaga-Yamanaka, Kumiko; Yoon, Je-Hyun; Ioannis, Grammatikakis; Martindale, Jennifer L; Zhang, Yongqing; Becker, Kevin G; Yang, In Hong; Gorospe, Myriam; Mattson, Mark P

    2015-01-01

    Despite considerable evidence that RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) regulate mRNA transport and local translation in dendrites, roles for axonal RBPs are poorly understood. Here we demonstrate that a non-telomeric isoform of telomere repeat-binding factor 2 (TRF2-S) is a novel RBP that regulates axonal plasticity. TRF2-S interacts directly with target mRNAs to facilitate their axonal delivery. The process is antagonized by fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP). Distinct from the current RNA-binding model of FMRP, we show that FMRP occupies the GAR domain of TRF2-S protein to block the assembly of TRF2-S-mRNA complexes. Overexpressing TRF2-S and silencing FMRP promotes mRNA entry to axons and enhances axonal outgrowth and neurotransmitter release from presynaptic terminals. Our findings suggest a pivotal role for TRF2-S in an axonal mRNA localization pathway that enhances axon outgrowth and neurotransmitter release. PMID:26586091

  17. A heterogeneous population of nuclear-encoded mitochondrial mRNAs is present in the axons of primary sympathetic neurons.

    PubMed

    Aschrafi, Armaz; Kar, Amar N; Gale, Jenna R; Elkahloun, Abdel G; Vargas, Jose Noberto S; Sales, Naomi; Wilson, Gabriel; Tompkins, Miranda; Gioio, Anthony E; Kaplan, Barry B

    2016-09-01

    Mitochondria are enriched in subcellular regions of high energy consumption, such as axons and pre-synaptic nerve endings. Accumulating evidence suggests that mitochondrial maintenance in these distal structural/functional domains of the neuron depends on the "in-situ" translation of nuclear-encoded mitochondrial mRNAs. In support of this notion, we recently provided evidence for the axonal targeting of several nuclear-encoded mRNAs, such as cytochrome c oxidase, subunit 4 (COXIV) and ATP synthase, H+ transporting and mitochondrial Fo complex, subunit C1 (ATP5G1). Furthermore, we showed that axonal trafficking and local translation of these mRNAs plays a critical role in the generation of axonal ATP. Using a global gene expression analysis, this study identified a highly diverse population of nuclear-encoded mRNAs that were enriched in the axon and presynaptic nerve terminals. Among this population of mRNAs, fifty seven were found to be at least two-fold more abundant in distal axons, as compared with the parental cell bodies. Gene ontology analysis of the nuclear-encoded mitochondrial mRNAs suggested functions for these gene products in molecular and biological processes, including but not limited to oxidoreductase and electron carrier activity and proton transport. Based on these results, we postulate that local translation of nuclear-encoded mitochondrial mRNAs present in the axons may play an essential role in local energy production and maintenance of mitochondrial function.

  18. Age-dependent occurrence of an ascending axon on the omega neuron of the cricket, Teleogryllus oceanicus.

    PubMed

    Atkins, G; Pollack, G S

    1986-01-22

    The omega neurons (ON1s) are a mirror-symmetrical pair of identified prothoracic auditory interneurons of crickets which have been previously described as intraganglionic. Using intracellular techniques we stained ON1s of female Teleogryllus oceanicus and found that many ON1s have axons which project anteriorly out of the prothoracic ganglion. The ascending axon arises contralateral to the soma at the most anteriolateral bend of the bow-shaped process of an otherwise "archetypical" ON1 and travels up the neck connective in a ventral position just inside the connective tissue sheath. The occurrence of the ascending axon is age-dependent. Seventy-five percent of ON1s stained in late nymphal stages and in young adults had an ascending axon while only 30% of ON1s in older adults had an ascending axon. Evidence is presented to show that ON1s having ascending axons are developmental variants of the "archetypical" ON1 and do not represent a separate neuron type. The two morphological types of ON1s are not distinguishable on the basis of their responses to sound stimuli having carrier frequencies of 3.5-60 kHz. Although we know that the ascending axon conducts action potentials, its target and terminal morphology are not yet known.

  19. Novel RNA- and FMRP-binding protein TRF2-S regulates axonal mRNA transport and presynaptic plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Peisu; Abdelmohsen, Kotb; Liu, Yong; Tominaga-Yamanaka, Kumiko; Yoon, Je-Hyun; Ioannis, Grammatikakis; Martindale, Jennifer L.; Zhang, Yongqing; Becker, Kevin G.; Yang, In Hong; Gorospe, Myriam; Mattson, Mark P.

    2015-01-01

    Despite considerable evidence that RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) regulate mRNA transport and local translation in dendrites, roles for axonal RBPs are poorly understood. Here we demonstrate that a non-telomeric isoform of telomere repeat-binding factor 2 (TRF2-S) is a novel RBP that regulates axonal plasticity. TRF2-S interacts directly with target mRNAs to facilitate their axonal delivery. The process is antagonized by fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP). Distinct from the current RNA-binding model of FMRP, we show that FMRP occupies the GAR domain of TRF2-S protein to block the assembly of TRF2-S–mRNA complexes. Overexpressing TRF2-S and silencing FMRP promotes mRNA entry to axons and enhances axonal outgrowth and neurotransmitter release from presynaptic terminals. Our findings suggest a pivotal role for TRF2-S in an axonal mRNA localization pathway that enhances axon outgrowth and neurotransmitter release. PMID:26586091

  20. Impact of single-site axonal GABAergic synaptic events on cerebellar interneuron activity.

    PubMed

    de San Martin, Javier Zorrilla; Jalil, Abdelali; Trigo, Federico F

    2015-12-01

    Axonal ionotropic receptors are present in a variety of neuronal types, and their function has largely been associated with the modulation of axonal activity and synaptic release. It is usually assumed that activation of axonal GABA(A)Rs comes from spillover, but in cerebellar molecular layer interneurons (MLIs) the GABA source is different: in these cells, GABA release activates presynaptic GABA(A) autoreceptors (autoRs) together with postsynaptic targets, producing an autoR-mediated synaptic event. The frequency of presynaptic, autoR-mediated miniature currents is twice that of their somatodendritic counterparts, suggesting that autoR-mediated responses have an important effect on interneuron activity. Here, we used local Ca(2+) photolysis in MLI axons of juvenile rats to evoke GABA release from individual varicosities to study the activation of axonal autoRs in single release sites. Our data show that single-site autoR conductances are similar to postsynaptic dendritic conductances. In conditions of high [Cl(-)](i), autoR-mediated conductances range from 1 to 5 nS; this corresponds to ∼30-150 GABA(A) channels per presynaptic varicosity, a value close to the number of channels in postsynaptic densities. Voltage responses produced by the activation of autoRs in single varicosities are amplified by a Na(v)-dependent mechanism and propagate along the axon with a length constant of 91 µm. Immunolabeling determination of synapse location shows that on average, one third of the synapses produce autoR-mediated signals that are large enough to reach the axon initial segment. Finally, we show that single-site activation of presynaptic GABA(A) autoRs leads to an increase in MLI excitability and thus conveys a strong feedback signal that contributes to spiking activity.

  1. Regulation of Axonal Midline Guidance by Prolyl 4-Hydroxylation in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Torpe, Nanna

    2014-01-01

    Neuronal wiring during development requires that the growth cones of axons and dendrites are correctly guided to their appropriate targets. As in other animals, axon growth cones in Caenorhabditis elegans integrate information in their extracellular environment via interactions among transiently expressed cell surface receptors, their ligands, and the extracellular matrix (ECM). Components of the ECM undergo a wide variety of post-translational modifications that may affect efficacy of binding to neuronal guidance molecules. The most common modification of the ECM is prolyl 4-hydroxylation. However, little is known of its importance in the control of axon guidance. In a screen of prolyl 4-hydroxylase (P4H) mutants, we found that genetic removal of a specific P4H subunit, DPY-18, causes dramatic defects in C. elegans neuroanatomy. In dpy-18 mutant animals, the axons of specific ventral nerve cord neurons do not respect the ventral midline boundary and cross over to the contralateral axon fascicle. We found that these defects are independent of the known role of dpy-18 in regulating body size and that dpy-18 acts from multiple tissues to regulate axon guidance. Finally, we found that the neuronal defects in dpy-18 mutant animals are dependent on the expression of muscle-derived basement membrane collagens and motor neuron-derived ephrin ligands. Loss of dpy-18 causes dysregulated ephrin expression and this is at least partially responsible for the neurodevelopmental defects observed. Together, our data suggest that DPY-18 regulates ephrin expression to direct axon guidance, a role for P4Hs that may be conserved in higher organisms. PMID:25471573

  2. AXONAL TRANSPORT: CARGO-SPECIFIC MECHANISMS OF MOTILITY AND REGULATION

    PubMed Central

    Maday, Sandra; Twelvetrees, Alison E.; Moughamian, Armen J.; Holzbaur, Erika L. F.

    2014-01-01

    Axonal transport is essential for neuronal function, and many neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative diseases result from mutations in the axonal transport machinery. Anterograde transport supplies distal axons with newly synthesized proteins and lipids, including synaptic components required to maintain presynaptic activity. Retrograde transport is required to maintain homeostasis by removing aging proteins and organelles from the distal axon for degradation and recycling of components. Retrograde axonal transport also plays a major role in neurotrophic and injury response signaling. This review provides an overview of the axonal transport pathway and discusses its role in neuronal function. PMID:25374356

  3. A novel closed-body model of spinal cord injury caused by high-pressure air blasts produces extensive axonal injury and motor impairments.

    PubMed

    del Mar, Nobel; von Buttlar, Xinyu; Yu, Angela S; Guley, Natalie H; Reiner, Anton; Honig, Marcia G

    2015-09-01

    Diffuse axonal injury is thought to be the basis of the functional impairments stemming from mild traumatic brain injury. To examine how axons are damaged by traumatic events, such as motor vehicle accidents, falls, sports activities, or explosive blasts, we have taken advantage of the spinal cord with its extensive white matter tracts. We developed a closed-body model of spinal cord injury in mice whereby high-pressure air blasts targeted to lower thoracic vertebral levels produce tensile, compressive, and shear forces within the parenchyma of the spinal cord and thereby cause extensive axonal injury. Markers of cytoskeletal integrity showed that spinal cord axons exhibited three distinct pathologies: microtubule breakage, neurofilament compaction, and calpain-mediated spectrin breakdown. The dorsally situated axons of the corticospinal tract primarily exhibited microtubule breakage, whereas all three pathologies were common in the lateral and ventral white matter. Individual axons typically demonstrated only one of the three pathologies during the first 24h after blast injury, suggesting that the different perturbations are initiated independently of one another. For the first few days after blast, neurofilament compaction was frequently accompanied by autophagy, and subsequent to that, by the fragmentation of degenerating axons. TuJ1 immunolabeling and mice with YFP-reporter labeling each revealed more extensive microtubule breakage than did βAPP immunolabeling, raising doubts about the sensitivity of this standard approach for assessing axonal injury. Although motor deficits were mild and largely transient, some aspects of motor function gradually worsened over several weeks, suggesting that a low level of axonal degeneration continued past the initial wave. Our model can help provide further insight into how to intervene in the processes by which initial axonal damage culminates in axonal degeneration, to improve outcomes after traumatic injury. Importantly

  4. A novel closed-body model of spinal cord injury caused by high-pressure air blasts produces extensive axonal injury and motor impairments

    PubMed Central

    del Mar, Nobel; von Buttlar, Xinyu; Yu, Angela S.; Guley, Natalie H.; Reiner, Anton; Honig, Marcia G.

    2015-01-01

    Diffuse axonal injury is thought to be the basis of the functional impairments stemming from mild traumatic brain injury. To examine how axons are damaged by traumatic events, such as motor vehicle accidents, falls, sports activities, or explosive blasts, we have taken advantage of the spinal cord with its extensive white matter tracts. We developed a closed-body model of spinal cord injury in mice whereby high-pressure air blasts targeted to lower thoracic vertebral levels produce tensile, compressive, and shear forces within the parenchyma of the spinal cord and thereby cause extensive axonal injury. Markers of cytoskeletal integrity showed that spinal cord axons exhibited three distinct pathologies: microtubule breakage, neurofilament compaction, and calpain-mediated spectrin breakdown. The dorsally situated axons of the corticospinal tract primarily exhibited microtubule breakage, whereas all three pathologies were common in the lateral and ventral white matter. Individual axons typically demonstrated only one of the three pathologies during the first 24 h after blast injury, suggesting that the different perturbations are initiated independently of one another. For the first few days after blast, neurofilament compaction was frequently accompanied by autophagy, and subsequent to that, by the fragmentation of degenerating axons. TuJ1 immunolabeling and mice with YFP-reporter labeling each revealed more extensive microtubule breakage than did βAPP immunolabeling, raising doubts about the sensitivity of this standard approach for assessing axonal injury. Although motor deficits were mild and largely transient, some aspects of motor function gradually worsened over several weeks, suggesting that a low level of axonal degeneration continued past the initial wave. Our model can help provide further insight into how to intervene in the processes by which initial axonal damage culminates in axonal degeneration, to improve outcomes after traumatic injury. Importantly

  5. Microfluidic device for unidirectional axon growth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Malishev, E.; Pimashkin, A.; Gladkov, A.; Pigareva, Y.; Bukatin, A.; Kazantsev, V.; Mukhina, I.; Dubina, M.

    2015-11-01

    In order to better understand the communication and connectivity development of neuron networks, we designed microfluidic devices with several chambers for growing dissociated neuronal cultures from mice fetal hippocampus (E18). The chambers were connected with microchannels providing unidirectional axonal growth between “Source” and “Target” neural sub-networks. Experiments were performed in a hippocampal cultures plated in a poly-dimethylsiloxane (PDMS) microfluidic chip, aligned with a 60 microelectrode array (MEA). Axonal growth through microchannels was observed with brightfield, phase-contrast and fluorescence microscopy, and after 7 days in vitro electrical activity was recorded. Visual inspection and spike propagation analysis showed the predominant axonal growth in microchannels in a direction from “Source” to “Target”.

  6. Gating current "fractionation" in crayfish giant axons.

    PubMed Central

    Starkus, J G; Rayner, M D

    1991-01-01

    Effects of changes in initial conditions on the magnitude and kinetics of gating current and sodium current were studied in voltage-clamped, internally-perfused, crayfish giant axons. We examined the effects of changes in holding potential, inactivating prepulses, and recovery from inactivation in axons with intact fast inactivation. We also studied the effects of brief interpulse intervals in axons pretreated with chloramine-T for removal of fast inactivation. We find marked effects of gating current kinetics induced by both prepulse inactivation and brief interpulse intervals. The apparent changes in gating current relaxation rates cannot be explained simply by changes in gating charge magnitude (charge immobilization) combined with "Cole-Moore-type" time shifts. Rather they appear to indicate selective suppression of kinetically-identifiable components within the control gating currents. Our results provide additional support for a model involving parallel, nonidentical, gating particles. PMID:1760505

  7. Transforming Growth Factor-β Promotes Axonal Regeneration After Chronic Nerve Injury.

    PubMed

    Sulaiman, Wale A R

    2016-04-01

    When spinal cord injury (SCI) occurs, injured cells must survive and regenerate to close gaps caused by the injury and to create functional motor units. After peripheral nerve injury, Wallerian degeneration in the distal nerve stump creates a neurotrophic and growth-supportive environment for injured neurons and axons via Schwann cells and secreted cytokines/neurotrophins. In both SCI and peripheral nerve injury, injured motor and sensory neurons must regenerate axons, eventually reaching and reinnervating target tissue (SDC Figure 1, http://links.lww.com/BRS/B116). This process is often unsuccessful after SCI, and the highly complex anatomy of branching axons and nerves in the peripheral nervous system leads to slow recovery of function, even with careful and appropriate techniques.

  8. A mathematical model explains saturating axon guidance responses to molecular gradients

    PubMed Central

    Nguyen, Huyen; Dayan, Peter; Pujic, Zac; Cooper-White, Justin; Goodhill, Geoffrey J

    2016-01-01

    Correct wiring is crucial for the proper functioning of the nervous system. Molecular gradients provide critical signals to guide growth cones, which are the motile tips of developing axons, to their targets. However, in vitro, growth cones trace highly stochastic trajectories, and exactly how molecular gradients bias their movement is unclear. Here, we introduce a mathematical model based on persistence, bias, and noise to describe this behaviour, constrained directly by measurements of the detailed statistics of growth cone movements in both attractive and repulsive gradients in a microfluidic device. This model provides a mathematical explanation for why average axon turning angles in gradients in vitro saturate very rapidly with time at relatively small values. This work introduces the most accurate predictive model of growth cone trajectories to date, and deepens our understanding of axon guidance events both in vitro and in vivo. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.12248.001 PMID:26830461

  9. Regulation of branching dynamics by axon-intrinsic asymmetries in Tyrosine Kinase Receptor signaling

    PubMed Central

    Zschätzsch, Marlen; Oliva, Carlos; Langen, Marion; De Geest, Natalie; Özel, Mehmet Neset; Williamson, W Ryan; Lemon, William C; Soldano, Alessia; Munck, Sebastian; Hiesinger, P Robin; Sanchez-Soriano, Natalia; Hassan, Bassem A

    2014-01-01

    Axonal branching allows a neuron to connect to several targets, increasing neuronal circuit complexity. While axonal branching is well described, the mechanisms that control it remain largely unknown. We find that in the Drosophila CNS branches develop through a process of excessive growth followed by pruning. In vivo high-resolution live imaging of developing brains as well as loss and gain of function experiments show that activation of Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) is necessary for branch dynamics and the final branching pattern. Live imaging also reveals that intrinsic asymmetry in EGFR localization regulates the balance between dynamic and static filopodia. Elimination of signaling asymmetry by either loss or gain of EGFR function results in reduced dynamics leading to excessive branch formation. In summary, we propose that the dynamic process of axon branch development is mediated by differential local distribution of signaling receptors. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.01699.001 PMID:24755286

  10. Molecular mechanisms of the suppression of axon regeneration by KLF transcription factors

    PubMed Central

    Apara, Akintomide; Goldberg, Jeffrey L.

    2014-01-01

    Molecular mechanisms of the Krüppel-like family of transcription factors (KLFs) have been studied more in proliferating cells than in post-mitotic cells such as neurons. We recently found that KLFs regulate intrinsic axon growth ability in central nervous system (CNS) neurons including retinal ganglion cells, and hippocampal and cortical neurons. With at least 15 of 17 KLF family members expressed in neurons and at least 5 structurally unique subfamilies, it is important to determine how this complex family functions in neurons to regulate the intricate genetic programs of axon growth and regeneration. By characterizing the molecular mechanisms of the KLF family in the nervous system, including binding partners and gene targets, and comparing them to defined mechanisms defined outside the nervous system, we may better understand how KLFs regulate neurite growth and axon regeneration. PMID:25317150

  11. Automated Axon Counting in Rodent Optic Nerve Sections with AxonJ

    PubMed Central

    Zarei, Kasra; Scheetz, Todd E.; Christopher, Mark; Miller, Kathy; Hedberg-Buenz, Adam; Tandon, Anamika; Anderson, Michael G.; Fingert, John H.; Abràmoff, Michael David

    2016-01-01

    We have developed a publicly available tool, AxonJ, which quantifies the axons in optic nerve sections of rodents stained with paraphenylenediamine (PPD). In this study, we compare AxonJ’s performance to human experts on 100x and 40x images of optic nerve sections obtained from multiple strains of mice, including mice with defects relevant to glaucoma. AxonJ produced reliable axon counts with high sensitivity of 0.959 and high precision of 0.907, high repeatability of 0.95 when compared to a gold-standard of manual assessments and high correlation of 0.882 to the glaucoma damage staging of a previously published dataset. AxonJ allows analyses that are quantitative, consistent, fully-automated, parameter-free, and rapid on whole optic nerve sections at 40x. As a freely available ImageJ plugin that requires no highly specialized equipment to utilize, AxonJ represents a powerful new community resource augmenting studies of the optic nerve using mice. PMID:27226405

  12. Glia-to-axon communication: enrichment of glial proteins transferred to the squid giant axon.

    PubMed

    Sheller, R A; Tytell, M; Smyers, M; Bittner, G D

    1995-06-15

    The transfer of newly synthesized proteins from the glial sheath into the axon is a well-documented process for the squid giant axon. In this study, we used a novel approach to separate the transferred glial proteins (TGPs) from the endogenous axoplasmic proteins of the squid giant axon. Axoplasm, containing radiolabelled TGPs, was extruded as a cylinder and immersed in an intracellular buffer. After 1-30 min, the TGPs were enriched in the intracellular buffer, because they were eluted from the axoplasm into the intracellular buffer much faster than the endogenous axoplasmic proteins. Most of the TGPs enriched in the intracellular buffer did not pellet when centrifuged at 24,000 g for 20 min and were susceptible to protease digestion without the addition of Triton X-100. Additionally, transmission electron microscopic autoradiography of intact axons, containing radiolabelled TGPs, suggested that most TGPs were not associated with vesicular organelles within the axon. We conclude that most of the TGPs are not contained within vesicles in the axoplasm of the squid giant axon, as would be expected if the mechanism of glia-to-axon transfer were conventional exocytosis-endocytosis or microphagocytosis.

  13. Automated Axon Counting in Rodent Optic Nerve Sections with AxonJ

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zarei, Kasra; Scheetz, Todd E.; Christopher, Mark; Miller, Kathy; Hedberg-Buenz, Adam; Tandon, Anamika; Anderson, Michael G.; Fingert, John H.; Abràmoff, Michael David

    2016-05-01

    We have developed a publicly available tool, AxonJ, which quantifies the axons in optic nerve sections of rodents stained with paraphenylenediamine (PPD). In this study, we compare AxonJ’s performance to human experts on 100x and 40x images of optic nerve sections obtained from multiple strains of mice, including mice with defects relevant to glaucoma. AxonJ produced reliable axon counts with high sensitivity of 0.959 and high precision of 0.907, high repeatability of 0.95 when compared to a gold-standard of manual assessments and high correlation of 0.882 to the glaucoma damage staging of a previously published dataset. AxonJ allows analyses that are quantitative, consistent, fully-automated, parameter-free, and rapid on whole optic nerve sections at 40x. As a freely available ImageJ plugin that requires no highly specialized equipment to utilize, AxonJ represents a powerful new community resource augmenting studies of the optic nerve using mice.

  14. Excitability of the squid giant axon revisited.

    PubMed

    Clay, J R

    1998-08-01

    The electrical properties of the giant axon from the common squid Loligo pealei have been reexamined. The primary motivation for this work was the observation that the refractoriness of the axon was significantly greater than the predictions of the standard model of nerve excitability. In particular, the axon fired only once in response to a sustained, suprathreshold stimulus. Similarly, only a single action potential was observed in response to the first pulse of a train of 1-ms duration current pulses, when the pulses were separated in time by approximately 10 ms. The axon was refractory to all subsequent pulses in the train. The underlying mechanisms for these results concern both the sodium and potassium ion currents INa and IK. Specifically, Na+ channel activation has long been known to be coupled to inactivation during a depolarizing voltage-clamp step. This feature appears to be required to simulate the pulse train results in a revised model of nerve excitability. Moreover, the activation curve for IK has a significantly steeper voltage dependence, especially near its threshold (approximately -60 mV), than in the standard model, which contributes to reduced excitability, and the fully activated current-voltage relation for IK has a nonlinear, rather than a linear, dependence on driving force. An additional aspect of the revised model is accumulation/depeletion of K+ in the space between the axon and the glial cells surrounding the axon, which is significant even during a single action potential and which can account for the 15-20 mV difference between the potassium equilibrium potential EK and the maximum afterhyperpolarization of the action potential. The modifications in IK can also account for the shape of voltage changes near the foot of the action potential.

  15. High frequency stimulation can block axonal conduction.

    PubMed

    Jensen, Alicia L; Durand, Dominique M

    2009-11-01

    High frequency stimulation (HFS) is used to control abnormal neuronal activity associated with movement, seizure, and psychiatric disorders. Yet, the mechanisms of its therapeutic action are not known. Although experimental results have shown that HFS suppresses somatic activity, other data has suggested that HFS could generate excitation of axons. Moreover it is unclear what effect the stimulation has on tissue surrounding the stimulation electrode. Electrophysiological and computational modeling literature suggests that HFS can drive axons at the stimulus frequency. Therefore, we tested the hypothesis that unlike cell bodies, axons are driven by pulse train HFS. This hypothesis was tested in fibers of the hippocampus both in-vivo and in-vitro. Our results indicate that although electrical stimulation could activate and drive axons at low frequencies (0.5-25 Hz), as the stimulus frequency increased, electrical stimulation failed to continuously excite axonal activity. Fiber tracts were unable to follow extracellular pulse trains above 50 Hz in-vitro and above 125 Hz in-vivo. The number of cycles required for failure was frequency dependent but independent of stimulus amplitude. A novel in-vitro preparation was developed, in which, the alveus was isolated from the remainder of the hippocampus slice. The isolated fiber tract was unable to follow pulse trains above 75 Hz. Reversible conduction block occurred at much higher stimulus amplitudes, with pulse train HFS (>150 Hz) preventing propagation through the site of stimulation. This study shows that pulse train HFS affects axonal activity by: (1) disrupting HFS evoked excitation leading to partial conduction block of activity through the site of HFS; and (2) generating complete conduction block of secondary evoked activity, as HFS amplitude is increased. These results are relevant for the interpretation of the effects of HFS for the control of abnormal neural activity such as epilepsy and Parkinson's disease. PMID

  16. Retrograde Axonal Degeneration in Parkinson Disease

    PubMed Central

    Tagliaferro, Patricia; Burke, Robert E.

    2016-01-01

    In spite of tremendous research efforts we have not yet achieved two of our principal therapeutic goals in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease (PD), to prevent its onward progression and to provide restoration of systems that have already been damaged by the time of diagnosis. There are many possible reasons for our inability to make progress. One possibility is that our efforts thus far may not have been directed towards the appropriate cellular compartments. Up until now research has been largely focused on the loss of neurons in the disease. Thus, neuroprotection approaches have been largely aimed at blocking mechanisms that lead to destruction of the neuronal cell body. Attempts to provide neurorestoration have been almost entirely focused on replacement of neurons. We herein review the evidence that the axonal component of diseased neuronal systems merit more of our attention. Evidence from imaging studies, from postmortem neurochemical studies, and from genetic animal models suggests that the axons of the dopaminergic system are involved predominantly and early in PD. Since the mechanisms of axonal destruction are distinct from those of neuron cell body degeneration, a focus on axonal neurobiology will offer new opportunities for preventing their degeneration. At present these mechanisms remain largely obscure. However, defining them is likely to offer new opportunities for neuroprotection. In relation to neurorestoration, while it has been classically believed that neurons of the adult central nervous system are incapable of new axon growth, recent evidence shows that this is not true for the dopaminergic projection. In conclusion, the neurobiology of axons is likely to offer many new approaches to protective and restorative therapeutics. PMID:27003783

  17. The challenges of long-distance axon regeneration in the injured CNS.

    PubMed

    Chew, Daniel J; Fawcett, James W; Andrews, Melissa R

    2012-01-01

    Injury to the central nervous system (CNS) that results in long-tract axonal damage typically leads to permanent functional deficits in areas innervated at, and below, the level of the lesion. The initial ischemia, inflammation, and neurodegeneration are followed by a progressive generation of scar tissue, dieback of transected axons, and demyelination, creating an area inhibitory to regrowth and recovery. Two ways to combat this inhibition is to therapeutically target the extrinsic and intrinsic properties of the axon-scar environment. Scar tissue within and surrounding the lesion site can be broken down using an enzyme known as chondroitinase. Negative regulators of adult neuronal growth, such as Nogo, can be neutralized with antibodies. Both therapies greatly improve functional recovery in animal models. Alternatively, modifying the intrinsic growth properties of CNS neurons through gene therapy or pharmacotherapy has also shown promising axonal regeneration after injury. Despite these promising therapies, the main challenge of long-distance axon regeneration still remains; achieving a level of functional and organized connectivity below the level of the lesion that mimics the intact CNS.

  18. Imaging Axonal Degeneration and Repair in Preclinical Animal Models of Multiple Sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Yandamuri, Soumya S; Lane, Thomas E

    2016-01-01

    Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a central nervous system (CNS) disease characterized by chronic neuroinflammation, demyelination, and axonal damage. Infiltration of activated lymphocytes and myeloid cells are thought to be primarily responsible for white matter damage and axonopathy. Over time, this neurologic damage manifests clinically as debilitating motor and cognitive symptoms. Existing MS therapies focus on symptom relief and delay of disease progression through reduction of neuroinflammation. However, long-term strategies to remyelinate, protect, or regenerate axons have remained elusive, posing a challenge to treating progressive forms of MS. Preclinical mouse models and techniques, such as immunohistochemistry, flow cytometry, and genomic and proteomic analysis have provided advances in our understanding of discrete time-points of pathology following disease induction. More recently, in vivo and in situ two-photon (2P) microscopy has made it possible to visualize continuous real-time cellular behavior and structural changes occurring within the CNS during neuropathology. Research utilizing 2P imaging to study axonopathy in neuroinflammatory demyelinating disease has focused on five areas: (1) axonal morphologic changes, (2) organelle transport and health, (3) relationship to inflammation, (4) neuronal excitotoxicity, and (5) regenerative therapies. 2P imaging may also be used to identify novel therapeutic targets via identification and clarification of dynamic cellular and molecular mechanisms of axonal regeneration and remyelination. Here, we review tools that have made 2P accessible for imaging neuropathologies and advances in our understanding of axonal degeneration and repair in preclinical models of demyelinating diseases. PMID:27242796

  19. Extracellular vimentin interacts with insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor to promote axonal growth.

    PubMed

    Shigyo, Michiko; Kuboyama, Tomoharu; Sawai, Yusuke; Tada-Umezaki, Masahito; Tohda, Chihiro

    2015-01-01

    Vimentin, an intermediate filament protein, is generally recognised as an intracellular protein. Previously, we reported that vimentin was secreted from astrocytes and promoted axonal growth. The effect of extracellular vimentin in neurons was a new finding, but its signalling pathway was unknown. In this study, we aimed to determine the signalling mechanism of extracellular vimentin that facilitates axonal growth. We first identified insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor (IGF1R) as a receptor that is highly phosphorylated by vimentin stimulation. IGF1R blockades diminished vimentin- or IGF1-induced axonal growth in cultured cortical neurons. IGF1, IGF2 and insulin were not detected in the neuron culture medium after vimentin treatment. The combined drug affinity responsive target stability method and western blotting analysis showed that vimentin and IGF1 interacted with IGF1R directly. In addition, immunoprecipitation and western blotting analyses confirmed that recombinant IGF1R bound to vimentin. The results of a molecular dynamics simulation revealed that C-terminal residues (residue number 330-407) in vimentin are the most appropriate binding sites with IGF1R. Thus, extracellular vimentin may be a novel ligand of IGF1R that promotes axonal growth in a similar manner to IGF1. Our results provide novel findings regarding the role of extracellular vimentin and IGF1R in axonal growth. PMID:26170015

  20. Imaging Axonal Degeneration and Repair in Preclinical Animal Models of Multiple Sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Yandamuri, Soumya S.; Lane, Thomas E.

    2016-01-01

    Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a central nervous system (CNS) disease characterized by chronic neuroinflammation, demyelination, and axonal damage. Infiltration of activated lymphocytes and myeloid cells are thought to be primarily responsible for white matter damage and axonopathy. Over time, this neurologic damage manifests clinically as debilitating motor and cognitive symptoms. Existing MS therapies focus on symptom relief and delay of disease progression through reduction of neuroinflammation. However, long-term strategies to remyelinate, protect, or regenerate axons have remained elusive, posing a challenge to treating progressive forms of MS. Preclinical mouse models and techniques, such as immunohistochemistry, flow cytometry, and genomic and proteomic analysis have provided advances in our understanding of discrete time-points of pathology following disease induction. More recently, in vivo and in situ two-photon (2P) microscopy has made it possible to visualize continuous real-time cellular behavior and structural changes occurring within the CNS during neuropathology. Research utilizing 2P imaging to study axonopathy in neuroinflammatory demyelinating disease has focused on five areas: (1) axonal morphologic changes, (2) organelle transport and health, (3) relationship to inflammation, (4) neuronal excitotoxicity, and (5) regenerative therapies. 2P imaging may also be used to identify novel therapeutic targets via identification and clarification of dynamic cellular and molecular mechanisms of axonal regeneration and remyelination. Here, we review tools that have made 2P accessible for imaging neuropathologies and advances in our understanding of axonal degeneration and repair in preclinical models of demyelinating diseases. PMID:27242796

  1. Oligodendrocyte Lineage and Subventricular Zone Response to Traumatic Axonal Injury in the Corpus Callosum

    PubMed Central

    Sullivan, Genevieve M.; Mierzwa, Amanda J.; Kijpaisalratana, Naruchorn; Tang, *Haiying; Wang, Yong; Song, Sheng-Kwei; Selwyn, Reed

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Traumatic brain injury frequently causes traumatic axonal injury (TAI) in white matter tracts. Experimental TAI in the corpus callosum of adult mice was used to examine the effects on oligodendrocyte lineage cells and myelin in conjunction with neuroimaging. The injury targeted the corpus callosum over the subventricular zone, a source of neural stem/progenitor cells. Traumatic axonal injury was produced in the rostral body of the corpus callosum by impact onto the skull at the bregma. During the first week after injury, magnetic resonance diffusion tensor imaging showed that axial diffusivity decreased in the corpus callosum and that corresponding regions exhibited significant axon damage accompanied by hypertrophic microglia and reactive astrocytes. Oligodendrocyte progenitor proliferation increased in the subventricular zone and corpus callosum. Oligodendrocytes in the corpus callosum shifted toward upregulation of myelin gene transcription. Plp/CreERT:R26IAP reporter mice showed normal reporter labeling of myelin sheaths 0 to 2 days after injury but labeling was increased between 2 and 7 days after injury. Electron microscopy revealed axon degeneration, demyelination, and redundant myelin figures. These findings expand the cell types and responses to white matter injuries that inform diffusion tensor imaging evaluation and identify pivotal white matter changes after TAI that may affect axon vulnerability vs. recovery after brain injury. PMID:24226267

  2. Effect of nano-hydroxyapatite on the axonal guidance growth of rat cortical neurons.

    PubMed

    Liu, Meili; Zhou, Gang; Song, Wei; Li, Ping; Liu, Haifeng; Niu, Xufeng; Fan, Yubo

    2012-05-21

    Nanomaterials such as carbon nanotubes (CNT) can improve axonal connecting in a target direction during regeneration, however, it is limited by the neurotoxicity of CNT. Here we investigate the possible protective effect of nano-hydroxyapatite (n-HA) against nerve injury, as well as CNT in cultured rat cortical neurons. In this study the nanomaterials were characterized by X-Ray diffractometry (XRD) and atomic force microscopy (AFM) analysis. Our results showed that axonal migration and extension were increased significantly after n-HA treatment by immunocytochemistry assay. The patch clamp assay results showed that n-HA acts protectively after nerve injury, which inhibited the average amplitude and frequency of excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs). n-HA is not neurotoxic for the electrophysiology activity of cells. To find the effect of n-HA on axonal guidance growth in the cultured cortical neurons, Netrin 1, one of the axonal guidance cues, was determined by RT-PCR and western blot assay. Compared to the control group, n-HA down-regulated the mRNA level of netrin 1, and moreover, the expression of netrin 1 decreased significantly in the cells. n-HA caused the axonal guidance growth to be mediated by netrin 1 during nerve regeneration. Therefore, the data from the present study provided a new approach for the therapy or prevention of nerve injury. PMID:22504488

  3. GSK3 and KIF5 regulate activity-dependent sorting of gephyrin between axons and dendrites.

    PubMed

    Rathgeber, Louisa; Gromova, Kira V; Schaefer, Irina; Breiden, Petra; Lohr, Christian; Kneussel, Matthias

    2015-01-01

    The kinesin KIF5 transports neuronal cargoes into axons and dendrites. Isolated KIF5 motor domains preferentially move into axons, however KIF5 binding to GRIP1 or gephyrin drives the motor into dendrites, to deliver AMPA receptors (AMPARs) or glycine receptors (GlyRs), respectively. At postsynaptic sites, gephyrin forms a multimeric scaffold to anchor GlyRs and GABAA receptors (GABAARs) in apposition to inhibitory presynaptic terminals. Here, we report the unexpected observation that increased intracellular calcium through chronic activation of AMPARs, steers a newly synthesized gephyrin fusion protein (tomato-gephyrin) to axons and interferes with its normal delivery into dendrites of cultured neurons. Axonal gephyrin clusters were not apposed to presynaptic terminals, but colocalized with GlyRs and neuroligin-2 (NLG2). Notably, functional blockade of glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK3) and KIF5 normalized gephyrin missorting into the axonal compartment. In contrast, mutagenesis of gephyrin S270, a GSK3 target, did not contribute to axo-dendritic sorting. Our data are consistent with previous observations, which report regulation of kinesin motility through GSK3 activity. They suggest that GSK3 regulates the sorting of GlyR/gephyrin and NLG2 complexes in a KIF5-dependent manner. PMID:25701174

  4. Axonal commissures in the central nervous system: how to cross the midline?

    PubMed

    Nawabi, Homaira; Castellani, Valérie

    2011-08-01

    Organisms with bilateral symmetry elaborate patterns of neuronal projections connecting both sides of the central nervous system at all levels of the neuraxis. During development, these so-called commissural projections navigate across the midline to innervate their contralateral targets. Commissural axon pathfinding has been extensively studied over the past years and turns out to be a highly complex process, implicating modulation of axon responsiveness to the various guidance cues that instruct axon trajectories towards, within and away from the midline. Understanding the molecular mechanisms allowing these switches of response to take place at the appropriate time and place is a major challenge for current research. Recent work characterized several instructive processes controlling the spatial and temporal fine-tuning of the guidance molecular machinery. These findings illustrate the molecular strategies by which commissural axons modulate their sensitivity to guidance cues during midline crossing and show that regulation at both transcriptional and post-transcriptional levels are crucial for commissural axon guidance. PMID:21538161

  5. Axonal structure and function after axolemmal leakage in the squid giant axon.

    PubMed

    Gallant, P E; Galbraith, J A

    1997-11-01

    Membrane leakage is a common consequence of traumatic nerve injury. In order to measure the early secondary effects of different levels of membrane leakage on axonal structure and function we studied the squid giant axon after electroporation at field strengths of 0.5, 1.0, 1.6, or 3.3 kV/cm. Immediately after mild electroporation at 0.5 kV/cm, 40% of the axons had no action potentials, but by 1 h all of the mildly electroporated axons had recovered their action potentials. Many large organelles (mitochondria) were swollen, however, and their transport was reduced by 62% 1 h after this mild electroporation. One hour after moderate electroporation at 1.0 kV/cm, most of the axons had no action potentials, most large organelles were swollen, and their transport was reduced by 98%, whereas small organelle transport was reduced by 75%. Finally at severe electroporation levels of 1.65-3.0 kV/cm all conduction and transport was lost and the gel-like axoplasmic structure was clumped or liquefied. The structural damage and transport block seen after severe and moderate poration were early secondary injuries that could be prevented by placing the porated axons in an intracellular-type medium (low in Ca2+, Na+, and Cl-) immediately after poration. In moderately, but not severely, porated axons this protection of organelle transport and structure persisted, and action potential conduction returned when the axons were returned to the previously injurious extracellular-type medium. This suggests that the primary damage, the axolemmal leak, was repaired while the moderately porated axons were in the protective intracellular-type medium.

  6. Axonal transport disruption in peripheral nerve disease

    PubMed Central

    Lloyd, Thomas E.

    2015-01-01

    Many neurodegenerative diseases and neuropathies have been proposed to be caused by a disruption of axonal transport. However, the mechanisms whereby impaired transport causes disease remain unclear. Proposed mechanisms include impairment in delivery of organelles such as mitochondria, defective retrograde neurotrophic signaling, and disruption of the synaptic vesicle cycle within the synaptic terminal. Simple model organisms such as the fruitfly, Drosophila melanogaster, allow live imaging of axonal transport to be combined with high-throughput genetic screens and are providing insights into the pathophysiology of peripheral nerve diseases. PMID:23279432

  7. Trajectory and terminal distribution of single centrifugal axons from olfactory cortical areas in the rat olfactory bulb.

    PubMed

    Matsutani, S

    2010-08-11

    The olfactory bulb receives a large number of centrifugal fibers whose functions remain unclear. To gain insight into the function of the bulbar centrifugal system, the morphology of individual centrifugal axons from olfactory cortical areas was examined in detail. An anterograde tracer, Phaseolus vulgaris leucoagglutinin, was injected into rat olfactory cortical areas, including the pars lateralis of the anterior olfactory nucleus (lAON) and the anterior part of the piriform cortex (aPC). Reconstruction from serial sections revealed that the extrabulbar segments of centrifugal axons from the lAON and those from the aPC had distinct trajectories: the former tended to innervate the pars externa of the AON before entering the olfactory bulb, while the latter had extrabulbar collaterals that extended to a variety of targets. In contrast to the extrabulbar segments, no clear differences were found between the intrabulbar segments of axons from the lAON and from the aPC. The intrabulbar segments of centrifugal axons were mainly found in the granule cell layer but a few axons extended into the external plexiform and glomerular layer. Approximately 40% of centrifugal axons innervated both the medial and lateral aspects of the olfactory bulb. The number of boutons found on single intrabulbar segments was typically less than 1000. Boutons tended to aggregate and form complex terminal tufts with short axonal branches. Terminal tufts, no more than 10 in single axons from ipsilateral cortical areas, were localized to the granule cell layer with varying intervals; some tufts formed patchy clusters and others were scattered over areas that extended for a few millimeters. The patchy, widespread distribution of terminals suggests that the centrifugal axons are able to couple the activity of specific subsets of bulbar neurons even when the subsets are spatially separated.

  8. Central projections of photoreceptor axons originating from ectopic eyes in Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    Clements, Jason; Lu, Zhiyuan; Gehring, Walter J.; Meinertzhagen, Ian A.; Callaerts, Patrick

    2008-01-01

    Ectopic expression of the retinal determination gene eyeless (ey) induces the formation of supernumerary eyes on antennae, legs, wings, and halteres. These ectopic eyes form ommatidia that contain photoreceptors and accessory cells and respond to light. Here, we demonstrate that ectopic eyes on antennae and legs extend axonal projections to the central nervous system. Furthermore, electroretinograms and morphological evidence indicate that the photoreceptor axons of at least the antennal ectopic eyes can form completely constituted ectopic synapses with foreign postsynaptic elements and suggest that transmission at these sites may be functional. However, the ectopic axons do not connect to their correct optic lobe targets and do not project deeply into the neuropile, but rather form synapses at superficial positions in the neuropils. By means of confocal and electron microscopy we show that these ectopic synapses resemble normal synapses, albeit with some distinct morphological differences. Our data strongly suggest that the developmental programs controlling photoreceptor synaptogenesis and visual map formation depend to a considerable extent on presynaptic and thus photoreceptor-autonomous steps. Our data also suggest that photoreceptor axon projections and the establishment of the highly stereotypical neural circuitry in the optic lobe, the normal target neuropil, may depend on target-specific cues that appear to be absent from the antennal lobe and thoracic ganglion. PMID:18577588

  9. Zebrafish foxP2 zinc finger nuclease mutant has normal axon pathfinding.

    PubMed

    Xing, Lingyan; Hoshijima, Kazuyuki; Grunwald, David J; Fujimoto, Esther; Quist, Tyler S; Sneddon, Jacob; Chien, Chi-Bin; Stevenson, Tamara J; Bonkowsky, Joshua L

    2012-01-01

    foxP2, a forkhead-domain transcription factor, is critical for speech and language development in humans, but its role in the establishment of CNS connectivity is unclear. While in vitro studies have identified axon guidance molecules as targets of foxP2 regulation, and cell culture assays suggest a role for foxP2 in neurite outgrowth, in vivo studies have been lacking regarding a role for foxP2 in axon pathfinding. We used a modified zinc finger nuclease methodology to generate mutations in the zebrafish foxP2 gene. Using PCR-based high resolution melt curve analysis (HRMA) of G0 founder animals, we screened and identified three mutants carrying nonsense mutations in the 2(nd) coding exon: a 17 base-pair (bp) deletion, an 8bp deletion, and a 4bp insertion. Sequence analysis of cDNA confirmed that these were frameshift mutations with predicted early protein truncations. Homozygous mutant fish were viable and fertile, with unchanged body morphology, and no apparent differences in CNS apoptosis, proliferation, or patterning at embryonic stages. There was a reduction in expression of the known foxP2 target gene cntnap2 that was rescued by injection of wild-type foxP2 transcript. When we examined axon pathfinding using a pan-axonal marker or transgenic lines, including a foxP2-neuron-specific enhancer, we did not observe any axon guidance errors. Our findings suggest that foxP2 is not necessary for axon pathfinding during development.

  10. Axon sorting within the spinal cord marginal zone via Robo-mediated inhibition of N-cadherin controls spinocerebellar tract formation.

    PubMed

    Sakai, Nozomi; Insolera, Ryan; Sillitoe, Roy V; Shi, Song-Hai; Kaprielian, Zaven

    2012-10-31

    The axons of spinal projection neurons transmit sensory information to the brain by ascending within highly organized longitudinal tracts. However, the molecular mechanisms that control the sorting of these axons within the spinal cord and their directed growth to poorly defined targets are not understood. Here, we show that an interplay between Robo and the cell adhesion molecule, N-cadherin, sorts spinal commissural axons into appropriate longitudinal tracts within the spinal cord, and thereby facilitates their brain targeting. Specifically, we show that d1 and d2 spinal commissural axons join the lateral funiculus within the spinal cord and target the cerebellum in chick embryos, and that these axons contribute to the spinocerebellar projection in transgenic reporter mice. Disabling Robo signaling or overexpressing N-cadherin on these axons prevents the formation of the lateral funiculus and the spinocerebellar tract, and simultaneously perturbing Robo and N-cadherin function rescues both phenotypes in chick embryos. Consistent with these observations, disabling Robo function in conditional N-cadherin knock-out mice results in a wild-type-like lateral funiculus. Together, these findings suggest that spinal projection axons must be sorted into distinct longitudinal tracts within the spinal cord proper to project to their brain targets.

  11. Molecular mechanisms of scar-sourced axon growth inhibitors

    PubMed Central

    Ohtake, Yosuke; Li, Shuxin

    2014-01-01

    Astrogliosis is a defense response of the CNS to minimize primary damage and to repair injured tissues, but it ultimately generates harmful effects by upregulating inhibitory molecules to suppress neuronal elongation and forming potent barriers to axon regeneration. Chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans (CSPGs) are highly expressed by reactive scars and are potent contributors to the non-permissive environment in mature CNS. Surmounting strong inhibition by CSPG-rich scar is an important therapeutic goal for achieving functional recovery after CNS injuries. Currently, enzymatic digestion of CSPGs with locally applied chondroitinase ABC is the main in vivo approach to overcome scar inhibition, but several disadvantages may prevent using this bacterial enzyme as a therapeutic option for patients. A better understanding of molecular mechanisms underlying CSPG function may facilitate development of new effective therapies to overcome scar-mediated inhibition. Previous studies support that CSPGs act by non-specifically hindering the binding of matrix molecules to their cell surface receptors through steric interactions, but two members of the leukocyte common antigen related (LAR) phosphatase subfamily, protein tyrosine phosphatase σ and LAR, are functional receptors that bind CSPGs with high affinity and mediate CSPG inhibition. CSPGs may also act by binding two receptors for myelin-associated growth inhibitors, Nogo receptors 1 and 3. Thus, CSPGs inhibit axon growth through multiple mechanisms, making them especially potent and difficult therapeutic targets. Identification of CSPG receptors is not only important for understanding the scar-mediated growth suppression, but also for developing novel and selective therapies to promote axon sprouting and/or regeneration after CNS injuries. PMID:25192646

  12. Proper migration and axon outgrowth of zebrafish cranial motoneuron subpopulations require the cell adhesion molecule MDGA2A

    PubMed Central

    Ingold, Esther; vom Berg-Maurer, Colette M.; Burckhardt, Christoph J.; Lehnherr, André; Rieder, Philip; Keller, Philip J.; Stelzer, Ernst H.; Greber, Urs F.; Neuhauss, Stephan C. F.; Gesemann, Matthias

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT The formation of functional neuronal circuits relies on accurate migration and proper axonal outgrowth of neuronal precursors. On the route to their targets migrating cells and growing axons depend on both, directional information from neurotropic cues and adhesive interactions mediated via extracellular matrix molecules or neighbouring cells. The inactivation of guidance cues or the interference with cell adhesion can cause severe defects in neuronal migration and axon guidance. In this study we have analyzed the function of the MAM domain containing glycosylphosphatidylinositol anchor 2A (MDGA2A) protein in zebrafish cranial motoneuron development. MDGA2A is prominently expressed in distinct clusters of cranial motoneurons, especially in the ones of the trigeminal and facial nerves. Analyses of MDGA2A knockdown embryos by light sheet and confocal microscopy revealed impaired migration and aberrant axonal outgrowth of these neurons; suggesting that adhesive interactions mediated by MDGA2A are required for the proper arrangement and outgrowth of cranial motoneuron subtypes. PMID:25572423

  13. Subcellular patterning: axonal domains with specialized structure and function

    PubMed Central

    Normand, Elizabeth A.; Rasband, Matthew N.

    2015-01-01

    Myelinated axons are patterned into discrete and often repeating domains responsible for the efficient and rapid transmission of electrical signals. These domains include nodes of Ranvier and axon initial segments. Disruption of axonal patterning leads to nervous system dysfunction. In this review we introduce the concept of subcellular patterning as applied to axons and discuss how these patterning events depend on both intrinsic, cytoskeletal mechanisms, and extrinsic, myelinating-glia dependent mechanisms. PMID:25710532

  14. Single-axon tracing study of neurons of the external segment of the globus pallidus in primate.

    PubMed

    Sato, F; Lavallée, P; Lévesque, M; Parent, A

    2000-01-31

    Axonal projections arising from the external segment of the globus pallidus (GPe) in cynomolgus monkeys (Macaca fascicularis) were mapped after labeling small pools (5-15 cells) of neurons with biotinylated dextran amine. Seventy-six single axons were reconstructed from serial sagittal sections with a camera lucida. The majority of labeled GPe cells displayed long, aspiny, and poorly branched dendrites that arborized mostly along the sagittal plane, whereas others showed dendrites radiating in all directions. Numerous GPe axons emitted short, intranuclear collaterals that arborized close to their parent cell body. Based on their axonal targets, four distinct types of GPe projection neurons have been identified: 1) neurons that project to the internal segment of the globus pallidus (GPi), the subthalamic nucleus (STN), and the substantia nigra, pars reticulata (SNr; 13.2%); 2) neurons that target the GPi and the STN (18.4%); 3) neurons that project to the STN and the SNr (52.6%); and 4) neurons that target the striatum (15.8%). Labeled GPe axons displayed large varicosities that often were closely apposed to the somata and proximal dendrites of STN, GPi, and SNr neurons. At striatal levels, however, GPe axons displayed small axonal varicosities that did not form perineuronal nets. These results suggest that the GPe is an important integrative locus in primate basal ganglia. This nucleus harbors several subtypes of projection neurons that are endowed with a highly patterned set of collaterals. This organization allows single GPe neurons to exert a multifarious effect not only on the STN, which is the claimed GPe target, but also on the two major output structures of the basal ganglia, the SNr and the GPi.

  15. Long-range projection neurons of the mouse ventral tegmental area: a single-cell axon tracing analysis

    PubMed Central

    Aransay, Ana; Rodríguez-López, Claudia; García-Amado, María; Clascá, Francisco; Prensa, Lucía

    2015-01-01

    Pathways arising from the ventral tegmental area (VTA) release dopamine and other neurotransmitters during the expectation and achievement of reward, and are regarded as central links of the brain networks that create drive, pleasure, and addiction. While the global pattern of VTA projections is well-known, the actual axonal wiring of individual VTA neurons had never been investigated. Here, we labeled and analyzed the axons of 30 VTA single neurons by means of single-cell transfection with the Sindbis-pal-eGFP vector in mice. These observations were complemented with those obtained by labeling the axons of small populations of VTA cells with iontophoretic microdeposits of biotinylated dextran amine. In the single-cell labeling experiments, each entire axonal tree was reconstructed from serial sections, the length of terminal axonal arbors was estimated by stereology, and the dopaminergic phenotype was tested by double-labeling for tyrosine hydroxylase immunofluorescence. We observed two main, markedly different VTA cell morphologies: neurons with a single main axon targeting only forebrain structures (FPN cells), and neurons with multibranched axons targeting both the forebrain and the brainstem (F + BSPN cells). Dopaminergic phenotype was observed in FPN cells. Moreover, four “subtypes” could be distinguished among the FPN cells based on their projection targets: (1) “Mesocorticolimbic” FPN projecting to both neocortex and basal forebrain; (2) “Mesocortical” FPN innervating the neocortex almost exclusively; (3) “Mesolimbic” FPN projecting to the basal forebrain, accumbens and caudateputamen; and (4) “Mesostriatal” FPN targeting only the caudateputamen. While the F + BSPN cells were scattered within VTA, the mesolimbic neurons were abundant in the paranigral nucleus. The observed diversity in wiring architectures is consistent with the notion that different VTA cell subpopulations modulate the activity of specific sets of prosencephalic and

  16. Long-range projection neurons of the mouse ventral tegmental area: a single-cell axon tracing analysis.

    PubMed

    Aransay, Ana; Rodríguez-López, Claudia; García-Amado, María; Clascá, Francisco; Prensa, Lucía

    2015-01-01

    Pathways arising from the ventral tegmental area (VTA) release dopamine and other neurotransmitters during the expectation and achievement of reward, and are regarded as central links of the brain networks that create drive, pleasure, and addiction. While the global pattern of VTA projections is well-known, the actual axonal wiring of individual VTA neurons had never been investigated. Here, we labeled and analyzed the axons of 30 VTA single neurons by means of single-cell transfection with the Sindbis-pal-eGFP vector in mice. These observations were complemented with those obtained by labeling the axons of small populations of VTA cells with iontophoretic microdeposits of biotinylated dextran amine. In the single-cell labeling experiments, each entire axonal tree was reconstructed from serial sections, the length of terminal axonal arbors was estimated by stereology, and the dopaminergic phenotype was tested by double-labeling for tyrosine hydroxylase immunofluorescence. We observed two main, markedly different VTA cell morphologies: neurons with a single main axon targeting only forebrain structures (FPN cells), and neurons with multibranched axons targeting both the forebrain and the brainstem (F + BSPN cells). Dopaminergic phenotype was observed in FPN cells. Moreover, four "subtypes" could be distinguished among the FPN cells based on their projection targets: (1) "Mesocorticolimbic" FPN projecting to both neocortex and basal forebrain; (2) "Mesocortical" FPN innervating the neocortex almost exclusively; (3) "Mesolimbic" FPN projecting to the basal forebrain, accumbens and caudateputamen; and (4) "Mesostriatal" FPN targeting only the caudateputamen. While the F + BSPN cells were scattered within VTA, the mesolimbic neurons were abundant in the paranigral nucleus. The observed diversity in wiring architectures is consistent with the notion that different VTA cell subpopulations modulate the activity of specific sets of prosencephalic and brainstem structures.

  17. Long-range projection neurons of the mouse ventral tegmental area: a single-cell axon tracing analysis.

    PubMed

    Aransay, Ana; Rodríguez-López, Claudia; García-Amado, María; Clascá, Francisco; Prensa, Lucía

    2015-01-01

    Pathways arising from the ventral tegmental area (VTA) release dopamine and other neurotransmitters during the expectation and achievement of reward, and are regarded as central links of the brain networks that create drive, pleasure, and addiction. While the global pattern of VTA projections is well-known, the actual axonal wiring of individual VTA neurons had never been investigated. Here, we labeled and analyzed the axons of 30 VTA single neurons by means of single-cell transfection with the Sindbis-pal-eGFP vector in mice. These observations were complemented with those obtained by labeling the axons of small populations of VTA cells with iontophoretic microdeposits of biotinylated dextran amine. In the single-cell labeling experiments, each entire axonal tree was reconstructed from serial sections, the length of terminal axonal arbors was estimated by stereology, and the dopaminergic phenotype was tested by double-labeling for tyrosine hydroxylase immunofluorescence. We observed two main, markedly different VTA cell morphologies: neurons with a single main axon targeting only forebrain structures (FPN cells), and neurons with multibranched axons targeting both the forebrain and the brainstem (F + BSPN cells). Dopaminergic phenotype was observed in FPN cells. Moreover, four "subtypes" could be distinguished among the FPN cells based on their projection targets: (1) "Mesocorticolimbic" FPN projecting to both neocortex and basal forebrain; (2) "Mesocortical" FPN innervating the neocortex almost exclusively; (3) "Mesolimbic" FPN projecting to the basal forebrain, accumbens and caudateputamen; and (4) "Mesostriatal" FPN targeting only the caudateputamen. While the F + BSPN cells were scattered within VTA, the mesolimbic neurons were abundant in the paranigral nucleus. The observed diversity in wiring architectures is consistent with the notion that different VTA cell subpopulations modulate the activity of specific sets of prosencephalic and brainstem structures

  18. Mechanisms of axon degeneration: from development to disease.

    PubMed

    Saxena, Smita; Caroni, Pico

    2007-10-01

    Axon degeneration is an active, tightly controlled and versatile process of axon segment self-destruction. Although not involving cell death, it resembles apoptosis in its logics. It involves three distinct steps: induction of competence in specific neurons, triggering of degeneration at defined axon segments of competent neurons, and rapid fragmentation and removal of the segments. The mechanisms that initiate degeneration are specific to individual settings, but the final pathway of pruning is shared; it involves microtubule disassembly, axon swellings, axon fragmentation, and removal of the remnants by locally recruited phagocytes. The tight regulatory properties of axon degeneration distinguish it from passive loss phenomena, and confer significance to processes that involve it. Axon degeneration has prominent roles in development, upon lesions and in disease. In development, it couples the progressive specification of neurons and circuits to the removal of defined axon branches. Competence might involve transcriptional switches, and local triggering can involve axon guidance molecules and synaptic activity patterns. Lesion-induced Wallerian degeneration is inhibited in the presence of Wld(S) fusion protein in neurons; it involves early local, and later, distal degeneration. It has recently become clear that like in other settings, axon degeneration in disease is a rapid and specific process, which should not be confused with a variety of disease-related pathologies. Elucidating the specific mechanisms that initiate axon degeneration should open up new avenues to investigate principles of circuit assembly and plasticity, to uncover mechanisms of disease progression, and to identify ways of protecting synapses and axons in disease.

  19. Mechanosensitivity in axon growth and guidance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Urbach, Jeff

    2013-03-01

    In the developing nervous system, axons respond to a diverse array of cues to generate the intricate connection network required for proper function. The growth cone, a highly motile structure at the tip of a growing axon, integrates information about the local environment and modulates outgrowth and guidance, but little is known about effects of external mechanical cues and internal mechanical forces on growth cone behavior. We have investigated axon outgrowth and force generation on soft elastic substrates for dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons (from the peripheral nervous system) and hippocampal neurons (from the central) to see how the mechanics of the microenvironment affect different populations. We find that force generation and stiffness-dependent outgrowth are strongly dependent on cell type. We also observe very different internal dynamics and substrate coupling in the two populations, suggesting that the difference in force generation is due to stronger adhesions and therefore stronger substrate engagement in the peripheral nervous system neurons. We will discuss the biological origins of these differences, and recent analyses of the dynamic aspects of growth cone force generation and the implications for the role of mechanosensitivity in axon guidance. In collaboration with D. Koch, W. Rosoff, and H. M. Geller. Supported by NINDS grant 1R01NS064250-01 (J.S.U.) and the NHLBI Intramural Research Program (H.M.G.).

  20. Spatial temperature gradients guide axonal outgrowth.

    PubMed

    Black, Bryan; Vishwakarma, Vivek; Dhakal, Kamal; Bhattarai, Samik; Pradhan, Prabhakar; Jain, Ankur; Kim, Young-Tae; Mohanty, Samarendra

    2016-01-01

    Formation of neural networks during development and regeneration after injury depends on accuracy of axonal pathfinding, which is primarily believed to be influenced by chemical cues. Recently, there is growing evidence that physical cues can play crucial role in axonal guidance. However, detailed mechanism involved in such guidance cues is lacking. By using weakly-focused near-infrared continuous wave (CW) laser microbeam in the path of an advancing axon, we discovered that the beam acts as a repulsive guidance cue. Here, we report that this highly-effective at-a-distance guidance is the result of a temperature field produced by the near-infrared laser light absorption. Since light absorption by extracellular medium increases when the laser wavelength was red shifted, the threshold laser power for reliable guidance was significantly lower in the near-infrared as compared to the visible spectrum. The spatial temperature gradient caused by the near-infrared laser beam at-a-distance was found to activate temperature-sensitive membrane receptors, resulting in an influx of calcium. The repulsive guidance effect was significantly reduced when extracellular calcium was depleted or in the presence of TRPV1-antagonist. Further, direct heating using micro-heater confirmed that the axonal guidance is caused by shallow temperature-gradient, eliminating the role of any non-photothermal effects. PMID:27460512

  1. Ribosomes in the squid giant axon.

    PubMed

    Bleher, R; Martin, R

    2001-01-01

    Ribosome clusters, referred to as endoaxoplasmic plaques, were documented and quantitatively analyzed in the squid giant axon at the light and electron microscopic levels. The methods included nonspecific high affinity fluorescence staining of RNA by YOYO-1, specific immunofluorescence labeling of ribosomal RNA, electron energy loss spectroscopic mapping of ribosomal phosphorus, and conventional transmission electron microscopy. The endoaxoplasmic plaques were sharply defined, oval in shape, and less than 2 microm in diameter. While they were very numerous in the postsynaptic axonal area of the giant synapse, the frequency of occurrence was much lower in the peripheral giant axon, with a density of about 1 plaque/1000 microm3. Their distribution was random within axoplasm, with no preferential localization near the membrane. The several thousand ribosomes in a plaque usually were not membrane bound, but vesicular structures were observed in or near plaques; plaques were often surrounded by mitochondria. We conclude that ribosomes, a requisite machinery for protein synthesis, are present in the squid giant axon in discrete configurations.

  2. Early cellular signaling responses to axonal injury

    PubMed Central

    Lukas, Thomas J; Wang, Ai Ling; Yuan, Ming; Neufeld, Arthur H

    2009-01-01

    Background We have used optic nerve injury as a model to study early signaling events in neuronal tissue following axonal injury. Optic nerve injury results in the selective death of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs). The time course of cell death takes place over a period of days with the earliest detection of RGC death at about 48 hr post injury. We hypothesized that in the period immediately following axonal injury, there are changes in the soma that signal surrounding glia and neurons and that start programmed cell death. In the current study, we investigated early changes in cellular signaling and gene expression that occur within the first 6 hrs post optic nerve injury. Results We found evidence of cell to cell signaling within 30 min of axonal injury. We detected differences in phosphoproteins and gene expression within the 6 hrs time period. Activation of TNFα and glutamate receptors, two pathways that can initiate cell death, begins in RGCs within 6 hrs following axonal injury. Differential gene expression at 6 hrs post injury included genes involved in cytokine, neurotrophic factor signaling (Socs3) and apoptosis (Bax). Conclusion We interpret our studies to indicate that both neurons and glia in the retina have been signaled within 30 min after optic nerve injury. The signals are probably initiated by the RGC soma. In addition, signals activating cellular death pathways occur within 6 hrs of injury, which likely lead to RGC degeneration. PMID:19284657

  3. Spatial temperature gradients guide axonal outgrowth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Black, Bryan; Vishwakarma, Vivek; Dhakal, Kamal; Bhattarai, Samik; Pradhan, Prabhakar; Jain, Ankur; Kim, Young-Tae; Mohanty, Samarendra

    2016-07-01

    Formation of neural networks during development and regeneration after injury depends on accuracy of axonal pathfinding, which is primarily believed to be influenced by chemical cues. Recently, there is growing evidence that physical cues can play crucial role in axonal guidance. However, detailed mechanism involved in such guidance cues is lacking. By using weakly-focused near-infrared continuous wave (CW) laser microbeam in the path of an advancing axon, we discovered that the beam acts as a repulsive guidance cue. Here, we report that this highly-effective at-a-distance guidance is the result of a temperature field produced by the near-infrared laser light absorption. Since light absorption by extracellular medium increases when the laser wavelength was red shifted, the threshold laser power for reliable guidance was significantly lower in the near-infrared as compared to the visible spectrum. The spatial temperature gradient caused by the near-infrared laser beam at-a-distance was found to activate temperature-sensitive membrane receptors, resulting in an influx of calcium. The repulsive guidance effect was significantly reduced when extracellular calcium was depleted or in the presence of TRPV1-antagonist. Further, direct heating using micro-heater confirmed that the axonal guidance is caused by shallow temperature-gradient, eliminating the role of any non-photothermal effects.

  4. Spatial temperature gradients guide axonal outgrowth

    PubMed Central

    Black, Bryan; Vishwakarma, Vivek; Dhakal, Kamal; Bhattarai, Samik; Pradhan, Prabhakar; Jain, Ankur; Kim, Young-tae; Mohanty, Samarendra

    2016-01-01

    Formation of neural networks during development and regeneration after injury depends on accuracy of axonal pathfinding, which is primarily believed to be influenced by chemical cues. Recently, there is growing evidence that physical cues can play crucial role in axonal guidance. However, detailed mechanism involved in such guidance cues is lacking. By using weakly-focused near-infrared continuous wave (CW) laser microbeam in the path of an advancing axon, we discovered that the beam acts as a repulsive guidance cue. Here, we report that this highly-effective at-a-distance guidance is the result of a temperature field produced by the near-infrared laser light absorption. Since light absorption by extracellular medium increases when the laser wavelength was red shifted, the threshold laser power for reliable guidance was significantly lower in the near-infrared as compared to the visible spectrum. The spatial temperature gradient caused by the near-infrared laser beam at-a-distance was found to activate temperature-sensitive membrane receptors, resulting in an influx of calcium. The repulsive guidance effect was significantly reduced when extracellular calcium was depleted or in the presence of TRPV1-antagonist. Further, direct heating using micro-heater confirmed that the axonal guidance is caused by shallow temperature-gradient, eliminating the role of any non-photothermal effects. PMID:27460512

  5. Patch voltage clamp of squid axon membrane.

    PubMed

    Fishman, H M

    1975-12-01

    A small area (patch) of the external surface of a squid axon can be "isolated" electrically from the surrounding bath by means of a pair of concentric glass pipettes. The seawater-filled inner pipette makes contact with the axon and constitutes the external access to the patch. The outer pipette is used to direct flowing sucrose solution over the area surrounding the patch of membrane underlying the inner pipette. Typically, sucrose isolated patches remain in good condition (spike amplitude greater than 90 mV) for periods of approximately one half hour. Patches of axon membrane which had previously been exposed to sucrose solution were often excitable. Membrane survival of sucrose treatment apparently arises from an outflow of ions from the axon and perhaps satellite cells into the interstitial cell space surrounding the exolemma. Estimate of the total access resistance (electrode plus series resistance) to the patch is about 100 komega (7 omega cm2). Patch capacitance ranges from 10-100 pF, which suggests areas of 10(-4) to 10(-5) cm2 and resting patch resistances of 10-100 Momega. Shunt resistance through the interstitial space exposed to sucrose solution, which isolates the patch, is typically 1-2 Momega. These parameters indicate that good potential control and response times can be achieved on a patch. Furthermore, spatial uniformity is demonstrated by measurement of an exoplasmic isopotential during voltage clamp of an axon patch. The method may be useful for other preparations in which limited membrane area is available or in special instances such as in the measurement of membrane conduction noise. PMID:1214276

  6. AxonQuant: A Microfluidic Chamber Culture-Coupled Algorithm That Allows High-Throughput Quantification of Axonal Damage

    PubMed Central

    Li, Yang; Yang, Mengxue; Huang, Zhuo; Chen, Xiaoping; Maloney, Michael T.; Zhu, Li; Liu, Jianghong; Yang, Yanmin; Du, Sidan; Jiang, Xingyu; Wu, Jane Y.

    2014-01-01

    Published methods for imaging and quantitatively analyzing morphological changes in neuronal axons have serious limitations because of their small sample sizes, and their time-consuming and nonobjective nature. Here we present an improved microfluidic chamber design suitable for fast and high-throughput imaging of neuronal axons. We developed the Axon-Quant algorithm, which is suitable for automatic processing of axonal imaging data. This microfluidic chamber-coupled algorithm allows calculation of an ‘axonal continuity index’ that quantitatively measures axonal health status in a manner independent of neuronal or axonal density. This method allows quantitative analysis of axonal morphology in an automatic and nonbiased manner. Our method will facilitate large-scale high-throughput screening for genes or therapeutic compounds for neurodegenerative diseases involving axonal damage. When combined with imaging technologies utilizing different gene markers, this method will provide new insights into the mechanistic basis for axon degeneration. Our microfluidic chamber culture-coupled AxonQuant algorithm will be widely useful for studying axonal biology and neurodegenerative disorders. PMID:24603552

  7. Oxidative damage to mitochondria at the nodes of Ranvier precedes axon degeneration in ex vivo transected axons.

    PubMed

    Bros, Helena; Millward, Jason M; Paul, Friedemann; Niesner, Raluca; Infante-Duarte, Carmen

    2014-11-01

    Oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction appear to contribute to axon degeneration in numerous neurological disorders. However, how these two processes interact to cause axonal damage-and how this damage is initiated-remains unclear. In this study we used transected motor axons from murine peripheral roots to investigate whether oxidative stress alters mitochondrial dynamics in myelinated axons. We show that the nodes of Ranvier are the initial sites of mitochondrial damage induced by oxidative stress. There, mitochondria became depolarized, followed by alterations of the external morphology and disruption of the cristae, along with reduced mitochondrial transport. These mitochondrial changes expanded from the nodes of Ranvier bidirectionally towards both internodes and eventually affected the entire mitochondrial population in the axon. Supplementing axonal bioenergetics by applying nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide and methyl pyruvate, rendered the mitochondria at the nodes of Ranvier resistant to these oxidative stress-induced changes. Importantly, this inhibition of mitochondrial damage protected the axons from degeneration. In conclusion, we present a novel ex vivo approach for monitoring mitochondrial dynamics within axons, which proved suitable for detecting mitochondrial changes upon exogenous application of oxidative stress. Our results indicate that the nodes of Ranvier are the site of initial mitochondrial damage in peripheral axons, and suggest that dysregulation of axonal bioenergetics plays a critical role in oxidative stress-triggered mitochondrial alterations and subsequent axonal injury. These novel insights into the mechanisms underlying axon degeneration may have implications for neurological disorders with a degenerative component.

  8. Axon growth inhibition by RhoA/ROCK in the central nervous system

    PubMed Central

    Fujita, Yuki; Yamashita, Toshihide

    2014-01-01

    Rho kinase (ROCK) is a serine/threonine kinase and a downstream target of the small GTPase Rho. The RhoA/ROCK pathway is associated with various neuronal functions such as migration, dendrite development, and axonal extension. Evidence from animal studies reveals that RhoA/ROCK signaling is involved in various central nervous system (CNS) diseases, including optic nerve and spinal cord injuries, stroke, and neurodegenerative diseases. Given that RhoA/ROCK plays a critical role in the pathophysiology of CNS diseases, the development of therapeutic agents targeting this pathway is expected to contribute to the treatment of CNS diseases. The RhoA/ROCK pathway mediates the effects of myelin-associated axon growth inhibitors—Nogo, myelin-associated glycoprotein (MAG), oligodendrocyte-myelin glycoprotein (OMgp), and repulsive guidance molecule (RGM). Blocking RhoA/ROCK signaling can reverse the inhibitory effects of these molecules on axon outgrowth, and promotes axonal sprouting and functional recovery in animal models of CNS injury. To date, several RhoA/ROCK inhibitors have been under development or in clinical trials as therapeutic agents for neurological disorders. In this review, we focus on the RhoA/ROCK signaling pathway in neurological disorders. We also discuss the potential therapeutic approaches of RhoA/ROCK inhibitors for various neurological disorders. PMID:25374504

  9. Axon growth inhibition by RhoA/ROCK in the central nervous system.

    PubMed

    Fujita, Yuki; Yamashita, Toshihide

    2014-01-01

    Rho kinase (ROCK) is a serine/threonine kinase and a downstream target of the small GTPase Rho. The RhoA/ROCK pathway is associated with various neuronal functions such as migration, dendrite development, and axonal extension. Evidence from animal studies reveals that RhoA/ROCK signaling is involved in various central nervous system (CNS) diseases, including optic nerve and spinal cord injuries, stroke, and neurodegenerative diseases. Given that RhoA/ROCK plays a critical role in the pathophysiology of CNS diseases, the development of therapeutic agents targeting this pathway is expected to contribute to the treatment of CNS diseases. The RhoA/ROCK pathway mediates the effects of myelin-associated axon growth inhibitors-Nogo, myelin-associated glycoprotein (MAG), oligodendrocyte-myelin glycoprotein (OMgp), and repulsive guidance molecule (RGM). Blocking RhoA/ROCK signaling can reverse the inhibitory effects of these molecules on axon outgrowth, and promotes axonal sprouting and functional recovery in animal models of CNS injury. To date, several RhoA/ROCK inhibitors have been under development or in clinical trials as therapeutic agents for neurological disorders. In this review, we focus on the RhoA/ROCK signaling pathway in neurological disorders. We also discuss the potential therapeutic approaches of RhoA/ROCK inhibitors for various neurological disorders.

  10. Preserve and protect: maintaining axons within functional circuits.

    PubMed

    Pease, Sarah E; Segal, Rosalind A

    2014-10-01

    During development, neural circuits are initially generated by exuberant innervation and are rapidly refined by selective preservation and elimination of axons. The establishment and maintenance of functional circuits therefore requires coordination of axon survival and degeneration pathways. Both developing and mature circuits rely on interdependent mitochondrial and cytoskeletal components to maintain axonal health and homeostasis; injury or diseases that impinge on these components frequently cause pathologic axon loss. Here, we review recent findings that identify mechanisms of axonal preservation in the contexts of development, injury, and disease. PMID:25167775

  11. The formation of axonal caliber and nodes of Ranvier

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Yinyun; Jung, Peter; Brown, Anthony

    2013-03-01

    A remarkable feature of myelinated neurons is that their axons are constricted at the nodes of Ranvier. These are the locations where axons are directly exposed to the extracellular space and where the vast majority of the ion channels are located. These constrictions emerge during development and have been observed to reduce axonal cross sectional area by factors of more than 10. Combining fluorescent imaging methods with computational modeling, we describe how the nervous system regulates the local caliber of its axons through the regulation of the transport kinetics of its most important cytoskeletal elements, the neurofilaments, matching axon caliber and shape to its physiologic function. National Science Foundation IOS 1146789

  12. Knockdown of Ephrin-A5 Expression by 40% Does not Affect Motor Axon Growth or Migration into the Chick Hindlimb

    PubMed Central

    Winning, Robert S.; Krull, Catherine E.

    2011-01-01

    Bidirectional signaling between Eph receptor tyrosine kinases and their cell-surface protein signals, the ephrins, comprises one mechanism for guiding motor axons to their proper targets. During projection of motor axons from the lateral motor column (LMC) motor neurons of the spinal cord to the hindlimb muscles in chick embryos, ephrin-A5 has been shown to be expressed in the LMC motor axons until they reach the base of the limb bud and initiate sorting into their presumptive dorsal and ventral nerve trunks, at which point expression is extinguished. We tested the hypothesis that this dynamic pattern of ephrin-A5 expression in LMC motor axons is important for the growth and guidance of the axons to, and into, the hindlimb by knocking down endogenous ephrin-A5 expression in the motor neurons and their axons. No perturbation of LMC motor axon projections was observed in response to this treatment, suggesting that ephrin-A5 is not needed for LMC motor axon growth or guidance. PMID:22272077

  13. The role of stretching in slow axonal transport.

    PubMed

    O'Toole, Matthew; Miller, Kyle E

    2011-01-19

    Axonal stretching is linked to rapid rates of axonal elongation. Yet the impact of stretching on elongation and slow axonal transport is unclear. Here, we develop a mathematical model of slow axonal transport that incorporates the rate of axonal elongation, protein half-life, protein density, adhesion strength, and axonal viscosity to quantify the effects of axonal stretching. We find that under conditions where the axon (or nerve) is free of a substrate and lengthens at rapid rates (>4 mm day⁻¹), stretching can account for almost 50% of total anterograde axonal transport. These results suggest that it is possible to accelerate elongation and transport simultaneously by increasing either the axon's susceptibility to stretching or the forces that induce stretching. To our knowledge, this work is the first to incorporate the effects of stretching in a model of slow axonal transport. It has relevance to our understanding of neurite outgrowth during development and peripheral nerve regeneration after trauma, and hence to the development of treatments for spinal cord injury.

  14. Dynamic Axonal Translation in Developing and Mature Visual Circuits.

    PubMed

    Shigeoka, Toshiaki; Jung, Hosung; Jung, Jane; Turner-Bridger, Benita; Ohk, Jiyeon; Lin, Julie Qiaojin; Amieux, Paul S; Holt, Christine E

    2016-06-30

    Local mRNA translation mediates the adaptive responses of axons to extrinsic signals, but direct evidence that it occurs in mammalian CNS axons in vivo is scant. We developed an axon-TRAP-RiboTag approach in mouse that allows deep-sequencing analysis of ribosome-bound mRNAs in the retinal ganglion cell axons of the developing and adult retinotectal projection in vivo. The embryonic-to-postnatal axonal translatome comprises an evolving subset of enriched genes with axon-specific roles, suggesting distinct steps in axon wiring, such as elongation, pruning, and synaptogenesis. Adult axons, remarkably, have a complex translatome with strong links to axon survival, neurotransmission, and neurodegenerative disease. Translationally co-regulated mRNA subsets share common upstream regulators, and sequence elements generated by alternative splicing promote axonal mRNA translation. Our results indicate that intricate regulation of compartment-specific mRNA translation in mammalian CNS axons supports the formation and maintenance of neural circuits in vivo. PMID:27321671

  15. Functional recovery of callosal axons following demyelination: a critical window.

    PubMed

    Crawford, D K; Mangiardi, M; Xia, X; López-Valdés, H E; Tiwari-Woodruff, S K

    2009-12-29

    Axonal dysfunction as a result of persistent demyelination has been increasingly appreciated as a cause of functional deficit in demyelinating diseases such as multiple sclerosis. Therefore, it is crucial to understand the ultimate causes of ongoing axonal dysfunction and find effective measures to prevent axon loss. Our findings related to functional deficit and functional recovery of axons from a demyelinating insult are important preliminary steps towards understanding this issue. Cuprizone diet for 3-6 wks triggered extensive corpus callosum (CC) demyelination, reduced axon conduction, and resulted in loss of axon structural integrity including nodes of Ranvier. Replacing cuprizone diet with normal diet led to regeneration of myelin, but did not fully reverse the conduction and structural deficits. A shorter 1.5 wk cuprizone diet also caused demyelination of the CC, with minimal loss of axon structure and nodal organization. Switching to normal diet led to remyelination and restored callosal axon conduction to normal levels. Our findings suggest the existence of a critical window of time for remyelination, beyond which demyelinated axons become damaged beyond the point of repair and permanent functional loss follows. Moreover, initiating remyelination early within the critical period, before prolonged demyelination-induced axon damage ensues, will improve functional axon recovery and inhibit disease progression. PMID:19800949

  16. Motor and dorsal root ganglion axons serve as choice points for the ipsilateral turning of dI3 axons.

    PubMed

    Avraham, Oshri; Hadas, Yoav; Vald, Lilach; Hong, Seulgi; Song, Mi-Ryoung; Klar, Avihu

    2010-11-17

    The axons of the spinal intersegmental interneurons are projected longitudinally along various funiculi arrayed along the dorsal-ventral axis of the spinal cord. The roof plate and the floor plate have a profound role in patterning their initial axonal trajectory. However, other positional cues may guide the final architecture of interneuron tracks in the spinal cord. To gain more insight into the organization of specific axonal tracks in the spinal cord, we focused on the trajectory pattern of a genetically defined neuronal population, dI3 neurons, in the chick spinal cord. Exploitation of newly characterized enhancer elements allowed specific labeling of dI3 neurons and axons. dI3 axons are projected ipsilaterally along two longitudinal fascicules at the ventral lateral funiculus (VLF) and the dorsal funiculus (DF). dI3 axons change their trajectory plane from the transverse to the longitudinal axis at two novel checkpoints. The axons that elongate at the DF turn at the dorsal root entry zone, along the axons of the dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons, and the axons that elongate at the VLF turn along the axons of motor neurons. Loss and gain of function of the Lim-HD protein Isl1 demonstrate that Isl1 is not required for dI3 cell fate. However, Isl1 is sufficient to impose ipsilateral turning along the motor axons when expressed ectopically in the commissural dI1 neurons. The axonal patterning of dI3 neurons, revealed in this study, highlights the role of established axonal cues-the DRG and motor axons-as intermediate guidepost cues for dI3 axons.

  17. Transport of cytoskeletal elements in the squid giant axon.

    PubMed Central

    Terasaki, M; Schmidek, A; Galbraith, J A; Gallant, P E; Reese, T S

    1995-01-01

    In order to explore how cytoskeletal proteins are moved by axonal transport, we injected fluorescent microtubules and actin filaments as well as exogenous particulates into squid giant axons and observed their movements by confocal microscopy. The squid giant axon is large enough to allow even cytoskeletal assemblies to be injected without damaging the axon or its transport mechanisms. Negatively charged, 10- to 500-nm beads and large dextrans moved down the axon, whereas small (70 kDa) dextrans diffused in all directions and 1000-nm beads did not move. Only particles with negative charge were transported. Microtubules and actin filaments, which have net negative charges, made saltatory movements down the axon, resulting in a net rate approximating that previously shown for slow transport of cytoskeletal elements. The present observations suggest that particle size and charge determine which materials are transported down the axon. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 3 PMID:8524791

  18. Transport of cytoskeletal elements in the squid giant axon.

    PubMed

    Terasaki, M; Schmidek, A; Galbraith, J A; Gallant, P E; Reese, T S

    1995-12-01

    In order to explore how cytoskeletal proteins are moved by axonal transport, we injected fluorescent microtubules and actin filaments as well as exogenous particulates into squid giant axons and observed their movements by confocal microscopy. The squid giant axon is large enough to allow even cytoskeletal assemblies to be injected without damaging the axon or its transport mechanisms. Negatively charged, 10- to 500-nm beads and large dextrans moved down the axon, whereas small (70 kDa) dextrans diffused in all directions and 1000-nm beads did not move. Only particles with negative charge were transported. Microtubules and actin filaments, which have net negative charges, made saltatory movements down the axon, resulting in a net rate approximating that previously shown for slow transport of cytoskeletal elements. The present observations suggest that particle size and charge determine which materials are transported down the axon.

  19. Quantitative analysis of axon bouton distribution of subthalamic nucleus neurons in the rat by single neuron visualization with a viral vector.

    PubMed

    Koshimizu, Yoshinori; Fujiyama, Fumino; Nakamura, Kouichi C; Furuta, Takahiro; Kaneko, Takeshi

    2013-06-15

    The subthalamic nucleus (STN) of the basal ganglia plays a key role in motor control, and STN efferents are known to mainly target the external segment of the globus pallidus (GPe), entopeduncular nucleus (Ep), and substantia nigra (SN) with some axon collaterals to the other regions. However, it remains to be clarified how each STN neuron projects axon fibers and collaterals to those target nuclei of the STN. Here we visualized the whole axonal arborization of single STN neurons in the rat brain by using a viral vector expressing membrane-targeted green fluorescent protein, and examined the distribution of axon boutons in those target nuclei. The vast majority (8-9) of 10 reconstructed STN neurons projected to the GPe, SN, caudate-putamen (CPu), and Ep, which received, on average ± SD, 457 ± 425, 400 ± 347, 126 ± 143, and 106 ± 100 axon boutons per STN neuron, respectively. Furthermore, the density of axon boutons in the GPe was highest among these nuclei. Although these target nuclei were divided into calbindin-rich and -poor portions, STN projection showed no exclusive preference for those portions. Since STN neurons mainly projected not only to the GPe, SN, and Ep but also to the CPu, the subthalamostriatal projection might serve as a positive feedback path for the striato-GPe-subthalamic disinhibitory pathway, or work as another route of cortical inputs to the striatum through the corticosubthalamostriatal disynaptic excitatory pathway.

  20. The TC10-exo70 complex is essential for membrane expansion and axonal specification in developing neurons

    PubMed Central

    Dupraz, Sebastián; Grassi, Diego; Bernis, María Eugenia; Sosa, Lucas; Bisbal, Mariano; Gastaldi, Laura; Jausoro, Ignacio; Cáceres, Alfredo; Pfenninger, Karl H.; Quiroga, Santiago

    2009-01-01

    Axonal elongation is one of the hallmarks of neuronal polarization. This phenomenon requires axonal membrane growth by exocytosis of plasmalemmal precursor vesicles (PPVs) at the nerve growth cone, a process regulated by IGF-1 activation of the PI3k pathway. Few details are known, however, about the targeting mechanisms for PPVs. Here we show, in cultured hippocampal pyramidal neurons and growth cones isolated from fetal rat brain, that IGF-1 activates the GTP-binding protein TC10, which triggers translocation to the plasma membrane of the exocyst component exo70 in the distal axon and growth cone. We also show that TC10 and exo70 function are necessary for addition of new membrane and, thus, axon elongation stimulated by IGF-1. Moreover, expression silencing of either TC10 or exo70 inhibit the establishment of neuronal polarity by hindering the insertion of IGF-1 receptor in one of the undifferentiated neurites. We conclude that, in hippocampal pyramidal neurons in culture, (i) membrane expansion at the axonal growth cone is regulated by IGF-1 via a cascade involving TC10 and the exocyst complex, (ii) TC10 and exo70 are essential for the polarized externalization of IGF-1 receptor, and (iii) this process is necessary for axon specification. PMID:19846717

  1. Cytoskeletal disruption activates the DLK/JNK pathway, which promotes axonal regeneration and mimics a preconditioning injury

    PubMed Central

    Valakh, Vera; Frey, Erin; Babetto, Elisabetta; Walker, Lauren J; DiAntonio, Aaron

    2015-01-01

    Nerve injury can lead to axonal regeneration, axonal degeneration, and/or neuronal cell death. Remarkably, the MAP3K dual leucine zipper kinase, DLK, promotes each of these responses, suggesting that DLK is a sensor of axon injury. In Drosophila, mutations in proteins that stabilize the actin and microtubule cytoskeletons activate the DLK pathway, suggesting that DLK may be activated by cytoskeletal disruption. Here we test this model in mammalian sensory neurons. We find that pharmacological agents designed to disrupt either the actin or microtubule cytoskeleton activate the DLK pathway, and that activation is independent of calcium influx or induction of the axon degeneration program. Moreover, activation of the DLK pathway by targeting the cytoskeleton induces a pro-regenerative state, enhancing axon regeneration in response to a subsequent injury in a process akin to preconditioning. This highlights the potential utility of activating the DLK pathway as a method to improve axon regeneration. Moreover, DLK is required for these responses to cytoskeletal perturbations, suggesting that DLK functions as a key neuronal sensor of cytoskeletal damage. PMID:25726747

  2. Identification of 12/15-lipoxygenase as a regulator of axon degeneration through high-content screening.

    PubMed

    Rudhard, York; Sengupta Ghosh, Arundhati; Lippert, Beatrix; Böcker, Alexander; Pedaran, Mehdi; Krämer, Joachim; Ngu, Hai; Foreman, Oded; Liu, Yichin; Lewcock, Joseph W

    2015-02-18

    Axon degeneration is a programed process that takes place during development, in response to neuronal injury, and as a component of neurodegenerative disease pathology, yet the molecular mechanisms that drive this process remain poorly defined. In this study, we have developed a semi-automated, 384-well format axon degeneration assay in rat dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons using a trophic factor withdrawal paradigm. Using this setup, we have screened a library of known drugs and bioactives to identify several previously unappreciated regulators of axon degeneration, including lipoxygenases. Multiple structurally distinct lipoxygenase inhibitors as well as mouse DRG neurons lacking expression of 12/15-lipoxygenase display protection of axons in this context. Retinal ganglion cell axons from 12/15-lipoxygenase-null mice were similarly protected from degeneration following nerve crush injury. Through additional mechanistic studies, we demonstrate that lipoxygenases act cell autonomously within neurons to regulate degeneration, and are required for mitochondrial permeabilization and caspase activation in the axon. These findings suggest that these enzymes may represent an attractive target for treatment of neuropathies and provide a potential mechanism for the neuroprotection observed in various settings following lipoxygenase inhibitor treatment. PMID:25698732

  3. Peripheral Glia Have a Pivotal Role in the Initial Response to Axon Degeneration of Peripheral Sensory Neurons in Zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Pope, Holly M.; Voigt, Mark M.

    2014-01-01

    Axon degeneration is a feature of many peripheral neuropathies. Understanding the organismal response to this degeneration may aid in identifying new therapeutic targets for treatment. Using a transgenic zebrafish line expressing a bacterial nitroreductase (Ntr)/mCherry fusion protein in the peripheral sensory neurons of the V, VII, IX, and X cranial nerves, we were able to induce and visualize the pathology of axon degeneration in vivo. Exposure of 4 days post fertilization Ntr larvae to the prodrug metronidazole (Met), which Ntr metabolizes into cytotoxic metabolites, resulted in dose-dependent cell death and axon degeneration. This was limited to the Ntr-expressing sensory neurons, as neighboring glia and motor axons were unaffected. Cell death was rapid, becoming apparent 3–4 hours after Met treatment, and was followed by phagocytosis of soma and axon debris by cells within the nerves and ganglia beginning at 4–5 hours of exposure. Although neutrophils appear to be activated in response to the degenerating neurons, they did not accumulate at the sites of degeneration. In contrast, macrophages were found to be attracted to the sites of the degenerating axons, where they phagocytosed debris. We demonstrated that peripheral glia are critical for both the phagocytosis and inflammatory response to degenerating neurons: mutants that lack all peripheral glia (foxD3−/−; Ntr) exhibit a much reduced reaction to axonal degeneration, resulting in a dramatic decrease in the clearance of debris, and impaired macrophage recruitment. Overall, these results show that this zebrafish model of peripheral sensory axon degeneration exhibits many aspects common to peripheral neuropathies and that peripheral glia play an important role in the initial response to this process. PMID:25058656

  4. B-RAF kinase drives developmental axon growth and promotes axon regeneration in the injured mature CNS

    PubMed Central

    O’Donovan, Kevin J.; Ma, Kaijie; Guo, Hengchang; Wang, Chen; Sun, Fang; Han, Seung Baek; Kim, Hyukmin; Wong, Jamie K.; Charron, Jean; Zou, Hongyan; Son, Young-Jin; He, Zhigang

    2014-01-01

    Activation of intrinsic growth programs that promote developmental axon growth may also facilitate axon regeneration in injured adult neurons. Here, we demonstrate that conditional activation of B-RAF kinase alone in mouse embryonic neurons is sufficient to drive the growth of long-range peripheral sensory axon projections in vivo in the absence of upstream neurotrophin signaling. We further show that activated B-RAF signaling enables robust regenerative growth of sensory axons into the spinal cord after a dorsal root crush as well as substantial axon regrowth in the crush-lesioned optic nerve. Finally, the combination of B-RAF gain-of-function and PTEN loss-of-function promotes optic nerve axon extension beyond what would be predicted for a simple additive effect. We conclude that cell-intrinsic RAF signaling is a crucial pathway promoting developmental and regenerative axon growth in the peripheral and central nervous systems. PMID:24733831

  5. Electrogenic Tuning of the Axon Initial Segment

    PubMed Central

    Clark, Brian D.; Goldberg, Ethan M.; Rudy, Bernardo

    2010-01-01

    Action potentials (APs) provide the primary means of rapid information transfer in the nervous system. Where exactly these signals are initiated in neurons has been a basic question in neurobiology and the subject of extensive study. Converging lines of evidence indicate that APs are initiated in a discrete and highly specialized portion of the axon—the axon initial segment (AIS). The authors review key aspects of the organization and function of the AIS and focus on recent work that has provided important insights into its electrical signaling properties. In addition to its main role in AP initiation, the new findings suggest that the AIS is also a site of complex AP modulation by specific types of ion channels localized to this axonal domain. PMID:20007821

  6. Multifunctional Silk Nerve Guides for Axon Outgrowth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tupaj, Marie C.

    Peripheral nerve regeneration is a critical issue as 2.8% of trauma patients present with this type of injury, estimating a total of 200,000 nerve repair procedures yearly in the United States. While the peripheral nervous system exhibits slow regeneration, at a rate of 0.5 mm -- 9 mm/day following trauma, this regenerative ability is only possible under certain conditions. Clinical repairs have changed slightly in the last 30 years and standard methods of treatment include suturing damaged nerve ends, allografting, and autografting, with the autograft the gold standard of these approaches. Unfortunately, the use of autografts requires a second surgery and there is a shortage of nerves available for grafting. Allografts are a second option however allografts have lower success rates and are accompanied by the need of immunosuppressant drugs. Recently there has been a focus on developing nerve guides as an "off the shelf" approach. Although some natural and synthetic guidance channels have been approved by the FDA, these nerve guides are unfunctionalized and repair only short gaps, less than 3 cm in length. The goal of this project was to identify strategies for functionalizing peripheral nerve conduits for the outgrowth of neuron axons in vitro . To accomplish this, two strategies (bioelectrical and biophysical) were indentified for increasing axon outgrowth and promoting axon guidance. Bioelectrical strategies exploited electrical stimulation for increasing neurite outgrowth. Biophysical strategies tested a range of surface topographies for axon guidance. Novel methods were developed for integrating electrical and biophysical strategies into silk films in 2D. Finally, a functionalized nerve conduit system was developed that integrated all strategies for the purpose of attaching, elongating, and guiding nervous tissue in vitro. Future directions of this work include silk conduit translation into a rat sciatic nerve model in vivo for the purpose of repairing long

  7. Changes in Neurofilament and Microtubule Distribution following Focal Axon Compression

    PubMed Central

    Fournier, Adam J.; Hogan, James D.; Rajbhandari, Labchan; Shrestha, Shiva; Venkatesan, Arun; Ramesh, K. T.

    2015-01-01

    Although a number of cytoskeletal derangements have been described in the setting of traumatic axonal injury (TAI), little is known of early structural changes that may serve to initiate a cascade of further axonal degeneration. Recent work by the authors has examined conformational changes in cytoskeletal constituents of neuronal axons undergoing traumatic axonal injury (TAI) following focal compression through confocal imaging data taken in vitro and in situ. The present study uses electron microscopy to understand and quantify in vitro alterations in the ultrastructural composition of microtubules and neurofilaments within neuronal axons of rats following focal compression. Standard transmission electron microscopy processing methods are used to identify microtubules, while neurofilament identification is performed using antibody labeling through gold nanoparticles. The number, density, and spacing of microtubules and neurofilaments are quantified for specimens in sham Control and Crushed groups with fixation at <1min following load. Our results indicate that the axon caliber dependency known to exist for microtubule and neurofilament metrics extends to axons undergoing TAI, with the exception of neurofilament spacing, which appears to remain constant across all Crushed axon diameters. Confidence interval comparisons between Control and Crushed cytoskeletal measures suggests early changes in the neurofilament spatial distributions within axons undergoing TAI may precede microtubule changes in response to applied loads. This may serve as a trigger for further secondary damage to the axon, representing a key insight into the temporal aspects of cytoskeletal degeneration at the component level, and suggests the rapid removal of neurofilament sidearms as one possible mechanism. PMID:26111004

  8. Fast axonal transport of kinesin in the rat visual system: functionality of kinesin heavy chain isoforms.

    PubMed Central

    Elluru, R G; Bloom, G S; Brady, S T

    1995-01-01

    The mechanochemical ATPase kinesin is thought to move membrane-bounded organelles along microtubules in fast axonal transport. However, fast transport includes several classes of organelles moving at rates that differ by an order of magnitude. Further, the fact that cytoplasmic forms of kinesin exist suggests that kinesins might move cytoplasmic structures such as the cytoskeleton. To define cellular roles for kinesin, the axonal transport of kinesin was characterized. Retinal proteins were pulse-labeled, and movement of radiolabeled kinesin through optic nerve and tract into the terminals was monitored by immunoprecipitation. Heavy and light chains of kinesin appeared in nerve and tract at times consistent with fast transport. Little or no kinesin moved with slow axonal transport indicating that effectively all axonal kinesin is associated with membranous organelles. Both kinesin heavy chain molecular weight variants of 130,000 and 124,000 M(r) (KHC-A and KHC-B) moved in fast anterograde transport, but KHC-A moved at 5-6 times the rate of KHC-B. KHC-A cotransported with the synaptic vesicle marker synaptophysin, while a portion of KHC-B cotransported with the mitochondrial marker hexokinase. These results suggest that KHC-A is enriched on small tubulovesicular structures like synaptic vesicles and that at least one form of KHC-B is predominantly on mitochondria. Biochemical specialization may target kinesins to appropriate organelles and facilitate differential regulation of transport. Images PMID:7538359

  9. POSH is an intracellular signal transducer for the axon outgrowth inhibitor Nogo66

    PubMed Central

    Dickson, Heather M.; Zurawski, Jonathan; Zhang, Huanqing; Turner, David L.; Vojtek, Anne B.

    2010-01-01

    Myelin derived inhibitors limit axon outgrowth and plasticity during development and in the adult mammalian central nervous system (CNS). Nogo66, a functional domain of the myelin derived inhibitor NogoA, signals through the PirB receptor to inhibit axon outgrowth. The signaling pathway mobilized by Nogo66 engagement of PirB is not well understood. We identify a critical role for the scaffold protein Plenty of SH3s (POSH) in relaying process outgrowth inhibition downstream of Nogo66 and PirB. Blocking the function of POSH, or two POSH associated proteins, leucine zipper kinase (LZK) and Shroom3, with RNAi in cortical neurons leads to release from myelin and Nogo66 inhibition. We also observe autocrine inhibition of process outgrowth by NogoA, and suppression analysis with the POSH associated kinase LZK demonstrates that LZK operates downstream of NogoA and PirB in a POSH dependent manner. In addition, cerebellar granule neurons with an RNAi-mediated knockdown in POSH function are refractory to the inhibitory action of Nogo66, indicating that a POSH-dependent mechanism operates to inhibit axon outgrowth in different types of CNS neurons. These studies delineate an intracellular signaling pathway for process outgrowth inhibition by Nogo66, comprised of NogoA, PirB, POSH, LZK and Shroom3, and implicate the POSH complex as a potential therapeutic target to enhance axon outgrowth and plasticity in the injured CNS. PMID:20926658

  10. POSH is an intracellular signal transducer for the axon outgrowth inhibitor Nogo66.

    PubMed

    Dickson, Heather M; Zurawski, Jonathan; Zhang, Huanqing; Turner, David L; Vojtek, Anne B

    2010-10-01

    Myelin-derived inhibitors limit axon outgrowth and plasticity during development and in the adult mammalian CNS. Nogo66, a functional domain of the myelin-derived inhibitor NogoA, signals through the PirB receptor to inhibit axon outgrowth. The signaling pathway mobilized by Nogo66 engagement of PirB is not well understood. We identify a critical role for the scaffold protein Plenty of SH3s (POSH) in relaying process outgrowth inhibition downstream of Nogo66 and PirB. Blocking the function of POSH, or two POSH-associated proteins, leucine zipper kinase (LZK) and Shroom3, with RNAi in cortical neurons leads to release from myelin and Nogo66 inhibition. We also observed autocrine inhibition of process outgrowth by NogoA, and suppression analysis with the POSH-associated kinase LZK demonstrated that LZK operates downstream of NogoA and PirB in a POSH-dependent manner. In addition, cerebellar granule neurons with an RNAi-mediated knockdown in POSH function were refractory to the inhibitory action of Nogo66, indicating that a POSH-dependent mechanism operates to inhibit axon outgrowth in different types of CNS neurons. These studies delineate an intracellular signaling pathway for process outgrowth inhibition by Nogo66, comprised of NogoA, PirB, POSH, LZK, and Shroom3, and implicate the POSH complex as a potential therapeutic target to enhance axon outgrowth and plasticity in the injured CNS.

  11. Axonal Pathways Linked to Therapeutic and Nontherapeutic Outcomes During Psychiatric Deep Brain Stimulation

    PubMed Central

    Lujan, J. Luis; Chaturvedi, Ashutosh; Malone, Donald A.; Rezai, Ali R.; Machado, Andre G.; McIntyre, Cameron C.

    2016-01-01

    Objective The underlying hypothesis of our work is that specific clinical neuropsychiatric benefits can be achieved by selective activation of specific axonal pathways during deep brain stimulation (DBS). As such, the goal of this study was to develop a method for identifying axonal pathways whose activation is most likely necessary for achieving therapeutic benefits during DBS. Experimental design Our approach combined clinical data, diffusion tensor tractography, and computer models of patient-specific neurostimulation to identify particular axonal pathways activated by DBS and determine their correlations with individual clinical outcome measures. We used this method to evaluate a cohort of seven treatment-resistant depression patients treated with DBS of the ventral anterior internal capsule and ventral striatum (VC/VS). Principal observations Clinical responders exhibited five axonal pathways that were consistently activated by DBS. All five pathways coursed lateral and medial to the VS or dorsal and lateral to the nucleus accumbens; however, details of their specific trajectories differed. Similarly, one common pathway was identified across nonresponders. Conclusions Our method and preliminary results provide important background for studies aiming to expand scientific characterization of neural circuitry associated with specific psychiatric outcomes from DBS. Furthermore, identification of pathways linked to therapeutic benefit provides opportunities to improve clinical selection of surgical targets and stimulation settings for DBS devices. PMID:21520343

  12. Towards axonal regeneration and neuroprotection in glaucoma: Rho kinase inhibitors as promising therapeutics.

    PubMed

    Van de Velde, Sarah; De Groef, Lies; Stalmans, Ingeborg; Moons, Lieve; Van Hove, Inge

    2015-08-01

    Due to a prolonged life expectancy worldwide, the incidence of age-related neurodegenerative disorders such as glaucoma is increasing. Glaucoma is the second cause of blindness, resulting from a slow and progressive loss of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) and their axons. Up to now, intraocular pressure (IOP) reduction is the only treatment modality by which ophthalmologists attempt to control disease progression. However, not all patients benefit from this therapy, and the pathophysiology of glaucoma is not always associated with an elevated IOP. These limitations, together with the multifactorial etiology of glaucoma, urge the pressing medical need for novel and alternative treatment strategies. Such new therapies should focus on preventing or retarding RGC death, but also on repair of injured axons, to ultimately preserve or improve structural and functional connectivity. In this respect, Rho-associated coiled-coil forming protein kinase (ROCK) inhibitors hold a promising potential to become very prominent drugs for future glaucoma treatment. Their field of action in the eye does not seem to be restricted to IOP reduction by targeting the trabecular meshwork or improving filtration surgery outcome. Indeed, over the past years, important progress has been made in elucidating their ability to improve ocular blood flow, to prevent RGC death/increase RGC survival and to retard axonal degeneration or induce proper axonal regeneration. Within this review, we aim to highlight the currently known capacity of ROCK inhibition to promote neuroprotection and regeneration in several in vitro, ex vivo and in vivo experimental glaucoma models.

  13. VEGF Signaling through Neuropilin 1 Guides Commissural Axon Crossing at the Optic Chiasm

    PubMed Central

    Erskine, Lynda; Reijntjes, Susan; Pratt, Thomas; Denti, Laura; Schwarz, Quenten; Vieira, Joaquim M.; Alakakone, Bennett; Shewan, Derryck; Ruhrberg, Christiana

    2011-01-01

    Summary During development, the axons of retinal ganglion cell (RGC) neurons must decide whether to cross or avoid the midline at the optic chiasm to project to targets on both sides of the brain. By combining genetic analyses with in vitro assays, we show that neuropilin 1 (NRP1) promotes contralateral RGC projection in mammals. Unexpectedly, the NRP1 ligand involved is not an axon guidance cue of the class 3 semaphorin family, but VEGF164, the neuropilin-binding isoform of the classical vascular growth factor VEGF-A. VEGF164 is expressed at the chiasm midline and is required for normal contralateral growth in vivo. In outgrowth and growth cone turning assays, VEGF164 acts directly on NRP1-expressing contralateral RGCs to provide growth-promoting and chemoattractive signals. These findings have identified a permissive midline signal for axons at the chiasm midline and provide in vivo evidence that VEGF-A is an essential axon guidance cue. PMID:21658587

  14. Relay of retrograde synaptogenic signals through axonal transport of BMP receptors

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Rebecca B.; Machamer, James B.; Kim, Nam Chul; Hays, Thomas S.; Marqués, Guillermo

    2012-01-01

    Summary Neuronal function depends on the retrograde relay of growth and survival signals from the synaptic terminal, where the neuron interacts with its targets, to the nucleus, where gene transcription is regulated. Activation of the Bone Morphogenetic Protein (BMP) pathway at the Drosophila larval neuromuscular junction results in nuclear accumulation of the phosphorylated form of the transcription factor Mad in the motoneuron nucleus. This in turn regulates transcription of genes that control synaptic growth. How BMP signaling at the synaptic terminal is relayed to the cell body and nucleus of the motoneuron to regulate transcription is unknown. We show that the BMP receptors are endocytosed at the synaptic terminal and transported retrogradely along the axon. Furthermore, this transport is dependent on BMP pathway activity, as it decreases in the absence of ligand or receptors. We further demonstrate that receptor traffic is severely impaired when Dynein motors are inhibited, a condition that has previously been shown to block BMP pathway activation. In contrast to these results, we find no evidence for transport of phosphorylated Mad along the axons, and axonal traffic of Mad is not affected in mutants defective in BMP signaling or retrograde transport. These data support a model in which complexes of activated BMP receptors are actively transported along the axon towards the cell body to relay the synaptogenic signal, and that phosphorylated Mad at the synaptic terminal and cell body represent two distinct molecular populations. PMID:22573823

  15. Alterations of action potentials and the localization of Nav1.6 sodium channels in spared axons after hemisection injury of the spinal cord in adult rats

    PubMed Central

    Hunanyan, Arsen S.; Alessi, Valentina; Patel, Samik; Pearse, Damien D.; Matthews, Gary

    2011-01-01

    Previously, we reported a pronounced reduction in transmission through surviving axons contralateral to chronic hemisection (HX) of adult rat spinal cord. To examine the cellular and molecular mechanisms responsible for this diminished transmission, we recorded intracellularly from lumbar lateral white matter axons in deeply anesthetized adult rats in vivo and measured the propagation of action potentials (APs) through rubrospinal/reticulospinal tract (RST/RtST) axons contralateral to chronic HX at T10. We found decreased excitability in these axons, manifested by an increased rheobase to trigger APs and longer latency for AP propagation passing the injury level, without significant differences in axonal resting membrane potential and input resistance. These electrophysiological changes were associated with altered spatial localization of Nav1.6 sodium channels along axons: a subset of axons contralateral to the injury exhibited a diffuse localization (>10 μm spread) of Nav1.6 channels, a pattern characteristic of demyelinated axons (Craner MJ, Newcombe J, Black JA, Hartle C, Cuzner ML, Waxman SG. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 101: 8168–8173, 2004b). This result was substantiated by ultrastructural changes seen with electron microscopy, in which an increased number of large-caliber, demyelinated RST axons were found contralateral to the chronic HX. Therefore, an increased rheobase, pathological changes in the distribution of Nav1.6 sodium channels, and the demyelination of contralateral RST axons are likely responsible for their decreased conduction chronically after HX and thus may provide novel targets for strategies to improve function following incomplete spinal cord injury. PMID:21177993

  16. The axon-glia unit in white matter stroke: mechanisms of damage and recovery

    PubMed Central

    Shira, Rosenzweig; Thomas, Carmichael S.

    2015-01-01

    Approximately one quarter of all strokes in humans occur in white matter, and the progressive nature of white matter lesions often results in severe physical and mental disability. Unlike cortical grey matter stroke, the pathology of white matter stroke revolves around disrupted connectivity and injured axons and glial cells, rather than neuronal cell bodies. Consequently, the mechanisms behind ischemic damage to white matter elements, the regenerative responses of glial cells and their signaling pathways, all differ significantly from those in grey matter. Development of effective therapies for white matter stroke would require an enhanced understanding of the complex cellular and molecular interactions within the white matter, leading to the identification of new therapeutic targets. This review will address the unique properties of the axon-glia unit during white matter stroke, describe the challenging process of promoting effective white matter repair, and discuss recently-identified signaling pathways which may hold potential targets for repair in this disease. PMID:25704204

  17. Myelin regeneration in multiple sclerosis: targeting endogenous stem cells.

    PubMed

    Huang, Jeffrey K; Fancy, Stephen P J; Zhao, Chao; Rowitch, David H; Ffrench-Constant, Charles; Franklin, Robin J M

    2011-10-01

    Regeneration of myelin sheaths (remyelination) after central nervous system demyelination is important to restore saltatory conduction and to prevent axonal loss. In multiple sclerosis, the insufficiency of remyelination leads to the irreversible degeneration of axons and correlated clinical decline. Therefore, a regenerative strategy to encourage remyelination may protect axons and improve symptoms in multiple sclerosis. We highlight recent studies on factors that influence endogenous remyelination and potential promising pharmacological targets that may be considered for enhancing central nervous system remyelination.

  18. Spiking synchronization of ion channel clusters on an axon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zeng, Shangyou; Tang, Yi; Jung, Peter

    2007-07-01

    Ion channels are distributed in clusters in squid giant axons, rat retinal nerve fiber layers, pyramidal cell dendrites of Apteronotus, etc. Ion channel clusters along the unmyelinated axon generate spontaneous spiking due to ion channel noise. Ion channel clusters are coupled by the axonal cable, and spontaneous spiking of each ion channel cluster can be synchronized. This paper considers the spiking synchronization of two ion channel clusters coupled by an axon. It is shown that axonal parameters affect the spiking synchronization exponentially and ion channel clusters have maximal spiking synchronization when they have the same size. It is further shown that there is an optimal length of the ion channel clusters with maximal spiking synchronization and the optimal length accords with the length of the node of Ranvier in the myelinated axon.

  19. Active polysomes in the axoplasm of the squid giant axon.

    PubMed

    Giuditta, A; Menichini, E; Perrone Capano, C; Langella, M; Martin, R; Castigli, E; Kaplan, B B

    1991-01-01

    Axons and axon terminals are widely believed to lack the capacity to synthesize proteins, relying instead on the delivery of proteins made in the perikaryon. In agreement with this view, axoplasmic proteins synthesized by the isolated giant axon of the squid are believed to derive entirely from periaxonal glial cells. However, squid axoplasm is known to contain the requisite components of an extra-mitochondrial protein synthetic system, including protein factors, tRNAs, rRNAs, and a heterogeneous family of mRNAs. Hence, the giant axon could, in principle, maintain an endogenous protein synthetic capacity. Here, we report that the squid giant axon also contains active polysomes and mRNA, which hybridizes to a riboprobe encoding murine neurofilament protein. Taken together, these findings provide direct evidence that proteins (including the putative neuron-specific neurofilament protein) are also synthesized de novo in the axonal compartment.

  20. Evidence for the involvement of Tiam1 in axon formation.

    PubMed

    Kunda, P; Paglini, G; Quiroga, S; Kosik, K; Caceres, A

    2001-04-01

    In cultured neurons, axon formation is preceded by the appearance in one of the multiple neurites of a large growth cone containing a labile actin network and abundant dynamic microtubules. The invasion-inducing T-lymphoma and metastasis 1 (Tiam1) protein that functions as a guanosine nucleotide exchange factor for Rac1 localizes to this neurite and its growth cone, where it associates with microtubules. Neurons overexpressing Tiam1 extend several axon-like neurites, whereas suppression of Tiam1 prevents axon formation, with most of the cells failing to undergo changes in growth cone size and in cytoskeletal organization typical of prospective axons. Cytochalasin D reverts this effect leading to multiple axon formation and penetration of microtubules within neuritic tips devoid of actin filaments. Taken together, these results suggest that by regulating growth cone actin organization and allowing microtubule invasion within selected growth cones, Tiam1 promotes axon formation and hence participates in neuronal polarization.

  1. Proton hopping: a proposed mechanism for myelinated axon nerve impulses.

    PubMed

    Kier, Lemont B; Tombes, Robert M

    2013-04-01

    Myelinated axon nerve impulses travel 100 times more rapidly than impulses in non-myelinated axons. Increased speed is currently believed to be due to 'hopping' or 'saltatory propagation' along the axon, but the mechanism by which impulses flow has never been adequately explained. We have used modeling approaches to simulate a role for proton hopping in the space between the plasma membrane and myelin sheath as the mechanism of nerve action-potential flow.

  2. Neuronal growth cones respond to laser-induced axonal damage

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Tao; Mohanty, Samarendra; Gomez-Godinez, Veronica; Shi, Linda Z.; Liaw, Lih-Huei; Miotke, Jill; Meyer, Ronald L.; Berns, Michael W.

    2012-01-01

    Although it is well known that damage to neurons results in release of substances that inhibit axonal growth, release of chemical signals from damaged axons that attract axon growth cones has not been observed. In this study, a 532 nm 12 ns laser was focused to a diffraction-limited spot to produce site-specific damage to single goldfish axons in vitro. The axons underwent a localized decrease in thickness (‘thinning’) within seconds. Analysis by fluorescence and transmission electron microscopy indicated that there was no gross rupture of the cell membrane. Mitochondrial transport along the axonal cytoskeleton immediately stopped at the damage site, but recovered over several minutes. Within seconds of damage nearby growth cones extended filopodia towards the injury and were often observed to contact the damaged site. Turning of the growth cone towards the injured axon also was observed. Repair of the laser-induced damage was evidenced by recovery of the axon thickness as well as restoration of mitochondrial movement. We describe a new process of growth cone response to damaged axons. This has been possible through the interface of optics (laser subcellular surgery), fluorescence and electron microscopy, and a goldfish retinal ganglion cell culture model. PMID:21831892

  3. Molecular analysis of axon repulsion by the notochord.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Christopher N G; Ohta, Kunimasa; Quick, Marie M; Fleming, Angeleen; Keynes, Roger; Tannahill, David

    2003-03-01

    During development of the amniote peripheral nervous system, the initial trajectory of primary sensory axons is determined largely by the action of axon repellents. We have shown previously that tissues flanking dorsal root ganglia, the notochord lying medially and the dermamyotomes lying laterally, are sources of secreted molecules that prevent axons from entering inappropriate territories. Although there is evidence suggesting that SEMA3A contributes to the repellent activity of the dermamyotome, the nature of the activity secreted by the notochord remains undetermined. We have employed an expression cloning strategy to search for axon repellents secreted by the notochord, and have identified SEMA3A as a candidate repellent. Moreover, using a spectrum of different axon populations to assay the notochord activity, together with neuropilin/Fc receptor reagents to block semaphorin activity in collagen gel assays, we show that SEMA3A probably contributes to notochord-mediated repulsion. Sympathetic axons that normally avoid the midline in vivo are also repelled, in part, by a semaphorin-based notochord activity. Although our results implicate semaphorin signalling in mediating repulsion by the notochord, repulsion of early dorsal root ganglion axons is only partially blocked when using neuropilin/Fc reagents. Moreover, retinal axons, which are insensitive to SEMA3A, are also repelled by the notochord. We conclude that multiple factors act in concert to guide axons in this system, and that further notochord repellents remain to be identified.

  4. Molecular Determinants of the Axonal mRNA Transcriptome

    PubMed Central

    Gomes, Cynthia; Merianda, Tanuja T.; Lee, Seung Joon; Yoo, Soonmoon; Twiss, Jeffery L.

    2014-01-01

    Axonal protein synthesis has been shown to play a role in developmental and regenerative growth, as well as in cell body responses to axotomy. Recent studies have begun to identify the protein products that contribute to these autonomous responses of axons. In the peripheral nervous system, intra-axonal protein synthesis has been implicated in the localized in vivo responses to neuropathic stimuli, and there is emerging evidence for protein synthesis in CNS axons in vivo. Despite that hundreds of mRNAs have now been shown to localize into the axonal compartment, knowledge of what RNA binding proteins are responsible for this is quite limited. Here, we review the current state of knowledge of RNA transport mechanisms, and highlight recently uncovered mechanisms for dynamically altering the axonal transcriptome. Both changes in the levels or activities of components of the RNA transport apparatus and alterations in transcription of transported mRNAs can effectively shift the axonal mRNA population. Consistent with this, the axonal RNA population shifts with development, with changes in growth state, and in response to extracellular stimulation. Each of these events must impact the transcriptional and transport apparatuses of the neuron, thus directly and indirectly modifying the axonal transcriptome. PMID:23959706

  5. Differences in excitability properties of FDI and ADM motor axons.

    PubMed

    Bae, Jong Seok; Sawai, Setsu; Misawa, Sonoko; Kanai, Kazuaki; Isose, Sagiri; Kuwabara, Satoshi

    2009-03-01

    The first dorsal interosseous (FDI) and abductor digiti minimi (ADM) muscles are innervated by the same ulnar nerve, but studies have shown that the former is much more severely affected in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. In this study, threshold tracking was used to investigate whether membrane properties differ between FDI and ADM motor axons. In 12 normal subjects, compound muscle action potentials were recorded from FDI and ADM after ulnar nerve stimulation at the wrist. The strength-duration time constant was significantly longer in the FDI axons than in the ADM axons, and latent addition studies showed greater threshold changes at the conditioning-test stimulus of 0.2 ms in FDI than in ADM axons. These findings suggest that nodal persistent sodium conductances are more prominent in FDI axons than in ADM axons, and therefore excitability is physiologically higher in FDI axons. Even in the same nerve at the same sites, membrane properties of FDI and ADM motor axons differ significantly, and thus their axonal/neuronal responses to disease may also differ.

  6. Concepts for regulation of axon integrity by enwrapping glia

    PubMed Central

    Beirowski, Bogdan

    2013-01-01

    Long axons and their enwrapping glia (EG; Schwann cells (SCs) and oligodendrocytes (OLGs)) form a unique compound structure that serves as conduit for transport of electric and chemical information in the nervous system. The peculiar cytoarchitecture over an enormous length as well as its substantial energetic requirements make this conduit particularly susceptible to detrimental alterations. Degeneration of long axons independent of neuronal cell bodies is observed comparatively early in a range of neurodegenerative conditions as a consequence of abnormalities in SCs and OLGs . This leads to the most relevant disease symptoms and highlights the critical role that these glia have for axon integrity, but the underlying mechanisms remain elusive. The quest to understand why and how axons degenerate is now a crucial frontier in disease-oriented research. This challenge is most likely to lead to significant progress if the inextricable link between axons and their flanking glia in pathological situations is recognized. In this review I compile recent advances in our understanding of the molecular programs governing axon degeneration, and mechanisms of EG’s non-cell autonomous impact on axon-integrity. A particular focus is placed on emerging evidence suggesting that EG nurture long axons by virtue of their intimate association, release of trophic substances, and neurometabolic coupling. The correction of defects in these functions has the potential to stabilize axons in a variety of neuronal diseases in the peripheral nervous system and central nervous system (PNS and CNS). PMID:24391540

  7. Corticostriatal combinatorics: the implications of corticostriatal axonal arborizations.

    PubMed

    Zheng, T; Wilson, C J

    2002-02-01

    The complete striatal axonal arborizations of 16 juxtacellularly stained cortical pyramidal cells were analyzed. Corticostriatal neurons were located in the medial agranular or anterior cingulate cortex of rats. All axons were of the extended type and formed synaptic contacts in both the striosomal and matrix compartments as determined by counterstaining for the mu-opiate receptor. Six axonal arborizations were from collaterals of brain stem-projecting cells and the other 10 from bilaterally projecting cells with no brain stem projections. The distribution of synaptic boutons along the axons were convolved with the average dendritic tree volume of spiny projection neurons to obtain an axonal innervation volume and innervation density map for each axon. Innervation volumes varied widely, with single axons occupying between 0.4 and 14.2% of the striatum (average = 4%). The total number of boutons formed by individual axons ranged from 25 to 2,900 (average = 879). Within the innervation volume, the density of innervation was extremely sparse but inhomogeneous. The pattern of innervation resembled matrisomes, as defined by bulk labeling and functional mapping experiments, superimposed on a low background innervation. Using this sample as representative of all corticostriatal axons, the total number of corticostriatal neurons was estimated to be 17 million, about 10 times the number of striatal projection neurons.

  8. Effects of Deltamethrin on crayfish motor axon activity and neuromuscular transmission.

    PubMed

    Meng, Linlin; Meyer, Pierre-Francois N R; Leary, Meghan L; Mohammed, Yussef F; Ferber, Shelbi D; Lin, Jen-Wei

    2016-03-23

    Deltamethrin (DM) is a widely used pesticide known to target sodium channels. Although this compound has been studied extensively at molecular and behavioral levels, the detailed action of DM on cellular and synaptic function is less well documented. In this report, we show that DM at nanomolar concentrations can silence tonic motor output of the crayfish ventral superficial flexor (VSF) within ∼10 min. Action potential (AP) amplitude was consistently reduced before silencing occurred, whereas AP duration and AP firing frequency did not change. In some synapses EPSP amplitude and synaptic delay were modified by DM, but the direction of change was not consistent. In order to better understand these diverse effects, intracellular recordings from motor axons of the crayfish opener were used for a detailed analysis. DM caused an initial, slow depolarization of resting membrane potential (Vm), which was accompanied by reduced AP amplitude but not AP duration. Resting Vm then underwent a step depolarization of ∼20 mV, which we propose corresponds to the onset of the depolarization block. In addition, DM shifted the AP initiation site in some opener axons during prolonged firing. This shift occurred concomitantly with a reduction in synaptic delay. A similar reduction in synaptic delay was also detected at some VSF axons, and can be attributed to the same mechanism. Results reported here suggest that DM at low concentrations result in: (i) depolarization block of motor axons before changes in network output can be detected, (ii) variable effects on synaptic transmission, with this variability presumably due to the diverse morphology and excitability of motor axons. PMID:26861201

  9. Effects of PTEN and Nogo Codeletion on Corticospinal Axon Sprouting and Regeneration in Mice

    PubMed Central

    Geoffroy, Cédric G.; Lorenzana, Ariana O.; Kwan, Jeffrey P.; Lin, Kyle; Ghassemi, Omeed; Ma, Andrew; Xu, Nuo; Creger, Daniel; Liu, Kai; He, Zhigang

    2015-01-01

    Axons in the adult CNS have poor ability to grow after injury, impeding functional recovery in patients of spinal cord injury. This has been attributed to both a developmental decline in neuron-intrinsic growth ability and the presence of extrinsic growth inhibitors. We previously showed that genetic deletion of Nogo, an extrinsic inhibitor, promoted axonal sprouting from uninjured corticospinal tract (CST) neurons but not regeneration from injured CST neurons, whereas genetic deletion of PTEN, an intrinsic inhibitor, promoted both CST sprouting and regeneration. Here we test the hypothesis that combining an elevation of neuron-intrinsic growth ability and a reduction of extrinsic growth inhibition by genetic codeletion of PTEN and Nogo may further improve injury-induced axonal growth. In an apparent paradox, additionally deleting Nogo further enhanced CST regeneration but not sprouting in PTEN-deleted mice. Enhanced CST regeneration and sprouting in PTEN and PTEN/Nogo-deleted mice were associated with no or only temporary improvement in functional recovery. Our data illustrate that neuron-intrinsic and -extrinsic factors regulate axon regeneration and sprouting in complex ways and provide proof-of-principle evidence that targeting both can further improve regeneration. Neuron-intrinsic growth ability is an important determinant of neuronal responsiveness to changes in extrinsic growth inhibition, such that an elevated intrinsic growth state is a prerequisite for reducing extrinsic inhibition to take effect on CST regeneration. Meanwhile, additional strategies are required to unleash the full potential for functional recovery with enhanced axon regeneration and/or sprouting. PMID:25904793

  10. Glycine fluxes in squid giant axons.

    PubMed

    Caldwell, P C; Lea, T J

    1978-05-01

    1. The influx of a number of amino acids into squid giant axons has been studied. Particular emphasis has been placed on glycine and to a lesser extent glutamate. 2. To facilitate the study of the uptake of 14C-labelled amino acids a technique was devised in which the 14C taken up was measured directly in the intact axon with a glass scintillator fibre. This technique gave results similar to the usual technique in which the axoplasm was extruded for the assay of radioactivity. 3. The changes in glycine influx with extracellular glycine concentration suggests that two saturating components are present, one with high affinity and one with low affinity. 4. The glycine influx does not seem normally to be sensitive to the removal of extracellular sodium by replacement with choline. A Na-sensitive component appeared, however, after a period of immersion in artificial sea water. There was also some depression of glycine influx if Na were replaced by Li. 5. Glutamate uptake was greatly reduced by removal of extracellular Na in confirmation of work by Baker & Potashner (1973). Orthophosphate uptake was also greatly reduced by removal of extracellular Na. 6. CN reversibly inhibited glycine uptake after a delay, indicating that part of the uptake mechanism may require ATP. 7. 14C-labelled glycine injected into squid axons was found not to exchange to any serious extent with other compounds over periods of a few hours. The glycine efflux could therefore be studied. This was found to be markedly increased by extracellular glycine and by certain other neutral amino acids applied extracellularly in the artificial sea water. 8. The enhanced glycine efflux in extracellular glycine was not affected by ouabain and CN. 9. It is suggested that glycine uptake in squid axons involves two components. One is sensitive to CN and ouabain and probably derives energy from ATP break-down. The other is probably an ATP independent exchange diffusion system in which other amino acids as well as

  11. Intra-axonal synthesis of eukaryotic translation initiation factors regulates local protein synthesis and axon growth in rat sympathetic neurons.

    PubMed

    Kar, Amar N; MacGibeny, Margaret A; Gervasi, Noreen M; Gioio, Anthony E; Kaplan, Barry B

    2013-04-24

    Axonal protein synthesis is a complex process involving selective mRNA localization and translational regulation. In this study, using in situ hybridization and metabolic labeling, we show that the mRNAs encoding eukaryotic translation initiation factors eIF2B2 and eIF4G2 are present in the axons of rat sympathetic neurons and are locally translated. We also report that a noncoding microRNA, miR16, modulates the axonal expression of eIF2B2 and eIF4G2. Transfection of axons with precursor miR16 and anti-miR16 showed that local miR16 levels modulated axonal eIF2B2 and eIF4G2 mRNA and protein levels, as well as axon outgrowth. siRNA-mediated knock-down of axonal eIF2B2 and eIF4G2 mRNA also resulted in a significant decrease in axonal eIF2B2 and eIF4G2 protein. Moreover, results of metabolic labeling studies showed that downregulation of axonal eIF2B2 and eIF4G2 expression also inhibited local protein synthesis and axon growth. Together, these data provide evidence that miR16 mediates axonal growth, at least in part, by regulating the local protein synthesis of eukaryotic translation initiation factors eIF2B2 and eIF4G2 in the axon.

  12. Differential Calcium Signaling Mediated by Voltage-Gated Calcium Channels in Rat Retinal Ganglion Cells and Their Unmyelinated Axons

    PubMed Central

    Sargoy, Allison; Sun, Xiaoping

    2014-01-01

    Aberrant calcium regulation has been implicated as a causative factor in the degeneration of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) in numerous injury models of optic neuropathy. Since calcium has dual roles in maintaining homeostasis and triggering apoptotic pathways in healthy and injured cells, respectively, investigation of voltage-gated Ca channel (VGCC) regulation as a potential strategy to reduce the loss of RGCs is warranted. The accessibility and structure of the retina provide advantages for the investigation of the mechanisms of calcium signalling in both the somata of ganglion cells as well as their unmyelinated axons. The goal of the present study was to determine the distribution of VGCC subtypes in the cell bodies and axons of ganglion cells in the normal retina and to define their contribution to calcium signals in these cellular compartments. We report L-type Ca channel α1C and α1D subunit immunoreactivity in rat RGC somata and axons. The N-type Ca channel α1B subunit was in RGC somata and axons, while the P/Q-type Ca channel α1A subunit was only in the RGC somata. We patch clamped isolated ganglion cells and biophysically identified T-type Ca channels. Calcium imaging studies of RGCs in wholemounted retinas showed that selective Ca channel antagonists reduced depolarization-evoked calcium signals mediated by L-, N-, P/Q- and T-type Ca channels in the cell bodies but only by L-type Ca channels in the axons. This differential contribution of VGCC subtypes to calcium signals in RGC somata and their axons may provide insight into the development of target-specific strategies to spare the loss of RGCs and their axons following injury. PMID:24416240

  13. Collateral sprouting of sensory axons after end-to-side nerve coaptation--a longitudinal study in the rat.

    PubMed

    Kovacic, Uros; Tomsic, Martin; Sketelj, Janez; Bajrović, Fajko F

    2007-02-01

    The end-to-side nerve coaptation is able to induce collateral sprouting of axons from the donor nerve and to provide functional reinnervation of the target tissue. Sensory axon sprouting and its effects on the donor nerve up to 9 months after the end-to-side nerve coaptation were studied in the rat. Peroneal, tibial and saphenous nerves were transected and ligated, and the distal stump of the transected peroneal nerve was sutured to the side of the uninjured sural nerve. The average skin area of the residual sensitivity to pinch due to the axons sprouting through the recipient peroneal nerve did not change statistically significantly between 4 and 9 months after surgery. Axon counting, measurements of compound action potentials and retrograde neuron labeling indicate that the sprouting of the myelinated sensory axons and unmyelinated axons through the recipient nerve was largely completed by 2 months and 4 months after the end-to-side nerve coaptation, respectively, and remained stable thereafter for at least 9 months. A decrease in the amplitude and area of the CAP of myelinated fibers, observed in the donor nerve up to 4 months after surgery, was probably due to mild degeneration of nerve fibers and a tendency of the diameter of myelinated axons to decline. However, no significant changes in functional, electrophysiological or morphological properties of the donor nerve could be observed at the end of the observational period, indicating that end-to-side nerve coaptation has no detrimental effect on the donor nerve on a long-term scale. PMID:17045263

  14. Axonal maintenance, glia, exosomes, and heat shock proteins.

    PubMed

    Tytell, Michael; Lasek, Raymond J; Gainer, Harold

    2016-01-01

    Of all cellular specializations, the axon is especially distinctive because it is a narrow cylinder of specialized cytoplasm called axoplasm with a length that may be orders of magnitude greater than the diameter of the cell body from which it originates. Thus, the volume of axoplasm can be much greater than the cytoplasm in the cell body. This fact raises a logistical problem with regard to axonal maintenance. Many of the components of axoplasm, such as soluble proteins and cytoskeleton, are slowly transported, taking weeks to months to travel the length of axons longer than a few millimeters after being synthesized in the cell body. Furthermore, this slow rate of supply suggests that the axon itself might not have the capacity to respond fast enough to compensate for damage to transported macromolecules. Such damage is likely in view of the mechanical fragility of an axon, especially those innervating the limbs, as rapid limb motion with high impact, like running, subjects the axons in the limbs to considerable mechanical force. Some researchers have suggested that local, intra-axonal protein synthesis is the answer to this problem. However, the translational state of axonal RNAs remains controversial. We suggest that glial cells, which envelop all axons, whether myelinated or not, are the local sources of replacement and repair macromolecules for long axons. The plausibility of this hypothesis is reinforced by reviewing several decades of work on glia-axon macromolecular transfer, together with recent investigations of exosomes and other extracellular vesicles, as vehicles for the transmission of membrane and cytoplasmic components from one cell to another. PMID:26962444

  15. Neurofilament gene expression: a major determinant of axonal caliber

    SciTech Connect

    Hoffman, P.N.; Cleveland, D.W.; Griffin, J.W.; Landes, P.W.; Cowan, N.J.; Price, D.L.

    1987-05-01

    Within the wide spectrum of axonal diameters occurring in mammalian nerve fibers, each class of neurons has a relatively restricted range of axonal calibers. The control of caliber has functional significance because diameter is the principal determinant of conduction velocity in myelinated nerve fibers. Previous observations support the hypothesis that neurofilaments (NF) are major intrinsic determinants of axonal caliber in large myelinated nerve fibers. Following interruption of axons (axotomy) by crushing or cutting a peripheral nerve, caliber is reduced in the proximal axonal stumps, which extend from the cell bodies to the site of axotomy. This reduction in axonal caliber in the proximal stumps is associated with a selective diminution in the amount of NF protein undergoing slow axonal transport in these axons, with a decrease in axonal NF content, and with reduced conduction velocity. The present report demonstrates that changes in axonal caliber after axotomy correlate with a selective alteration in NF gene expression. Hybridization with specific cDNAs was used to measure levels of mRNA encoding the 68-kDa neurofilament protein (NF68), ..beta..-tubulin, and actin in lumbar sensory neurons of rat at various times after crushing the sciatic nerve. Between 4 and 42 days after axotomy by nerve crush, the levels of NF68 mRNA were reduced 2- to 3-fold. At the same times, the levels of tubulin and actin mRNAs were increased several-fold. These findings support the hypothesis that the expression of a single set of neuron-specific genes (encoding NF) directly determines axonal caliber, a feature neuronal morphology with important consequences for physiology and behavior.

  16. Axonal maintenance, glia, exosomes, and heat shock proteins

    PubMed Central

    Tytell, Michael; Lasek, Raymond J.; Gainer, Harold

    2016-01-01

    Of all cellular specializations, the axon is especially distinctive because it is a narrow cylinder of specialized cytoplasm called axoplasm with a length that may be orders of magnitude greater than the diameter of the cell body from which it originates. Thus, the volume of axoplasm can be much greater than the cytoplasm in the cell body. This fact raises a logistical problem with regard to axonal maintenance. Many of the components of axoplasm, such as soluble proteins and cytoskeleton, are slowly transported, taking weeks to months to travel the length of axons longer than a few millimeters after being synthesized in the cell body. Furthermore, this slow rate of supply suggests that the axon itself might not have the capacity to respond fast enough to compensate for damage to transported macromolecules. Such damage is likely in view of the mechanical fragility of an axon, especially those innervating the limbs, as rapid limb motion with high impact, like running, subjects the axons in the limbs to considerable mechanical force. Some researchers have suggested that local, intra-axonal protein synthesis is the answer to this problem. However, the translational state of axonal RNAs remains controversial. We suggest that glial cells, which envelop all axons, whether myelinated or not, are the local sources of replacement and repair macromolecules for long axons. The plausibility of this hypothesis is reinforced by reviewing several decades of work on glia-axon macromolecular transfer, together with recent investigations of exosomes and other extracellular vesicles, as vehicles for the transmission of membrane and cytoplasmic components from one cell to another. PMID:26962444

  17. Sodium Extrusion by Internally Dialyzed Squid Axons

    PubMed Central

    Brinley, F. J.; Mullins, L. J.

    1967-01-01

    A method has been developed which allows a length of electrically excitable squid axon to be internally dialyzed against a continuously flowing solution of defined composition. Tests showed that diffusional exchange of small molecules in the axoplasm surrounding the dialysis tube occurred with a half-time of 2–5 min, and that protein does not cross the wall of the dialysis tube. The composition of the dialysis medium was (mM): K isethionate 151, K aspartate 151, taurine 275, MgCI2 4–10, NaCl 80, KCN 2, EDTA 0.1, ATP 5–10, and phosphoarginine 0–10. The following measurements were made: resting Na influx 57 pmole/cm2sec (n = 8); resting potassium efflux 59 pmole/ cm2sec (n = 4); stimulated Na efflux 3.1 pmole/cm2imp (n = 9); stimulated K efflux 2.9 pmole/cm2imp (n = 3); resting Na efflux 48 pmole/cm2sec (n = 18); Q10 Na efflux 2.2 (n = 5). Removal of ATP and phosphoarginine from the dialysis medium (n = 4) or external application of strophanthidin (n = 1) reversibly reduced Na efflux to 10–13 pmole/cm2sec. A general conclusion from the study is that dialyzed squid axons have relatively normal passive permeability properties and that a substantial fraction of the Na efflux is under metabolic control although the Na extrusion mechanism may not be working perfectly. PMID:6063685

  18. Differential extraction of axonally transported proteoglycans

    SciTech Connect

    Elam, J.S. )

    1990-10-01

    Axonally transported proteoglycans were differentially solubilized by a sequence of extractions designed to infer their relationship to nerve terminal membranes. Groups of goldfish were injected unilaterally with 35SO4 and contralateral optic tecta containing axonally transported molecules were removed 16 h later. Tecta were homogenized in isotonic buffer and centrifuged at 100,000 g for 60 min to create a total supernatant fraction. Subsequent homogenizations followed by recentrifugation were with hypotonic buffer (lysis extract), 1 M NaCl, Triton X-100 or alternatively Triton-1 M NaCl. Populations of proteoglycans in each extract were isolated on DEAE ion exchange columns and evaluated for content of glycosaminoglycans (GAGs). Results show the distribution of transported proteoglycans to be 26.3% total soluble, 13.7% lysis extract, 13.8% NaCl extract, 12.2% Triton extract, and 46.2% Triton-NaCl extract. Proteoglycans from all fractions contained heparan sulfate as the predominant GAG, with lesser amounts of chondroitin (4 or 6) sulfate. The possible localizations of transported proteoglycans suggested by the extraction results are discussed.

  19. Spatiotemporal dynamics of lesion-induced axonal sprouting and its relation to functional architecture of the cerebellum.

    PubMed

    Dhar, Matasha; Brenner, Joshua M; Sakimura, Kenji; Kano, Masanobu; Nishiyama, Hiroshi

    2016-01-01

    Neurodegenerative lesions induce sprouting of new collaterals from surviving axons, but the extent to which this form of axonal remodelling alters brain functional structure remains unclear. To understand how collateral sprouting proceeds in the adult brain, we imaged post-lesion sprouting of cerebellar climbing fibres (CFs) in mice using in vivo time-lapse microscopy. Here we show that newly sprouted CF collaterals innervate multiple Purkinje cells (PCs) over several months, with most innervations emerging at 3-4 weeks post lesion. Simultaneous imaging of cerebellar functional structure reveals that surviving CFs similarly innervate functionally relevant and non-relevant PCs, but have more synaptic area on PCs near the collateral origin than on distant PCs. These results suggest that newly sprouted axon collaterals do not preferentially innervate functionally relevant postsynaptic targets. Nonetheless, the spatial gradient of collateral innervation might help to loosely maintain functional synaptic circuits if functionally relevant neurons are clustered in the lesioned area. PMID:27651000

  20. Spatiotemporal dynamics of lesion-induced axonal sprouting and its relation to functional architecture of the cerebellum

    PubMed Central

    Dhar, Matasha; Brenner, Joshua M.; Sakimura, Kenji; Kano, Masanobu; Nishiyama, Hiroshi

    2016-01-01

    Neurodegenerative lesions induce sprouting of new collaterals from surviving axons, but the extent to which this form of axonal remodelling alters brain functional structure remains unclear. To understand how collateral sprouting proceeds in the adult brain, we imaged post-lesion sprouting of cerebellar climbing fibres (CFs) in mice using in vivo time-lapse microscopy. Here we show that newly sprouted CF collaterals innervate multiple Purkinje cells (PCs) over several months, with most innervations emerging at 3–4 weeks post lesion. Simultaneous imaging of cerebellar functional structure reveals that surviving CFs similarly innervate functionally relevant and non-relevant PCs, but have more synaptic area on PCs near the collateral origin than on distant PCs. These results suggest that newly sprouted axon collaterals do not preferentially innervate functionally relevant postsynaptic targets. Nonetheless, the spatial gradient of collateral innervation might help to loosely maintain functional synaptic circuits if functionally relevant neurons are clustered in the lesioned area. PMID:27651000

  1. Concentration dependent requirement for local protein synthesis in motor neuron subtype specific response to axon guidance cues

    PubMed Central

    Nedelec, Stephane; Peljto, Mirza; Shi, Peng; Amoroso, Mackenzie W.; Kam, Lance C.; Wichterle, Hynek

    2012-01-01

    Formation of functional motor circuits relies on the ability of distinct spinal motor neuron subtypes to project their axons with high precision to appropriate muscle targets. While guidance cues contributing to motor axon pathfinding have been identified, the intracellular pathways underlying subtype specific responses to these cues remain poorly understood. In particular, it remains controversial whether responses to axon guidance cues depend on axonal protein synthesis. Using a growth cone collapse assay, we demonstrate that mouse embryonic stem cell (ESC) derived spinal motor neurons (ES-MNs) respond to ephrin-A5, Sema3f and Sema3a in a concentration dependent manner. At low doses, ES-MNs exhibit segmental or subtype specific responses, while this selectivity is lost at higher concentrations. Response to high doses of semaphorins and to all doses of ephrin-A5 is protein synthesis independent. In contrast, using microfluidic devices and stripe assays, we show that growth cone collapse and guidance at low concentrations of semaphorins relies on local protein synthesis in the axonal compartment. Similar bimodal response to low and high concentrations of guidance cues is observed in human ES-MNs, pointing to a general mechanism by which neurons increase their repertoire of responses to the limited set of guidance cues involved in neural circuit formation. PMID:22279234

  2. GDNF-Enhanced Axonal Regeneration and Myelination Following Spinal Cord Injury is Mediated by Primary Effects on Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Liqun; Ma, Zhengwen; Smith, George M.; Wen, Xuejun; Pressman, Yelena; Wood, Patrick M.; Xu, Xiao-Ming

    2010-01-01

    We previously demonstrated that coadministration of glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) with grafts of Schwann cells (SCs) enhanced axonal regeneration and remyelination following spinal cord injury (SCI). However, the cellular target through which GDNF mediates such actions was unclear. Here, we report that GDNF enhanced both the number and caliber of regenerated axons in vivo and increased neurite outgrowth of dorsal root ganglion neurons (DRGN) in vitro, suggesting that GDNF has a direct effect on neurons. In SC-DRGN coculture, GDNF significantly increased the number of myelin sheaths produced by SCs. GDNF treatment had no effect on the proliferation of isolated SCs but enhanced the proliferation of SCs already in contact with axons. GDNF increased the expression of the 140 kDa neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM) in isolated SCs but not their expression of the adhesion molecule L1 or the secretion of the neurotrophins NGF, NT3, or BDNF. Overall, these results support the hypothesis that GDNF-enhanced axonal regeneration and SC myelination is mediated mainly through a direct effect of GDNF on neurons. They also suggest that the combination of GDNF administration and SC transplantation may represent an effective strategy to promote axonal regeneration and myelin formation after injury in the spinal cord. PMID:19170182

  3. PI3K-GSK3 signalling regulates mammalian axon regeneration by inducing the expression of Smad1

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saijilafu; Hur, Eun-Mi; Liu, Chang-Mei; Jiao, Zhongxian; Xu, Wen-Lin; Zhou, Feng-Quan

    2013-10-01

    In contrast to neurons in the central nervous system, mature neurons in the mammalian peripheral nervous system (PNS) can regenerate axons after injury, in part, by enhancing intrinsic growth competence. However, the signalling pathways that enhance the growth potential and induce spontaneous axon regeneration remain poorly understood. Here we reveal that phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) signalling is activated in response to peripheral axotomy and that PI3K pathway is required for sensory axon regeneration. Moreover, we show that glycogen synthase kinase 3 (GSK3), rather than mammalian target of rapamycin, mediates PI3K-dependent augmentation of the growth potential in the PNS. Furthermore, we show that PI3K-GSK3 signal is conveyed by the induction of a transcription factor Smad1 and that acute depletion of Smad1 in adult mice prevents axon regeneration in vivo. Together, these results suggest PI3K-GSK3-Smad1 signalling as a central module for promoting sensory axon regeneration in the mammalian nervous system.

  4. Synaptic connectivity of the cholinergic axons in the olfactory bulb of the cynomolgus monkey

    PubMed Central

    Liberia, Teresa; Blasco-Ibáñez, José Miguel; Nácher, Juan; Varea, Emilio; Lanciego, José Luis; Crespo, Carlos

    2015-01-01

    The olfactory bulb (OB) of mammals receives cholinergic afferents from the horizontal limb of the diagonal band of Broca (HDB). At present, the synaptic connectivity of the cholinergic axons on the circuits of the OB has only been investigated in the rat. In this report, we analyze the synaptic connectivity of the cholinergic axons in the OB of the cynomolgus monkey (Macaca fascicularis). Our aim is to investigate whether the cholinergic innervation of the bulbar circuits is phylogenetically conserved between macrosmatic and microsmatic mammals. Our results demonstrate that the cholinergic axons form synaptic contacts on interneurons. In the glomerular layer, their main targets are the periglomerular cells, which receive axo-somatic and axo-dendritic synapses. In the inframitral region, their main targets are the granule cells, which receive synaptic contacts on their dendritic shafts and spines. Although the cholinergic boutons were frequently found in close vicinity of the dendrites of principal cells, we have not found synaptic contacts on them. From a comparative perspective, our data indicate that the synaptic connectivity of the cholinergic circuits is highly preserved in the OB of macrosmatic and microsmatic mammals. PMID:25852490

  5. Activation of the unfolded protein response promotes axonal regeneration after peripheral nerve injury

    PubMed Central

    Oñate, Maritza; Catenaccio, Alejandra; Martínez, Gabriela; Armentano, Donna; Parsons, Geoffrey; Kerr, Bredford; Hetz, Claudio; Court, Felipe A.

    2016-01-01

    Although protein-folding stress at the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is emerging as a driver of neuronal dysfunction in models of spinal cord injury and neurodegeneration, the contribution of this pathway to peripheral nerve damage remains poorly explored. Here we targeted the unfolded protein response (UPR), an adaptive reaction against ER stress, in mouse models of sciatic nerve injury and found that ablation of the transcription factor XBP1, but not ATF4, significantly delay locomotor recovery. XBP1 deficiency led to decreased macrophage recruitment, a reduction in myelin removal and axonal regeneration. Conversely, overexpression of XBP1s in the nervous system in transgenic mice enhanced locomotor recovery after sciatic nerve crush, associated to an improvement in key pro-regenerative events. To assess the therapeutic potential of UPR manipulation to axonal regeneration, we locally delivered XBP1s or an shRNA targeting this transcription factor to sensory neurons of the dorsal root ganglia using a gene therapy approach and found an enhancement or reduction of axonal regeneration in vivo, respectively. Our results demonstrate a functional role of specific components of the ER proteostasis network in the cellular changes associated to regeneration and functional recovery after peripheral nerve injury. PMID:26906090

  6. Quantitative Analysis of Axonal Branch Dynamics in the Developing Nervous System

    PubMed Central

    Scott, Ethan K.; Goodhill, Geoffrey J.

    2016-01-01

    Branching is an important mechanism by which axons navigate to their targets during neural development. For instance, in the developing zebrafish retinotectal system, selective branching plays a critical role during both initial pathfinding and subsequent arborisation once the target zone has been reached. Here we show how quantitative methods can help extract new information from time-lapse imaging about the nature of the underlying branch dynamics. First, we introduce Dynamic Time Warping to this domain as a method for automatically matching branches between frames, replacing the effort required for manual matching. Second, we model branch dynamics as a birth-death process, i.e. a special case of a continuous-time Markov process. This reveals that the birth rate for branches from zebrafish retinotectal axons, as they navigate across the tectum, increased over time. We observed no significant change in the death rate for branches over this time period. However, blocking neuronal activity with TTX slightly increased the death rate, without a detectable change in the birth rate. Third, we show how the extraction of these rates allows computational simulations of branch dynamics whose statistics closely match the data. Together these results reveal new aspects of the biology of retinotectal pathfinding, and introduce computational techniques which are applicable to the study of axon branching more generally. PMID:26998842

  7. How Morphological Constraints Affect Axonal Polarity in Mouse Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Bugnicourt, Ghislain; Saoudi, Yasmina; Andrieux, Annie; Gory-Fauré, Sylvie; Villard, Catherine

    2012-01-01

    Neuronal differentiation is under the tight control of both biochemical and physical information arising from neighboring cells and micro-environment. Here we wished to assay how external geometrical constraints applied to the cell body and/or the neurites of hippocampal neurons may modulate axonal polarization in vitro. Through the use of a panel of non-specific poly-L-lysine micropatterns, we manipulated the neuronal shape. By applying geometrical constraints on the cell body we provided evidence that centrosome location was not predictive of axonal polarization but rather follows axonal fate. When the geometrical constraints were applied to the neurites trajectories we demonstrated that axonal specification was inhibited by curved lines. Altogether these results indicated that intrinsic mechanical tensions occur during neuritic growth and that maximal tension was developed by the axon and expressed on straight trajectories. The strong inhibitory effect of curved lines on axon specification was further demonstrated by their ability to prevent formation of multiple axons normally induced by cytochalasin or taxol treatments. Finally we provided evidence that microtubules were involved in the tension-mediated axonal polarization, acting as curvature sensors during neuronal differentiation. Thus, biomechanics coupled to physical constraints might be the first level of regulation during neuronal development, primary to biochemical and guidance regulations. PMID:22457779

  8. Inhibiting poly(ADP-ribosylation) improves axon regeneration

    PubMed Central

    Byrne, Alexandra B; McWhirter, Rebecca D; Sekine, Yuichi; Strittmatter, Stephen M; Miller, David M; Hammarlund, Marc

    2016-01-01

    The ability of a neuron to regenerate its axon after injury depends in part on its intrinsic regenerative potential. Here, we identify novel intrinsic regulators of axon regeneration: poly(ADP-ribose) glycohodrolases (PARGs) and poly(ADP-ribose) polymerases (PARPs). PARGs, which remove poly(ADP-ribose) from proteins, act in injured C. elegans GABA motor neurons to enhance axon regeneration. PARG expression is regulated by DLK signaling, and PARGs mediate DLK function in enhancing axon regeneration. Conversely, PARPs, which add poly(ADP-ribose) to proteins, inhibit axon regeneration of both C. elegans GABA neurons and mammalian cortical neurons. Furthermore, chemical PARP inhibitors improve axon regeneration when administered after injury. Our results indicate that regulation of poly(ADP-ribose) levels is a critical function of the DLK regeneration pathway, that poly-(ADP ribosylation) inhibits axon regeneration across species, and that chemical inhibition of PARPs can elicit axon regeneration. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.12734.001 PMID:27697151

  9. Overexpression of neurofilament subunit M accelerates axonal transport of neurofilaments.

    PubMed

    Xu, Z; Tung, V W

    2000-06-01

    Neurofilaments are composed of three polypeptide subunits (NF-H, NF-M and NF-L). They are the most abundant cytoskeletal element in large myelinated axons and play a central role in development of axonal caliber. To perform this role, neurofilaments are transported from their site of synthesis, the cell bodies, to the distal axons. Previous studies showed that overexpression of NF-M in transgenic mice led to accumulation of neurofilaments in neurons and a reduction in the number of neurofilaments in axons, suggesting that axonal transport of neurofilaments was slowed. To determine whether this was the case, we measured axonal transport velocities in the wild type and transgenic mice overexpressing NF-M by the classical pulse-labeling method using 35S-methionine. We found that neurofilament transport in peripheral motor axons can be described with a model consistent with two linear velocities. Contrary to expectations, both velocities were accelerated by overexpression of NF-M. These results suggest that subunit composition in neurofilaments play a regulatory role in neurofilament transport. In addition, these results show that there are regional differences in neurofilament transport along long axons and these differences may be the basis for selective regional accumulation of neurofilaments in various neurological disorders.

  10. Canonical wnt signaling is required for commissural axon guidance

    PubMed Central

    Avilés, Evelyn C.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Morphogens have been identified as guidance cues for postcrossing commissural axons in the spinal cord. Shh has a dual effect on postcrossing commissural axons: a direct repellent effect mediated by Hhip as a receptor, and an indirect effect by shaping a Wnt activity gradient. Wnts were shown to be attractants for postcrossing commissural axons in both chicken and mouse embryos. In mouse, the effects of Wnts on axon guidance were concluded to depend on the planar cell polarity (PCP) pathway. Canonical Wnt signaling was excluded based on the absence of axon guidance defects in mice lacking Lrp6 which is an obligatory coreceptor for Fzd in canonical Wnt signaling. In the loss‐of‐function studies reported here, we confirmed a role for the PCP pathway in postcrossing commissural axon guidance also in the chicken embryo. However, taking advantage of the precise temporal control of gene silencing provided by in ovo RNAi, we demonstrate that canonical Wnt signaling is also required for proper guidance of postcrossing commissural axons in the developing spinal cord. Thus, axon guidance does not seem to depend on any one of the classical Wnt signaling pathways but rather involve a network of Wnt receptors and downstream components. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Develop Neurobiol 76: 190–208, 2016 PMID:26014644

  11. Waking up the sleepers: shared transcriptional pathways in axonal regeneration and neurogenesis.

    PubMed

    Quadrato, Giorgia; Di Giovanni, Simone

    2013-03-01

    In the last several years, relevant progress has been made in our understanding of the transcriptional machinery regulating CNS repair after acute injury, such as following trauma or stroke. In order to survive and functionally reconnect to the synaptic network, injured neurons activate an intrinsic rescue program aimed to increase their plasticity. Perhaps, in the attempt to switch back to a plastic and growth-competent state, post-mitotic neurons wake up and re-express a set of transcription factors that are also critical for the regulation of their younger brothers, the neural stem cells. Here, we review and discuss the transcriptional pathways regulating both axonal regeneration and neurogenesis highlighting the connection between the two. Clarification of their common molecular substrate may help simultaneous targeting of both neurogenesis and axonal regeneration with the hope to enhance functional recovery following CNS injury.

  12. Mechanisms of disease: a molecular genetic update on hereditary axonal neuropathies.

    PubMed

    Züchner, Stephan; Vance, Jeffery M

    2006-01-01

    Hereditary axonal peripheral neuropathies comprise a genetically heterogeneous group of disorders that are clinically subsumed under the name of Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease type 2 (CMT2). Historically, two classes of CMT have been differentiated: demyelinating forms of CMT (CMT1), in which nerve conduction velocities are decreased, and the axonal CMT2 forms, in which nerve conduction velocities are preserved. Recently, a number of genes that are defective in patients with the main forms of CMT2 have been identified. The molecular dissection of cellular functions of the related gene products has only just begun, and detailed pathophysiological models are still lacking. The known CMT2-related genes represent key players in these pathways, however, and are likely to provide powerful tools for identifying targets for future therapeutic intervention. PMID:16932520

  13. Optogenetic activation of axon guidance receptors controls direction of neurite outgrowth

    PubMed Central

    Endo, M.; Hattori, M.; Toriyabe, H.; Ohno, H.; Kamiguchi, H.; Iino, Y.; Ozawa, T.

    2016-01-01

    Growth cones of extending axons navigate to correct targets by sensing a guidance cue gradient via membrane protein receptors. Although most signaling mechanisms have been clarified using an in vitro approach, it is still difficult to investigate the growth cone behavior in complicated extracellular environment of living animals due to the lack of tools. We develop a system for the light-dependent activation of a guidance receptor, Deleted in Colorectal Cancer (DCC), using Arabidopsis thaliana Cryptochrome 2, which oligomerizes upon blue-light absorption. Blue-light illumination transiently activates DCC via its oligomerization, which initiates downstream signaling in the illuminated subcellular region. The extending axons are attracted by illumination in cultured chick dorsal root ganglion neurons. Moreover, light-mediated navigation of the growth cones is achieved in living Caenorhabditis elegans. The photo-manipulation system is applicable to investigate the relationship between the growth cone behavior and its surrounding environment in living tissue. PMID:27052670

  14. Receptor Tyrosine Kinases: Molecular Switches Regulating CNS Axon Regeneration

    PubMed Central

    Vigneswara, Vasanthy; Kundi, Sarina; Ahmed, Zubair

    2012-01-01

    The poor or lack of injured adult central nervous system (CNS) axon regeneration results in devastating consequences and poor functional recovery. The interplay between the intrinsic and extrinsic factors contributes to robust inhibition of axon regeneration of injured CNS neurons. The insufficient or lack of trophic support for injured neurons is considered as one of the major obstacles contributing to their failure to survive and regrow their axons after injury. In the CNS, many of the signalling pathways associated with neuronal survival and axon regeneration are regulated by several classes of receptor tyrosine kinases (RTK) that respond to a variety of ligands. This paper highlights and summarises the most relevant recent findings pertinent to different classes of the RTK family of molecules, with a particular focus on elucidating their role in CNS axon regeneration. PMID:22848811

  15. Oligodendroglial NMDA Receptors Regulate Glucose Import and Axonal Energy Metabolism.

    PubMed

    Saab, Aiman S; Tzvetavona, Iva D; Trevisiol, Andrea; Baltan, Selva; Dibaj, Payam; Kusch, Kathrin; Möbius, Wiebke; Goetze, Bianka; Jahn, Hannah M; Huang, Wenhui; Steffens, Heinz; Schomburg, Eike D; Pérez-Samartín, Alberto; Pérez-Cerdá, Fernando; Bakhtiari, Davood; Matute, Carlos; Löwel, Siegrid; Griesinger, Christian; Hirrlinger, Johannes; Kirchhoff, Frank; Nave, Klaus-Armin

    2016-07-01

    Oligodendrocytes make myelin and support axons metabolically with lactate. However, it is unknown how glucose utilization and glycolysis are adapted to the different axonal energy demands. Spiking axons release glutamate and oligodendrocytes express NMDA receptors of unknown function. Here we show that the stimulation of oligodendroglial NMDA receptors mobilizes glucose transporter GLUT1, leading to its incorporation into the myelin compartment in vivo. When myelinated optic nerves from conditional NMDA receptor mutants are challenged with transient oxygen-glucose deprivation, they show a reduced functional recovery when returned to oxygen-glucose but are indistinguishable from wild-type when provided with oxygen-lactate. Moreover, the functional integrity of isolated optic nerves, which are electrically silent, is extended by preincubation with NMDA, mimicking axonal activity, and shortened by NMDA receptor blockers. This reveals a novel aspect of neuronal energy metabolism in which activity-dependent glutamate release enhances oligodendroglial glucose uptake and glycolytic support of fast spiking axons. PMID:27292539

  16. Effects of eribulin, vincristine, paclitaxel and ixabepilone on fast axonal transport and kinesin-1 driven microtubule gliding: Implications for chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy

    PubMed Central

    LaPointe, Nichole E.; Morfini, Gerardo; Brady, Scott T.; Feinstein, Stuart C.; Wilson, Leslie; Jordan, Mary Ann

    2014-01-01

    Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) is a serious, painful and dose-limiting side effect of cancer drugs that target microtubules. The mechanisms underlying the neuronal damage are unknown, but may include disruption of fast axonal transport, an essential microtubule-based process that moves cellular components over long distances between neuronal cell bodies and nerve terminals. This idea is supported by the “dying back” pattern of degeneration observed in CIPN, and by the selective vulnerability of sensory neurons bearing the longest axonal projections. In this study, we test the hypothesis that microtubule-targeting drugs disrupt fast axonal transport using vesicle motility assays in isolated squid axoplasm and a cell-free microtubule gliding assay with defined components. We compare four clinically-used drugs, eribulin, vincristine, paclitaxel and ixabepilone. Of these, eribulin is associated with a relatively low incidence of severe neuropathy, while vincristine has a relatively high incidence. In vesicle motility assays, we found that all four drugs inhibited anterograde (conventional kinesin-dependent) fast axonal transport, with the potency being vincristine = ixabepilone > paclitaxel = eribulin. Interestingly, eribulin and paclitaxel did not inhibit retrograde (cytoplasmic dynein-dependent) fast axonal transport, in contrast to vincristine and ixabepilone. Similarly, vincristine and ixabepilone both exerted significant inhibitory effects in an in vitro microtubule gliding assay consisting of recombinant kinesin (kinesin-1) and microtubules composed of purified bovine brain tubulin, whereas paclitaxel and eribulin had negligible effects. Our results suggest that (i) inhibition of microtubule-based fast axonal transport may be a significant contributor to neurotoxicity induced by microtubule-targeting drugs, and (ii) that individual microtubule-targeting drugs affect fast axonal transport through different mechanisms. PMID:23711742

  17. Effect of geometrical irregularities on propagation delay in axonal trees.

    PubMed Central

    Manor, Y; Koch, C; Segev, I

    1991-01-01

    Multiple successive geometrical inhomogeneities, such as extensive arborization and terminal varicosities, are usual characteristics of axons. Near such regions the velocity of the action potential (AP) changes. This study uses AXONTREE, a modeling tool developed in the companion paper for two purposes: (a) to gain insights into the consequence of these irregularities for the propagation delay along axons, and (b) to simulate the propagation of APs along a reconstructed axon from a cortical cell, taking into account information concerning the distribution of boutons (release sites) along such axons to estimate the distribution of arrival times of APs to the axons release sites. We used Hodgkin and Huxley (1952) like membrane properties at 20 degrees C. Focusing on the propagation delay which results from geometrical changes along the axon (and not from the actual diameters or length of the axon), the main results are: (a) the propagation delay at a region of a single geometrical change (a step change in axon diameter or a branch point) is in the order of a few tenths of a millisecond. This delay critically depends on the kinetics and the density of the excitable channels; (b) as a general rule, the lag imposed on the AP propagation at a region with a geometrical ratio GR greater than 1 is larger than the lead obtained at a region with a reciprocal of that GR value; (c) when the electronic distance between two successive geometrical changes (Xdis) is small, the delay is not the sum of the individual delays at each geometrical change, when isolated. When both geometrical changes are with GR greater than 1 or both with GR less than 1, this delay is supralinear (larger than the sum of individual delays). The two other combinations yield a sublinear delay; and (d) in a varicose axon, where the diameter changes frequently from thin to thick and back to thin, the propagation velocity may be slower than the velocity along a uniform axon with the thin diameter. Finally, we

  18. Neuron Morphology Influences Axon Initial Segment Plasticity.

    PubMed

    Gulledge, Allan T; Bravo, Jaime J

    2016-01-01

    In most vertebrate neurons, action potentials are initiated in the axon initial segment (AIS), a specialized region of the axon containing a high density of voltage-gated sodium and potassium channels. It has recently been proposed that neurons use plasticity of AIS length and/or location to regulate their intrinsic excitability. Here we quantify the impact of neuron morphology on AIS plasticity using computational models of simplified and realistic somatodendritic morphologies. In small neurons (e.g., dentate granule neurons), excitability was highest when the AIS was of intermediate length and located adjacent to the soma. Conversely, neurons having larger dendritic trees (e.g., pyramidal neurons) were most excitable when the AIS was longer and/or located away from the soma. For any given somatodendritic morphology, increasing dendritic membrane capacitance and/or conductance favored a longer and more distally located AIS. Overall, changes to AIS length, with corresponding changes in total sodium conductance, were far more effective in regulating neuron excitability than were changes in AIS location, while dendritic capacitance had a larger impact on AIS performance than did dendritic conductance. The somatodendritic influence on AIS performance reflects modest soma-to-AIS voltage attenuation combined with neuron size-dependent changes in AIS input resistance, effective membrane time constant, and isolation from somatodendritic capacitance. We conclude that the impact of AIS plasticity on neuron excitability will depend largely on somatodendritic morphology, and that, in some neurons, a shorter or more distally located AIS may promote, rather than limit, action potential generation.

  19. Physiological roles of axonal ankyrins in survival of premyelinated axons and localization of voltage-gated sodium channels.

    PubMed

    Bennett, V; Lambert, S

    1999-01-01

    440 kD ankyrin-B and 480/270 kD ankyrin-G are membrane skeletal proteins with closely related biochemical properties yet distinctive physiological roles in axons. These proteins associate with spectrin-actin networks and also bind to integral membrane proteins including the L1 CAM family of cell adhesion molecules and voltage-gated sodium channels. 440 kD ankyrin-B is expressed with L1 in premyelinated axon tracts, and is essential for survival of these axons, at least in the case of the optic nerve. 440 ankyrin-B may collaborate with L1 in transcellular structures that mediate axon fasciculation and mechanically stabilize axon bundles, although these proteins may also be involved in axon pathfinding. Ankyrin-B (-/-) mice exhibit loss of L1 from premyelinated axon tracts and a similar, although much more severe, phenotype to L1 (-/-) mice and humans with L1 mutations. Ankyrin-B and L1 thus are candidates to collaborate in the same structural pathway and defects in this pathway can lead to nervous system malformations and mental retardation. 480/270 kD ankyrin-G are highly concentrated along with the L1CAM family members neurofascin and NrCAM at nodes of Ranvier and axon initial segments. Voltage-gated sodium channels bind directly to ankyrins, and are likely to associate in a ternary complex containing neurofascin/NrCAM, and ankyrin-G. Mice with ankyrin-G expression abolished in the cerebellum exhibit loss of ability of Purkinje neurons to fire action potentials, as well as loss of restriction of neurofascin/NrCAM to axon initial segments. Ankyrin-G thus is a key component in assembly of functional components of the axon initial segment and possibly the node of Ranvier.

  20. The Number of Alphaherpesvirus Particles Infecting Axons and the Axonal Protein Repertoire Determines the Outcome of Neuronal Infection

    PubMed Central

    Koyuncu, Orkide O.; Song, Ren; Greco, Todd M.; Cristea, Ileana M.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Infection by alphaherpesviruses invariably results in invasion of the peripheral nervous system (PNS) and establishment of either a latent or productive infection. Infection begins with long-distance retrograde transport of viral capsids and tegument proteins in axons toward the neuronal nuclei. Initial steps of axonal entry, retrograde transport, and replication in neuronal nuclei are poorly understood. To better understand how the mode of infection in the PNS is determined, we utilized a compartmented neuron culturing system where distal axons of PNS neurons are physically separated from cell bodies. We infected isolated axons with fluorescent-protein-tagged pseudorabies virus (PRV) particles and monitored viral entry and transport in axons and replication in cell bodies during low and high multiplicities of infection (MOIs of 0.01 to 100). We found a threshold for efficient retrograde transport in axons between MOIs of 1 and 10 and a threshold for productive infection in the neuronal cell bodies between MOIs of 1 and 0.1. Below an MOI of 0.1, the viral genomes that moved to neuronal nuclei were silenced. These genomes can be reactivated after superinfection by a nonreplicating virus, but not by a replicating virus. We further showed that viral particles at high-MOI infections compete for axonal proteins and that this competition determines the number of viral particles reaching the nuclei. Using mass spectrometry, we identified axonal proteins that are differentially regulated by PRV infection. Our results demonstrate the impact of the multiplicity of infection and the axonal milieu on the establishment of neuronal infection initiated from axons. PMID:25805728

  1. Lamina-specific contribution of glutamatergic and GABAergic potentials to hippocampal sharp wave-ripple complexes.

    PubMed

    Schönberger, Jan; Draguhn, Andreas; Both, Martin

    2014-01-01

    The mammalian hippocampus expresses highly organized patterns of neuronal activity which form a neuronal correlate of spatial memories. These memory-encoding neuronal ensembles form on top of different network oscillations which entrain neurons in a state- and experience-dependent manner. The mechanisms underlying activation, timing and selection of participating neurons are incompletely understood. Here we studied the synaptic mechanisms underlying one prominent network pattern called sharp wave-ripple complexes (SPW-R) which are involved in memory consolidation during sleep. We recorded SPW-R with extracellular electrodes along the different layers of area CA1 in mouse hippocampal slices. Contribution of glutamatergic excitation and GABAergic inhibition, respectively, was probed by local application of receptor antagonists into s. radiatum, pyramidale and oriens. Laminar profiles of field potentials show that GABAergic potentials contribute substantially to sharp waves and superimposed ripple oscillations in s. pyramidale. Inhibitory inputs to s. pyramidale and s. oriens are crucial for action potential timing by ripple oscillations, as revealed by multiunit-recordings in the pyramidal cell layer. Glutamatergic afferents, on the other hand, contribute to sharp waves in s. radiatum where they also evoke a fast oscillation at ~200 Hz. Surprisingly, field ripples in s. radiatum are slightly slower than ripples in s. pyramidale, resulting in a systematic shift between dendritic and somatic oscillations. This complex interplay between dendritic excitation and perisomatic inhibition may be responsible for the precise timing of discharge probability during the time course of SPW-R. Together, our data illustrate a complementary role of spatially confined excitatory and inhibitory transmission during highly ordered network patterns in the hippocampus. PMID:25202239

  2. DiI-Labeling of DRG Neurons to Study Axonal Branching in a Whole Mount Preparation of Mouse Embryonic Spinal Cord

    PubMed Central

    Schmidt, Hannes; Rathjen, Fritz G.

    2011-01-01

    Here we present a technique to label the trajectories of small groups of DRG neurons into the embryonic spinal cord by diffusive staining using the lipophilic tracer 1,1'-dioctadecyl-3,3,3',3'-tetramethylindocarbocyanine perchlorate (DiI)1. The comparison of axonal pathways of wild-type with those of mouse lines in which genes are mutated allows testing for a functional role of candidate proteins in the control of axonal branching which is an essential mechanism in the wiring of the nervous system. Axonal branching enables an individual neuron to connect with multiple targets, thereby providing the physical basis for the parallel processing of information. Ramifications at intermediate target regions of axonal growth may be distinguished from terminal arborization. Furthermore, different modes of axonal branch formation may be classified depending on whether branching results from the activities of the growth cone (splitting or delayed branching) or from the budding of collaterals from the axon shaft in a process called interstitial branching2 (Fig. 1). The central projections of neurons from the DRG offer a useful experimental system to study both types of axonal branching: when their afferent axons reach the dorsal root entry zone (DREZ) of the spinal cord between embryonic days 10 to 13 (E10 - E13) they display a stereotyped pattern of T- or Y-shaped bifurcation. The two resulting daughter axons then proceed in rostral or caudal directions, respectively, at the dorsolateral margin of the cord and only after a waiting period collaterals sprout from these stem axons to penetrate the gray matter (interstitial branching) and project to relay neurons in specific laminae of the spinal cord where they further arborize (terminal branching)3. DiI tracings have revealed growth cones at the dorsal root entry zone of the spinal cord that appeared to be in the process of splitting suggesting that bifurcation is caused by splitting of the growth cone itself4 (Fig. 2), however

  3. Akt Regulates Axon Wrapping and Myelin Sheath Thickness in the PNS

    PubMed Central

    Baloui, Hasna; Meng, Xiaosong; Zhang, Yanqing; Deinhardt, Katrin; Dupree, Jeff L.; Einheber, Steven; Chrast, Roman

    2016-01-01

    The signaling pathways that regulate myelination in the PNS remain poorly understood. Phosphatidylinositol-4,5-bisphosphate 3-kinase 1A, activated in Schwann cells by neuregulin and the extracellular matrix, has an essential role in the early events of myelination. Akt/PKB, a key effector of phosphatidylinositol-4,5-bisphosphate 3-kinase 1A, was previously implicated in CNS, but not PNS myelination. Here we demonstrate that Akt plays a crucial role in axon ensheathment and in the regulation of myelin sheath thickness in the PNS. Pharmacological inhibition of Akt in DRG neuron-Schwann cell cocultures dramatically decreased MBP and P0 levels and myelin sheath formation without affecting expression of Krox20/Egr2, a key transcriptional regulator of myelination. Conversely, expression of an activated form of Akt in purified Schwann cells increased expression of myelin proteins, but not Krox20/Egr2, and the levels of activated Rac1. Transgenic mice expressing a membrane-targeted, activated form of Akt under control of the 2′,3′-cyclic nucleotide 3′-phosphodiesterase promoter, exhibited thicker PNS and CNS myelin sheaths, and PNS myelin abnormalities, such as tomacula and myelin infoldings/outfoldings, centered around the paranodes and Schmidt Lanterman incisures. These effects were corrected by rapamycin treatment in vivo. Importantly, Akt activity in the transgenic mice did not induce myelination of nonmyelinating Schwann cells in the sympathetic trunk or Remak fibers of the dorsal roots, although, in those structures, they wrapped membranes redundantly around axons. Together, our data indicate that Akt is crucial for PNS myelination driving axonal wrapping by unmyelinated and myelinated Schwann cells and enhancing myelin protein synthesis in myelinating Schwann cells. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Although the role of the key serine/threonine kinase Akt in promoting CNS myelination has been demonstrated, its role in the PNS has not been established and remains

  4. Axonal Transport and Morphology: How Myelination gets Nerves into Shape

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jung, Peter; Zhao, Peng; Monsma, Paula; Brown, Tony

    2011-03-01

    The local caliber of mature axons is largely determined by neurofilament (NF) content. The axoskeleton, mainly consisting of NFs, however, is dynamic. NFs are assembled in the cell body and are transported by molecular motors on microtubule tracks along the axon at a slow rate of fractions of mm per day. We combine live cell fluorescent imaging techniques to access NF transport in myelinated and non-myelinated segments of axons with computational modeling of the active NF flow to show that a), myelination locally slows NF transport rates by regulating duty ratios and b), that the predicted increase in axon caliber agrees well with experiments. This study, for the first time, links NF kinetics directly to axonal morphology, providing a novel conceptual framework for the physical understanding of processes leading to the formation of axonal structures such as the ``Nodes of Ranvier'' as well as abnormal axonal swellings associated with neurodegenerative diseases like Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). NSF grants # IOS-0818412(PJ) and IOS-0818653 (AB).

  5. Differential Phosphorylation of Smad1 Integrates BMP and Neurotrophin Pathways through Erk/Dusp in Axon Development

    PubMed Central

    Finelli, Mattéa J.; Murphy, Kevin J.; Chen, Lei; Zou, Hongyan

    2013-01-01

    SUMMARY Sensory axon development requires concerted actions of growth factors for the precise control of axonal outgrowth and target innervation. How developing sensory neurons integrate different cues is poorly understood. We demonstrate here that Smad1 activation is required for neurotrophin-mediated sensory axon growth in vitro and in vivo. Through differential phosphorylation, Smad1 exerts transcriptional selectivity to regulate the expression and activity of Erk1 and Erk2—two key neurotrophin effectors. Specifically, BMPs signal through carboxy-terminal phosphorylation of Smad1 (pSmad1C) to induce Erk1/2 transcription for enhanced neurotrophin responsiveness. Meanwhile, neurotrophin signaling results in linker phosphorylation of Smad1 (pSmad1L), which in turn upregulates an Erk-specific dual-specificity phosphatase, Dusp6, leading to reduced pErk1/2, and constituting a negative feedback loop to prevent axon overgrowth. Together, BMP and neurotrophin pathways are integrated in a tightly regulated signaling network with balanced ratio of Erk1/2 and pErk1/2 to direct the precise connections between sensory neurons and peripheral targets. PMID:23665221

  6. The control of ionized calcium in squid axons

    PubMed Central

    Requena, J.; DiPolo, R; Brinley, FJ; Mullins, LJ

    1977-01-01

    Measurements of the Ca content, [Ca](T), of freshly isolated squid axons show a value of 60 μmol/kg axoplasm. Axons in 3 mM Ca(Na) seawater show little change in Ca content over 4 h, while axons in 3 mM Ca(Na) seawater show little change in Ca content over 4 h, while axons in 10 mM Ca(Na) seawater show gains of 18 μmol/Ca/kgxh. In 10 Ca (Choline) seawater the gain is 2,400 μmol/kgxh. Using aequorin confined to a dialysis capillary in the center of an axon, one finds that [Ca](i) is in a steady state with 3 Ca (Na) seawater, and that both 10 Ca (Na) and 3 Ca (choline) seawater cause increases in [Ca](i). In 3 Ca (Na) seawater-3 Ca (choline) seawater mixtures, 180 mM [Na](0) (40 perecent Na) is as effective as 450 mM [Na](0) (100 percent Na) in maintaining a normal [Ca](1); lower [Na] causes an increase in [Ca](i). If axons are injected with the ATP-splitting enzyme apyrase, the resulting [Ca](1) is not loading with high [Ca](0) or low [Na](0) solutions. Depolarization of an axon with 100 mM K (Na) seawater leads to an increase in the steady-state level of [Ca](1) that is reversed upon returning the axon to normal seawater. Freshly isolated axons treated with either CN or FCCP to inhibit mitochondrial Ca buffering can still maintain a normal [Ca](i) in 1 Ca (Na) seawater. PMID:894259

  7. Experimental subarachnoid haemorrhage results in multifocal axonal injury.

    PubMed

    Kummer, Terrance T; Magnoni, Sandra; MacDonald, Christine L; Dikranian, Krikor; Milner, Eric; Sorrell, James; Conte, Valeria; Benetatos, Joey J; Zipfel, Gregory J; Brody, David L

    2015-09-01

    The great majority of acute brain injury results from trauma or from disorders of the cerebrovasculature, i.e. ischaemic stroke or haemorrhage. These injuries are characterized by an initial insult that triggers a cascade of injurious cellular processes. The nature of these processes in spontaneous intracranial haemorrhage is poorly understood. Subarachnoid haemorrhage, a particularly deadly form of intracranial haemorrhage, shares key pathophysiological features with traumatic brain injury including exposure to a sudden pressure pulse. Here we provide evidence that axonal injury, a signature characteristic of traumatic brain injury, is also a prominent feature of experimental subarachnoid haemorrhage. Using histological markers of membrane disruption and cytoskeletal injury validated in analyses of traumatic brain injury, we show that axonal injury also occurs following subarachnoid haemorrhage in an animal model. Consistent with the higher prevalence of global as opposed to focal deficits after subarachnoid haemorrhage and traumatic brain injury in humans, axonal injury in this model is observed in a multifocal pattern not limited to the immediate vicinity of the ruptured artery. Ultrastructural analysis further reveals characteristic axonal membrane and cytoskeletal changes similar to those associated with traumatic axonal injury. Diffusion tensor imaging, a translational imaging technique previously validated in traumatic axonal injury, from these same specimens demonstrates decrements in anisotropy that correlate with histological axonal injury and functional outcomes. These radiological indicators identify a fibre orientation-dependent gradient of axonal injury consistent with a barotraumatic mechanism. Although traumatic and haemorrhagic acute brain injury are generally considered separately, these data suggest that a signature pathology of traumatic brain injury-axonal injury-is also a functionally significant feature of subarachnoid haemorrhage, raising

  8. Experimental subarachnoid haemorrhage results in multifocal axonal injury

    PubMed Central

    Magnoni, Sandra; MacDonald, Christine L.; Dikranian, Krikor; Milner, Eric; Sorrell, James; Conte, Valeria; Benetatos, Joey J.; Zipfel, Gregory J.; Brody, David L.

    2015-01-01

    The great majority of acute brain injury results from trauma or from disorders of the cerebrovasculature, i.e. ischaemic stroke or haemorrhage. These injuries are characterized by an initial insult that triggers a cascade of injurious cellular processes. The nature of these processes in spontaneous intracranial haemorrhage is poorly understood. Subarachnoid haemorrhage, a particularly deadly form of intracranial haemorrhage, shares key pathophysiological features with traumatic brain injury including exposure to a sudden pressure pulse. Here we provide evidence that axonal injury, a signature characteristic of traumatic brain injury, is also a prominent feature of experimental subarachnoid haemorrhage. Using histological markers of membrane disruption and cytoskeletal injury validated in analyses of traumatic brain injury, we show that axonal injury also occurs following subarachnoid haemorrhage in an animal model. Consistent with the higher prevalence of global as opposed to focal deficits after subarachnoid haemorrhage and traumatic brain injury in humans, axonal injury in this model is observed in a multifocal pattern not limited to the immediate vicinity of the ruptured artery. Ultrastructural analysis further reveals characteristic axonal membrane and cytoskeletal changes similar to those associated with traumatic axonal injury. Diffusion tensor imaging, a translational imaging technique previously validated in traumatic axonal injury, from these same specimens demonstrates decrements in anisotropy that correlate with histological axonal injury and functional outcomes. These radiological indicators identify a fibre orientation-dependent gradient of axonal injury consistent with a barotraumatic mechanism. Although traumatic and haemorrhagic acute brain injury are generally considered separately, these data suggest that a signature pathology of traumatic brain injury—axonal injury—is also a functionally significant feature of subarachnoid haemorrhage

  9. BDNF Promotes Axon Branching of Retinal Ganglion Cells via miRNA-132 and p250GAP

    PubMed Central

    Marler, Katharine J.; Suetterlin, Philipp; Dopplapudi, Asha; Rubikaite, Aine; Adnan, Jihad; Maiorano, Nicola A.; Lowe, Andrew S.; Thompson, Ian D.; Pathania, Manav; Bordey, Angelique; Fulga, Tudor; Van Vactor, David L.; Hindges, Robert

    2014-01-01

    A crucial step in the development of the vertebrate visual system is the branching of retinal ganglion cell (RGC) axons within their target, the superior colliculus/tectum. A major player in this process is the neurotrophin brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). However, the molecular basis for the signaling pathways mediating BDNF action is less well understood. As BDNF exerts some of its functions by controlling the expression of microRNAs (miRNAs), we investigated whether miRNAs are also involved in BDNF-mediated retinal axon branching. Here, we demonstrate that the expression pattern of miRNA-132 in the retina is consistent with its involvement in this process, and that BDNF induces the upregulation of miRNA-132 in retinal cultures. Furthermore, in vitro gain-of-function and loss-of-function approaches in retinal cultures reveal that miRNA-132 mediates axon branching downstream of BDNF. A known target of miRNA-132 is the Rho family GTPase-activating protein, p250GAP. We find that p250GAP is expressed in RGC axons and mediates the effects of miRNA-132 in BDNF-induced branching. BDNF treatment or overexpression of miRNA-132 leads to a reduction in p250GAP protein levels in retinal cultures, whereas the overexpression of p250GAP abolishes BDNF-induced branching. Finally, we used a loss-of-function approach to show that miRNA-132 affects the maturation of RGC termination zones in the mouse superior colliculus in vivo, while their topographic targeting remains intact. Together, our data indicate that BDNF promotes RGC axon branching during retinocollicular/tectal map formation via upregulation of miRNA-132, which in turn downregulates p250GAP. PMID:24431455

  10. Axon guidance and neuronal migration research in China.

    PubMed

    Yuan, XiaoBing

    2010-03-01

    Proper migration of neuronal somas and axonal growth cones to designated locations in the developing brain is essential for the assembly of functional neuronal circuits. Rapid progress in research of axon guidance and neuronal migration has been made in the last twenty years. Chinese researchers began their exploration in this field ten years ago and have made significant contributions in clarifying the signal transduction of axon guidance and neuronal migration. Several unique experimental approaches, including the migration assay of single isolated neurons in response to locally delivered guidance cues, have been developed by Chinese neuroscientists to investigate the molecular machinery underlying these guidance events.

  11. PirB is a functional receptor for myelin inhibitors of axonal regeneration.

    PubMed

    Atwal, Jasvinder K; Pinkston-Gosse, Julie; Syken, Josh; Stawicki, Scott; Wu, Yan; Shatz, Carla; Tessier-Lavigne, Marc

    2008-11-01

    A major barrier to regenerating axons after injury in the mammalian central nervous system is an unfavorable milieu. Three proteins found in myelin--Nogo, MAG, and OMgp--inhibit axon regeneration in vitro and bind to the glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored Nogo receptor (NgR). However, genetic deletion of NgR has only a modest disinhibitory effect, suggesting that other binding receptors for these molecules probably exist. With the use of expression cloning, we have found that paired immunoglobulin-like receptor B (PirB), which has been implicated in nervous system plasticity, is a high-affinity receptor for Nogo, MAG, and OMgp. Interfering with PirB activity, either with antibodies or genetically, partially rescues neurite inhibition by Nogo66, MAG, OMgp, and myelin in cultured neurons. Blocking both PirB and NgR activities leads to near-complete release from myelin inhibition. Our results implicate PirB in mediating regeneration block, identify PirB as a potential target for axon regeneration therapies, and provide an explanation for the similar enhancements of visual system plasticity in PirB and NgR knockout mice.

  12. Role of macrophages in Wallerian degeneration and axonal regeneration after peripheral nerve injury.

    PubMed

    Chen, Peiwen; Piao, Xianhua; Bonaldo, Paolo

    2015-11-01

    The peripheral nervous system (PNS) has remarkable regenerative abilities after injury. Successful PNS regeneration relies on both injured axons and non-neuronal cells, including Schwann cells and immune cells. Macrophages are the most notable immune cells that play key roles in PNS injury and repair. Upon peripheral nerve injury, a large number of macrophages are accumulated at the injury sites, where they not only contribute to Wallerian degeneration, but also are educated by the local microenvironment and polarized to an anti-inflammatory phenotype (M2), thus contributing to axonal regeneration. Significant progress has been made in understanding how macrophages are educated and polarized in the injured microenvironment as well as how they contribute to axonal regeneration. Following the discussion on the main properties of macrophages and their phenotypes, in this review, we will summarize the current knowledge regarding the mechanisms of macrophage infiltration after PNS injury. Moreover, we will discuss the recent findings elucidating how macrophages are polarized to M2 phenotype in the injured PNS microenvironment, as well as the role and underlying mechanisms of macrophages in peripheral nerve injury, Wallerian degeneration and regeneration. Furthermore, we will highlight the potential application by targeting macrophages in treating peripheral nerve injury and peripheral neuropathies.

  13. Loss of mitochondrial fission depletes axonal mitochondria in midbrain dopamine neurons.

    PubMed

    Berthet, Amandine; Margolis, Elyssa B; Zhang, Jue; Hsieh, Ivy; Zhang, Jiasheng; Hnasko, Thomas S; Ahmad, Jawad; Edwards, Robert H; Sesaki, Hiromi; Huang, Eric J; Nakamura, Ken

    2014-10-22

    Disruptions in mitochondrial dynamics may contribute to the selective degeneration of dopamine (DA) neurons in Parkinson's disease (PD). However, little is known about the normal functions of mitochondrial dynamics in these neurons, especially in axons where degeneration begins, and this makes it difficult to understand the disease process. To study one aspect of mitochondrial dynamics-mitochondrial fission-in mouse DA neurons, we deleted the central fission protein dynamin-related protein 1 (Drp1). Drp1 loss rapidly eliminates the DA terminals in the caudate-putamen and causes cell bodies in the midbrain to degenerate and lose α-synuclein. Without Drp1, mitochondrial mass dramatically decreases, especially in axons, where the mitochondrial movement becomes uncoordinated. However, in the ventral tegmental area (VTA), a subset of midbrain DA neurons characterized by small hyperpolarization-activated cation currents (Ih) is spared, despite near complete loss of their axonal mitochondria. Drp1 is thus critical for targeting mitochondria to the nerve terminal, and a disruption in mitochondrial fission can contribute to the preferential death of nigrostriatal DA neurons.

  14. Axon guidance of sympathetic neurons to cardiomyocytes by glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF).

    PubMed

    Miwa, Keiko; Lee, Jong-Kook; Takagishi, Yoshiko; Opthof, Tobias; Fu, Xianming; Hirabayashi, Masumi; Watabe, Kazuhiko; Jimbo, Yasuhiko; Kodama, Itsuo; Komuro, Issei

    2013-01-01

    Molecular signaling of cardiac autonomic innervation is an unresolved issue. Here, we show that glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) promotes cardiac sympathetic innervation in vitro and in vivo. In vitro, ventricular myocytes (VMs) and sympathetic neurons (SNs) isolated from neonatal rat ventricles and superior cervical ganglia were cultured at a close distance. Then, morphological and functional coupling between SNs and VMs was assessed in response to GDNF (10 ng/ml) or nerve growth factor (50 ng/ml). As a result, fractions of neurofilament-M-positive axons and synapsin-I-positive area over the surface of VMs were markedly increased with GDNF by 9-fold and 25-fold, respectively, compared to control without neurotrophic factors. Pre- and post-synaptic stimulation of β1-adrenergic receptors (BAR) with nicotine and noradrenaline, respectively, resulted in an increase of the spontaneous beating rate of VMs co-cultured with SNs in the presence of GDNF. GDNF overexpressing VMs by adenovirus vector (AdGDNF-VMs) attracted more axons from SNs compared with mock-transfected VMs. In vivo, axon outgrowth toward the denervated myocardium in adult rat hearts after cryoinjury was also enhanced significantly by adenovirus-mediated GDNF overexpression. GDNF acts as a potent chemoattractant for sympathetic innervation of ventricular myocytes, and is a promising molecular target for regulation of cardiac function in diseased hearts.

  15. Axonal processes and neural plasticity.I: Ocular dominance columns.

    PubMed

    Elliott, T; Howarth, C I; Shadbolt, N R

    1996-01-01

    We present two related computational models of ocular dominance column formation. Both address nervous system plasticity in terms of sprouting and retraction of axonal processes rather than changes in synaptic strength implied by synapse-specific Hebbian models. We employ statistical mechanics to simulate changes in the pattern of network connectivity. Our formalism uses the concept of an energy function, which we interpret as related to the levels of target-generated neurotrophins for which afferents compete. In contrast, synapse-specific Hebbian models impose synaptic normalization, for which there is little experimental evidence, in order to induce competition. Our models make many predictions which require experimental investigation. We suggest that the absence of monocular deprivation effects in the optic tectum may be due to a tendency of amphibian retinal ganglion cells to preserve the complexity of their terminal arbors. One model raises the possibility that boundaries separating columns in the mammalian cortex are poorly innervated if they have been formed by complete but asynchronous retinal activation. Both models exhibit a phase transition, suggesting a discontinuity in the transition from a binocular cortex to one possessing ocular dominance columns. Finally, our other model could account for the perpendicularity of ocular dominance columns to the boundary of the primary visual cortex while admitting of less ordered central patterns.

  16. An evolutionarily conserved mechanism for cAMP elicited axonal regeneration involves direct activation of the dual leucine zipper kinase DLK

    PubMed Central

    Hao, Yan; Frey, Erin; Yoon, Choya; Wong, Hetty; Nestorovski, Douglas; Holzman, Lawrence B; Giger, Roman J; DiAntonio, Aaron; Collins, Catherine

    2016-01-01

    A broadly known method to stimulate the growth potential of axons is to elevate intracellular levels of cAMP, however the cellular pathway(s) that mediate this are not known. Here we identify the Dual Leucine-zipper Kinase (DLK, Wnd in Drosophila) as a critical target and effector of cAMP in injured axons. DLK/Wnd is thought to function as an injury ‘sensor’, as it becomes activated after axonal damage. Our findings in both Drosophila and mammalian neurons indicate that the cAMP effector kinase PKA is a conserved and direct upstream activator of Wnd/DLK. PKA is required for the induction of Wnd signaling in injured axons, and DLK is essential for the regenerative effects of cAMP in mammalian DRG neurons. These findings link two important mediators of responses to axonal injury, DLK/Wnd and cAMP/PKA, into a unified and evolutionarily conserved molecular pathway for stimulating the regenerative potential of injured axons. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.14048.001 PMID:27268300

  17. Graded model of diffuse axonal injury for studying head injury-induced cognitive dysfunction in rats.

    PubMed

    Maruichi, Katsuhiko; Kuroda, Satoshi; Chiba, Yasuhiro; Hokari, Masaaki; Shichinohe, Hideo; Hida, Kazutoshi; Iwasaki, Yoshinobu

    2009-04-01

    Diffuse axonal injury (DAI) plays a major role in the development of cognitive dysfunction, emotional difficulties and behavioral disturbances in patients following closed head injury, even when they have no definite abnormalities on conventional MRI. This study aimed to develop a highly controlled and reproducible model for DAI that simulates post-traumatic cognitive dysfunction in humans. Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats were subjected to impact acceleration head injury, using a pneumatic impact targeted to a steel disc centered onto their skull. The severity of injury was graded as three levels by adjusting the driving pressure at 60, 70 or 80 pounds per square inch. In vivo MRI was obtained 2 days post-injury. Cognitive function was evaluated using the Morris water maze at 1 and 2 weeks post-injury. HE staining and immunohistochemistry were performed to assess neuronal and axonal damages after 2 weeks. MRI demonstrated that this model induced no gross structural modification in the brain. The degree and duration of cognitive dysfunction were dependent on the force of impact. Histological analysis revealed the force-dependent damage of the neurons and microtubule-associated protein 2-positive axons in the neocortex. Hippocampal damage was much less pronounced and was not linked to cognitive dysfunction. This is the first report that precisely evaluates the threshold of impact energy to lead to neocortical damage and cognitive dysfunction in rodents. This model would be suitable for clarifying the complex mechanisms of post-traumatic brain damage and testing novel therapeutic approaches against post-traumatic cognitive dysfunction due to diffuse axonal damage.

  18. Npn-1 Contributes to Axon-Axon Interactions That Differentially Control Sensory and Motor Innervation of the Limb

    PubMed Central

    Bianchi, Elisa; Novitch, Bennett G.; Huber, Andrea B.

    2011-01-01

    The initiation, execution, and completion of complex locomotor behaviors are depending on precisely integrated neural circuitries consisting of motor pathways that activate muscles in the extremities and sensory afferents that deliver feedback to motoneurons. These projections form in tight temporal and spatial vicinities during development, yet the molecular mechanisms and cues coordinating these processes are not well understood. Using cell-type specific ablation of the axon guidance receptor Neuropilin-1 (Npn-1) in spinal motoneurons or in sensory neurons in the dorsal root ganglia (DRG), we have explored the contribution of this signaling pathway to correct innervation of the limb. We show that Npn-1 controls the fasciculation of both projections and mediates inter-axonal communication. Removal of Npn-1 from sensory neurons results in defasciculation of sensory axons and, surprisingly, also of motor axons. In addition, the tight coupling between these two heterotypic axonal populations is lifted with sensory fibers now leading the spinal nerve projection. These findings are corroborated by partial genetic elimination of sensory neurons, which causes defasciculation of motor projections to the limb. Deletion of Npn-1 from motoneurons leads to severe defasciculation of motor axons in the distal limb and dorsal-ventral pathfinding errors, while outgrowth and fasciculation of sensory trajectories into the limb remain unaffected. Genetic elimination of motoneurons, however, revealed that sensory axons need only minimal scaffolding by motor axons to establish their projections in the distal limb. Thus, motor and sensory axons are mutually dependent on each other for the generation of their trajectories and interact in part through Npn-1-mediated fasciculation before and within the plexus region of the limbs. PMID:21364975

  19. Vector-induced NT-3 expression in rats promotes collateral growth of injured corticospinal tract axons far rostral to a spinal cord injury.

    PubMed

    Weishaupt, N; Mason, A L O; Hurd, C; May, Z; Zmyslowski, D C; Galleguillos, D; Sipione, S; Fouad, K

    2014-07-11

    Rewiring the injured corticospinal tract (CST) by promoting connections between CST axons and spared neurons is a strategy being explored experimentally to achieve improved recovery of motor function after spinal cord injury (SCI). Reliable interventions to promote and direct growth of collaterals from injured CST axons are in high demand to promote functionally relevant detour pathways. A promising tool is neurotrophin-3 (NT-3), which has shown growth-stimulating and chemo-attractive effects for spared CST axons caudal to a CST lesion. Yet, efforts to promote growth of injured CST axons rostral to a SCI with NT-3 have been less successful to date. Evidence indicates that immune activation in the local growth environment, either intrinsic or induced by the endotoxin lipopolysaccharide (LPS), can play a decisive role in the CST's responsiveness to NT-3. Here, we test the potential of NT-3 as a tool to enhance and direct collateral growth from the injured CST rostral to a SCI (1) using long-term expression of NT-3 by adeno-associated viral vectors, (2) with and without stimulating the immune system with LPS. Our results indicate that inducing a growth response from injured CST axons into a region of vector-mediated NT-3 expression is possible in the environment of the spinal cord rostral to a SCI, but seems dependent on the distance between the responding axon and the source of NT-3. Our findings also suggest that injured CST axons do not increase their growth response to NT-3 after immune activation with LPS in this environment. In conclusion, this is to our knowledge the first demonstration that NT-3 can be effective at promoting growth of injured CST collaterals far rostral to a SCI. Making NT-3 available in close proximity to CST target axons may be the key to success when using NT-3 to rewire the injured CST in future investigations.

  20. Axonal injury in closed head injury by assault: a quantitative study.

    PubMed

    Crooks, D A; Scholtz, C L; Vowles, G; Greenwald, S; Evans, S

    1992-04-01

    Due to the controversy in the literature regarding the time course of axonal balloon formation in human material, we wished to determine if it was possible to diagnose axonal injury before the development of axonal balloonings. The hypothesis was that the presence of axonal swellings or axonal enlargements associated with a glial reaction could be used as a diagnostic aid in human axonal injury before 12 hours. The brains of eight individuals that survived for less than 48 hours following head injury, and also had evidence of axonal injury using the criteria of Vanezis et al. (1987), were systematically studied by looking at axonal swellings, axonal balloonings, reactive astrocytes, maximum diameter of axonal enlargements and density of axonal enlargements. Controls were eight selected cases without neurological disease. The variables studied were assessed in 25 fields from ten different areas of the brain, using silver stains and immunoperoxidase for glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP). Logarithms of one plus the count of each variable were taken from the raw data and these were analysed using percentile distribution and the median, the t-test, Mann-Whitney U test and the Wilcoxon signed rank test. We conclude that quantitation of axonal damage allows the detection of mild degrees of axonal injury that could be overlooked on routine examination, and that the criteria of axonal enlargements, rather than axonal balloonings, are indications of axonal damage, cannot be endorsed with the evidence provided.

  1. Sodium Channels, Mitochondria, and Axonal Degeneration in Peripheral Neuropathy.

    PubMed

    Persson, Anna-Karin; Hoeijmakers, Janneke G J; Estacion, Mark; Black, Joel A; Waxman, Stephen G

    2016-05-01

    Peripheral neuropathy results from damage to peripheral nerves and is often accompanied by pain in affected limbs. Treatment represents an unmet medical need and a thorough understanding of the mechanisms underlying axonal injury is needed. Longer nerve fibers tend to degenerate first (length-dependence), and patients carrying pathogenic mutations throughout life usually become symptomatic in mid- or late-life (time-dependence). The activity of voltage-gated sodium channels can contribute to axonal injury and sodium channel gain-of-function mutations have been linked to peripheral neuropathy. Recent studies have implicated sodium channel activity, mitochondrial compromise, and reverse-mode Na(+)/Ca(2+) exchange in time- and length-dependent axonal injury. Elucidation of molecular mechanisms underlying axonal injury in peripheral neuropathy may provide new therapeutic strategies for this painful and debilitating condition.

  2. Structural plasticity of axon terminals in the adult.

    PubMed

    Gogolla, Nadine; Galimberti, Ivan; Caroni, Pico

    2007-10-01

    There is now conclusive evidence for widespread ongoing structural plasticity of presynaptic boutons and axon side-branches in the adult brain. The plasticity complements that of postsynaptic spines, but axonal plasticity samples larger volumes of neuropil, and has a larger impact on circuit remodeling. Axons from distinct neurons exhibit unique ratios of stable (t1/2>9 months) and dynamic (t1/2 5-20 days) boutons, which persist as spatially intermingled subgroups along terminal arbors. In addition, phases of side-branch dynamics mediate larger scale remodeling guided by synaptogenesis. The plasticity is most pronounced during critical periods; its patterns and outcome are controlled by Hebbian mechanisms and intrinsic neuronal factors. Novel experience, skill learning, life-style, and age can persistently modify local circuit structure through axonal structural plasticity.

  3. Vesicular release of glutamate from unmyelinated axons in white matter

    PubMed Central

    Ziskin, Jennifer L; Nishiyama, Akiko; Rubio, Maria; Fukaya, Masahiro; Bergles, Dwight E

    2007-01-01

    Directed fusion of transmitter-laden vesicles enables rapid intercellular signaling in the central nervous system and occurs at synapses within gray matter. Here we show that action potentials also induce the release of glutamate from axons in the corpus callosum, a white matter region responsible for interhemispheric communication. Callosal axons release glutamate by vesicular fusion, which induces quantal AMPA receptor–mediated currents in NG2+ glial progenitors at anatomically distinct axo–glial synaptic junctions. Glutamate release from axons was facilitated by repetitive stimulation and could be inhibited through activation of metabotropic autoreceptors. Although NG2+ cells form associations with nodes of Ranvier in white matter, measurements of conduction velocity indicated that unmyelinated fibers are responsible for glutamatergic signaling with NG2+ glia. This activity-dependent secretion of glutamate was prevalent in the developing and mature mouse corpus callosum, indicating that axons within white matter both conduct action potentials and engage in rapid neuron-glia communication. PMID:17293857

  4. Molecular disorganization of axons adjacent to human lacunar infarcts.

    PubMed

    Hinman, Jason D; Lee, Monica D; Tung, Spencer; Vinters, Harry V; Carmichael, S Thomas

    2015-03-01

    Cerebral microvascular disease predominantly affects brain white matter and deep grey matter, resulting in ischaemic damage that ranges from lacunar infarcts to white matter hyperintensities seen on magnetic resonance imaging. These lesions are common and result in both clinical stroke syndromes and accumulate over time, resulting in cognitive deficits and dementia. Magnetic resonance imaging studies suggest that these lesions progress over time, accumulate adjacent to prior lesions and have a penumbral region susceptible to further injury. The pathological correlates of this adjacent injury in surviving myelinated axons have not been previously defined. In this study, we sought to determine the molecular organization of axons in tissue adjacent to lacunar infarcts and in the regions surrounding microinfarcts, by determining critical elements in axonal function: the morphology and length of node of Ranvier segments and adjacent paranodal segments. We examined post-mortem brain tissue from six patients with lacunar infarcts and tissue from two patients with autosomal dominant retinal vasculopathy and cerebral leukoencephalopathy (previously known as hereditary endotheliopathy with retinopathy, nephropathy and stroke) who accumulate progressive white matter ischaemic lesions in the form of lacunar and microinfarcts. In axons adjacent to lacunar infarcts yet extending up to 150% of the infarct diameter away, both nodal and paranodal length increase by ∼20% and 80%, respectively, reflecting a loss of normal cell-cell adhesion and signalling between axons and oligodendrocytes. Using premorbid magnetic resonance images, brain regions from patients with retinal vasculopathy and cerebral leukoencephalopathy that harboured periventricular white matter hyperintensities were selected and the molecular organization of axons was determined within these regions. As in regions adjacent to lacunar infarcts, nodal and paranodal length in white matter of these patients is

  5. Molecular disorganization of axons adjacent to human lacunar infarcts

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Monica D.; Tung, Spencer; Vinters, Harry V.; Carmichael, S. Thomas

    2015-01-01

    Cerebral microvascular disease predominantly affects brain white matter and deep grey matter, resulting in ischaemic damage that ranges from lacunar infarcts to white matter hyperintensities seen on magnetic resonance imaging. These lesions are common and result in both clinical stroke syndromes and accumulate over time, resulting in cognitive deficits and dementia. Magnetic resonance imaging studies suggest that these lesions progress over time, accumulate adjacent to prior lesions and have a penumbral region susceptible to further injury. The pathological correlates of this adjacent injury in surviving myelinated axons have not been previously defined. In this study, we sought to determine the molecular organization of axons in tissue adjacent to lacunar infarcts and in the regions surrounding microinfarcts, by determining critical elements in axonal function: the morphology and length of node of Ranvier segments and adjacent paranodal segments. We examined post-mortem brain tissue from six patients with lacunar infarcts and tissue from two patients with autosomal dominant retinal vasculopathy and cerebral leukoencephalopathy (previously known as hereditary endotheliopathy with retinopathy, nephropathy and stroke) who accumulate progressive white matter ischaemic lesions in the form of lacunar and microinfarcts. In axons adjacent to lacunar infarcts yet extending up to 150% of the infarct diameter away, both nodal and paranodal length increase by ∼20% and 80%, respectively, reflecting a loss of normal cell-cell adhesion and signalling between axons and oligodendrocytes. Using premorbid magnetic resonance images, brain regions from patients with retinal vasculopathy and cerebral leukoencephalopathy that harboured periventricular white matter hyperintensities were selected and the molecular organization of axons was determined within these regions. As in regions adjacent to lacunar infarcts, nodal and paranodal length in white matter of these patients is

  6. Critical role of trkB receptors in reactive axonal sprouting and hyperexcitability after axonal injury

    PubMed Central

    Aungst, Stephanie; England, Pamela M.

    2013-01-01

    Traumatic brain injury (TBI) causes many long-term neurological complications. Some of these conditions, such as posttraumatic epilepsy, are characterized by increased excitability that typically arises after a latent period lasting from months to years, suggesting that slow injury-induced processes are critical. We tested the hypothesis that trkB activation promotes delayed injury-induced hyperexcitability in part by promoting reactive axonal sprouting. We modeled penetrative TBI with transection of the Schaffer collateral pathway in knock-in mice having an introduced mutation in the trkB receptor (trkBF616A) that renders it susceptible to inhibition by the novel small molecule 1NMPP1. We observed that trkB activation was increased in area CA3 1 day after injury and that expression of a marker of axonal growth, GAP43, was increased 7 days after lesion. Extracellular field potentials in stratum pyramidale of area CA3 in acute slices from sham-operated and lesioned mice were normal in control saline. Abnormal bursts of population spikes were observed under conditions that were mildly proconvulsive but only in slices taken from mice lesioned 7–21 days earlier and not in slices from control mice. trkB activation, GAP43 upregulation, and hyperexcitability were diminished by systemic administration of 1NMPP1 for 7 days after the lesion. Synaptic transmission from area CA3 to area CA1 recovered 7 days after lesion in untreated mice but not in mice treated with 1NMPP1. We conclude that trkB receptor activation and reactive axonal sprouting are critical factors in injury-induced hyperexcitability and may contribute to the neurological complications of TBI. PMID:23155176

  7. Differential compartmentalization of mRNAs in squid giant axon.

    PubMed

    Chun, J T; Gioio, A E; Crispino, M; Giuditta, A; Kaplan, B B

    1996-11-01

    Previously, we reported that the squid giant axon contains a heterogeneous population of mRNAs that includes beta-actin, beta-tubulin, kinesin, neurofilament proteins, and enolase. To define the absolute levels and relative distribution of these mRNAs, we have used competitive reverse transcription-PCR to quantify the levels of five mRNAs present in the giant axon and giant fiber lobe (GFL), the location of the parental cell soma. In the GFL, the number of transcripts for these mRNAs varied over a fourfold range, with beta-tubulin being the most abundant mRNA species (1.25 x 10(9) molecules per GFL). Based on transcript number, the rank order of mRNA levels in the GFL was beta-tubulin > beta-actin > kinesin > enolase > microtubule-associated protein (MAP) H1. In contrast, kinesin mRNA was most abundant in the axon (4.1 x 10(7) molecules per axon) with individual mRNA levels varying 15-fold. The rank order of mRNA levels in the axon was kinesin > beta-tubulin > MAP H1 > beta-actin > enolase. The relative abundance of the mRNA species in the axon did not correlate with the size of the transcript, nor was it directly related to their corresponding levels in the GFL. Taken together, these findings confirm that significant amounts of mRNA are present in the giant axon and suggest that specific mRNAs are differentially transported into the axonal domain.

  8. Modality-Specific Axonal Regeneration: Toward Selective Regenerative Neural Interfaces

    PubMed Central

    Lotfi, Parisa; Garde, Kshitija; Chouhan, Amit K.; Bengali, Ebrahim; Romero-Ortega, Mario I.

    2011-01-01

    Regenerative peripheral nerve interfaces have been proposed as viable alternatives for the natural control of robotic prosthetic devices. However, sensory and motor axons at the neural interface are of mixed sub-modality types, which difficult the specific recording from motor axons and the eliciting of precise sensory modalities through selective stimulation. Here we evaluated the possibility of using type specific neurotrophins to preferentially entice the regeneration of defined axonal populations from transected peripheral nerves into separate compartments. Segregation of mixed sensory fibers from dorsal root ganglion neurons was evaluated in vitro by compartmentalized diffusion delivery of nerve growth factor (NGF) and neurotrophin-3 (NT-3), to preferentially entice the growth of TrkA+ nociceptive and TrkC+ proprioceptive subsets of sensory neurons, respectively. The average axon length in the NGF channel increased 2.5-fold compared to that in saline or NT-3, whereas the number of branches increased threefold in the NT-3 channels. These results were confirmed using a 3D “Y”-shaped in vitro assay showing that the arm containing NGF was able to entice a fivefold increase in axonal length of unbranched fibers. To address if such segregation can be enticed in vivo, a “Y”-shaped tubing was used to allow regeneration of the transected adult rat sciatic nerve into separate compartments filled with either NFG or NT-3. A significant increase in the number of CGRP+ pain fibers were attracted toward the sural nerve, while N-52+ large-diameter axons were observed in the tibial and NT-3 compartments. This study demonstrates the guided enrichment of sensory axons in specific regenerative chambers, and supports the notion that neurotrophic factors can be used to segregate sensory and perhaps motor axons in separate peripheral interfaces. PMID:22016734

  9. Apaf1-deficient cortical neurons exhibit defects in axonal outgrowth.

    PubMed

    De Zio, Daniela; Molinari, Francesca; Rizza, Salvatore; Gatta, Lucia; Ciotti, Maria Teresa; Salvatore, Anna Maria; Mathiassen, Søs Grønbæk; Cwetsch, Andrzej W; Filomeni, Giuseppe; Rosano, Giuseppe; Ferraro, Elisabetta

    2015-11-01

    The establishment of neuronal polarity and axonal outgrowth are key processes affecting neuronal migration and synapse formation, their impairment likely leading to cognitive deficits. Here we have found that the apoptotic protease activating factor 1 (Apaf1), apart from its canonical role in apoptosis, plays an additional function in cortical neurons, where its deficiency specifically impairs axonal growth. Given the central role played by centrosomes and microtubules in the polarized extension of the axon, our data suggest that Apaf1-deletion affects axonal outgrowth through an impairment of centrosome organization. In line with this, centrosomal protein expression, as well as their centrosomal localization proved to be altered upon Apaf1-deletion. Strikingly, we also found that Apaf1-loss affects trans-Golgi components and leads to a robust activation of AMP-dependent protein kinase (AMPK), this confirming the stressful conditions induced by Apaf1-deficiency. Since AMPK hyper-phosphorylation is known to impair a proper axon elongation, our finding contributes to explain the effect of Apaf1-deficiency on axogenesis. We also discovered that the signaling pathways mediating axonal growth and involving glycogen synthase kinase-3β, liver kinase B1, and collapsing-response mediator protein-2 are altered in Apaf1-KO neurons. Overall, our results reveal a novel non-apoptotic role for Apaf1 in axonal outgrowth, suggesting that the neuronal phenotype due to Apaf1-deletion could not only be fully ascribed to apoptosis inhibition, but might also be the result of defects in axogenesis. The discovery of new molecules involved in axonal elongation has a clinical relevance since it might help to explain neurological abnormalities occurring during early brain development. PMID:25975226

  10. Axotomy accelerates slow component b of axonal transport.

    PubMed

    Jacob, J M; McQuarrie, I G

    1991-09-01

    Because the integrity of an axon depends on the supply of proteins synthesized in the cell body, we examined the effect of axotomy on the transport of structural proteins in rat motor axons, and the effect of altered transport on the rate of outgrowth after a subsequent testing axotomy. To examine the axonal transport of structural proteins, we labeled newly synthesized proteins with 35S-methionine 7 days after a "conditioning" lesion of the sciatic nerve, and removed the nerve 7-21 days later for SDS-PAGE. Tubulin, actin, calmodulin, and the 68-kD light neurofilament protein (NF-L) were identified by fluorography and removed for liquid scintillation counting. The fastest moving structural proteins were carried by slow component b (SCb) of axonal transport, which advanced 20% faster in conditioned axons: 4.2 versus 3.5 mm/day (p less than 0.01). NF-L was not accelerated, indicating that the motor for subcomponent a (SCa) of slow axonal transport was unaffected by axotomy. To measure outgrowth distances, the testing lesions was made 7 days after the conditioning lesion, and growth cones were located by the fast transport method 3 or 9 days later. The regression analysis of outgrowth distance on time showed that sprouts elongated 25% faster in conditioned axons: 4.0 versus 3.2 mm/day (p less than 0.001). These accelerated sprouts were formed too far from the spinal cord to contain SCb proteins that were synthesized after axotomy. Because the rate of outgrowth correlated closely with the rate of SCb in outgrowing sprouts (McQuarrie and Jacob, J. Comp. Neurol. 305:139-147, 1991), we conclude that SCb is accelerated throughout the length of the axon by 7 days after axotomy.

  11. Evaluation of the Technicon Axon analyser.

    PubMed

    Martínez, C; Márquez, M; Cortés, M; Mercé, J; Rodriguez, J; González, F

    1990-01-01

    An evaluation of the Technicon Axon analyser was carried out following the guidelines of the 'Sociedad Española de Química Clínica' and the European Committee for Clinical Laboratory Standards.A photometric study revealed acceptable results at both 340 nm and 404 nm. Inaccuracy and imprecision were lower at 404 nm than at 340 nm, although poor dispersion was found at both wavelengths, even at low absorbances. Drift was negligible, the imprecision of the sample pipette delivery system was greater for small sample volumes, the reagent pipette delivery system imprecision was acceptable and the sample diluting system study showed good precision and accuracy.Twelve analytes were studied for evaluation of the analyser under routine working conditions. Satisfactory results were obtained for within-run imprecision, while coefficients of variation for betweenrun imprecision were much greater than expected. Neither specimenrelated nor specimen-independent contamination was found in the carry-over study. For all analytes assayed, when comparing patient sample results with those obtained in a Hitachi 737 analyser, acceptable relative inaccuracy was observed.

  12. Parametric Probability Distribution Functions for Axon Diameters of Corpus Callosum

    PubMed Central

    Sepehrband, Farshid; Alexander, Daniel C.; Clark, Kristi A.; Kurniawan, Nyoman D.; Yang, Zhengyi; Reutens, David C.

    2016-01-01

    Axon diameter is an important neuroanatomical characteristic of the nervous system that alters in the course of neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis. Axon diameters vary, even within a fiber bundle, and are not normally distributed. An accurate distribution function is therefore beneficial, either to describe axon diameters that are obtained from a direct measurement technique (e.g., microscopy), or to infer them indirectly (e.g., using diffusion-weighted MRI). The gamma distribution is a common choice for this purpose (particularly for the inferential approach) because it resembles the distribution profile of measured axon diameters which has been consistently shown to be non-negative and right-skewed. In this study we compared a wide range of parametric probability distribution functions against empirical data obtained from electron microscopy images. We observed that the gamma distribution fails to accurately describe the main characteristics of the axon diameter distribution, such as location and scale of the mode and the profile of distribution tails. We also found that the generalized extreme value distribution consistently fitted the measured distribution better than other distribution functions. This suggests that there may be distinct subpopulations of axons in the corpus callosum, each with their own distribution profiles. In addition, we observed that several other distributions outperformed the gamma distribution, yet had the same number of unknown parameters; these were the inverse Gaussian, log normal, log logistic and Birnbaum-Saunders distributions. PMID:27303273

  13. Developmental time windows for axon growth influence neuronal network topology.

    PubMed

    Lim, Sol; Kaiser, Marcus

    2015-04-01

    Early brain connectivity development consists of multiple stages: birth of neurons, their migration and the subsequent growth of axons and dendrites. Each stage occurs within a certain period of time depending on types of neurons and cortical layers. Forming synapses between neurons either by growing axons starting at similar times for all neurons (much-overlapped time windows) or at different time points (less-overlapped) may affect the topological and spatial properties of neuronal networks. Here, we explore the extreme cases of axon formation during early development, either starting at the same time for all neurons (parallel, i.e., maximally overlapped time windows) or occurring for each neuron separately one neuron after another (serial, i.e., no overlaps in time windows). For both cases, the number of potential and established synapses remained comparable. Topological and spatial properties, however, differed: Neurons that started axon growth early on in serial growth achieved higher out-degrees, higher local efficiency and longer axon lengths while neurons demonstrated more homogeneous connectivity patterns for parallel growth. Second, connection probability decreased more rapidly with distance between neurons for parallel growth than for serial growth. Third, bidirectional connections were more numerous for parallel growth. Finally, we tested our predictions with C. elegans data. Together, this indicates that time windows for axon growth influence the topological and spatial properties of neuronal networks opening up the possibility to a posteriori estimate developmental mechanisms based on network properties of a developed network.

  14. Glypican Is a Modulator of Netrin-Mediated Axon Guidance

    PubMed Central

    Blanchette, Cassandra R.; Perrat, Paola N.; Thackeray, Andrea; Bénard, Claire Y.

    2015-01-01

    Netrin is a key axon guidance cue that orients axon growth during neural circuit formation. However, the mechanisms regulating netrin and its receptors in the extracellular milieu are largely unknown. Here we demonstrate that in Caenorhabditis elegans, LON-2/glypican, a heparan sulfate proteoglycan, modulates UNC-6/netrin signaling and may do this through interactions with the UNC-40/DCC receptor. We show that developing axons misorient in the absence of LON-2/glypican when the SLT-1/slit guidance pathway is compromised and that LON-2/glypican functions in both the attractive and repulsive UNC-6/netrin pathways. We find that the core LON-2/glypican protein, lacking its heparan sulfate chains, and secreted forms of LON-2/glypican are functional in axon guidance. We also find that LON-2/glypican functions from the epidermal substrate cells to guide axons, and we provide evidence that LON-2/glypican associates with UNC-40/DCC receptor–expressing cells. We propose that LON-2/glypican acts as a modulator of UNC-40/DCC-mediated guidance to fine-tune axonal responses to UNC-6/netrin signals during migration. PMID:26148345

  15. Experimental hyperthyroidism stimulates axonal growth in mesothelial chambers.

    PubMed

    Danielsen, N; Dahlin, L B; Ericson, L E; Crenshaw, A; Lundborg, G

    1986-10-01

    An experimental model is presented for studying axonal growth after experimental hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. The left sciatic nerve of the rat was transected and transposed to the back. The proximal nerve stump was inserted into a 50-mm-long mesothelial chamber leaving the distal end of the chamber open. Different groups of young adult rats were given daily injections of thyroxine (10 micrograms/100 g body weight) or the goitrogen, thiamazol, in the drinking water (0.125 g/liter) for 12 weeks. Thyroxine treatment increased significantly the extent of axonal outgrowth from the proximal nerve stump compared with untreated rats. Experimental hypothyroidism (thiamazol treatment), evidenced by a retarded body growth, did not affect the extent of axonal outgrowth. In other experiments the left proximal nerve stump was cross-anastomosed with the right distal nerve stump. The two nerve stumps were bridged with a mesothelial chamber leaving a 15-mm gap. This gap distance is known from our previous studies to inhibit axonal overgrowth to the distal nerve stump. As evidenced by histological evaluation, in three of six thyroxine-treated rats, axons had bridged the 15-mm gap. We conclude that experimentally induced hyperthyroidism enhances axonal growth in mesothelial chambers.

  16. Spatially coordinated kinase signaling regulates local axon degeneration.

    PubMed

    Chen, Mark; Maloney, Janice A; Kallop, Dara Y; Atwal, Jasvinder K; Tam, Stephen J; Baer, Kristin; Kissel, Holger; Kaminker, Joshua S; Lewcock, Joseph W; Weimer, Robby M; Watts, Ryan J

    2012-09-26

    In addition to being a hallmark of neurodegenerative disease, axon degeneration is used during development of the nervous system to prune unwanted connections. In development, axon degeneration is tightly regulated both temporally and spatially. Here, we provide evidence that degeneration cues are transduced through various kinase pathways functioning in spatially distinct compartments to regulate axon degeneration. Intriguingly, glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK3) acts centrally, likely modulating gene expression in the cell body to regulate distally restricted axon degeneration. Through a combination of genetic and pharmacological manipulations, including the generation of an analog-sensitive kinase allele mutant mouse for GSK3β, we show that the β isoform of GSK3, not the α isoform, is essential for developmental axon pruning in vitro and in vivo. Additionally, we identify the dleu2/mir15a/16-1 cluster, previously characterized as a regulator of B-cell proliferation, and the transcription factor tbx6, as likely downstream effectors of GSK3β in axon degeneration.

  17. Parametric Probability Distribution Functions for Axon Diameters of Corpus Callosum.

    PubMed

    Sepehrband, Farshid; Alexander, Daniel C; Clark, Kristi A; Kurniawan, Nyoman D; Yang, Zhengyi; Reutens, David C

    2016-01-01

    Axon diameter is an important neuroanatomical characteristic of the nervous system that alters in the course of neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis. Axon diameters vary, even within a fiber bundle, and are not normally distributed. An accurate distribution function is therefore beneficial, either to describe axon diameters that are obtained from a direct measurement technique (e.g., microscopy), or to infer them indirectly (e.g., using diffusion-weighted MRI). The gamma distribution is a common choice for this purpose (particularly for the inferential approach) because it resembles the distribution profile of measured axon diameters which has been consistently shown to be non-negative and right-skewed. In this study we compared a wide range of parametric probability distribution functions against empirical data obtained from electron microscopy images. We observed that the gamma distribution fails to accurately describe the main characteristics of the axon diameter distribution, such as location and scale of the mode and the profile of distribution tails. We also found that the generalized extreme value distribution consistently fitted the measured distribution better than other distribution functions. This suggests that there may be distinct subpopulations of axons in the corpus callosum, each with their own distribution profiles. In addition, we observed that several other distributions outperformed the gamma distribution, yet had the same number of unknown parameters; these were the inverse Gaussian, log normal, log logistic and Birnbaum-Saunders distributions. PMID:27303273

  18. Cytoplasmic mechanisms of axonal and dendritic growth in neurons.

    PubMed

    Heidemann, S R

    1996-01-01

    The structural mechanisms responsible for the gradual elaboration of the cytoplasmic elongation of neurons are reviewed. In addition to discussing recent work, important older work is included to inform newcomers to the field how the current perspective arose. The highly specialized axon and the less exaggerated dendrite both result from the advance of the motile growth cone. In the area of physiology, studies in the last decade have directly confirmed the classic model of the growth cone pulling forward and the axon elongating from this tension. Particularly in the case of the axon, cytoplasmic elongation is closely linked to the formation of an axial microtubule bundle from behind the advancing growth cone. Substantial progress has been made in understanding the expression of microtubule-associated proteins during neuronal differentiation to stiffen and stabilize axonal microtubules, providing specialized structural support. Studies of membrane organelle transport along the axonal microtubules produced an explosion of knowledge about ATPase molecules serving as motors driving material along microtubule rails. However, most aspects of the cytoplasmic mechanisms responsible for neurogenesis remain poorly understood. There is little agreement on mechanisms for the addition of new plasma membrane or the addition of new cytoskeletal filaments in the growing axon. Also poorly understood are the mechanisms that couple the promiscuous motility of the growth cone to the addition of cytoplasmic elements.

  19. Pioneering axons regulate neuronal polarization in the developing cerebral cortex.

    PubMed

    Namba, Takashi; Kibe, Yuji; Funahashi, Yasuhiro; Nakamuta, Shinichi; Takano, Tetsuya; Ueno, Takuji; Shimada, Akiko; Kozawa, Sachi; Okamoto, Mayumi; Shimoda, Yasushi; Oda, Kanako; Wada, Yoshino; Masuda, Tomoyuki; Sakakibara, Akira; Igarashi, Michihiro; Miyata, Takaki; Faivre-Sarrailh, Catherine; Takeuchi, Kosei; Kaibuchi, Kozo

    2014-02-19

    The polarization of neurons, which mainly includes the differentiation of axons and dendrites, is regulated by cell-autonomous and non-cell-autonomous factors. In the developing central nervous system, neuronal development occurs in a heterogeneous environment that also comprises extracellular matrices, radial glial cells, and neurons. Although many cell-autonomous factors that affect neuronal polarization have been identified, the microenvironmental cues involved in neuronal polarization remain largely unknown. Here, we show that neuronal polarization occurs in a microenvironment in the lower intermediate zone, where the cell adhesion molecule transient axonal glycoprotein-1 (TAG-1) is expressed in cortical efferent axons. The immature neurites of multipolar cells closely contact TAG-1-positive axons and generate axons. Inhibition of TAG-1-mediated cell-to-cell interaction or its downstream kinase Lyn impairs neuronal polarization. These results show that the TAG-1-mediated cell-to-cell interaction between the unpolarized multipolar cells and the pioneering axons regulates the polarization of multipolar cells partly through Lyn kinase and Rac1.

  20. The Relationship between Dyslipidemia and Acute Axonal Function in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus In Vivo

    PubMed Central

    Kwai, Natalie C. G.; Nigole, William; Poynten, Ann M.; Brown, Christopher; Krishnan, Arun V.

    2016-01-01

    Objectives Diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) is a common and debilitating complication of diabetes mellitus. Treatment largely consists of symptom alleviation and there is a need to identify therapeutic targets for prevention and treatment of DPN. The objective of this study was to utilise novel neurophysiological techniques to investigate axonal function in patients with type 2 diabetes and to prospectively determine their relationship to serum lipids in type 2 diabetic patients. Methods Seventy-one patients with type 2 diabetes were consecutively recruited and tested. All patients underwent thorough clinical neurological assessments including nerve conduction studies, and median motor axonal excitability studies. Studies were also undertaken in age matched normal control subjects(n = 42). Biochemical studies, including serum lipid levels were obtained in all patients. Patient excitability data was compared to control data and linear regression analysis was performed to determine the relationship between serum triglycerides and low density lipoproteins and excitability parameters typically abnormal in type 2 diabetic patients. Results Patient mean age was 64.2±2.3 years, mean glycosylated haemoglobin (HbA1c%) was 7.8±0.3%, mean triglyceride concentration was 1.6±0.1 mmol/L and mean cholesterol concentration was 4.1±0.2mmol/L. Compared to age matched controls, median motor axonal excitability studies indicated axonal dysfunction in type 2 diabetic patients as a whole (T2DM) and in a subgroup of the patients without DPN (T2DM-NN). These included reduced percentage threshold change during threshold electrotonus at 10–20ms depolarising currents (TEd10–20ms)(controls 68.4±0.8, T2DM63.9±0.8, T2DM-NN64.8±1.6%,P<0.05) and superexcitability during the recovery cycle (controls-22.5±0.9, T2DM-17.5±0.8, T2DM-NN-17.3±1.6%,P<0.05). Linear regression analysis revealed no associations between changes in axonal function and either serum triglyceride or low density

  1. Nano neuro knitting: Peptide nanofiber scaffold for brain repair and axon regeneration with functional return of vision

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ellis-Behnke, Rutledge G.; Liang, Yu-Xiang; You, Si-Wei; Tay, David K. C.; Zhang, Shuguang; So, Kwok-Fai; Schneider, Gerald E.

    2006-03-01

    Nanotechnology is often associated with materials fabrication, microelectronics, and microfluidics. Until now, the use of nanotechnology and molecular self assembly in biomedicine to repair injured brain structures has not been explored. To achieve axonal regeneration after injury in the CNS, several formidable barriers must be overcome, such as scar tissue formation after tissue injury, gaps in nervous tissue formed during phagocytosis of dying cells after injury, and the failure of many adult neurons to initiate axonal extension. Using the mammalian visual system as a model, we report that a designed self-assembling peptide nanofiber scaffold creates a permissive environment for axons not only to regenerate through the site of an acute injury but also to knit the brain tissue together. In experiments using a severed optic tract in the hamster, we show that regenerated axons reconnect to target tissues with sufficient density to promote functional return of vision, as evidenced by visually elicited orienting behavior. The peptide nanofiber scaffold not only represents a previously undiscovered nanobiomedical technology for tissue repair and restoration but also raises the possibility of effective treatment of CNS and other tissue or organ trauma. CNS regeneration | tissue repair | nanomedicine

  2. Inhibition of TLR4 Signalling-Induced Inflammation Attenuates Secondary Injury after Diffuse Axonal Injury in Rats

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Yonglin; Zhang, Ming; Zhao, Junjie; Ma, Xudong; Huang, Tingqin; Pang, Honggang

    2016-01-01

    Increasing evidence suggests that secondary injury after diffuse axonal injury (DAI) damages more axons than the initial insult, but the underlying mechanisms of this phenomenon are not fully understood. Recent studies show that toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) plays a critical role in promoting adaptive immune responses and have been shown to be associated with brain damage. The purpose of this study was to investigate the role of the TLR4 signalling pathway in secondary axonal injury in the cortices of DAI rats. TLR4 was mainly localized in microglial cells and neurons, and the levels of TLR4 downstream signalling molecules, including TLR4, myeloid differentiation primary response gene 88, toll/IR-1-(TIR-) domain-containing adaptor protein inducing interferon-beta, interferon regulatory factor 3, interferon β, nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) p65, and phospho-NF-κB p65, significantly increased and peaked at 1 d after DAI. Inhibition of TLR4 by TAK-242 attenuated apoptosis, neuronal and axonal injury, and glial responses. The neuroprotective effects of TLR4 inhibition were associated with decreases in the levels of TLR4 downstream signalling molecules and inflammatory factors, including interleukin-1β, interleukin-6, and tumour necrosis factor-α. These results suggest that the TLR4 signalling pathway plays an important role in secondary injury and may be an important therapeutic target following DAI. PMID:27478307

  3. The Formin DAAM Functions as Molecular Effector of the Planar Cell Polarity Pathway during Axonal Development in Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    Gombos, Rita; Migh, Ede; Antal, Otilia; Mukherjee, Anindita; Jenny, Andreas

    2015-01-01

    Recent studies established that the planar cell polarity (PCP) pathway is critical for various aspects of nervous system development and function, including axonal guidance. Although it seems clear that PCP signaling regulates actin dynamics, the mechanisms through which this occurs remain elusive. Here, we establish a functional link between the PCP system and one specific actin regulator, the formin DAAM, which has previously been shown to be required for embryonic axonal morphogenesis and filopodia formation in the growth cone. We show that dDAAM also plays a pivotal role during axonal growth and guidance in the adult Drosophila mushroom body, a brain center for learning and memory. By using a combination of genetic and biochemical assays, we demonstrate that Wnt5 and the PCP signaling proteins Frizzled, Strabismus, and Dishevelled act in concert with the small GTPase Rac1 to activate the actin assembly functions of dDAAM essential for correct targeting of mushroom body axons. Collectively, these data suggest that dDAAM is used as a major molecular effector of the PCP guidance pathway. By uncovering a signaling system from the Wnt5 guidance cue to an actin assembly factor, we propose that the Wnt5/PCP navigation system is linked by dDAAM to the regulation of the growth cone actin cytoskeleton, and thereby growth cone behavior, in a direct way. PMID:26180192

  4. The Formin DAAM Functions as Molecular Effector of the Planar Cell Polarity Pathway during Axonal Development in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Gombos, Rita; Migh, Ede; Antal, Otilia; Mukherjee, Anindita; Jenny, Andreas; Mihály, József

    2015-07-15

    Recent studies established that the planar cell polarity (PCP) pathway is critical for various aspects of nervous system development and function, including axonal guidance. Although it seems clear that PCP signaling regulates actin dynamics, the mechanisms through which this occurs remain elusive. Here, we establish a functional link between the PCP system and one specific actin regulator, the formin DAAM, which has previously been shown to be required for embryonic axonal morphogenesis and filopodia formation in the growth cone. We show that dDAAM also plays a pivotal role during axonal growth and guidance in the adult Drosophila mushroom body, a brain center for learning and memory. By using a combination of genetic and biochemical assays, we demonstrate that Wnt5 and the PCP signaling proteins Frizzled, Strabismus, and Dishevelled act in concert with the small GTPase Rac1 to activate the actin assembly functions of dDAAM essential for correct targeting of mushroom body axons. Collectively, these data suggest that dDAAM is used as a major molecular effector of the PCP guidance pathway. By uncovering a signaling system from the Wnt5 guidance cue to an actin assembly factor, we propose that the Wnt5/PCP navigation system is linked by dDAAM to the regulation of the growth cone actin cytoskeleton, and thereby growth cone behavior, in a direct way.

  5. Deciphering axonal pathways of genetically defined groups of neurons in the chick neural tube utilizing in ovo electroporation.

    PubMed

    Avraham, Oshri; Zisman, Sophie; Hadas, Yoav; Vald, Lilach; Klar, Avihu

    2010-05-02

    Employment of enhancer elements to drive expression of reporter genes in neurons is a widely used paradigm for tracking axonal projection. For tracking axonal projection of spinal interneurons in vertebrates, germ line-targeted reporter genes yield bilaterally symmetric labeling. Therefore, it is hard to distinguish between the ipsi- and contra-laterally projecting axons. Unilateral electroporation into the chick neural tube provides a useful means to restrict expression of a reporter gene to one side of the central nervous system, and to follow axonal projection on both sides. This video demonstrates first how to handle the eggs prior to injection. At HH stage 18-20, DNA is injected into the sacral level of the neural tube, then tungsten electrodes are placed parallel to the embryo and short electrical pulses are administered with a pulse generator. The egg is sealed with tape and placed back into an incubator for further development. Three days later (E6) the spinal cord is removed as an open book preparation from embryo, fixed, and processed for whole mount antibody staining. The stained spinal cord is mounted on slide and visualized using confocal microscopy.

  6. Restoration of skilled locomotion by sprouting corticospinal axons induced by co-deletion of PTEN and SOCS3

    PubMed Central

    Jin, Duo; Liu, Yuanyuan; Sun, Fang; Wang, Xuhua; Liu, Xuefeng; He, Zhigang

    2015-01-01

    The limited rewiring of the corticospinal tract (CST) only partially compensates the lost functions after stroke, brain trauma and spinal cord injury. Therefore it is important to develop new therapies to enhance the compensatory circuitry mediated by spared CST axons. Here by using a unilateral pyramidotomy model, we find that deletion of cortical suppressor of cytokine signaling 3 (SOCS3), a negative regulator of cytokine-activated pathway, promotes sprouting of uninjured CST axons to the denervated spinal cord. A likely trigger of such sprouting is ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF) expressed in local spinal neurons. Such sprouting can be further enhanced by deletion of phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN), a mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) negative regulator, resulting in significant recovery of skilled locomotion. Ablation of the corticospinal neurons with sprouting axons abolishes the improved behavioural performance. Furthermore, by optogenetics-based specific CST stimulation, we show a direct limb motor control by sprouting CST axons, providing direct evidence for the reformation of a functional circuit. PMID:26598325

  7. Axonal Transport: How High Microtubule Density Can Compensate for Boundary Effects in Small-Caliber Axons

    PubMed Central

    Wortman, Juliana C.; Shrestha, Uttam M.; Barry, Devin M.; Garcia, Michael L.; Gross, Steven P.; Yu, Clare C.

    2014-01-01

    Long-distance intracellular axonal transport is predominantly microtubule-based, and its impairment is linked to neurodegeneration. In this study, we present theoretical arguments that suggest that near the axon boundaries (walls), the effective viscosity can become large enough to impede cargo transport in small (but not large) caliber axons. Our theoretical analysis suggests that this opposition to motion increases rapidly as the cargo approaches the wall. We find that having parallel microtubules close enough together to enable a cargo to simultaneously engage motors on more than one microtubule dramatically enhances motor activity, and thus minimizes the effects of any opposition to transport. Even if microtubules are randomly placed in axons, we find that the higher density of microtubules found in small-caliber axons increases the probability of having parallel microtubules close enough that they can be used simultaneously by motors on a cargo. The boundary effect is not a factor in transport in large-caliber axons where the microtubule density is lower. PMID:24559984

  8. Pathogenic forms of tau inhibit kinesin-dependent axonal transport through a mechanism involving activation of axonal phosphotransferases.

    PubMed

    Kanaan, Nicholas M; Morfini, Gerardo A; LaPointe, Nichole E; Pigino, Gustavo F; Patterson, Kristina R; Song, Yuyu; Andreadis, Athena; Fu, Yifan; Brady, Scott T; Binder, Lester I

    2011-07-01

    Aggregated filamentous forms of hyperphosphorylated tau (a microtubule-associated protein) represent pathological hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and other tauopathies. While axonal transport dysfunction is thought to represent a primary pathogenic factor in AD and other neurodegenerative diseases, the direct molecular link between pathogenic forms of tau and deficits in axonal transport remain unclear. Recently, we demonstrated that filamentous, but not soluble, forms of wild-type tau inhibit anterograde, kinesin-based fast axonal transport (FAT) by activating axonal protein phosphatase 1 (PP1) and glycogen synthase kinase 3 (GSK3), independent of microtubule binding. Here, we demonstrate that amino acids 2-18 of tau, comprising a phosphatase-activating domain (PAD), are necessary and sufficient for activation of this pathway in axoplasms isolated from squid giant axons. Various pathogenic forms of tau displaying increased exposure of PAD inhibited anterograde FAT in squid axoplasm. Importantly, immunohistochemical studies using a novel PAD-specific monoclonal antibody in human postmortem tissue indicated that increased PAD exposure represents an early pathogenic event in AD that closely associates in time with AT8 immunoreactivity, an early marker of pathological tau. We propose a model of pathogenesis in which disease-associated changes in tau conformation lead to increased exposure of PAD, activation of PP1-GSK3, and inhibition of FAT. Results from these studies reveal a novel role for tau in modulating axonal phosphotransferases and provide a molecular basis for a toxic gain-of-function associated with pathogenic forms of tau.

  9. The dynein inhibitor Ciliobrevin D inhibits the bidirectional transport of organelles along sensory axons and impairs NGF-mediated regulation of growth cones and axon branches.

    PubMed

    Sainath, Rajiv; Gallo, Gianluca

    2015-07-01

    The axonal transport of organelles is critical for the development, maintenance, and survival of neurons, and its dysfunction has been implicated in several neurodegenerative diseases. Retrograde axon transport is mediated by the motor protein dynein. In this study, using embryonic chicken dorsal root ganglion neurons, we investigate the effects of Ciliobrevin D, a pharmacological dynein inhibitor, on the transport of axonal organelles, axon extension, nerve growth factor (NGF)-induced branching and growth cone expansion, and axon thinning in response to actin filament depolymerization. Live imaging of mitochondria, lysosomes, and Golgi-derived vesicles in axons revealed that both the retrograde and anterograde transport of these organelles was inhibited by treatment with Ciliobrevin D. Treatment with Ciliobrevin D reversibly inhibits axon extension and transport, with effects detectable within the first 20 min of treatment. NGF induces growth cone expansion, axonal filopodia formation and branching. Ciliobrevin D prevented NGF-induced formation of axonal filopodia and branching but not growth cone expansion. Finally, we report that the retrograde reorganization of the axonal cytoplasm which occurs on actin filament depolymerization is inhibited by treatment with Ciliobrevin D, indicating a role for microtubule based transport in this process, as well as Ciliobrevin D accelerating Wallerian degeneration. This study identifies Ciliobrevin D as an inhibitor of the bidirectional transport of multiple axonal organelles, indicating this drug may be a valuable tool for both the study of dynein function and a first pass analysis of the role of axonal transport.

  10. Studies in the development of a bridging device for guiding regenerating axons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wen, Xuejun

    At present there is no clinically effective treatment for injuries or pathological processes that disrupt the continuity of axons in the mature central nervous system. However, a number of studies suggest that a tremendous potential exists for developing therapies. In particular biomaterials in the form of bridging substrates been shown to support at least some level of axonal regeneration across the lesion site, but display a limited capacity for directing axons toward their targets. To influence the directionality of the regeneration process filaments and tubes appear promising but the technology is far from optimized. As a step toward optimization, we investigated various components of a tissue-engineered bridging device consisting of numerous filaments surrounded by a semipermeable biodegradable hollow fiber membrane (HFM). In the first part of the thesis, we studied the influence of filament diameter and various extracellular matrix coatings on neuron regeneration suing a dorsal root ganglion explant model. We found that laminin surface treated filaments that approached the size of spinal axons support significantly longer regenerative outgrowth than similarly treated filaments of larger diameter, and exceed outgrowth distance on similarly sized filaments treated with fibronectin. Such substrates also consistently supported the attachment and alignment of glial cells and directed the outgrowth of regenerating axons along the long axis of the filaments. In the last part of the thesis, biodegradable hollow fiber membranes were fabricated and their physical, chemical and degradation properties were analyzed. We found that it is possible to use phase inversion methods to fabricate hollow fiber membranes of widely varying properties that degrade of the course of several months. We then evaluated the biocompatibility of the new materials after implantation in the CNS using an adult rat model. We found that the implants were well tolerated and elicited a reaction

  11. Beating the competition: the reliability hypothesis for Mauthner axon size.

    PubMed

    Eaton, R C; Hofve, J C; Fetcho, J R

    1995-01-01

    The Mauthner cell has an axon that is among the largest in diameter of any vertebrate neuron. It is commonly thought that the large size is needed for short latency escape responses involving a major contraction of the trunk musculature. Previous work, however, has shown that there is nothing unique about the strength of the Mauthner initiated response, compared to responses initiated by other smaller cells, and it is debatable that there is any important improvement in response latency due to Mauthner axon size. In this paper we advance an alternative explanation: although the Mauthner cell has a powerful excitatory influence on motoneurons, the large size of the Mauthner axon is most important in rapidly spreading an inhibitory signal that turns off other competing motor commands. Such competing commands are likely to arise in the presence of ongoing swimming behavior or ambiguous stimuli that could activate a fast turn either toward or away from the stimulus. These stimuli include apparent food items, or lures, presented by predators (such as anglerfish) and escape eliciting sounds which, in the presence of background noise, may have 180 degrees directional ambiguity. Thus, large size of the axon contributes most to the reliable expression of the escape behavior. We base this reliability hypothesis on a retrospective analysis of previous neurophysiological data and new anatomical measurements of the diameters of the large spinal cord axons from which we calculated conduction velocities. Our calculations show that the Mauthner-derived inhibition is fast enough that it allows an escape response to occur even when a conflicting motor command enters the spinal cord at the same time as the Mauthner axon impulse. The rapid spread of inhibitory influence, along with excitation, may be a general feature of motor system cells with large axonal diameters. PMID:7620869

  12. Full length talin stimulates integrin activation and axon regeneration

    PubMed Central

    Tan, Chin Lik; Kwok, Jessica C.F.; Heller, Janosch P.D.; Zhao, Rongrong; Eva, Richard; Fawcett, James W.

    2015-01-01

    Integrin function is regulated by activation involving conformational changes that modulate ligand-binding affinity and downstream signaling. Activation is regulated through inside-out signaling which is controlled by many signaling pathways via a final common pathway through kindlin and talin, which bind to the intracellular tail of beta integrins. Previous studies have shown that the axon growth inhibitory molecules NogoA and chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans (CSPGs) inactivate integrins. Overexpressing kindlin-1 in dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons activates integrins, enabling their axons to overcome inhibitory molecules in the environment, and promoting regeneration in vivo following dorsal root crush. Other studies have indicated that expression of the talin head alone or with kindlin can enhance integrin activation. Here, using adult rat DRG neurons, we investigate the effects of overexpressing various forms of talin on axon growth and integrin signaling. We found that overexpression of the talin head activated axonal integrins but inhibited downstream signaling via FAK, and did not promote axon growth. Similarly, co-expression of the talin head and kindlin-1 prevented the growth-promoting effect of kindlin-1, suggesting that the talin head acts as a form of dominant negative for integrin function. Using full-length talin constructs in PC12 cells we observed that neurite growth was enhanced by the expression of wild-type talin and more so by two ‘activated’ forms of talin produced by point mutation (on laminin and aggrecan–laminin substrates). Nevertheless, co-expression of full-length talin with kindlin did not promote neurite growth more than either molecule alone. In vivo, we find that talin is present in PNS axons (sciatic nerve), and also in CNS axons of the corticospinal tract. PMID:25771432

  13. Modelling in vivo action potential propagation along a giant axon.

    PubMed

    George, Stuart; Foster, Jamie M; Richardson, Giles

    2015-01-01

    A partial differential equation model for the three-dimensional current flow in an excitable, unmyelinated axon is considered. Where the axon radius is significantly below a critical value R(crit) (that depends upon intra- and extra-cellular conductivity and ion channel conductance) the resistance of the intracellular space is significantly higher than that of the extracellular space, such that the potential outside the axon is uniformly small whilst the intracellular potential is approximated by the transmembrane potential. In turn, since the current flow is predominantly axial, it can be shown that the transmembrane potential is approximated by a solution to the one-dimensional cable equation. It is noted that the radius of the squid giant axon, investigated by (Hodgkin and Huxley 1952e), lies close to R(crit). This motivates us to apply the three-dimensional model to the squid giant axon and compare the results thus found to those obtained using the cable equation. In the context of the in vitro experiments conducted in (Hodgkin and Huxley 1952e) we find only a small difference between the wave profiles determined using these two different approaches and little difference between the speeds of action potential propagation predicted. This suggests that the cable equation approximation is accurate in this scenario. However when applied to the it in vivo setting, in which the conductivity of the surrounding tissue is considerably lower than that of the axoplasm, there are marked differences in both wave profile and speed of action potential propagation calculated using the two approaches. In particular, the cable equation significantly over predicts the increase in the velocity of propagation as axon radius increases. The consequences of these results are discussed in terms of the evolutionary costs associated with increasing the speed of action potential propagation by increasing axon radius.

  14. Differential conduction block in branches of a bifurcating axon.

    PubMed Central

    Grossman, Y; Parnas, I; Spira, M E

    1979-01-01

    1. Propagation of action potentials at high frequency was studied in a branching axon of the lobster by means of simultaneous intracellular recording both before and after the branch point. 2. Although the branching axon studied has a geometrical ratio close to one (perfect impedance matching) conduction across the branch point failed at stimulation frequencies above 30 Hz. 3. The block of conduction after high frequency stimulation occurred at the branch point per se. The parent axon and daughter branches continued to conduct action potentials. 4. Conduction block after high frequency stimulation appeared first in the thicker daughter branch and only later in the thin branch. 5. With high frequency stimulation there was a 10-15% reduction in amplitude of the action potential in the parent axon, a corresponding decrease in the rate of rise of the action potential, a 25-30% decrease in conduction velocity, marked increase in threshold and prolongation of the refractory period. In addition the membrane was depolarized by 1-3 mV. 6. Measurements of the membrane current using the patch clamp technique showed a large decrease in the phase of inward current associated with the action potential, before the branching point. 7. The small membrane depolarization seen after high frequency stimulation is not the sole cause of the conduction block. Imposed prolonged membrane depolarization (8 mV for 120 sec) was insufficient to produce conduction block. 8. In vivo chronic extracellular recordings from the main nerve bundle (which contains the parent axon) and the large daughter branch revealed that: (a) the duration and frequency of trains of action potentials along the axons exceeded those used in the isolated nerve experiments and (b) conduction failure in the large daughter branch could be induced in the whole animal by electrical stimulation of the main branch as in the isolated preparation. 9. Possible mechanisms underlying block of conduction after high frequency

  15. Gbx2 regulates thalamocortical axon guidance by modifying the LIM and Robo codes.

    PubMed

    Chatterjee, Mallika; Li, Kairong; Chen, Li; Maisano, Xu; Guo, Qiuxia; Gan, Lin; Li, James Y H

    2012-12-01

    Combinatorial expression of transcription factors forms transcriptional codes to confer neuronal identities and connectivity. However, how these intrinsic factors orchestrate the spatiotemporal expression of guidance molecules to dictate the responsiveness of axons to guidance cues is less understood. Thalamocortical axons (TCAs) represent the major input to the neocortex and modulate cognitive functions, consciousness and alertness. TCAs travel a long distance and make multiple target choices en route to the cortex. The homeodomain transcription factor Gbx2 is essential for TCA development, as loss of Gbx2 abolishes TCAs in mice. Using a novel TCA-specific reporter, we have discovered that thalamic axons are mostly misrouted to the ventral midbrain and dorsal midline of the diencephalon in Gbx2-deficient mice. Furthermore, conditionally deleting Gbx2 at different embryonic stages has revealed a sustained role of Gbx2 in regulating TCA navigation and targeting. Using explant culture and mosaic analyses, we demonstrate that Gbx2 controls the intrinsic responsiveness of TCAs to guidance cues. The guidance defects of Gbx2-deficient TCAs are associated with abnormal expression of guidance receptors Robo1 and Robo2. Finally, we demonstrate that Gbx2 controls Robo expression by regulating LIM-domain transcription factors through three different mechanisms: Gbx2 and Lhx2 compete for binding to the Lmo3 promoter and exert opposing effects on its transcription; repressing Lmo3 by Gbx2 is essential for Lhx2 activity to induce Robo2; and Gbx2 represses Lhx9 transcription, which in turn induces Robo1. Our findings illustrate the transcriptional control of differential expression of Robo1 and Robo2, which may play an important role in establishing the topography of TCAs. PMID:23136391

  16. Viral vector-mediated downregulation of RhoA increases survival and axonal regeneration of retinal ganglion cells

    PubMed Central

    Koch, Jan Christoph; Tönges, Lars; Michel, Uwe; Bähr, Mathias; Lingor, Paul

    2014-01-01

    The Rho/ROCK pathway is a promising therapeutic target in neurodegenerative and neurotraumatic diseases. Pharmacological inhibition of various pathway members has been shown to promote neuronal regeneration and survival. However, because pharmacological inhibitors are inherently limited in their specificity, shRNA-mediated approaches can add more information on the function of each single kinase involved. Thus, we generated adeno-associated viral vectors (AAV) to specifically downregulate Ras homologous member A (RhoA) via shRNA. We found that specific knockdown of RhoA promoted neurite outgrowth of retinal ganglion cells (RGC) grown on the inhibitory substrate chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan (CSPG) as well as neurite regeneration of primary midbrain neurons (PMN) after scratch lesion. In the rat optic nerve crush (ONC) model in vivo, downregulation of RhoA significantly enhanced axonal regeneration compared to control. Moreover, survival of RGC transduced with AAV expressing RhoA-shRNA was substantially increased at 2 weeks after optic nerve axotomy. Compared to previous data using pharmacological inhibitors to target RhoA, its upstream regulator Nogo or its main downstream target ROCK, the specific effects of RhoA downregulation shown here were most pronounced in regard to promoting RGC survival but neurite outgrowth and axonal regeneration were also increased significantly. Taken together, we show here that specific knockdown of RhoA substantially increases neuronal survival after optic nerve axotomy and modestly increases neurite outgrowth in vitro and axonal regeneration after optic nerve crush. PMID:25249936

  17. 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

  18. Myelinated sensory and alpha motor axon regeneration in peripheral nerve neuromas

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Macias, M. Y.; Lehman, C. T.; Sanger, J. R.; Riley, D. A.

    1998-01-01

    Histochemical staining for carbonic anhydrase and cholinesterase (CE) activities was used to analyze sensory and motor axon regeneration, respectively, during neuroma formation in transected and tube-encapsulated peripheral nerves. Median-ulnar and sciatic nerves in the rodent model permitted testing whether a 4 cm greater distance of the motor neuron soma from axotomy site or intrinsic differences between motor and sensory neurons influenced regeneration and neuroma formation 10, 30, and 90 days later. Ventral root radiculotomy confirmed that CE-stained axons were 97% alpha motor axons. Distance significantly delayed axon regeneration. When distance was negligible, sensory axons grew out sooner than motor axons, but motor axons regenerated to a greater quantity. These results indicate regeneration differences between axon subtypes and suggest more extensive branching of motor axons within the neuroma. Thus, both distance from injury site to soma and inherent motor and sensory differences should be considered in peripheral nerve repair strategies.

  19. Pathfinding of corticothalamic axons relies on a rendezvous with thalamic projections.

    PubMed

    Deck, Marie; Lokmane, Ludmilla; Chauvet, Sophie; Mailhes, Caroline; Keita, Maryama; Niquille, Mathieu; Yoshida, Michio; Yoshida, Yutaka; Lebrand, Cécile; Mann, Fanny; Grove, Elizabeth A; Garel, Sonia

    2013-02-01

    Major outputs of the neocortex are conveyed by corticothalamic axons (CTAs), which form reciprocal connections with thalamocortical axons, and corticosubcerebral axons (CSAs) headed to more caudal parts of the nervous system. Previous findings establish that transcriptional programs define cortical neuron identity and suggest that CTAs and thalamic axons may guide each other, but the mechanisms governing CTA versus CSA pathfinding remain elusive. Here, we show that thalamocortical axons are required to guide pioneer CTAs away from a default CSA-like trajectory. This process relies on a hold in the progression of cortical axons, or waiting period, during which thalamic projections navigate toward cortical axons. At the molecular level, Sema3E/PlexinD1 signaling in pioneer cortical neurons mediates a "waiting signal" required to orchestrate the mandatory meeting with reciprocal thalamic axons. Our study reveals that temporal control of axonal progression contributes to spatial pathfinding of cortical projections and opens perspectives on brain wiring. PMID:23395374

  20. Regulation of Microtubule Dynamics in Axon Regeneration: Insights from C. elegans

    PubMed Central

    Tang, Ngang Heok; Chisholm, Andrew D.

    2016-01-01

    The capacity of an axon to regenerate is regulated by its external environment and by cell-intrinsic factors. Studies in a variety of organisms suggest that alterations in axonal microtubule (MT) dynamics have potent effects on axon regeneration. We review recent findings on the regulation of MT dynamics during axon regeneration, focusing on the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. In C. elegans the dual leucine zipper kinase (DLK) promotes axon regeneration, whereas the exchange factor for Arf6 (EFA-6) inhibits axon regeneration. Both DLK and EFA-6 respond to injury and control axon regeneration in part via MT dynamics. How the DLK and EFA-6 pathways are related is a topic of active investigation, as is the mechanism by which EFA-6 responds to axonal injury. We evaluate potential candidates, such as the MT affinity-regulating kinase PAR-1/MARK, in regulation of EFA-6 and axonal MT dynamics in regeneration. PMID:27350865

  1. Genetic analyses of roundabout (ROBO) axon guidance receptors in autism.

    PubMed

    Anitha, A; Nakamura, Kazuhiko; Yamada, Kazuo; Suda, Shiro; Thanseem, Ismail; Tsujii, Masatsugu; Iwayama, Yoshimi; Hattori, Eiji; Toyota, Tomoko; Miyachi, Taishi; Iwata, Yasuhide; Suzuki, Katsuaki; Matsuzaki, Hideo; Kawai, Masayoshi; Sekine, Yoshimoto; Tsuchiya, Kenji; Sugihara, Gen-Ichi; Ouchi, Yasuomi; Sugiyama, Toshiro; Koizumi, Keita; Higashida, Haruhiro; Takei, Nori; Yoshikawa, Takeo; Mori, Norio

    2008-10-01

    Autism is a pervasive developmental disorder diagnosed in early childhood. Abnormalities of serotonergic neurotransmission have been reported in autism. Serotonin transporter (SERT) modulates serotonin levels, and is a major therapeutic target in autism. Factors that regulate SERT expression might be implicated in the pathophysiology of autism. One candidate SERT regulatory protein is the roundabout axon guidance molecule, ROBO. SerT expression in Drosophila is regulated by robo; it plays a vital role in mammalian neurodevelopment also. Here, we examined the associations of ROBO3 and ROBO4 with autism, in a trio association study using DNA from 252 families recruited to AGRE. Four SNPs of ROBO3 (rs3923890, P = 0.023; rs7925879, P = 0.017; rs4606490, P = 0.033; and rs3802905, P = 0.049) and a single SNP of ROBO4 (rs6590109, P = 0.009) showed associations with autism; the A/A genotype of rs3923890 showed lower ADI-R_A scores, which reflect social interaction. Significant haplotype associations were also observed for ROBO3 and ROBO4. We further compared the mRNA expressions of ROBO1, ROBO2, ROBO3, and ROBO4 in the lymphocytes of 19 drug-naïve autistic patients and 20 age- and sex-matched controls. Expressions of ROBO1 (P = 0.018) and ROBO2 (P = 0.023) were significantly reduced in the autistic group; the possibility of using the altered expressions of ROBO as peripheral markers for autism, may be explored. In conclusion, we suggest a possible role of ROBO in the pathogenesis of autism. Abnormalities of ROBO may lead to autism either by interfering with serotonergic system, or by disrupting neurodevelopment. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report relating ROBO with autism.

  2. Cortical Interneuron Subtypes Vary in Their Axonal Action Potential Properties

    PubMed Central

    Casale, Amanda E.; Foust, Amanda J.; Bal, Thierry

    2015-01-01

    The role of interneurons in cortical microcircuits is strongly influenced by their passive and active electrical properties. Although different types of interneurons exhibit unique electrophysiological properties recorded at the soma, it is not yet clear whether these differences are also manifested in other neuronal compartments. To address this question, we have used voltage-sensitive dye to image the propagation of action potentials into the fine collaterals of axons and dendrites in two of the largest cortical interneuron subtypes in the mouse: fast-spiking interneurons, which are typically basket or chandelier neurons; and somatostatin containing interneurons, which are typically regular spiking Martinotti cells. We found that fast-spiking and somatostatin-expressing interneurons differed in their electrophysiological characteristics along their entire dendrosomatoaxonal extent. The action potentials generated in the somata and axons, including axon collaterals, of somatostatin-expressing interneurons are significantly broader than those generated in the same compartments of fast-spiking inhibitory interneurons. In addition, action potentials back-propagated into the dendrites of somatostatin-expressing interneurons much more readily than fast-spiking interneurons. Pharmacological investigations suggested that axonal action potential repolarization in both cell types depends critically upon Kv1 channels, whereas the axonal and somatic action potentials of somatostatin-expressing interneurons also depend on BK Ca2+-activated K+ channels. These results indicate that the two broad classes of interneurons studied here have expressly different subcellular physiological properties, allowing them to perform unique computational roles in cortical circuit operations. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Neurons in the cerebral cortex are of two major types: excitatory and inhibitory. The proper balance of excitation and inhibition in the brain is critical for its operation. Neurons

  3. TMEM184b Promotes Axon Degeneration and Neuromuscular Junction Maintenance

    PubMed Central

    Geisler, Stefanie; Pittman, Sara K.; Doan, Ryan A.; Weihl, Conrad C.; Milbrandt, Jeffrey; DiAntonio, Aaron

    2016-01-01

    Complex nervous systems achieve proper connectivity during development and must maintain these connections throughout life. The processes of axon and synaptic maintenance and axon degeneration after injury are jointly controlled by a number of proteins within neurons, including ubiquitin ligases and mitogen activated protein kinases. However, our understanding of these molecular cascades is incomplete. Here we describe the phenotype resulting from mutation of TMEM184b, a protein identified in a screen for axon degeneration mediators. TMEM184b is highly expressed in the mouse nervous system and is found in recycling endosomes in neuronal cell bodies and axons. Disruption of TMEM184b expression results in prolonged maintenance of peripheral axons following nerve injury, demonstrating a role for TMEM184b in axon degeneration. In contrast to this protective phenotype in axons, uninjured mutant mice have anatomical and functional impairments in the peripheral nervous system. Loss of TMEM184b causes swellings at neuromuscular junctions that become more numerous with age, demonstrating that TMEM184b is critical for the maintenance of synaptic architecture. These swellings contain abnormal multivesicular structures similar to those seen in patients with neurodegenerative disorders. Mutant animals also show abnormal sensory terminal morphology. TMEM184b mutant animals are deficient on the inverted screen test, illustrating a role for TMEM184b in sensory-motor function. Overall, we have identified an important function for TMEM184b in peripheral nerve terminal structure, function, and the axon degeneration pathway. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Our work has identified both neuroprotective and neurodegenerative roles for a previously undescribed protein, TMEM184b. TMEM184b mutation causes delayed axon degeneration following peripheral nerve injury, indicating that it participates in the degeneration process. Simultaneously, TMEM184b mutation causes progressive structural

  4. Maintaining energy homeostasis is an essential component of Wld(S)-mediated axon protection.

    PubMed

    Shen, Hua; Hyrc, Krzysztof L; Goldberg, Mark P

    2013-11-01

    Wld(S) mutation protects axons from degeneration in diverse experimental models of neurological disorders, suggesting that the mutation might act on a key step shared by different axon degeneration pathways. Here we test the hypothesis that Wld(S) protects axons by preventing energy deficiency commonly encountered in many diseases. We subjected compartmentally cultured, mouse cortical axons to energy deprivation with 6mM azide and zero glucose. In wild-type (WT) culture, the treatment, which reduced axon ATP level ([ATP]axon) by 65%, caused immediate axon depolarization followed by gradual free calcium accumulation and subsequent irreversible axon damage. The calcium accumulation resulted from calcium influx partially via L-type voltage-gated calcium channel (L-VGCC). Blocking L-VGCC with nimodipine reduced calcium accumulation and protected axons. Without altering baseline [ATP]axon, the presence of Wld(S) mutation significantly reduced the axon ATP loss and depolarization, restrained the subsequent calcium accumulation, and protected axons against energy deprivation. Wld(S) neurons possessed higher than normal nicotinamide mononucleotide adenylyltransferase (NMNAT) activity. The intrinsic Wld(S) NMNAT activity was required for the Wld(S)-mediated energy preservation and axon protection during but not prior to energy deprivation. NMNAT catalyzes the reversible reaction that produces nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) from nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN). Interestingly, preventing the production of NAD from NMN with FK866 increased [ATP]axon and protected axons from energy deprivation. These results indicate that the Wld(S) mutation depends on its intrinsic Wld(S) NMNAT activity and the subsequent increase in axon ATP but not NAD to protect axons, implicating a novel role of Wld(S) NMNAT in axon bioenergetics and protection.

  5. A novel technique using hydrophilic polymers to promote axonal fusion.

    PubMed

    Bamba, Ravinder; Riley, D Colton; Kelm, Nathaniel D; Does, Mark D; Dortch, Richard D; Thayer, Wesley P

    2016-04-01

    The management of traumatic peripheral nerve injury remains a considerable concern for clinicians. With minimal innovations in surgical technique and a limited number of specialists trained to treat peripheral nerve injury, outcomes of surgical intervention have been unpredictable. The inability to manipulate the pathophysiology of nerve injury (i.e., Wallerian degeneration) has left scientists and clinicians depending on the slow and lengthy process of axonal regeneration (~1 mm/day). When axons are severed, the endings undergo calcium-mediated plasmalemmal sealing, which limits the ability of the axon to be primarily repaired. Polythethylene glycol (PEG) in combination with a bioengineered process overcomes the inability to fuse axons. The mechanism for PEG axonal fusion is not clearly understood, but multiple studies have shown that a providing a calcium-free environment is essential to the process known as PEG fusion. The proposed mechanism is PEG-induced lipid bilayer fusion by removing the hydration barrier surrounding the axolemma and reducing the activation energy required for membrane fusion to occur. This review highlights PEG fusion, its past and current studies, and future directions in PEG fusion. PMID:27212898

  6. A novel technique using hydrophilic polymers to promote axonal fusion

    PubMed Central

    Bamba, Ravinder; Riley, D. Colton; Kelm, Nathaniel D.; Does, Mark D.; Dortch, Richard D.; Thayer, Wesley P.

    2016-01-01

    The management of traumatic peripheral nerve injury remains a considerable concern for clinicians. With minimal innovations in surgical technique and a limited number of specialists trained to treat peripheral nerve injury, outcomes of surgical intervention have been unpredictable. The inability to manipulate the pathophysiology of nerve injury (i.e., Wallerian degeneration) has left scientists and clinicians depending on the slow and lengthy process of axonal regeneration (~1 mm/day). When axons are severed, the endings undergo calcium-mediated plasmalemmal sealing, which limits the ability of the axon to be primarily repaired. Polythethylene glycol (PEG) in combination with a bioengineered process overcomes the inability to fuse axons. The mechanism for PEG axonal fusion is not clearly understood, but multiple studies have shown that a providing a calcium-free environment is essential to the process known as PEG fusion. The proposed mechanism is PEG-induced lipid bilayer fusion by removing the hydration barrier surrounding the axolemma and reducing the activation energy required for membrane fusion to occur. This review highlights PEG fusion, its past and current studies, and future directions in PEG fusion. PMID:27212898

  7. Mechanisms of Distal Axonal Degeneration in Peripheral Neuropathies

    PubMed Central

    Cashman, Christopher R.; Höke, Ahmet

    2015-01-01

    Peripheral neuropathy is a common complication of a variety of diseases and treatments, including diabetes, cancer chemotherapy, and infectious causes (HIV, hepatitis C, and Campylobacter jejuni). Despite the fundamental difference between these insults, peripheral neuropathy develops as a combination of just six primary mechanisms: altered metabolism, covalent modification, altered organelle function and reactive oxygen species formation, altered intracellular and inflammatory signaling, slowed axonal transport, and altered ion channel dynamics and expression. All of these pathways converge to lead to axon dysfunction and symptoms of neuropathy. The detailed mechanisms of axon degeneration itself have begun to be elucidated with studies of animal models with altered degeneration kinetics, including the slowed Wallerian degeneration (Wlds) and Sarmknockout animal models. These studies have shown axonal degeneration to occur througha programmed pathway of injury signaling and cytoskeletal degradation. Insights into the common disease insults that converge on the axonal degeneration pathway promise to facilitate the development of therapeutics that may be effective against other mechanisms of neurodegeneration. PMID:25617478

  8. Mechanisms of distal axonal degeneration in peripheral neuropathies.

    PubMed

    Cashman, Christopher R; Höke, Ahmet

    2015-06-01

    Peripheral neuropathy is a common complication of a variety of diseases and treatments, including diabetes, cancer chemotherapy, and infectious causes (HIV, hepatitis C, and Campylobacter jejuni). Despite the fundamental difference between these insults, peripheral neuropathy develops as a combination of just six primary mechanisms: altered metabolism, covalent modification, altered organelle function and reactive oxygen species formation, altered intracellular and inflammatory signaling, slowed axonal transport, and altered ion channel dynamics and expression. All of these pathways converge to lead to axon dysfunction and symptoms of neuropathy. The detailed mechanisms of axon degeneration itself have begun to be elucidated with studies of animal models with altered degeneration kinetics, including the slowed Wallerian degeneration (Wld(S)) and Sarm knockout animal models. These studies have shown axonal degeneration to occur through a programmed pathway of injury signaling and cytoskeletal degradation. Insights into the common disease insults that converge on the axonal degeneration pathway promise to facilitate the development of therapeutics that may be effective against other mechanisms of neurodegeneration.

  9. A novel technique using hydrophilic polymers to promote axonal fusion.

    PubMed

    Bamba, Ravinder; Riley, D Colton; Kelm, Nathaniel D; Does, Mark D; Dortch, Richard D; Thayer, Wesley P

    2016-04-01

    The management of traumatic peripheral nerve injury remains a considerable concern for clinicians. With minimal innovations in surgical technique and a limited number of specialists trained to treat peripheral nerve injury, outcomes of surgical intervention have been unpredictable. The inability to manipulate the pathophysiology of nerve injury (i.e., Wallerian degeneration) has left scientists and clinicians depending on the slow and lengthy process of axonal regeneration (~1 mm/day). When axons are severed, the endings undergo calcium-mediated plasmalemmal sealing, which limits the ability of the axon to be primarily repaired. Polythethylene glycol (PEG) in combination with a bioengineered process overcomes the inability to fuse axons. The mechanism for PEG axonal fusion is not clearly understood, but multiple studies have shown that a providing a calcium-free environment is essential to the process known as PEG fusion. The proposed mechanism is PEG-induced lipid bilayer fusion by removing the hydration barrier surrounding the axolemma and reducing the activation energy required for membrane fusion to occur. This review highlights PEG fusion, its past and current studies, and future directions in PEG fusion.

  10. Protein Prenylation Constitutes an Endogenous Brake on Axonal Growth.

    PubMed

    Li, Hai; Kuwajima, Takaaki; Oakley, Derek; Nikulina, Elena; Hou, Jianwei; Yang, Wan Seok; Lowry, Emily Rhodes; Lamas, Nuno Jorge; Amoroso, Mackenzie Weygandt; Croft, Gist F; Hosur, Raghavendra; Wichterle, Hynek; Sebti, Said; Filbin, Marie T; Stockwell, Brent; Henderson, Christopher E

    2016-07-12

    Suboptimal axonal regeneration contributes to the consequences of nervous system trauma and neurodegenerative disease, but the intrinsic mechanisms that regulate axon growth remain unclear. We screened 50,400 small molecules for their ability to promote axon outgrowth on inhibitory substrata. The most potent hits were the statins, which stimulated growth of all mouse- and human-patient-derived neurons tested, both in vitro and in vivo, as did combined inhibition of the protein prenylation enzymes farnesyltransferase (PFT) and geranylgeranyl transferase I (PGGT-1). Compensatory sprouting of motor axons may delay clinical onset of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Accordingly, elevated levels of PGGT1B, which would be predicted to reduce sprouting, were found in motor neurons of early- versus late-onset ALS patients postmortem. The mevalonate-prenylation pathway therefore constitutes an endogenous brake on axonal growth, and its inhibition provides a potential therapeutic approach to accelerate neuronal regeneration in humans. PMID:27373155

  11. Mechanisms of distal axonal degeneration in peripheral neuropathies.

    PubMed

    Cashman, Christopher R; Höke, Ahmet

    2015-06-01

    Peripheral neuropathy is a common complication of a variety of diseases and treatments, including diabetes, cancer chemotherapy, and infectious causes (HIV, hepatitis C, and Campylobacter jejuni). Despite the fundamental difference between these insults, peripheral neuropathy develops as a combination of just six primary mechanisms: altered metabolism, covalent modification, altered organelle function and reactive oxygen species formation, altered intracellular and inflammatory signaling, slowed axonal transport, and altered ion channel dynamics and expression. All of these pathways converge to lead to axon dysfunction and symptoms of neuropathy. The detailed mechanisms of axon degeneration itself have begun to be elucidated with studies of animal models with altered degeneration kinetics, including the slowed Wallerian degeneration (Wld(S)) and Sarm knockout animal models. These studies have shown axonal degeneration to occur through a programmed pathway of injury signaling and cytoskeletal degradation. Insights into the common disease insults that converge on the axonal degeneration pathway promise to facilitate the development of therapeutics that may be effective against other mechanisms of neurodegeneration. PMID:25617478

  12. Dissociation of Axonal Neurofilament Content from Its Transport Rate.

    PubMed

    Yuan, Aidong; Hassinger, Linda; Rao, Mala V; Julien, Jean-Pierre; Miller, Christopher C J; Nixon, Ralph A

    2015-01-01

    The axonal cytoskeleton of neurofilament (NF) is a long-lived network of fibrous elements believed to be a stationary structure maintained by a small pool of transported cytoskeletal precursors. Accordingly, it may be predicted that NF content in axons can vary independently from the transport rate of NF. In the present report, we confirm this prediction by showing that human NFH transgenic mice and transgenic mice expressing human NFL Ser55 (Asp) develop nearly identical abnormal patterns of NF accumulation and distribution in association with opposite changes in NF slow transport rates. We also show that the rate of NF transport in wild-type mice remains constant along a length of the optic axon where NF content varies 3-fold. Moreover, knockout mice lacking NFH develop even more extreme (6-fold) proximal to distal variation in NF number, which is associated with a normal wild-type rate of NF transport. The independence of regional NF content and NF transport is consistent with previous evidence suggesting that the rate of incorporation of transported NF precursors into a metabolically stable stationary cytoskeletal network is the major determinant of axonal NF content, enabling the generation of the striking local variations in NF number seen along axons.

  13. Axon Regeneration Genes Identified by RNAi Screening in C. elegans

    PubMed Central

    Nix, Paola; Hammarlund, Marc; Hauth, Linda; Lachnit, Martina; Jorgensen, Erik M.

    2014-01-01

    Axons of the mammalian CNS lose the ability to regenerate soon after development due to both an inhibitory CNS environment and the loss of cell-intrinsic factors necessary for regeneration. The complex molecular events required for robust regeneration of mature neurons are not fully understood, particularly in vivo. To identify genes affecting axon regeneration in Caenorhabditis elegans, we performed both an RNAi-based screen for defective motor axon regeneration in unc-70/β-spectrin mutants and a candidate gene screen. From these screens, we identified at least 50 conserved genes with growth-promoting or growth-inhibiting functions. Through our analysis of mutants, we shed new light on certain aspects of regeneration, including the role of β-spectrin and membrane dynamics, the antagonistic activity of MAP kinase signaling pathways, and the role of stress in promoting axon regeneration. Many gene candidates had not previously been associated with axon regeneration and implicate new pathways of interest for therapeutic intervention. PMID:24403161

  14. 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

  15. Missense mutations in TENM4, a regulator of axon guidance and central myelination, cause essential tremor

    PubMed Central

    Hor, Hyun; Francescatto, Ludmila; Bartesaghi, Luca; Ortega-Cubero, Sara; Kousi, Maria; Lorenzo-Betancor, Oswaldo; Jiménez-Jiménez, Felix J.; Gironell, Alexandre; Clarimón, Jordi; Drechsel, Oliver; Agúndez, José A. G.; Kenzelmann Broz, Daniela; Chiquet-Ehrismann, Ruth; Lleó, Alberto; Coria, Francisco; García-Martin, Elena; Alonso-Navarro, Hortensia; Martí, Maria J.; Kulisevsky, Jaume; Hor, Charlotte N.; Ossowski, Stephan; Chrast, Roman; Katsanis, Nicholas; Pastor, Pau; Estivill, Xavier

    2015-01-01

    Essential tremor (ET) is a common movement disorder with an estimated prevalence of 5% of the population aged over 65 years. In spite of intensive efforts, the genetic architecture of ET remains unknown. We used a combination of whole-exome sequencing and targeted resequencing in three ET families. In vitro and in vivo experiments in oligodendrocyte precursor cells and zebrafish were performed to test our findings. Whole-exome sequencing revealed a missense mutation in TENM4 segregating in an autosomal-dominant fashion in an ET family. Subsequent targeted resequencing of TENM4 led to the discovery of two novel missense mutations. Not only did these two mutations segregate with ET in two additional families, but we also observed significant over transmission of pathogenic TENM4 alleles across the three families. Consistent with a dominant mode of inheritance, in vitro analysis in oligodendrocyte precursor cells showed that mutant proteins mislocalize. Finally, expression of human mRNA harboring any of three patient mutations in zebrafish embryos induced defects in axon guidance, confirming a dominant-negative mode of action for these mutations. Our genetic and functional data, which is corroborated by the existence of a Tenm4 knockout mouse displaying an ET phenotype, implicates TENM4 in ET. Together with previous studies of TENM4 in model organisms, our studies intimate that processes regulating myelination in the central nervous system and axon guidance might be significant contributors to the genetic burden of this disorder. PMID:26188006

  16. The axon-glia unit in white matter stroke: mechanisms of damage and recovery.

    PubMed

    Rosenzweig, Shira; Carmichael, S Thomas

    2015-10-14

    Approximately one quarter of all strokes in humans occur in white matter, and the progressive nature of white matter lesions often results in severe physical and mental disability. Unlike cortical grey matter stroke, the pathology of white matter stroke revolves around disrupted connectivity and injured axons and glial cells, rather than neuronal cell bodies. Consequently, the mechanisms behind ischemic damage to white matter elements, the regenerative responses of glial cells and their signaling pathways, all differ significantly from those in grey matter. Development of effective therapies for white matter stroke would require an enhanced understanding of the complex cellular and molecular interactions within the white matter, leading to the identification of new therapeutic targets. This review will address the unique properties of the axon-glia unit during white matter stroke, describe the challenging process of promoting effective white matter repair, and discuss recently-identified signaling pathways which may hold potential targets for repair in this disease. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI: Cell Interactions In Stroke.

  17. Axon Guidance in the Auditory System: Multiple Functions of Eph Receptors

    PubMed Central

    Cramer, Karina S.; Gabriele, Mark L.

    2014-01-01

    The neural pathways of the auditory system underlie our ability to detect sounds and to transform amplitude and frequency information into rich and meaningful perception. While it shares some organizational features with other sensory systems, the auditory system has some unique functions that impose special demands on precision in circuit assembly. In particular, the cochlear epithelium creates a frequency map rather than a space map, and specialized pathways extract information on interaural time and intensity differences to permit sound source localization. The assembly of auditory circuitry requires the coordinated function of multiple molecular cues. Eph receptors and their ephrin ligands constitute a large family of axon guidance molecules with developmentally regulated expression throughout the auditory system. Functional studies of Eph/ephrin signaling have revealed important roles at multiple levels of the auditory pathway, from the cochlea to the auditory cortex. These proteins provide graded cues used in establishing tonotopically ordered connections between auditory areas, as well as discrete cues that enable axons to form connections with appropriate postsynaptic partners within a target area. Throughout the auditory system, Eph proteins help to establish patterning in neural pathways during early development. This early targeting, which is further refined with neuronal activity, establishes the precision needed for auditory perception. PMID:25010398

  18. Glutamate Stimulates Local Protein Synthesis in the Axons of Rat Cortical Neurons by Activating α-Amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic Acid (AMPA) Receptors and Metabotropic Glutamate Receptors.

    PubMed

    Hsu, Wei-Lun; Chung, Hui-Wen; Wu, Chih-Yueh; Wu, Huei-Ing; Lee, Yu-Tao; Chen, En-Chan; Fang, Weilun; Chang, Yen-Chung

    2015-08-21

    Glutamate is the principal excitatory neurotransmitter in the mammalian CNS. By analyzing the metabolic incorporation of azidohomoalanine, a methionine analogue, in newly synthesized proteins, we find that glutamate treatments up-regulate protein translation not only in intact rat cortical neurons in culture but also in the axons emitting from cortical neurons before making synapses with target cells. The process by which glutamate stimulates local translation in axons begins with the binding of glutamate to the ionotropic AMPA receptors and metabotropic glutamate receptor 1 and members of group 2 metabotropic glutamate receptors on the plasma membrane. Subsequently, the activated mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling pathway and the rise in Ca(2+), resulting from Ca(2+) influxes through calcium-permeable AMPA receptors, voltage-gated Ca(2+) channels, and transient receptor potential canonical channels, in axons stimulate the local translation machinery. For comparison, the enhancement effects of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) on the local protein synthesis in cortical axons were also studied. The results indicate that Ca(2+) influxes via transient receptor potential canonical channels and activated the mTOR pathway in axons also mediate BDNF stimulation to local protein synthesis. However, glutamate- and BDNF-induced enhancements of translation in axons exhibit different kinetics. Moreover, Ca(2+) and mTOR signaling appear to play roles carrying different weights, respectively, in transducing glutamate- and BDNF-induced enhancements of axonal translation. Thus, our results indicate that exposure to transient increases of glutamate and more lasting increases of BDNF would stimulate local protein synthesis in migrating axons en route to their targets in the developing brain.

  19. Determination of axonal transport velocities via image cross- and autocorrelation.

    PubMed

    Welzel, Oliver; Boening, Daniel; Stroebel, Armin; Reulbach, Udo; Klingauf, Jurgen; Kornhuber, Johannes; Groemer, Teja Wolfgang

    2009-09-01

    On their way to the synapse and back, neuronal proteins are carried in cargo vesicles along axons and dendrites. Here, we demonstrate that the key parameters of axonal transport, i.e., particle velocities and pausing times can be read out from CCD-camera images automatically. In the present study, this is achieved via cross- and autocorrelation of kymograph columns. The applicability of the method was measured on simulated kymographs and data from axonal transport timeseries of mRFP-labeled synaptophysin. In comparing outcomes of velocity determinations via a performance parameter that is analogous to the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) definition, we find that outcomes are dependent on sampling, particle numbers and signal to noise of the kymograph. Autocorrelation of individual columns allows exact determination of pausing time populations. In contrast to manual tracking, correlation does not require experience, a priori assumptions or disentangling of individual particle trajectories and can operate at low SNR.

  20. Single sodium channels from the squid giant axon.

    PubMed Central

    Bezanilla, F

    1987-01-01

    Since the work of A. L. Hodgkin and A. F. Huxley (1952. J. Physiol. [Lond.].117:500-544) the squid giant axon has been considered the classical preparation for the study of voltage-dependent sodium and potassium channels. In this preparation much data have been gathered on macroscopic and gating currents but no single sodium channel data have been available. This paper reports patch clamp recording of single sodium channel events from the cut-open squid axon. It is shown that the single channel conductance in the absence of external divalent ions is approximately 14 pS, similar to sodium channels recorded from other preparations, and that their kinetic properties are consistent with previous results on gating and macroscopic currents obtained from the perfused squid axon preparation. PMID:2447971

  1. Histone Deacetylase Inhibitors Preserve Function in Aging Axons

    PubMed Central

    Baltan, Selva

    2012-01-01

    Aging increases the vulnerability of aging white matter to ischemic injury. Histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors preserve young adult white matter structure and function during ischemia by conserving ATP and reducing excitotoxicity. In isolated optic nerve from 12 month old mice, deprived of oxygen and glucose, we show that pan- and Class I specific HDAC inhibitors promote functional recovery of axons. This protection correlates with preservation of axonal mitochondria. The cellular expression of HDAC 3, in the central nervous system (CNS) and HDAC 2 in optic nerve considerably changed with age expanding to more cytoplasmic domains from nuclear compartments suggesting that changes in glial cell protein acetylation may confer protection to aging axons. Our results indicate manipulation of HDAC activities in glial cells may have a universal potential for stroke therapy across age groups. PMID:23050648

  2. Optimization of the leak conductance in the squid giant axon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seely, Jeffrey; Crotty, Patrick

    2010-08-01

    We report on a theoretical study showing that the leak conductance density, GL , in the squid giant axon appears to be optimal for the action potential firing frequency. More precisely, the standard assumption that the leak current is composed of chloride ions leads to the result that the experimental value for GL is very close to the optimal value in the Hodgkin-Huxley model, which minimizes the absolute refractory period of the action potential, thereby maximizing the maximum firing frequency under stimulation by sharp, brief input current spikes to one end of the axon. The measured value of GL also appears to be close to optimal for the frequency of repetitive firing caused by a constant current input to one end of the axon, especially when temperature variations are taken into account. If, by contrast, the leak current is assumed to be composed of separate voltage-independent sodium and potassium currents, then these optimizations are not observed.

  3. Involvement of SARA in Axon and Dendrite Growth.

    PubMed

    Arias, Cristina Isabel; Siri, Sebastián Omar; Conde, Cecilia

    2015-01-01

    SARA (Smad Anchor for Receptor Activation) plays a crucial role in Rab5-mediated endocytosis in cell lines localizing to early endosomes where it regulates morphology and function. Here, we analyzed the role of SARA during neuronal development and tested whether it functions as a regulator of endocytic trafficking of selected axonal and membrane proteins. Suppression of SARA perturbs the appearance of juxtanuclear endocytic recycling compartments and the neurons show long axons with large growth cones. Furthermore, surface distribution of the cell adhesion molecule L1 in axons and the fusion of vesicles containing transferring receptor (TfR) in dendrites were increased in neurons where SARA was silenced. Conversely, SARA overexpression generated large early endosomes and reduced neurite outgrowth. Taken together, our findings suggest a significant contribution of SARA to key aspects of neuronal development, including neurite formation. PMID:26405814

  4. Using quantum filters to process images of diffuse axonal injury

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pineda Osorio, Mateo

    2014-06-01

    Some images corresponding to a diffuse axonal injury (DAI) are processed using several quantum filters such as Hermite Weibull and Morse. Diffuse axonal injury is a particular, common and severe case of traumatic brain injury (TBI). DAI involves global damage on microscopic scale of brain tissue and causes serious neurologic abnormalities. New imaging techniques provide excellent images showing cellular damages related to DAI. Said images can be processed with quantum filters, which accomplish high resolutions of dendritic and axonal structures both in normal and pathological state. Using the Laplacian operators from the new quantum filters, excellent edge detectors for neurofiber resolution are obtained. Image quantum processing of DAI images is made using computer algebra, specifically Maple. Quantum filter plugins construction is proposed as a future research line, which can incorporated to the ImageJ software package, making its use simpler for medical personnel.

  5. Integration of engrafted Schwann cells into injured peripheral nerve: axonal association and nodal formation on regenerated axons.

    PubMed

    Radtke, Christine; Akiyama, Yukinori; Lankford, Karen L; Vogt, Peter M; Krause, Diane S; Kocsis, Jeffery D

    2005-10-21

    Transplantation of myelin-forming cells can remyelinate axons, but little is known of the sodium channel organization of axons myelinated by donor cells. Sciatic nerve axons of female wild type mice were transected by a crush injury and Schwann cells (SCs) from green fluorescence protein (GFP)-expressing male mice were transplanted adjacent to the crush site. The male donor cells were identified by GFP fluorescence and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) for Y chromosome. In nerves of GFP-expressing mice, GFP was observed in the axoplasm and in the cytoplasmic compartments of the Schwann cells, but not in the myelin. Following transplantation of GFP-SCs into crushed nerve of wild type mice, immuno-electron microscopic analysis indicated that GFP was observed in the cytoplasmic compartments of engrafted Schwann cells which formed myelin. Nodal and paranodal regions of the axons myelinated by the GFP-SCs were identified by Na(v)1.6 sodium channel and Caspr immunostaining, respectively. Nuclear identification of the Y chromosome by FISH confirmed the donor origin of the myelin-forming cells. These results indicate that engrafted GFP-SCs participate in myelination of regenerated peripheral nerve fibers and that Na(v)1.6 sodium channel, which is the dominant sodium channel at normal nodes, is reconstituted on the regenerated axons. PMID:16084645

  6. The axon-protective WLD(S) protein partially rescues mitochondrial respiration and glycolysis after axonal injury.

    PubMed

    Godzik, Katharina; Coleman, Michael P

    2015-04-01

    The axon-protective Wallerian degeneration slow (WLD(S)) protein can ameliorate the decline in axonal ATP levels after neurite transection. Here, we tested the hypothesis that this effect is associated with maintenance of mitochondrial respiration and/or glycolysis. We used isolated neurites of superior cervical ganglion (SCG) cultures in the Seahorse XF-24 Metabolic Flux Analyser to determine mitochondrial respiration and glycolysis under different conditions. We observed that both mitochondrial respiration and glycolysis declined significantly during the latent phase of Wallerian degeneration. WLD(S) partially reduced the decline both in glycolysis and in mitochondrial respiration. In addition, we found that depleting NAD levels in uncut cultures led to changes in mitochondrial respiration and glycolysis similar to those rescued by WLD(S) after cut, suggesting that the maintenance of NAD levels in Wld(S) neurites after axonal injury at least partially underlies the maintenance of ATP levels. However, by using another axon-protective mutation (Sarm1(-/-)), we could demonstrate that rescue of basal ECAR (and hence probably glycolysis) rather than basal OCR (mitochondrial respiration) may be part of the protective phenotype to delay Wallerian degeneration. These findings open new routes to study glycolysis and the connection between NAD and ATP levels in axon degeneration, which may help to eventually develop therapeutic strategies to treat neurodegenerative diseases.

  7. Axons provide the secretory machinery for trafficking of voltage-gated sodium channels in peripheral nerve.

    PubMed

    González, Carolina; Cánovas, José; Fresno, Javiera; Couve, Eduardo; Court, Felipe A; Couve, Andrés

    2016-02-16

    The regulation of the axonal proteome is key to generate and maintain neural function. Fast and slow axoplasmic waves have been known for decades, but alternative mechanisms to control the abundance of axonal proteins based on local synthesis have also been identified. The presence of the endoplasmic reticulum has been documented in peripheral axons, but it is still unknown whether this localized organelle participates in the delivery of axonal membrane proteins. Voltage-gated sodium channels are responsible for action potentials and are mostly concentrated in the axon initial segment and nodes of Ranvier. Despite their fundamental role, little is known about the intracellular trafficking mechanisms that govern their availability in mature axons. Here we describe the secretory machinery in axons and its contribution to plasma membrane delivery of sodium channels. The distribution of axonal secretory components was evaluated in axons of the sciatic nerve and in spinal nerve axons after in vivo electroporation. Intracellular protein trafficking was pharmacologically blocked in vivo and in vitro. Axonal voltage-gated sodium channel mRNA and local trafficking were examined by RT-PCR and a retention-release methodology. We demonstrate that mature axons contain components of the endoplasmic reticulum and other biosynthetic organelles. Axonal organelles and sodium channel localization are sensitive to local blockade of the endoplasmic reticulum to Golgi transport. More importantly, secretory organelles are capable of delivering sodium channels to the plasma membrane in isolated axons, demonstrating an intrinsic capacity of the axonal biosynthetic route in regulating the axonal proteome in mammalian axons. PMID:26839409

  8. Axons provide the secretory machinery for trafficking of voltage-gated sodium channels in peripheral nerve

    PubMed Central

    González, Carolina; Cánovas, José; Fresno, Javiera; Couve, Eduardo; Court, Felipe A.; Couve, Andrés

    2016-01-01

    The regulation of the axonal proteome is key to generate and maintain neural function. Fast and slow axoplasmic waves have been known for decades, but alternative mechanisms to control the abundance of axonal proteins based on local synthesis have also been identified. The presence of the endoplasmic reticulum has been documented in peripheral axons, but it is still unknown whether this localized organelle participates in the delivery of axonal membrane proteins. Voltage-gated sodium channels are responsible for action potentials and are mostly concentrated in the axon initial segment and nodes of Ranvier. Despite their fundamental role, little is known about the intracellular trafficking mechanisms that govern their availability in mature axons. Here we describe the secretory machinery in axons and its contribution to plasma membrane delivery of sodium channels. The distribution of axonal secretory components was evaluated in axons of the sciatic nerve and in spinal nerve axons after in vivo electroporation. Intracellular protein trafficking was pharmacologically blocked in vivo and in vitro. Axonal voltage-gated sodium channel mRNA and local trafficking were examined by RT-PCR and a retention-release methodology. We demonstrate that mature axons contain components of the endoplasmic reticulum and other biosynthetic organelles. Axonal organelles and sodium channel localization are sensitive to local blockade of the endoplasmic reticulum to Golgi transport. More importantly, secretory organelles are capable of delivering sodium channels to the plasma membrane in isolated axons, demonstrating an intrinsic capacity of the axonal biosynthetic route in regulating the axonal proteome in mammalian axons. PMID:26839409

  9. Axoplasmic RNA species synthesized in the isolated squid giant axon.

    PubMed

    Rapallino, M V; Cupello, A; Giuditta, A

    1988-07-01

    Isolated squid stellate nerves and giant fiber lobes were incubated for 8 hr in Millipore filtered sea water containing [3H]uridine. The electrophoretic patterns of radioactive RNA purified from the axoplasm of the giant axon and from the giant fiber lobe (cell bodies of the giant axon) demonstrated the presence of RNA species with mobilities corresponding to tRNA and rRNA. The presence of labeled rRNAs was confirmed by the behavior of the large rRNA component (31S) which, in the squid, readily dissociates into its two constituent moyeties (17S and 20S). Comparable results were obtained with the axonal sheath and the stellate nerve. In all the electrophoretic patterns, additional species of radioactive RNA migrated between the 4S and the 20S markers, i.e. with mobilities corresponding to presumptive mRNAs. Chromatographic analysis of the purified RNAs on oligo(dT)cellulose indicated the presence of labeled poly(A)+ RNA in all tissue samples. Radioactive poly(A)+ RNA represented approximately 1% of the total labeled RNA in the axoplasm, axonal sheath and stellate nerve, but more than 2% in the giant fiber lobe. The labeled poly(A)+ RNAs of the giant fibre lobe showed a prevalence of larger species in comparison to the axonal sheath and stellate nerve. In conclusion, the axoplasmic RNAs synthesized by the isolated squid giant axon appear to include all the major classes of axoplasmic RNAs, that is rRNA, tRNA and mRNA.

  10. The effect of buffer molarity on axonal exposure and axoaxonal apposition in the rat molar pulp.

    PubMed

    Holland, G R

    1981-11-01

    Axons in the rat molar pulp have been examined morphometrically to determine axonal size and the degree of axonal exposure and axoaxonal apposition in tissue fixed by perfusion using 2% glutaraldehyde in cacodylate buffers ranging in molarity form 0.025 M to 0.4 M. Between 31.2% and 45.0% of the axons were incompletely ensheathed. This proportion of axons exposed was linearly related to the buffer molarity (P less than 0.05) and was approximately double that found in more central axons. Between 32.3% and 45.0% of the axons were in contact with other axons. This proportion was not linearly related to buffer molarity but was least ten times higher than that observed in more centrally positioned nerve fibers in the inferior alveolar nerves. Increasing buffer molarity reduced the size of the axons, a relationship not found in the more central axons. It is suggested that axonal exposure and axoaxonal apposition are constant, significant features of pulpal nerve fibers that may be related to the onset and spread of nociceptive activity. The permeability properties of pulpal axons may differ from those of more centrally placed axons.

  11. RIP2-mediated LKB1 deletion causes axon degeneration in the spinal cord and hind-limb paralysis.

    PubMed

    Sun, Gao; Reynolds, Richard; Leclerc, Isabelle; Rutter, Guy A

    2011-03-01

    Axon degeneration is observed in neurodegenerative diseases and neuroinflammatory disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and multiple sclerosis. The molecular basis of this process remains largely unknown. Here, we show that mice deleted for the tumour suppressor LKB1 (also called STK11) in the spinal cord, some parts of the brain and in the endocrine pancreas (βLKB1KO mice) develop hind-limb dysfunction and axon degeneration at about 7 weeks. Demyelination and macrophage infiltration are observed in the white matter of these mice, predominantly in the bilateral and anterior funiculi of the thoracic segment of the spinal cord, suggesting damage to the ascending sensory signalling pathway owing to LKB1 deletion in the brain. Microtubule structures were also affected in the degenerated foci, with diminished neurofilament and tubulin expression. Deletion of both PRKAA1 genes, whose products AMPKα1 and AMPKα2 are also downstream targets of LKB1, with the same strategy was without effect. We thus define LKB1 as an intrinsic suppressor of axon degeneration and a possible target for strategies that can reverse this process. PMID:21135058

  12. Neurons in the lateral part of the lumbar spinal cord show distinct novel axon trajectories and are excited by short propriospinal ascending inputs.

    PubMed

    Antal, Zs; Luz, L L; Safronov, B V; Antal, M; Szücs, Peter

    2016-05-01

    The role of spinal dorsal horn propriospinal connections in nociceptive processing is not yet established. Recently described, rostrocaudally oriented axon collaterals of lamina I projection and local-circuit neurons (PNs and LCNs) running in the dorsolateral funiculus (DLF) may serve as the anatomical substrate for intersegmental processing. Putative targets of these axons include lateral dendrites of superficial dorsal horn neurons, including PNs, and also neurons in the lateral spinal nucleus (LSN) that are thought to be important integrator units receiving, among others, visceral sensory information. Here we used an intact spinal cord preparation to study intersegmental connections within the lateral part of the superficial dorsal horn. We detected brief monosynaptic and prolonged polysynaptic excitation of lamina I and LSN neurons when stimulating individual dorsal horn neurons located caudally, even in neighboring spinal cord segments. These connections, however, were infrequent. We also revealed that some projection neurons outside the dorsal grey matter and in the LSN have distinct, previously undescribed course of their projection axon. Our findings indicate that axon collaterals of lamina I PNs and LCNs in the DLF rarely form functional connections with other lamina I and LSN neurons and that the majority of their targets are on other elements of the dorsal horn. The unique axon trajectories of neurons in the dorsolateral aspect of the spinal cord, including the LSN do not fit our present understanding of midline axon guidance and suggest that their function and development differ from the neurons inside lamina I. These findings emphasize the importance of understanding the connectivity matrix of the superficial dorsal horn in order to decipher spinal sensory information processing. PMID:25912439

  13. [Target Molecule for a Demyelinating Type of Guillain-Barré Syndrome, Acute Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy].

    PubMed

    Mori, Masahiro

    2015-11-01

    Guillain-Barré syndrome is classified into demyelinating type, acute inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (AIDP) and axonal form, acute axonal motor neuropathy (AMAN). It has been clearly established that the target molecule for the former is a ganglioside. In contrast, despite years of effort, the target molecule for the latter has not been identified. Recently, molecules around the nodes of Ranvier have entered the spotlight, and "moesin" was reported to be a target molecule for cytomegalovirus associated-AIDP.

  14. Axon-glia interactions and the domain organization of myelinated axons requires neurexin IV/Caspr/Paranodin.

    PubMed

    Bhat, M A; Rios, J C; Lu, Y; Garcia-Fresco, G P; Ching, W; St Martin, M; Li, J; Einheber, S; Chesler, M; Rosenbluth, J; Salzer, J L; Bellen, H J

    2001-05-01

    Myelinated fibers are organized into distinct domains that are necessary for saltatory conduction. These domains include the nodes of Ranvier and the flanking paranodal regions where glial cells closely appose and form specialized septate-like junctions with axons. These junctions contain a Drosophila Neurexin IV-related protein, Caspr/Paranodin (NCP1). Mice that lack NCP1 exhibit tremor, ataxia, and significant motor paresis. In the absence of NCP1, normal paranodal junctions fail to form, and the organization of the paranodal loops is disrupted. Contactin is undetectable in the paranodes, and K(+) channels are displaced from the juxtaparanodal into the paranodal domains. Loss of NCP1 also results in a severe decrease in peripheral nerve conduction velocity. These results show a critical role for NCP1 in the delineation of specific axonal domains and the axon-glia interactions required for normal saltatory conduction. PMID:11395000

  15. PTEN inhibition to facilitate intrinsic regenerative outgrowth of adult peripheral axons.

    PubMed

    Christie, Kimberly J; Webber, Christine A; Martinez, Jose A; Singh, Bhagat; Zochodne, Douglas W

    2010-07-01

    In vivo regeneration of peripheral neurons is constrained and rarely complete, and unfortunately patients with major nerve trunk transections experience only limited recovery. Intracellular inhibition of neuronal growth signals may be among these constraints. In this work, we investigated the role of PTEN (phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted on chromosome 10) during regeneration of peripheral neurons in adult Sprague Dawley rats. PTEN inhibits phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3-K)/Akt signaling, a common and central outgrowth and survival pathway downstream of neuronal growth factors. While PI3-K and Akt outgrowth signals were expressed and activated within adult peripheral neurons during regeneration, PTEN was similarly expressed and poised to inhibit their support. PTEN was expressed in neuron perikaryal cytoplasm, nuclei, regenerating axons, and Schwann cells. Adult sensory neurons in vitro responded to both graded pharmacological inhibition of PTEN and its mRNA knockdown using siRNA. Both approaches were associated with robust rises in the plasticity of neurite outgrowth that were independent of the mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin) pathway. Importantly, this accelerated outgrowth was in addition to the increased outgrowth generated in neurons that had undergone a preconditioning lesion. Moreover, following severe nerve transection injuries, local pharmacological inhibition of PTEN or siRNA knockdown of PTEN at the injury site accelerated axon outgrowth in vivo. The findings indicated a remarkable impact on peripheral neuron plasticity through PTEN inhibition, even within a complex regenerative milieu. Overall, these findings identify a novel route to propagate intrinsic regeneration pathways within axons to benefit nerve repair.

  16. Late generated neurons in the medial cortex of adult lizards send axons that reach the Timm-reactive zones.

    PubMed

    Lopez-Garcia, C; Molowny, A; Garcia-Verdugo, J M; Martinez-Guijarro, F J; Bernabeu, A

    1990-12-15

    Double labelling autoradiography-HRP experiments were performed to examine whether late generated neurons in the medial cortex of lizards develop and send axons to their targets. One to two months after receiving a series of tritiated thymidine ([3H]T) injections to label recently generated neurons, lizards (Podarcis hispanica) were subjected to a HRP labelling experiment. HRP was stereotaxically injected into the projection areas of the medial cerebral cortex, i.e. the cortical Timm-reactive areas. Following a short survival time, lizards were sacrificed and their brains processed first for HRP histochemical detection and then for autoradiography. Many cell somata in the cell layer of the medial cortex were retrogradely labelled. A few of the HRP labelled somata also displayed autoradiographic silver granules labelling their nuclei. This indicates that their time of origin had coincided with the tritiated thymidine pulse. These doubly labelled somata are evidence that newly formed neurons grow axons that reach the areas injected with HRP.

  17. A functional equivalent of endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi in axons for secretion of locally synthesized proteins

    PubMed Central

    Merianda, Tanuja T.; Lin, Andrew C.; Lam, Joyce S.Y.; Vuppalanchi, Deepika; Willis, Dianna E.; Karin, Norman; Holt, Christine E.; Twiss, Jeffery L.

    2013-01-01

    Subcellular localization of protein synthesis provides a means to regulate the protein composition in far reaches of a cell. This localized protein synthesis gives neuronal processes autonomy to rapidly respond to extracellular stimuli. Locally synthesized axonal proteins enable neurons to respond to guidance cues and can help to initiate regeneration after injury. Most studies of axonal mRNA translation have concentrated on cytoplasmic proteins. While ultrastructural studies suggest that axons do not have rough endoplasmic reticulum or Golgi apparatus, mRNAs for transmembrane and secreted proteins localize to axons. Here, we show that growing axons with protein synthetic activity contain ER and Golgi components needed for classical protein synthesis and secretion. Isolated axons have the capacity to traffic locally synthesized proteins into secretory pathways and inhibition of Golgi function attenuates translation-dependent axonal growth responses. Finally, the capacity for secreting locally synthesized proteins in axons appears to be increased by injury. PMID:19022387

  18. Assessment of axonal dysfunction in an in vitro model of acute compressive injury to adult rat spinal cord axons.

    PubMed

    Fehlings, M G; Nashmi, R

    1995-04-24

    An in vitro model of spinal cord injury was developed to study the pathophysiology of posttraumatic axonal dysfunction. A 25 mm length of thoracic spinal cord was removed from the adult male rat (n = 27). A dorsal column segment was isolated and pinned in a recording chamber and superfused with oxygenated (95% O2/5% CO2) Ringer. The cord was stimulated with a bipolar electrode, while two point responses were recorded extracellularly. Injury was accomplished by compression with a modified aneurysm clip which applied a 2 g force for 15 s. With injury the compound action potential (CAP) amplitude decreased to 53.7 +/- 5.4% (P < 0.001), while the latency increased to 115.6 +/- 3.1% (P < 0.0025) of control values. The absolute refractory period increased with injury from 1.7 +/- 0.1 ms to 2.1 +/- 0.1 ms (P < 0.05). The infusion of 5 mM 4-aminopyridine (4-AP), a blocker of voltage-sensitive 'fast' K channels confined to internodal regions, resulted in broadening of the CAP of injured axons to 114.9 +/- 3.1% of control (P < 0.05). Ultrastructural analysis of the injured dorsal column segments revealed marked axonal and myelin pathology, including considerable myelin disruption. In conclusion, we have developed and characterized an in vitro model of mammalian spinal cord injury which simulates many of the features of in vivo trauma. Injured axons display characteristic changes in physiological function including a shift in refractory period and high frequency conduction failure. The ultrastructural data and response of injured axons to 4-AP suggest that myelin disruption with exposure of 'fast' K+ channels contributes to posttraumatic axonal dysfunction.

  19. The extent of axonal exposure and axo-axonal apposition in the non-myelinated nerve fibres of peripheral nerve trunks and their dependence on buffer molarity.

    PubMed

    Holland,