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Sample records for lamina-specific axon targeting

  1. Temporal identity in axonal target layer recognition.

    PubMed

    Petrovic, Milan; Hummel, Thomas

    2008-12-11

    The segregation of axon and dendrite projections into distinct synaptic layers is a fundamental principle of nervous system organization and the structural basis for information processing in the brain. Layer-specific recognition molecules that allow projecting neurons to stabilize transient contacts and initiate synaptogenesis have been identified. However, most of the neuronal cell-surface molecules critical for layer organization are expressed broadly in the developing nervous system, raising the question of how these so-called permissive adhesion molecules support synaptic specificity. Here we show that the temporal expression dynamics of the zinc-finger protein sequoia is the major determinant of Drosophila photoreceptor connectivity into distinct synaptic layers. Neighbouring R8 and R7 photoreceptors show consecutive peaks of elevated sequoia expression, which correspond to their sequential target-layer innervation. Loss of sequoia in R7 leads to a projection switch into the R8 recipient layer, whereas a prolonged expression in R8 induces a redirection of their axons into the R7 layer. The sequoia-induced axon targeting is mediated through the ubiquitously expressed Cadherin-N cell adhesion molecule. Our data support a model in which recognition specificity during synaptic layer formation is generated through a temporally restricted axonal competence to respond to broadly expressed adhesion molecules. Because developing neurons innervating the same target area often project in a distinct, birth-order-dependent sequence, temporal identity seems to contain crucial information in generating not only cell type diversity during neuronal division but also connection diversity of projecting neurons.

  2. Action Potential Dynamics in Fine Axons Probed with an Axonally Targeted Optical Voltage Sensor.

    PubMed

    Ma, Yihe; Bayguinov, Peter O; Jackson, Meyer B

    2017-01-01

    The complex and malleable conduction properties of axons determine how action potentials propagate through extensive axonal arbors to reach synaptic terminals. The excitability of axonal membranes plays a major role in neural circuit function, but because most axons are too thin for conventional electrical recording, their properties remain largely unexplored. To overcome this obstacle, we used a genetically encoded hybrid voltage sensor (hVOS) harboring an axonal targeting motif. Expressing this probe in transgenic mice enabled us to monitor voltage changes optically in two populations of axons in hippocampal slices, the large axons of dentate granule cells (mossy fibers) in the stratum lucidum of the CA3 region and the much finer axons of hilar mossy cells in the inner molecular layer of the dentate gyrus. Action potentials propagated with distinct velocities in each type of axon. Repetitive firing broadened action potentials in both populations, but at an intermediate frequency the degree of broadening differed. Repetitive firing also attenuated action potential amplitudes in both mossy cell and granule cell axons. These results indicate that the features of use-dependent action potential broadening, and possible failure, observed previously in large nerve terminals also appear in much finer unmyelinated axons. Subtle differences in the frequency dependences could influence the propagation of activity through different pathways to excite different populations of neurons. The axonally targeted hVOS probe used here opens up the diverse repertoire of neuronal processes to detailed biophysical study.

  3. Flamingo regulates R8 axon-axon and axon-target interactions in the Drosophila visual system.

    PubMed

    Senti, Kirsten-André; Usui, Tadao; Boucke, Karin; Greber, Urs; Uemura, Tadashi; Dickson, Barry J

    2003-05-13

    Photoreceptors (R cells) in the Drosophila retina connect to targets in three distinct layers of the optic lobe of the brain: R1-R6 connect to the lamina, and R7 and R8 connect to distinct layers in the medulla. In each of these layers, R axon termini are arranged in evenly spaced topographic arrays. In a genetic screen for mutants with abnormal R cell connectivity, we recovered mutations in flamingo (fmi). fmi encodes a seven-transmembrane cadherin, previously shown to function in planar cell polarity and in dendritic patterning. Here, we show that fmi has two specific functions in R8 axon targeting: it facilitates competitive interactions between adjacent R8 axons to ensure their correct spacing, and it promotes the formation of stable connections between R8 axons and their target cells in the medulla. The former suggests a general role for Fmi in establishing nonoverlapping dendritic and axonal target fields. The latter, together with the finding that N-Cadherin has an analogous role in R7 axon-target interactions, points to a cadherin-based system for target layer specificity in the Drosophila visual system.

  4. Axonal Cleaved Caspase-3 Regulates Axon Targeting and Morphogenesis in the Developing Auditory Brainstem

    PubMed Central

    Rotschafer, Sarah E.; Allen-Sharpley, Michelle R.; Cramer, Karina S.

    2016-01-01

    Caspase-3 is a cysteine protease that is most commonly associated with cell death. Recent studies have shown additional roles in mediating cell differentiation, cell proliferation and development of cell morphology. We investigated the role of caspase-3 in the development of chick auditory brainstem nuclei during embryogenesis. Immunofluorescence from embryonic days E6–13 revealed that the temporal expression of cleaved caspase-3 follows the ascending anatomical pathway. The expression is first seen in the auditory portion of VIIIth nerve including central axonal regions projecting to nucleus magnocellularis (NM), then later in NM axons projecting to nucleus laminaris (NL), and subsequently in NL dendrites. To examine the function of cleaved caspase-3 in chick auditory brainstem development, we blocked caspase-3 cleavage in developing chick embryos with the caspase-3 inhibitor Z-DEVD-FMK from E6 to E9, then examined NM and NL morphology and NM axonal targeting on E10. NL lamination in treated embryos was disorganized and the neuropil around NL contained a significant number of glial cells normally excluded from this region. Additionally, NM axons projected into inappropriate portions of NL in Z-DEVD-FMK treated embyros. We found that the presence of misrouted axons was associated with more severe NL disorganization. The effects of axonal caspase-3 inhibition on both NL morphogenesis and NM axon targeting suggest that these developmental processes are coordinated, likely through communication between axons and their targets. PMID:27822180

  5. 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

  6. Pre-target axon sorting in the avian auditory brainstem

    PubMed Central

    Kashima, Daniel T.; Rubel, Edwin W; Seidl, Armin H.

    2012-01-01

    Topographic organization of neurons is a hallmark of brain structure. The establishment of the connections between topographically organized brain regions has attracted much experimental attention and it is widely accepted that molecular cues guide outgrowing axons to their targets in order to construct topographic maps. In a number of systems afferent axons are organized topographically along their trajectory as well and it has been suggested that this pre-target sorting contributes to map formation. Neurons in auditory regions of the brain are arranged according to their best frequency (BF), the sound frequency they respond to optimally. This BF changes predictably with position along the so-called tonotopic axis. In the avian auditory brainstem, the tonotopic organization of the second- and third-order auditory neurons in nucleus magnocellularis (NM) and nucleus laminaris (NL) has been well described. In this study we examine whether the decussating NM axons forming the crossed dorsal cochlear tract (XDCT) and innervating the contralateral NL are arranged in a systematic manner. We electroporated dye into cells in different frequency regions of NM to anterogradely label their axons in the XDCT. The placement of dye in NM was compared to the location of labeled axons in XDCT. Our results show that NM axons in XDCT are organized in a precise tonotopic manner along the rostrocaudal axis, spanning over the entire rostrocaudal extent of both the origin and target nuclei. We propose that in the avian auditory brainstem, this pre-target axon sorting contributes to tonotopic map formation in NL. PMID:23239056

  7. TNFα reverse signaling promotes sympathetic axon growth and target innervation

    PubMed Central

    Kisiswa, Lilian; Osório, Catarina; Erice, Clara; Vizard, Thomas; Wyatt, Sean; Davies, Alun M

    2013-01-01

    Reverse signaling via members of the tumor necrosis factor (TNF) superfamily is increasingly recognized among cells of the immune system where it controls multiple aspects of immune function. Here we document TNFα reverse signaling in the nervous system for the first time and show that it plays a crucial role in establishing sympathetic innervation. During postnatal development, sympathetic axons express TNFα as they grow and branch in their target tissues which in turn express TNFR1. In culture, soluble forms of TNFR1 act directly on postnatal sympathetic axons to promote growth and branching by a mechanism that depends on membrane integrated TNFα and downstream MEK/ERK activation. Sympathetic innervation density is significantly reduced in several tissues in postnatal and adult mice lacking either TNFα or TNFR1. These findings reveal that target-derived TNFR1 acts as a reverse signaling ligand for membrane-integrated TNFα to promote sympathetic axon growth and branching. PMID:23749144

  8. Lamina-specific synaptic connections of hippocampal neurons in vitro.

    PubMed

    Frotscher, M; Heimrich, B

    1995-03-01

    By using slice cultures as a model, we demonstrate here that different target selectivities exist among the various afferent fibers to the hippocampus. As in intact animals, septohippocampal cholinergic fibers, provided by a slice culture of septum, innervate a co-cultured slice of hippocampus diffusely, that is, without forming distinct layers of termination. As in vivo, the septal cholinergic fibers establish synapses with a variety of target cells. Conversely, fibers from an entorhinal slice co-cultured to a hippocampal slice display their normal laminar specificity. They preferentially terminate in the outer molecular layer of the fascia dentata, thereby selectively contacting peripheral dendrites of the granule cells. This preferential termination on peripheral dendritic segments is remarkable, since these fibers do not have to compete with commissural fibers, hypothalamic fibers, and septal afferents for dendritic space under these culture conditions. Moreover, in triplet cultures in which first two hippocampal slices were co-cultured and then, with a delay of 5 days, an entorhinal slice was added, the fibers from the entorhinal slice and those from the hippocampal culture terminated in their appropriate layers in the hippocampal target culture. However, in this approach the normal sequence of ingrowth of these two afferents was reversed. In normal ontogenetic development, entorhinal afferents arrive in the hippocampus before the commissural fibers. The results show that there are different degrees of target selectivity of hippocampal afferents and that the characteristic lamination of certain afferent fibers in the hippocampus is not determined by their sequential ingrowth during development.

  9. Corticothalamic Axons Are Essential for Retinal Ganglion Cell Axon Targeting to the Mouse Dorsal Lateral Geniculate Nucleus

    PubMed Central

    Shanks, James A.; Ito, Shinya; Schaevitz, Laura; Yamada, Jena; Chen, Bin; Litke, Alan

    2016-01-01

    Retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) relay information about the outside world to multiple subcortical targets within the brain. This information is either used to dictate reflexive behaviors or relayed to the visual cortex for further processing. Many subcortical visual nuclei also receive descending inputs from projection neurons in the visual cortex. Most areas receive inputs from layer 5 cortical neurons in the visual cortex but one exception is the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus (dLGN), which receives layer 6 inputs and is also the only RGC target that sends direct projections to the cortex. Here we ask how visual system development and function changes in mice that develop without a cortex. We find that the development of a cortex is essential for RGC axons to terminate in the dLGN, but is not required for targeting RGC axons to other subcortical nuclei. RGC axons also fail to target to the dLGN in mice that specifically lack cortical layer 6 projections to the dLGN. Finally, we show that when mice develop without a cortex they can still perform a number of vision-dependent tasks. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus (dLGN) is a sensory thalamic relay area that receives feedforward inputs from retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) in the retina, and feed back inputs from layer 6 neurons in the visual cortex. In this study we examined genetically manipulated mice that develop without a cortex or without cortical layer 6 axonal projections, and find that RGC axons fail to project to the dLGN. Other RGC recipient areas, such as the superior colliculus and suprachiasmatic nucleus, are targeted normally. These results provide support for a new mechanism of target selection that may be specific to the thalamus, whereby descending cortical axons provide an activity that promotes feedforward targeting of RGC axons to the dLGN. PMID:27170123

  10. Lamina-specific anatomic magnetic resonance imaging of the human retina.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yi; Nateras, Oscar San Emeterio; Peng, Qi; Kuranov, Roman V; Harrison, Joseph M; Milner, Thomas E; Duong, Timothy Q

    2011-09-14

    Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the human retina faces two major challenges: eye movement and hardware limitation that could preclude human retinal MRI with adequate spatiotemporal resolution. This study investigated eye-fixation stability and high-resolution anatomic MRI of the human retina on a 3-Tesla (T) MRI scanner. Comparison was made with optical coherence tomography (OCT) on the same subjects. Eye-fixation stability of protocols used in MRI was evaluated on four normal volunteers using an eye tracker. High-resolution MRI (100 × 200 × 2000 μm) protocol was developed on a 3-T scanner. Subjects were instructed to maintain stable eye fixation on a target with cued blinks every 8 seconds during MRI. OCT imaging of the retina was performed. Retinal layer thicknesses measured with MRI and OCT were analyzed for matching regions of the same eyes close to the optic nerve head. The temporal SDs of the horizontal and vertical displacements were 78 ± 51 and 130 ± 51 μm (±SD, n = 4), respectively. MRI detected three layers within the human retina, consistent with MRI findings in rodent, feline, and baboon retinas. The hyperintense layer 1 closest to the vitreous likely consisted of nerve fiber, ganglion cell, and inner nuclear layer; the hypointense layer 2, the outer nuclear layer and the inner and outer segments; and the hyperintense layer 3, the choroid. The MRI retina/choroid thickness was 711 ± 37 μm, 19% (P < 0.05) thicker than OCT thickness (579 ± 34 μm). This study reports high-resolution MRI of lamina-specific structures in the human retina. These initial results are encouraging. Further improvement in spatiotemporal resolution is warranted.

  11. Lamina-Specific Anatomic Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Human Retina

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Yi; Nateras, Oscar San Emeterio; Peng, Qi; Kuranov, Roman V.; Harrison, Joseph M.; Milner, Thomas E.

    2011-01-01

    Purpose. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the human retina faces two major challenges: eye movement and hardware limitation that could preclude human retinal MRI with adequate spatiotemporal resolution. This study investigated eye-fixation stability and high-resolution anatomic MRI of the human retina on a 3-Tesla (T) MRI scanner. Comparison was made with optical coherence tomography (OCT) on the same subjects. Methods. Eye-fixation stability of protocols used in MRI was evaluated on four normal volunteers using an eye tracker. High-resolution MRI (100 × 200 × 2000 μm) protocol was developed on a 3-T scanner. Subjects were instructed to maintain stable eye fixation on a target with cued blinks every 8 seconds during MRI. OCT imaging of the retina was performed. Retinal layer thicknesses measured with MRI and OCT were analyzed for matching regions of the same eyes close to the optic nerve head. Results. The temporal SDs of the horizontal and vertical displacements were 78 ± 51 and 130 ± 51 μm (±SD, n = 4), respectively. MRI detected three layers within the human retina, consistent with MRI findings in rodent, feline, and baboon retinas. The hyperintense layer 1 closest to the vitreous likely consisted of nerve fiber, ganglion cell, and inner nuclear layer; the hypointense layer 2, the outer nuclear layer and the inner and outer segments; and the hyperintense layer 3, the choroid. The MRI retina/choroid thickness was 711 ± 37 μm, 19% (P < 0.05) thicker than OCT thickness (579 ± 34 μm). Conclusions. This study reports high-resolution MRI of lamina-specific structures in the human retina. These initial results are encouraging. Further improvement in spatiotemporal resolution is warranted. PMID:21828153

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Towing of sensory axons by their migrating target cells in vivo.

    PubMed

    Gilmour, Darren; Knaut, Holger; Maischein, Hans-Martin; Nüsslein-Volhard, Christiane

    2004-05-01

    Many pathfinding axons must locate target fields that are themselves positioned by active migration. A hypothetical method for ensuring that these migrations are coordinated is towing, whereby the extension of axons is entirely dependent on the migration of their target cells. Here we combine genetics and time-lapse imaging in the zebrafish to show that towing by migrating cells is a bona fide mechanism for guiding pathfinding axons in vivo.

  15. Early Commissural Diencephalic Neurons Control Habenular Axon Extension and Targeting.

    PubMed

    Beretta, Carlo A; Dross, Nicolas; Guglielmi, Luca; Bankhead, Peter; Soulika, Marina; Gutierrez-Triana, Jose A; Paolini, Alessio; Poggi, Lucia; Falk, Julien; Ryu, Soojin; Kapsimali, Marika; Engel, Ulrike; Carl, Matthias

    2017-01-23

    Most neuronal populations form on both the left and right sides of the brain. Their efferent axons appear to grow synchronously along similar pathways on each side, although the neurons or their environment often differ between the two hemispheres [1-4]. How this coordination is controlled has received little attention. Frequently, neurons establish interhemispheric connections, which can function to integrate information between brain hemispheres (e.g., [5]). Such commissures form very early, suggesting their potential developmental role in coordinating ipsilateral axon navigation during embryonic development [4]. To address the temporal-spatial control of bilateral axon growth, we applied long-term time-lapse imaging to visualize the formation of the conserved left-right asymmetric habenular neural circuit in the developing zebrafish embryo [6]. Although habenular neurons are born at different times across brain hemispheres [7], we found that elongation of habenular axons occurs synchronously. The initiation of axon extension is not controlled within the habenular network itself but through an early developing proximal diencephalic network. The commissural neurons of this network influence habenular axons both ipsilaterally and contralaterally. Their unilateral absence impairs commissure formation and coordinated habenular axon elongation and causes their subsequent arrest on both sides of the brain. Thus, habenular neural circuit formation depends on a second intersecting commissural network, which facilitates the exchange of information between hemispheres required for ipsilaterally projecting habenular axons. This mechanism of network formation may well apply to other circuits, and has only remained undiscovered due to technical limitations.

  16. Frizzled3 Controls Axonal Polarity and Intermediate Target Entry during Striatal Pathway Development.

    PubMed

    Morello, Francesca; Prasad, Asheeta A; Rehberg, Kati; Vieira de Sá, Renata; Antón-Bolaños, Noelia; Leyva-Diaz, Eduardo; Adolfs, Youri; Tissir, Fadel; López-Bendito, Guillermina; Pasterkamp, R Jeroen

    2015-10-21

    The striatum is a large brain nucleus with an important role in the control of movement and emotions. Medium spiny neurons (MSNs) are striatal output neurons forming prominent descending axon tracts that target different brain nuclei. However, how MSN axon tracts in the forebrain develop remains poorly understood. Here, we implicate the Wnt binding receptor Frizzled3 in several uncharacterized aspects of MSN pathway formation [i.e., anterior-posterior guidance of MSN axons in the striatum and their subsequent growth into the globus pallidus (GP), an important (intermediate) target]. In Frizzled3 knock-out mice, MSN axons fail to extend along the anterior-posterior axis of the striatum, and many do not reach the GP. Wnt5a acts as an attractant for MSN axons in vitro, is expressed in a posterior high, anterior low gradient in the striatum, and Wnt5a knock-out mice phenocopy striatal anterior-posterior defects observed in Frizzled3 mutants. This suggests that Wnt5a controls anterior-posterior guidance of MSN axons through Frizzled3. Axons that reach the GP in Frizzled3 knock-out mice fail to enter this structure. Surprisingly, entry of MSN axons into the GP non-cell-autonomously requires Frizzled3, and our data suggest that GP entry may be contingent on the correct positioning of "corridor" guidepost cells for thalamocortical axons by Frizzled3. Together, these data dissect MSN pathway development and reveal (non)cell-autonomous roles for Frizzled3 in MSN axon guidance. Further, they are the first to identify a gene that provides anterior-posterior axon guidance in a large brain nucleus and link Frizzled3 to corridor cell development. Striatal axon pathways mediate complex physiological functions and are an important therapeutic target, underscoring the need to define how these connections are established. Remarkably, the molecular programs regulating striatal pathway development remain poorly characterized. Here, we determine the embryonic ontogeny of the two main

  17. Intra-axonal protein synthesis – a new target for neural repair?

    PubMed Central

    Twiss, Jeffery L.; Kalinski, Ashley L.; Sachdeva, Rahul; Houle, John D.

    2016-01-01

    Although initially argued to be a feature of immature neurons with incomplete polarization, there is clear evidence that neurons in the peripheral nervous system retain the capacity for intra-axonal protein synthesis well into adulthood. This localized protein synthesis has been shown to contribute to injury signaling and axon regeneration in peripheral nerves. Recent works point to potential for protein synthesis in axons of the vertebrate central nervous system. mRNAs and protein synthesis machinery have now been documented in lamprey, mouse, and rat spinal cord axons. Intra-axonal protein synthesis appears to be activated in adult vertebrate spinal cord axons when they are regeneration-competent. Rat spinal cord axons regenerating into a peripheral nerve graft contain mRNAs and markers of activated translational machinery. Indeed, levels of some growth-associated mRNAs in these spinal cord axons are comparable to the regenerating sciatic nerve. Markers of active translation tend to decrease when these axons stop growing, but can be reactivated by a second axotomy. These emerging observations raise the possibility that mRNA transport into and translation within axons could be targeted to facilitate regeneration in both the peripheral and central nervous systems. PMID:27857722

  18. Intra-axonal protein synthesis - a new target for neural repair?

    PubMed

    Twiss, Jeffery L; Kalinski, Ashley L; Sachdeva, Rahul; Houle, John D

    2016-09-01

    Although initially argued to be a feature of immature neurons with incomplete polarization, there is clear evidence that neurons in the peripheral nervous system retain the capacity for intra-axonal protein synthesis well into adulthood. This localized protein synthesis has been shown to contribute to injury signaling and axon regeneration in peripheral nerves. Recent works point to potential for protein synthesis in axons of the vertebrate central nervous system. mRNAs and protein synthesis machinery have now been documented in lamprey, mouse, and rat spinal cord axons. Intra-axonal protein synthesis appears to be activated in adult vertebrate spinal cord axons when they are regeneration-competent. Rat spinal cord axons regenerating into a peripheral nerve graft contain mRNAs and markers of activated translational machinery. Indeed, levels of some growth-associated mRNAs in these spinal cord axons are comparable to the regenerating sciatic nerve. Markers of active translation tend to decrease when these axons stop growing, but can be reactivated by a second axotomy. These emerging observations raise the possibility that mRNA transport into and translation within axons could be targeted to facilitate regeneration in both the peripheral and central nervous systems.

  19. 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.

  20. Polarized Targeting of L1-CAM Regulates Axonal and Dendritic Bundling in vitro

    PubMed Central

    Barry, Joshua; Gu, Yuanzheng; Gu, Chen

    2010-01-01

    Proper axonal and dendritic bundling is essential for the establishment of neuronal connections and the synchronization of synaptic inputs, respectively. Cell adhesion molecules of the L1-CAM family regulate axon guidance and fasciculation, neuron migration, dendrite morphology, and synaptic plasticity. How these molecules play so many different roles remains unclear. Here we show that polarized axon-dendrite targeting of an avian L1-CAM protein, NgCAM, can regulate the switch of bundling of the two major compartments of neurons. Using a new in vitro model for studying neurite-neurite interactions, we found that expressed axonal NgCAM induced robust axonal bundling via the trans-homophilic interaction of immunoglobulin (Ig) domains. Interestingly, dendritic bundling was induced by the dendritic targeting of NgCAM, caused by either deleting its fibronectin (FN) repeats or blocking activities of protein kinases. Consistent with the NgCAM results, expression of mouse L1CAM also induced axonal bundling and blocking kinase activities disrupted its axonal targeting. Furthermore, the trans-homophilic interaction stabilized the bundle formation, likely through recruiting NgCAM proteins to contact sites and promoting guided axon outgrowth. Taken together, our results suggest that precise localization of L1-CAM is important for establishing proper cell-cell contacts in neural circuits. PMID:20964729

  1. Function and Mechanism of Axonal Targeting of Voltage-sensitive Potassium Channels

    PubMed Central

    Gu, Chen; Barry, Joshua

    2011-01-01

    Precise localization of various ion channels into proper subcellular compartments is crucial for neuronal excitability and synaptic transmission. Axonal K+ channels that are activated by depolarization of the membrane potential participate in the repolarizing phase of the action potential, and hence regulate action potential firing patterns, which encode output signals. Moreover, some of these channels can directly control neurotransmitter release at axonal terminals by constraining local membrane excitability and limiting Ca2+ influx. K+ channels differ not only in biophysical and pharmacological properties, but in expression and subcellular distribution as well. Importantly, proper targeting of channel proteins is a prerequisite for electrical and chemical functions of axons. In this review, we first highlight recent studies that demonstrate different roles of axonal K+ channels in the local regulation of axonal excitability. Next, we focus on research progress in identifying axonal targeting motifs and machinery of several different types of K+ channels present in axons. Regulation of K+ channel targeting and activity may underlie a novel form of neuronal plasticity. This research field can contribute to generating novel therapeutic strategies through manipulating neuronal excitability in treating neurological diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, neuropathic pain, and Alzheimer’s disease. PMID:21530607

  2. Poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase 1 is a novel target to promote axonal regeneration

    PubMed Central

    Brochier, Camille; Jones, James I.; Willis, Dianna E.; Langley, Brett

    2015-01-01

    Therapeutic options for the restoration of neurological functions after acute axonal injury are severely limited. In addition to limiting neuronal loss, effective treatments face the challenge of restoring axonal growth within an injury environment where inhibitory molecules from damaged myelin and activated astrocytes act as molecular and physical barriers. Overcoming these barriers to permit axon growth is critical for the development of any repair strategy in the central nervous system. Here, we identify poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase 1 (PARP1) as a previously unidentified and critical mediator of multiple growth-inhibitory signals. We show that exposure of neurons to growth-limiting molecules—such as myelin-derived Nogo and myelin-associated glycoprotein—or reactive astrocyte-produced chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans activates PARP1, resulting in the accumulation of poly(ADP-ribose) in the cell body and axon and limited axonal growth. Accordingly, we find that pharmacological inhibition or genetic loss of PARP1 markedly facilitates axon regeneration over nonpermissive substrates. Together, our findings provide critical insights into the molecular mechanisms of axon growth inhibition and identify PARP1 as an effective target to promote axon regeneration. PMID:26598704

  3. The atypical cadherin Flamingo is required for sensory axon advance beyond intermediate target cells.

    PubMed

    Steinel, Martin C; Whitington, Paul M

    2009-03-15

    The Drosophila atypical cadherin Flamingo plays key roles in a number of developmental processes. We have used the sensory nervous system of the Drosophila embryo to shed light on the mechanism by which Flamingo regulates axon growth. flamingo loss of function mutants display a highly penetrant sensory axon stall phenotype. The location of these axon stalls is stereotypic and corresponds to the position of intermediate target cells, with which sensory axons associate during normal development. This suggests that Flamingo mediates an interaction between the sensory neuron growth cones and these intermediate targets, which is required for continued axon advance. Mutant rescue experiments show that Flamingo expression is required only in sensory neurons for normal axon growth. The flamingo mutant phenotype can be partially rescued by expressing a Flamingo construct lacking most of the extracellular domain, suggesting that regulation of sensory axon advance by Flamingo does not absolutely depend upon a homophilic Flamingo-Flamingo interaction or its ability to mediate cell-cell adhesion. Loss of function mutants for a number of key genes that act together with Flamingo in the planar cell polarity pathway do not display the highly penetrant stalling phenotype seen in flamingo mutants.

  4. Microtubule-targeting drugs rescue axonal swellings in cortical neurons from spastin knockout mice

    PubMed Central

    Fassier, Coralie; Tarrade, Anne; Peris, Leticia; Courageot, Sabrina; Mailly, Philippe; Dalard, Cécile; Delga, Stéphanie; Roblot, Natacha; Lefèvre, Julien; Job, Didier; Hazan, Jamilé; Curmi, Patrick A.; Melki, Judith

    2013-01-01

    SUMMARY Mutations in SPG4, encoding the microtubule-severing protein spastin, are responsible for the most frequent form of hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP), a heterogeneous group of genetic diseases characterized by degeneration of the corticospinal tracts. We previously reported that mice harboring a deletion in Spg4, generating a premature stop codon, develop progressive axonal degeneration characterized by focal axonal swellings associated with impaired axonal transport. To further characterize the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying this mutant phenotype, we have assessed microtubule dynamics and axonal transport in primary cultures of cortical neurons from spastin-mutant mice. We show an early and marked impairment of microtubule dynamics all along the axons of spastin-deficient cortical neurons, which is likely to be responsible for the occurrence of axonal swellings and cargo stalling. Our analysis also reveals that a modulation of microtubule dynamics by microtubule-targeting drugs rescues the mutant phenotype of cortical neurons. Together, these results contribute to a better understanding of the pathogenesis of SPG4-linked HSP and ascertain the influence of microtubule-targeted drugs on the early axonal phenotype in a mouse model of the disease. PMID:22773755

  5. Target-Derived Neurotrophins Coordinate Transcription and Transport of Bclw to Prevent Axonal Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Cosker, Katharina E.; Pazyra-Murphy, Maria F.; Fenstermacher, Sara J.

    2013-01-01

    Establishment of neuronal circuitry depends on both formation and refinement of neural connections. During this process, target-derived neurotrophins regulate both transcription and translation to enable selective axon survival or elimination. However, it is not known whether retrograde signaling pathways that control transcription are coordinated with neurotrophin-regulated actions that transpire in the axon. Here we report that target-derived neurotrophins coordinate transcription of the antiapoptotic gene bclw with transport of bclw mRNA to the axon, and thereby prevent axonal degeneration in rat and mouse sensory neurons. We show that neurotrophin stimulation of nerve terminals elicits new bclw transcripts that are immediately transported to the axons and translated into protein. Bclw interacts with Bax and suppresses the caspase6 apoptotic cascade that fosters axonal degeneration. The scope of bclw regulation at the levels of transcription, transport, and translation provides a mechanism whereby sustained neurotrophin stimulation can be integrated over time, so that axonal survival is restricted to neurons connected within a stable circuit. PMID:23516285

  6. Target-derived neurotrophins coordinate transcription and transport of bclw to prevent axonal degeneration.

    PubMed

    Cosker, Katharina E; Pazyra-Murphy, Maria F; Fenstermacher, Sara J; Segal, Rosalind A

    2013-03-20

    Establishment of neuronal circuitry depends on both formation and refinement of neural connections. During this process, target-derived neurotrophins regulate both transcription and translation to enable selective axon survival or elimination. However, it is not known whether retrograde signaling pathways that control transcription are coordinated with neurotrophin-regulated actions that transpire in the axon. Here we report that target-derived neurotrophins coordinate transcription of the antiapoptotic gene bclw with transport of bclw mRNA to the axon, and thereby prevent axonal degeneration in rat and mouse sensory neurons. We show that neurotrophin stimulation of nerve terminals elicits new bclw transcripts that are immediately transported to the axons and translated into protein. Bclw interacts with Bax and suppresses the caspase6 apoptotic cascade that fosters axonal degeneration. The scope of bclw regulation at the levels of transcription, transport, and translation provides a mechanism whereby sustained neurotrophin stimulation can be integrated over time, so that axonal survival is restricted to neurons connected within a stable circuit.

  7. DCC Receptors Drive Prefrontal Cortex Maturation by Determining Dopamine Axon Targeting in Adolescence.

    PubMed

    Reynolds, Lauren M; Pokinko, Matthew; Torres-Berrío, Angélica; Cuesta, Santiago; Lambert, Laura C; Del Cid Pellitero, Esther; Wodzinski, Michael; Manitt, Colleen; Krimpenfort, Paul; Kolb, Bryan; Flores, Cecilia

    2017-06-16

    Dopaminergic input to the prefrontal cortex (PFC) increases throughout adolescence and, by establishing precisely localized synapses, calibrates cognitive function. However, why and how mesocortical dopamine axon density increases across adolescence remains unknown. We used a developmental application of axon-initiated recombination to label and track the growth of dopamine axons across adolescence in mice. We then paired this recombination with cell-specific knockdown of the netrin-1 receptor DCC to determine its role in adolescent dopamine axon growth. We then assessed how altering adolescent PFC dopamine axon growth changes the structural and functional development of the PFC by quantifying pyramidal neuron morphology and cognitive performance. We show, for the first time, that dopamine axons continue to grow from the striatum to the PFC during adolescence. Importantly, we discover that DCC, a guidance cue receptor, controls the extent of this protracted growth by determining where and when dopamine axons recognize their final target. When DCC-dependent adolescent targeting events are disrupted, dopamine axons continue to grow ectopically from the nucleus accumbens to the PFC and profoundly change PFC structural and functional development. This leads to alterations in cognitive processes known to be impaired across psychiatric conditions. The prolonged growth of dopamine axons represents an extraordinary period for experience to influence their adolescent trajectory and predispose to or protect against psychopathology. DCC receptor signaling in dopamine neurons is a molecular link where genetic and environmental factors may interact in adolescence to influence the development and function of the prefrontal cortex. Copyright © 2017 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Drosophila N-cadherin mediates an attractive interaction between photoreceptor axons and their targets

    PubMed Central

    Prakash, Saurabh; Caldwell, Jason C; Eberl, Daniel F; Clandinin, Thomas R

    2008-01-01

    Classical cadherins have been proposed to mediate interactions between pre- and postsynaptic cells that are necessary for synapse formation. We provide the first direct, genetic evidence in favor of this model by examining the role of N-cadherin in controlling the pattern of synaptic connections made by photoreceptor axons in Drosophila. N-cadherin is required in both individual photoreceptors and their target neurons for photoreceptor axon extension. Cell-by-cell reconstruction of wild-type photoreceptor axons extending within mosaic patches of mutant target cells shows that N-cadherin mediates attractive interactions between photoreceptors and their targets. This interaction is not limited to those cells that will become the synaptic partners of photoreceptors. Multiple N-cadherin isoforms are produced, but single isoforms can substitute for endogenous N-cadherin activity. We propose that N-cadherin mediates a homophilic, attractive interaction between photoreceptor growth cones and their targets that precedes synaptic partner choice. PMID:15735641

  9. 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.

  10. Response of olfactory axons to loss of synaptic targets in the adult mouse

    PubMed Central

    Ardiles, Yona; de la Puente, Rafael; Toledo, Rafael; Isgor, Ceylan; Guthrie, Kathleen

    2007-01-01

    Glomerular convergence has been proposed to rely on interactions between like olfactory axons, however topographic targeting is influenced by guidance molecules encountered in the olfactory bulb. Disruption of these cues during development misdirects sensory axons, however little is known about the role of bulb-derived signals in later life, as new axons arise during turnover of the olfactory sensory neuron (OSN) population. To evaluate the contribution of bulb neurons in maintaining topographic projections in adults, we ablated them with N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) in P2-IRES-tauLacZ mice and examined how sensory axons responded to loss of their postsynaptic partners. NMDA lesion eliminated bulb neurons without damage to sensory axons or olfactory ensheathing glia. P2 axons contained within glomeruli at the time of lesion maintained convergence at these locations; there was no evidence of compensatory growth into the remnant tissue. Delayed apoptosis of OSNs in the target-deprived epithelium led to declines in P2 neuron number as well as the gradual atrophy, and in some cases complete loss, of P2 glomeruli in lesioned bulbs by three weeks. Increased cell proliferation in the epithelium partially restored the OSN population, and by eight weeks, new P2 axons distributed within diverse locations in the bulb remnant and within the anterior olfactory nucleus. Prior studies have suggested that initial development of olfactory topography does not rely on synapse formation with target neurons, however the present data demonstrate that continued maintenance of the sensory map requires the presence of sufficient numbers and/or types of available bulbar synaptic targets. PMID:17674970

  11. Mammalian Target of Rapamycin (mTOR) Activation Increases Axonal Growth Capacity of Injured Peripheral Nerves*

    PubMed Central

    Abe, Namiko; Borson, Steven H.; Gambello, Michael J.; Wang, Fan; Cavalli, Valeria

    2010-01-01

    Unlike neurons in the central nervous system (CNS), injured neurons in the peripheral nervous system (PNS) can regenerate their axons and reinnervate their targets. However, functional recovery in the PNS often remains suboptimal, especially in cases of severe damage. The lack of regenerative ability of CNS neurons has been linked to down-regulation of the mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin) pathway. We report here that PNS dorsal root ganglial neurons (DRGs) activate mTOR following damage and that this activity enhances axonal growth capacity. Furthermore, genetic up-regulation of mTOR activity by deletion of tuberous sclerosis complex 2 (TSC2) in DRGs is sufficient to enhance axonal growth capacity in vitro and in vivo. We further show that mTOR activity is linked to the expression of GAP-43, a crucial component of axonal outgrowth. However, although TSC2 deletion in DRGs facilitates axonal regrowth, it leads to defects in target innervation. Thus, whereas manipulation of mTOR activity could provide new strategies to stimulate nerve regeneration in the PNS, fine control of mTOR activity is required for proper target innervation. PMID:20615870

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-24

    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.

  13. Rational polypharmacology: systematically identifying and engaging multiple drug targets to promote axon growth

    PubMed Central

    Al-Ali, Hassan; Lee, Do-Hun; Danzi, Matt C.; Nassif, Houssam; Gautam, Prson; Wennerberg, Krister; Zuercher, Bill; Drewry, David H.; Lee, Jae K.; Lemmon, Vance P.; Bixby, John L.

    2016-01-01

    Mammalian Central Nervous System (CNS) neurons regrow their axons poorly following injury, resulting in irreversible functional losses. Identifying therapeutics that encourage CNS axon repair has been difficult, in part because multiple etiologies underlie this regenerative failure. This suggests a particular need for drugs that engage multiple molecular targets. Although multi-target drugs are generally more effective than highly selective alternatives, we lack systematic methods for discovering such drugs. Target-based screening is an efficient technique for identifying potent modulators of individual targets. In contrast, phenotypic screening can identify drugs with multiple targets; however, these targets remain unknown. To address this gap, we combined the two drug discovery approaches using machine learning and information theory. We screened compounds in a phenotypic assay with primary CNS neurons and also in a panel of kinase enzyme assays. We used learning algorithms to relate the compounds’ kinase inhibition profiles to their influence on neurite outgrowth. This allowed us to identify kinases that may serve as targets for promoting neurite outgrowth, as well as others whose targeting should be avoided. We found that compounds that inhibit multiple targets (polypharmacology) promote robust neurite outgrowth in vitro. One compound with exemplary polypharmacology, was found to promote axon growth in a rodent spinal cord injury model. A more general applicability of our approach is suggested by its ability to deconvolve known targets for a breast cancer cell line, as well as targets recently shown to mediate drug resistance. PMID:26056718

  14. 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.

  15. Lamina-Specific Functional MRI of Retinal and Choroidal Responses to Visual Stimuli

    PubMed Central

    Shih, Yen-Yu I.; De La Garza, Bryan H.; Muir, Eric R.; Rogers, William E.; Harrison, Joseph M.; Kiel, Jeffrey W.

    2011-01-01

    Purpose. To demonstrate lamina-specific functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of retinal and choroidal responses to visual stimulation of graded luminance, wavelength, and frequency. Materials and Methods. High-resolution (60 × 60μm) MRI was achieved using the blood-pool contrast agent, monocrystalline iron oxide nanoparticles (MION) and a high-magnetic-field (11.7 T) scanner to image functional changes in the normal rat retina associated with various visual stimulations. MION functional MRI measured stimulus-evoked blood-volume (BV) changes. Graded luminance, wavelength, and frequency were investigated. Stimulus-evoked fMRI signal changes from the retinal and choroidal vascular layers were analyzed. Results. MRI revealed two distinct laminar signals that corresponded to the retinal and choroidal vascular layers bounding the retina and were separated by the avascular layer in between. The baseline outer layer BV index was 2–4 times greater than the inner layer BV, consistent with higher choroidal vascular density. During visual stimulation, BV responses to flickering light of different luminance, frequency, and wavelength in the inner layer were greater than those in the outer layer. The inner layer responses were dependent on luminance, frequency, and wavelength, whereas the outer layer responses were not, suggesting differential neurovascular coupling between the two vasculatures. Conclusions. This is the first report of simultaneous resolution of layer-specific functional responses of the retinal and choroid vascular layers to visual stimulation in the retina. This imaging approach could have applications in early detection and longitudinal monitoring of retinal diseases where retinal and choroidal hemodynamics may be differentially perturbed at various stages of the diseases. PMID:21447679

  16. Lamina-specific functional MRI of retinal and choroidal responses to visual stimuli.

    PubMed

    Shih, Yen-Yu I; De la Garza, Bryan H; Muir, Eric R; Rogers, William E; Harrison, Joseph M; Kiel, Jeffrey W; Duong, Timothy Q

    2011-07-15

    To demonstrate lamina-specific functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of retinal and choroidal responses to visual stimulation of graded luminance, wavelength, and frequency. High-resolution (60 × 60 μm) MRI was achieved using the blood-pool contrast agent, monocrystalline iron oxide nanoparticles (MION) and a high-magnetic-field (11.7 T) scanner to image functional changes in the normal rat retina associated with various visual stimulations. MION functional MRI measured stimulus-evoked blood-volume (BV) changes. Graded luminance, wavelength, and frequency were investigated. Stimulus-evoked fMRI signal changes from the retinal and choroidal vascular layers were analyzed. MRI revealed two distinct laminar signals that corresponded to the retinal and choroidal vascular layers bounding the retina and were separated by the avascular layer in between. The baseline outer layer BV index was 2-4 times greater than the inner layer BV, consistent with higher choroidal vascular density. During visual stimulation, BV responses to flickering light of different luminance, frequency, and wavelength in the inner layer were greater than those in the outer layer. The inner layer responses were dependent on luminance, frequency, and wavelength, whereas the outer layer responses were not, suggesting differential neurovascular coupling between the two vasculatures. This is the first report of simultaneous resolution of layer-specific functional responses of the retinal and choroid vascular layers to visual stimulation in the retina. This imaging approach could have applications in early detection and longitudinal monitoring of retinal diseases where retinal and choroidal hemodynamics may be differentially perturbed at various stages of the diseases.

  17. Dendritic Branch Intersections Are Structurally Regulated Targets for Efficient Axonal Wiring and Synaptic Clustering

    PubMed Central

    Pinchas, Monika; Baranes, Danny

    2013-01-01

    Synaptic clustering on dendritic branches enhances plasticity, input integration and neuronal firing. However, the mechanisms guiding axons to cluster synapses at appropriate sites along dendritic branches are poorly understood. We searched for such a mechanism by investigating the structural overlap between dendritic branches and axons in a simplified model of neuronal networks - the hippocampal cell culture. Using newly developed software, we converted images of meshes of overlapping axonal and dendrites into topological maps of intersections, enabling quantitative study of overlapping neuritic geometry at the resolution of single dendritic branch-to-branch and axon-to-branch crossings. Among dendro-dendritic crossing configurations, it was revealed that the orientations through which dendritic branches cross is a regulated attribute. While crossing angle distribution among branches thinner than 1 µm appeared to be random, dendritic branches 1 µm or wider showed a preference for crossing each other at angle ranges of either 50°–70° or 80°–90°. It was then found that the dendro-dendritic crossings themselves, as well as their selective angles, both affected the path of axonal growth. Axons displayed 4 fold stronger tendency to traverse within 2 µm of dendro-dendritic intersections than at farther distances, probably to minimize wiring length. Moreover, almost 70% of the 50°–70° dendro-denritic crossings were traversed by axons from the obtuse angle’s zone, whereas only 15% traversed through the acute angle’s zone. By contrast, axons showed no orientation restriction when traversing 80°–90° crossings. When such traverse behavior was repeated by many axons, they converged in the vicinity of dendro-dendritic intersections, thereby clustering their synaptic connections. Thus, the vicinity of dendritic branch-to-branch crossings appears to be a regulated structure used by axons as a target for efficient wiring and as a preferred site for synaptic

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Retinal axon target selection in Drosophila is regulated by a receptor protein tyrosine phosphatase.

    PubMed

    Garrity, P A; Lee, C H; Salecker, I; Robertson, H C; Desai, C J; Zinn, K; Zipursky, S L

    1999-04-01

    Different Drosophila photoreceptors (R cells) connect to neurons in different optic lobe layers. R1-R6 axons project to the lamina; R7 and R8 axons project to separate layers of the medulla. We show a receptor tyrosine phosphatase, PTP69D, is required for lamina target specificity. In Ptp69D mutants, R1-R6 project through the lamina, terminating in the medulla. Genetic mosaics, transgene rescue, and immunolocalization indicate PTP69D functions in R1-R6 growth cones. PTP69D overexpression in R7 and R8 does not respecify their connections, suggesting PTP69D acts in combination with other factors to determine target specificity. Structure-function analysis indicates the extracellular fibronectin type III domains and intracellular phosphatase activity are required for targeting. We propose PTP69D promotes R1-R6 targeting in response to extracellular signals by dephosphorylating substrate(s) in R1-R6 growth cones.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Axon guidance pathways served as common targets for human speech/language evolution and related disorders.

    PubMed

    Lei, Huimeng; Yan, Zhangming; Sun, Xiaohong; Zhang, Yue; Wang, Jianhong; Ma, Caihong; Xu, Qunyuan; Wang, Rui; Jarvis, Erich D; Sun, Zhirong

    2017-07-07

    Human and several nonhuman species share the rare ability of modifying acoustic and/or syntactic features of sounds produced, i.e. vocal learning, which is the important neurobiological and behavioral substrate of human speech/language. This convergent trait was suggested to be associated with significant genomic convergence and best manifested at the ROBO-SLIT axon guidance pathway. Here we verified the significance of such genomic convergence and assessed its functional relevance to human speech/language using human genetic variation data. In normal human populations, we found the affected amino acid sites were well fixed and accompanied with significantly more associated protein-coding SNPs in the same genes than the rest genes. Diseased individuals with speech/language disorders have significant more low frequency protein coding SNPs but they preferentially occurred outside the affected genes. Such patients' SNPs were enriched in several functional categories including two axon guidance pathways (mediated by netrin and semaphorin) that interact with ROBO-SLITs. Four of the six patients have homozygous missense SNPs on PRAME gene family, one youngest gene family in human lineage, which possibly acts upon retinoic acid receptor signaling, similarly as FOXP2, to modulate axon guidance. Taken together, we suggest the axon guidance pathways (e.g. ROBO-SLIT, PRAME gene family) served as common targets for human speech/language evolution and related disorders. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Drosophila photoreceptor axon guidance and targeting requires the dreadlocks SH2/SH3 adapter protein.

    PubMed

    Garrity, P A; Rao, Y; Salecker, I; McGlade, J; Pawson, T; Zipursky, S L

    1996-05-31

    Mutations in the Drosophila gene dreadlocks (dock) disrupt photoreceptor cell (R cell) axon guidance and targeting. Genetic mosaic analysis and cell-type-specific expression of dock transgenes demonstrate dock is required in R cells for proper innervation. Dock protein contains one SH2 and three SH3 domains, implicating it in tyrosine kinase signaling, and is highly related to the human proto-oncogene Nck. Dock expression is detected in R cell growth cones in the target region. We propose Dock transmits signals in the growth cone in response to guidance and targeting cues. These findings provide an important step for dissection of signaling pathways regulating growth cone motility.

  5. Drosophila motor axons recognize and follow a Sidestep-labeled substrate pathway to reach their target fields

    PubMed Central

    Siebert, Matthias; Banovic, Daniel; Goellner, Bernd; Aberle, Hermann

    2009-01-01

    During development of the Drosophila nervous system, migrating motor axons contact and interact with different cell types before reaching their peripheral muscle fields. The axonal attractant Sidestep (Side) is expressed in most of these intermediate targets. Here, we show that motor axons recognize and follow Side-expressing cell surfaces from the ventral nerve cord to their target region. Contact of motor axons with Side-expressing cells induces the down-regulation of Side. In the absence of Side, the interaction with intermediate targets is lost. Misexpression of Side in side mutants strongly attracts motor axons to ectopic sites. We provide evidence that, on motor axons, Beaten path Ia (Beat) functions as a receptor or part of a receptor complex for Side. In beat mutants, motor axons no longer recognize Side-expressing cell surfaces. Furthermore, Beat interacts with Side both genetically and biochemically. These results suggest that the tracing of Side-labeled cell surfaces by Beat-expressing growth cones is a major principle of motor axon guidance in Drosophila. PMID:19369411

  6. Localized Netrins Act as Positional Cues to Control Layer-Specific Targeting of Photoreceptor Axons in Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    Timofeev, Katarina; Joly, Willy; Hadjieconomou, Dafni; Salecker, Iris

    2012-01-01

    Summary A shared feature of many neural circuits is their organization into synaptic layers. However, the mechanisms that direct neurites to distinct layers remain poorly understood. We identified a central role for Netrins and their receptor Frazzled in mediating layer-specific axon targeting in the Drosophila visual system. Frazzled is expressed and cell autonomously required in R8 photoreceptors for directing their axons to the medulla-neuropil layer M3. Netrin-B is specifically localized in this layer owing to axonal release by lamina neurons L3 and capture by target neuron-associated Frazzled. Ligand expression in L3 is sufficient to rescue R8 axon-targeting defects of Netrin mutants. R8 axons target normally despite replacement of diffusible Netrin-B by membrane-tethered ligands. Finally, Netrin localization is instructive because expression in ectopic layers can retarget R8 axons. We propose that provision of localized chemoattractants by intermediate target neurons represents a highly precise strategy to direct axons to a positionally defined layer. PMID:22794263

  7. Rabies virus envelope glycoprotein targets lentiviral vectors to the axonal retrograde pathway in motor neurons.

    PubMed

    Hislop, James N; Islam, Tarin A; Eleftheriadou, Ioanna; Carpentier, David C J; Trabalza, Antonio; Parkinson, Michael; Schiavo, Giampietro; Mazarakis, Nicholas D

    2014-06-06

    Rabies pseudotyped lentiviral vectors have great potential in gene therapy, not least because of their ability to transduce neurons following their distal axonal application. However, very little is known about the molecular processes that underlie their retrograde transport and cell transduction. Using multiple labeling techniques and confocal microscopy, we demonstrated that pseudotyping with rabies virus envelope glycoprotein (RV-G) enabled the axonal retrograde transport of two distinct subtypes of lentiviral vector in motor neuron cultures. Analysis of this process revealed that these vectors trafficked through Rab5-positive endosomes and accumulated within a non-acidic Rab7 compartment. RV-G pseudotyped vectors were co-transported with both the tetanus neurotoxin-binding fragment and the membrane proteins thought to mediate rabies virus endocytosis (neural cell adhesion molecule, nicotinic acetylcholine receptor, and p75 neurotrophin receptor), thus demonstrating that pseudotyping with RV-G targets lentiviral vectors for transport along the same pathway exploited by several toxins and viruses. Using motor neurons cultured in compartmentalized chambers, we demonstrated that axonal retrograde transport of these vectors was rapid and efficient; however, it was not able to transduce the targeted neurons efficiently, suggesting that impairment in processes occurring after arrival of the viral vector in the soma is responsible for the low transduction efficiency seen in vivo, which suggests a novel area for improvement of gene therapy vectors.

  8. Computational and mathematical methods for morphogenetic gradient analysis, boundary formation and axonal targeting.

    PubMed

    Reingruber, Jürgen; Holcman, David

    2014-11-01

    Morphogenesis and axonal targeting are key processes during development that depend on complex interactions at molecular, cellular and tissue level. Mathematical modeling is essential to bridge this multi-scale gap in order to understand how the emergence of large structures is controlled at molecular level by interactions between various signaling pathways. We summarize mathematical modeling and computational methods for time evolution and precision of morphogenetic gradient formation. We discuss tissue patterning and the formation of borders between regions labeled by different morphogens. Finally, we review models and algorithms that reveal the interplay between morphogenetic gradients and patterned activity for axonal pathfinding and the generation of the retinotopic map in the visual system. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Laminar disorganisation of mitral cells in the olfactory bulb does not affect topographic targeting of primary olfactory axons.

    PubMed

    Royal, S J; Gambello, M J; Wynshaw-Boris, A; Key, B; Clarris, H J

    2002-04-05

    Primary olfactory neurons expressing the same odorant receptor protein typically project to topographically fixed olfactory bulb sites. While cell adhesion molecules and odorant receptors have been implicated in guidance of primary olfactory axons, the postsynaptic mitral cells may also have a role in final target selection. We have examined the effect of disorganisation of the mitral cell soma layer in mutant mice heterozygous for the beta-subunit of platelet activating factor acetylhydrolase (Lis1(-/+)) on the targeting of primary olfactory axons. Lis1(-/+) mice display abnormal lamination of neurons in the olfactory bulb. Lis1(-/+) mice were crossed with the P2-IRES-tau:LacZ line of transgenic mice that selectively expresses beta-galactosidase in primary olfactory neurons expressing the P2 odorant receptor. LacZ histochemistry revealed blue-stained P2 axons that targeted topographically fixed glomeruli in these mice in a manner similar to that observed in the parent P2-IRES-tau:LacZ line. Thus, despite the aberrant organisation of postsynaptic mitral cells in Lis1(-/+) mice, primary olfactory axons continued to converge and form glomeruli at correct sites in the olfactory bulb. Next we examined whether challenging primary olfactory axons in adult Lis(-/+) mice with regeneration would affect their ability to converge and form glomeruli. Following partial chemical ablation of the olfactory neuroepithelium with dichlobenil, primary olfactory neurons die and are replaced by newly differentiating neurons that project axons to the olfactory bulb where they converge and form glomeruli. Despite the aberrant mitral cell layer in Lis(-/+) mice, primary olfactory axons continued to converge and form glomeruli during regeneration. Together these results demonstrate that the convergence of primary olfactory axons during development and regeneration is not affected by gross perturbations to the lamination of the mitral cell layer. Thus, these results support evidence from

  10. Membrane-targeted WAVE mediates photoreceptor axon targeting in the absence of the WAVE complex in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Stephan, Raiko; Gohl, Christina; Fleige, Astrid; Klämbt, Christian; Bogdan, Sven

    2011-11-01

    A tight spatial-temporal coordination of F-actin dynamics is crucial for a large variety of cellular processes that shape cells. The Abelson interactor (Abi) has a conserved role in Arp2/3-dependent actin polymerization, regulating Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein (WASP) and WASP family verprolin-homologous protein (WAVE). In this paper, we report that Abi exerts nonautonomous control of photoreceptor axon targeting in the Drosophila visual system through WAVE. In abi mutants, WAVE is unstable but restored by reexpression of Abi, confirming that Abi controls the integrity of the WAVE complex in vivo. Remarkably, expression of a membrane-tethered WAVE protein rescues the axonal projection defects of abi mutants in the absence of the other subunits of the WAVE complex, whereas cytoplasmic WAVE only slightly affects the abi mutant phenotype. Thus complex formation not only stabilizes WAVE, but also provides further membrane-recruiting signals, resulting in an activation of WAVE.

  11. Membrane-targeted WAVE mediates photoreceptor axon targeting in the absence of the WAVE complex in Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    Stephan, Raiko; Gohl, Christina; Fleige, Astrid; Klämbt, Christian; Bogdan, Sven

    2011-01-01

    A tight spatial-temporal coordination of F-actin dynamics is crucial for a large variety of cellular processes that shape cells. The Abelson interactor (Abi) has a conserved role in Arp2/3-dependent actin polymerization, regulating Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein (WASP) and WASP family verprolin-homologous protein (WAVE). In this paper, we report that Abi exerts nonautonomous control of photoreceptor axon targeting in the Drosophila visual system through WAVE. In abi mutants, WAVE is unstable but restored by reexpression of Abi, confirming that Abi controls the integrity of the WAVE complex in vivo. Remarkably, expression of a membrane-tethered WAVE protein rescues the axonal projection defects of abi mutants in the absence of the other subunits of the WAVE complex, whereas cytoplasmic WAVE only slightly affects the abi mutant phenotype. Thus complex formation not only stabilizes WAVE, but also provides further membrane-recruiting signals, resulting in an activation of WAVE. PMID:21900504

  12. A diffusible signal attracts olfactory sensory axons toward their target in the developing brain of the moth.

    PubMed

    Oland, Lynne A; Pott, Wendy M; Howard, Charles T; Inlow, Mark; Buckingham, Jocelyn

    2003-07-01

    The signals that olfactory receptor axons use to navigate to their target in the CNS are still not well understood. In the moth Manduca sexta, the primary olfactory pathway develops postembryonically, and the receptor axons navigate from an experimentally accessible sensory epithelium to the brain along a pathway long enough for detailed study of regions in which axon behavior changes. The current experiments ask whether diffusible factors contribute to receptor axon guidance. Explants were made from the antennal receptor epithelium and co-cultured in a collagen gel matrix with slices of various regions of the brain. Receptor axons were attracted toward the central regions of the brain, including the protocerebrum and antennal lobe. Receptor axons growing into a slice of the most proximal region of the antennal nerve, where axon sorting normally occurs, showed no directional preference. When the antennal lobe was included in the slice, the receptor axons entering the sorting region grew directly toward the antennal lobe. Taken together with the previous in vivo experiments, the current results suggest that an attractive diffusible factor can serve as one cue to direct misrouted olfactory receptor axons toward the medial regions of the brain, where local cues guide them to the antennal lobe. They also suggest that under normal circumstances, in which the receptor axons follow a pre-existing pupal nerve to the antennal lobe, the diffusible factor emanating from the lobe acts in parallel and at short range to maintain the fidelity of the path into the antennal lobe. Copyright 2003 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Neurobiol 56: 24-40, 2003

  13. The lin-4 microRNA targets the LIN-14 transcription factor to inhibit netrin-mediated axon attraction.

    PubMed

    Zou, Yan; Chiu, Hui; Domenger, Dorothée; Chuang, Chiou-Fen; Chang, Chieh

    2012-06-12

    miR-125 microRNAs, such as lin-4 in Caenorhabditis elegans, were among the first microRNAs discovered, are phylogenetically conserved, and have been implicated in regulating developmental timing. Here, we showed that loss-of-function mutations in lin-4 microRNA increased axon attraction mediated by the netrin homolog UNC-6. The absence of lin-4 microRNA suppressed the axon guidance defects of anterior ventral microtubule (AVM) neurons caused by loss-of-function mutations in slt-1, which encodes a repulsive guidance cue. Selective expression of lin-4 microRNA in AVM neurons of lin-4-null animals indicated that the effect of lin-4 on AVM axon guidance was cell-autonomous. Promoter reporter analysis suggested that lin-4 was likely expressed strongly in AVM neurons during the developmental time frame that the axons are guided to their targets. In contrast, the lin-4 reporter was barely detectable in anterior lateral microtubule (ALM) neurons, axon guidance of which is insensitive to netrin. In AVM neurons, the transcription factor LIN-14, a target of lin-4 microRNA, stimulated UNC-6-mediated ventral guidance of the AVM axon. LIN-14 promoted attraction of the AVM axon through the UNC-6 receptor UNC-40 [the worm homolog of vertebrate Deleted in Colorectal Cancer (DCC)] and its cofactor MADD-2, which signals through both the UNC-34 (Ena) and the CED-10 (Rac1) downstream pathways. LIN-14 stimulated UNC-6-mediated axon attraction in part by increasing UNC-40 abundance. Our study indicated that lin-4 microRNA reduced the activity of LIN-14 to terminate UNC-6-mediated axon guidance of AVM neurons.

  14. Target cell-specific modulation of transmitter release at terminals from a single axon.

    PubMed

    Scanziani, M; Gähwiler, B H; Charpak, S

    1998-09-29

    In the hippocampus, a CA3 pyramidal cell forms excitatory synapses with thousands of other pyramidal cells and inhibitory interneurons. By using sequential paired recordings from three connected cells, we show that the presynaptic properties of CA3 pyramidal cell terminals, belonging to the same axon, differ according to the type of target cell. Activation of presynaptic group III metabotropic glutamate receptors decreases transmitter release only at terminals contacting CA1 interneurons but not CA1 pyramidal cells. Furthermore, terminals contacting distinct target cells show different frequency facilitation. On the basis of these results, we conclude that the pharmacological and physiological properties of presynaptic terminals are determined, at least in part, by the target cells.

  15. Target Cell-Specific Modulation of Transmitter Release at Terminals from a Single Axon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scanziani, Massimo; Gahwiler, Beat H.; Charpak, Serge

    1998-09-01

    In the hippocampus, a CA3 pyramidal cell forms excitatory synapses with thousands of other pyramidal cells and inhibitory interneurons. By using sequential paired recordings from three connected cells, we show that the presynaptic properties of CA3 pyramidal cell terminals, belonging to the same axon, differ according to the type of target cell. Activation of presynaptic group III metabotropic glutamate receptors decreases transmitter release only at terminals contacting CA1 interneurons but not CA1 pyramidal cells. Furthermore, terminals contacting distinct target cells show different frequency facilitation. On the basis of these results, we conclude that the pharmacological and physiological properties of presynaptic terminals are determined, at least in part, by the target cells.

  16. Differential Release of β-Amyloid from Dendrite- Versus Axon-Targeted APP

    PubMed Central

    DeBoer, Scott R.; Dolios, Georgia; Wang, Rong

    2014-01-01

    The β-amyloid precursor protein (APP) plays a central role in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease. APP is processed in neurons, but little is known about the relative contributions of presynaptic or postsynaptic compartments to the release of Aβ peptides. To address this issue, we transduced primary neurons from Sprague-Dawley rats or APP−/− mice (B6.129S7-Apptm1Dbo/J) with lentiviral constructs expressing APP chimeras harboring targeting motifs from low-density lipoprotein receptor or neuron-glia cell-adhesion molecule to polarize expression to either dendritic or axonal membranes, respectively. Using imaging and quantitative biochemical approaches, we now report that APP selectively targeted to either axons or dendrites leads to the secretion of full-length Aβ peptides with significantly elevated release from dendritic compartments. These findings reveal that the enzymatic machinery required for production of Aβ peptides are operative both in presynaptic and postsynaptic compartments of primary neurons, leading to the suggestion that Aβ-mediated impairments in glutamatergic neurotransmission is the result of Aβ release from both local and distal neuronal compartments. PMID:25209273

  17. Ultrafast laser-assisted spatially targeted optoporation into cortical axons and retinal cells in the eye

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Batabyal, Subrata; Kim, Young-Tae; Mohanty, Samarendra

    2017-06-01

    Visualization and assessment of the cellular structure and function require localized delivery of the molecules into specific cells in restricted spatial regions of the tissue and may necessitate subcellular delivery and localization. Earlier, we have shown ultrafast near-infrared laser beam-assisted optoporation of actin-staining molecules into cortical neurons with single-cell resolution and high efficiency. However, diffusion of optoporated molecules in soma degrades toward the growth cone, leading to difficulties in visualization of the actin network in the growth cone in cases of long axons. Here, we demonstrate optoporation of impermeable molecules to functional cortical neurons by precise laser subaxotomy near the growth cone, leading to visualization of the actin network in the growth cone. Further, we demonstrate patterned delivery of impermeable molecules into targeted retinal cells in the rat eye. The development of optoporation as a minimally invasive approach to reliably deliver exogenous molecules into targeted axons and soma of retinal neurons in vivo will enable enhanced visualization of the structure and function of the retina.

  18. Attractant and repellent cues cooperate in guiding a subset of olfactory sensory axons to a well-defined protoglomerular target.

    PubMed

    Taku, Alemji A; Marcaccio, Christina L; Ye, Wenda; Krause, Gregory J; Raper, Jonathan A

    2016-01-01

    Olfactory sensory axons target well-defined intermediate targets in the zebrafish olfactory bulb called protoglomeruli well before they form odorant receptor-specific glomeruli. A subset of olfactory sensory neurons are labeled by expression of the or111-7:IRES:GAL4 transgene whose axons terminate in the central zone (CZ) protoglomerulus. Previous work has shown that some of these axons misproject to the more dorsal and anterior dorsal zone (DZ) protoglomerulus in the absence of Netrin 1/Dcc signaling. In search of additional cues that guide these axons to the CZ, we found that Semaphorin 3D (Sema3D) is expressed in the anterior bulb and acts as a repellent that pushes them towards the CZ. Further analysis indicates that Sema3D signaling is mediated through Nrp1a, while Nrp2b also promotes CZ targeting but in a Sema3D-independent manner. nrp1a, nrp2b and dcc transcripts are detected in or111-7 transgene-expressing neurons early in development and both Nrp1a and Dcc act cell-autonomously in sensory neurons to promote accurate targeting to the CZ. dcc and nrp1a double mutants have significantly more DZ misprojections than either single mutant, suggesting that the two signaling systems act independently and in parallel to direct a specific subset of sensory axons to their initial protoglomerular target.

  19. Attractant and repellent cues cooperate in guiding a subset of olfactory sensory axons to a well-defined protoglomerular target

    PubMed Central

    Taku, Alemji A.; Marcaccio, Christina L.; Ye, Wenda; Krause, Gregory J.; Raper, Jonathan A.

    2016-01-01

    Olfactory sensory axons target well-defined intermediate targets in the zebrafish olfactory bulb called protoglomeruli well before they form odorant receptor-specific glomeruli. A subset of olfactory sensory neurons are labeled by expression of the or111-7:IRES:GAL4 transgene whose axons terminate in the central zone (CZ) protoglomerulus. Previous work has shown that some of these axons misproject to the more dorsal and anterior dorsal zone (DZ) protoglomerulus in the absence of Netrin 1/Dcc signaling. In search of additional cues that guide these axons to the CZ, we found that Semaphorin 3D (Sema3D) is expressed in the anterior bulb and acts as a repellent that pushes them towards the CZ. Further analysis indicates that Sema3D signaling is mediated through Nrp1a, while Nrp2b also promotes CZ targeting but in a Sema3D-independent manner. nrp1a, nrp2b and dcc transcripts are detected in or111-7 transgene-expressing neurons early in development and both Nrp1a and Dcc act cell-autonomously in sensory neurons to promote accurate targeting to the CZ. dcc and nrp1a double mutants have significantly more DZ misprojections than either single mutant, suggesting that the two signaling systems act independently and in parallel to direct a specific subset of sensory axons to their initial protoglomerular target. PMID:26732841

  20. The axon-dendrite targeting of Kv3 (Shaw) channels is determined by a targeting motif that associates with the T1 domain and ankyrin G.

    PubMed

    Xu, Mingxuan; Cao, Ruifeng; Xiao, Rui; Zhu, Michael X; Gu, Chen

    2007-12-19

    Kv3 (Shaw) channels regulate rapid spiking, transmitter release and dendritic integration of many central neurons. Crucial to functional diversity are the complex targeting patterns of channel proteins. However, the targeting mechanisms are not known. Here we report that the axon-dendrite targeting of Kv3.1 is controlled by a conditional interaction of a C-terminal axonal targeting motif (ATM) with the N-terminal T1 domain and adaptor protein ankyrin G. In cultured hippocampal neurons, although the two splice variants of Kv3.1, Kv3.1a and Kv3.1b, are differentially targeted to the somatodendritic and axonal membrane, respectively, the lysine-rich ATM is surprisingly common for both splice variants. The ATM not only directly binds to the T1 domain in a Zn2+-dependent manner, but also associates with the ankyrin-repeat domain of ankyrin G. However, the full-length channel proteins of Kv3.1b display stronger association to ankyrin G than those of Kv3.1a, suggesting that the unique splice domain at Kv3.1b C terminus influences ATM binding to T1 and ankyrin G. Because ankyrin G mainly resides at the axon initial segment, we propose that it may function as a barrier for axon-dendrite targeting of Kv3.1 channels. In support of this idea, disrupting ankyrin G function either by over-expressing a dominant-negative mutant or by siRNA knockdown decreases polarized axon-dendrite targeting of both Kv3.1a and Kv3.1b. We conclude that the conditional ATM masked by the T1 domain in Kv3.1a is exposed by the splice domain in Kv3.1b, and is subsequently recognized by ankyrin G to target Kv3.1b into the axon.

  1. The protocadherin Flamingo is required for axon target selection in the Drosophila visual system.

    PubMed

    Lee, Roger C; Clandinin, Thomas R; Lee, Chi-Hon; Chen, Pei-Ling; Meinertzhagen, Ian A; Zipursky, S Lawrence

    2003-06-01

    Photoreceptor neurons (R cells) in the Drosophila visual system elaborate a precise map of visual space in the brain. The eye contains some 750 identical modules called ommatidia, each containing eight photoreceptor cells (R1-R8). Cells R1-R6 synapse in the lamina; R7 and R8 extend through the lamina and terminate in the underlying medulla. In a screen for visual behavior mutants, we identified alleles of flamingo (fmi) that disrupt the precise maps elaborated by these neurons. These mutant R1-R6 neurons select spatially inappropriate targets in the lamina. During target selection, Flamingo protein is dynamically expressed in R1-R6 growth cones. Loss of fmi function in R cells also disrupts the local pattern of synaptic terminals in the medulla, and Flamingo is transiently expressed in R8 axons as they enter the target region. We propose that Flamingo-mediated interactions between R-cell growth cones within the target field regulate target selection.

  2. EM connectomics reveals axonal target variation in a sequence-generating network

    PubMed Central

    Narayanan, Rajeevan T; Svara, Fabian; Egger, Robert; Oberlaender, Marcel; Denk, Winfried; Long, Michael A

    2017-01-01

    The sequential activation of neurons has been observed in various areas of the brain, but in no case is the underlying network structure well understood. Here we examined the circuit anatomy of zebra finch HVC, a cortical region that generates sequences underlying the temporal progression of the song. We combined serial block-face electron microscopy with light microscopy to determine the cell types targeted by HVC(RA) neurons, which control song timing. Close to their soma, axons almost exclusively targeted inhibitory interneurons, consistent with what had been found with electrical recordings from pairs of cells. Conversely, far from the soma the targets were mostly other excitatory neurons, about half of these being other HVC(RA) cells. Both observations are consistent with the notion that the neural sequences that pace the song are generated by global synaptic chains in HVC embedded within local inhibitory networks. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.24364.001 PMID:28346140

  3. 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

  4. Toll Receptors Instruct Axon and Dendrite Targeting and Participate in Synaptic Partner Matching in a Drosophila Olfactory Circuit

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    SUMMARY 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. PMID:25741726

  5. 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

    2015-03-04

    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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Crossing the embryonic midline: molecular mechanisms regulating axon responsiveness at an intermediate target

    PubMed Central

    Neuhaus-Follini, Alexandra

    2015-01-01

    In bilaterally symmetric animals, the precise assembly of neural circuitry at the midline is essential for coordination of the left and right sides of the body. Commissural axons must first be directed across the midline and then be prevented from re-crossing in order to ensure proper midline connectivity. Here, we review the attractants and repellents that direct axonal navigation at the ventral midline and the receptors on commissural neurons through which they signal. In addition, we discuss the mechanisms that commissural axons use to switch their responsiveness to midline-derived cues, so that they are initially responsive to midline attractants and subsequently responsive to midline repellents. PMID:25779002

  7. The Ste20 Kinase Misshapen Regulates Both Photoreceptor Axon Targeting and Dorsal Closure, Acting Downstream of Distinct Signals

    PubMed Central

    Su, Yi-Chi; Maurel-Zaffran, Corinne; Treisman, Jessica E.; Skolnik, Edward Y.

    2000-01-01

    We have previously shown that the Ste20 kinase encoded by misshapen (msn) functions upstream of the c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) mitogen-activated protein kinase module in Drosophila. msn is required to activate the Drosophila JNK, Basket (Bsk), to promote dorsal closure of the embryo. A mammalian homolog of Msn, Nck interacting kinase, interacts with the SH3 domains of the SH2-SH3 adapter protein Nck. We now show that Msn likewise interacts with Dreadlocks (Dock), the Drosophila homolog of Nck. dock is required for the correct targeting of photoreceptor axons. We have performed a structure-function analysis of Msn in vivo in Drosophila in order to elucidate the mechanism whereby Msn regulates JNK and to determine whether msn, like dock, is required for the correct targeting of photoreceptor axons. We show that Msn requires both a functional kinase and a C-terminal regulatory domain to activate JNK in vivo in Drosophila. A mutation in a PXXP motif on Msn that prevents it from binding to the SH3 domains of Dock does not affect its ability to rescue the dorsal closure defect in msn embryos, suggesting that Dock is not an upstream regulator of msn in dorsal closure. Larvae with only this mutated form of Msn show a marked disruption in photoreceptor axon targeting, implicating an SH3 domain protein in this process; however, an activated form of Msn is not sufficient to rescue the dock mutant phenotype. Mosaic analysis reveals that msn expression is required in photoreceptors in order for their axons to project correctly. The data presented here genetically link msn to two distinct biological events, dorsal closure and photoreceptor axon pathfinding, and thus provide the first evidence that Ste20 kinases of the germinal center kinase family play a role in axonal pathfinding. The ability of Msn to interact with distinct classes of adapter molecules in dorsal closure and photoreceptor axon pathfinding may provide the flexibility that allows it to link to distinct

  8. The Ste20 kinase misshapen regulates both photoreceptor axon targeting and dorsal closure, acting downstream of distinct signals.

    PubMed

    Su, Y C; Maurel-Zaffran, C; Treisman, J E; Skolnik, E Y

    2000-07-01

    We have previously shown that the Ste20 kinase encoded by misshapen (msn) functions upstream of the c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) mitogen-activated protein kinase module in Drosophila. msn is required to activate the Drosophila JNK, Basket (Bsk), to promote dorsal closure of the embryo. A mammalian homolog of Msn, Nck interacting kinase, interacts with the SH3 domains of the SH2-SH3 adapter protein Nck. We now show that Msn likewise interacts with Dreadlocks (Dock), the Drosophila homolog of Nck. dock is required for the correct targeting of photoreceptor axons. We have performed a structure-function analysis of Msn in vivo in Drosophila in order to elucidate the mechanism whereby Msn regulates JNK and to determine whether msn, like dock, is required for the correct targeting of photoreceptor axons. We show that Msn requires both a functional kinase and a C-terminal regulatory domain to activate JNK in vivo in Drosophila. A mutation in a PXXP motif on Msn that prevents it from binding to the SH3 domains of Dock does not affect its ability to rescue the dorsal closure defect in msn embryos, suggesting that Dock is not an upstream regulator of msn in dorsal closure. Larvae with only this mutated form of Msn show a marked disruption in photoreceptor axon targeting, implicating an SH3 domain protein in this process; however, an activated form of Msn is not sufficient to rescue the dock mutant phenotype. Mosaic analysis reveals that msn expression is required in photoreceptors in order for their axons to project correctly. The data presented here genetically link msn to two distinct biological events, dorsal closure and photoreceptor axon pathfinding, and thus provide the first evidence that Ste20 kinases of the germinal center kinase family play a role in axonal pathfinding. The ability of Msn to interact with distinct classes of adapter molecules in dorsal closure and photoreceptor axon pathfinding may provide the flexibility that allows it to link to distinct

  9. Drosophila MMP2 regulates the matrix molecule faulty attraction (Frac) to promote motor axon targeting in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Miller, Crystal M; Liu, Nan; Page-McCaw, Andrea; Broihier, Heather T

    2011-04-06

    Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are widely hypothesized to regulate signaling events through processing of extracellular matrix (ECM) molecules. We previously demonstrated that membrane-associated Mmp2 is expressed in exit glia and contributes to motor axon targeting. To identify possible substrates, we undertook a yeast interaction screen for Mmp2-binding proteins and identified the novel ECM protein faulty attraction (Frac). Frac encodes a multidomain extracellular protein rich in epidermal growth factor (EGF) and calcium-binding EGF domains, related to the vertebrate Fibrillin and Fibulin gene families. It is expressed in mesodermal domains flanking Mmp2-positive glia. The juxtaposition of Mmp2 and Frac proteins raises the possibility that Frac is a proteolytic target of Mmp2. Consistent with this hypothesis, levels of full-length Frac are increased in Mmp2 loss-of-function (LOF) and decreased in Mmp2 gain-of-function (GOF) embryos, indicating that Frac cleavage is Mmp2 dependent. To test whether frac is necessary for axon targeting, we characterized guidance in frac LOF mutants. Motor axons in frac LOF embryos are loosely associated and project ectopically, a phenotype essentially equivalent to that of Mmp2 LOF. The phenotypic similarity between enzyme and substrate mutants argues that Mmp2 activates Frac. In addition, Mmp2 overexpression pathfinding phenotypes depend on frac activity, indicating that Mmp2 is genetically upstream of frac. Last, overexpression experiments suggest that Frac is unlikely to have intrinsic signaling activity, raising the possibility that an Mmp2-generated Frac fragment acts as a guidance cue cofactor. Indeed, we present genetic evidence that Frac regulates a non-canonical LIM kinase 1-dependent bone morphogenetic protein signaling pathway in motoneurons necessary for axon pathfinding during embryogenesis.

  10. Early and rapid targeting of eye-specific axonal projections to the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus in the fetal macaque.

    PubMed

    Huberman, Andrew D; Dehay, Colette; Berland, Michel; Chalupa, Leo M; Kennedy, Henry

    2005-04-20

    The emergence of eye-specific axonal projections to the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus (dLGN) is a well established model system for exploring the mechanisms underlying afferent targeting during development. Using modern tract tracing methods, we examined the development of this feature in the macaque, an Old World Primate with a visual system similar to that of humans. Cholera toxin beta fragment conjugated to Alexa 488 was injected into the vitreous of one eye, and CTbeta conjugated to Alexa 594 into the other eye of embryos at known gestational ages. On embryonic day 69 (E69), which is approximately 100 d before birth, inputs from the two eyes were extensively intermingled in the dLGN. However, even at this early age, portions of the dLGN were preferentially innervated by the right or left eye, and segregation is complete within the dorsalmost layers 5 and 6. By E78, eye-specific segregation is clearly established throughout the parvocellular division of the dLGN, and substantial ocular segregation is present in the magnocellular division. By E84, segregation of left and right eye axons is essentially complete, and the six eye-specific domains that characterize the mature macaque dLGN are clearly discernable. These findings reveal that targeting of eye-specific axonal projections in the macaque occurs much earlier and more rapidly than previously reported. This segregation process is completed before the reported onset of ganglion cell axon loss and retino-dLGN synapse elimination, suggesting that, in the primate, eye-specific targeting occurs independent of traditional forms of synaptic plasticity.

  11. dMmp2 regulates the matrix molecule Faulty attraction (Frac) to promote motor axon targeting in Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    Miller, Crystal M; Liu, Nan; Page-McCaw, Andrea; Broihier, Heather T.

    2012-01-01

    Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are widely hypothesized to regulate signaling events through processing of extracellular matrix (ECM) molecules. We previously demonstrated that membrane-associated Mmp2 is expressed in exit glia and contributes to motor axon targeting. To identify possible substrates, we undertook a yeast interaction screen for Mmp2-binding proteins and identified the novel ECM protein Faulty Attraction (Frac). Frac encodes a multi-domain extracellular protein rich in EGF and cbEGF domains, related to the vertebrate Fibrillin and Fibulin gene families. It is expressed in mesodermal domains flanking Mmp2-positive glia. The juxtaposition of Mmp2 and Frac proteins raises the possibility that Frac is a proteolytic target of Mmp2. Consistent with this hypothesis, levels of full-length Frac are increased in Mmp2 LOF and decreased in Mmp2 GOF embryos indicating that Frac cleavage is Mmp2-dependent. To test whether frac is necessary for axon targeting, we characterized guidance in frac LOF mutants. Motor axons in frac LOF embryos are loosely associated and project ectopically, a phenotype essentially equivalent to that of Mmp2 LOF. The phenotypic similarity between enzyme and substrate mutants argues that Mmp2 activates Frac. In addition, Mmp2 overexpression pathfinding phenotypes depend on frac activity—indicating that Mmp2 is genetically upstream of frac. Lastly, overexpression experiments suggest that Frac is unlikely to have intrinsic signaling activity, raising the possibility that an Mmp2-generated Frac fragment acts as a guidance cue cofactor. Indeed, we present genetic evidence that Frac regulates a non-canonical LIM kinase 1-dependent BMP signaling pathway in motorneurons necessary for axon pathfinding during embryogenesis. PMID:21471368

  12. ATP7A (Menkes Protein) functions in Axonal Targeting and Synaptogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Meskini, Rajaâ El; Crabtree, Kelli L.; Cline, Laura B.; Mains, Richard E.; Eipper, Betty A.; Ronnett, Gabriele V.

    2007-01-01

    Menkes Disease (MD) is a neurodegenerative disorder caused by mutations in the copper transporter, ATP7A, a P-type ATPase. We previously used the olfactory system to demonstrate that ATP7A expression is developmentally, not constitutive, regulated, peaking during synaptogenesis when it is highly expressed in extending axons in a copper-independent manner. Although not known to be associated with axonal functions, we explored the possibility that the inability of mutant ATP7A to support axon outgrowth contributes to the neurodegeneration seen in MD. In vivo analysis of the olfactory system in mottled brindled (Atp7aMobr) mice, a rodent model for MD, demonstrates that ATP7A deficiency affects olfactory sensory neuron (OSN) maturation. Disrupted OSN axonal projections and mitral/tufted cell dendritic growth lead to altered synapse integrity and glomerular disorganization in the olfactory bulbs of Atp7aMobr mice. Our data indicate that the neuronal abnormalities observed in MD are a result of specific age-dependent developmental defects. This study demonstrates a role for ATP7A and/or copper in axon outgrowth and synaptogenesis, and will further help identify the cause of the neuropathology that characterizes MD. PMID:17215139

  13. ATP7A (Menkes protein) functions in axonal targeting and synaptogenesis.

    PubMed

    El Meskini, Rajaâ; Crabtree, Kelli L; Cline, Laura B; Mains, Richard E; Eipper, Betty A; Ronnett, Gabriele V

    2007-03-01

    Menkes disease (MD) is a neurodegenerative disorder caused by mutations in the copper transporter, ATP7A, a P-type ATPase. We previously used the olfactory system to demonstrate that ATP7A expression is developmentally, not constitutive, regulated, peaking during synaptogenesis when it is highly expressed in extending axons in a copper-independent manner. Although not known to be associated with axonal functions, we explored the possibility that the inability of mutant ATP7A to support axon outgrowth contributes to the neurodegeneration seen in MD. In vivo analysis of the olfactory system in mottled brindled (Atp7aMobr) mice, a rodent model for MD, demonstrates that ATP7A deficiency affects olfactory sensory neuron (OSN) maturation. Disrupted OSN axonal projections and mitral/tufted cell dendritic growth lead to altered synapse integrity and glomerular disorganization in the olfactory bulbs of Atp7aMobr mice. Our data indicate that the neuronal abnormalities observed in MD are a result of specific age-dependent developmental defects. This study demonstrates a role for ATP7A and/or copper in axon outgrowth and synaptogenesis, and will further help identify the cause of the neuropathology that characterizes MD.

  14. Drosophila Ack targets its substrate, the sorting nexin DSH3PX1, to a protein complex involved in axonal guidance.

    PubMed

    Worby, Carolyn A; Simonson-Leff, Nancy; Clemens, James C; Huddler, Donald; Muda, Marco; Dixon, Jack E

    2002-03-15

    Dock, the Drosophila orthologue of Nck, is an adaptor protein that is known to function in axonal guidance paradigms in the fly including proper development of neuronal connections in photoreceptor cells and axonal tracking in Bolwig's organ. To develop a better understanding of axonal guidance at the molecular level, we purified proteins in a complex with the SH2 domain of Dock from fly Schneider 2 cells. A protein designated p145 was identified and shown to be a tyrosine kinase with sequence similarity to mammalian Cdc-42-associated tyrosine kinases. We demonstrate that Drosophila Ack (DAck) can be co-immunoprecipitated with Dock and DSH3PX1 from fly cell extracts. The domains responsible for the in vitro interaction between Drosophila Ack and Dock were identified, and direct protein-protein interactions between complex members were established. We conclude that DSH3PX1 is a substrate for DAck in vivo and in vitro and define one of the major in vitro sites of DSH3PX1 phosphorylation to be Tyr-56. Tyr-56 is located within the SH3 domain of DSH3PX1, placing it in an important position for regulating the binding of proline-rich targets. We demonstrate that Tyr-56 phosphorylation by DAck diminishes the DSH3PX1 SH3 domain interaction with the Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome protein while enabling DSH3PX1 to associate with Dock. Furthermore, when Tyr-56 is mutated to aspartate or glutamate, the binding to Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome protein is abrogated. These results suggest that the phosphorylation of DSH3PX1 by DAck targets this sorting nexin to a protein complex that includes Dock, an adaptor protein important for axonal guidance.

  15. MicroRNA-431 regulates axon regeneration in mature sensory neurons by targeting the Wnt antagonist Kremen1

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Di; Murashov, Alexander K.

    2013-01-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small, non-coding RNAs that function as key post-transcriptional regulators in neural development, brain function, and neurological diseases. Growing evidence indicates that miRNAs are also important mediators of nerve regeneration, however, the affected signaling mechanisms are not clearly understood. In the present study, we show that nerve injury-induced miR-431 stimulates regenerative axon growth by silencing Kremen1, an antagonist of Wnt/beta-catenin signaling. Both the gain-of-function of miR-431 and knockdown of Kremen1 significantly enhance axon outgrowth in murine dorsal root ganglion neuronal cultures. Using cross-linking with AGO-2 immunoprecipitation, and 3′-untranslated region (UTR) luciferase reporter assay we demonstrate miR-431 direct interaction on the 3′-UTR of Kremen1 mRNA. Together, our results identify miR-431 as an important regulator of axonal regeneration and a promising therapeutic target. PMID:24167472

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

    PubMed Central

    Mencarelli, Chiara; Pichaud, Franck

    2015-01-01

    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

  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.

  18. Motor cortex electrical stimulation promotes axon outgrowth to brain stem and spinal targets that control the forelimb impaired by unilateral corticospinal injury.

    PubMed

    Carmel, Jason B; Kimura, Hiroki; Berrol, Lauren J; Martin, John H

    2013-04-01

    We previously showed that electrical stimulation of motor cortex (M1) after unilateral pyramidotomy in the rat increased corticospinal tract (CST) axon length, strengthened spinal connections, and restored forelimb function. Here, we tested: (i) if M1 stimulation only increases spinal axon length or if it also promotes connections to brain stem forelimb control centers, especially magnocellular red nucleus; and (ii) if stimulation-induced increase in axon length depends on whether pyramidotomy denervated the structure. After unilateral pyramidotomy, we electrically stimulated the forelimb area of intact M1, to activate the intact CST and other corticofugal pathways, for 10 days. We anterogradely labeled stimulated M1 and measured axon length using stereology. Stimulation increased axon length in both the spinal cord and magnocellular red nucleus, even though the spinal cord is denervated by pyramidotomy and the red nucleus is not. Stimulation also promoted outgrowth in the cuneate and parvocellular red nuclei. In the spinal cord, electrical stimulation caused increased axon length ipsilateral, but not contralateral, to stimulation. Thus, stimulation promoted outgrowth preferentially to the sparsely corticospinal-innervated and impaired side. Outgrowth resulted in greater axon density in the ipsilateral dorsal horn and intermediate zone, resembling the contralateral termination pattern. Importantly, as in spinal cord, increase in axon length in brain stem also was preferentially directed towards areas less densely innervated by the stimulated system. Thus, M1 electrical stimulation promotes increases in corticofugal axon length to multiple M1 targets. We propose the axon length change was driven by competition into an adaptive pattern resembling lost connections. © 2013 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  19. Targeting cell surface receptors for axon regeneration in the central nervous system

    PubMed Central

    Cheah, Menghon; Andrews, Melissa R.

    2016-01-01

    Axon regeneration in the CNS is largely unsuccessful due to excess inhibitory extrinsic factors within lesion sites together with an intrinsic inability of neurons to regrow following injury. Recent work demonstrates that forced expression of certain neuronal transmembrane receptors can recapitulate neuronal growth resulting in successful growth within and through inhibitory lesion environments. More specifically, neuronal expression of integrin receptors such as alpha9beta1 integrin which binds the extracellular matrix glycoprotein tenascin-C, trk receptors such as trkB which binds the neurotrophic factor BDNF, and receptor PTPσ which binds chondroitin sulphate proteoglycans, have all been show to significantly enhance regeneration of injured axons. We discuss how reintroduction of these receptors in damaged neurons facilitates signalling from the internal environment of the cell with the external environment of the lesion milieu, effectively resulting in growth and repair following injury. In summary, we suggest an appropriate balance of intrinsic and extrinsic factors are required to obtain substantial axon regeneration. PMID:28197173

  20. The combination of transcriptomics and informatics identifies pathways targeted by miR-204 during neurogenesis and axon guidance

    PubMed Central

    Conte, Ivan; Merella, Stefania; Garcia-Manteiga, Jose Manuel; Migliore, Chiara; Lazarevic, Dejan; Carrella, Sabrina; Marco-Ferreres, Raquel; Avellino, Raffaella; Davidson, Nathan Paul; Emmett, Warren; Sanges, Remo; Bockett, Nicholas; Van Heel, David; Meroni, Germana; Bovolenta, Paola; Stupka, Elia; Banfi, Sandro

    2014-01-01

    Vertebrate organogenesis is critically sensitive to gene dosage and even subtle variations in the expression levels of key genes may result in a variety of tissue anomalies. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are fundamental regulators of gene expression and their role in vertebrate tissue patterning is just beginning to be elucidated. To gain further insight into this issue, we analysed the transcriptomic consequences of manipulating the expression of miR-204 in the Medaka fish model system. We used RNA-Seq and an innovative bioinformatics approach, which combines conventional differential expression analysis with the behavior expected by miR-204 targets after its overexpression and knockdown. With this approach combined with a correlative analysis of the putative targets, we identified a wider set of miR-204 target genes belonging to different pathways. Together, these approaches confirmed that miR-204 has a key role in eye development and further highlighted its putative function in neural differentiation processes, including axon guidance as supported by in vivo functional studies. Together, our results demonstrate the advantage of integrating next-generation sequencing and bioinformatics approaches to investigate miRNA biology and provide new important information on the role of miRNAs in the control of axon guidance and more broadly in nervous system development. PMID:24895435

  1. 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

  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. Distinct and Cooperative Functions for the Protocadherin-α, -β and -γ Clusters in Neuronal Survival and Axon Targeting.

    PubMed

    Hasegawa, Sonoko; Kumagai, Makiko; Hagihara, Mitsue; Nishimaru, Hiroshi; Hirano, Keizo; Kaneko, Ryosuke; Okayama, Atsushi; Hirayama, Teruyoshi; Sanbo, Makoto; Hirabayashi, Masumi; Watanabe, Masahiko; Hirabayashi, Takahiro; Yagi, Takeshi

    2016-01-01

    The clustered protocadherin (Pcdh) genes are divided into the Pcdhα, Pcdhβ, and Pcdhγ clusters. Gene-disruption analyses in mice have revealed the in vivo functions of the Pcdhα and Pcdhγ clusters. However, all Pcdh protein isoforms form combinatorial cis-hetero dimers and enter trans-homophilic interactions. Here we addressed distinct and cooperative functions in the Pcdh clusters by generating six cluster-deletion mutants (Δα, Δβ, Δγ, Δαβ, Δβγ, and Δαβγ) and comparing their phenotypes: Δα, Δβ, and Δαβ mutants were viable and fertile; Δγ mutants lived less than 12 h; and Δβγ and Δαβγ mutants died shortly after birth. The Pcdhα, Pcdhβ, and Pcdhγ clusters were individually and cooperatively important in olfactory-axon targeting and spinal-cord neuron survival. Neurodegeneration was most severe in Δαβγ mutants, indicating that Pcdhα and Pcdhβ function cooperatively for neuronal survival. The Pcdhα, Pcdhβ, and Pcdhγ clusters share roles in olfactory-axon targeting and neuronal survival, although to different degrees.

  4. Distinct and Cooperative Functions for the Protocadherin-α, -β and -γ Clusters in Neuronal Survival and Axon Targeting

    PubMed Central

    Hasegawa, Sonoko; Kumagai, Makiko; Hagihara, Mitsue; Nishimaru, Hiroshi; Hirano, Keizo; Kaneko, Ryosuke; Okayama, Atsushi; Hirayama, Teruyoshi; Sanbo, Makoto; Hirabayashi, Masumi; Watanabe, Masahiko; Hirabayashi, Takahiro; Yagi, Takeshi

    2016-01-01

    The clustered protocadherin (Pcdh) genes are divided into the Pcdhα, Pcdhβ, and Pcdhγ clusters. Gene-disruption analyses in mice have revealed the in vivo functions of the Pcdhα and Pcdhγ clusters. However, all Pcdh protein isoforms form combinatorial cis-hetero dimers and enter trans-homophilic interactions. Here we addressed distinct and cooperative functions in the Pcdh clusters by generating six cluster-deletion mutants (Δα, Δβ, Δγ, Δαβ, Δβγ, and Δαβγ) and comparing their phenotypes: Δα, Δβ, and Δαβ mutants were viable and fertile; Δγ mutants lived less than 12 h; and Δβγ and Δαβγ mutants died shortly after birth. The Pcdhα, Pcdhβ, and Pcdhγ clusters were individually and cooperatively important in olfactory-axon targeting and spinal-cord neuron survival. Neurodegeneration was most severe in Δαβγ mutants, indicating that Pcdhα and Pcdhβ function cooperatively for neuronal survival. The Pcdhα, Pcdhβ, and Pcdhγ clusters share roles in olfactory-axon targeting and neuronal survival, although to different degrees. PMID:28066179

  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. Lamina-specific abnormalities of AMPA receptor trafficking and signaling molecule transcripts in the prefrontal cortex in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Beneyto, Monica; Meador-Woodruff, James H

    2006-12-15

    Ampakines, positive AMPA receptor modulators, can improve cognitive function in schizophrenia, and enhancement of AMPA receptor-mediated currents by them potentiates the activity of antipsychotics. In vitro studies have revealed that trafficking of AMPA receptors is mediated by specific interactions of a complex network of proteins that also target and anchor them at the postsynaptic density (PSD). The aim of this study was to determine whether there are abnormalities of the molecules associated with trafficking and localization of AMPA receptors at the PSD in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) in schizophrenia. We analyzed AMPA receptor expression in DLPFC in schizophrenia, major depression, bipolar disorder, and a control group, by examining transcript levels of all four AMPA receptor subunits by in situ hybridization. We found decreased GluR2 subunit expression in all three illnesses, decreased GluR3 in major depression, and decreased GluR4 in schizophrenia. However, autoradiography experiments showed no changes in AMPA receptor binding; thus, we hypothesized that these changes in receptor subunit stoichiometry do not alter binding to the assembled receptor, but rather intracellular processing. In situ hybridization for AMPA-trafficking molecules showed decreased expression of PICK1 and increased expression of stargazin in DLPFC in schizophrenia, both restricted to large cells of cortical layer III. These data suggest that AMPA-mediated glutamatergic neurotransmission is compromised in schizophrenia, particularly at the level of AMPA-related PSD proteins that mediate AMPA receptor trafficking, synaptic surface expression, and intracellular signaling.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Initiating and Growing an Axon

    PubMed Central

    Polleux, F.; Snider, William

    2010-01-01

    The ability of neurons to form a single axon and multiple dendrites underlies the directional flow of information transfer in the central nervous system. Dendrites and axons are molecularly and functionally distinct domains. Dendrites integrate synaptic inputs, triggering the generation of action potentials at the level of the soma. Action potentials then propagate along the axon, which makes presynaptic contacts onto target cells. This article reviews what is known about the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the ability of neurons to initiate and extend a single axon during development. Remarkably, neurons can polarize to form a single axon, multiple dendrites, and later establish functional synaptic contacts in reductionist in vitro conditions. This approach became, and remains, the dominant model to study axon initiation and growth and has yielded the identification of many molecules that regulate axon formation in vitro ( Dotti et al. 1988). At present, only a few of the genes identified using in vitro approaches have been shown to be required for axon initiation and outgrowth in vivo. In vitro, axon initiation and elongation are largely intrinsic properties of neurons that are established in the absence of relevant extracellular cues. However, the importance of extracellular cues to axon initiation and outgrowth in vivo is emerging as a major theme in neural development ( Barnes and Polleux 2009). In this article, we focus our attention on the extracellular cues and signaling pathways required in vivo for axon initiation and axon extension. PMID:20452947

  10. Müller cells and retinal axons can be primary targets in experimental neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder.

    PubMed

    Zeka, Bleranda; Lassmann, Hans; Bradl, Monika

    2017-01-01

    Recent work from our laboratory, using different models of experimental neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD), has led to a number of observations that might be highly relevant for NMOSD patients. For example: (i) in the presence of neuromyelitis optica immunoglobulin G, astrocyte-destructive lesions can be initiated by CD4+ T cells when these cells recognize aquaporin 4 (AQP4), but also when they recognize other antigens of the central nervous system. The only important prerequisite is that the T cells have to be activated within the central nervous system by "their" specific antigen. Recently activated CD4+ T cells with yet unknown antigen specificity are also found in human NMOSD lesions. (ii) The normal immune repertoire might contain AQP4-specific T cells, which are highly encephalitogenic on activation. (iii) The retina might be a primary target of AQP4-specific T cells and neuromyelitis optica immunoglobulin G: AQP4-specific T cells alone are sufficient to cause retinitis with low-grade axonal pathology in the retinal nerve fiber/ganglionic cell layer. A thinning of these layers is also observed in NMOSD patients, where it is thought to be a consequence of optic neuritis. Neuromyelitis optica immunoglobulin G might target cellular processes of Müller cells and cause their loss of AQP4 reactivity, when AQP4-specific T cells open the blood-retina barrier in the outer plexiform layer. Patchy loss of AQP4 reactivity on Müller cells of NMOSD patients has been recently described. Cumulatively, our findings in experimental NMOSD suggest that both CD4+ T cell and antibody responses directed against AQP4 might play an important role in the pathogenesis of tissue destruction seen in NMOSD.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  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. The Kv2.1 K+ channel targets to the axon initial segment of hippocampal and cortical neurons in culture and in situ

    PubMed Central

    Sarmiere, Patrick D; Weigle, Cecile M; Tamkun, Michael M

    2008-01-01

    Background The Kv2.1 delayed-rectifier K+ channel regulates membrane excitability in hippocampal neurons where it targets to dynamic cell surface clusters on the soma and proximal dendrites. In the past, Kv2.1 has been assumed to be absent from the axon initial segment. Results Transfected and endogenous Kv2.1 is now demonstrated to preferentially accumulate within the axon initial segment (AIS) over other neurite processes; 87% of 14 DIV hippocampal neurons show endogenous channel concentrated at the AIS relative to the soma and proximal dendrites. In contrast to the localization observed in pyramidal cells, GAD positive inhibitory neurons within the hippocampal cultures did not show AIS targeting. Photoactivable-GFP-Kv2.1-containing clusters at the AIS were stable, moving <1 μm/hr with no channel turnover. Photobleach studies indicated individual channels within the cluster perimeter were highly mobile (FRAP τ = 10.4 ± 4.8 sec), supporting our model that Kv2.1 clusters are formed by the retention of mobile channels behind a diffusion-limiting perimeter. Demonstrating that the AIS targeting is not a tissue culture artifact, Kv2.1 was found in axon initial segments within both the adult rat hippocampal CA1, CA2, and CA3 layers and cortex. Conclusion In summary, Kv2.1 is associated with the axon initial segment both in vitro and in vivo where it may modulate action potential frequency and back propagation. Since transfected Kv2.1 initially localizes to the AIS before appearing on the soma, it is likely multiple mechanisms regulate Kv2.1 trafficking to the cell surface. PMID:19014551

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Epitope-tagged dopamine transporter knock-in mice reveal rapid endocytic trafficking and filopodia targeting of the transporter in dopaminergic axons

    PubMed Central

    Rao, Anjali; Richards, Toni L.; Simmons, Diana; Zahniser, Nancy R.; Sorkin, Alexander

    2012-01-01

    The plasma membrane dopamine (DA) transporter (DAT) is essential for reuptake of extracellular DA. DAT function in heterologous cells is regulated by subcellular targeting, endocytosis, and intracellular trafficking, but the mechanisms regulating neuronal DAT remain poorly understood. Hence, we generated a knock-in mouse expressing a hemagglutinin (HA)-epitope-tagged DAT to study endogenous transporter trafficking. Introduction of the HA tag into the second extracellular loop of mouse DAT did not perturb its expression level, distribution pattern, or substrate uptake kinetics. Live-cell fluorescence microscopy imaging using fluorescently labeled HA-specific antibody and a quantitative HA-antibody endocytosis assay demonstrated that in axons HA-DAT was primarily located in the plasma membrane and internalized mostly in growth cones and varicosities, where synaptic vesicle markers were also concentrated. Formation of varicosities was frequently preceded or accompanied by highly dynamic filopodia-like membrane protrusions. Remarkably, HA-DAT often concentrated at the tips of these filopodia. This pool of HA-DATs exhibited low lateral membrane mobility. Thus, DAT-containing filopodia may be involved in synaptogenesis in developing DA neurons. Treatment of neurons with amphetamine increased mobility of filopodial HA-DAT and accelerated HA-DAT endocytosis in axons, suggesting that chronic amphetamine may interfere with DA synapse development. Interestingly, phorbol esters did not accelerate endocytosis of axonal DAT.—Rao, A., Richards, T. L., Simmons, D., Zahniser, N. R., Sorkin, A. Epitope-tagged dopamine transporter knock-in mice reveal rapid endocytic trafficking and filopodia targeting of the transporter in dopaminergic axons. PMID:22267337

  17. Rules Ventral Prefrontal Cortical Axons Use to Reach Their Targets: Implications for Diffusion Tensor Imaging Tractography and Deep Brain Stimulation for Psychiatric Illness

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

    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

  18. 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 Central

    Zhang, Jingyi; McDonald, Alexander J.

    2016-01-01

    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

  19. Inhibition of the mammalian target of rapamycin signaling pathway suppresses dentate granule cell axon sprouting in a rodent model of temporal lobe epilepsy.

    PubMed

    Buckmaster, Paul S; Ingram, Elizabeth A; Wen, Xiling

    2009-06-24

    Dentate granule cell axon (mossy fiber) sprouting is a common abnormality in patients with temporal lobe epilepsy. Mossy fiber sprouting creates an aberrant positive-feedback network among granule cells that does not normally exist. Its role in epileptogenesis is unclear and controversial. If it were possible to block mossy fiber sprouting from developing after epileptogenic treatments, its potential role in the pathogenesis of epilepsy could be tested. Previous attempts to block mossy fiber sprouting have been unsuccessful. The present study targeted the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling pathway, which regulates cell growth and is blocked by rapamycin. Rapamycin was focally, continuously, and unilaterally infused into the dorsal hippocampus for prolonged periods beginning within hours after rats sustained pilocarpine-induced status epilepticus. Infusion for 1 month reduced aberrant Timm staining (a marker of mossy fibers) in the granule cell layer and molecular layer. Infusion for 2 months inhibited mossy fiber sprouting more. However, after rapamycin infusion ceased, aberrant Timm staining developed and approached untreated levels. When onset of infusion began after mossy fiber sprouting had developed for 2 months, rapamycin did not reverse aberrant Timm staining. These findings suggest that inhibition of the mTOR signaling pathway suppressed development of mossy fiber sprouting. However, suppression required continual treatment, and rapamycin treatment did not reverse already established axon reorganization.

  20. Rapid transient isoform-specific neuregulin1 transcription in motor neurons is regulated by neurotrophic factors and axon-target interactions.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jiajing; Hmadcha, Abdelkrim; Zakarian, Vaagn; Song, Fei; Loeb, Jeffrey A

    2015-09-01

    The neuregulins (NRGs) are a family of alternatively spliced factors that play important roles in nervous system development and disease. In motor neurons, NRG1 expression is regulated by activity and neurotrophic factors, however, little is known about what controls isoform-specific transcription. Here we show that NRG1 expression in the chick embryo increases in motor neurons that have extended their axons and that limb bud ablation before motor axon outgrowth prevents this induction, suggesting a trophic role from the developing limb. Consistently, NRG1 induction after limb bud ablation can be rescued by adding back the neurotrophic factors BDNF and GDNF. Mechanistically, BDNF induces a rapid and transient increase in type I and type III NRG1 mRNAs that peak at 4h in rat embryonic ventral spinal cord cultures. Blocking MAPK or PI3K signaling or blocking transcription with Actinomycin D blocks BDNF induced NRG1 gene induction. BDNF had no effect on mRNA degradation, suggesting that transcriptional activation rather than message stability is important. Furthermore, BDNF activates a reporter construct that includes 700bp upstream of the type I NRG1 start site. Protein synthesis is also required for type I NRG1 mRNA transcription as cycloheximide produced a super-induction of type I, but not type III NRG1 mRNA, possibly through a mechanism involving sustained activation of MAPK and PI3K. These results reveal the existence of highly responsive, transient transcriptional regulatory mechanisms that differentially modulate NRG1 isoform expression as a function of extracellular and intracellular signaling cascades and mediated by neurotrophic factors and axon-target interactions. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Where does axon guidance lead us?

    PubMed Central

    Stoeckli, Esther

    2017-01-01

    During neural circuit formation, axons need to navigate to their target cells in a complex, constantly changing environment. Although we most likely have identified most axon guidance cues and their receptors, we still cannot explain the molecular background of pathfinding for any subpopulation of axons. We lack mechanistic insight into the regulation of interactions between guidance receptors and their ligands. Recent developments in the field of axon guidance suggest that the regulation of surface expression of guidance receptors comprises transcriptional, translational, and post-translational mechanisms, such as trafficking of vesicles with specific cargos, protein-protein interactions, and specific proteolysis of guidance receptors. Not only axon guidance molecules but also the regulatory mechanisms that control their spatial and temporal expression are involved in synaptogenesis and synaptic plasticity. Therefore, it is not surprising that genes associated with axon guidance are frequently found in genetic and genomic studies of neurodevelopmental disorders. PMID:28163913

  6. Herpes simplex virus type 2 glycoprotein E is required for efficient virus spread from epithelial cells to neurons and for targeting viral proteins from the neuron cell body into axons.

    PubMed

    Wang, Fushan; Zumbrun, Elizabeth E; Huang, Jialing; Si, Huaxin; Makaroun, Lena; Friedman, Harvey M

    2010-09-30

    The HSV-2 lifecycle involves virus spread in a circuit from the inoculation site to dorsal root ganglia and return. We evaluated the role of gE-2 in the virus lifecycle by deleting amino acids 124-495 (gE2-del virus). In the mouse retina infection model, gE2-del virus does not spread to nuclei in the brain, indicating a defect in anterograde (pre-synaptic to post-synaptic neurons) and retrograde (post-synaptic to pre-synaptic neurons) spread. Infection of neuronal cells in vitro demonstrates that gE-2 is required for targeting viral proteins from neuron cell bodies into axons, and for efficient virus spread from epithelial cells to axons. The mouse flank model confirms that gE2-del virus is defective in spread from epithelial cells to neurons. Therefore, we defined two steps in the virus lifecycle that involve gE-2, including efficient spread from epithelial cells to axons and targeting viral components from neuron cell bodies into axons.

  7. Traffic lights for axon growth: proteoglycans and their neuronal receptors.

    PubMed

    Shen, Yingjie

    2014-02-15

    Axon growth is a central event in the development and post-injury plasticity of the nervous system. Growing axons encounter a wide variety of environmental instructions. Much like traffic lights in controlling the migrating axons, chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans (CSPGs) and heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs) often lead to "stop" and "go" growth responses in the axons, respectively. Recently, the LAR family and NgR family molecules were identified as neuronal receptors for CSPGs and HSPGs. These discoveries provided molecular tools for further study of mechanisms underlying axon growth regulation. More importantly, the identification of these proteoglycan receptors offered potential therapeutic targets for promoting post-injury axon regeneration.

  8. 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.

  9. Calcium release from intra-axonal endoplasmic reticulum leads to axon degeneration through mitochondrial dysfunction.

    PubMed

    Villegas, Rosario; Martinez, Nicolas W; Lillo, Jorge; Pihan, Phillipe; Hernandez, Diego; Twiss, Jeffery L; Court, Felipe A

    2014-05-21

    Axonal degeneration represents an early pathological event in neurodegeneration, constituting an important target for neuroprotection. Regardless of the initial injury, which could be toxic, mechanical, metabolic, or genetic, degeneration of axons shares a common mechanism involving mitochondrial dysfunction and production of reactive oxygen species. Critical steps in this degenerative process are still unknown. Here we show that calcium release from the axonal endoplasmic reticulum (ER) through ryanodine and IP3 channels activates the mitochondrial permeability transition pore and contributes to axonal degeneration triggered by both mechanical and toxic insults in ex vivo and in vitro mouse and rat model systems. These data reveal a critical and early ER-dependent step during axonal degeneration, providing novel targets for axonal protection in neurodegenerative conditions.

  10. Calcium Release from Intra-Axonal Endoplasmic Reticulum Leads to Axon Degeneration through Mitochondrial Dysfunction

    PubMed Central

    Villegas, Rosario; Martinez, Nicolas W.; Lillo, Jorge; Pihan, Phillipe; Hernandez, Diego; Twiss, Jeffery L.

    2014-01-01

    Axonal degeneration represents an early pathological event in neurodegeneration, constituting an important target for neuroprotection. Regardless of the initial injury, which could be toxic, mechanical, metabolic, or genetic, degeneration of axons shares a common mechanism involving mitochondrial dysfunction and production of reactive oxygen species. Critical steps in this degenerative process are still unknown. Here we show that calcium release from the axonal endoplasmic reticulum (ER) through ryanodine and IP3 channels activates the mitochondrial permeability transition pore and contributes to axonal degeneration triggered by both mechanical and toxic insults in ex vivo and in vitro mouse and rat model systems. These data reveal a critical and early ER-dependent step during axonal degeneration, providing novel targets for axonal protection in neurodegenerative conditions. PMID:24849352

  11. The cytoskeletal and signaling mechanisms of axon collateral branching.

    PubMed

    Gallo, Gianluca

    2011-03-01

    During development, axons are guided to their appropriate targets by a variety of guidance factors. On arriving at their synaptic targets, or while en route, axons form branches. Branches generated de novo from the main axon are termed collateral branches. The generation of axon collateral branches allows individual neurons to make contacts with multiple neurons within a target and with multiple targets. In the adult nervous system, the formation of axon collateral branches is associated with injury and disease states and may contribute to normally occurring plasticity. Collateral branches are initiated by actin filament– based axonal protrusions that subsequently become invaded by microtubules, thereby allowing the branch to mature and continue extending. This article reviews the current knowledge of the cellular mechanisms of the formation of axon collateral branches. The major conclusions of this review are (1) the mechanisms of axon extension and branching are not identical; (2) active suppression of protrusive activity along the axon negatively regulates branching; (3) the earliest steps in the formation of axon branches involve focal activation of signaling pathways within axons, which in turn drive the formation of actin-based protrusions; and (4) regulation of the microtubule array by microtubule-associated and severing proteins underlies the development of branches. Linking the activation of signaling pathways to specific proteins that directly regulate the axonal cytoskeleton underlying the formation of collateral branches remains a frontier in the field.

  12. 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

  13. VEGF mediates commissural axon chemoattraction through its receptor Flk1

    PubMed Central

    de Almodovar, Carmen Ruiz; Fabre, Pierre J.; Knevels, Ellen; Coulon, Cathy; Segura, Inmaculada; Haddick, Patrick C.G.; Aerts, Liesbeth; Delattin, Nicolas; Strasser, Geraldine; Oh, Won-Jong; Lange, Christian; Vinckier, Stefan; Haigh, Jody; Fouquet, Coralie; Henderson, Christopher; Gu, Chengua; Alitalo, Kari; Castellani, Valerie; Tessier-Lavigne, Marc; Chedotal, Alain; Charron, Frederic; Carmeliet, Peter

    2013-01-01

    Growing axons are guided to their targets by attractive and repulsive cues. In the developing spinal cord, Netrin-1 and Shh guide commissural axons towards the midline. However, the combined inhibition of their activity in commissural axon turning assays does not completely abrogate turning towards floor plate tissue, suggesting that additional guidance cues are present. Here, we show that the prototypic angiogenic factor VEGF is secreted by the floor plate and is a chemoattractant for commissural axons in vitro and in vivo. Inactivation of Vegf in the floor plate or of its receptor Flk1 in commissural neurons causes axon guidance defects, while Flk1-blockade inhibits turning of axons to VEGF in vitro. Similar to Shh and Netrin-1, VEGF-mediated commissural axon guidance requires the activity of Src family kinases. Our results identify VEGF and Flk1 as a novel ligand / receptor pair controlling commissural axon guidance. PMID:21658588

  14. 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

  15. Nerve Growth Factor Promotes Reorganization of the Axonal Microtubule Array at Sites of Axon Collateral Branching

    PubMed Central

    Ketschek, Andrea; Jones, Steven; Spillane, Mirela; Korobova, Farida; Svitkina, Tatyana; Gallo, Gianluca

    2015-01-01

    The localized debundling of the axonal microtubule array and the entry of microtubules into axonal filopodia are two defining features of collateral branching. We report that nerve growth factor (NGF), a branch inducing signal, increases the frequency of microtubule debundling along the axon shaft of chicken embryonic sensory neurons. Sites of debundling correlate strongly with the localized targeting of microtubules into filopodia. Platinum replica electron microscopy suggests physical interactions between debundled microtubules and axonal actin filaments. However, as evidenced by depolymerization of actin filaments and inhibition of myosin II, actomyosin force generation does not promote debundling. In contrast, loss of actin filaments or inhibition of myosin II activity promotes debundling, indicating that axonal actomyosin forces suppress debundling. MAP1B is a microtubule associated protein that represses axon branching. Following treatment with NGF, microtubules penetrating filopodia during the early stages of branching exhibited lower levels of associated MAP1B. NGF increased and decreased the levels of MAP1B phosphorylated at a GSK-3β site (pMAP1B) along the axon shaft and within axonal filopodia, respectively. The levels of MAP1B and pMAP1B were not altered at sites of debundling, relative to the rest of the axon. Unlike the previously determined effects of NGF on the axonal actin cytoskeleton, the effects of NGF on microtubule debundling were not affected by inhibition of protein synthesis. Collectively, these data indicate that NGF promotes localized axonal microtubule debundling, that actomyosin forces antagonize microtubule debundling and that NGF regulates pMAP1B in axonal filopodia during the early stages of collateral branch formation. PMID:25846486

  16. Enhanced axon outgrowth and improved long-distance axon regeneration in sprouty2 deficient mice.

    PubMed

    Marvaldi, Letizia; Thongrong, Sitthisak; Kozłowska, Anna; Irschick, Regina; Pritz, Christian O; Bäumer, Bastian; Ronchi, Giulia; Geuna, Stefano; Hausott, Barbara; Klimaschewski, Lars

    2015-03-01

    Sprouty (Spry) proteins are negative feedback inhibitors of receptor tyrosine kinase signaling. Downregulation of Spry2 has been demonstrated to promote elongative axon growth of cultured peripheral and central neurons. Here, we analyzed Spry2 global knockout mice with respect to axon outgrowth in vitro and peripheral axon regeneration in vivo. Neurons dissociated from adult Spry2 deficient sensory ganglia revealed stronger extracellular signal-regulated kinase activation and enhanced axon outgrowth. Prominent axon elongation was observed in heterozygous Spry2(+/-) neuron cultures, whereas homozygous Spry2(-/-) neurons predominantly exhibited a branching phenotype. Following sciatic nerve crush, Spry2(+/-) mice recovered faster in motor but not sensory testing paradigms (Spry2(-/-) mice did not tolerate anesthesia required for nerve surgery). We attribute the improvement in the rotarod test to higher numbers of myelinated fibers in the regenerating sciatic nerve, higher densities of motor endplates in hind limb muscles and increased levels of GAP-43 mRNA, a downstream target of extracellular regulated kinase signaling. Conversely, homozygous Spry2(-/-) mice revealed enhanced mechanosensory function (von Frey's test) that was accompanied by an increased innervation of the epidermis, elevated numbers of nonmyelinated axons and more IB4-positive neurons in dorsal root ganglia. The present results corroborate the functional significance of receptor tyrosine kinase signaling inhibitors for axon outgrowth during development and nerve regeneration and propose Spry2 as a novel potential target for pharmacological inhibition to accelerate long-distance axon regeneration in injured peripheral nerves.

  17. Astrocyte scar formation aids CNS axon regeneration

    PubMed Central

    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.

    2017-01-01

    Summary Transected axons fail to regrow in the mature central nervous system (CNS). Astrocyte 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 deleting chronic astrocyte scars all failed to result in spontaneous regrowth of transected corticospinal, sensory or serotonergic axons through severe spinal cord injury (SCI) lesions. In striking 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 astrocyte 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 prevailing dogma, astrocyte scar formation aids rather than prevents CNS axon regeneration. PMID:27027288

  18. Notch Signaling Inhibits Axon Regeneration

    PubMed Central

    Bejjani, Rachid El; Hammarlund, Marc

    2013-01-01

    Summary Many neurons have limited capacity to regenerate their axons after injury. Neurons in the mammalian CNS do not regenerate, and even neurons in the PNS often fail to regenerate to their former targets. This failure is likely due in part to pathways that actively restrict regeneration; however, only a few factors that limit regeneration are known. Here, using single-neuron analysis of regeneration in vivo, we show that Notch/lin-12 signaling inhibits the regeneration of mature C. elegans neurons. Notch signaling suppresses regeneration by acting autonomously in the injured cell to prevent growth cone formation. The metalloprotease and gamma-secretase cleavage events that lead to Notch activation during development are also required for its activity in regeneration. Furthermore, blocking Notch activation immediately after injury improves regeneration. Our results define a novel, post-developmental role for the Notch pathway as a repressor of axon regeneration in vivo. PMID:22284182

  19. 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

  20. Astrocytes Block Axonal Regeneration in Mammals by Activating the Physiological Stop Pathway

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liuzzi, Francis J.; Lasek, Raymond J.

    1987-08-01

    Regenerating sensory axons in the dorsal roots of adult mammals are stopped at the junction between the root and spinal cord by reactive astrocytes. Do these cells stop axonal elongation by activating the physiological mechanisms that normally operate to stop axons during development, or do they physically obstruct the elongating axons? In order to distinguish these possibilities, the cytology of the axon tips of regenerating axons that were stopped by astrocytes was compared with the axon tips that were physically obstructed at a cul-de-sac produced by ligating a peripheral nerve. The terminals of the physically obstructed axon tips were distended with neurofilaments and other axonally transported structures that had accumulated when the axons stopped elongating. By contrast, neurofilaments did not accumulate in the tips of regenerating axons that were stopped by spinal cord astrocytes at the dorsal root transitional zone. These axo-glial terminals resembled the terminals that axons make on target neurons during normal development. On the basis of these observations, astrocytes appear to stop axons from regenerating in the mammalian spinal cord by activating the physiological stop pathway that is built into the axon and that normally operates when axons form stable terminals on target cells.

  1. Alterations of EHD1/EHD4 protein levels interfere with L1/NgCAM endocytosis in neurons and disrupt axonal targeting

    PubMed Central

    Yap, C. C.; Lasiecka, Z. M.; Caplan, S.; Winckler, B.

    2010-01-01

    Axon growth is regulated by many proteins, including adhesion molecules, which need to be trafficked correctly to axons. The adhesion molecule L1/NgCAM travels to axons via an endocytosis-dependent pathway (transcytosis), traversing somatodendritic endosomes. The EHD family proteins (EHD1–4) play important roles in endosomal recycling and possibly in endocytosis. We investigated if EHD1 regulates L1/NgCAM trafficking in neurons. Both short hairpin-mediated downregulation and overexpression of EHD1 led to dendritic mistargeting of NgCAM. Downregulation of EHD1 showed increased endosomal accumulation of NgCAM whereas, surprisingly, overexpression of EHD1 led to impairment of L1/NgCAM internalization in neurons, but not in fibroblasts. Transferrin internalization, though, was unaffected. At longer overexpression times of EHD1, NgCAM endocytosis returned to normal, suggesting rapid up-regulation of compensatory endocytic pathways. EHD1 is capable of hetero-oligomerization, and an endogenous complex of EHD1 and EHD4 was identified previously. We therefore tested if short-term overexpression of other EHD family members showed a similar endocytosis defect. Expression of EHD4, but not of EHD3, also caused a defect in L1/NgCAM endocytosis. Oligomerization of EHD1 was required to cause NgCAM endocytosis defects and, simultaneous expression of EHD1 and EHD4 rescued NgCAM endocytosis. Therefore, balanced levels of EHD1 to EHD4 are important for NgCAM endocytosis in neurons. Our data suggest that EHD1 plays roles both in endosomal recycling and in a specialized endocytosis pathway in neurons used by NgCAM. We propose that EHD1 and EHD4 act as hetero-oligomeric complexes in this pathway. PMID:20463227

  2. 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.

  3. Enhanced β-secretase processing alters APP axonal transport and leads to axonal defects

    PubMed Central

    Rodrigues, Elizabeth M.; Weissmiller, April M.; Goldstein, Lawrence S.B.

    2012-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disease pathologically characterized by amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in the brain. Before these hallmark features appear, signs of axonal transport defects develop, though the initiating events are not clear. Enhanced amyloidogenic processing of amyloid precursor protein (APP) plays an integral role in AD pathogenesis, and previous work suggests that both the Aβ region and the C-terminal fragments (CTFs) of APP can cause transport defects. However, it remains unknown if APP processing affects the axonal transport of APP itself, and whether increased APP processing is sufficient to promote axonal dystrophy. We tested the hypothesis that β-secretase cleavage site mutations of APP alter APP axonal transport directly. We found that the enhanced β-secretase cleavage reduces the anterograde axonal transport of APP, while inhibited β-cleavage stimulates APP anterograde axonal transport. Transport behavior of APP after treatment with β- or γ-secretase inhibitors suggests that the amount of β-secretase cleaved CTFs (βCTFs) of APP underlies these transport differences. Consistent with these findings, βCTFs have reduced anterograde axonal transport compared with full-length, wild-type APP. Finally, a gene-targeted mouse with familial AD (FAD) Swedish mutations to APP, which enhance the β-cleavage of APP, develops axonal dystrophy in the absence of mutant protein overexpression, amyloid plaque deposition and synaptic degradation. These results suggest that the enhanced β-secretase processing of APP can directly impair the anterograde axonal transport of APP and are sufficient to lead to axonal defects in vivo. PMID:22843498

  4. cJun promotes CNS axon growth

    PubMed Central

    Lerch, Jessica K; Martinez, Yania; Bixby, John L; Lemmon, Vance P

    2014-01-01

    A number of genes regulate regeneration of peripheral axons, but their ability to drive axon growth and regeneration in the central nervous system (CNS) remains largely untested. To address this question we overexpressed eight transcription factors and one small GTPase alone and in pairwise combinations to test whether combinatorial overexpression would have a synergistic impact on CNS neuron neurite growth. The Jun oncogene/signal transducer and activator of transcription 6 (JUN/STAT6) combination increased neurite growth in dissociated cortical neurons and in injured cortical slices. In injured cortical slices, JUN overexpression increased axon growth to a similar extent as JUN and STAT6 together. Interestingly, JUN overexpression was not associated with increased growth associated protein 43 (GAP43) or integrin alpha 7 (ITGA7) expression, though these are predicted transcriptional targets. This study demonstrates that JUN overexpression in cortical neurons stimulates axon growth, but does so independently of changes in expression of genes thought to be critical for JUN’s effects on axon growth. We conclude that JUN activity underlies this CNS axonal growth response, and that it is mechanistically distinct from peripheral regeneration responses, in which increases in JUN expression coincide with increases in GAP43 expression. PMID:24521823

  5. Regulation of Conduction Time along Axons

    PubMed Central

    Seidl, Armin H.

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:23820043

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Local Translation of Extranuclear Lamin B Promotes Axon Maintenance

    PubMed Central

    Yoon, Byung C.; Jung, Hosung; Dwivedy, Asha; O'Hare, Catherine M.; Zivraj, Krishna H.; Holt, Christine E.

    2012-01-01

    Summary Local protein synthesis plays a key role in regulating stimulus-induced responses in dendrites and axons. Recent genome-wide studies have revealed that thousands of different transcripts reside in these distal neuronal compartments, but identifying those with functionally significant roles presents a challenge. We performed an unbiased screen to look for stimulus-induced, protein synthesis-dependent changes in the proteome ofXenopus retinal ganglion cell (RGC) axons. The intermediate filament protein lamin B2 (LB2), normally associated with the nuclear membrane, was identified as an unexpected major target. Axonal ribosome immunoprecipitation confirmed translation of lb2 mRNA in vivo. Inhibition of lb2 mRNA translation in axons in vivo does not affect guidance but causes axonal degeneration. Axonal LB2 associates with mitochondria, and LB2-deficient axons exhibit mitochondrial dysfunction and defects in axonal transport. Our results thus suggest that axonally synthesized lamin B plays a crucial role in axon maintenance by promoting mitochondrial function. PMID:22341447

  9. Biology of peripheral inherited neuropathies: Schwann cell axonal interactions.

    PubMed

    Shy, Michael E

    2009-01-01

    Development and maintenance of PNS myelin depends on continual signaling from axons ensheathed by myelin. Recent advances have demonstrated the roles of neuregulin 1 type III, Erb2/3 and intracellular signal transduction pathways in inducing Schwann cell myelination. Alternatively, maintenance of myelinated axons depends on healthy myelinating Schwann cells. Axonal degeneration is a feature of virtually all inherited demyelinating neuropathies and in many cases is more responsible for clinical impairment than the primary demyelination. Signaling mechanisms through which demyelinating Schwann cells damage axons are not well understood. In this review several examples of potential mechanisms by which demyelinating neuropathies damage axons will be presented. Understanding the molecular basis of Schwann cell-axonal interactions will not only increase the understanding of PNS biology but also identify therapeutic targets for inherited neuropathies.

  10. 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.

  11. Axon guidance in the vertebrate central nervous system.

    PubMed

    Lumsden, A; Cohen, J

    1991-08-01

    The development of connections in the central nervous system depends on the ability of the tips of growing axons to find their appropriate, often distant, target field. Factors that regulate axon outgrowth may be distinct from those that influence direction finding. Tissue culture methods have helped to distinguish between possible in vivo mechanisms and, in some cases, have identified candidate molecules.

  12. Axonal Degeneration Is Mediated by the Mitochondrial Permeability Transition Pore

    PubMed Central

    Barrientos, Sebastian A.; Martinez, Nicolas W.; Yoo, Soonmoon; Jara, Juan S.; Zamorano, Sebastian; Hetz, Claudio; Twiss, Jeffery L.; Alvarez, Jaime; Court, Felipe A.

    2011-01-01

    Axonal degeneration is an active process that has been associated with neurodegenerative conditions triggered by mechanical, metabolic, infectious, toxic, hereditary and inflammatory stimuli. This degenerative process can cause permanent loss of function, so it represents a focus for neuroprotective strategies. Several signaling pathways are implicated in axonal degeneration, but identification of an integrative mechanism for this self-destructive process has remained elusive. Here, we show that rapid axonal degeneration triggered by distinct mechanical and toxic insults is dependent on the activation of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP). Both pharmacological and genetic targeting of cyclophilin D, a functional component of the mPTP, protects severed axons and vincristine-treated neurons from axonal degeneration in ex vivo and in vitro mouse and rat model systems. These effects were observed in axons from both the peripheral and central nervous system. Our results suggest that the mPTP is a key effector of axonal degeneration, upon which several independent signaling pathways converge. Since axonal and synapse degeneration are increasingly considered early pathological events in neurodegeneration, our work identifies a potential target for therapeutic intervention in a wide variety of conditions that lead to loss of axons and subsequent functional impairment. PMID:21248121

  13. Schwann cell-derived exosomes enhance axonal regeneration in the peripheral nervous system.

    PubMed

    Lopez-Verrilli, María Alejandra; Picou, Frederic; Court, Felipe A

    2013-11-01

    Axonal regeneration in the peripheral nervous system is greatly supported by Schwann cells (SCs). After nerve injury, SCs dedifferentiate to a progenitor-like state and efficiently guide axons to their original target tissues. Contact and soluble factors participate in the crosstalk between SCs and axons during axonal regeneration. Here we show that dedifferentiated SCs secrete nano-vesicles known as exosomes which are specifically internalized by axons. Surprisingly, SC-derived exosomes markedly increase axonal regeneration in vitro and enhance regeneration after sciatic nerve injury in vivo. Exosomes shift the growth cone morphology to a pro-regenerating phenotype and decrease the activity of the GTPase RhoA, involved in growth cone collapse and axon retraction. Altogether, our work identifies a novel mechanism by which SCs communicate with neighboring axons during regenerative processes. We propose that SC exosomes represent an important mechanism by which these cells locally support axonal maintenance and regeneration after nerve damage.

  14. Intracellular calcium release through IP3R or RyR contributes to secondary axonal degeneration.

    PubMed

    Orem, Ben C; Pelisch, Nicolas; Williams, Joshua; Nally, Jacqueline M; Stirling, David P

    2017-10-01

    Severed CNS axons often retract or dieback away from the injury site and fail to regenerate. The precise mechanisms underlying acute axonal dieback and secondary axonal degeneration remain poorly understood. Here we investigate the role of Ca(2+) store mediated intra-axonal Ca(2+) release in acute axonal dieback and secondary axonal degeneration. To differentiate between primary (directly transected) and "bystander" axonal injury (axons spared by the initial injury but then succumb to secondary degeneration) in real-time we use our previously published highly focal laser-induced spinal cord injury (LiSCI) ex vivo model. Ascending spinal cord dorsal column axons that express YFP were severed using an 800 nm laser pulse while being imaged continuously using two-photon excitation microscopy. We inhibited two major intra-axonal Ca(2+) store channels, ryanodine receptors (RyR) and IP3R, with ryanodine or 2-APB, respectively, to individually determine their role in axonal dieback and secondary axonal degeneration. Each antagonist was dissolved in artificial CSF and applied 1h post-injury alone or in combination, and continuously perfused for the remainder of the imaging session. Initially following LiSCI, transected axons retracted equal distances both distal and proximal to the lesion. However, by 4h after injury, the distal axonal segments that are destined for Wallerian degeneration had significantly retracted further than their proximal counterparts. We also found that targeting either RyR or IP3R using pharmacological and genetic approaches significantly reduced proximal axonal dieback and "bystander" secondary degeneration of axons compared to vehicle controls at 6h post-injury. Combined treatment effects on secondary axonal degeneration were similar to either drug in isolation. Together, these results suggest that intra-axonal Ca(2+) store mediated Ca(2+) release through RyR or IP3R contributes to secondary axonal degeneration following SCI. Copyright © 2017

  15. Axon diameter relates to synaptic bouton size: structural properties define computationally different types of cortical connections in primates.

    PubMed

    Innocenti, Giorgio M; Caminiti, Roberto

    2017-04-01

    Neural connections are implemented by axons of different diameters, whose spectrum increases depending on species and areas. Axon diameter determines conduction velocity and is proportional to the size of the cell body of origin. We describe that in motor, callosal connections of the monkey thick axons distribute larger boutons than thin axons, suggesting that faster axons also release more neurotransmitter at their termination, probably activating more powerfully their targets.

  16. Mechanical Properties of Axons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bernal, Roberto; Pullarkat, Pramod A.; Melo, Francisco

    2007-07-01

    The mechanical response of PC12 neurites under tension is investigated using a microneedle technique. Elastic response, viscoelastic relaxation, and active contraction are observed. The mechanical model proposed by Dennerll et al. [J. Cell Biol. 109, 3073 (1989).JCLBA30021-952510.1083/jcb.109.6.3073], which involves three mechanical devices—a stiff spring κ coupled with a Voigt element that includes a less stiff spring k and a dashpot γ—has been improved by adding a new element to describe the main features of the contraction of axons. This element, which represents the action of molecular motors, acts in parallel with viscous forces defining a global tension response of axons T against elongation rates δ˙k. Under certain conditions, axons show a transition from a viscoelastic elongation to active contraction, suggesting the presence of a negative elongation rate sensitivity in the curve T vs δ˙k.

  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.

  18. White-matter astrocytes, axonal energy metabolism, and axonal degeneration in multiple sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Cambron, Melissa; D'Haeseleer, Miguel; Laureys, Guy; Clinckers, Ralph; Debruyne, Jan; De Keyser, Jacques

    2012-03-01

    In patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), a diffuse axonal degeneration occurring throughout the white matter of the central nervous system causes progressive neurologic disability. The underlying mechanism is unclear. This review describes a number of pathways by which dysfunctional astrocytes in MS might lead to axonal degeneration. White-matter astrocytes in MS show a reduced metabolism of adenosine triphosphate-generating phosphocreatine, which may impair the astrocytic sodium potassium pump and lead to a reduced sodium-dependent glutamate uptake. Astrocytes in MS white matter appear to be deficient in β(2) adrenergic receptors, which are involved in stimulating glycogenolysis and suppressing inducible nitric oxide synthase (NOS2). Glutamate toxicity, reduced astrocytic glycogenolysis leading to reduced lactate and glutamine production, and enhanced nitric oxide (NO) levels may all impair axonal mitochondrial metabolism, leading to axonal degeneration. In addition, glutamate-mediated oligodendrocyte damage and impaired myelination caused by a decreased production of N-acetylaspartate by axonal mitochondria might also contribute to axonal loss. White-matter astrocytes may be considered as a potential target for neuroprotective MS therapies.

  19. Cortical region-specific engraftment of embryonic stem cell-derived neural progenitor cells restores axonal sprouting to a subcortical target and achieves motor functional recovery in a mouse model of neonatal hypoxic-ischemic brain injury.

    PubMed

    Shinoyama, Mizuya; Ideguchi, Makoto; Kida, Hiroyuki; Kajiwara, Koji; Kagawa, Yoshiteru; Maeda, Yoshihiko; Nomura, Sadahiro; Suzuki, Michiyasu

    2013-01-01

    Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) at birth could cause cerebral palsy (CP), mental retardation, and epilepsy, which last throughout the individual's lifetime. However, few restorative treatments for ischemic tissue are currently available. Cell replacement therapy offers the potential to rescue brain damage caused by HI and to restore motor function. In the present study, we evaluated the ability of embryonic stem cell-derived neural progenitor cells (ES-NPCs) to become cortical deep layer neurons, to restore the neural network, and to repair brain damage in an HIE mouse model. ES cells stably expressing the reporter gene GFP are induced to a neural precursor state by stromal cell co-culture. Forty-hours after the induction of HIE, animals were grafted with ES-NPCs targeting the deep layer of the motor cortex in the ischemic brain. Motor function was evaluated 3 weeks after transplantation. Immunohistochemistry and neuroanatomical tracing with GFP were used to analyze neuronal differentiation and axonal sprouting. ES-NPCs could differentiate to cortical neurons with pyramidal morphology and expressed the deep layer-specific marker, Ctip2. The graft showed good survival and an appropriate innervation pattern via axonal sprouting from engrafted cells in the ischemic brain. The motor functions of the transplanted HIE mice also improved significantly compared to the sham-transplanted group. These findings suggest that cortical region specific engraftment of preconditioned cortical precursor cells could support motor functional recovery in the HIE model. It is not clear whether this is a direct effect of the engrafted cells or due to neurotrophic factors produced by these cells. These results suggest that cortical region-specific NPC engraftment is a promising therapeutic approach for brain repair.

  20. [The evidence for primary axonal loss in multiple sclerosis].

    PubMed

    Anthony, D C; Hughes, P; Perry, V H

    At what stage in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis (MS) does the damage to axons occur, and why should there be any axon loss at all in what is thought to be principally an axon sparing demyelinating disease? A recently described new technique for investigating axon damage depends for its ability on the immunoreactivity of amiloid precursor protein (APP), which has been shown to be more sensitive than silver stains for detecting damaged axons. We used APP immunoreactivity as a method to investigate whether axon damage occurs in acute MS lesions. The results of our APP staining showed that the expression of APP in MS lesions is associated with acute MS lesions and the active border of less acute lesions. There was little, if any, APP expression in the chronic lesions. If we accept that the APP staining represents irreversible damage to some axons, the next question is what factors are responsible for mediating damage to axons in MS? Matrix metalloproteinases (MMP) are expressed by macrophages in acute MS lesions and in the active borders of active chronic lesions. The injection of highly-purified MMP into the brain results in demyelination, blood-brain barrier breakdown, and axonal loss. Moreover, the inhibition of the MMP activity reduces the severity of MS-like lesions in experimental models. Thus the properties and distribution of these enzymes make them rational targets for therapeutic intervention. Whatever mechanism proves to be responsible for axonal damage in MS, it is clear that this disease should, perhaps, be more appropriately recognized as a primary demyelinating entity with associated primary axonal loss.

  1. 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.

  2. Clinical progression in Parkinson disease and the neurobiology of axons.

    PubMed

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

    2010-06-01

    Despite tremendous growth in recent years in our knowledge of the molecular basis of Parkinson disease (PD) and the molecular pathways of cell injury and death, we remain without therapies that forestall disease progression. Although 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 ongoing degeneration of axons, not cell bodies, 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.

  3. Depression of fast axonal transport in axons demyelinated by intraneural injection of a neurotoxin from K. humboldtiana.

    PubMed

    Muñoz-Martínez, E J; Cuéllar-Pedroza, L H; Rubio-Franchini, C; Jáuregui-Rincón, J; Joseph-Nathan, P

    1994-11-01

    Tullidinol, a neurotoxin extracted from the Karwinskia humboldtiana fruit, dissolved in peanut oil was injected into the right sciatic nerve of adult cats. The contralateral sciatic nerve received an equivalent volume of peanut oil alone. The fast axonal transport of labeled ([3H]Leucine) protein was studied in sensory and motor axons of both sciatic nerves. The radioactive label was pressure injected either into the L7 dorsal root ganglion or the ventral region of the same spinal cord segment. Several days after the toxin injection, the cat limped and the Achilles tendon reflex was nearly absent in the right hind limb. The amount of transported label was decreased distal to the site of toxin injection. Proximal to this site, the transported material was damned. Sensory and motor axons showed similar changes. In addition, the toxin produced demyelination and axonal degeneration. Axonal transport and the structure of the axons were normal in the contralateral nerve. Both, Schwann cells and axons of the right sciatic nerve showed globular inclusions, presumably oil droplets containing the toxin. We conclude that Schwann cells and axons as well are tullidinol targets.

  4. Dock and Pak regulate olfactory axon pathfinding in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Ang, Lay-Hong; Kim, Jenny; Stepensky, Vitaly; Hing, Huey

    2003-04-01

    The convergence of olfactory axons expressing particular odorant receptor (Or) genes on spatially invariant glomeruli in the brain is one of the most dramatic examples of precise axon targeting in developmental neurobiology. The cellular and molecular mechanisms by which olfactory axons pathfind to their targets are poorly understood. We report here that the SH2/SH3 adapter Dock and the serine/threonine kinase Pak are necessary for the precise guidance of olfactory axons. Using antibody localization, mosaic analyses and cell-type specific rescue, we observed that Dock and Pak are expressed in olfactory axons and function autonomously in olfactory neurons to regulate the precise wiring of the olfactory map. Detailed analyses of the mutant phenotypes in whole mutants and in small multicellular clones indicate that Dock and Pak do not control olfactory neuron (ON) differentiation, but specifically regulate multiple aspects of axon trajectories to guide them to their cognate glomeruli. Structure/function studies show that Dock and Pak form a signaling pathway that mediates the response of olfactory axons to guidance cues in the developing antennal lobe (AL). Our findings therefore identify a central signaling module that is used by ONs to project to their cognate glomeruli.

  5. 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.

  6. Local axonal protection by WldS as revealed by conditional regulation of protein stability

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Jack T.; Medress, Zachary A.; Vargas, Mauricio E.; Barres, Ben A.

    2015-01-01

    The expression of the mutant Wallerian degeneration slow (WldS) protein significantly delays axonal degeneration from various nerve injuries and in multiple species; however, the mechanism for its axonal protective property remains unclear. Although WldS is localized predominantly in the nucleus, it also is present in a smaller axonal pool, leading to conflicting models to account for the WldS fraction necessary for axonal protection. To identify where WldS activity is required to delay axonal degeneration, we adopted a method to alter the temporal expression of WldS protein in neurons by chemically regulating its protein stability. We demonstrate that continuous WldS activity in the axonal compartment is both necessary and sufficient to delay axonal degeneration. Furthermore, by specifically increasing axonal WldS expression postaxotomy, we reveal a critical period of 4–5 h postinjury during which the course of Wallerian axonal degeneration can be halted. Finally, we show that NAD+, the metabolite of WldS/nicotinamide mononucleotide adenylyltransferase enzymatic activity, is sufficient and specific to confer WldS-like axon protection and is a likely molecular mediator of WldS axon protection. The results delineate a therapeutic window in which the course of Wallerian degeneration can be delayed even after injures have occurred and help narrow the molecular targets of WldS activity to events within the axonal compartment. PMID:26209654

  7. Minimizing the caliber of myelinated axons by means of nodal constrictions

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, Christopher; Holmes, William R.; Brown, Anthony

    2015-01-01

    In myelinated axons, most of the voltage-gated ion channels are concentrated at the nodes of Ranvier, which are short gaps in the myelin sheath. This arrangement leads to saltatory conduction and a larger conduction velocity than in nonmyelinated axons. Intriguingly, axons in the peripheral nervous system that exceed about 2 μm in diameter exhibit a characteristic narrowing of the axon at nodes that results in a local reduction of the axonal cross-sectional area. The extent of constriction increases with increasing internodal axonal caliber, reaching a threefold reduction in diameter for the largest axons. In this paper, we use computational modeling to investigate the effect of nodal constrictions on axonal conduction velocity. For a fixed number of ion channels, we find that there is an optimal extent of nodal constriction which minimizes the internodal axon caliber that is required to achieve a given target conduction velocity, and we show that this is sensitive to the precise geometry of the axon and myelin sheath in the flanking paranodal regions. Thus axonal constrictions at nodes of Ranvier appear to be a biological adaptation to minimize axonal volume, thereby maximizing the spatial and metabolic efficiency of these processes, which can be a significant evolutionary constraint. We show that the optimal nodal morphologies are relatively insensitive to changes in the number of nodal sodium channels. PMID:26224772

  8. Fiber tractography of the axonal pathways linking the basal ganglia and cerebellum in Parkinson disease: implications for targeting in deep brain stimulation

    PubMed Central

    Sweet, Jennifer A.; Walter, Benjamin L.; Gunalan, Kabilar; Chaturvedi, Ashutosh; Mcintyre, Cameron C.; Miller, Jonathan P.

    2015-01-01

    Object Stimulation of white matter pathways near targeted structures may contribute to therapeutic effects of deep brain stimulation (DBS) for patients with Parkinson disease (PD). Two tracts linking the basal ganglia and cerebellum have been described in primates: the subthalamopontocerebellar tract (SPCT) and the dentatothalamic tract (DTT). The authors used fiber tractography to evaluate white matter tracts that connect the cerebellum to the region of the basal ganglia in patients with PD who were candidates for DBS. Methods Fourteen patients with advanced PD underwent 3-T MRI, including 30-directional diffusion-weighted imaging sequences. Diffusion tensor tractography was performed using 2 regions of interest: ipsilateral subthalamic and red nuclei, and contralateral cerebellar hemisphere. Nine patients underwent subthalamic DBS, and the course of each tract was observed relative to the location of the most effective stimulation contact and the volume of tissue activated. Results In all patients 2 distinct tracts were identified that corresponded closely to the described anatomical features of the SPCT and DTT, respectively. The mean overall distance from the active contact to the DTT was 2.18 ± 0.35 mm, and the mean proportional distance relative to the volume of tissue activated was 1.35 ± 0.48. There was a nonsignificant trend toward better postoperative tremor control in patients with electrodes closer to the DTT. Conclusions The SPCT and the DTT may be related to the expression of symptoms in PD, and this may have implications for DBS targeting. The use of tractography to identify the DTT might assist with DBS targeting in the future. PMID:24484226

  9. 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.

  10. Genetic study of axon regeneration with cultured adult dorsal root ganglion neurons.

    PubMed

    Saijilafu; Zhou, Feng-Quan

    2012-08-17

    It is well known that mature neurons in the central nervous system (CNS) cannot regenerate their axons after injuries due to diminished intrinsic ability to support axon growth and a hostile environment in the mature CNS(1,2). In contrast, mature neurons in the peripheral nervous system (PNS) regenerate readily after injuries(3). Adult dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons are well known to regenerate robustly after peripheral nerve injuries. Each DRG neuron grows one axon from the cell soma, which branches into two axonal branches: a peripheral branch innervating peripheral targets and a central branch extending into the spinal cord. Injury of the DRG peripheral axons results in substantial axon regeneration, whereas central axons in the spinal cord regenerate poorly after the injury. However, if the peripheral axonal injury occurs prior to the spinal cord injury (a process called the conditioning lesion), regeneration of central axons is greatly improved(4). Moreover, the central axons of DRG neurons share the same hostile environment as descending corticospinal axons in the spinal cord. Together, it is hypothesized that the molecular mechanisms controlling axon regeneration of adult DRG neurons can be harnessed to enhance CNS axon regeneration. As a result, adult DRG neurons are now widely used as a model system to study regenerative axon growth(5-7). Here we describe a method of adult DRG neuron culture that can be used for genetic study of axon regeneration in vitro. In this model adult DRG neurons are genetically manipulated via electroporation-mediated gene transfection(6,8). By transfecting neurons with DNA plasmid or si/shRNA, this approach enables both gain- and loss-of-function experiments to investigate the role of any gene-of-interest in axon growth from adult DRG neurons. When neurons are transfected with si/shRNA, the targeted endogenous protein is usually depleted after 3-4 days in culture, during which time robust axon growth has already occurred

  11. Changes in prefrontal axons may disrupt the network in autism

    PubMed Central

    Zikopoulos, Basilis; Barbas, Helen

    2010-01-01

    Neural communication is disrupted in autism by unknown mechanisms. Here we examined whether in autism there are changes in axons, which are the conduit for neural communication. We investigated single axons and their ultrastructure in the white matter of post-mortem human brain tissue below the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), orbitofrontal (OFC), and lateral (LPFC) prefrontal cortices, which are associated with attention, social interactions, and emotions and have been consistently implicated in the pathology of autism. Area-specific changes below ACC (area 32) included a decrease in the largest axons that communicate over long distances. In addition, below ACC there was over-expression of the Growth Associated Protein 43 accompanied by excessive number of thin axons that link neighboring areas. In OFC (area 11) axons had decreased myelin thickness. Axon features below LPFC (area 46) appeared to be unaffected, but the altered white matter composition below ACC and OFC changed the relationship between all prefrontal areas examined, and could indirectly affect LPFC function. These findings provide a mechanism for disconnection of long distance pathways, excessive connections between neighboring areas, and inefficiency in pathways for emotions, and may help explain why individuals with autism do not adequately shift attention, engage in repetitive behavior, and avoid social interactions. These changes below specific prefrontal areas appear to be linked through a cascade of developmental events affecting axon growth and guidance, and suggest targeting the associated signaling pathways for therapeutic interventions in autism. PMID:21048117

  12. The histone acetyltransferase p300 promotes intrinsic axonal regeneration.

    PubMed

    Gaub, Perrine; Joshi, Yashashree; Wuttke, Anja; Naumann, Ulrike; Schnichels, Sven; Heiduschka, Peter; Di Giovanni, Simone

    2011-07-01

    Axonal regeneration and related functional recovery following axonal injury in the adult central nervous system are extremely limited, due to a lack of neuronal intrinsic competence and the presence of extrinsic inhibitory signals. As opposed to what occurs during nervous system development, a weak proregenerative gene expression programme contributes to the limited intrinsic capacity of adult injured central nervous system axons to regenerate. Here we show, in an optic nerve crush model of axonal injury, that adenoviral (cytomegalovirus promoter) overexpression of the acetyltransferase p300, which is regulated during retinal ganglion cell maturation and repressed in the adult, can promote axonal regeneration of the optic nerve beyond 0.5 mm. p300 acetylates histone H3 and the proregenerative transcription factors p53 and CCAAT-enhancer binding proteins in retinal ganglia cells. In addition, it directly occupies and acetylates the promoters of the growth-associated protein-43, coronin 1 b and Sprr1a and drives the gene expression programme of several regeneration-associated genes. On the contrary, overall increase in cellular acetylation using the histone deacetylase inhibitor trichostatin A, enhances retinal ganglion cell survival but not axonal regeneration after optic nerve crush. Therefore, p300 targets both the epigenome and transcription to unlock a post-injury silent gene expression programme that would support axonal regeneration.

  13. Imp promotes axonal remodeling by regulating profilin mRNA during brain development.

    PubMed

    Medioni, Caroline; Ramialison, Mirana; Ephrussi, Anne; Besse, Florence

    2014-03-31

    Neuronal remodeling is essential for the refinement of neuronal circuits in response to developmental cues [1-4]. Although this process involves pruning or retraction of axonal projections followed by axonal regrowth and branching, how these steps are controlled is poorly understood. Drosophila mushroom body (MB) γ neurons provide a paradigm for the study of neuronal remodeling, as their larval axonal branches are pruned during metamorphosis and re-extend to form adult-specific branches [5]. Here, we identify the RNA binding protein Imp as a key regulator of axonal remodeling. Imp is the sole fly member of a conserved family of proteins that bind target mRNAs to promote their subcellular targeting [6-12]. We show that whereas Imp is dispensable for the initial growth of MB γ neuron axons, it is required for the regrowth and ramification of axonal branches that have undergone pruning. Furthermore, Imp is actively transported to axons undergoing developmental remodeling. Finally, we demonstrate that profilin mRNA is a direct and functional target of Imp that localizes to axons and controls axonal regrowth. Our study reveals that mRNA localization machineries are actively recruited to axons upon remodeling and suggests a role of mRNA transport in developmentally programmed rewiring of neuronal circuits during brain maturation. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Axonal pruning is actively regulated by the microtubule-destabilizing protein kinesin superfamily protein 2A.

    PubMed

    Maor-Nof, Maya; Homma, Noriko; Raanan, Calanit; Nof, Aviv; Hirokawa, Nobutaka; Yaron, Avraham

    2013-04-25

    Extensive axonal pruning and neuronal cell death are critical events for the development of the nervous system. Like neuronal cell death, axonal elimination occurs in discrete steps; however, the regulators of these processes remain mostly elusive. Here, we identify the kinesin superfamily protein 2A (KIF2A) as a key executor of microtubule disassembly and axonal breakdown during axonal pruning. Knockdown of Kif2a, but not other microtubule depolymerization or severing proteins, protects axonal microtubules from disassembly upon trophic deprivation. We further confirmed and extended this result to demonstrate that the entire degeneration process is delayed in neurons from the Kif2a knockout mice. Finally, we show that the Kif2a-null mice exhibit normal sensory axon patterning early during development, but abnormal target hyperinnervation later on, as they compete for limited skin-derived trophic support. Overall, these findings reveal a central regulatory mechanism of axonal pruning during development.

  15. Limits to the capacity of transplants of olfactory glia to promote axonal regrowth in the CNS.

    PubMed

    Gudiño-Cabrera, G; Pastor, A M; de la Cruz, R R; Delgado-García, J M; Nieto-Sampedro, M

    2000-02-28

    Olfactory bulb ensheathing cell (OBEC) transplants promoted axonal regeneration in the spinal cord dorsal root entry zone and in the corticospinal tract. However, OBECs failed to promote abducens internuclear neuron axon regeneration when transplanted at the site of nerve fibre transection. In experiments performed in both cats and rats, OBECs survived for up to 2 months, lining themselves up along the portion of the regrowing axons proximal to the interneuron cell body. However, OBECs migrated preferentially towards abducens somata, in the direction opposite to the oculomotor nucleus target. OBECs seem to promote nerve fibre regeneration only where preferred direction of glial migration coincides with the direction of axonal growth towards its target.

  16. 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".

  17. Mechanisms of diabetic neuropathy: axon dysfunction.

    PubMed

    Sima, Anders A F; Zhang, Weixian

    2014-01-01

    Diabetic neuropathy is the most common complication of diabetes. It shows a progressive development with sensory loss, pain and autonomic dysfunction as common symptoms. Pathologically it is characterized by a series of interrelated metabolic abnormalities with insulin deficiency and hyperglycemia as the initiating culprits. The neuropathy accompanying type 2DM (insulin resistance) and type 1DM (insulin deficiency) appears to differ as to their structural changes; the former showing a milder axonal involvement and segmental myelin breakdown, whereas the latter shows a more severe axonal atrophy and axonal loss. Based mainly on animal data we will describe the sequential neuropathologic changes and differences in the two types of diabetes. These differences are related to differences in a myriad of underlying sequential metabolic abnormalities, which will be dealt with in detail. How metabolic defects affect nerve function will be elaborated upon. The disorder does not only involve somatic peripheral nerves but also autonomic and central nerve tracts. Today no successful therapy exists for diabetic neuropathy. During the last 30 years several experimental drugs targeting the polyol-pathway and oxidative stress have been tested, but with limited or no success. Instead therapies targeting the initiating and overriding pathogenetic abnormalities, such as insulin-deficiency and hyperglycemia need to be employed. One such agent is the insulinomimetic C-peptide which has demonstrated significant therapeutic and preventive effects in type 1 diabetic patients. Not surprisingly this has been particularly successful following early intervention. However diabetic neuropathy still remains a major medical problem affecting millions of patients.

  18. Epigenetic Regulation of Axon Regeneration after Neural Injury

    PubMed Central

    Shin, Jung Eun; Cho, Yongcheol

    2017-01-01

    When peripheral axons are damaged, neuronal injury signaling pathways induce transcriptional changes that support axon regeneration and consequent functional recovery. The recent development of bioinformatics techniques has allowed for the identification of many of the regeneration-associated genes that are regulated by neural injury, yet it remains unclear how global changes in transcriptome are coordinated. In this article, we review recent studies on the epigenetic mechanisms orchestrating changes in gene expression in response to nerve injury. We highlight the importance of epigenetic mechanisms in discriminating efficient axon regeneration in the peripheral nervous system and very limited axon regrowth in the central nervous system and discuss the therapeutic potential of targeting epigenetic regulators to improve neural recovery. PMID:28152303

  19. Syndecan promotes axon regeneration by stabilizing growth cone migration

    PubMed Central

    Edwards, Tyson J.; Hammarlund, Marc

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY Growth cones facilitate the repair of nervous system damage by providing the driving force for axon regeneration. Using single-neuron laser axotomy and in vivo time-lapse imaging, we show that syndecan, a heparan sulfate (HS) proteoglycan, is required for growth cone function during axon regeneration in C. elegans. In the absence of syndecan, regenerating growth cones form but are unstable and collapse, decreasing the effective growth rate and impeding regrowth to target cells. We provide evidence that syndecan has two distinct functions during axon regeneration: 1) a canonical function in axon guidance that requires expression outside the nervous system and depends on HS chains, and 2) a novel intrinsic function in growth cone stabilization that is mediated by the syndecan core protein, independently of HS. Thus, syndecan is a novel regulator of a critical choke point in nervous system repair. PMID:25001284

  20. Axon specification in hippocampal neurons.

    PubMed

    Fukata, Yuko; Kimura, Toshihide; Kaibuchi, Kozo

    2002-08-01

    Neurons are the most highly polarized cells, comprised of two structurally and functionally distinct parts, axons and dendrites. This asymmetry enables a vectorial flow of signaling within neurons. One of the most fundamental questions still to be answered in neuroscience is how these two specialized processes initially develop. The first manifestation of polarization occurs when one of the immature neurites acquires axonal characteristics. We review recent advances that have highlighted the involvement of several cellular events in the initial formation of the axon, including membrane traffic and cytoskeletal rearrangement. We then discuss the molecular mechanisms underlying axon formation, focusing on the Rho family small GTPases and an axon-inducing neuronal protein, CRMP-2.

  1. Sonic hedgehog regulates its own receptor on postcrossing commissural axons in a glypican1-dependent manner.

    PubMed

    Wilson, Nicole H; Stoeckli, Esther T

    2013-08-07

    Upon reaching their intermediate target, the floorplate, commissural axons acquire responsiveness to repulsive guidance cues, allowing the axons to exit the midline and adopt a contralateral, longitudinal trajectory. The molecular mechanisms that regulate this switch from attraction to repulsion remain poorly defined. Here, we show that the heparan sulfate proteoglycan Glypican1 (GPC1) is required as a coreceptor for the Shh-dependent induction of Hedgehog-interacting protein (Hhip) in commissural neurons. In turn, Hhip is required for postcrossing axons to respond to a repulsive anteroposterior Shh gradient. Thus, Shh is a cue with dual function. In precrossing axons it acts as an attractive guidance molecule in a transcription-independent manner. At the same time, Shh binds to GPC1 to induce the expression of its own receptor, Hhip, which mediates the repulsive response of postcrossing axons to Shh. Our study characterizes a molecular mechanism by which navigating axons switch their responsiveness at intermediate targets.

  2. CNS axons globally increase axonal transport after peripheral conditioning.

    PubMed

    Mar, Fernando M; Simões, Anabel R; Leite, Sérgio; Morgado, Marlene M; Santos, Telma E; Rodrigo, Inês S; Teixeira, Carla A; Misgeld, Thomas; Sousa, Mónica M

    2014-04-23

    Despite the inability of CNS axons to regenerate, an increased regenerative capacity can be elicited following conditioning lesion to the peripheral branch of dorsal root ganglia neurons (DRGs). By in vivo radiolabeling of rat DRGs, coupled to mass spectrometry and kinesin immunoprecipitation of spinal cord extracts, we determined that the anterograde transport of cytoskeleton components, metabolic enzymes and axonal regeneration enhancers, was increased in the central branch of DRGs following a peripheral conditioning lesion. Axonal transport of mitochondria was also increased in the central branch of Thy1-MitoCFP mice following a peripheral injury. This effect was generalized and included augmented transport of lysosomes and synaptophysin- and APP-carrying vesicles. Changes in axonal transport were only elicited by a peripheral lesion and not by spinal cord injury. In mice, elevated levels of motors and of polyglutamylated and tyrosinated tubulin were present following a peripheral lesion and can explain the increase in axonal transport induced by conditioning. In summary, our work shows that a peripheral injury induces a global increase in axonal transport that is not restricted to the peripheral branch, and that, by extending to the central branch, allows a rapid and sustained support of regenerating central axons.

  3. Axon density and axon orientation dispersion in children born preterm.

    PubMed

    Kelly, Claire E; Thompson, Deanne K; Chen, Jian; Leemans, Alexander; Adamson, Christopher L; Inder, Terrie E; Cheong, Jeanie L Y; Doyle, Lex W; Anderson, Peter J

    2016-09-01

    Very preterm birth (VPT, <32 weeks' gestation) is associated with altered white matter fractional anisotropy (FA), the biological basis of which is uncertain but may relate to changes in axon density and/or dispersion, which can be measured using Neurite Orientation Dispersion and Density Imaging (NODDI). This study aimed to compare whole brain white matter FA, axon dispersion, and axon density between VPT children and controls (born ≥37 weeks' gestation), and to investigate associations with perinatal factors and neurodevelopmental outcomes. FA, neurite dispersion, and neurite density were estimated from multishell diffusion magnetic resonance images for 145 VPT and 33 control 7-year-olds. Diffusion values were compared between groups and correlated with perinatal factors (gestational age, birthweight, and neonatal brain abnormalities) and neurodevelopmental outcomes (IQ, motor, academic, and behavioral outcomes) using Tract-Based Spatial Statistics. Compared with controls, VPT children had lower FA and higher axon dispersion within many major white matter fiber tracts. Neonatal brain abnormalities predicted lower FA and higher axon dispersion in many major tracts in VPT children. Lower FA, higher axon dispersion, and lower axon density in various tracts correlated with poorer neurodevelopmental outcomes in VPT children. FA and NODDI measures distinguished VPT children from controls and were associated with neonatal brain abnormalities and neurodevelopmental outcomes. This study provides a more detailed and biologically meaningful interpretation of white matter microstructure changes associated with prematurity. Hum Brain Mapp 37:3080-3102, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  4. ALS Along the Axons - Expression of Coding and Noncoding RNA Differs in Axons of ALS models.

    PubMed

    Rotem, Nimrod; Magen, Iddo; Ionescu, Ariel; Gershoni-Emek, Noga; Altman, Topaz; Costa, Christopher J; Gradus, Tal; Pasmanik-Chor, Metsada; Willis, Dianna E; Ben-Dov, Iddo Z; Hornstein, Eran; Perlson, Eran

    2017-03-16

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a multifactorial lethal motor neuron disease with no known treatment. Although the basic mechanism of its degenerative pathogenesis remains poorly understood, a subcellular spatial alteration in RNA metabolism is thought to play a key role. The nature of these RNAs remains elusive, and a comprehensive characterization of the axonal RNAs involved in maintaining neuronal health has yet to be described. Here, using cultured spinal cord (SC) neurons grown using a compartmented platform followed by next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology, we find that RNA expression differs between the somatic and axonal compartments of the neuron, for both mRNA and microRNA (miRNA). Further, the introduction of SOD1(G93A) and TDP43(A315T), established ALS-related mutations, changed the subcellular expression and localization of RNAs within the neurons, showing a spatial specificity to either the soma or the axon. Altogether, we provide here the first combined inclusive profile of mRNA and miRNA expression in two ALS models at the subcellular level. These data provide an important resource for studies on the roles of local protein synthesis and axon degeneration in ALS and can serve as a possible target pool for ALS treatment.

  5. Wnt5a Regulates Midbrain Dopaminergic Axon Growth and Guidance

    PubMed Central

    Blakely, Brette D.; Bye, Christopher R.; Fernando, Chathurini V.; Horne, Malcolm K.; Macheda, Maria L.; Stacker, Steven A.; Arenas, Ernest; Parish, Clare L.

    2011-01-01

    During development, precise temporal and spatial gradients are responsible for guiding axons to their appropriate targets. Within the developing ventral midbrain (VM) the cues that guide dopaminergic (DA) axons to their forebrain targets remain to be fully elucidated. Wnts are morphogens that have been identified as axon guidance molecules. Several Wnts are expressed in the VM where they regulate the birth of DA neurons. Here, we describe that a precise temporo-spatial expression of Wnt5a accompanies the development of nigrostriatal projections by VM DA neurons. In mice at E11.5, Wnt5a is expressed in the VM where it was found to promote DA neurite and axonal growth in VM primary cultures. By E14.5, when DA axons are approaching their striatal target, Wnt5a causes DA neurite retraction in primary cultures. Co-culture of VM explants with Wnt5a-overexpressing cell aggregates revealed that Wnt5a is capable of repelling DA neurites. Antagonism experiments revealed that the effects of Wnt5a are mediated by the Frizzled receptors and by the small GTPase, Rac1 (a component of the non-canonical Wnt planar cell polarity pathway). Moreover, the effects were specific as they could be blocked by Wnt5a antibody, sFRPs and RYK-Fc. The importance of Wnt5a in DA axon morphogenesis was further verified in Wnt5a−/− mice, where fasciculation of the medial forebrain bundle (MFB) as well as the density of DA neurites in the MFB and striatal terminals were disrupted. Thus, our results identify a novel role of Wnt5a in DA axon growth and guidance. PMID:21483795

  6. Topographically specific regeneration of sensory axons in the spinal cord.

    PubMed

    Harvey, Pamela; Gong, Bangjian; Rossomando, Anthony J; Frank, Eric

    2010-06-22

    Artemin, a member of the glial-derived neurotrophic factor family, promotes robust regeneration of sensory axons after dorsal root crush. We report here that several classes of sensory axons regenerate to topographically appropriate regions of the dorsal horn with artemin treatment. Projections of regenerated muscle and cutaneous myelinated sensory afferents are restricted to the correct spinal segments and to appropriate regions within spinal gray matter. Regenerated unmyelinated axons expressing calcitonin gene-related peptide project only to superficial laminae of the dorsal horn, where uninjured nociceptive afferents project normally. In contrast, intraventricular infusion of a soluble form of the Nogo receptor that blocks the action of several myelin-associated inhibitory proteins promotes relatively unrestricted regeneration of sensory axons throughout the dorsal white and gray matter of the spinal cord. These results demonstrate that cues capable of guiding regenerating axons to appropriate spinal targets persist in the adult mammalian cord, but only some methods of stimulating regeneration allow the use of these cues by growing axons.

  7. Axon Guidance Mechanisms for Establishment of Callosal Connections

    PubMed Central

    Nishikimi, Mitsuaki; Oishi, Koji; Nakajima, Kazunori

    2013-01-01

    Numerous studies have investigated the formation of interhemispheric connections which are involved in high-ordered functions of the cerebral cortex in eutherian animals, including humans. The development of callosal axons, which transfer and integrate information between the right/left hemispheres and represent the most prominent commissural system, must be strictly regulated. From the beginning of their growth, until reaching their targets in the contralateral cortex, the callosal axons are guided mainly by two environmental cues: (1) the midline structures and (2) neighboring? axons. Recent studies have shown the importance of axona guidance by such cues and the underlying molecular mechanisms. In this paper, we review these guidance mechanisms during the development of the callosal neurons. Midline populations express and secrete guidance molecules, and “pioneer” axons as well as interactions between the medial and lateral axons are also involved in the axon pathfinding of the callosal neurons. Finally, we describe callosal dysgenesis in humans and mice, that results from a disruption of these navigational mechanisms. PMID:23533817

  8. Axon guidance mechanisms for establishment of callosal connections.

    PubMed

    Nishikimi, Mitsuaki; Oishi, Koji; Nakajima, Kazunori

    2013-01-01

    Numerous studies have investigated the formation of interhemispheric connections which are involved in high-ordered functions of the cerebral cortex in eutherian animals, including humans. The development of callosal axons, which transfer and integrate information between the right/left hemispheres and represent the most prominent commissural system, must be strictly regulated. From the beginning of their growth, until reaching their targets in the contralateral cortex, the callosal axons are guided mainly by two environmental cues: (1) the midline structures and (2) neighboring? axons. Recent studies have shown the importance of axona guidance by such cues and the underlying molecular mechanisms. In this paper, we review these guidance mechanisms during the development of the callosal neurons. Midline populations express and secrete guidance molecules, and "pioneer" axons as well as interactions between the medial and lateral axons are also involved in the axon pathfinding of the callosal neurons. Finally, we describe callosal dysgenesis in humans and mice, that results from a disruption of these navigational mechanisms.

  9. DSCAM promotes axon fasciculation and growth in the developing optic pathway

    PubMed Central

    Bruce, Freyja M.; Brown, Samantha; Smith, Jonathan N.; Fuerst, Peter G.; Erskine, Lynda

    2017-01-01

    Although many aspects of optic pathway development are beginning to be understood, the mechanisms promoting the growth of retinal ganglion cell (RGC) axons toward visual targets remain largely unknown. Down syndrome cell adhesion molecule (Dscam) is expressed by mouse RGCs shortly after they differentiate at embryonic day 12 and is essential for multiple aspects of postnatal visual system development. Here we show that Dscam is also required during embryonic development for the fasciculation and growth of RGC axons. Dscam is expressed along the developing optic pathway in a pattern consistent with a role in regulating RGC axon outgrowth. In mice carrying spontaneous mutations in Dscam (Dscamdel17; Dscam2J), RGC axons pathfind normally, but growth from the chiasm toward their targets is impaired, resulting in a delay in RGC axons reaching the dorsal thalamus compared with that seen in wild-type littermates. Conversely, Dscam gain of function results in exuberant growth into the dorsal thalamus. The growth of ipsilaterally projecting axons is particularly affected. Axon organization in the optic chiasm and tract and RGC growth cone morphologies are also altered in Dscam mutants. In vitro DSCAM promotes RGC axon growth and fasciculation, and can act independently of cell contact. In vitro and in situ DSCAM is required both in the RGC axons and in their environment for the promotion of axon outgrowth, consistent with a homotypic mode of action. These findings identify DSCAM as a permissive signal that promotes the growth and fasciculation of RGC axons, controlling the timing of when RGC axons reach their targets. PMID:28137836

  10. Excitability and firing behavior of single slow motor axons transmitting natural repetitive firing of human motoneurons.

    PubMed

    Kudina, Lydia P; Andreeva, Regina E

    2017-08-01

    Excitability of motor axons is critically important for realizing their main function, i.e., transmitting motoneuron firing to muscle fibers. The present study was designed to explore excitability recovery and firing behavior in single slow axons transmitting human motoneuron firing during voluntary muscle contractions. The abductor digiti minimi, flexor carpi ulnaris, and tibialis anterior were investigated during threshold stimulation of corresponding motor nerves. Motor unit (MU) firing index in response to testing volleys evoking M-responses was used as a physiological measure of axonal excitability and its changes throughout a target interspike interval (ISI) were explored. It was shown that axons displayed an early irresponsive period (within the first ~2-5 ms of a target ISI) that was followed by a responsive period (for the next 5-17 ms of the ISI), in which MUs fired axonal doublets, and a later irresponsive period. At the beginning of the responsive period, M-responses showed small latency delays. However, since at that ISI moment, MUs displayed excitability recovery with high firing index, slight latency changes may be considered as a functionally insignificant phenomenon. The duration of axonal doublet ISIs did not depend on motoneuron firing frequencies (range 4.3-14.6 imp/s). The question of whether or not traditionally described axonal recovery excitability cycle is realistic in natural motor control is discussed. In conclusion, the present approach, exploring, for the first time, excitability recovery in single slow axons during motoneuron natural activation, can provide further insight into axonal firing behavior in normal states and diseases.NEW & NOTEWORTHY Excitability of single slow axons was estimated by motor unit firing index in response to motor nerve stimulation, and its changes throughout a target interspike interval were explored during transmitting human motoneuron natural firing. It was found that axons exhibited early irresponsive

  11. DSCAM promotes axon fasciculation and growth in the developing optic pathway.

    PubMed

    Bruce, Freyja M; Brown, Samantha; Smith, Jonathan N; Fuerst, Peter G; Erskine, Lynda

    2017-02-14

    Although many aspects of optic pathway development are beginning to be understood, the mechanisms promoting the growth of retinal ganglion cell (RGC) axons toward visual targets remain largely unknown. Down syndrome cell adhesion molecule (Dscam) is expressed by mouse RGCs shortly after they differentiate at embryonic day 12 and is essential for multiple aspects of postnatal visual system development. Here we show that Dscam is also required during embryonic development for the fasciculation and growth of RGC axons. Dscam is expressed along the developing optic pathway in a pattern consistent with a role in regulating RGC axon outgrowth. In mice carrying spontaneous mutations in Dscam (Dscam(del17) ; Dscam(2J)), RGC axons pathfind normally, but growth from the chiasm toward their targets is impaired, resulting in a delay in RGC axons reaching the dorsal thalamus compared with that seen in wild-type littermates. Conversely, Dscam gain of function results in exuberant growth into the dorsal thalamus. The growth of ipsilaterally projecting axons is particularly affected. Axon organization in the optic chiasm and tract and RGC growth cone morphologies are also altered in Dscam mutants. In vitro DSCAM promotes RGC axon growth and fasciculation, and can act independently of cell contact. In vitro and in situ DSCAM is required both in the RGC axons and in their environment for the promotion of axon outgrowth, consistent with a homotypic mode of action. These findings identify DSCAM as a permissive signal that promotes the growth and fasciculation of RGC axons, controlling the timing of when RGC axons reach their targets.

  12. 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

  13. Differential effects of NGF and NT-3 on embryonic trigeminal axon growth patterns.

    PubMed

    Ulupinar, E; Jacquin, M F; Erzurumlu, R S

    2000-09-18

    We examined the effects of neurotrophins nerve growth factor (NGF) and neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) on trigeminal axon growth patterns. Embryonic (E13-15) wholemount explants of the rat trigeminal pathway including the whisker pads, trigeminal ganglia, and brainstem were cultured in serum-free medium (SFM) or SFM supplemented with NGF or NT-3 for 3 days. Trigeminal axon growth patterns were analyzed with the use of lipophilic tracer DiI. In wholemount cultures grown in SFM, trigeminal axon projections, growth patterns, and differentiation of peripheral and central targets are similar to in vivo conditions. We show that in the presence of NGF, central trigeminal axons leave the tract and grow into the surrounding brainstem regions in the elongation phase without any branching. On the other hand, NT-3 promotes precocious development of short axon collaterals endowed with focal arbors along the sides of the central trigeminal tract. These neurotrophins also affect trigeminal axon growth within the whisker pad. Additionally, we cultured dissociated trigeminal ganglion cells in the presence of NGF, NT-3, or NGF+NT-3. The number of trigeminal ganglion cells, their size distribution under each condition were charted, and axon growth was analyzed following immunohistochemical labeling with TrkA and parvalbumin antibodies. In these cultures too, NGF led to axon elongation and NT-3 to axon arborization. Our in vitro analyses suggest that aside from their survival promoting effects, NGF and NT-3 can differentially influence axon growth patterns of embryonic trigeminal neurons.

  14. Axon self destruction: new links among SARM1, MAPKs, and NAD+ metabolism

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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

  15. Using templated agarose scaffolds to promote axon regeneration through sites of spinal cord injury.

    PubMed

    Koffler, Jacob; Samara, Ramsey F; Rosenzweig, Ephron S

    2014-01-01

    The past 30 years of research in spinal cord injury (SCI) have revealed that, under certain conditions, some types of axons are able to regenerate. To aid these axons in bridging the lesion site, many experimenters place cellular grafts at the lesion. However, to increase the potential for functional recovery, it is likely advantageous to maximize the number of axons that reach the intact spinal cord on the other side of the lesion. Implanting linear-channeled scaffolds at the lesion site provides growing axons with linear growth paths, which minimizes the distance they must travel to reach healthy tissue. Moreover, the linear channels help the regenerating axons maintain the correct mediolateral and dorsoventral position in the spinal cord, which may also improve functional recovery by keeping the axons nearer to their correct targets. Here, we provide a protocol to perform a full spinal cord transection in rats that accommodates an implanted scaffold.

  16. There and back again: coordinated transcription, translation and transport in axonal survival and regeneration.

    PubMed

    Tasdemir-Yilmaz, Ozge E; Segal, Rosalind A

    2016-08-01

    Neurons are highly polarized cells with axonal and dendritic projections that extend over long distances. Target-derived neurotrophins provide local axonal cues that function in developing neurons, while physical or chemical injuries to long axons initiate local environmental cues in mature neurons. In both instances initial responses at the location of stimulation or injury must be coordinated with changes in the transcriptional program and subsequent changes in axonal protein content. To achieve this coordination, intracellular signals move 'there and back again' between axons and the nucleus. Here, we review new findings on neuronal responses to growth factors and injury and highlight the coordination of transcription, translation and transport required to mediate communication between axons and cell bodies.

  17. 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

  18. Dose and age-dependent axonal responses of embryonic trigeminal neurons to localized NGF via p75NTR receptor.

    PubMed

    Ozdinler, P Hande; Ulupinar, Emel; Erzurumlu, Reha S

    2005-02-05

    Nerve growth factor (NGF) and related neurotrophins are target-derived survival factors for sensory neurons. In addition, these peptides modulate neuronal differentiation, axon guidance, and synaptic plasticity. We tested axonal behavior of embryonic trigeminal neurons towards localized sources of NGF in collagen gel assays. Trigeminal axons preferentially grow towards lower doses of localized NGF and grow away from higher concentrations at earlier stages of development, but do not show this response later. Dorsal root ganglion axons also show similar responses to NGF, but NGF-dependent superior cervical ganglion axons do not. Such axonal responses to localized NGF sources were also observed in Bax-/- mice, suggesting that the axonal effects are largely independent of cell survival. Immunocytochemical studies indicated that axons, which grow towards or away from localized NGF are TrkA-positive, and TrkA-/- TG axons do not respond to any dose of NGF. We further show that axonal responses to NGF are absent in TG derived from mice that lack the p75 neurotrophin receptor (p75NTR). Collectively, our results suggest that localized sources of NGF can direct axon outgrowth from trigeminal ganglion in a dose- and age-dependent fashion, mediated by p75NTR signaling through TrkA expressing axons.

  19. Dynamic Changes in Local Protein Synthetic Machinery in Regenerating Central Nervous System Axons after Spinal Cord Injury.

    PubMed

    Sachdeva, Rahul; Farrell, Kaitlin; McMullen, Mary-Katharine; Twiss, Jeffery L; Houle, John D

    2016-01-01

    Intra-axonal localization of mRNAs and protein synthesis machinery (PSM) endows neurons with the capacity to generate proteins locally, allowing precise spatiotemporal regulation of the axonal response to extracellular stimuli. A number of studies suggest that this local translation is a promising target to enhance the regenerative capacity of damaged axons. Using a model of central nervous system (CNS) axons regenerating into intraspinal peripheral nerve grafts (PNGs) we established that adult regenerating CNS axons contain several different mRNAs and protein synthetic machinery (PSM) components in vivo. After lower thoracic level spinal cord transection, ascending sensory axons regenerate into intraspinal PNGs but axon growth is stalled when they reach the distal end of the PNG (3 versus 7 weeks after grafting, resp.). By immunofluorescence with optical sectioning of axons by confocal microscopy, the total and phosphorylated forms of PSMs are significantly lower in stalled compared with actively regenerating axons. Reinjury of these stalled axons increased axonal localization of the PSM proteins, indicative of possible priming for a subcellular response to axotomy. These results suggest that axons downregulate protein synthetic capacity as they cease growing, yet they retain the ability to upregulate PSM after a second injury.

  20. Dynamic Changes in Local Protein Synthetic Machinery in Regenerating Central Nervous System Axons after Spinal Cord Injury

    PubMed Central

    Sachdeva, Rahul; Farrell, Kaitlin; McMullen, Mary-Katharine; Twiss, Jeffery L.; Houle, John D.

    2016-01-01

    Intra-axonal localization of mRNAs and protein synthesis machinery (PSM) endows neurons with the capacity to generate proteins locally, allowing precise spatiotemporal regulation of the axonal response to extracellular stimuli. A number of studies suggest that this local translation is a promising target to enhance the regenerative capacity of damaged axons. Using a model of central nervous system (CNS) axons regenerating into intraspinal peripheral nerve grafts (PNGs) we established that adult regenerating CNS axons contain several different mRNAs and protein synthetic machinery (PSM) components in vivo. After lower thoracic level spinal cord transection, ascending sensory axons regenerate into intraspinal PNGs but axon growth is stalled when they reach the distal end of the PNG (3 versus 7 weeks after grafting, resp.). By immunofluorescence with optical sectioning of axons by confocal microscopy, the total and phosphorylated forms of PSMs are significantly lower in stalled compared with actively regenerating axons. Reinjury of these stalled axons increased axonal localization of the PSM proteins, indicative of possible priming for a subcellular response to axotomy. These results suggest that axons downregulate protein synthetic capacity as they cease growing, yet they retain the ability to upregulate PSM after a second injury. PMID:27375904

  1. Reversible Axonal Dystrophy by Calcium Modulation in Frataxin-Deficient Sensory Neurons of YG8R Mice.

    PubMed

    Mollá, Belén; Muñoz-Lasso, Diana C; Riveiro, Fátima; Bolinches-Amorós, Arantxa; Pallardó, Federico V; Fernandez-Vilata, Angel; de la Iglesia-Vaya, María; Palau, Francesc; Gonzalez-Cabo, Pilar

    2017-01-01

    Friedreich's ataxia (FRDA) is a peripheral neuropathy involving a loss of proprioceptive sensory neurons. Studies of biopsies from patients suggest that axonal dysfunction precedes the death of proprioceptive neurons in a dying-back process. We observed that the deficiency of frataxin in sensory neurons of dorsal root ganglia (DRG) of the YG8R mouse model causes the formation of axonal spheroids which retain dysfunctional mitochondria, shows alterations in the cytoskeleton and it produces impairment of axonal transport and autophagic flux. The homogenous distribution of axonal spheroids along the neurites supports the existence of continues focal damages. This lead us to propose for FRDA a model of distal axonopathy based on axonal focal damages. In addition, we observed the involvement of oxidative stress and dyshomeostasis of calcium in axonal spheroid formation generating axonal injury as a primary cause of pathophysiology. Axonal spheroids may be a consequence of calcium imbalance, thus we propose the quenching or removal extracellular Ca(2+) to prevent spheroids formation. In our neuronal model, treatments with BAPTA and o-phenanthroline reverted the axonal dystrophy and the mitochondrial dysmorphic parameters. These results support the hypothesis that axonal pathology is reversible in FRDA by pharmacological manipulation of intracellular Ca(2+) with Ca(2+) chelators or metalloprotease inhibitors, preventing Ca(2+)-mediated axonal injury. Thus, the modulation of Ca(2+) levels may be a relevant therapeutic target to develop early axonal protection and prevent dying-back neurodegeneration.

  2. 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

  3. The axonal cytoskeleton: from organization to function

    PubMed Central

    Kevenaar, Josta T.; Hoogenraad, Casper C.

    2015-01-01

    The axon is the single long fiber that extends from the neuron and transmits electrical signals away from the cell body. The neuronal cytoskeleton, composed of microtubules (MTs), actin filaments and neurofilaments, is not only required for axon formation and axonal transport but also provides the structural basis for several specialized axonal structures, such as the axon initial segment (AIS) and presynaptic boutons. Emerging evidence suggest that the unique cytoskeleton organization in the axon is essential for its structure and integrity. In addition, the increasing number of neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative diseases linked to defect in actin- and microtubule-dependent processes emphasizes the importance of a properly regulated cytoskeleton for normal axonal functioning. Here, we provide an overview of the current understanding of actin and microtubule organization within the axon and discuss models for the functional role of the cytoskeleton at specialized axonal structures. PMID:26321907

  4. The axonal cytoskeleton: from organization to function.

    PubMed

    Kevenaar, Josta T; Hoogenraad, Casper C

    2015-01-01

    The axon is the single long fiber that extends from the neuron and transmits electrical signals away from the cell body. The neuronal cytoskeleton, composed of microtubules (MTs), actin filaments and neurofilaments, is not only required for axon formation and axonal transport but also provides the structural basis for several specialized axonal structures, such as the axon initial segment (AIS) and presynaptic boutons. Emerging evidence suggest that the unique cytoskeleton organization in the axon is essential for its structure and integrity. In addition, the increasing number of neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative diseases linked to defect in actin- and microtubule-dependent processes emphasizes the importance of a properly regulated cytoskeleton for normal axonal functioning. Here, we provide an overview of the current understanding of actin and microtubule organization within the axon and discuss models for the functional role of the cytoskeleton at specialized axonal structures.

  5. Chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans negatively regulate the positioning of mitochondria and endoplasmic reticulum to distal axons.

    PubMed

    Sainath, Rajiv; Armijo-Weingart, Lorena; Ketscheck, Andrea; Xu, Zhuxuan; Li, Shuxin; Gallo, Gianluca

    2017-09-13

    Chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans (CSPGs) are components of the extracellular matrix that inhibit the extension and regeneration of axons. However, the underlying mechanism of action remains poorly understood. Mitochondria and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) are functionally inter-linked organelles important to axon development and maintenance. We report that CSPGs impair the targeting of mitochondria and ER to the growth cones of chicken embryonic sensory axons. The effect of CSPGs on the targeting of mitochondria is blocked by inhibition of the LAR receptor for CSPGs. The regulation of the targeting of mitochondria and ER to the growth cone by CSPGs is due to attenuation of PI3K signaling, which is known to be downstream of LAR receptor activation. Dynactin is a required component of the dynein motor complex that drives the normally occurring retrograde evacuation of mitochondria from growth cones. CSPGs elevate the levels of p150(Glu) dynactin found in distal axons, and inhibition of the interaction of dynactin with dynein increased axon lengths on CSPGs. CSPGs decreased the membrane potential of mitochondria, and pharmacological inhibition of mitochondria respiration at the growth cone independent of manipulation of mitochondria positioning impaired axon extension. Combined inhibition of dynactin and potentiation of mitochondria respiration further increased axon lengths on CSPGs relative to inhibition of dynactin alone. These data reveal that the regulation of the localization of mitochondria and ER to growth cones is a previously unappreciated aspect of the effects of CSPGs on embryonic axons. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Develop Neurobiol, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  6. Transcellular degradation of axonal mitochondria

    PubMed Central

    Davis, Chung-ha O.; Kim, Keun-Young; Bushong, Eric A.; Mills, Elizabeth A.; Boassa, Daniela; Shih, Tiffany; Kinebuchi, Mira; Phan, Sebastien; Zhou, Yi; Bihlmeyer, Nathan A.; Nguyen, Judy V.; Jin, Yunju; Ellisman, Mark H.; Marsh-Armstrong, Nicholas

    2014-01-01

    It is generally accepted that healthy cells degrade their own mitochondria. Here, we report that retinal ganglion cell axons of WT mice shed mitochondria at the optic nerve head (ONH), and that these mitochondria are internalized and degraded by adjacent astrocytes. EM demonstrates that mitochondria are shed through formation of large protrusions that originate from otherwise healthy axons. A virally introduced tandem fluorophore protein reporter of acidified mitochondria reveals that acidified axonal mitochondria originating from the retinal ganglion cell are associated with lysosomes within columns of astrocytes in the ONH. According to this reporter, a greater proportion of retinal ganglion cell mitochondria are degraded at the ONH than in the ganglion cell soma. Consistently, analyses of degrading DNA reveal extensive mtDNA degradation within the optic nerve astrocytes, some of which comes from retinal ganglion cell axons. Together, these results demonstrate that surprisingly large proportions of retinal ganglion cell axonal mitochondria are normally degraded by the astrocytes of the ONH. This transcellular degradation of mitochondria, or transmitophagy, likely occurs elsewhere in the CNS, because structurally similar accumulations of degrading mitochondria are also found along neurites in superficial layers of the cerebral cortex. Thus, the general assumption that neurons or other cells necessarily degrade their own mitochondria should be reconsidered. PMID:24979790

  7. 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

    2015-11-20

    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.

  8. Endogenous Nmnat2 Is an Essential Survival Factor for Maintenance of Healthy Axons

    PubMed Central

    Gilley, Jonathan; Coleman, Michael P.

    2010-01-01

    The molecular triggers for axon degeneration remain unknown. We identify endogenous Nmnat2 as a labile axon survival factor whose constant replenishment by anterograde axonal transport is a limiting factor for axon survival. Specific depletion of Nmnat2 is sufficient to induce Wallerian-like degeneration of uninjured axons which endogenous Nmnat1 and Nmnat3 cannot prevent. Nmnat2 is by far the most labile Nmnat isoform and is depleted in distal stumps of injured neurites before Wallerian degeneration begins. Nmnat2 turnover is equally rapid in injured Wld S neurites, despite delayed neurite degeneration, showing it is not a consequence of degeneration and also that WldS does not stabilize Nmnat2. Depletion of Nmnat2 below a threshold level is necessary for axon degeneration since exogenous Nmnat2 can protect injured neurites when expressed at high enough levels to overcome its short half-life. Furthermore, proteasome inhibition slows both Nmnat2 turnover and neurite degeneration. We conclude that endogenous Nmnat2 prevents spontaneous degeneration of healthy axons and propose that, when present, the more long-lived, functionally related WldS protein substitutes for Nmnat2 loss after axon injury. Endogenous Nmnat2 represents an exciting new therapeutic target for axonal disorders. PMID:20126265

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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 (SMN). These alterations in SMN axon morphology coincided with muscle degeneration at high nicotine concentrations (15–30µM). 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. PMID:25668718

  10. Typology, early differentiation, and exuberant growth of a set of cortical axons.

    PubMed

    Bressoud, R; Innocenti, G M

    1999-03-29

    The corpus callosum interconnects both corresponding (homotopic) and noncorresponding (heterotopic) cortical sites of the two hemispheres. We have studied the axons that establish heterotopic connections from visual areas 17 and 18 (E axons) by using anterogradely transported biocytin and three-dimensional serial reconstructions in adult cats and in kittens. Their site of termination distinguished four types of axons. Type EI ends near the border between areas 19/21a or 7, and type EII near the PMLS/PLLS border (posteromedial and posterolateral lateral suprasylvian areas). Type EIII and EIV terminate the first near the PMLS/PLLS and PMLS/21a borders, and the second near the PMLS/PLLS and 19/21a or 7 borders. Taking into account the previously studied homotopic axons (O axons; Houzel et al. [1994] Eur. J. Neurosci. 6:898-917), it can be concluded that areas 17 and 18 are interhemispherically connected by at least five types of axons, three of which (O, EI, and EII) terminate near one areal border, the other two (types EIII and EIV), near two areal borders. All types terminate near representations of the vertical meridian of the visual field. The different types of axons can be identified already during the first postnatal week; at this age, unlike in the adult, they originate not only near the 17/18 border, but also, transiently, in area 17. This suggests that the developing cortex contains sets of neurons destined to send their axon to different targets; however, the axons grow beyond their sites of adult termination. Indeed, exuberant growth takes place at the stage of axonal elongation, and at subsequent stages of axonal differentiation, i.e., during subcortical branching, intracortical branching and synaptogenesis. The growth is progressively more constrained in its topographic distribution and the axons are subsequently reshaped by regressive events.

  11. Rho and Ras GTPases in Axon Growth, Guidance, and Branching

    PubMed Central

    Hall, Alan; Lalli, Giovanna

    2010-01-01

    The establishment of precise neuronal cell morphology provides the foundation for all aspects of neurobiology. During development, axons emerge from cell bodies after an initial polarization stage, elongate, and navigate towards target regions guided by a range of environmental cues. The Rho and Ras families of small GTPases have emerged as critical players at all stages of axonogenesis. Their ability to coordinately direct multiple signal transduction pathways with precise spatial control drives many of the activities that underlie this morphogenetic program: the dynamic assembly, disassembly, and reorganization of the actin and microtubule cytoskeletons, the interaction of the growing axon with other cells and extracellular matrix, the delivery of lipids and proteins to the axon through the exocytic machinery, and the internalization of membrane and proteins at the leading edge of the growth cone through endocytosis. This article highlights the contribution of Rho and Ras GTPases to axonogenesis. PMID:20182621

  12. Action in the axon: generation and transport of signaling endosomes.

    PubMed

    Cosker, Katharina E; Courchesne, Stephanie L; Segal, Rosalind A

    2008-06-01

    Neurons extend axonal processes over long distances, necessitating efficient transport mechanisms to convey target-derived neurotrophic survival signals from remote distal axons to cell bodies. Retrograde transport, powered by dynein motors, supplies cell bodies with survival signals in the form of 'signaling endosomes'. In this review, we will discuss new advances in our understanding of the motor proteins that bind to and move signaling components in a retrograde direction and discuss mechanisms that might specify distinct neuronal responses to spatially restricted neurotrophin signals. Disruption of retrograde transport leads to a variety of neurodegenerative diseases, highlighting the role of retrograde transport of signaling endosomes for axonal maintenance and the importance of efficient transport for neuronal survival and function.

  13. Paxillin phosphorylation counteracts proteoglycan-mediated inhibition of axon regeneration

    PubMed Central

    Kuboyama, Tomoharu; Luo, Xueting; Park, Kevin; Blackmore, Murray G.; Tojima, Takuro; Tohda, Chihiro; Bixby, John L.; Lemmon, Vance P.; Kamiguchi, Hiroyuki

    2013-01-01

    In the adult central nervous system, the tips of axons severed by injury are commonly transformed into dystrophic endballs and cease migration upon encountering a rising concentration gradient of inhibitory proteoglycans. However, intracellular signaling networks mediating endball migration failure remain largely unknown. Here we show that manipulation of protein kinase A (PKA) or its downstream adhesion component paxillin can reactivate the locomotive machinery of endballs in vitro and facilitate axon growth after injury in vivo. In dissociated cultures of adult rat dorsal root ganglion neurons, PKA is activated in endballs formed on gradients of the inhibitory proteoglycan aggrecan, and pharmacological inhibition of PKA promotes axon growth on aggrecan gradients most likely through phosphorylation of paxillin at serine 301. Remarkably, pre-formed endballs on aggrecan gradients resume forward migration in response to PKA inhibition. This resumption of endball migration is associated with increased turnover of adhesive point contacts dependent upon paxillin phosphorylation. Furthermore, expression of phosphomimetic paxillin overcomes aggrecan-mediated growth arrest of endballs, and facilitates axon growth after optic nerve crush in vivo. These results point to the importance of adhesion dynamics in restoring endball migration and suggest a potential therapeutic target for axon tract repair. PMID:23797153

  14. Paxillin phosphorylation counteracts proteoglycan-mediated inhibition of axon regeneration.

    PubMed

    Kuboyama, Tomoharu; Luo, Xueting; Park, Kevin; Blackmore, Murray G; Tojima, Takuro; Tohda, Chihiro; Bixby, John L; Lemmon, Vance P; Kamiguchi, Hiroyuki

    2013-10-01

    In the adult central nervous system, the tips of axons severed by injury are commonly transformed into dystrophic endballs and cease migration upon encountering a rising concentration gradient of inhibitory proteoglycans. However, intracellular signaling networks mediating endball migration failure remain largely unknown. Here we show that manipulation of protein kinase A (PKA) or its downstream adhesion component paxillin can reactivate the locomotive machinery of endballs in vitro and facilitate axon growth after injury in vivo. In dissociated cultures of adult rat dorsal root ganglion neurons, PKA is activated in endballs formed on gradients of the inhibitory proteoglycan aggrecan, and pharmacological inhibition of PKA promotes axon growth on aggrecan gradients most likely through phosphorylation of paxillin at serine 301. Remarkably, pre-formed endballs on aggrecan gradients resume forward migration in response to PKA inhibition. This resumption of endball migration is associated with increased turnover of adhesive point contacts dependent upon paxillin phosphorylation. Furthermore, expression of phosphomimetic paxillin overcomes aggrecan-mediated growth arrest of endballs, and facilitates axon growth after optic nerve crush in vivo. These results point to the importance of adhesion dynamics in restoring endball migration and suggest a potential therapeutic target for axon tract repair. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. The atypical cadherin flamingo regulates synaptogenesis and helps prevent axonal and synaptic degeneration in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Bao, Hong; Berlanga, Monica L; Xue, Mingshan; Hapip, Sara M; Daniels, Richard W; Mendenhall, John M; Alcantara, Adriana A; Zhang, Bing

    2007-04-01

    The formation of synaptic connections with target cells and maintenance of axons are highly regulated and crucial for neuronal function. The atypical cadherin and G-protein-coupled receptor Flamingo and its orthologs in amphibians and mammals have been shown to regulate cell polarity, dendritic and axonal growth, and neural tube closure. However, the role of Flamingo in synapse formation and function and in axonal health remains poorly understood. Here we show that fmi mutations cause a significant increase in the number of ectopic synapses on muscles and result in the formation of novel en passant synapses along axons, and unique presynaptic varicosities, including active zones, within axons. The fmi mutations also cause defective synaptic responses in a small subset of muscles, an age-dependent loss of muscle innervation and a drastic degeneration of axons in 3rd instar larvae without an apparent loss of neurons. Neuronal expression of Flamingo rescues all of these synaptic and axonal defects and larval lethality. Based on these observations, we propose that Flamingo is required in neurons for synaptic target selection, synaptogenesis, the survival of axons and synapses, and adult viability. These findings shed new light on a possible role for Flamingo in progressive neurodegenerative diseases.

  16. 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

  17. Action-potential modulation during axonal conduction.

    PubMed

    Sasaki, Takuya; Matsuki, Norio; Ikegaya, Yuji

    2011-02-04

    Once initiated near the soma, an action potential (AP) is thought to propagate autoregeneratively and distribute uniformly over axonal arbors. We challenge this classic view by showing that APs are subject to waveform modulation while they travel down axons. Using fluorescent patch-clamp pipettes, we recorded APs from axon branches of hippocampal CA3 pyramidal neurons ex vivo. The waveforms of axonal APs increased in width in response to the local application of glutamate and an adenosine A(1) receptor antagonist to the axon shafts, but not to other unrelated axon branches. Uncaging of calcium in periaxonal astrocytes caused AP broadening through ionotropic glutamate receptor activation. The broadened APs triggered larger calcium elevations in presynaptic boutons and facilitated synaptic transmission to postsynaptic neurons. This local AP modification may enable axonal computation through the geometry of axon wiring.

  18. Optofluidic control of axonal guidance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gu, Ling; Ordonez, Simon; Black, Bryan; Mohanty, Samarendra K.

    2013-03-01

    Significant efforts are being made for control on axonal guidance due to its importance in nerve regeneration and in the formation of functional neuronal circuitry in-vitro. These include several physical (topographic modification, optical force, and electric field), chemical (surface functionalization cues) and hybrid (electro-chemical, photochemical etc) methods. Here, we report comparison of the effect of linear flow versus microfluidic flow produced by an opticallydriven micromotor in guiding retinal ganglion axons. A circularly polarized laser tweezers was used to hold, position and spin birefringent calcite particle near growth cone, which in turn resulted in microfluidic flow. The flow rate and resulting shear-force on axons could be controlled by a varying the power of the laser tweezers beam. The calcite particles were placed separately in one chamber and single particle was transported through microfluidic channel to another chamber containing the retina explant. In presence of flow, the turning of axons was found to strongly correlate with the direction of flow. Turning angle as high as 90° was achieved. Optofluidic-manipulation can be applied to other types of mammalian neurons and also can be extended to stimulate mechano-sensing neurons.

  19. Commissureless regulation of axon outgrowth across the midline is independent of Rab function.

    PubMed

    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.

  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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. 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.

  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. Calpain-mediated cleavage of collapsin response mediator protein-2 drives acute axonal degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Jian-Nan; Michel, Uwe; Lenz, Christof; Friedel, Caroline C.; Köster, Sarah; d’Hedouville, Zara; Tönges, Lars; Urlaub, Henning; Bähr, Mathias; Lingor, Paul; Koch, Jan C.

    2016-01-01

    Axonal degeneration is a key initiating event in many neurological diseases. Focal lesions to axons result in a rapid disintegration of the perilesional axon by acute axonal degeneration (AAD) within several hours. However, the underlying molecular mechanisms of AAD are only incompletely understood. Here, we studied AAD in vivo through live-imaging of the rat optic nerve and in vitro in primary rat cortical neurons in microfluidic chambers. We found that calpain is activated early during AAD of the optic nerve and that calpain inhibition completely inhibits axonal fragmentation on the proximal side of the crush while it attenuates AAD on the distal side. A screening of calpain targets revealed that collapsin response mediator protein-2 (CRMP2) is a main downstream target of calpain activation in AAD. CRMP2-overexpression delayed bulb formation and rescued impairment of axonal mitochondrial transport after axotomy in vitro. In vivo, CRMP2-overexpression effectively protected the proximal axon from fragmentation within 6 hours after crush. Finally, a proteomic analysis of the optic nerve was performed at 6 hours after crush, which identified further proteins regulated during AAD, including several interactors of CRMP2. These findings reveal CRMP2 as an important mediator of AAD and define it as a putative therapeutic target. PMID:27845394

  4. Characterizing Semaphorin-Mediated Effects on Sensory and Motor Axon Pathfinding and Connectivity During Embryonic Development.

    PubMed

    Huettl, Rosa Eva; Huber, Andrea B

    2017-01-01

    How are precise connectivity to peripheral targets and corresponding sensory-motor networks established during developmental innervation of the vertebrate extremities? The formation of functional sensory-motor circuits requires highly appropriate temporal and spatial regulation of axon growth which is achieved through the combination of different molecular mechanisms such as communication between heterotypic fiber systems, axon-environment, or axon-glia interactions that ensure proper fasciculation and accurate pathfinding to distal targets. Family members of the class 3 semaphorins and their cognate receptors, the neuropilins, were shown to govern various events during wiring of central and peripheral circuits, with mice lacking Sema3-Npn signaling showing deficits in timing of growth, selective fasciculation, guidance fidelity, and coupling of sensory axon growth to motor axons at developmental time points. Given the accuracy with which these processes have to interact in a stepwise manner, deficiency of the smallest cog in the wheel may impact severely on the faithful establishment and functionality of peripheral circuitries, ultimately leading to behavioral impairments or even cause the death of the animal. Reliable quantitative analyses of sensory-motor fasciculation, extension, and guidance of axons to their cognate target muscles and the skin during development, but also assessment of physiological and behavioral consequences at adult age, are therefore a necessity to extend our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of peripheral circuit formation. In this chapter we provide a detailed methodology to characterize class 3 semaphorin-mediated effects on peripheral sensory and motor axon pathfinding and connectivity during embryonic development.

  5. 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

  6. Polarized Axonal Surface Expression of Neuronal KCNQ Potassium Channels Is Regulated by Calmodulin Interaction with KCNQ2 Subunit

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Kwan Young; Kim, Edward H.; Issema, Rodal S.; Chung, Hee Jung

    2014-01-01

    KCNQ potassium channels composed of KCNQ2 and KCNQ3 subunits give rise to the M-current, a slow-activating and non-inactivating voltage-dependent potassium current that limits repetitive firing of action potentials. KCNQ channels are enriched at the surface of axons and axonal initial segments, the sites for action potential generation and modulation. Their enrichment at the axonal surface is impaired by mutations in KCNQ2 carboxy-terminal tail that cause benign familial neonatal convulsion and myokymia, suggesting that their correct surface distribution and density at the axon is crucial for control of neuronal excitability. However, the molecular mechanisms responsible for regulating enrichment of KCNQ channels at the neuronal axon remain elusive. Here, we show that enrichment of KCNQ channels at the axonal surface of dissociated rat hippocampal cultured neurons is regulated by ubiquitous calcium sensor calmodulin. Using immunocytochemistry and the cluster of differentiation 4 (CD4) membrane protein as a trafficking reporter, we demonstrate that fusion of KCNQ2 carboxy-terminal tail is sufficient to target CD4 protein to the axonal surface whereas inhibition of calmodulin binding to KCNQ2 abolishes axonal surface expression of CD4 fusion proteins by retaining them in the endoplasmic reticulum. Disruption of calmodulin binding to KCNQ2 also impairs enrichment of heteromeric KCNQ2/KCNQ3 channels at the axonal surface by blocking their trafficking from the endoplasmic reticulum to the axon. Consistently, hippocampal neuronal excitability is dampened by transient expression of wild-type KCNQ2 but not mutant KCNQ2 deficient in calmodulin binding. Furthermore, coexpression of mutant calmodulin, which can interact with KCNQ2/KCNQ3 channels but not calcium, reduces but does not abolish their enrichment at the axonal surface, suggesting that apo calmodulin but not calcium-bound calmodulin is necessary for their preferential targeting to the axonal surface. These findings

  7. 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

  8. Axonal remodeling in the corticospinal tract after stroke: how does rehabilitative training modulate it?

    PubMed Central

    Okabe, Naohiko; Narita, Kazuhiko; Miyamoto, Osamu

    2017-01-01

    Stroke causes long-term disability, and rehabilitative training is commonly used to improve the consecutive functional recovery. Following brain damage, surviving neurons undergo morphological alterations to reconstruct the remaining neural network. In the motor system, such neural network remodeling is observed as a motor map reorganization. Because of its significant correlation with functional recovery, motor map reorganization has been regarded as a key phenomenon for functional recovery after stroke. Although the mechanism underlying motor map reorganization remains unclear, increasing evidence has shown a critical role for axonal remodeling in the corticospinal tract. In this study, we review previous studies investigating axonal remodeling in the corticospinal tract after stroke and discuss which mechanisms may underlie the stimulatory effect of rehabilitative training. Axonal remodeling in the corticospinal tract can be classified into three types based on the location and the original targets of corticospinal neurons, and it seems that all the surviving corticospinal neurons in both ipsilesional and contralesional hemisphere can participate in axonal remodeling and motor map reorganization. Through axonal remodeling, corticospinal neurons alter their output selectivity from a single to multiple areas to compensate for the lost function. The remodeling of the corticospinal axon is influenced by the extent of tissue destruction and promoted by various therapeutic interventions, including rehabilitative training. Although the precise molecular mechanism underlying rehabilitation-promoted axonal remodeling remains elusive, previous data suggest that rehabilitative training promotes axonal remodeling by upregulating growth-promoting and downregulating growth-inhibiting signals. PMID:28400791

  9. DCC functions as an accelerator of thalamocortical axonal growth downstream of spontaneous thalamic activity

    PubMed Central

    Castillo-Paterna, Mar; Moreno-Juan, Verónica; Filipchuk, Anton; Rodríguez-Malmierca, Luis; Susín, Rafael; López-Bendito, Guillermina

    2015-01-01

    Controlling the axon growth rate is fundamental when establishing brain connections. Using the thalamocortical system as a model, we previously showed that spontaneous calcium activity influences the growth rate of thalamocortical axons by regulating the transcription of Robo1 through an NF-κB-binding site in its promoter. Robo1 acts as a brake on the growth of thalamocortical axons in vivo. Here, we have identified the Netrin-1 receptor DCC as an accelerator for thalamic axon growth. Dcc transcription is regulated by spontaneous calcium activity in thalamocortical neurons and activating DCC signaling restores normal axon growth in electrically silenced neurons. Moreover, we identified an AP-1-binding site in the Dcc promoter that is crucial for the activity-dependent regulation of this gene. In summary, we have identified the Dcc gene as a novel downstream target of spontaneous calcium activity involved in axon growth. Together with our previous data, we demonstrate a mechanism to control axon growth that relies on the activity-dependent regulation of two functionally opposed receptors, Robo1 and DCC. These two proteins establish a tight and efficient means to regulate activity-guided axon growth in order to correctly establish neuronal connections during development. PMID:25947198

  10. The Dyslexia-susceptibility Protein KIAA0319 Inhibits Axon Growth Through Smad2 Signaling.

    PubMed

    Franquinho, Filipa; Nogueira-Rodrigues, Joana; Duarte, Joana M; Esteves, Sofia S; Carter-Su, Christin; Monaco, Anthony P; Molnár, Zoltán; Velayos-Baeza, Antonio; Brites, Pedro; Sousa, Mónica M

    2017-03-01

    KIAA0319 is a transmembrane protein associated with dyslexia with a presumed role in neuronal migration. Here we show that KIAA0319 expression is not restricted to the brain but also occurs in sensory and spinal cord neurons, increasing from early postnatal stages to adulthood and being downregulated by injury. This suggested that KIAA0319 participates in functions unrelated to neuronal migration. Supporting this hypothesis, overexpression of KIAA0319 repressed axon growth in hippocampal and dorsal root ganglia neurons; the intracellular domain of KIAA0319 was sufficient to elicit this effect. A similar inhibitory effect was observed in vivo as axon regeneration was impaired after transduction of sensory neurons with KIAA0319. Conversely, the deletion of Kiaa0319 in neurons increased neurite outgrowth in vitro and improved axon regeneration in vivo. At the mechanistic level, KIAA0319 engaged the JAK2-SH2B1 pathway to activate Smad2, which played a central role in KIAA0319-mediated repression of axon growth. In summary, we establish KIAA0319 as a novel player in axon growth and regeneration with the ability to repress the intrinsic growth potential of axons. This study describes a novel regulatory mechanism operating during peripheral nervous system and central nervous system axon growth, and offers novel targets for the development of effective therapies to promote axon regeneration. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press.

  11. 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

  12. Retrograde plasticity and differential competition of bipolar cell dendrites and axons in the developing retina.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Robert E; Kerschensteiner, Daniel

    2014-10-06

    Most neurons function in the context of pathways that process and propagate information through a series of stages, e.g., from the sensory periphery to cerebral cortex. Because activity at each stage of a neural pathway depends on connectivity at the preceding one, we hypothesized that during development, axonal output of a neuron may regulate synaptic development of its dendrites (i.e., retrograde plasticity). Within pathways, neurons often receive input from multiple partners and provide output to targets shared with other neurons (i.e., convergence). Converging axons can intermingle or occupy separate territories on target dendrites. Activity-dependent competition has been shown to bias target innervation by overlapping axons in several systems. By contrast, whether territorial axons or dendrites compete for targets and inputs, respectively, has not been tested. Here, we generate transgenic mice in which glutamate release from specific sets of retinal bipolar cells (BCs) is suppressed. We find that dendrites of silenced BCs recruit fewer inputs when their neighbors are active and that dendrites of active BCs recruit more inputs when their neighbors are silenced than either active or silenced BCs with equal neighbors. By contrast, axons of silenced BCs form fewer synapses with their targets, irrespective of the activity of their neighbors. These findings reveal that retrograde plasticity guides BC dendritic development in vivo and demonstrate that dendrites, but not territorial axons, in a convergent neural pathway engage in activity-dependent competition. We propose that at a population level, retrograde plasticity serves to maximize functional representation of inputs.

  13. ON Cone Bipolar Cell Axonal Synapses in the OFF Inner Plexiform Layer of the Rabbit Retina

    PubMed Central

    Lauritzen, J. Scott; Anderson, James R.; Jones, Bryan W.; Watt, Carl B.; Mohammed, Shoeb; Hoang, John V.; Marc, Robert E.

    2012-01-01

    Analysis of the rabbit retinal connectome RC1 reveals that the division between the ON and OFF inner plexiform layer (IPL) is not structurally absolute. ON cone bipolar cells make non-canonical axonal synapses onto specific targets and receive amacrine cell synapses in the nominal OFF layer, creating novel motifs, including inhibitory crossover networks. Automated transmission electron microscope (ATEM) imaging, molecular tagging, tracing, and rendering of ≈ 400 bipolar cells reveals axonal ribbons in 36% of ON cone bipolar cells, throughout the OFF IPL. The targets include GABA-positive amacrine cells (γACs), glycine-positive amacrine cells (GACs) and ganglion cells. Most ON cone bipolar cell axonal contacts target GACs driven by OFF cone bipolar cells, forming new architectures for generating ON-OFF amacrine cells. Many of these ON-OFF GACs target ON cone bipolar cell axons, ON γACs and/or ON-OFF ganglion cells, representing widespread mechanisms for OFF to ON crossover inhibition. Other targets include OFF γACs presynaptic to OFF bipolar cells, forming γAC-mediated crossover motifs. ON cone bipolar cell axonal ribbons drive bistratified ON-OFF ganglion cells in the OFF layer and provide ON drive to polarity-appropriate targets such as bistratified diving ganglion cells (bsdGCs). The targeting precision of ON cone bipolar cell axonal synapses shows that this drive incidence is necessarily a joint distribution of cone bipolar cell axonal frequency and target cell trajectories through a given volume of the OFF layer. Such joint distribution sampling is likely common when targets are sparser than sources and when sources are coupled, as are ON cone bipolar cells. PMID:23042441

  14. Rapamycin suppresses axon sprouting by somatostatin interneurons in a mouse model of temporal lobe epilepsy.

    PubMed

    Buckmaster, Paul S; Wen, Xiling

    2011-11-01

    cell dendrites, which are synaptic targets of interneuron axons. The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling pathway might be a useful drug target for influencing GABAergic synaptic reorganization after epileptogenic treatments, but additional side effects of rapamycin treatment must be considered carefully. Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2011 International League Against Epilepsy.

  15. Intra-axonal translation of RhoA promotes axon growth inhibition by CSPG.

    PubMed

    Walker, Breset A; Ji, Sheng-Jian; Jaffrey, Samie R

    2012-10-10

    Chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans (CSPGs) are a major component of the glial scar that contributes to the limited regeneration of the CNS after axonal injury. However, the intracellular mechanisms that mediate the effects of CSPGs are not fully understood. Here we show that axonal growth inhibition mediated by CSPGs requires intra-axonal protein synthesis. Application of CSPGs to postnatal rat dorsal root ganglia axons results in an increase in the axonal levels of phosphorylated 4E-BP1, a marker of increased protein translation. Axons grown in media containing CSPGs exhibit markedly reduced growth rates, which can be restored by the selective application of protein synthesis inhibitors to distal axons. We show that these axons contain transcripts encoding RhoA, a regulator of the cytoskeleton that is commonly used by the signaling pathways activated by many inhibitors of axon growth. We also show that selective application of CSPGs to axons results in increased intra-axonal synthesis of RhoA and that depletion of RhoA transcripts from axons results in enhanced growth of axons in the presence of CSPGs. These data identify local translation as an effector pathway of CSPGs and demonstrate that local translation of RhoA contributes to the axon growth inhibitory effect of CSPGs.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Fate of severed cortical projection axons.

    PubMed

    Fishman, P S; Mattu, A

    1993-01-01

    Corticospinal neurons show a primarily degenerative response to axotomy in adult mammals. The long remaining proximal axon with its extensive synaptic contacts may contribute to the lack of initial regenerative response in this cell type. We examined a related group of cortical axons after lesions in the subcortical white matter close to their cell bodies of origin. With cholera B chain conjugated to horseradish peroxidase (CTB-HRP), transcallosal axons projecting into areas of a lesion were labeled. Animals surviving between 2 days and 4 months were examined with both light microscopic and ultrastructural techniques. During the first several days after injury, many of the axon terminals projecting into the lesion site had the appearance of axonal sprouts, although the majority of endings had the appearance of degenerating terminal swellings. By 2 weeks after injury some axonal sprouts had extended a short distance along the margins of the lesions, into overlying cortex. Four weeks after injury there is a reduction in the number of axons extending toward the lesion. This loss of axons appeared progressive and resulted in not only a loss of labeled axons, but also eventually in atrophy of the subcortical white matter near the lesion. In comparison to corticospinal axon lesions in the spinal cord or medullary pyramids, there is more extensive axonal sprouting and elongation after subcortical lesions. Degenerative morphological features still predominate after subcortical lesions and no successful trans-lesion axonal regeneration occurs. Axonal retraction and loss are both accelerated and more extensive after proximal subcortical axotomy than after corticospinal tract lesions.

  19. Extrinsic cellular and molecular mediators of peripheral axonal regeneration.

    PubMed

    Bosse, Frank

    2012-07-01

    The ability of injured peripheral nerves to regenerate and reinnervate their original targets is a characteristic feature of the peripheral nervous system (PNS). On the other hand, neurons of the central nervous system (CNS), including retinal ganglion cell (RGC) axons, are incapable of spontaneous regeneration. In the adult PNS, axonal regeneration after injury depends on well-orchestrated cellular and molecular processes that comprise a highly reproducible series of degenerative reactions distal to the site of injury. During this fine-tuned process, named Wallerian degeneration, a remodeling of the distal nerve fragment prepares a permissive microenvironment that permits successful axonal regrowth originating from the proximal nerve fragment. Therefore, a multitude of adjusted intrinsic and extrinsic factors are important for surviving neurons, Schwann cells, macrophages and fibroblasts as well as endothelial cells in order to achieve successful regeneration. The aim of this review is to summarize relevant extrinsic cellular and molecular determinants of successful axonal regeneration in rodents that contribute to the regenerative microenvironment of the PNS.

  20. 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

  1. Cell intrinsic control of axon regeneration

    PubMed Central

    Mar, Fernando M; Bonni, Azad; Sousa, Mónica M

    2014-01-01

    Although neurons execute a cell intrinsic program of axonal growth during development, following the establishment of connections, the developmental growth capacity declines. Besides environmental challenges, this switch largely accounts for the failure of adult central nervous system (CNS) axons to regenerate. Here, we discuss the cell intrinsic control of axon regeneration, including not only the regulation of transcriptional and epigenetic mechanisms, but also the modulation of local protein translation, retrograde and anterograde axonal transport, and microtubule dynamics. We further explore the causes underlying the failure of CNS neurons to mount a vigorous regenerative response, and the paradigms demonstrating the activation of cell intrinsic axon growth programs. Finally, we present potential mechanisms to support axon regeneration, as these may represent future therapeutic approaches to promote recovery following CNS injury and disease. PMID:24531721

  2. Activity-dependent mismatch between axo-axonic synapses and the axon initial segment controls neuronal output.

    PubMed

    Wefelmeyer, Winnie; Cattaert, Daniel; Burrone, Juan

    2015-08-04

    The axon initial segment (AIS) is a structure at the start of the axon with a high density of sodium and potassium channels that defines the site of action potential generation. It has recently been shown that this structure is plastic and can change its position along the axon, as well as its length, in a homeostatic manner. Chronic activity-deprivation paradigms in a chick auditory nucleus lead to a lengthening of the AIS and an increase in neuronal excitability. On the other hand, a long-term increase in activity in dissociated rat hippocampal neurons results in an outward movement of the AIS and a decrease in the cell's excitability. Here, we investigated whether the AIS is capable of undergoing structural plasticity in rat hippocampal organotypic slices, which retain the diversity of neuronal cell types present at postnatal ages, including chandelier cells. These interneurons exclusively target the AIS of pyramidal neurons and form rows of presynaptic boutons along them. Stimulating individual CA1 pyramidal neurons that express channelrhodopsin-2 for 48 h leads to an outward shift of the AIS. Intriguingly, both the pre- and postsynaptic components of the axo-axonic synapses did not change position after AIS relocation. We used computational modeling to explore the functional consequences of this partial mismatch and found that it allows the GABAergic synapses to strongly oppose action potential generation, and thus downregulate pyramidal cell excitability. We propose that this spatial arrangement is the optimal configuration for a homeostatic response to long-term stimulation.

  3. ALS Along the Axons – Expression of Coding and Noncoding RNA Differs in Axons of ALS models

    PubMed Central

    Rotem, Nimrod; Magen, Iddo; Ionescu, Ariel; Gershoni-Emek, Noga; Altman, Topaz; Costa, Christopher J.; Gradus, Tal; Pasmanik-Chor, Metsada; Willis, Dianna E.; Ben-Dov, Iddo Z.; Hornstein, Eran; Perlson, Eran

    2017-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a multifactorial lethal motor neuron disease with no known treatment. Although the basic mechanism of its degenerative pathogenesis remains poorly understood, a subcellular spatial alteration in RNA metabolism is thought to play a key role. The nature of these RNAs remains elusive, and a comprehensive characterization of the axonal RNAs involved in maintaining neuronal health has yet to be described. Here, using cultured spinal cord (SC) neurons grown using a compartmented platform followed by next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology, we find that RNA expression differs between the somatic and axonal compartments of the neuron, for both mRNA and microRNA (miRNA). Further, the introduction of SOD1G93A and TDP43A315T, established ALS-related mutations, changed the subcellular expression and localization of RNAs within the neurons, showing a spatial specificity to either the soma or the axon. Altogether, we provide here the first combined inclusive profile of mRNA and miRNA expression in two ALS models at the subcellular level. These data provide an important resource for studies on the roles of local protein synthesis and axon degeneration in ALS and can serve as a possible target pool for ALS treatment. PMID:28300211

  4. Why do axons differ in caliber?

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-11

    CNS axons differ in diameter (d) by nearly 100-fold (∼0.1-10 μm); therefore, they differ in cross-sectional area (d(2)) 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 d(2). We asked, given constraints on space and energy, 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 the following: (1) thin axons are most numerous; (2) mean firing frequencies, estimated for nine of the identified axon classes, are low for thin fibers and high for thick ones, ranging from ∼1 to >100 Hz; (3) 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; and (4) mitochondrial volume/axon length rises ≥d(2). To explain the pressure toward 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Can BACE1 Inhibition Mitigate Early Axonal Pathology in Neurological Diseases?

    PubMed Central

    Yan, Xiao-Xin; Ma, Chao; Gai, Wei-Ping; Cai, Huaibin; Luo, Xue-Gang

    2014-01-01

    β-Secretase-1 (BACE1) is the rate-limiting enzyme for the genesis of amyloid-β (Aβ) peptides, the main constituents of the amyloid plaques in the brains of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) patients. BACE1 is being evaluated as an anti-Aβ target for AD therapy. Recent studies indicate that BACE1 elevation is associated with axonal and presynaptic pathology during plaque development. Evidence also points to a biological role for BACE1 in axonal outgrowth and synapse formation during development. Axonal, including presynaptic, pathology exists in AD as well as many other neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, stroke, and trauma. In this review, we discuss pharmaceutical BACE1 inhibition as a therapeutic option for axonal pathogenesis, in addition to amyloid pathology. We first introduce the amyloidogenic processing of amyloid-β protein precursor and describe the normal expression pattern of the amyloidogenic proteins in the brain, with an emphasis on BACE1. We then address BACE1 elevation relative to amyloid plaque development, followed by updating recent understanding of a neurotrophic role of BACE1 in axon and synapse development. We further elaborate the occurrence of axonal pathology in some other neurological conditions. Finally, we propose pharmacological inhibition of excessive BACE1 activity as an option to mitigate early axonal pathology occurring in AD and other neurological disorders. PMID:24081378

  8. 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

  9. 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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Protein synthetic machinery and mRNA in regenerating tips of spinal cord axons in lamprey.

    PubMed

    Jin, Li-Qing; Pennise, Cynthia R; Rodemer, William; Jahn, Kristen S; Selzer, Michael E

    2016-12-01

    Polyribosomes, mRNA, and other elements of translational machinery have been reported in peripheral nerves and in elongating injured axons of sensory neurons in vitro, primarily in growth cones. Evidence for involvement of local protein synthesis in regenerating central nervous system (CNS) axons is less extensive. We monitored regeneration of back-labeled lamprey spinal axons after spinal cord transection and detected mRNA in axon tips by in situ hybridization and microaspiration of their axoplasm. Poly(A)+mRNA was present in the axon tips, and was more abundant in actively regenerating tips than in static or retracting ones. Target-specific polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and in situ hybridization revealed plentiful mRNA for the low molecular neurofilament subunit and β-tubulin, but very little for β-actin, consistent with the morphology of their tips, which lack filopodia and lamellipodia. Electron microscopy showed ribosomes/polyribosomes in the distal parts of axon tips and in association with vesicle-like membranes, primarily in the tip. In one instance, there were structures with the appearance of rough endoplasmic reticulum. Immunohistochemistry showed patches of ribosomal protein S6 positivity in a similar distribution. The results suggest that local protein synthesis might be involved in the mechanism of axon regeneration in the lamprey spinal cord. J. Comp. Neurol. 524:3614-3640, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  11. Metabolic regulator LKB1 plays a crucial role in Schwann cell-mediated axon maintenance

    PubMed Central

    Beirowski, Bogdan; Babetto, Elisabetta; Golden, Judith P.; Chen, Ying-Jr; Yang, Kui; Gross, Richard W.; Patti, Gary J; Milbrandt, Jeffrey

    2015-01-01

    Summary Schwann cells (SCs) promote axonal integrity independently of myelination by poorly understood mechanisms. Current models suggest that SC metabolism is critical for this support function and that SC metabolic deficits may lead to axonal demise. The LKB1-AMPK kinase pathway targets multiple downstream effectors including mTOR and is a key metabolic regulator implicated in metabolic diseases. We show through integrative molecular, structural, and behavioral characterization of SC-specific mutant mice that LKB1 activity is central to axon stability, whereas AMPK and mTOR in SCs are largely dispensable. The degeneration of axons in LKB1-mutants is most dramatic in unmyelinated small sensory fibers, whereas motor axons are relatively spared. LKB1 deletion in SCs leads to abnormalities in nerve energy and lipid homeostasis, and increased lactate release. The latter acts in a compensatory manner to support distressed axons. LKB1 signaling is essential for SC-mediated axon support, a function that may be dysregulated in diabetic neuropathy. PMID:25195104

  12. Axonal transport defects are a common phenotype in Drosophila models of ALS

    PubMed Central

    Baldwin, Katie R.; Godena, Vinay K.; Hewitt, Victoria L.; Whitworth, Alexander J.

    2016-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is characterized by the degeneration of motor neurons resulting in a catastrophic loss of motor function. Current therapies are severely limited owing to a poor mechanistic understanding of the pathobiology. Mutations in a large number of genes have now been linked to ALS, including SOD1, TARDBP (TDP-43), FUS and C9orf72. Functional analyses of these genes and their pathogenic mutations have provided great insights into the underlying disease mechanisms. Defective axonal transport is hypothesized to be a key factor in the selective vulnerability of motor nerves due to their extraordinary length and evidence that ALS occurs as a distal axonopathy. Axonal transport is seen as an early pathogenic event that precedes cell loss and clinical symptoms and so represents an upstream mechanism for therapeutic targeting. Studies have begun to describe the impact of a few pathogenic mutations on axonal transport but a broad survey across a range of models and cargos is warranted. Here, we assessed the axonal transport of different cargos in multiple Drosophila models of ALS. We found that axonal transport defects are common across all models tested, although they often showed a differential effect between mitochondria and vesicle cargos. Motor deficits were also common across the models and generally worsened with age, though surprisingly there was not a clear correlation between the severity of axonal transport defects and motor ability. These results further support defects in axonal transport as a common factor in models of ALS that may contribute to the pathogenic process. PMID:27056981

  13. Regulation of retinal axon growth by secreted Vax1 homeodomain protein

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Namsuk; Min, Kwang Wook; Kang, Kyung Hwa; Lee, Eun Jung; Kim, Hyoung-Tai; Moon, Kyunghwan; Choi, Jiheon; Le, Dai; Lee, Sang-Hee; Kim, Jin Woo

    2014-01-01

    Retinal ganglion cell (RGC) axons of binocular animals cross the midline at the optic chiasm (OC) to grow toward their synaptic targets in the contralateral brain. Ventral anterior homeobox 1 (Vax1) plays an essential role in the development of the OC by regulating RGC axon growth in a non-cell autonomous manner. In this study, we identify an unexpected function of Vax1 that is secreted from ventral hypothalamic cells and diffuses to RGC axons, where it promotes axonal growth independent of its transcription factor activity. We demonstrate that Vax1 binds to extracellular sugar groups of the heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs) located in RGC axons. Both Vax1 binding to HSPGs and subsequent penetration into the axoplasm, where Vax1 activates local protein synthesis, are required for RGC axonal growth. Together, our findings demonstrate that Vax1 possesses a novel RGC axon growth factor activity that is critical for the development of the mammalian binocular visual system. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.02671.001 PMID:25201875

  14. 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

  15. Chemokines induce axon outgrowth downstream of Hepatocyte Growth Factor and TCF/β-catenin signaling

    PubMed Central

    Bhardwaj, Deepshikha; Náger, Mireia; Camats, Judith; David, Monica; Benguria, Alberto; Dopazo, Ana; Cantí, Carles; Herreros, Judit

    2013-01-01

    Axon morphogenesis is a complex process regulated by a variety of secreted molecules, including morphogens and growth factors, resulting in the establishment of the neuronal circuitry. Our previous work demonstrated that growth factors [Neurotrophins (NT) and Hepatocyte Growth Factor (HGF)] signal through β-catenin during axon morphogenesis. HGF signaling promotes axon outgrowth and branching by inducing β-catenin phosphorylation at Y142 and transcriptional regulation of T-Cell Factor (TCF) target genes. Here, we asked which genes are regulated by HGF signaling during axon morphogenesis. An array screening indicated that HGF signaling elevates the expression of chemokines of the CC and CXC families. In line with this, CCL7, CCL20, and CXCL2 significantly increase axon outgrowth in hippocampal neurons. Experiments using blocking antibodies and chemokine receptor antagonists demonstrate that chemokines act downstream of HGF signaling during axon morphogenesis. In addition, qPCR data demonstrates that CXCL2 and CCL5 expression is stimulated by HGF through Met/b-catenin/TCF pathway. These results identify CC family members and CXCL2 chemokines as novel regulators of axon morphogenesis downstream of HGF signaling. PMID:23641195

  16. Hermes Regulates Axon Sorting in the Optic Tract by Post-Trancriptional Regulation of Neuropilin 1

    PubMed Central

    Hörnberg, Hanna; Cioni, Jean-Michel; Harris, William A.

    2016-01-01

    The establishment of precise topographic maps during neural development is facilitated by the presorting of axons in the pathway before they reach their targets. In the vertebrate visual system, such topography is seen clearly in the optic tract (OT) and in the optic radiations. However, the molecular mechanisms involved in pretarget axon sorting are poorly understood. Here, we show in zebrafish that the RNA-binding protein Hermes, which is expressed exclusively in retinal ganglion cells (RGCs), is involved in this process. Using a RiboTag approach, we show that Hermes acts as a negative translational regulator of specific mRNAs in RGCs. One of these targets is the guidance cue receptor Neuropilin 1 (Nrp1), which is sensitive to the repellent cue Semaphorin 3A (Sema3A). Hermes knock-down leads to topographic missorting in the OT through the upregulation of Nrp1. Restoring Nrp1 to appropriate levels in Hermes-depleted embryos rescues this effect and corrects the axon-sorting defect in the OT. Our data indicate that axon sorting relies on Hermes-regulated translation of Nrp1. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT An important mechanism governing the formation of the mature neural map is pretarget axon sorting within the sensory tract; however, the molecular mechanisms involved in this process remain largely unknown. The work presented here reveals a novel function for the RNA-binding protein Hermes in regulating the topographic sorting of retinal ganglion cell (RGC) axons in the optic tract and tectum. We find that Hermes negatively controls the translation of the guidance cue receptor Neuropilin-1 in RGCs, with Hermes knock-down resulting in aberrant growth cone cue sensitivity and axonal topographic misprojections. We characterize a novel RNA-based mechanism by which axons restrict their translatome developmentally to achieve proper targeting. PMID:27974617

  17. Antidromic propagation of action potentials in branched axons: implications for the mechanisms of action of deep brain stimulation.

    PubMed

    Grill, Warren M; Cantrell, Meredith B; Robertson, Matthew S

    2008-02-01

    Electrical stimulation of the central nervous system creates both orthodromically propagating action potentials, by stimulation of local cells and passing axons, and antidromically propagating action potentials, by stimulation of presynaptic axons and terminals. Our aim was to understand how antidromic action potentials navigate through complex arborizations, such as those of thalamic and basal ganglia afferents-sites of electrical activation during deep brain stimulation. We developed computational models to study the propagation of antidromic action potentials past the bifurcation in branched axons. In both unmyelinated and myelinated branched axons, when the diameters of each axon branch remained under a specific threshold (set by the antidromic geometric ratio), antidromic propagation occurred robustly; action potentials traveled both antidromically into the primary segment as well as "re-orthodromically" into the terminal secondary segment. Propagation occurred across a broad range of stimulation frequencies, axon segment geometries, and concentrations of extracellular potassium, but was strongly dependent on the geometry of the node of Ranvier at the axonal bifurcation. Thus, antidromic activation of axon terminals can, through axon collaterals, lead to widespread activation or inhibition of targets remote from the site of stimulation. These effects should be included when interpreting the results of functional imaging or evoked potential studies on the mechanisms of action of DBS.

  18. Drosophila microRNA-34 Impairs Axon Pruning of Mushroom Body γ Neurons by Downregulating the Expression of Ecdysone Receptor

    PubMed Central

    Lai, Yen-Wei; Chu, Sao-Yu; Wei, Jia-Yi; Cheng, Chu-Ya; Li, Jian-Chiuan; Chen, Po-Lin; Chen, Chun-Hong; Yu, Hung-Hsiang

    2016-01-01

    MicroRNA-34 (miR-34) is crucial for preventing chronic large-scale neurite degeneration in the aged brain of Drosophila melanogaster. Here we investigated the role of miR-34 in two other types of large-scale axon degeneration in Drosophila: axotomy-induced axon degeneration in olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs) and developmentally related axon pruning in mushroom body (MB) neurons. Ectopically overexpressed miR-34 did not inhibit axon degeneration in OSNs following axotomy, whereas ectopically overexpressed miR-34 in differentiated MB neurons impaired γ axon pruning. Intriguingly, the miR-34-induced γ axon pruning defect resulted from downregulating the expression of ecdysone receptor B1 (EcR-B1) in differentiated MB γ neurons. Notably, the separate overexpression of EcR-B1 or a transforming growth factor- β receptor Baboon, whose activation can upregulate the EcR-B1 expression, in MB neurons rescued the miR-34-induced γ axon pruning phenotype. Future investigations of miR-34 targets that regulate the expression of EcR-B1 in MB γ neurons are warranted to elucidate pathways that regulate axon pruning, and to provide insight into mechanisms that control large-scale axon degeneration in the nervous system. PMID:28008974

  19. Drosophila microRNA-34 Impairs Axon Pruning of Mushroom Body γ Neurons by Downregulating the Expression of Ecdysone Receptor.

    PubMed

    Lai, Yen-Wei; Chu, Sao-Yu; Wei, Jia-Yi; Cheng, Chu-Ya; Li, Jian-Chiuan; Chen, Po-Lin; Chen, Chun-Hong; Yu, Hung-Hsiang

    2016-12-23

    MicroRNA-34 (miR-34) is crucial for preventing chronic large-scale neurite degeneration in the aged brain of Drosophila melanogaster. Here we investigated the role of miR-34 in two other types of large-scale axon degeneration in Drosophila: axotomy-induced axon degeneration in olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs) and developmentally related axon pruning in mushroom body (MB) neurons. Ectopically overexpressed miR-34 did not inhibit axon degeneration in OSNs following axotomy, whereas ectopically overexpressed miR-34 in differentiated MB neurons impaired γ axon pruning. Intriguingly, the miR-34-induced γ axon pruning defect resulted from downregulating the expression of ecdysone receptor B1 (EcR-B1) in differentiated MB γ neurons. Notably, the separate overexpression of EcR-B1 or a transforming growth factor- β receptor Baboon, whose activation can upregulate the EcR-B1 expression, in MB neurons rescued the miR-34-induced γ axon pruning phenotype. Future investigations of miR-34 targets that regulate the expression of EcR-B1 in MB γ neurons are warranted to elucidate pathways that regulate axon pruning, and to provide insight into mechanisms that control large-scale axon degeneration in the nervous system.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

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

    PubMed

    Jiang, Yu-Qiu; Zaaimi, Boubker; Martin, John H

    2016-01-06

    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. Neuroplasticity is limited in maturity, but it is promoted

  4. Optogenetic Interrogation of Functional Synapse Formation by Corticospinal Tract Axons in the Injured Spinal Cord

    PubMed Central

    Jayaprakash, Naveen; Wang, Zimei; Hoeynck, Brian; Krueger, Nicholas; Kramer, Audra; Balle, Eric; Wheeler, Daniel S.; Wheeler, Robert A.

    2016-01-01

    To restore function after injury to the CNS, axons must be stimulated to extend into denervated territory and, critically, must form functional synapses with appropriate targets. We showed previously that forced overexpression of the transcription factor Sox11 increases axon growth by corticospinal tract (CST) neurons after spinal injury. However, behavioral outcomes were not improved, raising the question of whether the newly sprouted axons are able to form functional synapses. Here we developed an optogenetic strategy, paired with single-unit extracellular recordings, to assess the ability of Sox11-stimulated CST axons to functionally integrate in the circuitry of the cervical spinal cord. Initial time course experiments established the expression and function of virally expressed Channelrhodopsin (ChR2) in CST cell bodies and in axon terminals in cervical spinal cord. Pyramidotomies were performed in adult mice to deprive the left side of the spinal cord of CST input, and the right CST was treated with adeno-associated virus (AAV)–Sox11 or AAV–EBFP control, along with AAV–ChR2. As expected, Sox11 treatment caused robust midline crossing of CST axons into previously denervated left spinal cord. Clear postsynaptic responses resulted from optogenetic activation of CST terminals, demonstrating the ability of Sox11-stimulated axons to form functional synapses. Mapping of the distribution of CST-evoked spinal activity revealed overall similarity between intact and newly innervated spinal tissue. These data demonstrate the formation of functional synapses by Sox11-stimulated CST axons without significant behavioral benefit, suggesting that new synapses may be mistargeted or otherwise impaired in the ability to coordinate functional output. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT As continued progress is made in promoting the regeneration of CNS axons, questions of synaptic integration are increasingly prominent. Demonstrating direct synaptic integration by regenerated axons and

  5. Optogenetic Interrogation of Functional Synapse Formation by Corticospinal Tract Axons in the Injured Spinal Cord.

    PubMed

    Jayaprakash, Naveen; Wang, Zimei; Hoeynck, Brian; Krueger, Nicholas; Kramer, Audra; Balle, Eric; Wheeler, Daniel S; Wheeler, Robert A; Blackmore, Murray G

    2016-05-25

    To restore function after injury to the CNS, axons must be stimulated to extend into denervated territory and, critically, must form functional synapses with appropriate targets. We showed previously that forced overexpression of the transcription factor Sox11 increases axon growth by corticospinal tract (CST) neurons after spinal injury. However, behavioral outcomes were not improved, raising the question of whether the newly sprouted axons are able to form functional synapses. Here we developed an optogenetic strategy, paired with single-unit extracellular recordings, to assess the ability of Sox11-stimulated CST axons to functionally integrate in the circuitry of the cervical spinal cord. Initial time course experiments established the expression and function of virally expressed Channelrhodopsin (ChR2) in CST cell bodies and in axon terminals in cervical spinal cord. Pyramidotomies were performed in adult mice to deprive the left side of the spinal cord of CST input, and the right CST was treated with adeno-associated virus (AAV)-Sox11 or AAV-EBFP control, along with AAV-ChR2. As expected, Sox11 treatment caused robust midline crossing of CST axons into previously denervated left spinal cord. Clear postsynaptic responses resulted from optogenetic activation of CST terminals, demonstrating the ability of Sox11-stimulated axons to form functional synapses. Mapping of the distribution of CST-evoked spinal activity revealed overall similarity between intact and newly innervated spinal tissue. These data demonstrate the formation of functional synapses by Sox11-stimulated CST axons without significant behavioral benefit, suggesting that new synapses may be mistargeted or otherwise impaired in the ability to coordinate functional output. As continued progress is made in promoting the regeneration of CNS axons, questions of synaptic integration are increasingly prominent. Demonstrating direct synaptic integration by regenerated axons and distinguishing its function

  6. 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

  7. Genetics Home Reference: autosomal recessive axonal neuropathy with neuromyotonia

    MedlinePlus

    ... recessive axonal neuropathy with neuromyotonia autosomal recessive axonal neuropathy with neuromyotonia Enable Javascript to view the expand/ ... Open All Close All Description Autosomal recessive axonal neuropathy with neuromyotonia is a disorder that affects the ...

  8. Neuronal activity biases axon selection for myelination in vivo

    PubMed Central

    Hines, Jacob H.; Ravanelli, Andrew M.; Schwindt, Rani; Scott, Ethan K.; Appel, Bruce

    2015-01-01

    An essential feature of vertebrate neural development is ensheathment of axons with myelin, an insulating membrane formed by oligodendrocytes. Not all axons are myelinated, but mechanisms directing myelination of specific axons are unknown. Using zebrafish we show that activity-dependent secretion stabilizes myelin sheath formation on select axons. When VAMP2-dependent exocytosis is silenced in single axons, oligodendrocytes preferentially ensheath neighboring axons. Nascent sheaths formed on silenced axons are shorter in length, but when activity of neighboring axons is also suppressed, inhibition of sheath growth is relieved. Using in vivo time-lapse microscopy, we show that only 25% of oligodendrocyte processes that initiate axon wrapping are stabilized during normal development, and that initiation does not require activity. Instead, oligodendrocyte processes wrapping silenced axons are retracted more frequently. We propose that axon selection for myelination results from excessive and indiscriminate initiation of wrapping followed by refinement that is biased by activity-dependent secretion from axons. PMID:25849987

  9. Squid Giant Axons Synthesize NF Proteins.

    PubMed

    Crispino, Marianna; Chun, Jong Tai; Giuditta, Antonio

    2017-05-02

    Squid giant axon has been an excellent model system for studying fundamental topics in neurobiology such as neuronal signaling. It has been also useful in addressing the questions of local protein synthesis in the axons. Incubation of isolated squid giant axons with [(35)S]methionine followed by immunoprecipitation with a rabbit antibody against all squid neurofilament (NF) proteins demonstrates the local synthesis of a major 180 kDa NF protein and of several NF proteins of lower molecular weights. Their identification as NF proteins is based on their absence in the preimmune precipitates. Immunoprecipitates washed with more stringent buffers confirmed these results. Our data are at variance with a recent study based on the same experimental procedure that failed to visualize the local synthesis of NF proteins by the giant axon and thereby suggested their exclusive derivation from nerve cell bodies (as reported by Gainer et al. in Cell Mol Neurobiol 37:475-486, 2017). By reviewing the pertinent literature, we confute the claims that mRNA translation is absent in mature axons because of a putative translation block and that most proteins of mature axons are synthesized in the surrounding glial cells. Given the intrinsic axonal capacity to synthesize proteins, we stress the glial derivation of axonal and presynaptic RNAs and the related proposal that these neuronal domains are endowed with largely independent gene expression systems (as reported by Giuditta et al. in Physiol Rev 88:515-555, 2008).

  10. Cable energy function of cortical axons.

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-21

    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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Regenerative Responses and Axon Pathfinding of Retinal Ganglion Cells in Chronically Injured Mice

    PubMed Central

    Yungher, Benjamin J.; Ribeiro, Márcio; Park, Kevin K.

    2017-01-01

    Purpose Enhanced regeneration of retinal ganglion cell (RGC) axons can be achieved by modification of numerous neuronal-intrinsic factors. However, axon growth initiation and the pathfinding behavior of these axons after traumatic injury remain poorly understood outside of acute injury paradigms, despite the clinical relevance of more chronic settings. We therefore examined RGC axon regeneration following therapeutic delivery that is postponed until 2 months after optic nerve crush injury. Methods Optic nerve regeneration was induced by virally mediated (adeno-associated virus) ciliary neurotrophic factor (AAV-CNTF) administered either immediately or 56 days after optic nerve crush in wild-type or Bax knockout (KO) mice. Retinal ganglion nerve axon regeneration was assessed 21 and 56 days after viral injection. Immunohistochemical analysis of RGC injury signals and extrinsic factors in the optic nerve were also examined at 5 and 56 days post crush. Results In addition to sustained expression of injury response proteins in surviving RGCs, we observe axon regrowth in wild-type and apoptosis-deficient Bax KO mice following AAV-CNTF treatment. Fewer instances of aberrant axon growth are seen, at least in the area near the lesion site, in animals given treatment 56 days after crush injury compared to the animals given treatment immediately after injury. We also find evidence of long distance growth into a visual target in Bax KO mice despite postponed initiation of this regenerative program. Conclusions These studies provide evidence against an intrinsic critical period for RGC axon regeneration or degradation of injury signals. Regeneration results from Bax KO mice imply highly sustained regenerative capacity in RGCs, highlighting the importance of long-lasting neuroprotective strategies as well as of RGC axon guidance research in chronically injured animals. PMID:28324115

  14. Midbrain dopaminergic axons are guided longitudinally through the diencephalon by Slit/Robo signals.

    PubMed

    Dugan, James P; Stratton, Andrea; Riley, Hilary P; Farmer, W Todd; Mastick, Grant S

    2011-01-01

    Dopaminergic neurons from the ventral mesencephalon/diencephalon (mesodiencephalon) form vital pathways constituting the majority of the brain's dopamine systems. Mesodiencephalic dopaminergic (mdDA) neurons extend longitudinal projections anteriorly through the diencephalon, ascending toward forebrain targets. The mechanisms by which mdDA axons initially navigate through the diencephalon are poorly understood. Recently the Slit family of secreted axon guidance proteins, and their Robo receptors, have been identified as important guides for descending longitudinal axons. To test the potential roles of Slit/Robo guidance in ascending trajectories, we examined tyrosine hydroxylase-positive (TH+) projections from mdDA neurons in mutant mouse embryos. We found that mdDA axons grow out of and parallel to Slit-positive ventral regions within the diencephalon, and that subsets of the mdDA axons likely express Robo1 and possibly also Robo2. Slit2 was able to directly inhibit TH axon outgrowth in explant co-culture assays. The mdDA axons made significant pathfinding errors in Slit1/2 and Robo1/2 knockout mice, including spreading out in the diencephalon to form a wider tract. The wider tract resulted from a combination of invasion of the ventral midline, consistent with Slit repulsion, but also axons wandering dorsally, away from the ventral midline. Aberrant dorsal trajectories were prominent in Robo1 and Robo1/2 knockout mice, suggesting that an aspect of Robo receptor function is Slit-independent. These results indicate that Slit/Robo signaling is critical during the initial establishment of dopaminergic pathways, with roles in the dorsoventral positioning and precise pathfinding of these ascending longitudinal axons.

  15. Neural cell adhesion molecule, NCAM, regulates thalamocortical axon pathfinding and the organization of the cortical somatosensory representation in mouse

    PubMed Central

    Enriquez-Barreto, Lilian; Palazzetti, Cecilia; Brennaman, Leann H.; Maness, Patricia F.; Fairén, Alfonso

    2012-01-01

    To study the potential role of neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM) in the development of thalamocortical (TC) axon topography, wild type, and NCAM null mutant mice were analyzed for NCAM expression, projection, and targeting of TC afferents within the somatosensory area of the neocortex. Here we report that NCAM and its α-2,8-linked polysialic acid (PSA) are expressed in developing TC axons during projection to the neocortex. Pathfinding of TC axons in wild type and null mutant mice was mapped using anterograde DiI labeling. At embryonic day E16.5, null mutant mice displayed misguided TC axons in the dorsal telencephalon, but not in the ventral telencephalon, an intermediate target that initially sorts TC axons toward correct neocortical areas. During the early postnatal period, rostrolateral TC axons within the internal capsule along the ventral telencephalon adopted distorted trajectories in the ventral telencephalon and failed to reach the neocortex in NCAM null mutant animals. NCAM null mutants showed abnormal segregation of layer IV barrels in a restricted portion of the somatosensory cortex. As shown by Nissl and cytochrome oxidase staining, barrels of the anterolateral barrel subfield (ALBSF) and the most distal barrels of the posteromedial barrel subfield (PMBSF) did not segregate properly in null mutant mice. These results indicate a novel role for NCAM in axonal pathfinding and topographic sorting of TC axons, which may be important for the function of specific territories of sensory representation in the somatosensory cortex. PMID:22723769

  16. Schwann cell interactions with axons and microvessels in diabetic neuropathy.

    PubMed

    Gonçalves, Nádia P; Vægter, Christian B; Andersen, Henning; Østergaard, Leif; Calcutt, Nigel A; Jensen, Troels S

    2017-03-01

    The prevalence of diabetes worldwide is at pandemic levels, with the number of patients increasing by 5% annually. The most common complication of diabetes is peripheral neuropathy, which has a prevalence as high as 50% and is characterized by damage to neurons, Schwann cells and blood vessels within the nerve. The pathogenic mechanisms of diabetic neuropathy remain poorly understood, impeding the development of targeted therapies to treat nerve degeneration and its most disruptive consequences of sensory loss and neuropathic pain. Involvement of Schwann cells has long been proposed, and new research techniques are beginning to unravel a complex interplay between these cells, axons and microvessels that is compromised during the development of diabetic neuropathy. In this Review, we discuss the evolving concept of Schwannopathy as an integral factor in the pathogenesis of diabetic neuropathy, and how disruption of the interactions between Schwann cells, axons and microvessels contribute to the disease.

  17. 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

  18. Calcium-Activated Potassium Channels at Nodes of Ranvier Secure Axonal Spike Propagation.

    PubMed

    Gründemann, Jan; Clark, Beverley A

    2015-09-22

    Functional connectivity between brain regions relies on long-range signaling by myelinated axons. This is secured by saltatory action potential propagation that depends fundamentally on sodium channel availability at nodes of Ranvier. Although various potassium channel types have been anatomically localized to myelinated axons in the brain, direct evidence for their functional recruitment in maintaining node excitability is scarce. Cerebellar Purkinje cells provide continuous input to their targets in the cerebellar nuclei, reliably transmitting axonal spikes over a wide range of rates, requiring a constantly available pool of nodal sodium channels. We show that the recruitment of calcium-activated potassium channels (IK, K(Ca)3.1) by local, activity-dependent calcium (Ca(2+)) influx at nodes of Ranvier via a T-type voltage-gated Ca(2+) current provides a powerful mechanism that likely opposes depolarizing block at the nodes and is thus pivotal to securing continuous axonal spike propagation in spontaneously firing Purkinje cells.

  19. Calcium-Activated Potassium Channels at Nodes of Ranvier Secure Axonal Spike Propagation

    PubMed Central

    Gründemann, Jan; Clark, Beverley A.

    2015-01-01

    Summary Functional connectivity between brain regions relies on long-range signaling by myelinated axons. This is secured by saltatory action potential propagation that depends fundamentally on sodium channel availability at nodes of Ranvier. Although various potassium channel types have been anatomically localized to myelinated axons in the brain, direct evidence for their functional recruitment in maintaining node excitability is scarce. Cerebellar Purkinje cells provide continuous input to their targets in the cerebellar nuclei, reliably transmitting axonal spikes over a wide range of rates, requiring a constantly available pool of nodal sodium channels. We show that the recruitment of calcium-activated potassium channels (IK, KCa3.1) by local, activity-dependent calcium (Ca2+) influx at nodes of Ranvier via a T-type voltage-gated Ca2+ current provides a powerful mechanism that likely opposes depolarizing block at the nodes and is thus pivotal to securing continuous axonal spike propagation in spontaneously firing Purkinje cells. PMID:26344775

  20. Stretch-grown axons retain the ability to transmit active electrical signals

    PubMed Central

    Pfister, Bryan J.; Bonislawski, David P.; Smith, Douglas H.; Cohen, Akiva S.

    2016-01-01

    Little is known about extensive nervous system growth after axons reach their targets. Indeed, postnatal animals continue to grow, suggesting that axons are stretched to accommodate the expanding body. We have previously shown that axons can sustain stretch-growth rates reaching 1 cm/day; however, it remained unknown whether the ability to transmit active signals was maintained. Here, stretch-growth did not alter sodium channel activation, inactivation, and recovery or potassium channel activation. In addition, neurons generated normal action potentials that propagated across stretch-grown axons. Surprisingly, Na and K channel density increased due to stretch-growth, which may represent a natural response to preserve the fidelity of neuronal signaling. PMID:16730003

  1. Neuronal polarity: Essential role of protein–lipid complexes in axonal sorting

    PubMed Central

    Ledesma, Maria Dolores; Simons, Kai; Dotti, Carlos G.

    1998-01-01

    The viral glycoprotein hemagglutinin (HA) and the endogenous glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored protein Thy-1 are efficiently targeted to the axonal surface of fully polarized hippocampal neurons in culture. Here we have shown that in these cells HA and Thy-1 interact with sphingolipid–cholesterol rafts and are included in detergent-insoluble glycolipid-enriched complexes. Axonal HA and Thy-1, but not two dendritic membrane proteins, resisted extraction to detergents at 4°C. Both HA and Thy-1 became detergent-soluble in neurons with reduced levels of cholesterol or sphingolipids. Missorting of the axonal Thy-1 but not of a dendritic membrane protein occurred in sphingolipid-deprived cells. These results indicate that neurons sort a subset of axolemmal proteins by a mechanism that requires the formation of protein–lipid rafts. The involvement of rafts in axonal membrane sorting may explain the neurological deficits observed in patients with certain types of Niemann–Pick disease. PMID:9520476

  2. [Axonal damage and its significance for the concept of neurodegeneration in multiple sclerosis].

    PubMed

    Recks, M S; Bader, J; Kaiser, C C; Schroeter, M; Fink, G R; Addicks, K; Kuerten, S

    2011-03-01

    In spite of tremendous scientific effort, the mechanisms underlying multiple sclerosis (MS) still remain to be elucidated. The prevalent pathogenetic concept adheres to the assumption of a strict hierarchical sequence of the triad inflammation, demyelination and axonal damage. However, recent studies have provided evidence that axonal pathology can occur independently of inflammation and demyelination. The present article critically re-evaluates the traditional paradigm of MS pathology. Potential cellular, humoral and metabolic mechanisms of axonal pathology are delineated and the development of isolated axonal damage is assessed. A better understanding of the pathological processes underlying MS is likely to result in an improvement of current therapeutic strategies. These should not only target the inflammatory, but also the neurodegenerative component of the disease.

  3. Netrin-1-mediated axon outgrowth requires deleted in colorectal cancer-dependent MAPK activation.

    PubMed

    Forcet, Christelle; Stein, Elke; Pays, Laurent; Corset, Véronique; Llambi, Fabien; Tessier-Lavigne, Marc; Mehlen, Patrick

    2002-05-23

    Neuronal growth cones are guided to their targets by attractive and repulsive guidance cues. In mammals, netrin-1 is a bifunctional cue, attracting some axons and repelling others. Deleted in colorectal cancer (Dcc) is a receptor for netrin-1 that mediates its chemoattractive effect on commissural axons, but the signalling mechanisms that transduce this effect are poorly understood. Here we show that Dcc activates mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signalling, by means of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)-1 and -2, on netrin-1 binding in both transfected cells and commissural neurons. This activation is associated with recruitment of ERK-1/2 to a Dcc receptor complex. Inhibition of ERK-1/2 antagonizes netrin-dependent axon outgrowth and orientation. Thus, activation of MAPK signalling through Dcc contributes to netrin signalling in axon growth and guidance.

  4. Dipolar extracellular potentials generated by axonal projections

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Ji; Kuokkanen, Paula Tuulia; Carr, Catherine Emily; Wagner, Hermann

    2017-01-01

    Extracellular field potentials (EFPs) are an important source of information in neuroscience, but their physiological basis is in many cases still a matter of debate. Axonal sources are typically discounted in modeling and data analysis because their contributions are assumed to be negligible. Here, we established experimentally and theoretically that contributions of axons to EFPs can be significant. Modeling action potentials propagating along axons, we showed that EFPs were prominent in the presence of terminal zones where axons branch and terminate in close succession, as found in many brain regions. Our models predicted a dipolar far field and a polarity reversal at the center of the terminal zone. We confirmed these predictions using EFPs from the barn owl auditory brainstem where we recorded in nucleus laminaris using a multielectrode array. These results demonstrate that axonal terminal zones can produce EFPs with considerable amplitude and spatial reach. PMID:28871959

  5. 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

  6. AAV-KLF7 Promotes Descending Propriospinal Neuron Axonal Plasticity after Spinal Cord Injury

    PubMed Central

    Li, Wen-Yuan; Sun, Ping; Cheng, Yong-Xia

    2017-01-01

    DPSN axons mediate and maintain a variety of normal spinal functions. Unsurprisingly, DPSN tracts have been shown to mediate functional recovery following SCI. KLF7 could contribute to CST axon plasticity after spinal cord injury. In the present study, we assessed whether KLF7 could effectively promote DPSN axon regeneration and synapse formation following SCI. An AAV-KLF7 construct was used to overexpress KLF7. In vitro, KLF7 and target proteins were successfully elevated and axonal outgrowth was enhanced. In vivo, young adult C57BL/6 mice received a T10 contusion followed by an AAV-KLF7 injection at the T7–9 levels above the lesion. Five weeks later, overexpression of KLF7 was expressed in DPSN. KLF7 and KLF7 target genes (NGF, TrkA, GAP43, and P0) were detectably increased in the injured spinal cord. Myelin sparring at the lesion site, DPSN axonal regeneration and synapse formation, muscle weight, motor endplate morphology, and functional parameters were all additionally improved by KLF7 treatment. Our findings suggest that KLF7 promotes DPSN axonal plasticity and the formation of synapses with motor neurons at the caudal spinal cord, leading to improved functional recovery and further supporting the potential of AAV-KLF7 as a therapeutic agent for spinal cord injury. PMID:28884027

  7. The RNA-binding protein SFPQ orchestrates an RNA regulon to promote axon viability.

    PubMed

    Cosker, Katharina E; Fenstermacher, Sara J; Pazyra-Murphy, Maria F; Elliott, Hunter L; Segal, Rosalind A

    2016-05-01

    To achieve accurate spatiotemporal patterns of gene expression, RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) guide nuclear processing, intracellular trafficking and local translation of target mRNAs. In neurons, RBPs direct transport of target mRNAs to sites of translation in remote axons and dendrites. However, it is not known whether an individual RBP coordinately regulates multiple mRNAs within these morphologically complex cells. Here we identify SFPQ (splicing factor, poly-glutamine rich) as an RBP that binds and regulates multiple mRNAs in dorsal root ganglion sensory neurons and thereby promotes neurotrophin-dependent axonal viability. SFPQ acts in nuclei, cytoplasm and axons to regulate functionally related mRNAs essential for axon survival. Notably, SFPQ is required for coassembly of LaminB2 (Lmnb2) and Bclw (Bcl2l2) mRNAs in RNA granules and for axonal trafficking of these mRNAs. Together these data demonstrate that SFPQ orchestrates spatial gene expression of a newly identified RNA regulon essential for axonal viability.

  8. The Highwire Ubiquitin Ligase Promotes Axonal Degeneration by Tuning Levels of Nmnat Protein

    PubMed Central

    Xiong, Xin; Hao, Yan; Sun, Kan; Li, Jiaxing; Li, Xia; Mishra, Bibhudatta; Soppina, Pushpanjali; Wu, Chunlai; Hume, Richard I.; Collins, Catherine A.

    2012-01-01

    Axonal degeneration is a hallmark of many neuropathies, neurodegenerative diseases, and injuries. Here, using a Drosophila injury model, we have identified a highly conserved E3 ubiquitin ligase, Highwire (Hiw), as an important regulator of axonal and synaptic degeneration. Mutations in hiw strongly inhibit Wallerian degeneration in multiple neuron types and developmental stages. This new phenotype is mediated by a new downstream target of Hiw: the NAD+ biosynthetic enzyme nicotinamide mononucleotide adenyltransferase (Nmnat), which acts in parallel to a previously known target of Hiw, the Wallenda dileucine zipper kinase (Wnd/DLK) MAPKKK. Hiw promotes a rapid disappearance of Nmnat protein in the distal stump after injury. An increased level of Nmnat protein in hiw mutants is both required and sufficient to inhibit degeneration. Ectopically expressed mouse Nmnat2 is also subject to regulation by Hiw in distal axons and synapses. These findings implicate an important role for endogenous Nmnat and its regulation, via a conserved mechanism, in the initiation of axonal degeneration. Through independent regulation of Wnd/DLK, whose function is required for proximal axons to regenerate, Hiw plays a central role in coordinating both regenerative and degenerative responses to axonal injury. PMID:23226106

  9. 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

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

    PubMed

    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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

    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. >20ms, the sensitivity to small axons (diameter<2μm) 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 (1-5ms). 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 of ~1.27-5.54μm). The estimated values were in good agreement with histology, including the small axon diameters (<2.5μm). This study establishes a framework for the quantification of nerve morphology using the OGSE method with high sensitivity to small axons.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. A viscoelastic model for axonal microtubule rupture.

    PubMed

    Shamloo, Amir; Manuchehrfar, Farid; Rafii-Tabar, Hashem

    2015-05-01

    Axon is an important part of the neuronal cells and axonal microtubules are bundles in axons. In axons, microtubules are coated with microtubule-associated protein tau, a natively unfolded filamentous protein in the central nervous system. These proteins are responsible for cross-linking axonal microtubule bundles. Through complimentary dimerization with other tau proteins, bridges are formed between nearby microtubules creating bundles. Formation of bundles of microtubules causes their transverse reinforcement and has been shown to enhance their ability to bear compressive loads. Though microtubules are conventionally regarded as bearing compressive loads, in certain circumstances during traumatic brain injuries, they are placed in tension. In our model, microtubule bundles were formed from a large number of discrete masses. We employed Standard Linear Solid model (SLS), a viscoelastic model, to computationally simulate microtubules. In this study, we investigated the dynamic responses of two dimensional axonal microtubules under suddenly applied end forces by implementing discrete masses connected to their neighboring masses with a Standard Linear Solid unit. We also investigated the effect of the applied force rate and magnitude on the deformation of bundles. Under tension, a microtubule fiber may rupture as a result of a sudden force. Using the developed model, we could predict the critical regions of the axonal microtubule bundles in the presence of varying end forces. We finally analyzed the nature of microtubular failure under varying mechanical stresses. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Cargo distributions differentiate pathological axonal transport impairments.

    PubMed

    Mitchell, Cassie S; Lee, Robert H

    2012-05-07

    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. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. 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

  18. The Growth Cone Cytoskeleton in Axon Outgrowth and Guidance

    PubMed Central

    Dent, Erik W.; Gupton, Stephanie L.; Gertler, Frank B.

    2011-01-01

    Axon outgrowth and guidance to the proper target requires the coordination of filamentous (F)-actin and microtubules (MTs), the dynamic cytoskeletal polymers that promote shape change and locomotion. Over the past two decades, our knowledge of the many guidance cues, receptors, and downstream signaling cascades involved in neuronal outgrowth and guidance has increased dramatically. Less is known, however, about how those cascades of information converge and direct appropriate remodeling and interaction of cytoskeletal polymers, the ultimate effectors of movement and guidance. During development, much of the communication that occurs between environmental guidance cues and the cytoskeleton takes place at the growing tip of the axon, the neuronal growth cone. Several articles on this topic focus on the “input” to the growth cone, the myriad of receptor types, and their corresponding cognate ligands. Others investigate the signaling cascades initiated by receptors and propagated by second messenger pathways (i.e., kinases, phosphatases, GTPases). Ultimately, this plethora of information converges on proteins that associate directly with the actin and microtubule cytoskeletons. The role of these cytoskeletal-associated proteins, as well as the cytoskeleton itself in axon outgrowth and guidance, is the subject of this article. PMID:21106647

  19. Revisiting chemoaffinity theory: Chemotactic implementation of topographic axonal projection

    PubMed Central

    2017-01-01

    Neural circuits are wired by chemotactic migration of growth cones guided by extracellular guidance cue gradients. How growth cone chemotaxis builds the macroscopic structure of the neural circuit is a fundamental question in neuroscience. I addressed this issue in the case of the ordered axonal projections called topographic maps in the retinotectal system. In the retina and tectum, the erythropoietin-producing hepatocellular (Eph) receptors and their ligands, the ephrins, are expressed in gradients. According to Sperry’s chemoaffinity theory, gradients in both the source and target areas enable projecting axons to recognize their proper terminals, but how axons chemotactically decode their destinations is largely unknown. To identify the chemotactic mechanism of topographic mapping, I developed a mathematical model of intracellular signaling in the growth cone that focuses on the growth cone’s unique chemotactic property of being attracted or repelled by the same guidance cues in different biological situations. The model presented mechanism by which the retinal growth cone reaches the correct terminal zone in the tectum through alternating chemotactic response between attraction and repulsion around a preferred concentration. The model also provided a unified understanding of the contrasting relationships between receptor expression levels and preferred ligand concentrations in EphA/ephrinA- and EphB/ephrinB-encoded topographic mappings. Thus, this study redefines the chemoaffinity theory in chemotactic terms. PMID:28792499

  20. 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.

  1. Revisiting chemoaffinity theory: Chemotactic implementation of topographic axonal projection.

    PubMed

    Naoki, Honda

    2017-08-01

    Neural circuits are wired by chemotactic migration of growth cones guided by extracellular guidance cue gradients. How growth cone chemotaxis builds the macroscopic structure of the neural circuit is a fundamental question in neuroscience. I addressed this issue in the case of the ordered axonal projections called topographic maps in the retinotectal system. In the retina and tectum, the erythropoietin-producing hepatocellular (Eph) receptors and their ligands, the ephrins, are expressed in gradients. According to Sperry's chemoaffinity theory, gradients in both the source and target areas enable projecting axons to recognize their proper terminals, but how axons chemotactically decode their destinations is largely unknown. To identify the chemotactic mechanism of topographic mapping, I developed a mathematical model of intracellular signaling in the growth cone that focuses on the growth cone's unique chemotactic property of being attracted or repelled by the same guidance cues in different biological situations. The model presented mechanism by which the retinal growth cone reaches the correct terminal zone in the tectum through alternating chemotactic response between attraction and repulsion around a preferred concentration. The model also provided a unified understanding of the contrasting relationships between receptor expression levels and preferred ligand concentrations in EphA/ephrinA- and EphB/ephrinB-encoded topographic mappings. Thus, this study redefines the chemoaffinity theory in chemotactic terms.

  2. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-11-24

    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. Overexpression 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 RNA interference significantly reduces the Kv3.1b axonal level. Furthermore, mutating the Zn(2+)-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, coexpression of the YFP (yellow fluorescent protein)-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 colocalize and comove 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.

  4. A supercritical density of fast Na+ channels ensures rapid propagation of action potentials in GABAergic interneuron axons

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Hua; Jonas, Peter

    2014-01-01

    Fast-spiking, parvalbumin-expressing GABAergic interneurons/basket cells (BCs) play a key role in feedforward and feedback inhibition, gamma oscillations, and complex information processing. For these functions, fast propagation of action potentials (APs) from the soma to the presynaptic terminals is important. However, the functional properties of interneuron axons remain elusive. Here, we examined interneuron axons by confocally targeted subcellular patch-clamp recording in rat hippocampal slices. APs were initiated in the proximal axon ~20 μm from the soma, and propagated to the distal axon with high reliability and speed. Subcellular mapping revealed a stepwise increase of Na+ conductance density from the soma to the proximal axon, followed by a further gradual increase in the distal axon. Active cable modeling and experiments with partial channel block indicated that low axonal Na+ conductance density was sufficient for reliability, but high Na+ density was necessary for both speed of propagation and fast-spiking AP phenotype. Our results suggest that a supercritical density of Na+ channels compensates for the morphological properties of interneuron axons (small segmental diameter, extensive branching, and high bouton density), ensuring fast AP propagation and high-frequency repetitive firing. PMID:24657965

  5. L1CAM/Neuroglian controls the axon–axon interactions establishing layered and lobular mushroom body architecture

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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

  6. Reduced BACE1 activity enhances clearance of myelin debris and regeneration of axons in the injured peripheral nervous system

    PubMed Central

    Farah, Mohamed H.; Pan, Bao Han; Hoffman, Paul N.; Ferraris, Dana; Tsukamoto, Takashi; Nguyen, Thien; Wong, Philip C.; Price, Donald L.; Slusher, Barbara S.; Griffin, John W.

    2012-01-01

    β- site amyloid precursor protein (APP) cleaving enzyme 1 (BACE1) is an aspartyl protease best known for its role in generating the amyloid β peptides that are present in plaques of Alzheimer's Disease. BACE1 has been an attractive target for drug development. In cultured embryonic neurons BACE1-cleaved N-terminal APP is further processed to generate a fragment that can trigger axonal degeneration, suggesting a vital role for BACE1 in axonal health. In addition, BACE1 cleaves neuregulin 1 type III, a protein critical for myelination of peripheral axons by Schwann cells during development. Here, we asked if axonal degeneration or axonal regeneration in adult nerves might be affected by inhibition or elimination of BACE1. We report that BACE1 knockout and wild-type nerves degenerated at a similar rate after axotomy and to a similar extent in the experimental neuropathies produced by administration of paclitaxel and acrylamide. These data indicate N-APP is not the sole culprit in axonal degeneration in adult nerves. Unexpectedly, however, we observed that BACE1 knockout mice had markedly enhanced clearance of axonal and myelin debris from degenerated fibers, accelerated axonal regeneration, and earlier reinnervation of neuromuscular junctions, compared to littermate controls. These observations were reproduced in part by pharmacological inhibition of BACE1. These data suggest BACE1 inhibition as a therapeutic approach to accelerate regeneration and recovery after peripheral nerve damage. PMID:21490216

  7. 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

  8. 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. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Axon initial segment Kv1 channels control axonal action potential waveform and synaptic efficacy.

    PubMed

    Kole, Maarten H P; Letzkus, Johannes J; Stuart, Greg J

    2007-08-16

    Action potentials are binary signals that transmit information via their rate and temporal pattern. In this context, the axon is thought of as a transmission line, devoid of a role in neuronal computation. Here, we show a highly localized role of axonal Kv1 potassium channels in shaping the action potential waveform in the axon initial segment (AIS) of layer 5 pyramidal neurons independent of the soma. Cell-attached recordings revealed a 10-fold increase in Kv1 channel density over the first 50 microm of the AIS. Inactivation of AIS and proximal axonal Kv1 channels, as occurs during slow subthreshold somatodendritic depolarizations, led to a distance-dependent broadening of axonal action potentials, as well as an increase in synaptic strength at proximal axonal terminals. Thus, Kv1 channels are strategically positioned to integrate slow subthreshold signals, providing control of the presynaptic action potential waveform and synaptic coupling in local cortical circuits.

  10. Axonal regeneration. Systemic administration of epothilone B promotes axon regeneration after spinal cord injury.

    PubMed

    Ruschel, Jörg; Hellal, Farida; Flynn, Kevin C; Dupraz, Sebastian; Elliott, David A; Tedeschi, Andrea; Bates, Margaret; Sliwinski, Christopher; Brook, Gary; Dobrindt, Kristina; Peitz, Michael; Brüstle, Oliver; Norenberg, Michael D; Blesch, Armin; Weidner, Norbert; Bunge, Mary Bartlett; Bixby, John L; Bradke, Frank

    2015-04-17

    After central nervous system (CNS) injury, inhibitory factors in the lesion scar and poor axon growth potential prevent axon regeneration. Microtubule stabilization reduces scarring and promotes axon growth. However, the cellular mechanisms of this dual effect remain unclear. Here, delayed systemic administration of a blood-brain barrier-permeable microtubule-stabilizing drug, epothilone B (epoB), decreased scarring after rodent spinal cord injury (SCI) by abrogating polarization and directed migration of scar-forming fibroblasts. Conversely, epothilone B reactivated neuronal polarization by inducing concerted microtubule polymerization into the axon tip, which propelled axon growth through an inhibitory environment. Together, these drug-elicited effects promoted axon regeneration and improved motor function after SCI. With recent clinical approval, epothilones hold promise for clinical use after CNS injury. Copyright © 2015, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  11. ccdc80-l1 Is Involved in Axon Pathfinding of Zebrafish Motoneurons

    PubMed Central

    Brusegan, Chiara; Pistocchi, Anna; Frassine, Andrea; Della Noce, Isabella; Schepis, Filippo; Cotelli, Franco

    2012-01-01

    Axon pathfinding is a subfield of neural development by which neurons send out axons to reach the correct targets. In particular, motoneurons extend their axons toward skeletal muscles, leading to spontaneous motor activity. In this study, we identified the zebrafish Ccdc80 and Ccdc80-like1 (Ccdc80-l1) proteins in silico on the basis of their high aminoacidic sequence identity with the human CCDC80 (Coiled-Coil Domain Containing 80). We focused on ccdc80-l1 gene that is expressed in nervous and non-nervous tissues, in particular in territories correlated with axonal migration, such as adaxial cells and muscle pioneers. Loss of ccdc80-l1 in zebrafish embryos induced motility issues, although somitogenesis and myogenesis were not impaired. Our results strongly suggest that ccdc80-l1 is involved in axon guidance of primary and secondary motoneurons populations, but not in their proper formation. ccdc80-l1 has a differential role as regards the development of ventral and dorsal motoneurons, and this is consistent with the asymmetric distribution of the transcript. The axonal migration defects observed in ccdc80-l1 loss-of-function embryos are similar to the phenotype of several mutants with altered Hedgehog activity. Indeed, we reported that ccdc80-l1 expression is positively regulated by the Hedgehog pathway in adaxial cells and muscle pioneers. These findings strongly indicate ccdc80-l1 as a down-stream effector of the Hedgehog pathway. PMID:22384085

  12. Ccdc80-l1 Is involved in axon pathfinding of zebrafish motoneurons.

    PubMed

    Brusegan, Chiara; Pistocchi, Anna; Frassine, Andrea; Della Noce, Isabella; Schepis, Filippo; Cotelli, Franco

    2012-01-01

    Axon pathfinding is a subfield of neural development by which neurons send out axons to reach the correct targets. In particular, motoneurons extend their axons toward skeletal muscles, leading to spontaneous motor activity. In this study, we identified the zebrafish Ccdc80 and Ccdc80-like1 (Ccdc80-l1) proteins in silico on the basis of their high aminoacidic sequence identity with the human CCDC80 (Coiled-Coil Domain Containing 80). We focused on ccdc80-l1 gene that is expressed in nervous and non-nervous tissues, in particular in territories correlated with axonal migration, such as adaxial cells and muscle pioneers. Loss of ccdc80-l1 in zebrafish embryos induced motility issues, although somitogenesis and myogenesis were not impaired. Our results strongly suggest that ccdc80-l1 is involved in axon guidance of primary and secondary motoneurons populations, but not in their proper formation. ccdc80-l1 has a differential role as regards the development of ventral and dorsal motoneurons, and this is consistent with the asymmetric distribution of the transcript. The axonal migration defects observed in ccdc80-l1 loss-of-function embryos are similar to the phenotype of several mutants with altered Hedgehog activity. Indeed, we reported that ccdc80-l1 expression is positively regulated by the Hedgehog pathway in adaxial cells and muscle pioneers. These findings strongly indicate ccdc80-l1 as a down-stream effector of the Hedgehog pathway.

  13. NGF regulates the expression of axonal LINGO-1 to inhibit oligodendrocyte differentiation and myelination.

    PubMed

    Lee, Xinhua; Yang, Zhongshu; Shao, Zhaohui; Rosenberg, Sheila S; Levesque, Melissa; Pepinsky, R Blake; Qiu, Mengsheng; Miller, Robert H; Chan, Jonah R; Mi, Sha

    2007-01-03

    Neurons and glia share a mutual dependence in establishing a functional relationship, and none is more evident than the process by which axons control myelination. Here, we identify LRR and Ig domain-containing, Nogo receptor-interacting protein (LINGO-1) as a potent axonal inhibitor of oligodendrocyte differentiation and myelination that is regulated by nerve growth factor and its cognate receptor TrkA in a dose-dependent manner. Whereas LINGO-1 expressed by oligodendrocyte progenitor cells was previously identified as an inhibitor of differentiation, we demonstrate that axonal expression of LINGO-1 inhibits differentiation with equal potency. Disruption of LINGO-1 on either cell type is sufficient to overcome the inhibitory action and promote differentiation and myelination, independent of axon diameter. Furthermore, these results were recapitulated in transgenic mice overexpressing the full length LINGO-1 under the neuronal promoter synapsin. Myelination was greatly inhibited in the presence of enforced axonal LINGO-1. The implications of these results relate specifically to the development of potential therapeutics targeting extrinsic growth factors that may regulate the axonal expression of modulators of oligodendrocyte development.

  14. Periodic actin structures in neuronal axons are required to maintain microtubules

    PubMed Central

    Qu, Yue; Hahn, Ines; Webb, Stephen E.D.; Pearce, Simon P.; Prokop, Andreas

    2017-01-01

    Axons are cable-like neuronal processes wiring the nervous system. They contain parallel bundles of microtubules as structural backbones, surrounded by regularly spaced actin rings termed the periodic membrane skeleton (PMS). Despite being an evolutionarily conserved, ubiquitous, highly ordered feature of axons, the function of PMS is unknown. Here we studied PMS abundance, organization, and function, combining versatile Drosophila genetics with superresolution microscopy and various functional readouts. Analyses with 11 actin regulators and three actin-targeting drugs suggest that PMS contains short actin filaments that are depolymerization resistant and sensitive to spectrin, adducin, and nucleator deficiency, consistent with microscopy-derived models proposing PMS as specialized cortical actin. Upon actin removal, we observed gaps in microtubule bundles, reduced microtubule polymerization, and reduced axon numbers, suggesting a role of PMS in microtubule organization. These effects become strongly enhanced when carried out in neurons lacking the microtubule-stabilizing protein Short stop (Shot). Combining the aforementioned actin manipulations with Shot deficiency revealed a close correlation between PMS abundance and microtubule regulation, consistent with a model in which PMS-dependent microtubule polymerization contributes to their maintenance in axons. We discuss potential implications of this novel PMS function along axon shafts for axon maintenance and regeneration. PMID:27881663

  15. Glial scar size, inhibitor concentration, and growth of regenerating axons after spinal cord transection☆

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Weiping; Sun, Yanping; Chen, Xuning; Feng, Shiliang

    2012-01-01

    A mathematical model has been formulated in accordance with cell chemotaxis and relevant experimental data. A three-dimensional lattice Boltzmann method was used for numerical simulation. The present study observed the effects of glial scar size and inhibitor concentration on regenerative axonal growth following spinal cord transection. The simulation test comprised two parts: (1) when release rates of growth inhibitor and promoter were constant, the effects of glial scar size on axonal growth rate were analyzed, and concentrations of inhibitor and promoters located at the moving growth cones were recorded. (2) When the glial scar size was constant, the effects of inhibitor and promoter release rates on axonal growth rate were analyzed, and inhibitor and promoter concentrations at the moving growth cones were recorded. Results demonstrated that (1) a larger glial scar and a higher release rate of inhibitor resulted in a reduced axonal growth rate. (2) The axonal growth rate depended on the ratio of inhibitor to promoter concentrations at the growth cones. When the average ratio was < 1.5, regenerating axons were able to grow and successfully contact target cells. PMID:25657689

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Motor axons are guided to exit points in the spinal cord by Slit and Netrin signals.

    PubMed

    Kim, Minkyung; Fontelonga, Tatiana M; Lee, Clare H; Barnum, Sarah J; Mastick, Grant S

    2017-10-03

    In the spinal cord, motor axons project out the neural tube at specific exit points, then bundle together to project toward target muscles. The molecular signals that guide motor axons to and out of their exit points remain undefined. Since motor axons and their exit points are located near the floor plate, guidance signals produced by the floor plate and adjacent ventral tissues could influence motor axons as they project toward and out of exit points. The secreted Slit proteins are major floor plate repellents, and motor neurons express two Slit receptors, Robo1 and Robo2. Using mutant mouse embryos at early stages of motor axon exit, we found that motor exit points shifted ventrally in Robo1/2 or Slit1/2 double mutants. Along with the ventral shift, mutant axons had abnormal trajectories both within the neural tube toward the exit point, and after exit into the periphery. In contrast, the absence of the major ventral attractant, Netrin-1, or its receptor, DCC caused motor exit points to shift dorsally. Netrin-1 attraction on spinal motor axons was demonstrated by in vitro explant assays, showing that Netrin-1 increased outgrowth and attracted cultured spinal motor axons. The opposing effects of Slit/Robo and Netrin-1/DCC signals were tested genetically by combining Netrin-1 and Robo1/2 mutations. The location of exit points in the combined mutants was significantly recovered to their normal position compared to Netrin-1 or Robo1/2 mutants. Together, these results suggest that the proper position of motor exit points is determined by a "push-pull" mechanism, pulled ventrally by Netrin-1/DCC attraction and pushed dorsally by Slit/Robo repulsion. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  2. HIV Glycoprotein Gp120 Impairs Fast Axonal Transport by Activating Tak1 Signaling Pathways

    PubMed Central

    Berth, Sarah H.; Mesnard-Hoaglin, Nichole; Wang, Bin; Kim, Hajwa; Song, Yuyu; Sapar, Maria; Morfini, Gerardo

    2016-01-01

    Sensory neuropathies are the most common neurological complication of HIV. Of these, distal sensory polyneuropathy (DSP) is directly caused by HIV infection and characterized by length-dependent axonal degeneration of dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons. Mechanisms for axonal degeneration in DSP remain unclear, but recent experiments revealed that the HIV glycoprotein gp120 is internalized and localized within axons of DRG neurons. Based on these findings, we investigated whether intra-axonal gp120 might impair fast axonal transport (FAT), a cellular process critical for appropriate maintenance of the axonal compartment. Significantly, we found that gp120 severely impaired both anterograde and retrograde FAT. Providing a mechanistic basis for these effects, pharmacological experiments revealed an involvement of various phosphotransferases in this toxic effect, including members of mitogen-activated protein kinase pathways (Tak-1, p38, and c-Jun N-terminal Kinase (JNK)), inhibitor of kappa-B-kinase 2 (IKK2), and PP1. Biochemical experiments and axonal outgrowth assays in cell lines and primary cultures extended these findings. Impairments in neurite outgrowth in DRG neurons by gp120 were rescued using a Tak-1 inhibitor, implicating a Tak-1 mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway in gp120 neurotoxicity. Taken together, these observations indicate that kinase-based impairments in FAT represent a novel mechanism underlying gp120 neurotoxicity consistent with the dying-back degeneration seen in DSP. Targeting gp120-based impairments in FAT with specific kinase inhibitors might provide a novel therapeutic strategy to prevent axonal degeneration in DSP. PMID:27872270

  3. Neurotoxic mechanisms of paclitaxel are local to the distal axon and independent of transport defects.

    PubMed

    Gornstein, Erica L; Schwarz, Thomas L

    2017-02-01

    Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) is a dose-limiting side effect of paclitaxel and other chemotherapeutic agents. Paclitaxel binds and stabilizes microtubules, but the cellular mechanisms that underlie paclitaxel's neurotoxic effects are not well understood. We therefore used primary cultures of adult murine dorsal root ganglion neurons, the cell type affected in patients, to examine leading hypotheses to explain paclitaxel neurotoxicity. We address the role of microtubule hyperstabilization and its downstream effects. Paclitaxel administered at 10-50nM for 1-3days induced retraction bulbs at the tips of axons and arrested axon growth without triggering axon fragmentation or cell death. By correlating the toxic effects and microtubule stabilizing activity of structurally different microtubule stabilizing compounds, we confirmed that microtubule hyperstabilization, rather than an off-target effect, is the likely primary cause of paclitaxel neurotoxicity. We examined potential downstream consequences of microtubule hyperstabilization and found that changes in levels of tubulin posttranslational modifications, although present after paclitaxel exposure, are not implicated in the paclitaxel neurotoxicity we observed in the cultures. Additionally, defects in axonal transport were not implicated as an early, causative mechanism of paclitaxel's toxic effects on dorsal root ganglion neurons. By using microfluidic chambers to selectively treat different parts of the axon with paclitaxel, we found that the distal axon was primarily vulnerable to paclitaxel, indicating that paclitaxel acts directly on the distal axon to induce degenerative effects. Together, our findings point to local effects of microtubule hyperstabilization on the distal-most portion of the axon as an early mediator of paclitaxel neurotoxicity. Because sensory neurons have a unique and ongoing requirement for distal growth in order to reinnervate the epidermis as it turns over, we propose

  4. Calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase IIalpha in optic axons moves with slow axonal transport and undergoes posttranslational modification.

    PubMed

    Lund, L M; McQuarrie, I G

    2001-12-21

    In neurons, the mRNA for calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II alpha (CKIIalpha) is known to be targeted to dendrites-where the enzyme is synthesized and supports postsynaptic functions. We are interested in knowing how neuronal proteins enter axons from the nerve cell body, and the mechanism for protein transport to terminals. Because CKIIalpha immunofluorescence can be demonstrated in over 80% of retinal ganglion cells, we asked whether this regulatory protein is being transported into optic axons. Using Sprague-Dawley rats, [(35)S] methionine was injected into the vitreous humor of the eye. Four days later, the optic nerves, tracts, lateral geniculate ganglia, and superior colliculi were removed and processed for 2D-PAGE and Western blotting. Radiolabeled CKIIalpha appears to move with slow component b (SCb) of axonal transport, as is the case in rodent sciatic motor neurons. In addition, the radiolabeled CKIIalpha isoform that enters the optic nerve is found to be 4 kDa heavier (in SDS-PAGE molecular mass) than the isoform in the optic tract, superior colliculus, and lateral geniculate nucleus. This reduction is likely the result of dephosphorylation, which is a mechanism used to regulate the enzyme's activity.

  5. Axon tension regulates fasciculation/defasciculation through the control of axon shaft zippering.

    PubMed

    Šmít, Daniel; Fouquet, Coralie; Pincet, Frédéric; Zapotocky, Martin; Trembleau, Alain

    2017-04-19

    While axon fasciculation plays a key role in the development of neural networks, very little is known about its dynamics and the underlying biophysical mechanisms. In a model system composed of neurons grown ex vivo from explants of embryonic mouse olfactory epithelia, we observed that axons dynamically interact with each other through their shafts, leading to zippering and unzippering behavior that regulates their fasciculation. Taking advantage of this new preparation suitable for studying such interactions, we carried out a detailed biophysical analysis of zippering, occurring either spontaneously or induced by micromanipulations and pharmacological treatments. We show that zippering arises from the competition of axon-axon adhesion and mechanical tension in the axons, and provide the first quantification of the force of axon-axon adhesion. Furthermore, we introduce a biophysical model of the zippering dynamics, and we quantitatively relate the individual zipper properties to global characteristics of the developing axon network. Our study uncovers a new role of mechanical tension in neural development: the regulation of axon fasciculation.

  6. Axon tension regulates fasciculation/defasciculation through the control of axon shaft zippering

    PubMed Central

    Šmít, Daniel; Fouquet, Coralie; Pincet, Frédéric; Zapotocky, Martin; Trembleau, Alain

    2017-01-01

    While axon fasciculation plays a key role in the development of neural networks, very little is known about its dynamics and the underlying biophysical mechanisms. In a model system composed of neurons grown ex vivo from explants of embryonic mouse olfactory epithelia, we observed that axons dynamically interact with each other through their shafts, leading to zippering and unzippering behavior that regulates their fasciculation. Taking advantage of this new preparation suitable for studying such interactions, we carried out a detailed biophysical analysis of zippering, occurring either spontaneously or induced by micromanipulations and pharmacological treatments. We show that zippering arises from the competition of axon-axon adhesion and mechanical tension in the axons, and provide the first quantification of the force of axon-axon adhesion. Furthermore, we introduce a biophysical model of the zippering dynamics, and we quantitatively relate the individual zipper properties to global characteristics of the developing axon network. Our study uncovers a new role of mechanical tension in neural development: the regulation of axon fasciculation. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.19907.001 PMID:28422009

  7. Axonal degeneration and axonal caliber alterations following combined beta,beta'-iminodipropionitrile (IDPN) and acrylamide administration.

    PubMed

    Gold, B G; Halleck, M M

    1989-11-01

    A new model of neurofilamentous axonal abnormality is described which employs combined administration of beta,beta'-iminodipropionitrile (IDPN) and acrylamide (AC). The model was developed to test the hypothesis that IDPN-induced swelling increases the vulnerability of the distal axon to a second neurotoxic chemical insult. Rats were given a single intraperitoneal (IP) injection of IDPN (1.5 g/kg) one week before receiving a single injection of AC (75 mg/kg, IP). Axonal degeneration was observed at multiple levels along the sciatic nerve at two weeks (with reference to IDPN administration), and was not progressive up to five weeks. Quantitation of degenerating fibers demonstrated that the extent of degeneration increased distally along the sciatic nerve. Single administration of either IDPN or AC did not produce degeneration. Thus, IDPN-induced neurofilamentous swellings alter the susceptibility of the axon to AC neurotoxicity. Two variations of this model were also studied. First, rats given five daily injections of AC (30 mg/kg, IP) beginning one week following IDPN administration developed accumulations of fast axonally transported materials in IDPN-induced microtubule channels. Second, rats given chronic injections of AC (30 mg/kg, IP, five days/week, for four weeks), to reduce the delivery of neurofilaments to the proximal axon, developed less prominent axonal enlargements when challenged with IDPN. Thus, axonal atrophy can mask the development of neurofilamentous axonal swellings.

  8. "Giant axonal neuropathy" caused by industrial chemicals: neurofilamentous axonal masses in man.

    PubMed

    Davenport, J G; Farrell, D F; Sumi, M

    1976-10-01

    Symmetrical polyneuropathy developed in two patients after they had been in contact with acrylamide and methyl n-butyl ketone, respectively. In sural nerve biopsy material from both patients, electron microscopy showed frequent focal axonal swellings containing masses of neurofilaments. Some axons undergoing axonal degeneration also were seen. These morphologic features are identical to those produced in experimental animals after exposure to these chemicals and are similar to those found in n-hexane neuropathy and in the three reported cases of giant axonal neuropathy. Sural nerve biopsy is an important diagnostic test in identifying cases of peripheral neuropathy caused by these chemicals.

  9. VEGF-A and neuropilin 1 (NRP1) shape axon projections in the developing CNS via dual roles in neurons and blood vessels.

    PubMed

    Erskine, Lynda; François, Urielle; Denti, Laura; Joyce, Andy; Tillo, Miguel; Bruce, Freyja; Vargesson, Neil; Ruhrberg, Christiana

    2017-07-01

    Visual information is relayed from the eye to the brain via retinal ganglion cell (RGC) axons. Mice lacking NRP1 or NRP1-binding VEGF-A isoforms have defective RGC axon organisation alongside brain vascular defects. It is not known whether axonal defects are caused exclusively by defective VEGF-A signalling in RGCs or are exacerbated by abnormal vascular morphology. Targeted NRP1 ablation in RGCs with a Brn3b(Cre) knock-in allele reduced axonal midline crossing at the optic chiasm and optic tract fasciculation. In contrast, Tie2-Cre-mediated endothelial NRP1 ablation induced axon exclusion zones in the optic tracts without impairing axon crossing. Similar defects were observed in Vegfa(120/120) and Vegfa(188/188) mice, which have vascular defects as a result of their expression of single VEGF-A isoforms. Ectopic midline vascularisation in endothelial Nrp1 and Vegfa(188/188) mutants caused additional axonal exclusion zones within the chiasm. As in vitro and in vivo assays demonstrated that vessels do not repel axons, abnormally large or ectopically positioned vessels are likely to present physical obstacles to axon growth. We conclude that proper axonal wiring during brain development depends on the precise molecular control of neurovascular co-patterning. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  10. Axon kinematics change during growth and development.

    PubMed

    Hao, Hailing; Shreiber, David I

    2007-08-01

    The microkinematic response of axons to mechanical stretch was examined in the developing chick embryo spinal cord during a period of rapid growth and myelination. Spinal cords were isolated at different days of embryonic (E) development post-fertilization (E12, E14, E16, and E18) and stretched 0%, 5%, 10%, 15%, and 20%, respectively. During this period, the spinal cord grew approximately 55% in length, and white matter tracts were myelinated significantly. The spinal cords were fixed with paraformaldehyde at the stretched length, sectioned, stained immunohistochemically for neurofilament proteins, and imaged with epifluorescence microscopy. Axons in unstretched spinal cords were undulated, or tortuous, to varying degrees, and appeared to straighten with stretch. The degree of tortuosity (ratio of the segment's pathlength to its end-to-end length) was quantified in each spinal cord by tracing several hundred randomly selected axons. The change in tortuosity distributions with stretch indicated that axons switched from non-affine, uncoupled behavior at low stretch levels to affine, coupled behavior at high stretch levels, which was consistent with previous reports of axon behavior in the adult guinea pig optic nerve (Bain, Shreiber, and Meaney, J. Biomech. Eng., 125(6), pp. 798-804). A mathematical model previously proposed by Bain et al. was applied to quantify the transition in kinematic behavior. The results indicated that significant percentages of axons demonstrated purely non-affine behavior at each stage, but that this percentage decreased from 64% at E12 to 30% at E18. The decrease correlated negatively to increases in both length and myelination with development, but the change in axon kinematics could not be explained by stretch applied during physical growth of the spinal cord. The relationship between tissue-level and axonal-level deformation changes with development, which can have important implications in the response to physiological forces

  11. Excitability tuning of axons in the central nervous system.

    PubMed

    Ohura, Shunsuke; Kamiya, Haruyuki

    2016-05-01

    The axon is a long neuronal process that originates from the soma and extends towards the presynaptic terminals. The pioneering studies on the squid giant axon or the spinal cord motoneuron established that the axon conducts action potentials faithfully to the presynaptic terminals with self-regenerative processes of membrane excitation. Recent studies challenged the notion that the fundamental understandings obtained from the study of squid giant axons are readily applicable to the axons in the mammalian central nervous system (CNS). These studies revealed that the functional and structural properties of the CNS axons are much more variable than previously thought. In this review article, we summarize the recent understandings of axon physiology in the mammalian CNS due to progress in the subcellular recording techniques which allow direct recordings from the axonal membranes, with emphasis on the hippocampal mossy fibers as a representative en passant axons typical for cortical axons.

  12. Modeling of axonal endoplasmic reticulum network by spastic paraplegia proteins.

    PubMed

    Yalçın, Belgin; Zhao, Lu; Stofanko, Martin; O'Sullivan, Niamh C; Kang, Zi Han; Roost, Annika; Thomas, Matthew R; Zaessinger, Sophie; Blard, Olivier; Patto, Alex L; Sohail, Anood; Baena, Valentina; Terasaki, Mark; O'Kane, Cahir J

    2017-07-25

    Axons contain a smooth tubular endoplasmic reticulum (ER) network that is thought to be continuous with ER throughout the neuron; the mechanisms that form this axonal network are unknown. Mutations affecting reticulon or REEP proteins, with intramembrane hairpin domains that model ER membranes, cause an axon degenerative disease, hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP). We show that Drosophila axons have a dynamic axonal ER network, which these proteins help to model. Loss of HSP hairpin proteins causes ER sheet expansion, partial loss of ER from distal motor axons, and occasional discontinuities in axonal ER. Ultrastructural analysis reveals an extensive ER network in axons, which shows larger and fewer tubules in larvae that lack reticulon and REEP proteins, consistent with loss of membrane curvature. Therefore HSP hairpin-containing proteins are required for shaping and continuity of axonal ER, thus suggesting roles for ER modeling in axon maintenance and function.

  13. 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

  14. Methodological advances in imaging intravital axonal transport.

    PubMed

    Sleigh, James N; Vagnoni, Alessio; Twelvetrees, Alison E; Schiavo, Giampietro

    2017-01-01

    Axonal transport is the active process whereby neurons transport cargoes such as organelles and proteins anterogradely from the cell body to the axon terminal and retrogradely in the opposite direction. Bi-directional transport in axons is absolutely essential for the functioning and survival of neurons and appears to be negatively impacted by both aging and diseases of the nervous system, such as Alzheimer's disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The movement of individual cargoes along axons has been studied in vitro in live neurons and tissue explants for a number of years; however, it is currently unclear as to whether these systems faithfully and consistently replicate the in vivo situation. A number of intravital techniques originally developed for studying diverse biological events have recently been adapted to monitor axonal transport in real-time in a range of live organisms and are providing novel insight into this dynamic process. Here, we highlight these methodological advances in intravital imaging of axonal transport, outlining key strengths and limitations while discussing findings, possible improvements, and outstanding questions.

  15. Modelling organelle transport after traumatic axonal injury.

    PubMed

    Kuznetsov, I A; Kuznetsov, A V

    2015-01-01

    This paper is motivated by recent experimental research (Tang-Schomer et al. 2012) on the formation of periodic varicosities in axons after traumatic brain injury (TBI). TBI leads to the formation of undulated distortions in the axons due to their dynamic deformation. These distortions result in the breakage of some microtubules (MTs) near the peaks of undulations. The breakage is followed by catastrophic MT depolymerisation around the broken ends. Although after relaxation axons regain their straight geometry, the structure of the axon after TBI is characterised by the presence of periodic regions where the density of MTs has been decreased due to depolymerisation. We modelled organelle transport in an axon segment with such a damaged MT structure and investigated how this structure affects the distributions of organelle concentrations and fluxes. The modelling results suggest that organelles accumulate at the boundaries of the region where the density of MTs has been decreased by depolymerisation. According to the model, the presence of such damaged regions decreases the organelle flux by only about 12%. This provides evidence that axon degradation after TBI may be caused by organelle accumulation rather than by starvation due to insufficient organelle flux.

  16. LYSOSOMAL ACTIVITY ASSOCIATED WITH DEVELOPMENTAL AXON PRUNING

    PubMed Central

    Song, Jae W.; Misgeld, Thomas; Kang, Hyuno; Knecht, Sharm; Lu, Ju; Cao, Yi; Cotman, Susan L.; Bishop, Derron L.; Lichtman, Jeff W.

    2009-01-01

    Clearance of cellular debris is a critical feature of the developing nervous system, as evidenced by the severe neurological consequences of lysosomal storage diseases in children. An important developmental process, that generates considerable cellular debris, is synapse elimination in which many axonal branches are pruned. The fate of these pruned branches is not known. Here, we investigate the role of lysosomal activity in neurons and glia in the removal of axon branches during early postnatal life. Using a probe for lysosomal activity, we observed robust staining associated with retreating motor axons. Lysosomal function was involved in axon removal because retreating axons were cleared more slowly in a mouse model of a lysosomal storage disease. In addition, we found lysosomal activity in the cerebellum at the time of, and at sites where, climbing fibers are eliminated. We propose that lysosomal activity is a central feature of synapse elimination. Moreover, staining for lysosomal activity may serve as a marker for regions of the developing nervous system undergoing axon pruning. PMID:18768693

  17. Methodological advances in imaging intravital axonal transport

    PubMed Central

    Sleigh, James N.; Vagnoni, Alessio; Twelvetrees, Alison E.; Schiavo, Giampietro

    2017-01-01

    Axonal transport is the active process whereby neurons transport cargoes such as organelles and proteins anterogradely from the cell body to the axon terminal and retrogradely in the opposite direction. Bi-directional transport in axons is absolutely essential for the functioning and survival of neurons and appears to be negatively impacted by both aging and diseases of the nervous system, such as Alzheimer’s disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The movement of individual cargoes along axons has been studied in vitro in live neurons and tissue explants for a number of years; however, it is currently unclear as to whether these systems faithfully and consistently replicate the in vivo situation. A number of intravital techniques originally developed for studying diverse biological events have recently been adapted to monitor axonal transport in real-time in a range of live organisms and are providing novel insight into this dynamic process. Here, we highlight these methodological advances in intravital imaging of axonal transport, outlining key strengths and limitations while discussing findings, possible improvements, and outstanding questions. PMID:28344778

  18. 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

  19. Axon guidance of outgrowing corticospinal fibres in the rat

    PubMed Central

    JOOSTEN, ELBERT A. J.; BÄR, DOP P. R.

    1999-01-01

    This review is concerned with the development of the rat corticospinal tract (CST). The CST is a long descending central pathway, restricted to mammals, which is involved both in motor and sensory control. The rat CST is a very useful model in experimental research on the development of fibre systems in mammals because of its postnatal outgrowth throughout the spinal cord as well as its experimental accessibility. Hence mechanisms underlying axon outgrowth and subsequent target cell finding can be studied relatively easily. In this respect the corticospinal tract forms an important example and model system for the better understanding of central nervous system development in general. PMID:10227663

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Axon-Schwann cell interactions during peripheral nerve regeneration in zebrafish larvae

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Peripheral nerve injuries can severely affect the way that animals perceive signals from the surrounding environment. While damage to peripheral axons generally has a better outcome than injuries to central nervous system axons, it is currently unknown how neurons re-establish their target innervations to recover function after injury, and how accessory cells contribute to this task. Here we use a simple technique to create reproducible and localized injury in the posterior lateral line (pLL) nerve of zebrafish and follow the fate of both neurons and Schwann cells. Results Using pLL single axon labeling by transient transgene expression, as well as transplantation of glial precursor cells in zebrafish larvae, we individualize different components in this system and characterize their cellular behaviors during the regenerative process. Neurectomy is followed by loss of Schwann cell differentiation markers that is reverted after nerve regrowth. We show that reinnervation of lateral line hair cells in neuromasts during pLL nerve regeneration is a highly dynamic process with promiscuous yet non-random target recognition. Furthermore, Schwann cells are required for directional extension and fasciculation of the regenerating nerve. We provide evidence that these cells and regrowing axons are mutually dependant during early stages of nerve regeneration in the pLL. The role of ErbB signaling in this context is also explored. Conclusion The accessibility of the pLL nerve and the availability of transgenic lines that label this structure and their synaptic targets provides an outstanding in vivo model to study the different events associated with axonal extension, target reinnervation, and the complex cellular interactions between glial cells and injured axons during nerve regeneration. PMID:25326036

  3. 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

  4. Combining Constitutively Active Rheb Expression and Chondroitinase Promotes Functional Axonal Regeneration after Cervical Spinal Cord Injury.

    PubMed

    Wu, Di; Klaw, Michelle C; Connors, Theresa; Kholodilov, Nikolai; Burke, Robert E; Côté, Marie-Pascale; Tom, Veronica J

    2017-08-19

    After spinal cord injury (SCI), severed axons in the adult mammalian CNS are unable to mount a robust regenerative response. In addition, the glial scar at the lesion site further restricts the regenerative potential of axons. We hypothesized that a combinatorial approach coincidentally targeting these obstacles would promote axonal regeneration. We combined (1) transplantation of a growth-permissive peripheral nerve graft (PNG) into an incomplete, cervical lesion cavity; (2) transduction of neurons rostral to the SCI site to express constitutively active Rheb (caRheb; a Ras homolog enriched in brain), a GTPase that directly activates the growth-promoting pathway mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) via AAV-caRheb injection; and (3) digestion of growth-inhibitory chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans within the glial scar at the distal PNG interface using the bacterial enzyme chondroitinase ABC (ChABC). We found that expressing caRheb in neurons post-SCI results in modestly yet significantly more axons regenerating across a ChABC-treated distal graft interface into caudal spinal cord than either treatment alone. Excitingly, we found that caRheb+ChABC treatment significantly potentiates the formation of synapses in the host spinal cord and improves the animals' ability to use the affected forelimb. Thus, this combination strategy enhances functional axonal regeneration following a cervical SCI. Copyright © 2017 The American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. 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.

  6. Filamin A is required in injured axons for HDAC5 activity and axon regeneration.

    PubMed

    Cho, Yongcheol; Park, Dongeun; Cavalli, Valeria

    2015-09-11

    Microtubule dynamics are important for axon growth during development as well as axon regeneration after injury. We have previously identified HDAC5 as an injury-regulated tubulin deacetylase that functions at the injury site to promote axon regeneration. However, the mechanisms involved in the spatial control of HDAC5 activity remain poorly understood. Here we reveal that HDAC5 interacts with the actin binding protein filamin A via its C-terminal domain. Filamin A plays critical roles in HDAC5-dependent tubulin deacetylation because, in cells lacking filamin A, the levels of acetylated tubulin are elevated markedly. We found that nerve injury increases filamin A axonal expression in a protein synthesis-dependent manner. Reducing filamin A levels or interfering with the interaction between HDAC5 and filamin A prevents injury-induced tubulin deacetylation as well as HDAC5 localization at the injured axon tips. In addition, neurons lacking filamin A display reduced axon regeneration. Our findings suggest a model in which filamin A local translation following axon injury controls localized HDAC5 activity to promote axon regeneration.

  7. Filamin A Is Required in Injured Axons for HDAC5 Activity and Axon Regeneration*

    PubMed Central

    Cho, Yongcheol; Park, Dongeun; Cavalli, Valeria

    2015-01-01

    Microtubule dynamics are important for axon growth during development as well as axon regeneration after injury. We have previously identified HDAC5 as an injury-regulated tubulin deacetylase that functions at the injury site to promote axon regeneration. However, the mechanisms involved in the spatial control of HDAC5 activity remain poorly understood. Here we reveal that HDAC5 interacts with the actin binding protein filamin A via its C-terminal domain. Filamin A plays critical roles in HDAC5-dependent tubulin deacetylation because, in cells lacking filamin A, the levels of acetylated tubulin are elevated markedly. We found that nerve injury increases filamin A axonal expression in a protein synthesis-dependent manner. Reducing filamin A levels or interfering with the interaction between HDAC5 and filamin A prevents injury-induced tubulin deacetylation as well as HDAC5 localization at the injured axon tips. In addition, neurons lacking filamin A display reduced axon regeneration. Our findings suggest a model in which filamin A local translation following axon injury controls localized HDAC5 activity to promote axon regeneration. PMID:26157139

  8. Axon injury triggers EFA-6 mediated destabilization of axonal microtubules via TACC and doublecortin like kinase.

    PubMed

    Chen, Lizhen; Chuang, Marian; Koorman, Thijs; Boxem, Mike; Jin, Yishi; Chisholm, Andrew D

    2015-09-04

    Axon injury triggers a series of changes in the axonal cytoskeleton that are prerequisites for effective axon regeneration. In Caenorhabditis elegans the signaling protein Exchange Factor for ARF-6 (EFA-6) is a potent intrinsic inhibitor of axon regrowth. Here we show that axon injury triggers rapid EFA-6-dependent inhibition of axonal microtubule (MT) dynamics, concomitant with relocalization of EFA-6. EFA-6 relocalization and axon regrowth inhibition require a conserved 18-aa motif in its otherwise intrinsically disordered N-terminal domain. The EFA-6 N-terminus binds the MT-associated proteins TAC-1/Transforming-Acidic-Coiled-Coil, and ZYG-8/Doublecortin-Like-Kinase, both of which are required for regenerative growth cone formation, and which act downstream of EFA-6. After injury TAC-1 and EFA-6 transiently relocalize to sites marked by the MT minus end binding protein PTRN-1/Patronin. We propose that EFA-6 acts as a bifunctional injury-responsive regulator of axonal MT dynamics, acting at the cell cortex in the steady state and at MT minus ends after injury.

  9. Prolyl isomerase Pin1 regulates axon guidance by stabilizing CRMP2A selectively in distal axons

    PubMed Central

    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

    2015-01-01

    SUMMARY Axon guidance relies on precise translation of the gradients of the extracellular signals into local changes of 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 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 level 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

  10. Partial interruption of axonal transport due to microtubule breakage accounts for the formation of periodic varicosities after traumatic axonal injury.

    PubMed

    Tang-Schomer, Min D; Johnson, Victoria E; Baas, Peter W; Stewart, William; Smith, Douglas H

    2012-01-01

    Due to their viscoelastic nature, white matter axons are susceptible to damage by high strain rates produced during traumatic brain injury (TBI). Indeed, diffuse axonal injury (DAI) is one of the most common features of TBI, characterized by the hallmark pathological profiles of axonal bulbs at disconnected terminal ends of axons and periodic swellings along axons, known as "varicosities." Although transport interruption underlies axonal bulb formation, it is unclear how varicosities arise, with multiple sites accumulating transported materials along one axon. Recently, axonal microtubules have been found to physically break during dynamic stretch injury of cortical axons in vitro. Here, the same in vitro model was used in parallel with histopathological analyses of human brains acquired acutely following TBI to examine the potential role of mechanical microtubule damage in varicosity formation post-trauma. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) following in vitro stretch injury revealed periodic breaks of individual microtubules along axons that regionally corresponded with undulations in axon morphology. However, typically less than a third of microtubules were broken in any region of an axon. Within hours, these sites of microtubule breaks evolved into periodic swellings. This suggests axonal transport may be halted along one broken microtubule, yet can proceed through the same region via other intact microtubules. Similar axonal undulations and varicosities were observed following TBI in humans, suggesting primary microtubule failure may also be a feature of DAI. These data indicate a novel mechanism of mechanical microtubule damage leading to partial transport interruption and varicosity formation in traumatic axonal injury.

  11. Burning pain: axonal dysfunction in erythromelalgia.

    PubMed

    Farrar, Michelle A; Lee, Ming-Jen; Howells, James; Andrews, Peter I; Lin, Cindy S-Y

    2017-05-01

    Erythromelalgia (EM) is a rare neurovascular disorder characterized by intermittent severe burning pain, erythema, and warmth in the extremities on heat stimuli. To investigate the underlying pathophysiology, peripheral axonal excitability studies were performed and changes with heating and therapy explored. Multiple excitability indices (stimulus-response curve, strength-duration time constant (SDTC), threshold electrotonus, and recovery cycle) were investigated in 23 (9 EMSCN9A+ and 14 EMSCN9A-) genetically characterized patients with EM stimulating median motor and sensory axons at the wrist. At rest, patients with EM showed a higher threshold and rheobase (P < 0.001) compared with controls. Threshold electrotonus and current-voltage relationships demonstrated greater changes of thresholds in both depolarizing and hyperpolarizing preconditioning electrotonus in both EM cohorts compared with controls in sensory axons (P < 0.005). When average temperature was raised from 31.5°C to 36.3°C in EMSCN9A+ patients, excitability changes showed depolarization, specifically SDTC significantly increased, in contrast to the effects of temperature previously established in healthy subjects (P < 0.05). With treatment, 4 EMSCN9A+ patients (4/9) reported improvement with mexiletine, associated with reduction in SDTC in motor and sensory axons. This is the first study of primary EM using threshold tracking techniques to demonstrate alterations in peripheral axonal membrane function. Taken together, these changes may be attributed to systemic neurovascular abnormalities in EM, with chronic postischaemic resting membrane potential hyperpolarization due to Na/K pump overactivity. With heating, a trigger of acute symptoms, axonal depolarization developed, corresponding to acute axonal ischaemia. This study has provided novel insights into EM pathophysiology.

  12. Burning pain: axonal dysfunction in erythromelalgia

    PubMed Central

    Farrar, Michelle A.; Lee, Ming-Jen; Howells, James; Andrews, Peter I.; Lin, Cindy S.-Y.

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Erythromelalgia (EM) is a rare neurovascular disorder characterized by intermittent severe burning pain, erythema, and warmth in the extremities on heat stimuli. To investigate the underlying pathophysiology, peripheral axonal excitability studies were performed and changes with heating and therapy explored. Multiple excitability indices (stimulus–response curve, strength–duration time constant (SDTC), threshold electrotonus, and recovery cycle) were investigated in 23 (9 EMSCN9A+ and 14 EMSCN9A−) genetically characterized patients with EM stimulating median motor and sensory axons at the wrist. At rest, patients with EM showed a higher threshold and rheobase (P < 0.001) compared with controls. Threshold electrotonus and current–voltage relationships demonstrated greater changes of thresholds in both depolarizing and hyperpolarizing preconditioning electrotonus in both EM cohorts compared with controls in sensory axons (P < 0.005). When average temperature was raised from 31.5°C to 36.3°C in EMSCN9A+ patients, excitability changes showed depolarization, specifically SDTC significantly increased, in contrast to the effects of temperature previously established in healthy subjects (P < 0.05). With treatment, 4 EMSCN9A+ patients (4/9) reported improvement with mexiletine, associated with reduction in SDTC in motor and sensory axons. This is the first study of primary EM using threshold tracking techniques to demonstrate alterations in peripheral axonal membrane function. Taken together, these changes may be attributed to systemic neurovascular abnormalities in EM, with chronic postischaemic resting membrane potential hyperpolarization due to Na+/K+ pump overactivity. With heating, a trigger of acute symptoms, axonal depolarization developed, corresponding to acute axonal ischaemia. This study has provided novel insights into EM pathophysiology. PMID:28134657

  13. The Impact of Prestretch Induced Surface Anisotropy on Axon Regeneration.

    PubMed

    Liu, Chun; Pyne, Ryan; Kim, Jungsil; Wright, Neil Thomas; Baek, Seungik; Chan, Christina

    2016-01-08

    Nerve regeneration after spinal cord injury requires proper axon alignment to bridge the lesion site and myelination to achieve functional recovery. Significant effort has been invested in developing engineering approaches to induce axon alignment with less focus on myelination. Topological features, such as aligned fibers and channels, have been shown to induce axon alignment, but do not enhance axon thickness. We previously demonstrated that surface anisotropy generated through mechanical prestretch induced mesenchymal stem cells to align in the direction of prestretch. In this study, we demonstrate that static prestretch-induced anisotropy promotes dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons to extend thicker axon aggregates along the stretched direction and form aligned fascicular-like axon tracts. Moreover, Schwann cells, when cocultured with DRG neurons on the prestretched surface colocalized with the aligned axons and expressed P0 protein, are indicative of myelination of the aligned axons, thereby demonstrating that prestretch-induced surface anisotropy is beneficial in enhancing axon alignment, growth, and myelination.

  14. Normal spastin gene dosage is specifically required for axon regeneration

    PubMed Central

    Stone, Michelle C.; Rao, Kavitha; Gheres, Kyle W.; Kim, Seahee; Tao, Juan; Rochelle, Caroline La; Folker, Christin T.; Sherwood, Nina T.; Rolls, Melissa M.

    2012-01-01

    Summary Axon regeneration allows neurons to repair circuits after trauma, but most of the molecular players remain to be identified. As microtubule rearrangements have been observed in injured neurons, we tested whether microtubule severing proteins might play a role in axon regeneration. We found that axon regeneration is extremely sensitive to levels of the microtubule severing protein spastin. While microtubule behavior in uninjured neurons was not perturbed in animals heterozygous for a spastin null allele, axon regeneration was severely disrupted in this background. Two types of axon regeneration, regeneration of an axon from a dendrite after proximal axotomy and regeneration of an axon from the stump after distal axotomy, were defective in Drosophila with one mutant copy of the spastin gene. Other types of axon and dendrite outgrowth, including regrowth of dendrites after pruning, were normal in heterozygotes. We conclude that regenerative axon growth is uniquely sensitive to spastin gene dosage. PMID:23122959

  15. 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.

  16. Mitochondrial immobilization mediated by syntaphilin facilitates survival of demyelinated axons

    PubMed Central

    Ohno, Nobuhiko; Chiang, Hao; Mahad, Don J.; Kidd, Grahame J.; Liu, LiPing; Ransohoff, Richard M.; Sheng, Zu-Hang; Komuro, Hitoshi; Trapp, Bruce D.

    2014-01-01

    Axonal degeneration is a primary cause of permanent neurological disability in individuals with the CNS demyelinating disease multiple sclerosis. Dysfunction of axonal mitochondria and imbalanced energy demand and supply are implicated in degeneration of chronically demyelinated axons. The purpose of this study was to define the roles of mitochondrial volume and distribution in axonal degeneration following acute CNS demyelination. We show that the axonal mitochondrial volume increase following acute demyelination of WT CNS axons does not occur in demyelinated axons deficient in syntaphilin, an axonal molecule that immobilizes stationary mitochondria to microtubules. These findings were supported by time-lapse imaging of WT and syntaphilin-deficient axons in vitro. When demyelinated, axons deficient in syntaphilin degenerate at a significantly greater rate than WT axons, and this degeneration can be rescued by reducing axonal electrical activity with the Na+ channel blocker flecainide. These results support the concept that syntaphilin-mediated immobilization of mitochondria to microtubules is required for the volume increase of axonal mitochondria following acute demyelination and protects against axonal degeneration in the CNS. PMID:24958879

  17. Impaired Axonal Regeneration in Diabetes. Perspective on the Underlying Mechanism from In Vivo and In Vitro Experimental Studies

    PubMed Central

    Sango, Kazunori; Mizukami, Hiroki; Horie, Hidenori; Yagihashi, Soroku

    2017-01-01

    Axonal regeneration after peripheral nerve injury is impaired in diabetes, but its precise mechanisms have not been elucidated. In this paper, we summarize the progress of research on altered axonal regeneration in animal models of diabetes and cultured nerve tissues exposed to hyperglycemia. Impaired nerve regeneration in animal diabetes can be attributed to dysfunction of neurons and Schwann cells, unfavorable stromal environment supportive of regenerating axons, and alterations of target tissues receptive to reinnervation. In particular, there are a number of factors such as enhanced activity of the negative regulators of axonal regeneration (e.g., phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted on chromosome 10 and Rho/Rho kinase), delayed Wallerian degeneration, alterations of the extracellular matrix components, enhanced binding of advanced glycation endproducts (AGEs) with the receptor for AGE, and delayed muscle reinnervation that can be obstacles to functional recovery after an axonal injury. It is also noteworthy that we and others have observed excessive neurite outgrowth from peripheral sensory ganglion explants from streptozotocin (STZ)-diabetic mice in culture and enhanced regeneration of small nerve fibers after sciatic nerve injury in STZ-induced diabetic rats. The excess of abortive neurite outgrowth may lead to misconnections of axons and target organs, which may interfere with appropriate target reinnervation and functional repair. Amelioration of perturbed nerve regeneration may be crucial for the future management of diabetic neuropathy. PMID:28203223

  18. Partial Denervation of Subbasal Axons Persists Following Debridement Wounds to the Mouse Cornea

    PubMed Central

    Pajoohesh-Ganji, Ahdeah; Pal-Ghosh, Sonali; Tadvalkar, Gauri; Kyne, Briana M.; Saban, Daniel R.; Stepp, Mary Ann

    2015-01-01

    Although sensory reinnervation occurs after injury in the PNS, poor reinnervation in the elderly and those with diabetes often leads to pathology. Here we quantify subbasal axon density in the central and peripheral mouse cornea over time after three different types of injury. The mouse cornea is highly innervated with a dense array of subbasal nerves that form a spiral called the vortex at the corneal center or apex; these nerves are readily detected within flat mounted corneas. After anesthesia, corneal epithelial cells were removed using either a dulled blade or a rotating burr within an area demarcated centrally with a 1.5 mm trephine. A third wound type, superficial trephination, involved demarcating the area with the 1.5 mm trephine but not removing cells. By 7d after superficial trephination, subbasal axon density returns to control levels; by 28d the vortex reforms. Although axon density is similar to control 14d after dulled blade and rotating burr wounding, defects in axon morphology at the corneal apex remain. After 14d, axons retract from the center leaving the subbasal axon density reduced by 37.2% and 36.8% at 28d after dulled blade and rotating burr wounding, respectively, compared to control. Assessment of inflammation using flow cytometry shows that persistent inflammation is not a factor in the incomplete reinnervation. Expression of mRNAs encoding 22 regeneration associated genes (RAGs) involved in axon targeting assessed by QPCR reveals that netrin-1 and ephrin signaling are altered after wounding. Subpopulations of corneal epithelial basal cells at the corneal apex stop expressing ki67 as early as 7d after injury and by 14d and 28d after wounding, many of these basal cells undergo apoptosis and die. While subbasal axons are restored to their normal density and morphology after superficial trephination, subbasal axon recovery is partial after debridement wounds. The increase in corneal epithelial basal cell apoptosis at the apex observed at 14d

  19. Partial denervation of sub-basal axons persists following debridement wounds to the mouse cornea.

    PubMed

    Pajoohesh-Ganji, Ahdeah; Pal-Ghosh, Sonali; Tadvalkar, Gauri; Kyne, Briana M; Saban, Daniel R; Stepp, Mary Ann

    2015-11-01

    Although sensory reinnervation occurs after injury in the peripheral nervous system, poor reinnervation in the elderly and those with diabetes often leads to pathology. Here we quantify sub-basal axon density in the central and peripheral mouse cornea over time after three different types of injury. The mouse cornea is highly innervated with a dense array of sub-basal nerves that form a spiral called the vortex at the corneal center or apex; these nerves are readily detected within flat mounted corneas. After anesthesia, corneal epithelial cells were removed using either a dulled blade or a rotating burr within an area demarcated centrally with a 1.5 mm trephine. A third wound type, superficial trephination, involved demarcating the area with the 1.5 mm trephine but not removing cells. By 7 days after superficial trephination, sub-basal axon density returns to control levels; by 28 days the vortex reforms. Although axon density is similar to control 14 days after dulled blade and rotating burr wounding, defects in axon morphology at the corneal apex remain. After 14 days, axons retract from the center leaving the sub-basal axon density reduced by 37.2 and 36.8% at 28 days after dulled blade and rotating burr wounding, respectively, compared with control. Assessment of inflammation using flow cytometry shows that persistent inflammation is not a factor in the incomplete reinnervation. Expression of mRNAs encoding 22 regeneration-associated genes involved in axon targeting assessed by QPCR reveals that netrin-1 and ephrin signaling are altered after wounding. Subpopulations of corneal epithelial basal cells at the corneal apex stop expressing ki67 as early as 7 days after injury and by 14 and 28 days after wounding, many of these basal cells undergo apoptosis and die. Although sub-basal axons are restored to their normal density and morphology after superficial trephination, sub-basal axon recovery is partial after debridement wounds. The increase in corneal

  20. Axonal isoforms of myosin-I.

    PubMed

    Lund, Linda M; Machado, Victor M; McQuarrie, Irvine G

    2005-05-13

    We have examined spinal motor neurons in Sprague-Dawley rats to further characterize a mechanoenzyme, myosin-Igamma (myr4), which is found in high concentration during axon tract formation in neonates. We raised an antibody to myr4 and made riboprobes for in situ hybridization. Myr4 mRNA was abundant in spinal cord motor neurons (particularly during axon regrowth). Nerves undergoing Wallerian degeneration (from a crush 7 days earlier) showed anti-myr4 labeling of the axolemma and SER--after microtubules, neurofilaments, and F-actin had already been degraded--which is consistent with a described lipid-binding domain in the tail region of myosin-Is. Newly synthesized myr4 was carried in axons by the slow component (SC) of axonal transport at 1-8 mm/day, whereas, none was carried by the fast component (FC). We conclude that SC delivers myr4 to the cytoplasmic surfaces of stationary axonal membranes (SER and axolemma). This positioning would anchor the tail domain of myr4 and leave the catalytic head domain free to interact with F-actin.

  1. How Schwann Cells Sort Axons: New Concepts.

    PubMed

    Feltri, M Laura; Poitelon, Yannick; Previtali, Stefano Carlo

    2016-06-01

    Peripheral nerves contain large myelinated and small unmyelinated (Remak) fibers that perform different functions. The choice to myelinate or not is dictated to Schwann cells by the axon itself, based on the amount of neuregulin I-type III exposed on its membrane. Peripheral axons are more important in determining the final myelination fate than central axons, and the implications for this difference in Schwann cells and oligodendrocytes are discussed. Interestingly, this choice is reversible during pathology, accounting for the remarkable plasticity of Schwann cells, and contributing to the regenerative potential of the peripheral nervous system. Radial sorting is the process by which Schwann cells choose larger axons to myelinate during development. This crucial morphogenetic step is a prerequisite for myelination and for differentiation of Remak fibers, and is arrested in human diseases due to mutations in genes coding for extracellular matrix and linkage molecules. In this review we will summarize progresses made in the last years by a flurry of reverse genetic experiments in mice and fish. This work revealed novel molecules that control radial sorting, and contributed unexpected ideas to our understanding of the cellular and molecular mechanisms that control radial sorting of axons.

  2. Axonal outgrowth on nano-imprinted patterns.

    PubMed

    Johansson, Fredrik; Carlberg, Patrick; Danielsen, Nils; Montelius, Lars; Kanje, Martin

    2006-03-01

    Nanotechnology has provided methods to fabricate surface patterns with features down to a few nm. If cells or cell processes exhibit contact guidance in response to such small patterns is an interesting question and could be pertinent for many applications. In the present study we investigated if axonal outgrowth was affected by nano-printed patterns in polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA)-covered silicon chips. To this end adult mouse sympathetic and sensory ganglia were mounted in Matrigel on the chips close to the nano-patterns. The patterns consisted of parallel grooves with depths of 300 nm and varying widths of 100-400 nm. The distance between two adjacent grooves was 100-1600 nm. The chips were cultured in medium containing 25 ng/ml of nerve growth factor to stimulate axonal outgrowth. After 1 week of incubation, axonal outgrowth was investigated by immunocytochemistry or scanning electron microscopy. Axons displayed contact guidance on all patterns. Furthermore, we found that the nerve cell processes preferred to grow on ridge edges and elevations in the patterns rather than in grooves, a seemingly claustrophobic behavior. We conclude that axons of peripheral neurons might be guided by nanopatterns on PMMA when the lateral features are 100 nm or larger. The present results can be utilized for nerve regenerating scaffolds or the construction of a stable, high-resolution electronic interface to neurons, which is required for future brain machine interfaces.

  3. 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.

  4. Increased mitochondrial content in remyelinated axons: implications for multiple sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Zambonin, Jessica L.; Zhao, Chao; Ohno, Nobuhiko; Campbell, Graham R.; Engeham, Sarah; Ziabreva, Iryna; Schwarz, Nadine; Lee, Sok Ee; Frischer, Josa M.; Turnbull, Doug M.; Trapp, Bruce D.; Lassmann, Hans; Franklin, Robin J. M.

    2011-01-01

    Mitochondrial content within axons increases following demyelination in the central nervous system, presumably as a response to the changes in energy needs of axons imposed by redistribution of sodium channels. Myelin sheaths can be restored in demyelinated axons and remyelination in some multiple sclerosis lesions is extensive, while in others it is incomplete or absent. The effects of remyelination on axonal mitochondrial content in multiple sclerosis, particularly whether remyelination completely reverses the mitochondrial changes that follow demyelination, are currently unknown. In this study, we analysed axonal mitochondria within demyelinated, remyelinated and myelinated axons in post-mortem tissue from patients with multiple sclerosis and controls, as well as in experimental models of demyelination and remyelination, in vivo and in vitro. Immunofluorescent labelling of mitochondria (porin, a voltage-dependent anion channel expressed on all mitochondria) and axons (neurofilament), and ultrastructural imaging showed that in both multiple sclerosis and experimental demyelination, mitochondrial content within remyelinated axons was significantly less than in acutely and chronically demyelinated axons but more numerous than in myelinated axons. The greater mitochondrial content within remyelinated, compared with myelinated, axons was due to an increase in density of porin elements whereas increase in size accounted for the change observed in demyelinated axons. The increase in mitochondrial content in remyelinated axons was associated with an increase in mitochondrial respiratory chain complex IV activity. In vitro studies showed a significant increase in the number of stationary mitochondria in remyelinated compared with myelinated and demyelinated axons. The number of mobile mitochondria in remyelinated axons did not significantly differ from myelinated axons, although significantly greater than in demyelinated axons. Our neuropathological data and findings in

  5. Rapid signaling in distinct dopaminergic axons during locomotion and reward

    PubMed Central

    Howe, MW; Dombeck, DA

    2016-01-01

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

  6. Rewiring of regenerated axons by combining treadmill training with semaphorin3A inhibition

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Rats exhibit extremely limited motor function recovery after total transection of the spinal cord (SCT). We previously reported that SM-216289, a semaphorin3A inhibitor, enhanced axon regeneration and motor function recovery in SCT adult rats. However, these effects were limited because most regenerated axons likely do not connect to the right targets. Thus, rebuilding the appropriate connections for regenerated axons may enhance recovery. In this study, we combined semaphorin3A inhibitor treatment with extensive treadmill training to determine whether combined treatment would further enhance the “rewiring” of regenerated axons. In this study, which aimed for clinical applicability, we administered a newly developed, potent semaphorin3A inhibitor, SM-345431 (Vinaxanthone), using a novel drug delivery system that enables continuous drug delivery over the period of the experiment. Results Treatment with SM-345431 using this delivery system enhanced axon regeneration and produced significant, but limited, hindlimb motor function recovery. Although extensive treadmill training combined with SM-345431 administration did not further improve axon regeneration, hindlimb motor performance was restored, as evidenced by the significant improvement in the execution of plantar steps on a treadmill. In contrast, control SCT rats could not execute plantar steps at any point during the experimental period. Further analyses suggested that this strategy reinforced the wiring of central pattern generators in lumbar spinal circuits, which, in turn, led to enhanced motor function recovery (especially in extensor muscles). Conclusions This study highlights the importance of combining treatments that promote axon regeneration with specific and appropriate rehabilitations that promote rewiring for the treatment of spinal cord injury. PMID:24618249

  7. 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

  8. Impaired Axonal Transport in Motor Neurons Correlates with Clinical Prion Disease

    PubMed Central

    Ermolayev, Vladimir; Cathomen, Toni; Merk, Julia; Friedrich, Mike; Härtig, Wolfgang; Harms, Gregory S.; Klein, Michael A.; Flechsig, Eckhard

    2009-01-01

    Prion diseases are fatal neurodegenerative disorders causing motor dysfunctions, dementia and neuropathological changes such as spongiosis, astroglyosis and neuronal loss. The chain of events leading to the clinical disease and the role of distinct brain areas are still poorly understood. The role of nervous system integrity and axonal properties in prion pathology are still elusive. There is no evidence of both the functional axonal impairments in vivo and their connection with prion disease. We studied the functional axonal impairments in motor neurons at the onset of clinical prion disease using the combination of tracing as a functional assay for axonal transport with immunohistochemistry experiments. Well-established and novel confocal and ultramicroscopy techniques were used to image and quantify labeled neurons. Despite profound differences in the incubation times, 30% to 45% of neurons in the red nucleus of different mouse lines showed axonal transport impairments at the disease onset bilaterally after intracerebral prion inoculation and unilaterally—after inoculation into the right sciatic nerve. Up to 94% of motor cortex neurons also demonstrated transport defects upon analysis by alternative imaging methods. Our data connect axonal transport impairments with disease symptoms for different prion strains and inoculation routes and establish further insight on the development of prion pathology in vivo. The alterations in localization of the proteins involved in the retrograde axonal transport allow us to propose a mechanism of transport disruption, which involves Rab7-mediated cargo attachment to the dynein-dynactin pathway. These findings suggest novel targets for therapeutic and diagnostic approaches in the early stages of prion disease. PMID:19696919

  9. A TrkB/EphrinA interaction controls retinal axon branching and synaptogenesis.

    PubMed

    Marler, Katharine J M; Becker-Barroso, Elena; Martínez, Albert; Llovera, Marta; Wentzel, Corinna; Poopalasundaram, Subathra; Hindges, Robert; Soriano, Eduardo; Comella, Joan; Drescher, Uwe

    2008-11-26

    Toward understanding topographically specific branching of retinal axons in their target area, we have studied the interaction between neurotrophin receptors and members of the Eph family. TrkB and its ligand BDNF are uniformly expressed in the retina and tectum, respectively, and exert a branch-promoting activity, whereas EphAs and ephrinAs are expressed in gradients in retina and tectum and can mediate a suppression of axonal branching. We have identified a novel cis interaction between ephrinA5 and TrkB on retinal ganglion cell axons. TrkB interacts with ephrinA5 via its second cysteine-rich domain (CC2), which is necessary and sufficient for binding to ephrinA5. Their functional interaction is twofold: ephrinA5 augments BDNF-promoted retinal axon branching in the absence of its activator EphA7-Fc, whereas EphA7-Fc application abolishes branching in a local and concentration-dependent manner. The importance of TrkB in this process is shown by the fact that overexpression of an isolated TrkB-CC2 domain interfering with the ephrinA/TrkB interaction abolishes this regulatory interplay, whereas knockdown of TrkB via RNA interference diminishes the ephrinA5-evoked increase in branching. The ephrinA/Trk interaction is neurotrophin induced and specifically augments the PI-3 kinase/Akt pathway generally known to be involved in the promotion of branching. In addition, ephrinAs/TrkB modulate axon branching and also synapse formation of hippocampal neurons. Our findings uncover molecular mechanisms of how spatially restricted axon branching can be achieved by linking globally expressed branch-promoting with differentially expressed branch-suppressing activities. In addition, our data suggest that growth factors and the EphA-ephrinA system interact in a way that affects axon branching and synapse development.

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

    PubMed Central

    Zorrilla de San Martin, Javier; Jalil, Abdelali

    2015-01-01

    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 GABAARs comes from spillover, but in cerebellar molecular layer interneurons (MLIs) the GABA source is different: in these cells, GABA release activates presynaptic GABAA 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 Ca2+ 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 GABAA 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 Nav-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 GABAA autoRs leads to an increase in MLI excitability and thus conveys a strong feedback signal that contributes to spiking activity. PMID:26621773

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Immediate Short-Duration Hypothermia Provides Long-Term Protection in an in Vivo Model of Traumatic Axonal Injury

    PubMed Central

    Ma, Marek; Matthews, Brian T.; Lampe, Joshua W.; Meaney, David F.; Shofer, Frances S.; Neumar, Robert W.

    2009-01-01

    A prospective, multicenter, randomized trial did not demonstrate improved outcomes in severe traumatic brain injured patients treated with mild hypothermia (Clifton, et al., 2001). However, the mean time to target temperature was over 8 hours and patient inclusion was based on Glasgow Coma Scale score so brain pathology was likely diverse. There remains significant interest in the benefits of hypothermia after traumatic brain injury (TBI) and, in particular, traumatic axonal injury (TAI), which is believed to significantly contribute to morbidity and mortality of TBI patients. The long-term beneficial effect of mild hypothermia on TAI has not been established. To address this issue, we developed an in vivo rat optic nerve stretch model of TAI. Adult male Sprague-Dawley rats underwent unilateral optic nerve stretch at 6, 7 or 8 mm piston displacement. The increased number of axonal swellings and bulbs immunopositive for non-phosphorylated neurofilament (SMI-32) seen four days after injury was statistically significant after 8 mm displacement. Ultrastructural analysis 2 weeks after 8 mm displacement revealed a 45.0% decrease (p<0.0001) in myelinated axonal density in the optic nerve core. There was loss of axons regardless of axon size. Immediate post-injury hypothermia (32°C) for 3 hours reduced axonal degeneration in the core (p=0.027). There was no differential protection based on axon size. These results support further clinical investigation of temporally optimized therapeutic hypothermia after traumatic brain injury. PMID:18977220

  14. Frizzled3 is required for the development of multiple axon tracts in the mouse central nervous system.

    PubMed

    Hua, Zhong L; Jeon, Sangmin; Caterina, Michael J; Nathans, Jeremy

    2014-07-22

    Targeted mutation of the Frizzled3 (Fz3) gene in mice has been shown to disrupt the growth and guidance of a subset of peripheral and central axons. Here we used conditional deletion of Fz3 to explore the forebrain territories in which Fz3 action is required for the development of the anterior commissure and the corticothalamic, corticospinal, and thalamocortical tracts. Experiments with region-specific deletion of Fz3 using a variety of Cre lines show that proper routing of corticothalamic and thalamocortical axons in the internal capsule requires Fz3 expression in the ventral telencephalon. The pattern of defects among forebrain axon tracts that are induced by conditional deletion of Fz3 conforms closely to the pattern previously observed with analogous conditional deletion of Celsr3, implying a close mechanistic link between Fz3 and Celsr3 in axon guidance. We further found that several central nervous system axon tracts require Fz3 function as early as embryonic day 11.5, and that Fz3 is required for pathfinding by dopaminergic and serotonergic axons in the brain and by a subset of optic tract axons. In addition, conditional deletion of Fz3 in all tissues caudal to the neck eliminates the spinothalamic tract and the transmission of somatosensory information from the spinal cord to the brain, as determined by neuroanatomic tracing and behavioral testing.

  15. Identification of an axonal determinant in the C-terminus of the sodium channel Na(v)1.2.

    PubMed

    Garrido, J J; Fernandes, F; Giraud, P; Mouret, I; Pasqualini, E; Fache, M P; Jullien, F; Dargent, B

    2001-11-01

    To obtain a better understanding of how hippocampal neurons selectively target proteins to axons, we assessed whether any of the large cytoplasmic regions of neuronal sodium channel Na(v)1.2 contain sufficient information for axonal compartmentalization. We show that addition of the cytoplasmic C-terminal region of Na(v)1.2 restricted the distribution of a dendritic-axonal reporter protein to axons. The analysis of mutants revealed that a critical segment of nine amino acids encompassing a di-leucine-based motif mediates axonal compartmentalization of chimera. In addition, the Na(v)1.2 C-terminus is recognized by the clathrin endocytic pathway both in non-neuronal cells and the somatodendritic domain of hippocampal neurons. The mutation of the di-leucine motif located within the nine amino acid sequence to alanines resulted in the loss of chimera compartmentalization in axons and of internalization. These data suggest that selective elimination by endocytosis in dendrites may account for the compartmentalized distribution of some proteins in axons.

  16. Superresolution imaging reveals activity-dependent plasticity of axon morphology linked to changes in action potential conduction velocity.

    PubMed

    Chéreau, Ronan; Saraceno, G Ezequiel; Angibaud, Julie; Cattaert, Daniel; Nägerl, U Valentin

    2017-02-07

    Axons convey information to nearby and distant cells, and the time it takes for action potentials (APs) to reach their targets governs the timing of information transfer in neural circuits. In the unmyelinated axons of hippocampus, the conduction speed of APs depends crucially on axon diameters, which vary widely. However, it is not known whether axon diameters are dynamic and regulated by activity-dependent mechanisms. Using time-lapse superresolution microscopy in brain slices, we report that axons grow wider after high-frequency AP firing: synaptic boutons undergo a rapid enlargement, which is mostly transient, whereas axon shafts show a more delayed and progressive increase in diameter. Simulations of AP propagation incorporating these morphological dynamics predicted bidirectional effects on AP conduction speed. The predictions were confirmed by electrophysiological experiments, revealing a phase of slowed down AP conduction, which is linked to the transient enlargement of the synaptic boutons, followed by a sustained increase in conduction speed that accompanies the axon shaft widening induced by high-frequency AP firing. Taken together, our study outlines a morphological plasticity mechanism for dynamically fine-tuning AP conduction velocity, which potentially has wide implications for the temporal transfer of information in the brain.

  17. 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

  18. Calpain-Mediated Proteolysis of Talin and FAK Regulates Adhesion Dynamics Necessary for Axon Guidance.

    PubMed

    Kerstein, Patrick C; Patel, Kevin M; Gomez, Timothy M

    2017-02-08

    Guidance of axons to their proper synaptic target sites requires spatially and temporally precise modulation of biochemical signals within growth cones. Ionic calcium (Ca(2+)) is an essential signal for axon guidance that mediates opposing effects on growth cone motility. The diverse effects of Ca(2+) arise from the precise localization of Ca(2+) signals into microdomains containing specific Ca(2+) effectors. For example, differences in the mechanical and chemical composition of the underlying substrata elicit local Ca(2+) signals within growth cone filopodia that regulate axon guidance through activation of the protease calpain. However, how calpain regulates growth cone motility remains unclear. Here, we identify the adhesion proteins talin and focal adhesion kinase (FAK) as proteolytic targets of calpain in Xenopus laevis spinal cord neurons both in vivo and in vitro Inhibition of calpain increases the localization of endogenous adhesion signaling to growth cone filopodia. Using live cell microscopy and specific calpain-resistant point-mutants of talin (L432G) and FAK (V744G), we find that calpain inhibits paxillin-based adhesion assembly through cleavage of talin and FAK, and adhesion disassembly through cleavage of FAK. Blocking calpain cleavage of talin and FAK inhibits repulsive turning from focal uncaging of Ca(2+) within filopodia. In addition, blocking calpain cleavage of talin and FAK in vivo promotes Rohon-Beard peripheral axon extension into the skin. These data demonstrate that filopodial Ca(2+) signals regulate axon outgrowth and guidance through calpain regulation of adhesion dynamics through specific cleavage of talin and FAK.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The proper formation of neuronal networks requires accurate guidance of axons and dendrites during development by motile structures known as growth cones. Understanding the intracellular signaling mechanisms that govern growth cone motility will clarify how the nervous system develops and regenerates

  19. Seamless Reconstruction of Intact Adult-Born Neurons by Serial End-Block Imaging Reveals Complex Axonal Guidance and Development in the Adult Hippocampus

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Gerald J.; Sailor, Kurt A.; Mahmood, Qasim A.; Chavali, Nikhil; Christian, Kimberly M.; Song, Hongjun

    2013-01-01

    In the adult mammalian hippocampus, newborn dentate granule cells are continuously integrated into the existing circuitry and contribute to specific brain functions. Little is known about the axonal development of these newborn neurons in the adult brain due to technological challenges that have prohibited large-scale reconstruction of long, thin, and complex axonal processes within the mature nervous system. Here, using a new serial end-block imaging (SEBI) technique, we seamlessly reconstructed axonal and dendritic processes of intact individual retrovirus-labeled newborn granule cells at different developmental stages in the young adult mouse hippocampus. We found that adult-born dentate granule cells exhibit tortuous, yet highly stereotyped, axonal projections to CA3 hippocampal subregions. Primary axonal projections of cohorts of new neurons born around the same time organize into laminar patterns with staggered terminations that stack along the septo-temporal hippocampal axis. Analysis of individual newborn neuron development further defined an initial phase of rapid axonal and dendritic growth within 21 d after newborn neuron birth, followed by minimal growth of primary axonal and whole dendritic processes through the last time point examined at 77 d. Our results suggest that axonal development and targeting is a highly orchestrated, precise process in the adult brain. These findings demonstrate a striking regenerative capacity of the mature CNS to support long-distance growth and guidance of neuronal axons. Our SEBI approach can be broadly applied for analysis of intact, complex neuronal projections in limitless tissue volume. PMID:23843512

  20. Seamless reconstruction of intact adult-born neurons by serial end-block imaging reveals complex axonal guidance and development in the adult hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Sun, Gerald J; Sailor, Kurt A; Mahmood, Qasim A; Chavali, Nikhil; Christian, Kimberly M; Song, Hongjun; Ming, Guo-li

    2013-07-10

    In the adult mammalian hippocampus, newborn dentate granule cells are continuously integrated into the existing circuitry and contribute to specific brain functions. Little is known about the axonal development of these newborn neurons in the adult brain due to technological challenges that have prohibited large-scale reconstruction of long, thin, and complex axonal processes within the mature nervous system. Here, using a new serial end-block imaging (SEBI) technique, we seamlessly reconstructed axonal and dendritic processes of intact individual retrovirus-labeled newborn granule cells at different developmental stages in the young adult mouse hippocampus. We found that adult-born dentate granule cells exhibit tortuous, yet highly stereotyped, axonal projections to CA3 hippocampal subregions. Primary axonal projections of cohorts of new neurons born around the same time organize into laminar patterns with staggered terminations that stack along the septo-temporal hippocampal axis. Analysis of individual newborn neuron development further defined an initial phase of rapid axonal and dendritic growth within 21 d after newborn neuron birth, followed by minimal growth of primary axonal and whole dendritic processes through the last time point examined at 77 d. Our results suggest that axonal development and targeting is a highly orchestrated, precise process in the adult brain. These findings demonstrate a striking regenerative capacity of the mature CNS to support long-distance growth and guidance of neuronal axons. Our SEBI approach can be broadly applied for analysis of intact, complex neuronal projections in limitless tissue volume.

  1. 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”.

  2. Building and maintaining the axon initial segment

    PubMed Central

    Grubb, Matthew S.; Burrone, Juan

    2011-01-01

    The axon initial segment is a unique neuronal subregion involved in the initiation of action potentials and in the control of axonal identity. Recent work has helped our understanding of how this specialised structure develops, not least in identifying possible mechanisms leading to the localisation of the AIS’s master organiser protein, ankyrin-G. The most exciting current work, however, focuses on later aspects of AIS function and plasticity. Recent studies have shown that the AIS is subdivided into distinct structural and functional domains, have demonstrated how the AIS acts as a cytoplasmic barrier for axonal transport, and have discovered that the AIS can be surprisingly plastic in its responses to alterations in neuronal activity. PMID:20537529

  3. Active segmentation of 3D axonal images.

    PubMed

    Muralidhar, Gautam S; Gopinath, Ajay; Bovik, Alan C; Ben-Yakar, Adela

    2012-01-01

    We present an active contour framework for segmenting neuronal axons on 3D confocal microscopy data. Our work is motivated by the need to conduct high throughput experiments involving microfluidic devices and femtosecond lasers to study the genetic mechanisms behind nerve regeneration and repair. While most of the applications for active contours have focused on segmenting closed regions in 2D medical and natural images, there haven't been many applications that have focused on segmenting open-ended curvilinear structures in 2D or higher dimensions. The active contour framework we present here ties together a well known 2D active contour model [5] along with the physics of projection imaging geometry to yield a segmented axon in 3D. Qualitative results illustrate the promise of our approach for segmenting neruonal axons on 3D confocal microscopy data.

  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. 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

  6. Axon contact-driven Schwann cell dedifferentiation.

    PubMed

    Soto, Jennifer; Monje, Paula V

    2017-02-24

    Mature Schwann cells (SCs) retain dedifferentiation potential throughout adulthood. Still, how dedifferentiation occurs remains uncertain. Results from a variety of cell-based assays using in vitro cultured cAMP-differentiated and myelinating SCs revealed the existence of a novel dedifferentiating activity expressed on the surface of dorsal root ganglion (DRG) axons. This activity had the capacity to prevent SC differentiation and elicit dedifferentiation through direct SC-axon contact. Evidence is provided showing that a rapid loss of myelinating SC markers concomitant to proliferation occurred even in the presence of elevated cAMP, a signal that is required to drive and maintain a differentiated state. The dedifferentiating activity was a membrane-bound protein found exclusively in DRG neurons, as judged by its subcellular partitioning, sensitivity to proteolytic degradation and cell-type specificity, and remained active even after disruption of cellular organization. It differed from the membrane-anchored neuregulin-1 isoforms that are responsible for axon contact-induced SC proliferation and exerted its action independently of mitogenic signaling emanating from receptor tyrosine kinases and mitogen-activated protein kinases such as ERK and JNK. Interestingly, dedifferentiation occurred without concomitant changes in the expression of Krox-20, a transcriptional enhancer of myelination, and c-Jun, an inhibitor of myelination. In sum, our data indicated the existence of cell surface axon-derived signals that override pro-differentiating cues, drive dedifferentiation and allow SCs to proliferate in response to axonal mitogens. This axonal signal may negatively regulate myelination at the onset or reversal of the differentiated state.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Diverse Modes of Axon Elaboration in the Developing Neocortex

    PubMed Central

    Weimer, Robby M; De Paola, Vincenzo; Caroni, Pico; Svoboda, Karel

    2005-01-01

    The development of axonal arbors is a critical step in the establishment of precise neural circuits, but relatively little is known about the mechanisms of axonal elaboration in the neocortex. We used in vivo two-photon time-lapse microscopy to image axons in the neocortex of green fluorescent protein-transgenic mice over the first 3 wk of postnatal development. This period spans the elaboration of thalamocortical (TC) and Cajal-Retzius (CR) axons and cortical synaptogenesis. Layer 1 collaterals of TC and CR axons were imaged repeatedly over time scales ranging from minutes up to days, and their growth and pruning were analyzed. The structure and dynamics of TC and CR axons differed profoundly. Branches of TC axons terminated in small, bulbous growth cones, while CR axon branch tips had large growth cones with numerous long filopodia. TC axons grew rapidly in straight paths, with frequent interstitial branch additions, while CR axons grew more slowly along tortuous paths. For both types of axon, new branches appeared at interstitial sites along the axon shaft and did not involve growth cone splitting. Pruning occurred via retraction of small axon branches (tens of microns, at both CR and TC axons) or degeneration of large portions of the arbor (hundreds of microns, for TC axons only). The balance between growth and retraction favored overall growth, but only by a slight margin. Given the identical layer 1 territory upon which CR and TC axons grow, the differences in their structure and dynamics likely reflect distinct intrinsic growth programs for axons of long projection neurons versus local interneurons. PMID:16026180

  10. Creatine pretreatment protects cortical axons from energy depletion in vitro

    PubMed Central

    Shen, Hua; Goldberg, Mark P.

    2012-01-01

    Creatine is a natural nitrogenous guanidino compound involved in bioenergy metabolism. Although creatine has been shown to protect neurons of the central nervous system (CNS) from experimental hypoxia/ischemia, it remains unclear if creatine may also protect CNS axons, and if the potential axonal protection depends on glial cells. To evaluate the direct impact of creatine on CNS axons, cortical axons were cultured in a separate compartment from their somas and proximal neurites using a modified two-compartment culture device. Axons in the axon compartment were subjected to acute energy depletion, an in vitro model of white matter ischemia, by exposure to 6 mM sodium azide for 30 min in the absence of glucose and pyruvate. Energy depletion reduced axonal ATP by 65%, depolarized axonal resting potential, and damaged 75% of axons. Application of creatine (10 mM) to both compartments of the culture at 24 h prior to energy depletion significantly reduced axonal damage by 50%. In line with the role of creatine in the bioenergy metabolism, this application also alleviated the axonal ATP loss and depolarization. Inhibition of axonal depolarization by blocking sodium influx with tetrodotoxin also effectively reduced the axonal damage caused by energy depletion. Further study revealed that the creatine effect was independent of glial cells, as axonal protection was sustained even when creatine was applied only to the axon compartment (free from somas and glial cells) for as little as 2 h. In contrast, application of creatine after energy depletion did not protect axons. The data provide the first evidence that creatine pretreatment may directly protect CNS axons from energy deficiency. PMID:22521466

  11. 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.

  12. Pak functions downstream of Dock to regulate photoreceptor axon guidance in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Hing, H; Xiao, J; Harden, N; Lim, L; Zipursky, S L

    1999-06-25

    The SH2/SH3 adaptor protein Dock has been proposed to transduce signals from guidance receptors to the actin cytoskeleton in Drosophila photoreceptor (R cell) growth cones. Here, we demonstrate that Drosophila p21-activated kinase (Pak) is required in a Dock pathway regulating R cell axon guidance and targeting. Dock and Pak colocalize to R cell axons and growth cones, physically interact, and their loss-of-function phenotypes are indistinguishable. Normal patterns of R cell connectivity require Pak's kinase activity and binding sites for both Dock and Cdc42/Rac. A membrane-tethered form of Pak (Pak(myr) acts as a dominant gain-of-function protein. Retinal expression of Pak(myr) rescues the R cell connectivity phenotype in dock mutants. These data establish Pak as a critical regulator of axon guidance and a downstream effector of Dock in vivo.

  13. Vesicular glycolysis provides on-board energy for fast axonal transport.

    PubMed

    Zala, Diana; Hinckelmann, Maria-Victoria; Yu, Hua; Lyra da Cunha, Marcel Menezes; Liot, Géraldine; Cordelières, Fabrice P; Marco, Sergio; Saudou, Frédéric

    2013-01-31

    Fast axonal transport (FAT) requires consistent energy over long distances to fuel the molecular motors that transport vesicles. We demonstrate that glycolysis provides ATP for the FAT of vesicles. Although inhibiting ATP production from mitochondria did not affect vesicles motility, pharmacological or genetic inhibition of the glycolytic enzyme GAPDH reduced transport in cultured neurons and in Drosophila larvae. GAPDH localizes on vesicles via a huntingtin-dependent mechanism and is transported on fast-moving vesicles within axons. Purified motile vesicles showed GAPDH enzymatic activity and produced ATP. Finally, we show that vesicular GAPDH is necessary and sufficient to provide on-board energy for fast vesicular transport. Although detaching GAPDH from vesicles reduced transport, targeting GAPDH to vesicles was sufficient to promote FAT in GAPDH deficient neurons. This specifically localized glycolytic machinery may supply constant energy, independent of mitochondria, for the processive movement of vesicles over long distances in axons. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Differences in excitability between median and superficial radial sensory axons.

    PubMed

    Fujimaki, Yumi; Kanai, Kazuaki; Misawa, Sonoko; Shibuya, Kazumoto; Isose, Sagiri; Nasu, Saiko; Sekiguchi, Yukari; Ohmori, Shigeki; Noto, Yu-ichi; Kugio, Yumiko; Shimizu, Toshio; Matsubara, Shiro; Lin, Cindy S Y; Kuwabara, Satoshi

    2012-07-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate differences in excitability properties of human median and superficial radial sensory axons (e.g., axons innervating the glabrous and hairy skin in the hand). Previous studies have shown that excitability properties differ between motor and sensory axons, and even among sensory axons between median and sural sensory axons. In 21 healthy subjects, threshold tracking was used to examine excitability indices such as strength-duration time constant, threshold electrotonus, supernormality, and threshold change at the 0.2 ms inter-stimulus interval in latent addition. In addition, threshold changes induced by ischemia for 10 min were compared between median and superficial radial sensory axons. Compared with radial sensory axons, median axons showed shorter strength-duration time constant, greater threshold changes in threshold electrotonus (fanning-out), greater supernormality, and smaller threshold changes in latent addition. Threshold changes in both during and after ischemia were greater for median axons. These findings suggest that membrane potential in human median sensory axons is more negative than in superficial radial axons, possibly due to greater activity of electrogenic Na(+)/K(+) pump. These results may reflect adaptation to impulses load carried by median axons that would be far greater with a higher frequency. Biophysical properties are not identical in different human sensory axons, and therefore their responses to disease may differ. Copyright © 2011 International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-05-01

    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.

  17. Oligodendrocyte lineage and subventricular zone response to traumatic axonal injury in the corpus callosum.

    PubMed

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

    2013-12-01

    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/CreER(T):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.

  18. Axonal Degeneration during Aging and Its Functional Role in Neurodegenerative Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Salvadores, Natalia; Sanhueza, Mario; Manque, Patricio; Court, Felipe A.

    2017-01-01

    Aging constitutes the main risk factor for the development of neurodegenerative diseases. This represents a major health issue worldwide that is only expected to escalate due to the ever-increasing life expectancy of the population. Interestingly, axonal degeneration, which occurs at early stages of neurodegenerative disorders (ND) such as Alzheimer's disease, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and Parkinson's disease, also takes place as a consequence of normal aging. Moreover, the alteration of several cellular processes such as proteostasis, response to cellular stress and mitochondrial homeostasis, which have been described to occur in the aging brain, can also contribute to axonal pathology. Compelling evidence indicate that the degeneration of axons precedes clinical symptoms in NDs and occurs before cell body loss, constituting an early event in the pathological process and providing a potential therapeutic target to treat neurodegeneration before neuronal cell death. Although, normal aging and the development of neurodegeneration are two processes that are closely linked, the molecular basis of the switch that triggers the transition from healthy aging to neurodegeneration remains unrevealed. In this review we discuss the potential role of axonal degeneration in this transition and provide a detailed overview of the literature and current advances in the molecular understanding of the cellular changes that occur during aging that promote axonal degeneration and then discuss this in the context of ND. PMID:28928628

  19. Assessing the direct effects of deep brain stimulation using embedded axon models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sotiropoulos, Stamatios N.; Steinmetz, Peter N.

    2007-06-01

    To better understand the spatial extent of the direct effects of deep brain stimulation (DBS) on neurons, we implemented a geometrically realistic finite element electrical model incorporating anisotropic and inhomogenous conductivities. The model included the subthalamic nucleus (STN), substantia nigra (SN), zona incerta (ZI), fields of Forel H2 (FF), internal capsule (IC) and Medtronic 3387/3389 electrode. To quantify the effects of stimulation, we extended previous studies by using multi-compartment axon models with geometry and orientation consistent with anatomical features of the brain regions of interest. Simulation of axonal firing produced a map of relative changes in axonal activation. Voltage-controlled stimulation, with clinically typical parameters at the dorso-lateral STN, caused axon activation up to 4 mm from the target. This activation occurred within the FF, IC, SN and ZI with current intensities close to the average injected during DBS (3 mA). A sensitivity analysis of model parameters (fiber size, fiber orientation, degree of inhomogeneity, degree of anisotropy, electrode configuration) revealed that the FF and IC were consistently activated. Direct activation of axons outside the STN suggests that other brain regions may be involved in the beneficial effects of DBS when treating Parkinsonian symptoms.

  20. Glycine Transporter-1 Inhibition Promotes Striatal Axon Sprouting via NMDA Receptors in Dopamine Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Castagna, Candace; Mrejeru, Ana; Lizardi-Ortiz, José E.; Klein, Zoe; Lindsley, Craig W.

    2013-01-01

    NMDA receptor activity is involved in shaping synaptic connections throughout development and adulthood. We recently reported that brief activation of NMDA receptors on cultured ventral midbrain dopamine neurons enhanced their axon growth rate and induced axonal branching. To test whether this mechanism was relevant to axon regrowth in adult animals, we examined the reinnervation of dorsal striatum following nigral dopamine neuron loss induced by unilateral intrastriatal injections of the toxin 6-hydroxydopamine. We used a pharmacological approach to enhance NMDA receptor-dependent signaling by treatment with an inhibitor of glycine transporter-1 that elevates levels of extracellular glycine, a coagonist required for NMDA receptor activation. All mice displayed sprouting of dopaminergic axons from spared fibers in the ventral striatum to the denervated dorsal striatum at 7 weeks post-lesion, but the reinnervation in mice treated for 4 weeks with glycine uptake inhibitor was approximately twice as dense as in untreated mice. The treated mice also displayed higher levels of striatal dopamine and a complete recovery from lateralization in a test of sensorimotor behavior. We confirmed that the actions of glycine uptake inhibition on reinnervation and behavioral recovery required NMDA receptors in dopamine neurons using targeted deletion of the NR1 NMDA receptor subunit in dopamine neurons. Glycine transport inhibitors promote functionally relevant sprouting of surviving dopamine axons and could provide clinical treatment for disorders such as Parkinson's disease. PMID:24133278

  1. 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

  2. Tracking Quantum-Dot labeled neurotropic factors transport along primary neuronal axons in compartmental microfluidic chambers.

    PubMed

    Gluska, Shani; Chein, Michael; Rotem, Nimrod; Ionescu, Ariel; Perlson, Eran

    2016-01-01

    Neurons are highly polarized cells, with very long axons. Neurotrophic factors like the neuronal growth factor (NGF) are secreted from neuronal targets to promote neuron survival and proper function. These neurotrophic factors must undergo retrograde axonal transport towards the cell body, wherein they initiate signaling pathways important for neurons' various functions and overall health. This process of long-distance axonal signaling is conducted by the dynein motor protein, which transmits signaling endosomes of ligand-receptor complexes retrogradely along microtubule tracks. Here we describe step by step the use of polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) compartmentalized microfluidic chambers for tracking axonal transport of trophic factors, with a focus on labeled NGF. We describe in detail how to fabricate the molds, assemble the PDMS platform, plate neurons and image, as well as analyze NGF transport along the axon. This method is useful for studying molecular communication mechanisms within the neuron's different compartments as well as between the neuron and its diverse microenvironments, both in health and under pathological conditions.

  3. Neural Progenitor Cells Promote Axonal Growth and Alter Axonal mRNA Localization in Adult Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Merianda, Tanuja T.; Jin, Ying

    2017-01-01

    Abstract The inhibitory environment of the spinal cord and the intrinsic properties of neurons prevent regeneration of axons following CNS injury. However, both ascending and descending axons of the injured spinal cord have been shown to regenerate into grafts of embryonic neural progenitor cells (NPCs). Previous studies have shown that grafts composed of glial-restricted progenitors (GRPs) and neural-restricted progenitors (NRPs) can provide a permissive microenvironment for axon growth. We have used cocultures of adult rat dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons together with NPCs, which have shown significant enhancement of axon growth by embryonic rat GRP and GRPs/NRPs, both in coculture conditions and when DRGs are exposed to conditioned medium from the NPC cultures. This growth-promoting effect of NPC-conditioned medium was also seen in injury-conditioned neurons. DRGs cocultured with GRPs/NRPs showed altered expression of regeneration-associated genes at transcriptional and post-transcriptional levels. We found that levels of GAP-43 mRNA increased in DRG cell bodies and axons. However, hepcidin antimicrobial peptide (HAMP) mRNA decreased in the cell bodies of DRGs cocultured with GRPs/NRPs, which is distinct from the increase in cell body HAMP mRNA levels seen in DRGs after injury conditioning. Endogenous GAP-43 and β-actin mRNAs as well as reporter RNAs carrying axonally localizing 3'UTRs of these transcripts showed significantly increased levels in distal axons in the DRGs cocultured with GRPs/NRPs. These results indicate that axon growth promoted by NPCs is associated not only with enhanced transcription of growth-associated genes but also can increase localization of some mRNAs into growing axons. PMID:28197547

  4. Neural Progenitor Cells Promote Axonal Growth and Alter Axonal mRNA Localization in Adult Neurons.

    PubMed

    Merianda, Tanuja T; Jin, Ying; Kalinski, Ashley L; Sahoo, Pabitra K; Fischer, Itzhak; Twiss, Jeffery L

    2017-01-01

    The inhibitory environment of the spinal cord and the intrinsic properties of neurons prevent regeneration of axons following CNS injury. However, both ascending and descending axons of the injured spinal cord have been shown to regenerate into grafts of embryonic neural progenitor cells (NPCs). Previous studies have shown that grafts composed of glial-restricted progenitors (GRPs) and neural-restricted progenitors (NRPs) can provide a permissive microenvironment for axon growth. We have used cocultures of adult rat dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons together with NPCs, which have shown significant enhancement of axon growth by embryonic rat GRP and GRPs/NRPs, both in coculture conditions and when DRGs are exposed to conditioned medium from the NPC cultures. This growth-promoting effect of NPC-conditioned medium was also seen in injury-conditioned neurons. DRGs cocultured with GRPs/NRPs showed altered expression of regeneration-associated genes at transcriptional and post-transcriptional levels. We found that levels of GAP-43 mRNA increased in DRG cell bodies and axons. However, hepcidin antimicrobial peptide (HAMP) mRNA decreased in the cell bodies of DRGs cocultured with GRPs/NRPs, which is distinct from the increase in cell body HAMP mRNA levels seen in DRGs after injury conditioning. Endogenous GAP-43 and β-actin mRNAs as well as reporter RNAs carrying axonally localizing 3'UTRs of these transcripts showed significantly increased levels in distal axons in the DRGs cocultured with GRPs/NRPs. These results indicate that axon growth promoted by NPCs is associated not only with enhanced transcription of growth-associated genes but also can increase localization of some mRNAs into growing axons.

  5. Preferential Enhancement of Sensory and Motor Axon Regeneration by Combining Extracellular Matrix Components with Neurotrophic Factors

    PubMed Central

    Santos, Daniel; González-Pérez, Francisco; Giudetti, Guido; Micera, Silvestro; Udina, Esther; Del Valle, Jaume; Navarro, Xavier

    2016-01-01

    After peripheral nerve injury, motor and sensory axons are able to regenerate but inaccuracy of target reinnervation leads to poor functional recovery. Extracellular matrix (ECM) components and neurotrophic factors (NTFs) exert their effect on different neuronal populations creating a suitable environment to promote axonal growth. Here, we assessed in vitro and in vivo the selective effects of combining different ECM components with NTFs on motor and sensory axons regeneration and target reinnervation. Organotypic cultures with collagen, laminin and nerve growth factor (NGF)/neurotrophin-3 (NT3) or collagen, fibronectin and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) selectively enhanced sensory neurite outgrowth of DRG neurons and motor neurite outgrowth from spinal cord slices respectively. For in vivo studies, the rat sciatic nerve was transected and repaired with a silicone tube filled with a collagen and laminin matrix with NGF/NT3 encapsulated in poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) microspheres (MP) (LM + MP.NGF/NT3), or a collagen and fibronectin matrix with BDNF in PLGA MPs (FN + MP.BDNF). Retrograde labeling and functional tests showed that LM + MP.NGF/NT3 increased the number of regenerated sensory neurons and improved sensory functional recovery, whereas FN + MP.BDNF preferentially increased regenerated motoneurons and enhanced motor functional recovery. Therefore, combination of ECM molecules with NTFs may be a good approach to selectively enhance motor and sensory axons regeneration and promote appropriate target reinnervation. PMID:28036084

  6. Preferential Enhancement of Sensory and Motor Axon Regeneration by Combining Extracellular Matrix Components with Neurotrophic Factors.

    PubMed

    Santos, Daniel; González-Pérez, Francisco; Giudetti, Guido; Micera, Silvestro; Udina, Esther; Del Valle, Jaume; Navarro, Xavier

    2016-12-29

    After peripheral nerve injury, motor and sensory axons are able to regenerate but inaccuracy of target reinnervation leads to poor functional recovery. Extracellular matrix (ECM) components and neurotrophic factors (NTFs) exert their effect on different neuronal populations creating a suitable environment to promote axonal growth. Here, we assessed in vitro and in vivo the selective effects of combining different ECM components with NTFs on motor and sensory axons regeneration and target reinnervation. Organotypic cultures with collagen, laminin and nerve growth factor (NGF)/neurotrophin-3 (NT3) or collagen, fibronectin and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) selectively enhanced sensory neurite outgrowth of DRG neurons and motor neurite outgrowth from spinal cord slices respectively. For in vivo studies, the rat sciatic nerve was transected and repaired with a silicone tube filled with a collagen and laminin matrix with NGF/NT3 encapsulated in poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) microspheres (MP) (LM + MP.NGF/NT3), or a collagen and fibronectin matrix with BDNF in PLGA MPs (FN + MP.BDNF). Retrograde labeling and functional tests showed that LM + MP.NGF/NT3 increased the number of regenerated sensory neurons and improved sensory functional recovery, whereas FN + MP.BDNF preferentially increased regenerated motoneurons and enhanced motor functional recovery. Therefore, combination of ECM molecules with NTFs may be a good approach to selectively enhance motor and sensory axons regeneration and promote appropriate target reinnervation.

  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. Development of Single Retinofugal Axon Arbors in Normal and β2 Knockout Mice

    PubMed Central

    Dhande, Onkar S.; Hua, Ethan W.; Guh, Emily; Yeh, Jonathan; Bhatt, Shivani; Zhang, Yueyi; Ruthazer, Edward S.; Feller, Marla B.; Crair, Michael C.

    2011-01-01

    The maturation of retinal ganglion cell (RGC) axon projections in the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus (dLGN) and the superior colliculus (SC) relies on both molecular and activity-dependent mechanisms. Despite the increasing popularity of the mouse as a mammalian visual system model, little is known in this species about the normal development of individual RGC axon arbors or the role of activity in this process. We used a novel in vivo single RGC labeling technique to quantitatively characterize the elaboration and refinement of RGC axon arbors in the dLGN and SC in wild type (WT) and β2-nAChR mutant (β2−/−) mice, which have perturbed retinal waves, during the developmental period when eye-specific lamination and retinotopic refinement occurs. Our results suggest that eye-specific segregation and retinotopic refinement in WT mice are not the result of refinement of richly exuberant arbors, but rather the elaboration of arbors pre-positioned in the proper location combined with the elimination of inappropriately targeted sparse branches. We found that retinocollicular arbors mature about one week earlier than retinogeniculate arbors, even though RGC axons reach the dLGN and SC at roughly the same age. We also observed striking differences between contralateral and ipsilateral RGC axon arbors in the SC but not in the LGN. These data suggest a strong influence of target specific cues during arbor maturation. In β2−/− mice, we found that retinofugal single axon arbors are well ramified but enlarged, particularly in the SC, indicating that activity-dependent visual map development occurs through the refinement of individual RGC arbors. PMID:21368050

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    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 knockout 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. PMID:23115176

  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. The axon as a unique computational unit in neurons.

    PubMed

    Sasaki, Takuya

    2013-02-01

    In the mammalian cortex, axons are highly ramified and link an enormous number of neurons over large distances. The conventional view assumes that action potentials (APs) are initiated at the axon initial segment in an all-or-none fashion and are then self-propagated orthodromically along axon collaterals without distortion of the AP waveform. By contrast, recent experimental results suggest that the axonal AP waveform can be modified depending on the activation states of the ion channels and receptors on axonal cell membranes. This AP modulation can regulate neurotransmission to postsynaptic neurons. In addition, the latest studies have provided evidence that cortical axons can integrate somatic burst firings and promote activity-dependent ectopic AP generation, which may underlie the oscillogenesis of fast rhythmic network activity. These seminal observations indicate that axons can perform diverse functional operations that extend beyond the prevailing model of axon physiology.

  12. Cxcl12/Cxcr4 chemokine signaling is required for placode assembly and sensory axon pathfinding in the zebrafish olfactory system.

    PubMed

    Miyasaka, Nobuhiko; Knaut, Holger; Yoshihara, Yoshihiro

    2007-07-01

    Positioning neurons in the right places and wiring axons to the appropriate targets are essential events for establishment of neural circuits. In the zebrafish olfactory system, precursors of olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs) assemble into a compact cluster to form the olfactory placode. Subsequently, OSNs differentiate and extend their axons to the presumptive olfactory bulb with high precision. In this study, we aim to elucidate the molecular mechanism underlying these two developmental processes. cxcr4b, encoding a chemokine receptor, is expressed in the migrating olfactory placodal precursors, and cxcl12a (SDF-1a), encoding a ligand for Cxcr4b, is expressed in the abutting anterior neural plate. The expression of cxcr4b persists in the olfactory placode at the initial phase of OSN axon pathfinding. At this time, cxcl12a is expressed along the placode-telencephalon border and at the anterior tip of the telencephalon, prefiguring the route and target of OSN axons, respectively. Interfering with Cxcl12a/Cxcr4b signaling perturbs the assembly of the olfactory placode, resulting in the appearance of ventrally displaced olfactory neurons. Moreover, OSN axons frequently fail to exit the olfactory placode and accumulate near the placode-telencephalon border in the absence of Cxcr4b-mediated signaling. These data indicate that chemokine signaling contributes to both the olfactory placode assembly and the OSN axon pathfinding in zebrafish.

  13. Calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase IIbeta isoform is expressed in motor neurons during axon outgrowth and is part of slow axonal transport.

    PubMed

    Lund, Linda M; McQuarrie, Irvine G

    2002-03-15

    Previously, we identified calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase IIbeta (CaMKIIbeta) mRNA in spinal motor neurons with 372 bp inserted in what corresponds to the "association" domain of the protein. This was interesting because known additions and deletions to CaMKIIbeta mRNA are usually less than 100 bp in size and found in the "variable" region. Changes in the association domain of CaMKIIbeta could influence substrate specificity, activity or intracellular targeting. We show that three variations of this insert are found in CNS neurons or sciatic motor neurons of Sprague-Dawley rats. We used PCR and nucleic acid sequencing to identify inserts of 114, 243, or 372 bases. We also show that addition of the 372 bases is associated with outgrowth of the axon (the standard CaMKIIbeta downregulates when axon outgrowth occurs). Radiolabeling, immunoblots, and 2D PAGE identified this larger CaMKIIbeta as part of the group of soluble proteins moving at the slowest rate of axonal transport (SCa) in sciatic motor neurons (similar1 mm/day). This group is composed mainly of structural proteins (e.g., tubulin) used to assemble the cytoskeleton of regrowing axons.

  14. Modeling molecular mechanisms in the axon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Rooij, R.; Miller, K. E.; Kuhl, E.

    2017-03-01

    Axons are living systems that display highly dynamic changes in stiffness, viscosity, and internal stress. However, the mechanistic origin of these phenomenological properties remains elusive. Here we establish a computational mechanics model that interprets cellular-level characteristics as emergent properties from molecular-level events. We create an axon model of discrete microtubules, which are connected to neighboring microtubules via discrete crosslinking mechanisms that obey a set of simple rules. We explore two types of mechanisms: passive and active crosslinking. Our passive and active simulations suggest that the stiffness and viscosity of the axon increase linearly with the crosslink density, and that both are highly sensitive to the crosslink detachment and reattachment times. Our model explains how active crosslinking with dynein motors generates internal stresses and actively drives axon elongation. We anticipate that our model will allow us to probe a wide variety of molecular phenomena—both in isolation and in interaction—to explore emergent cellular-level features under physiological and pathological conditions.

  15. Is cold paresis related to axonal depolarization?

    PubMed

    Franssen, Hessel; Gebbink, Tineke A; Wokke, John H J; van den Berg, Leonard H; van Schelven, Leonard J

    2010-09-01

    Cold paresis may occur in multifocal motor neuropathy and lower motor neuron disease. It was proposed to reflect nerve lesions where axons are depolarized due to loss of Na/K-pump activity. In those circumstances, a further decrease in pump activity by cooling may induce extra depolarization, conduction block, and weakness. Evidence for this hypothesis is incomplete because it is unknown if cold induces depolarization in human motor axons and other factors may contribute to the symptoms. To solve these questions, we examined 10 normal subjects. At 37, 25, 20, and 15°C we assessed: excitability in the median nerve, decrement on 3-Hz stimulation, pulsed Doppler of a wrist artery, and thenar muscle strength. Cooling induced: (1) findings compatible with axonal depolarization on excitability testing (fanning-in of threshold electrotonus, steepened current threshold relation, increased refractory period, decreased super- and subexcitability), (2) decreased Doppler peak systolic velocity without causing ischemia, (3) decreased muscle strength and impaired muscle relaxation. Decrement tests and compound muscle action potential amplitude remained normal. The excitability findings induced by cooling were best explained by axonal depolarization due to the effect of temperature on Na/K-pump activity. The induced weakness may be explained not only by this mechanism but also by impaired muscle contraction. © 2010 Peripheral Nerve Society.

  16. 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.

  17. Modeling molecular mechanisms in the axon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Rooij, R.; Miller, K. E.; Kuhl, E.

    2016-12-01

    Axons are living systems that display highly dynamic changes in stiffness, viscosity, and internal stress. However, the mechanistic origin of these phenomenological properties remains elusive. Here we establish a computational mechanics model that interprets cellular-level characteristics as emergent properties from molecular-level events. We create an axon model of discrete microtubules, which are connected to neighboring microtubules via discrete crosslinking mechanisms that obey a set of simple rules. We explore two types of mechanisms: passive and active crosslinking. Our passive and active simulations suggest that the stiffness and viscosity of the axon increase linearly with the crosslink density, and that both are highly sensitive to the crosslink detachment and reattachment times. Our model explains how active crosslinking with dynein motors generates internal stresses and actively drives axon elongation. We anticipate that our model will allow us to probe a wide variety of molecular phenomena—both in isolation and in interaction—to explore emergent cellular-level features under physiological and pathological conditions.

  18. 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.).

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Extensive Acute Axonal Damage in Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis Lesions

    PubMed Central

    Pfeifenbring, Sabine; Bunyan, Reem F.; Metz, Imke; Röver, Christian; Huppke, Peter; Gärtner, Jutta; Lucchinetti, Claudia F.; Brück, Wolfgang

    2015-01-01

    Objective Axonal damage occurs early in multiple sclerosis (MS) and contributes to the degree of clinical disability. Children with MS more often show disabling and polyfocal neurological symptoms at disease onset than adults with MS. Thus, axonal damage may differ between pediatric and adult MS patients. Methods We analyzed axonal pathology in archival brain biopsy and autopsy samples from 19 children with early MS. Lesions were classified according to demyelinating activity and presence of remyelination. Axonal density and extent of acute axonal damage were assessed using Bielschowsky silver impregnation and immunohistochemistry for amyloid precursor protein (APP), respectively. Axonal injury was correlated with the inflammatory infiltrate as well as clinical characteristics. Results were compared with data from adult MS patients. Results Acute axonal damage was most extensive in early active demyelinating (EA) lesions of pediatric patients and correlated positively with the Expanded Disability Status Scale at attack leading to biopsy/autopsy. Comparison with 12 adult patients showed a 50% increase in the extent of acute axonal damage in EA lesions from children compared to adults, with the highest number of APP-positive spheroids found prior to puberty. The extent of acute axonal damage correlated positively with the number of lesional macrophages. Axonal density was reduced in pediatric lesions irrespective of the demyelinating activity or the presence of remyelination. Axonal reduction was similar between children and adults. Interpretation Our results provide evidence for more pronounced acute axonal damage in inflammatory demyelinating lesions from children compared to adults. PMID:25612167

  3. Constant and variable aspects of axonal phenotype in cerebral cortex.

    PubMed

    Tettoni, L; Gheorghita-Baechler, F; Bressoud, R; Welker, E; Innocenti, G M

    1998-09-01

    In order to determine to what extent the terminal arbors of phylogenetically and functionally distant axons are constructed according to common rules, we have compared visual callosal axons in cats (CCC axons) with thalamocortical axons to the whisker representation in mice (MTC axons). Both similarities and differences were found. Maximal order of branching, branching angles, topological distribution of branches and boutons are similar for all axons, indicating strong constraints in arbor formation. CCC and MTC axons are indistinguishable for total arbor length and number of branches, although these parameters can vary across individual axons of each group. MTC axons have longer and bouton-richer end-branches (the 'transmission compartment') while, in CCC axons, proximal, boutonless branches (the 'conduction compartment') predominate. Therefore, the two classes of axons appear to be specialized for performing different types of operations, in agreement with the available electrophysiological data and computer simulations. Differences in the length of branches were also observed between MTC axons of normal and 'barrelless' mice, suggesting that this parameter can be regulated by conditions at the terminal sites.

  4. Whirlin, a cytoskeletal scaffolding protein, stabilizes the paranodal region and axonal cytoskeleton in myelinated axons.

    PubMed

    Green, James A; Yang, Jun; Grati, M'hamed; Kachar, Bechara; Bhat, Manzoor A

    2013-09-06

    Myelinated axons are organized into distinct subcellular and molecular regions. Without proper organization, electrical nerve conduction is delayed, resulting in detrimental physiological outcomes. One such region is the paranode where axo-glial septate junctions act as a molecular fence to separate the sodium (Na+) channel-enriched node from the potassium (K+) channel-enriched juxtaparanode. A significant lack of knowledge remains as to cytoskeletal proteins which stabilize paranodal domains and underlying cytoskeleton. Whirlin (Whrn) is a PDZ domain-containing cytoskeletal scaffold whose absence in humans results in Usher Syndromes or variable deafness-blindness syndromes. Mutant Whirlin (Whrn) mouse model studies have linked such behavioral deficits to improper localization of critical transmembrane protein complexes in the ear and eye. Until now, no reports exist about the function of Whrn in myelinated axons. RT-PCR and immunoblot analyses revealed expression of Whrn mRNA and Whrn full-length protein, respectively, in several stages of central and peripheral nervous system development. Comparing wild-type mice to Whrn knockout (Whrn-/-) mice, we observed no significant differences in the expression of standard axonal domain markers by immunoblot analysis but observed and quantified a novel paranodal compaction phenotype in 4 to 8 week-old Whrn-/- nerves. The paranodal compaction phenotype and associated cytoskeletal disruption was observed in Whrn-/- mutant sciatic nerves and spinal cord fibers from early (2 week-old) to late (1 year-old) stages of development. Light and electron microscopic analyses of Whrn knockout mice reveal bead-like swellings in cerebellar Purkinje axons containing mitochondria and vesicles by both. These data suggest that Whrn plays a role in proper cytoskeletal organization in myelinated axons. Domain organization in myelinated axons remains a complex developmental process. Here we demonstrate that loss of Whrn disrupts proper axonal

  5. Cyclic AMP and the regeneration of retinal ganglion cell axons.

    PubMed

    Hellström, Mats; Harvey, Alan R

    2014-11-01

    In this paper we present a brief review of studies that have reported therapeutic benefits of elevated cAMP on plasticity and regeneration after injury to the central nervous system (CNS). We also provide new data on the cellular mechanisms by which elevation of cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) promotes cytokine driven regeneration of adult CNS axons, using the visual system as the experimental model. cAMP is a second messenger for many intracellular signalling pathways. Elevation of cAMP in the eye by intravitreal injection of the cell permeant analogue (8-(4-chlorophenylthio)-adenosine-3',5'-cyclic monophosphate; CPT-cAMP), when added to recombinant ciliary neurotrophic factor (rCNTF), significantly enhances rCNTF-induced regeneration of adult rat retinal ganglion cell (RGC) axons into peripheral nerve (PN) grafted onto transected optic nerve. This effect is mediated to some extent by protein kinase A (PKA) signalling, but CPT-cAMP also acts via PI3K/Akt signalling to reduce suppressor of cytokine signalling protein 3 (SOCS3) activity in RGCs. Another target for cAMP is the exchange protein activated by cAMP (Epac), which can also mediate cAMP-induced axonal growth. Here we describe some novel results and discuss to what extent the pro-regenerative effects of CPT-cAMP on adult RGCs are mediated via Epac as well as via PKA-dependent pathways. We used the established PN-optic nerve graft model and quantified the survival and regenerative growth of adult rat RGCs after intravitreal injection of rCNTF in combination with a selective activator of PKA and/or a specific activator of Epac. Viable RGCs were identified by βIII-tubulin immunohistochemistry and regenerating RGCs retrogradely labelled and quantified after an injection of fluorogold into the distal end of the PN grafts, 4 weeks post-transplantation. The specific agonists of either PKA or Epac were both effective in enhancing the effects of rCNTF on RGC axonal regeneration, but interestingly, injections

  6. Critical role of axonal A-type K+ channels and axonal geometry in the gating of action potential propagation along CA3 pyramidal cell axons: a simulation study.

    PubMed

    Kopysova, I L; Debanne, D

    1998-09-15

    A model of CA3 pyramidal cell axons was used to study a new mode of gating of action potential (AP) propagation along the axon that depends on the activation of A-type K+ current (Debanne et al., 1997). The axonal membrane contained voltage-dependent Na+ channels, K+ channels, and A-type K+ channels. The density of axonal A-channels was first determined so that (1) at the resting membrane potential an AP elicited by a somatic depolarization was propagated into all axon collaterals and (2) propagation failures occurred when a brief somatic hyperpolarization preceded the AP induction. Both conditions were fulfilled only when A-channels were distributed in clusters but not when they were homogeneously distributed along the axon. Failure occurs in the proximal part of the axon. Conduction failure could be determined by a single cluster of A-channels, local decrease of axon diameter, or axonal elongation. We estimated the amplitude and temporal parameters of the hyperpolarization required for induction of a conduction block. Transient and small somatic hyperpolarizations, such as simulated GABAA inhibitory postsynaptic potentials, were able to block the AP propagation. It was shown that AP induction had to occur with a short delay (<30 msec) after the hyperpolarization. We discuss the possible conditions in which such local variations of the axon geometry and A-channel density may occur and the incidence of AP propagation failures on hippocampal network properties.

  7. Spatiotemporal gradients of intra-axonal [Na+] after transection and resealing in lizard peripheral myelinated axons.

    PubMed Central

    David, G; Barrett, J N; Barrett, E F

    1997-01-01

    1. Post-transection changes in intracellular Na+ ([Na+]i) were measured in lizard peripheral axons ionophoretically injected with the Na(+)-sensitive ratiometric dye, sodium-binding benzofuran isophthalate (SBFI). 2. Following axonal transection in physiological saline [Na+]i increased to more than 100 mM in a region that quickly extended hundreds of micrometers from the transection site. This post-transection increase in [Na+]i was similar when the bath contained 5 microM tetrodotoxin, but was absent in Na(+)-free solution. Depolarization of uncut axons in 50 mM K+ produced little or no elevation of [Na+]i until veratridine was added. These results suggest that the post-transection increase in [Na+]i was due mainly to Na+ entry via the cut end, rather than via depolarization-activated Na+ channels. 3. The spatiotemporal profile of the post-transection increase in [Na+]i could be accounted for by movement of Na+ from the cut end with an apparent diffusion coefficient of 1.3 x 10(-5) cm2 s-1. 4. [Na+]i began to decline toward resting levels by 20 +/- 15 min (mean +/- S.D.) post-transection, except in regions of the axon within 160 +/- 85 microns of the transection site, where [Na+]i remained high. The boundary between axonal regions in which [Na+]i did or did not recover probably defines a locus of resealing of the axonal membrane. 5. [Na+]i returned to resting values within about 1 h after resealing, even in axonal regions where the normal transmembrane [Na+] gradient had completely dissipated. The recovery of [Na+]i was faster and reached lower levels than expected by diffusional redistribution of Na+ along the axon. Partial recovery occurred even in an isolated internode, indicating that the internodal axolemma can actively extrude Na+. Images Figure 2 Figure 4 Figure 6 PMID:9032679

  8. Regulation of intrinsic neuronal properties for axon growth and regeneration.

    PubMed

    Rossi, Ferdinando; Gianola, Sara; Corvetti, Luigi

    2007-01-01

    Regulation of neuritic growth is crucial for neural development, adaptation and repair. The intrinsic growth potential of nerve cells is determined by the activity of specific molecular sets, which sense environmental signals and sustain structural extension of neurites. The expression and function of these molecules are dynamically regulated by multiple mechanisms, which adjust the actual growth properties of each neuron population at different ontogenetic stages or in specific conditions. The neuronal potential for axon elongation and regeneration are restricted at the end of development by the concurrent action of several factors associated with the final maturation of neurons and of the surrounding tissue. In the adult, neuronal growth properties can be significantly modulated by injury, but they are also continuously tuned in everyday life to sustain physiological plasticity. Strict regulation of structural remodelling and neuritic elongation is thought to be required to maintain specific patterns of connectivity in the highly complex mammalian CNS. Accordingly, procedures that neutralize such mechanisms effectively boost axon growth in both intact and injured nervous system. Even in these conditions, however, aberrant connections are only formed in the presence of unusual external stimuli or experience. Therefore, growth regulatory mechanisms play an essentially permissive role by setting the responsiveness of neural circuits to environmental stimuli. The latter exert an instructive action and determine the actual shape of newly formed connections. In the light of this notion, efficient therapeutic interventions in the injured CNS should combine targeted manipulations of growth control mechanisms with task-specific training and rehabilitation paradigms.

  9. Axonal Terminals Exposed to Amyloid-β May Not Lead to Pre-Synaptic Axonal Damage

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Shu-Wei; Nishioka, Christopher; Labib, Wessam; Liang, Hsiao-Fang

    2015-01-01

    Background Synaptic deficits and neuronal loss are the major pathological manifestations of Alzheimer’s disease. However, the link between the early synaptic loss and subsequent neurodegeneration is not entirely clear. Cell culture studies have shown that amyloid-β (Aβ) applied to axonal terminals can cause retrograde degeneration leading to the neuronal loss, but this process has not been demonstrated in live animals. Objective To test if Aβ applied to retinal ganglion cell axonal terminals can induce axonal damage in the optic nerve and optic tract in mice. Methods Aβ was injected into the terminal field of the optic tract, in the left lateral geniculate nucleus of wildtype C57BL/6 mice. Following the injection, monthly diffusion tensor imaging was performed. Three months after the injection, mice underwent visual evoked potential recordings, and then sacrificed for immunohistochemical examination. Results There were no significant changes seen with diffusion tensor imaging in the optic nerve and optic tract 3 months after the Aβ injection. The myelin and axons in these regions remained intact according to immunohistochemistry. The only significant changes observed in this study were delayed transduction and reduced amplitude of visual evoked potentials, although both Aβ and its reversed form caused similar changes. Conclusion Despite the published in vitro studies, there was no significant axonal damage in the optic nerve and optic tract after injecting Aβ onto retinal ganglion cell axonal terminals of wildtype C57BL/6 mice. PMID:25697704

  10. MAPK signaling promotes axonal degeneration by speeding the turnover of the axonal maintenance factor NMNAT2

    PubMed Central

    Walker, Lauren J; Summers, Daniel W; Sasaki, Yo; Brace, EJ; Milbrandt, Jeffrey; DiAntonio, Aaron

    2017-01-01

    Injury-induced (Wallerian) axonal degeneration is regulated via the opposing actions of pro-degenerative factors such as SARM1 and a MAPK signal and pro-survival factors, the most important of which is the NAD+ biosynthetic enzyme NMNAT2 that inhibits activation of the SARM1 pathway. Here we investigate the mechanism by which MAPK signaling facilitates axonal degeneration. We show that MAPK signaling promotes the turnover of the axonal survival factor NMNAT2 in cultured mammalian neurons as well as the Drosophila ortholog dNMNAT in motoneurons. The increased levels of NMNAT2 are required for the axonal protection caused by loss of MAPK signaling. Regulation of NMNAT2 by MAPK signaling does not require SARM1, and so cannot be downstream of SARM1. Hence, pro-degenerative MAPK signaling functions upstream of SARM1 by limiting the levels of the essential axonal survival factor NMNAT2 to promote injury-dependent SARM1 activation. These findings are consistent with a linear molecular pathway for the axonal degeneration program. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.22540.001 PMID:28095293

  11. 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

  12. Axonal degeneration in paraplegin-deficient mice is associated with abnormal mitochondria and impairment of axonal transport

    PubMed Central

    Ferreirinha, Fatima; Quattrini, Angelo; Pirozzi, Marinella; Valsecchi, Valentina; Dina, Giorgia; Broccoli, Vania; Auricchio, Alberto; Piemonte, Fiorella; Tozzi, Giulia; Gaeta, Laura; Casari, Giorgio; Ballabio, Andrea; Rugarli, Elena I.

    2004-01-01

    In several neurodegenerative diseases, axonal degeneration occurs before neuronal death and contributes significantly to patients’ disability. Hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP) is a genetically heterogeneous condition characterized by selective degeneration of axons of the corticospinal tracts and fasciculus gracilis. HSP may therefore be considered an exemplary disease to study the local programs mediating axonal degeneration. We have developed a mouse model for autosomal recessive HSP due to mutations in the SPG7 gene encoding the mitochondrial ATPase paraplegin. Paraplegin-deficient mice are affected by a distal axonopathy of spinal and peripheral axons, characterized by axonal swelling and degeneration. We found that mitochondrial morphological abnormalities occurred in synaptic terminals and in distal regions of axons long before the first signs of swelling and degeneration and correlated with onset of motor impairment during a rotarod test. Axonal swellings occur through massive accumulation of organelles and neurofilaments, suggesting impairment of anterograde axonal transport. Retrograde axonal transport is delayed in symptomatic mice. We speculate that local failure of mitochondrial function may affect axonal transport and cause axonal degeneration. Our data suggest that a timely therapeutic intervention may prevent the loss of axons. PMID:14722615

  13. The effect of intraluminal contact mediated guidance signals on axonal mismatch during peripheral nerve repair.

    PubMed

    Daly, William T; Yao, Li; Abu-rub, Mohammad T; O'Connell, Claire; Zeugolis, Dimitrios I; Windebank, Anthony J; Pandit, Abhay S

    2012-10-01

    The current microsurgical gold standard for repairing long gap nerve injuries is the autograft. Autograft provides a protective environment for repair and a natural internal architecture, which is essential for regeneration. Current clinically approved hollow nerve guidance conduits allow provision of this protective environment; however they fail to provide an essential internal architecture to the regenerating nerve. In the present study both structured and unstructured intraluminal collagen fibres are investigated to assess their ability to enhance conduit mediated nerve repair. This study presents a direct comparison of both structured and unstructured fibres in vivo. The addition of intraluminal guidance structures was shown to significantly decrease axonal dispersion within the conduit and reduced axonal mismatch of distal nerve targets (p < 0.05). The intraluminal fibres were shown to be successfully incorporated into the host regenerative process, acting as a platform for Schwann cell migration and axonal regeneration. Ultimately the fibres were able to provide a platform for nerve regeneration in a long term regeneration study (16 weeks) and facilitated increased guidance of regenerating axons towards their distal nerve targets. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. New perspectives in cyclic AMP-mediated axon growth and guidance: The emerging epoch of Epac.

    PubMed

    Peace, Andrew G; Shewan, Derryck A

    2011-03-10

    In the search for a cure to brain and spinal cord injury much has been learned about the inhibitory environment of the central nervous system (CNS), and yet a clinical therapy remains elusive. In recent years great advances have been made in understanding intracellular molecular mechanisms that transduce cell surface receptor-mediated signals that neurons receive from their environment. Many of these signalling pathways share common mechanisms, which presents the possibility that manipulating activities of key cell signalling molecules such as those regulated by 3'-5'-cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) might allow axons to simultaneously overcome the inhibitory effects of a number of extracellular ligands. The identification of Epac, a novel direct intracellular target for cAMP, has opened up a new avenue of research that is beginning to explain how cAMP can mediate a range of neuronal functions including distinct axon growth and guidance decisions. With current research tools that allow more specific activation of proteins or knock-down of their expression, as well as quantitation of protein activities in live cells, it is already becoming clear that Epac plays highly important roles in the development and function of the nervous system. Here, we focus on emerging evidence that Epac mediates cAMP-regulated axon growth and chemoattraction, and thus represents a novel target for overcoming axon growth inhibition and promoting CNS regeneration.

  17. Hermes Regulates Axon Sorting in the Optic Tract by Post-Trancriptional Regulation of Neuropilin 1.

    PubMed

    Hörnberg, Hanna; Cioni, Jean-Michel; Harris, William A; Holt, Christine E

    2016-12-14

    The establishment of precise topographic maps during neural development is facilitated by the presorting of axons in the pathway before they reach their targets. In the vertebrate visual system, such topography is seen clearly in the optic tract (OT) and in the optic radiations. However, the molecular mechanisms involved in pretarget axon sorting are poorly understood. Here, we show in zebrafish that the RNA-binding protein Hermes, which is expressed exclusively in retinal ganglion cells (RGCs), is involved in this process. Using a RiboTag approach, we show that Hermes acts as a negative translational regulator of specific mRNAs in RGCs. One of these targets is the guidance cue receptor Neuropilin 1 (Nrp1), which is sensitive to the repellent cue Semaphorin 3A (Sema3A). Hermes knock-down leads to topographic missorting in the OT through the upregulation of Nrp1. Restoring Nrp1 to appropriate levels in Hermes-depleted embryos rescues this effect and corrects the axon-sorting defect in the OT. Our data indicate that axon sorting relies on Hermes-regulated translation of Nrp1.

  18. Navigating Intermediate Targets: The Nervous System Midline

    PubMed Central

    Dickson, Barry J.; Zou, Yimin

    2010-01-01

    In a bilaterally symmetric animal, the midline plays a key role in directing axon growth during wiring of the nervous system. Midline cells provide a variety of guidance cues for growing axons, to which different types of axons respond in different ways and at different times. For some axons, the midline is an intermediate target. They first seek it out, but then move on towards their final targets on the opposite side. For others, the midline is a repulsive barrier that keeps them on their own side of the midline. And for many of these axons the midline provides signals that guide them along specific lateral pathways or up and down the longitudinal axis. PMID:20534708

  19. 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

  20. astray, a zebrafish roundabout homolog required for retinal axon guidance.

    PubMed

    Fricke, C; Lee, J S; Geiger-Rudolph, S; Bonhoeffer, F; Chien, C B

    2001-04-20

    As growing retinotectal axons navigate from the eye to the tectum, they sense guidance molecules distributed along the optic pathway. Mutations in the zebrafish astray gene severely disrupt retinal axon guidance, causing anterior-posterior pathfinding defects, excessive midline crossing, and defasciculation of the retinal projection. Eye transplantation experiments show that astray function is required in the eye. We identify astray as zebrafish robo2, a member of the Roundabout family of axon guidance receptors. Retinal ganglion cells express robo2 as they extend axons. Thus, robo2 is required for multiple axon guidance decisions during establishment of the vertebrate visual projection.

  1. Preserve and protect: maintaining axons within functional circuits

    PubMed Central

    Pease, Sarah E.; Segal, Rosalind A.

    2014-01-01

    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

  2. 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.

  3. Immune activation is required for NT-3-induced axonal plasticity in chronic spinal cord injury

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Qin; Smith, George M.; Shine, H. David

    2009-01-01

    After an unilateral lesion of the corticospinal tract (CST) at the level of the medulla over-expression of Neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) in lumbar spinal cord motoneurons induced axonal sprouting of the intact CST in the acutely injured but not uninjured or chronically injured spinal cord in rats. This suggested that processes associated with immune-mediated wound healing may act with NT-3 to induce neuroplasticity. To test whether immune processes were involved we measured NT-3 induced axonal sprouting in immunosuppressed compared to immunocompetent rats. Rats were immunosuppressed with anti-leukocyte antibodies 1 day before receiving a CST lesion and then 2 weeks later NT-3 was over-expressed in the lumbar spinal motoneurons with an adenoviral vector carrying the NT-3 gene targeted to the motoneurons by retrograde transport. At 35 days post-lesion no axonal sprouting was measured in immunosuppressed rats whereas axonal sprouting was measured in the immunocompetent rats. We then tested whether re-evoking an immune response in chronically lesioned rats would induce neuroplasticity. Rats received CST lesions and then 4 months later were treated with systemic injections of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) 7 days before NT-3 was over-expressed in the lumbar spinal motoneurons. Axonal sprouting was observed in the LPS treated rats but not in control animals that were not treated with LPS. Further studies showed that lesioning the CST activated and LPS re-activated microglia and CD4+ T-cells in the acutely lesioned and chronically lesioned rats, respectively. However, immunosuppression only decreased the number of activated CD4+ T-cells suggesting they were responsible for the support of axonal growth. These observations demonstrate that processes associated with immune-mediated wound healing play a role in NT-3 induced neuroplasticity after injury. PMID:18191837

  4. Periodic actin structures in neuronal axons are required to maintain microtubules.

    PubMed

    Qu, Yue; Hahn, Ines; Webb, Stephen E D; Pearce, Simon P; Prokop, Andreas

    2017-01-15

    Axons are cable-like neuronal processes wiring the nervous system. They contain parallel bundles of microtubules as structural backbones, surrounded by regularly spaced actin rings termed the periodic membrane skeleton (PMS). Despite being an evolutionarily conserved, ubiquitous, highly ordered feature of axons, the function of PMS is unknown. Here we studied PMS abundance, organization, and function, combining versatile Drosophila genetics with superresolution microscopy and various functional readouts. Analyses with 11 actin regulators and three actin-targeting drugs suggest that PMS contains short actin filaments that are depolymerization resistant and sensitive to spectrin, adducin, and nucleator deficiency, consistent with microscopy-derived models proposing PMS as specialized cortical actin. Upon actin removal, we observed gaps in microtubule bundles, reduced microtubule polymerization, and reduced axon numbers, suggesting a role of PMS in microtubule organization. These effects become strongly enhanced when carried out in neurons lacking the microtubule-stabilizing protein Short stop (Shot). Combining the aforementioned actin manipulations with Shot deficiency revealed a close correlation between PMS abundance and microtubule regulation, consistent with a model in which PMS-dependent microtubule polymerization contributes to their maintenance in axons. We discuss potential implications of this novel PMS function along axon shafts for axon maintenance and regeneration. © 2017 Qu, Hahn, et al. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). Two months after publication it is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).

  5. Tar DNA-binding protein-43 (TDP-43) regulates axon growth in vitro and in vivo☆

    PubMed Central

    Tripathi, Vineeta Bhasker; Baskaran, Pranetha; Shaw, Christopher E.; Guthrie, Sarah

    2014-01-01

    Intracellular inclusions of the TAR-DNA binding protein 43 (TDP-43) have been reported in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD-TDP). Rare mutations in TARDBP have been linked to both ALS and FTD-TDP suggesting that TDP-43 dysfunction is mechanistic in causing disease. TDP-43 is a predominantly nuclear protein with roles in regulating RNA transcription, splicing, stability and transport. In ALS, TDP-43 aberrantly accumulates in the cytoplasm of motor neurons where it forms aggregates. However it has until recently been unclear whether the toxic effects of TDP-43 involve recruitment to motor axons, and what effects this might have on axonal growth and integrity. Here we use chick embryonic motor neurons, in vivo and in vitro, to model the acute effects of TDP-43. We show that wild-type and two TDP-43 mutant proteins cause toxicity in chick embryonic motor neurons in vivo. Moreover, TDP-43 is increasingly mislocalised to axons over time in vivo, axon growth to peripheral targets is truncated, and expression of neurofilament-associated antigen is reduced relative to control motor neurons. In primary spinal motor neurons in vitro, a progressive translocation of TDP-43 to the cytoplasm occurs over time, similar to that observed in vivo. This coincides with the appearance of cytoplasmic aggregates, a reduction in the axonal length, and cellular toxicity, which was most striking for neurons expressing TDP-43 mutant forms. These observations suggest that the capacity of spinal motor neurons to produce and maintain an axon is compromised by dysregulation of TDP-43 and that the disruption of cytoskeletal integrity may play a role in the pathogenesis of ALS and FTD-TDP. PMID:24423647

  6. Prevention of posttraumatic axon sprouting by blocking CRMP2-mediated neurite outgrowth and tubulin polymerization

    PubMed Central

    Wilson, Sarah M.; Xiong, Wenhui; Wang, Yuying; Ping, Xingjie; Head, Jessica D.; Brittain, Joel M.; Gagare, Pravin D.; Ramachandran, P. Veeraraghavan; Jin, Xiaoming; Khanna, Rajesh

    2012-01-01

    Epileptogenesis following traumatic brain injury (TBI) is likely due to a combination of increased excitability, disinhibition, and increased excitatory connectivity via aberrant axon sprouting. Targeting these pathways could be beneficial in the prevention and treatment of posttraumatic epilepsy. Here, we tested this possibility using the novel anticonvulsant (R)-N-benzyl 2-acetamido-3-methoxypropionamide ((R)-lacosamide (LCM) which acts on both voltage-gated sodium channels and collapsin response mediator protein 2 (CRMP2), an axonal growth/guidance protein. LCM inhibited CRMP2-mediated neurite outgrowth, an effect phenocopied by CRMP2 knockdown. Mutation of LCM binding sites in CRMP2 reduced the neurite inhibitory effect of LCM by ~8-fold. LCM also reduced CRMP2-mediated tubulin polymerization. Thus, LCM selectively impairs CRMP2-mediated microtubule polymerization which underlies its neurite outgrowth and branching. To determine whether LCM inhibits axon sprouting in vivo, LCM was injected into rats subjected to partial cortical isolation, an animal model of posttraumatic epileptogenesis that exhibits axon sprouting in cortical pyramidal neurons. Two weeks following injury, excitatory synaptic connectivity of cortical layer V pyramidal neurons was mapped using patch clamp recordings and laser scanning photostimulation of caged glutamate. In comparison to injured control animals, there was a significant decrease in the map size of excitatory synaptic connectivity in LCM-treated rats, suggesting that LCM treatment prevented enhanced excitatory synaptic connectivity due to posttraumatic axon sprouting. These findings suggest, for the first time, that LCM’s mode of action involves interactions with CRMP2 to inhibit posttraumatic axon sprouting. PMID:22433297

  7. Regeneration of diabetic axons is enhanced by selective knockdown of the PTEN gene

    PubMed Central

    Singh, Bhagat; Singh, Vandana; Krishnan, Anand; Koshy, Kurien; Martinez, Jose A.; Cheng, Chu; Almquist, Chris

    2014-01-01

    Diabetes mellitus renders both widespread and localized irreversible damage to peripheral axons while imposing critical limitations on their ability to regenerate. A major failure of regenerative capacity thereby imposes a ‘double hit’ in diabetic patients who frequently develop focal neuropathies such as carpal tunnel syndrome in addition to generalized diffuse polyneuropathy. The mechanisms of diabetic neuron regenerative failure have been speculative and few approaches have offered therapeutic opportunities. In this work we identify an unexpected but major role for PTEN upregulation in diabetic peripheral neurons in attenuating axon regrowth. In chronic diabetic neuropathy models in mice, we identified significant PTEN upregulation in peripheral sensory neurons of messenger RNA and protein compared to littermate controls. In vitro, sensory neurons from these mice responded to PTEN knockdown with substantial rises in neurite outgrowth and branching. To test regenerative plasticity in a chronic diabetic model with established neuropathy, we superimposed an additional focal sciatic nerve crush injury and assessed morphological, electrophysiological and behavioural recovery. Knockdown of PTEN in dorsal root ganglia ipsilateral to the side of injury was achieved using a unique form of non-viral short interfering RNA delivery to the ipsilateral nerve injury site and paw. In comparison with scrambled sequence control short interfering RNA, PTEN short interfering RNA improved several facets of regeneration: recovery of compound muscle action potentials, reflecting numbers of reconnected motor axons to endplates, conduction velocities of both motor and sensory axons, reflecting their maturation during regrowth, numbers and calibre of regenerating myelinated axons distal to the injury site, reinnervation of the skin by unmyelinated epidermal axons and recovery of mechanical sensation. Collectively, these findings identify a novel therapeutic approach, potentially

  8. Two Modes of the Axonal Interferon Response Limit Alphaherpesvirus Neuroinvasion

    PubMed Central

    Song, Ren; Koyuncu, Orkide O.; Greco, Todd M.; Diner, Benjamin A.; Cristea, Ileana M.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Infection by alphaherpesviruses, including herpes simplex virus (HSV) and pseudorabies virus (PRV), typically begins at epithelial surfaces and continues into the peripheral nervous system (PNS). Inflammatory responses are induced at the infected peripheral site prior to invasion of the PNS. When the peripheral tissue is first infected, only the innervating axons are exposed to this inflammatory milieu, which includes the interferons (IFNs). The fundamental question is how do PNS cell bodies respond to these distant, potentially damaging events experienced by axons. Using compartmented cultures that physically separate neuron axons from cell bodies, we found that pretreating isolated axons with beta interferon (IFN-β) or gamma interferon (IFN-γ) significantly diminished the number of herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) and PRV particles moving in axons toward the cell bodies in a receptor-dependent manner. Exposing axons to IFN-β induced STAT1 phosphorylation (p-STAT1) only in axons, while exposure of axons to IFN-γ induced p-STAT1 accumulation in distant cell body nuclei. Blocking transcription in cell bodies eliminated antiviral effects induced by IFN-γ, but not those induced by IFN-β. Proteomic analysis of IFN-β- or IFN-γ-treated axons identified several differentially regulated proteins. Therefore, unlike treatment with IFN-γ, IFN-β induces a noncanonical, local antiviral response in axons. The activation of a local IFN response in axons represents a new paradigm for cytokine control of neuroinvasion. PMID:26838720

  9. Mitochondria Localize to Injured Axons to Support Regeneration.

    PubMed

    Han, Sung Min; Baig, Huma S; Hammarlund, Marc

    2016-12-21

    Axon regeneration is essential to restore the nervous system after axon injury. However, the neuronal cell biology that underlies axon regeneration is incompletely understood. Here we use in vivo, single-neuron analysis to investigate the relationship between nerve injury, mitochondrial localization, and axon regeneration. Mitochondria translocate into injured axons so that average mitochondria density increases after injury. Moreover, single-neuron analysis reveals that axons that fail to increase mitochondria have poor regeneration. Experimental alterations to axonal mitochondrial distribution or mitochondrial respiratory chain function result in corresponding changes to regeneration outcomes. Axonal mitochondria are specifically required for growth-cone migration, identifying a key energy challenge for injured neurons. Finally, mitochondrial localization to the axon after injury is regulated in part by dual-leucine zipper kinase 1 (DLK-1), a conserved regulator of axon regeneration. These data identify regulation of axonal mitochondria as a new cell-biological mechanism that helps determine the regenerative response of injured neurons. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Partial Interruption of Axonal Transport Due to Microtubule Breakage Accounts for the Formation of Periodic Varicosities after Traumatic Axonal Injury

    PubMed Central

    Tang-Schomer, Min D.; Johnson, Victoria E.; Baas, Peter W.; Stewart, William; Smith, Douglas H.

    2012-01-01

    Due to their viscoelastic nature, white matter axons are susceptible to damage by high strain rates produced during traumatic brain injury (TBI). Indeed, diffuse axonal injury (DAI) is one of the most common features of TBI, characterized by the hallmark pathological profiles of axonal bulbs at disconnected terminal ends of axons and periodic swellings along axons, known as “varicosities.” Although transport interruption underlies axonal bulb formation, it is unclear how varicosities arise, with multiple sites accumulating transported materials along one axon. Recently, axonal microtubules have been found to physically break during dynamic stretch-injury of cortical axons in vitro. Here, the same in vitro model was used in parallel with histopathological analyses of human brains acquired acutely following TBI to examine the potential role of mechanical microtubule damage in varicosity formation post-trauma. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) following in vitro stretch-injury revealed periodic breaks of individual microtubules along axons that regionally corresponded with undulations in axon morphology. However, typically less than a third of microtubules were broken in any region of an axon. Within hours, these sites of microtubule breaks evolved into periodic swellings. This suggests axonal transport may be halted along one broken microtubule, yet can proceed through the same region via other intact microtubules. Similar axonal undulations and varicosities were observed following TBI in humans, suggesting primary microtubule failure may also be a feature of DAI. These data indicate a novel mechanism of mechanical microtubule damage leading to partial transport interruption and varicosity formation in traumatic axonal injury. PMID:22079153

  11. Dynamic response of axonal microtubules under suddenly applied end forces.

    PubMed

    Manuchehrfar, Farid; Shamloo, Amir; Mehboudi, Nastaran

    2014-01-01

    Axon is a filament in neuronal system and axonal microtubules are bundles in axons. In axons, microtubules are coated with microtubule-associated protein tau, a natively unfolded profuse filamentous protein in the central nervous system. These proteins are responsible for the cross-linked structure of the axonal microtubule bundles. Through complimentary dimerization with other tau proteins, bridges are formed to nearby microtubules to create bundles. The transverse reinforcement of microtubules by cross-linking to the cytoskeleton has been shown to enhance their ability to bear compressive loads. Though microtubules are conventionally regarded as bearing compressive loads, in certain circumstances such as in traumatic stretch injury, they are placed in tension. We employ Standard Linear Solid, a viscoelastic model, to computationally simulate microtubules. This study investigates the dynamic response of two dimensional axonal microtubules under suddenly applied end forces. We obtain the results for steady state behavior of axonal microtubule for different forces.

  12. The Emerging Role of Forces in Axonal Elongation

    PubMed Central

    Suter, Daniel M.; Miller, Kyle E.

    2011-01-01

    An understanding of how axons elongate is needed to develop rational strategies to treat neurological diseases and nerve injury. Growth cone-mediated neuronal elongation is currently viewed as occurring through cytoskeletal dynamics involving the polymerization of actin and tubulin subunits at the tip of the axon. However, recent work suggests that axons and growth cones also generate forces (through cytoskeletal dynamics, kinesin, dynein, and myosin), forces induce axonal elongation, and axons lengthen by stretching. This review highlights results from various model systems (Drosophila, Aplysia, Xenopus, chicken, mouse, rat, and PC12 cells), supporting a role for forces, bulk microtubule movements, and intercalated mass addition in the process of axonal elongation. We think that a satisfying answer to the question, “How do axons grow?” will come by integrating the best aspects of biophysics, genetics, and cell biology. PMID:21527310

  13. A HuD-ZBP1 ribonucleoprotein complex localizes GAP-43 mRNA into axons through its 3' untranslated region AU-rich regulatory element.

    PubMed

    Yoo, Soonmoon; Kim, Hak H; Kim, Paul; Donnelly, Christopher J; Kalinski, Ashley L; Vuppalanchi, Deepika; Park, Michael; Lee, Seung J; Merianda, Tanuja T; Perrone-Bizzozero, Nora I; Twiss, Jeffery L

    2013-09-01

    Localized translation of axonal mRNAs contributes to developmental and regenerative axon growth. Although untranslated regions (UTRs) of many different axonal mRNAs appear to drive their localization, there has been no consensus RNA structure responsible for this localization. We recently showed that limited expression of ZBP1 protein restricts axonal localization of both β-actin and GAP-43 mRNAs. β-actin 3'UTR has a defined element for interaction with ZBP1, but GAP-43 mRNA shows no homology to this RNA sequence. Here, we show that an AU-rich regulatory element (ARE) in GAP-43's 3'UTR is necessary and sufficient for its axonal localization. Axonal GAP-43 mRNA levels increase after in vivo injury, and GAP-43 mRNA shows an increased half-life in regenerating axons. GAP-43 mRNA interacts with both HuD and ZBP1, and HuD and ZBP1 co-immunoprecipitate in an RNA-dependent fashion. Reporter mRNA with the GAP-43 ARE competes with endogenous β-actin mRNA for axonal localization and decreases axon length and branching similar to the β-actin 3'UTR competing with endogenous GAP-43 mRNA. Conversely, over-expressing GAP-43 coding sequence with its 3'UTR ARE increases axonal elongation and this effect is lost when just the ARE is deleted from GAP-43's 3'UTR. We have recently found that over-expression of GAP-43 using an axonally targeted construct with the 3'UTRs of GAP-43 promoted elongating growth of axons, while restricting the mRNA to the cell body with the 3'UTR of γ-actin had minimal effect on axon length. In this study, we show that the ARE in GAP-43's 3'UTR is responsible for localization of GAP-43 mRNA into axons and is sufficient for GAP-43 protein's role in elongating axonal growth.

  14. 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-