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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. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Axonal voltage-gated ion channels as pharmacological targets for pain.

    PubMed

    Moldovan, Mihai; Alvarez, Susana; Romer Rosberg, Mette; Krarup, Christian

    2013-05-15

    Upon peripheral nerve injury (caused by trauma or disease process) axons of the dorsal root ganglion (DRG) somatosensory neurons have the ability to sprout and regrow/remyelinate to reinnervate distant target tissue or form a tangled scar mass called a neuroma. This regenerative response can become maladaptive leading to a persistent and debilitating pain state referred to as chronic pain corresponding to the clinical description of neuropathic/chronic inflammatory pain. There is little agreement to what causes peripheral chronic pain other than hyperactivity of the nociceptive DRG neurons which ultimately depends on the function of voltage-gated ion channels. This review focuses on the pharmacological modulators of voltage-gated ion channels known to be present on axonal membrane which represents by far the largest surface of DRG neurons. Blockers of voltage-gated Na(+) channels, openers of voltage-gated K(+) channels and blockers of hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated channels that were found to reduce neuronal activity were also found to be effective in neuropathic and inflammatory pain states. The isoforms of these channels present on nociceptive axons have limited specificity. The rationale for considering axonal voltage-gated ion channels as targets for pain treatment comes from the accumulating evidence that chronic pain states are associated with a dysregulation of these channels that could alter their specificity and make them more susceptible to pharmacological modulation. This drives the need for further development of subtype-specific voltage-gated ion channels modulators, as well as clinically available neurophysiological techniques for monitoring axonal ion channel function in peripheral nerves.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  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. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Estrogen status and psychophysical stress modify temporomandibular joint input to medullary dorsal horn neurons in a lamina-specific manner in female rats.

    PubMed

    Okamoto, Keiichiro; Thompson, Randall; Katagiri, Ayano; Bereiter, David A

    2013-07-01

    Estrogen status and psychological stress contribute to the expression of several chronic pain conditions including temporomandibular muscle and joint disorders (TMJD). Sensory neurons that supply the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) region terminate in laminae I and V of the spinal trigeminal nucleus (Vc/C1-2 region); however, little is known about lamina-specificity and environmental influences on the encoding properties of TMJ brainstem neurons. To test the hypothesis that Vc/C1-2 neurons integrate both interoceptive and exteroceptive signals relevant for TMJ nociception, we recorded TMJ-evoked activity in superficial and deep laminae of ovariectomized rats under high and low estradiol (E2) and stress conditions. Rats received daily injections of low (LE) or high (HE) dose E2 and were subjected to forced swim (FS) or sham swim conditioning for 3days. The results revealed marked lamina-specificity in that HE rats displayed enhanced TMJ-evoked activity in superficial, but not deep, laminae independent of stress conditioning. By contrast, FS conditioned rats displayed increased background firing and TMJ-evoked activity of neurons in deep, but not superficial, laminae independent of E2 status. FS also enhanced TMJ-evoked masseter muscle activity and suggested the importance of deep dorsal horn neurons in mediating evoked jaw muscle activity. In conclusion, E2 status and psychophysical stress play a significant role in modifying the encoding properties of TMJ-responsive medullary dorsal horn neurons with a marked lamina-specificity.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2004-01-01

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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  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. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  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. 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.

  14. 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".

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Axon Stretch Growth: The Mechanotransduction of Neuronal Growth

    PubMed Central

    Loverde, Joseph R.; Tolentino, Rosa E.; Pfister, Bryan J.

    2011-01-01

    During pre-synaptic embryonic development, neuronal processes traverse short distances to reach their targets via growth cone. Over time, neuronal somata are separated from their axon terminals due to skeletal growth of the enlarging organism (Weiss 1941; Gray, Hukkanen et al. 1992). This mechanotransduction induces a secondary mode of neuronal growth capable of accommodating continual elongation of the axon (Bray 1984; Heidemann and Buxbaum 1994; Heidemann, Lamoureux et al. 1995; Pfister, Iwata et al. 2004). Axon Stretch Growth (ASG) is conceivably a central factor in the maturation of short embryonic processes into the long nerves and white matter tracts characteristic of the adult nervous system. To study ASG in vitro, we engineered bioreactors to apply tension to the short axonal processes of neuronal cultures (Loverde, Ozoka et al. 2011). Here, we detail the methods we use to prepare bioreactors and conduct ASG. First, within each stretching lane of the bioreactor, neurons are plated upon a micro-manipulated towing substrate. Next, neurons regenerate their axonal processes, via growth cone extension, onto a stationary substrate. Finally, stretch growth is performed by towing the plated cell bodies away from the axon terminals adhered to the stationary substrate; recapitulating skeletal growth after growth cone extension. Previous work has shown that ASG of embryonic rat dorsal root ganglia neurons are capable of unprecedented growth rates up to 10mm/day, reaching lengths of up to 10cm; while concurrently resulting in increased axonal diameters (Smith, Wolf et al. 2001; Pfister, Iwata et al. 2004; Pfister, Bonislawski et al. 2006; Pfister, Iwata et al. 2006; Smith 2009). This is in dramatic contrast to regenerative growth cone extension (in absence of mechanical stimuli) where growth rates average 1mm/day with successful regeneration limited to lengths of less than 3cm (Fu and Gordon 1997; Pfister, Gordon et al. 2011). Accordingly, further study of ASG may help

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Human Genetic Disorders of Axon Guidance

    PubMed Central

    Engle, Elizabeth C.

    2010-01-01

    This article reviews symptoms and signs of aberrant axon connectivity in humans, and summarizes major human genetic disorders that result, or have been proposed to result, from defective axon guidance. These include corpus callosum agenesis, L1 syndrome, Joubert syndrome and related disorders, horizontal gaze palsy with progressive scoliosis, Kallmann syndrome, albinism, congenital fibrosis of the extraocular muscles type 1, Duane retraction syndrome, and pontine tegmental cap dysplasia. Genes mutated in these disorders can encode axon growth cone ligands and receptors, downstream signaling molecules, and axon transport motors, as well as proteins without currently recognized roles in axon guidance. Advances in neuroimaging and genetic techniques have the potential to rapidly expand this field, and it is feasible that axon guidance disorders will soon be recognized as a new and significant category of human neurodevelopmental disorders. PMID:20300212

  18. 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

  19. Misdirection and guidance of regenerating axons after experimental nerve injury and repair.

    PubMed

    de Ruiter, Godard C W; Spinner, Robert J; Verhaagen, Joost; Malessy, Martijn J A

    2014-02-01

    Misdirection of regenerating axons is one of the factors that can explain the limited results often found after nerve injury and repair. In the repair of mixed nerves innervating different distal targets (skin and muscle), misdirection may, for example, lead to motor axons projecting toward skin, and vice versa-that is, sensory axons projecting toward muscle. In the repair of motor nerves innervating different distal targets, misdirection may result in reinnervation of the wrong target muscle, which might function antagonistically. In sensory nerve repair, misdirection might give an increased perceptual territory. After median nerve repair, for example, this might lead to a dysfunctional hand. Different factors may be involved in the misdirection of regenerating axons, and there may be various mechanisms that can later correct for misdirection. In this review the authors discuss these different factors and mechanisms that act along the pathway of the regenerating axon. The authors review recently developed evaluation methods that can be used to investigate the accuracy of regeneration after nerve injury and repair (including the use of transgenic fluorescent mice, retrograde tracing techniques, and motion analysis). In addition, the authors discuss new strategies that can improve in vivo guidance of regenerating axons (including physical guidance with multichannel nerve tubes and biological guidance accomplished using gene therapy).

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  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. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  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. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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”.

  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. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.).

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  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. 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

  10. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-06-15

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

  12. 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.

  13. Signaling events in axons and/or dendrites render motor neurons vulnerable to mutant superoxide dismutase toxicity

    PubMed Central

    Jeong, Goo-Bo; Mojsilovic-Petrovic, Jelena; Boccitto, Marco; Kalb, Robert

    2011-01-01

    The survival of dorsal root ganglion and sympathetic neurons is promoted whether nerve growth factor (NGF) activates TrkA receptors on the cell body or axon. Yet other aspects of neurotrophic factor actions (i.e., ability to promote axon growth, selection of neurochemical phenotype and engagement of signaling modules) differ as a function of the location of the ligand-receptor interaction. The extent to which these observations are relevant to central nervous system neurons (CNS) is unknown. This may be particularly relevant to neurodegenerative diseases such as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), where beneficial axon-target interactions are disturbed early in the disease process. Here we characterize the growth of pure motor neurons in compartment cultures and show that brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) stimulation of the cell body or axons/dendrites promotes survival. Expression of G37R mutant superoxide dismutase (SOD) in motor neurons will lead to death and this depends on BDNF activation of TrkB on axons and/or dendrites. BDNF action depends upon endocytosis of the BDNF-TrkB complex and de novo protein synthesis. These results highlight the importance of signaling events occurring in axons/dendrites in mutant SOD toxicity. PMID:21209215

  14. Acute Axonal Degeneration Drives Development of Cognitive, Motor, and Visual Deficits after Blast-Mediated Traumatic Brain Injury in Mice

    PubMed Central

    Voorhees, Jaymie R.; Genova, Rachel M.; Britt, Jeremiah K.; McDaniel, Latisha; Harper, Matthew M.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Axonal degeneration is a prominent feature of many forms of neurodegeneration, and also an early event in blast-mediated traumatic brain injury (TBI), the signature injury of soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is not known, however, whether this axonal degeneration is what drives development of subsequent neurologic deficits after the injury. The Wallerian degeneration slow strain (WldS) of mice is resistant to some forms of axonal degeneration because of a triplicated fusion gene encoding the first 70 amino acids of Ufd2a, a ubiquitin-chain assembly factor, that is linked to the complete coding sequence of nicotinamide mononucleotide adenylyltransferase 1 (NMAT1). Here, we demonstrate that resistance of WldS mice to axonal degeneration after blast-mediated TBI is associated with preserved function in hippocampal-dependent spatial memory, cerebellar-dependent motor balance, and retinal and optic nerve–dependent visual function. Thus, early axonal degeneration is likely a critical driver of subsequent neurobehavioral complications of blast-mediated TBI. Future therapeutic strategies targeted specifically at mitigating axonal degeneration may provide a uniquely beneficial approach to treating patients suffering from the effects of blast-mediated TBI. PMID:27822499

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  16. The TC10-Exo70 complex is essential for membrane expansion and axonal specification in developing neurons.

    PubMed

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

    2009-10-21

    Axonal elongation is one of the hallmarks of neuronal polarization. This phenomenon requires axonal membrane growth by exocytosis of plasmalemmal precursor vesicles (PPVs) at the nerve growth cone, a process regulated by IGF-1 activation of the PI3K (phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase) pathway. Few details are known, however, about the targeting mechanisms for PPVs. Here, we show, in cultured hippocampal pyramidal neurons and growth cones isolated from fetal rat brain, that IGF-1 activates the GTP-binding protein TC10, which triggers translocation to the plasma membrane of the exocyst component exo70 in the distal axon and growth cone. We also show that TC10 and exo70 function are necessary for addition of new membrane and, thus, axon elongation stimulated by IGF-1. Moreover, expression silencing of either TC10 or exo70 inhibit the establishment of neuronal polarity by hindering the insertion of IGF-1 receptor in one of the undifferentiated neurites. We conclude that, in hippocampal pyramidal neurons in culture, (1) membrane expansion at the axonal growth cone is regulated by IGF-1 via a cascade involving TC10 and the exocyst complex, (2) TC10 and exo70 are essential for the polarized externalization of IGF-1 receptor, and (3) this process is necessary for axon specification.

  17. Acute Axonal Degeneration Drives Development of Cognitive, Motor, and Visual Deficits after Blast-Mediated Traumatic Brain Injury in Mice.

    PubMed

    Yin, Terry C; Voorhees, Jaymie R; Genova, Rachel M; Davis, Kevin C; Madison, Ashley M; Britt, Jeremiah K; Cintrón-Pérez, Coral J; McDaniel, Latisha; Harper, Matthew M; Pieper, Andrew A

    2016-01-01

    Axonal degeneration is a prominent feature of many forms of neurodegeneration, and also an early event in blast-mediated traumatic brain injury (TBI), the signature injury of soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is not known, however, whether this axonal degeneration is what drives development of subsequent neurologic deficits after the injury. The Wallerian degeneration slow strain (WldS) of mice is resistant to some forms of axonal degeneration because of a triplicated fusion gene encoding the first 70 amino acids of Ufd2a, a ubiquitin-chain assembly factor, that is linked to the complete coding sequence of nicotinamide mononucleotide adenylyltransferase 1 (NMAT1). Here, we demonstrate that resistance of WldS mice to axonal degeneration after blast-mediated TBI is associated with preserved function in hippocampal-dependent spatial memory, cerebellar-dependent motor balance, and retinal and optic nerve-dependent visual function. Thus, early axonal degeneration is likely a critical driver of subsequent neurobehavioral complications of blast-mediated TBI. Future therapeutic strategies targeted specifically at mitigating axonal degeneration may provide a uniquely beneficial approach to treating patients suffering from the effects of blast-mediated TBI.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  19. The role of serotonin in axon and dendrite growth.

    PubMed

    Trakhtenberg, Ephraim F; Goldberg, Jeffrey L

    2012-01-01

    The neurotransmitter serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) plays multiple roles in the enteric, peripheral, and central nervous systems (CNS). Although its most prominent biological function is as a signal transmission messenger from pre- to postsynaptic neurons, other roles such as shaping brain development and regulating neurite growth have also been described. Here, we review the less well-studied role of 5-HT as a modulator of neurite growth. 5-HT has been shown to regulate neurite growth in multiple systems and species, including in the mammalian CNS. 5-HT predominantly appears to suppress neurite growth, but depending on the model system and 5-HT receptor subtype, in rare cases, it may promote neurite outgrowth and elongation. Failure of axon regeneration in the adult mammalian CNS is a major problem in multiple diseases, and understanding how 5-HT receptors signal opposing effects on neurite growth may lead to novel neuroregenerative therapies, by targeting either 5-HT receptors or their downstream signaling pathways.

  20. Interaction between Axons and Specific Populations of Surrounding Cells Is Indispensable for Collateral Formation in the Mammillary System

    PubMed Central

    Çankaya, Murat; Stoykova, Anastassia; Zhou, Xunlei; Alvarez-Bolado, Gonzalo

    2011-01-01

    Background An essential phenomenon during brain development is the extension of long collateral branches by axons. How the local cellular environment contributes to the initial sprouting of these branches in specific points of an axonal shaft remains unclear. Methodology/Principal Findings The principal mammillary tract (pm) is a landmark axonal bundle connecting ventral diencephalon to brainstem (through the mammillotegmental tract, mtg). Late in development, the axons of the principal mammillary tract sprout collateral branches at a very specific point forming a large bundle whose target is the thalamus. Inspection of this model showed a number of distinct, identified cell populations originated in the dorsal and the ventral diencephalon and migrating during development to arrange themselves into several discrete groups around the branching point. Further analysis of this system in several mouse lines carrying mutant alleles of genes expressed in defined subpopulations (including Pax6, Foxb1, Lrp6 and Gbx2) together with the use of an unambiguous genetic marker of mammillary axons revealed: 1) a specific group of Pax6-expressing cells in close apposition with the prospective branching point is indispensable to elicit axonal branching in this system; and 2) cooperation of transcription factors Foxb1 and Pax6 to differentially regulate navigation and fasciculation of distinct branches of the principal mammillary tract. Conclusions/Significance Our results define for the first time a model system where interaction of the axonal shaft with a specific group of surrounding cells is essential to promote branching. Additionally, we provide insight on the cooperative transcriptional regulation necessary to promote and organize an intricate axonal tree. PMID:21625468

  1. Electrogenic Tuning of the Axon Initial Segment

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  2. Multifunctional Silk Nerve Guides for Axon Outgrowth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tupaj, Marie C.

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

  3. Dopamine modulates Ih in a motor axon

    PubMed Central

    Ballo, Aleksander W.; Keene, Jennifer C.; Troy, Patricia J.; Goeritz, Marie L.; Nadim, Farzan; Bucher, Dirk

    2010-01-01

    We studied the axons of the pyloric dilator (PD) neurons in the stomatogastric nervous system of the lobster. The several centimeters long portions of these axons in the motor nerves depolarize in response to low concentrations of dopamine (DA) and exhibit peripheral spike initiation in the absence of centrally generated activity. This effect is inhibited by blockers of hyperpolarization-activated inward current (Ih). We show here that peripheral spike initiation was also elicited by D1-type receptor agonists and drugs that increase cAMP. This suggests that DA acts through a D1-type receptor mechanism to modulate hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated channels. We used two- electrode voltage clamp of the axon to directly study the effect of DA on Ih. Surprisingly, DA decreased the maximal conductance. However, due to a shift of the activation curve to more depolarized potentials, and a change in the slope, conductance was increased at biologically relevant membrane potentials. These changes were solely due to modulation of Ih, as DA had no discernible effect when Ih was blocked. In addition, they were not induced by repeated activation and could be mimicked by application of drugs that increase cAMP concentration. DA modulation of Ih persisted in the presence of a protein kinase A inhibitor and is therefore potentially mediated by a phosphorylation-independent direct effect of cAMP on the ion channel. A computer model of the axon showed that the changes in maximal conductance and voltage-dependence were not qualitatively affected by space clamp problems. PMID:20573890

  4. Ionized calcium concentrations in squid axons

    PubMed Central

    1976-01-01

    Values for ionized [Ca] in squid axons were obtained by measuring the light emission from a 0.1-mul drop of aequorin confined to a plastic dialysis tube of 140-mum diameter located axially. Ionized Ca had a mean value of 20 x 10(-9) M as judged by the subsequent introduction of CaEGTA/EGTA buffer (ratio ca. 0.1) into the axoplasm, and light measurement on a second aequorin drop. Ionized Ca in axoplasma was also measured by introducing arsenazo dye into an axon by injection and measuring the Ca complex of such a dye by multichannel spectrophotometry. Values so obtained were ca. 50 x 10(-9) M as calibrated against CaEGTA/EGTA buffer mixtures. Wth a freshly isolated axon in 10 mM Ca seawater, the aequorin glow invariably increased with time; a seawater [Ca] of 2-3 mM allowed a steady state with respect to [Ca]. Replacement of Na+ in seawater with choline led to a large increase in light emission from aequorin. Li seawater partially reversed this change and the reintroduction of Na+ brought light levels back to their initial value. Stimulation at 60/s for 2-5 min produced an increase in aequorin glow about 0.1% of that represented by the known Ca influx, suggesting operationally the presence of substantial Ca buffering. Treatment of an axon with CN produced a very large increase in aequorin glow and in Ca arsenazo formation only if the external seawater contained Ca. PMID:818340

  5. Interspecies variation in axon-myelin relationships.

    PubMed

    Fraher, J P; O'Sullivan, A W

    2000-01-01

    The primary objective of this paper was to determine the extent and nature of interspecies differences in axon calibre and myelin sheath thickness and in the various relationships between these. Morphometric analysis of the axon perimeter-myelin sheath thickness relationship was performed on an equivalent nerve fibre population in a mammal, the rat, a bird, the chicken, an amphibian, the frog, a bony fish, the trout, and a cartilaginous fish, the dogfish. The abducent nerve was studied. It is especially suitable for this purpose because its fibres are closely similar in type and in peripheral distribution across the species studied. The relationship differed substantially between species. Differences were present in its setting, as described by the positions of the scatterplots, in the g ratio and in the regression and correlation data relating the parameters. Both parameters were markedly larger in the fish species than in all of the others. In addition, in rat, chicken, frog and trout, where large and small fibre classes could be differentiated clearly, the setting of the relationship between the two parameters was different for the two classes. In the main, variation in each of the parameters was greater between than within species. The larger fibres in the fish species were closely similar in axon perimeter and sheath thickness despite their long evolutionary separation. From this study and from others in the series, it may be concluded that there is no fixed or constant relationship between axon calibre and the thickness of the surrounding myelin sheath. Each nerve tends to have its own particular relationship and this differs between species.

  6. Sprouting of axonal collaterals after spinal cord injury is prevented by delayed axonal degeneration.

    PubMed

    Collyer, E; Catenaccio, A; Lemaitre, D; Diaz, P; Valenzuela, V; Bronfman, F; Court, F A

    2014-11-01

    After an incomplete spinal cord injury (SCI), partial recovery of locomotion is accomplished with time. Previous studies have established a functional link between extension of axon collaterals from spared spinal tracts and locomotor recovery after SCI, but the tissular signals triggering collateral sprouting have not been identified. Here, we investigated whether axonal degeneration after SCI contributes to the sprouting of collaterals from axons spared after injury. To this end, we evaluated collateral sprouting from BDA-labeled uninjured corticospinal axons after spinal cord hemisection (SCI(H)) in wild type (WT) mouse and Wld(S) mouse strains, which shows a significant delay in Wallerian degeneration after injury. After SCI(H), spared fibers of WT mice extend collateral sprouts to both intact and denervated sides of the spinal cord distant from the injury site. On the contrary, in the Wld(S) mice collateral sprouting from spared fibers was greatly reduced after SCI(H). Consistent with a role for collateral sprouting in functional recovery after SCI, locomotor recovery after SCI(H) was impaired in Wld(S) mice compared to WT animals. In conclusion, our results identify axonal degeneration as one of the triggers for collateral sprouting from the contralesional uninjured fibers after an SCI(H). These results open the path for identifying molecular signals associated with tissular changes after SCI that promotes collateral sprouting and functional recovery.

  7. Axon-glial relations during regeneration of axons in the adult rat anterior medullary velum.

    PubMed

    Berry, M; Hunter, A S; Duncan, A; Lordan, J; Kirvell, S; Tsang, W L; Butt, A M

    1998-12-01

    The anterior medullary velum (AMV) of adult Wistar rats was lesioned in the midsagittal plane, transecting all decussating axons including those of the central projection of the IVth nerve. At selected times up to 200 days after transection, the degenerative and regenerative responses of axons and glia were analyzed using transmission and scanning electron microscopy and immunohistochemistry. In particular, both the capacity of oligodendrocytes to remyelinate regenerated fibers and the stability of the CNS/PNS junctional zone of the IVth nerve rootlet were documented. Transected central AMV axons exhibited four patterns of fiber regeneration in which fibers grew: rostrocaudally in the reactive paralesion neuropil (Group 1); randomly within the AMV (Group 2); into the ipsilateral IVth nerve rootlet, after turning at the lesion edge and growing recurrently through the old degenerated contralateral central trochlear nerve trajectory (Group 3); and ectopically through paralesion tears in the ependyma onto the surface of the IVth ventricle (Group 4). Group 1-3 axons regenerated unperturbed through degenerating central myelin, reactive astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, microglia, and large accumulations of hematogenous macrophages. Only Group 3 axons survived long term in significant numbers, and all became myelinated by oligodendrocytes, ultimately establishing thin sheaths with relatively normal nodal gaps and intersegmental myelin sheath lengths. Schwann cells at the CNS/PNS junction of the IVth nerve rootlet did not invade the CNS, but astrocyte processes grew across the junction into the PNS portion of the IVth nerve. The basal lamina of the junctional glia limitans remained stable throughout the experimental period.

  8. The insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor is essential for axonal regeneration in adult central nervous system neurons.

    PubMed

    Dupraz, Sebastián; Grassi, Diego; Karnas, Diana; Nieto Guil, Alvaro F; Hicks, David; Quiroga, Santiago

    2013-01-01

    Axonal regeneration is an essential condition to re-establish functional neuronal connections in the injured adult central nervous system (CNS), but efficient regrowth of severed axons has proven to be very difficult to achieve. Although significant progress has been made in identifying the intrinsic and extrinsic mechanisms involved, many aspects remain unresolved. Axonal development in embryonic CNS (hippocampus) requires the obligate activation of the insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor (IGF-1R). Based on known similarities between axonal growth in fetal compared to mature CNS, we decided to examine the expression of the IGF-1R, using an antibody to the βgc subunit or a polyclonal anti-peptide antibody directed to the IGF-R (C20), in an in vitro model of adult CNS axonal regeneration, namely retinal ganglion cells (RGC) derived from adult rat retinas. Expression of both βgc and the β subunit recognized by C20 antibody were low in freshly isolated adult RGC, but increased significantly after 4 days in vitro. As in embryonic axons, βgc was localised to distal regions and leading growth cones in RGC. IGF-1R-βgc co-localised with activated p85 involved in the phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase (PI3K) signaling pathway, upon stimulation with IGF-1. Blocking experiments using either an antibody which neutralises IGF-1R activation, shRNA designed against the IGF-1R sequence, or the PI3K pathway inhibitor LY294002, all significantly reduced axon regeneration from adult RGC in vitro (∼40% RGC possessed axons in controls vs 2-8% in the different blocking studies). Finally, co-transfection of RGC with shRNA to silence IGF-1R together with a vector containing a constitutively active form of downstream PI3K (p110), fully restored axonal outgrowth in vitro. Hence these data demonstrate that axonal regeneration in adult CNS neurons requires re-expression and activation of IGF-1R, and targeting this system may offer new therapeutic approaches to enhancing axonal

  9. Involvement of lysosomes in the early stages of axon degeneration.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Jin; Yan, Tingting; Feng, Yan; Zhai, Qiwei

    2010-02-01

    Axon degeneration is a common hallmark of many neurodegenerative diseases, and the underlying mechanism remains largely unknown. Lysosomes are involved in some neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. Whether lysosomes are involved in axon degeneration is yet to be elucidated. In this study, we found only about 10% lysosomes remained in axons of cultured superior cervical ganglia (SCGs) after transection for 4h when stained with LysoTracker. Furthermore, we found that lysosomal disruption occurred earlier than morphological changes and loss of mitochondrial membrane potential. In addition, the well-known axon-protective protein Wld(S) delayed injury-induced axon degeneration from both morphological changes and lysosomal disruption. Lysosomal inhibitors including chloroquine and ammonium chloride induced axon degeneration in cultured SCGs, and Wld(S) also slowed down the axon degeneration induced by lysosomal inhibitors. All these data suggest that lysosomal disruption is an early marker of axon degeneration, and inhibition of lysosome induces axon degeneration in a Wld(S)-protectable way. Thus, maintenance of normal lysosomal function might be an important approach to delay axon degeneration in neurodegenerative diseases.

  10. Axonal-Transport-Mediated Gene Transduction in the Interior of Rat Bone

    PubMed Central

    Okabayashi, Toshitaka; Nakanishi, Kuniaki; Tsuchihara, Toyokazu; Arino, Hiroshi; Yoshihara, Yasuo; Tominaga, Susumu; Uenoyama, Maki; Suzuki, Shinya; Asagiri, Masataka; Nemoto, Koichi

    2010-01-01

    Background Gene transduction has been considered advantageous for the sustained delivery of proteins to specific target tissues. However, in the case of hard tissues, such as bone, local gene delivery remains problematic owing to anatomical accessibility limitations of the target sites. Methodology/Principal Findings Here, we evaluated the feasibility of exogenous gene transduction in the interior of bone via axonal transport following intramuscular administration of a nonviral vector. A high expression level of the transduced gene was achieved in the tibia ipsilateral to the injected tibialis anterior muscle, as well as in the ipsilateral sciatic nerve and dorsal root ganglia. In sciatic transection rats, the gene expression level was significantly lowered in bone. Conclusions/Significance These results suggest that axonal transport is critical for gene transduction. Our study may provide a basis for developing therapeutic methods for efficient gene delivery into hard tissues. PMID:20927397

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

  14. DCC mediated axon guidance of spinal interneurons is essential for normal locomotor central pattern generator function.

    PubMed

    Rabe Bernhardt, Nadine; Memic, Fatima; Gezelius, Henrik; Thiebes, Anja-Lena; Vallstedt, Anna; Kullander, Klas

    2012-06-15

    Coordinated limb rhythmic movements take place through organized signaling in local spinal cord neuronal networks. The establishment of these circuitries during development is dependent on the correct guidance of axons to their targets. It has previously been shown that the well-known axon guidance molecule netrin-1 is required for configuring the circuitry that provides left-right alternating coordination in fictive locomotion. The attraction of commissural axons to the midline in response to netrin-1 has been shown to involve the netrin-1 receptor DCC (deleted in Colorectal Cancer). However, the role of DCC for the establishment of CPG coordination has not yet been resolved. We show that mice carrying a null mutation of DCC displayed an uncoordinated left-right activity during fictive locomotion accompanied by a loss of interneuronal subpopulations originating from commissural progenitors. Thus, DCC plays a crucial role in the formation of spinal neuronal circuitry coordinating left-right activities. Together with the previously published results from netrin-1 deficient mice, the data presented in this study suggest a role for the most ventral originating V3 interneurons in synchronous activities over the midline. Further, it provides evidence that axon crossing in the spinal cord is more intricately controlled than in previously suggested models of DCC-netrin-1 interaction.

  15. CAR-associated vesicular transport of an adenovirus in motor neuron axons.

    PubMed

    Salinas, Sara; Bilsland, Lynsey G; Henaff, Daniel; Weston, Anne E; Keriel, Anne; Schiavo, Giampietro; Kremer, Eric J

    2009-05-01

    Axonal transport is responsible for the movement of signals and cargo between nerve termini and cell bodies. Pathogens also exploit this pathway to enter and exit the central nervous system. In this study, we characterised the binding, endocytosis and axonal transport of an adenovirus (CAV-2) that preferentially infects neurons. Using biochemical, cell biology, genetic, ultrastructural and live-cell imaging approaches, we show that interaction with the neuronal membrane correlates with coxsackievirus and adenovirus receptor (CAR) surface expression, followed by endocytosis involving clathrin. In axons, long-range CAV-2 motility was bidirectional with a bias for retrograde transport in nonacidic Rab7-positive organelles. Unexpectedly, we found that CAR was associated with CAV-2 vesicles that also transported cargo as functionally distinct as tetanus toxin, neurotrophins, and their receptors. These results suggest that a single axonal transport carrier is capable of transporting functionally distinct cargoes that target different membrane compartments in the soma. We propose that CAV-2 transport is dictated by an innate trafficking of CAR, suggesting an unsuspected function for this adhesion protein during neuronal homeostasis.

  16. Peptide Sharing Between Influenza A H1N1 Hemagglutinin and Human Axon Guidance Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Kanduc, Darja

    2014-01-01

    Epidemiologic data suggest that maternal microbial infections may cause fetal neurodevelopmental disorders, potentially increasing susceptibility to heavy psychopathologies such as schizophrenia, schizophreniform disorder, autism, pervasive developmental disorders, bipolar disorders, psychosis, epilepsy, language and speech disorders, and cognitive impairment in adult offspring. However, the molecular pathomechanisms underlying such a relationship are not clear. Here we analyze the potential role of the maternal immune response to viral infection in determining fetal brain injuries that increase the risk of neurological disorders in the adult. We use influenza infection as a disease model and human axon guidance pathway, a key process in the formation of neural network during midgestation, as a potential fetal target of immune insults. Specifically, we examined influenza A H1N1 hemagglutinin (HA), an antigenic viral protein, for amino acid sequence similarity to a random library of 188 axon guidance proteins. We obtain the results that (1) contrary to any theoretical expectations, 45 viral pentapeptide matches are distributed throughout a subset of 36 guidance molecules; (2) in 24 guidance proteins, the peptide sharing with HA antigen involves already experimentally validated influenza HA epitopes; and (3) most of the axon guidance vs HA peptide overlap is conserved among influenza A viral strains and subsets. Taken together, our data indicate that immune cross-reactivity between influenza HA and axon guidance molecules is possible and may well represent a pathologic mechanism capable of determining neurodevelopmental disruption in the fetus. PMID:23378012

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

    PubMed

    Hunanyan, Arsen S; Alessi, Valentina; Patel, Samik; Pearse, Damien D; Matthews, Gary; Arvanian, Victor L

    2011-03-01

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

  18. Ionic mechanisms involved in the nodal swelling of myelinated axons caused by marine toxins.

    PubMed

    Benoit, Evelyne; Mattei, Cesar; Ouanounou, Gilles; Meunier, Frederic A; Suput, Dusan; Le Gall, Frederic; Marquais, Michel; Dechraoui, Marie Y; Molgo, Jordi

    2002-01-01

    This review describes the ionic mechanisms involved in the nodal swelling of frog myelinated axons caused by specific marine neurotoxins (ciguatoxins, brevetoxins, Conus consors toxin and equinatoxin-II), analysed using confocal laser scanning microscopy. We have focussed on toxins that either target neuronal voltage-dependent Na+ channels, or that form cation-selective pores and indirectly affect the functioning of the Na(+)-Ca(++)exchanger.

  19. Sculpting Neural Circuits by Axon and Dendrite Pruning

    PubMed Central

    Riccomagno, Martin M.; Kolodkin, Alex L.

    2015-01-01

    The assembly of functional neural circuits requires the combined action of progressive and regressive events. Regressive events encompass a variety of inhibitory developmental processes, including axon and dendrite pruning, which facilitate the removal of exuberant neuronal connections. Most axon pruning involves the removal of axons that had already made synaptic connections, thus, axon pruning is tightly associated with synapse elimination. In many instances these developmental processes are regulated by the interplay between neurons and glial cells that act instructively during neural remodeling. Owing to the importance of axon and dendritic pruning, these remodeling events require precise spatial and temporal control, and this is achieved by a range of distinct molecular mechanisms. Disruption of these mechanisms results in abnormal pruning, which has been linked to brain dysfunction. Therefore, understanding the mechanisms of axon and dendritic pruning will be instrumental in advancing our knowledge of neural disease and mental disorders. PMID:26436703

  20. Investigating the Slow Axonal Transport of Neurofilaments: A Precursor for Optimal Neuronal Signaling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, Christopher M.

    systematically vary the number of motors in the model and attempt to identify those combinations of motors that show an agreement with the motility characteristic found from the above mentioned kymographs. By pruning the modeled data in accordance with the experimental results, our model can render an estimate of how many motors are attached to the cargo during transport. The model predicts that, on average, the total number of active motors on each neurofilament is relatively small and relatively independent of polymer length, which suggests that the motors may not be distributed uniformly along the filaments. Finally, we develop a model to explore the physiological function of axon morphology sculpted by neurofilament kinetics. Specifically, nodal constrictions are generated by slowing of neurofilaments in the internodal domain (Monsma et al., 2014), but the physiological function of these constrictions is unknown. To address this, we develop a computational model to investigate the effect of nodal constrictions on the 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 appear to be a biological adaptation that serves to minimize axonal volume, thereby maximizing the spatial and metabolic efficiency of these processes.

  1. Sensory map transfer to the neocortex relies on pretarget ordering of thalamic axons.

    PubMed

    Lokmane, Ludmilla; Proville, Rémi; Narboux-Nême, Nicolas; Györy, Ildiko; Keita, Maryama; Mailhes, Caroline; Léna, Clément; Gaspar, Patricia; Grosschedl, Rudolf; Garel, Sonia

    2013-05-06

    Sensory maps, such as the representation of mouse facial whiskers, are conveyed throughout the nervous system by topographic axonal projections that preserve neighboring relationships between adjacent neurons. In particular, the map transfer to the neocortex is ensured by thalamocortical axons (TCAs), whose terminals are topographically organized in response to intrinsic cortical signals. However, TCAs already show a topographic order early in development, as they navigate toward their target. Here, we show that this preordering of TCAs is required for the transfer of the whisker map to the neocortex. Using Ebf1 conditional inactivation that specifically perturbs the development of an intermediate target, the basal ganglia, we scrambled TCA topography en route to the neocortex without affecting the thalamus or neocortex. Notably, embryonic somatosensory TCAs were shifted toward the visual cortex and showed a substantial intermixing along their trajectory. Somatosensory TCAs rewired postnatally to reach the somatosensory cortex but failed to form a topographic anatomical or functional map. Our study reveals that sensory map transfer relies not only on positional information in the projecting and target structures but also on preordering of axons along their trajectory, thereby opening novel perspectives on brain wiring.

  2. Molecular Determinants Fundamental to Axon Regeneration after SCI

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-06-01

    will determine the relationship between L1.1 and neurocan and its role in axon regeneration from adult zebrafish brainstem neurons in vitro. The...determine the relationship between L1.1 and neurocan and its role in axon regeneration from adult zebrafish brainstem neurons in vitro. Increased...concerning the potential interactions between neurocan and L1 and the role they play in axonal regeneration seen in the zebrafish . 18 Figure

  3. Histone Acetylation Inhibitors Promote Axon Growth in Adult DRG neurons

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Shen; Nazif, Kutaiba; Smith, Alexander; Baas, Peter W; Smith, George M

    2015-01-01

    Intrinsic mechanisms that guide damaged axons to regenerate following spinal cord injury remain poorly understood. Manipulation of posttranslational modifications of key proteins in mature neurons could re-invigorate growth machinery after injury. One such modification is acetylation, a reversible process controlled by two enzyme families acting in opposition, the Histone Deacetylases (HDACs) and the Histone Acetyl Transferases (HATs). While acetylated histones in the nucleus is associated with upregulation of growth promoting genes, de-acetylated tubulin in the axoplasm is associated with more labile microtubules, conducive to axon growth. In this study we investigated the effects of HAT inhibitors and HDAC inhibitors on cultured adult dorsal root ganglia (DRG) neurons. We found that inhibition of HATs, using Anacardic Acid or CPTH2, improved axon outgrowth, while inhibition of HDACs using TSA or Tubacin, inhibited axon growth. Furthermore, Anacardic Acid increased the number of axons able to cross an inhibitory chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan (CSPG) border. Histone acetylation, but not tubulin acetylation levels, was affected by HAT inhibitors, whereas tubulin acetylation levels were increased in the presence of HDAC inhibitor Tubacin. Although microtubule stabilizing drug taxol did not have an effect on the lengths of DRG axons, nocodazole decreased axon lengths. While the mechanistic basis will require future studies, our data show that inhibitors of HAT can augment axon growth in adult DRG neurons, with the potential of aiding axon growth over inhibitory substrates produced by the glial scar. PMID:25702820

  4. Fast axonal transport in early experimental disc edema.

    PubMed

    Radius, R L; Anderson, D R

    1980-02-01

    Previous work has documented impairment of slow axonal transport in papilledema, but the abnormalities in rapid transport were less certain. Therefore fast axonal transport was studied in 19 primate eyes subjected to ocular hypotony for 6 to 72 hr following surgical fistulization of the anterior chamber. Mild, irregular alterations in fast axonal transport were detected only after nerve head swelling was apparent. These changes in fast transport mechanisms in cases of nerve head edema occur after, and may be secondary to, impaired slow axoplasmic flow and the resultant axonal swelling. Furthermore, since prolonged complete interruption of axonal transport is theoretically inconsistent with the continued normal neuron function characteristic of papilledema and, moreover, since previous data shows a "slowdown" rather than complete blockade of axonal transport in papilledema, it is likely that in eyes with papilledema there does not exist a complete flock of axonal transport. Therefore we hypothesize that the swelling results when slow axoplasmic flow is locally slowed down but not totally stopped, with the axon distention producing secondary mild, irregular changes in fast axonal transport.

  5. Concepts for regulation of axon integrity by enwrapping glia

    PubMed Central

    Beirowski, Bogdan

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-03-01

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

  7. Molecular analysis of axon repulsion by the notochord.

    PubMed

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

    2003-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:26563431

  9. Pathways regulating modality-specific axonal regeneration in peripheral nerve.

    PubMed

    Wood, Matthew D; Mackinnon, Susan E

    2015-03-01

    Following peripheral nerve injury, the distal nerve is primed for regenerating axons by generating a permissive environment replete with glial cells, cytokines, and neurotrophic factors to encourage axonal growth. However, increasing evidence demonstrates that regenerating axons within peripheral nerves still encounter axonal-growth inhibitors, such as chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans. Given the generally poor clinical outcomes following peripheral nerve injury and reconstruction, the use of pharmacological therapies to augment axonal regeneration and overcome inhibitory signals has gained considerable interest. Joshi et al. (2014) have provided evidence for preferential or modality-specific (motor versus sensory) axonal growth and regeneration due to inhibitory signaling from Rho-associated kinase (ROCK) pathway regulation. By providing inhibition to the ROCK signaling pathway through Y-27632, they demonstrate that motor neurons regenerating their axons are impacted to a greater extent compared to sensory neurons. In light of this evidence, we briefly review the literature regarding modality-specific axonal regeneration to provide context to their findings. We also describe potential and novel barriers, such as senescent Schwann cells, which provide additional axonal-growth inhibitory factors for future consideration following peripheral nerve injury.

  10. Axonal Velocity Distributions in Neural Field Equations

    PubMed Central

    Bojak, Ingo; Liley, David T. J.

    2010-01-01

    By modelling the average activity of large neuronal populations, continuum mean field models (MFMs) have become an increasingly important theoretical tool for understanding the emergent activity of cortical tissue. In order to be computationally tractable, long-range propagation of activity in MFMs is often approximated with partial differential equations (PDEs). However, PDE approximations in current use correspond to underlying axonal velocity distributions incompatible with experimental measurements. In order to rectify this deficiency, we here introduce novel propagation PDEs that give rise to smooth unimodal distributions of axonal conduction velocities. We also argue that velocities estimated from fibre diameters in slice and from latency measurements, respectively, relate quite differently to such distributions, a significant point for any phenomenological description. Our PDEs are then successfully fit to fibre diameter data from human corpus callosum and rat subcortical white matter. This allows for the first time to simulate long-range conduction in the mammalian brain with realistic, convenient PDEs. Furthermore, the obtained results suggest that the propagation of activity in rat and human differs significantly beyond mere scaling. The dynamical consequences of our new formulation are investigated in the context of a well known neural field model. On the basis of Turing instability analyses, we conclude that pattern formation is more easily initiated using our more realistic propagator. By increasing characteristic conduction velocities, a smooth transition can occur from self-sustaining bulk oscillations to travelling waves of various wavelengths, which may influence axonal growth during development. Our analytic results are also corroborated numerically using simulations on a large spatial grid. Thus we provide here a comprehensive analysis of empirically constrained activity propagation in the context of MFMs, which will allow more realistic studies

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  12. AxonPacking: An Open-Source Software to Simulate Arrangements of Axons in White Matter

    PubMed Central

    Mingasson, Tom; Duval, Tanguy; Stikov, Nikola; Cohen-Adad, Julien

    2017-01-01

    HIGHLIGHTS AxonPacking: Open-source software for simulating white matter microstructure.Validation on a theoretical disk packing problem.Reproducible and stable for various densities and diameter distributions.Can be used to study interplay between myelin/fiber density and restricted fraction. Quantitative Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) can provide parameters that describe white matter microstructure, such as the fiber volume fraction (FVF), the myelin volume fraction (MVF) or the axon volume fraction (AVF) via the fraction of restricted water (fr). While already being used for clinical application, the complex interplay between these parameters requires thorough validation via simulations. These simulations required a realistic, controlled and adaptable model of the white matter axons with the surrounding myelin sheath. While there already exist useful algorithms to perform this task, none of them combine optimisation of axon packing, presence of myelin sheath and availability as free and open source software. Here, we introduce a novel disk packing algorithm that addresses these issues. The performance of the algorithm is tested in term of reproducibility over 50 runs, resulting density, and stability over iterations. This tool was then used to derive multiple values of FVF and to study the impact of this parameter on fr and MVF in light of the known microstructure based on histology sample. The standard deviation of the axon density over runs was lower than 10−3 and the expected hexagonal packing for monodisperse disks was obtained with a density close to the optimal density (obtained: 0.892, theoretical: 0.907). Using an FVF ranging within [0.58, 0.82] and a mean inter-axon gap ranging within [0.1, 1.1] μm, MVF ranged within [0.32, 0.44] and fr ranged within [0.39, 0.71], which is consistent with the histology. The proposed algorithm is implemented in the open-source software AxonPacking (https://github.com/neuropoly/axonpacking) and can be useful for

  13. AxonPacking: An Open-Source Software to Simulate Arrangements of Axons in White Matter.

    PubMed

    Mingasson, Tom; Duval, Tanguy; Stikov, Nikola; Cohen-Adad, Julien

    2017-01-01

    HIGHLIGHTS AxonPacking: Open-source software for simulating white matter microstructure.Validation on a theoretical disk packing problem.Reproducible and stable for various densities and diameter distributions.Can be used to study interplay between myelin/fiber density and restricted fraction. Quantitative Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) can provide parameters that describe white matter microstructure, such as the fiber volume fraction (FVF), the myelin volume fraction (MVF) or the axon volume fraction (AVF) via the fraction of restricted water (fr). While already being used for clinical application, the complex interplay between these parameters requires thorough validation via simulations. These simulations required a realistic, controlled and adaptable model of the white matter axons with the surrounding myelin sheath. While there already exist useful algorithms to perform this task, none of them combine optimisation of axon packing, presence of myelin sheath and availability as free and open source software. Here, we introduce a novel disk packing algorithm that addresses these issues. The performance of the algorithm is tested in term of reproducibility over 50 runs, resulting density, and stability over iterations. This tool was then used to derive multiple values of FVF and to study the impact of this parameter on fr and MVF in light of the known microstructure based on histology sample. The standard deviation of the axon density over runs was lower than 10(-3) and the expected hexagonal packing for monodisperse disks was obtained with a density close to the optimal density (obtained: 0.892, theoretical: 0.907). Using an FVF ranging within [0.58, 0.82] and a mean inter-axon gap ranging within [0.1, 1.1] μm, MVF ranged within [0.32, 0.44] and fr ranged within [0.39, 0.71], which is consistent with the histology. The proposed algorithm is implemented in the open-source software AxonPacking (https://github.com/neuropoly/axonpacking) and can be useful for

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

    PubMed Central

    Sargoy, Allison; Sun, Xiaoping

    2014-01-01

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

  15. Neu3 sialidase-mediated ganglioside conversion is necessary for axon regeneration and is blocked in CNS axons.

    PubMed

    Kappagantula, Sunil; Andrews, Melissa R; Cheah, Menghon; Abad-Rodriguez, José; Dotti, Carlos G; Fawcett, James W

    2014-02-12

    PNS axons have a high intrinsic regenerative ability, whereas most CNS axons show little regenerative response. We show that activation of Neu3 sialidase, also known as Neuraminidase-3, causing conversion of GD1a and GT1b to GM1 ganglioside, is an essential step in regeneration occurring in PNS (sensory) but not CNS (retinal) axons in adult rat. In PNS axons, axotomy activates Neu3 sialidase, increasing the ratio of GM1/GD1a and GM1/GT1b gangliosides immediately after injury in vitro and in vivo. No change in the GM1/GD1a ratio after axotomy was observed in retinal axons (in vitro and in vivo), despite the presence of Neu3 sialidase. Externally applied sialidase converted GD1a ganglioside to GM1 and rescued axon regeneration in CNS axons and in PNS axons after Neu3 sialidase blockade. Neu3 sialidase activation in DRGs is initiated by an influx of extracellular calcium, activating P38MAPK and then Neu3 sialidase. Ganglioside conversion by Neu3 sialidase further activates the ERK pathway. In CNS axons, P38MAPK and Neu3 sialidase were not activated by axotomy.

  16. The transport properties of axonal microtubules establish their polarity orientation

    PubMed Central

    1993-01-01

    It is well established that axonal microtubules (MTs) are uniformly oriented with their plus ends distal to the neuronal cell body (Heidemann, S. R., J. M. Landers, and M. A. Hamborg. 1981. J. Cell Biol. 91:661-665). However, the mechanisms by which these MTs achieve their uniform polarity orientation are unknown. Current models for axon growth differ with regard to the contributions of MT assembly and transport to the organization and elaboration of the axonal MT array. Do the transport properties or assembly properties of axonal MTs determine their polarity orientation? To distinguish between these possibilities, we wished to study the initiation and outgrowth of axons under conditions that would arrest MT assembly while maintaining substantial levels of preexisting polymer in the cell body that could still be transported into the axon. We found that we could accomplish this by culturing rat sympathetic neurons in the presence of nanomolar levels of vinblastine. In concentrations of the drug up to and including 100 nM, the neurons actively extend axons. The vinblastine- axons are shorter than control axons, but clearly contain MTs. To quantify the effects of the drug on MT mass, we compared the levels of polymer throughout the cell bodies and axons of neurons cultured overnight in the presence of 0, 16, and 50 nM vinblastine with the levels of MT polymer in freshly plated neurons before axon outgrowth. Without drug, the total levels of polymer increase by roughly twofold. At 16 nM vinblastine, the levels of polymer are roughly equal to the levels in freshly plated neurons, while at 50 nM, the levels of polymer are reduced by about half this amount. Thus, 16 nM vinblastine acts as a "kinetic stabilizer" of MTs, while 50 nM results in some net MT disassembly. At both drug concentrations, there is a progressive increase in the levels of MT polymer in the axons as they grow, and a corresponding depletion of polymer from the cell body. These results indicate that

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  18. Spatiotemporal dynamics of lesion-induced axonal sprouting and its relation to functional architecture of the cerebellum

    PubMed Central

    Dhar, Matasha; Brenner, Joshua M.; Sakimura, Kenji; Kano, Masanobu; Nishiyama, Hiroshi

    2016-01-01

    Neurodegenerative lesions induce sprouting of new collaterals from surviving axons, but the extent to which this form of axonal remodelling alters brain functional structure remains unclear. To understand how collateral sprouting proceeds in the adult brain, we imaged post-lesion sprouting of cerebellar climbing fibres (CFs) in mice using in vivo time-lapse microscopy. Here we show that newly sprouted CF collaterals innervate multiple Purkinje cells (PCs) over several months, with most innervations emerging at 3–4 weeks post lesion. Simultaneous imaging of cerebellar functional structure reveals that surviving CFs similarly innervate functionally relevant and non-relevant PCs, but have more synaptic area on PCs near the collateral origin than on distant PCs. These results suggest that newly sprouted axon collaterals do not preferentially innervate functionally relevant postsynaptic targets. Nonetheless, the spatial gradient of collateral innervation might help to loosely maintain functional synaptic circuits if functionally relevant neurons are clustered in the lesioned area. PMID:27651000

  19. PI3K-GSK3 signalling regulates mammalian axon regeneration by inducing the expression of Smad1

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saijilafu; Hur, Eun-Mi; Liu, Chang-Mei; Jiao, Zhongxian; Xu, Wen-Lin; Zhou, Feng-Quan

    2013-10-01

    In contrast to neurons in the central nervous system, mature neurons in the mammalian peripheral nervous system (PNS) can regenerate axons after injury, in part, by enhancing intrinsic growth competence. However, the signalling pathways that enhance the growth potential and induce spontaneous axon regeneration remain poorly understood. Here we reveal that phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) signalling is activated in response to peripheral axotomy and that PI3K pathway is required for sensory axon regeneration. Moreover, we show that glycogen synthase kinase 3 (GSK3), rather than mammalian target of rapamycin, mediates PI3K-dependent augmentation of the growth potential in the PNS. Furthermore, we show that PI3K-GSK3 signal is conveyed by the induction of a transcription factor Smad1 and that acute depletion of Smad1 in adult mice prevents axon regeneration in vivo. Together, these results suggest PI3K-GSK3-Smad1 signalling as a central module for promoting sensory axon regeneration in the mammalian nervous system.

  20. L-carnitine enhances axonal plasticity and improves white-matter lesions after chronic hypoperfusion in rat brain.

    PubMed

    Ueno, Yuji; Koike, Masato; Shimada, Yoshiaki; Shimura, Hideki; Hira, Kenichiro; Tanaka, Ryota; Uchiyama, Yasuo; Hattori, Nobutaka; Urabe, Takao

    2015-03-01

    Chronic cerebral hypoperfusion causes white-matter lesions (WMLs) with oxidative stress and cognitive impairment. However, the biologic mechanisms that regulate axonal plasticity under chronic cerebral hypoperfusion have not been fully investigated. Here, we investigated whether L-carnitine, an antioxidant agent, enhances axonal plasticity and oligodendrocyte expression, and explored the signaling pathways that mediate axonal plasticity in a rat chronic hypoperfusion model. Adult male Wistar rats subjected to ligation of the bilateral common carotid arteries (LBCCA) were treated with or without L-carnitine. L-carnitine-treated rats exhibited significantly reduced escape latency in the Morris water maze task at 28 days after chronic hypoperfusion. Western blot analysis indicated that L-carnitine increased levels of phosphorylated high-molecular weight neurofilament (pNFH), concurrent with a reduction in phosphorylated phosphatase tensin homolog deleted on chromosome 10 (PTEN), and increased phosphorylated Akt and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) at 28 days after chronic hypoperfusion. L-carnitine reduced lipid peroxidation and oxidative DNA damage, and enhanced oligodendrocyte marker expression and myelin sheath thickness after chronic hypoperfusion. L-carnitine regulates the PTEN/Akt/mTOR signaling pathway, and enhances axonal plasticity while concurrently ameliorating oxidative stress and increasing oligodendrocyte myelination of axons, thereby improving WMLs and cognitive impairment in a rat chronic hypoperfusion model.

  1. L-carnitine enhances axonal plasticity and improves white-matter lesions after chronic hypoperfusion in rat brain

    PubMed Central

    Ueno, Yuji; Koike, Masato; Shimada, Yoshiaki; Shimura, Hideki; Hira, Kenichiro; Tanaka, Ryota; Uchiyama, Yasuo; Hattori, Nobutaka; Urabe, Takao

    2015-01-01

    Chronic cerebral hypoperfusion causes white-matter lesions (WMLs) with oxidative stress and cognitive impairment. However, the biologic mechanisms that regulate axonal plasticity under chronic cerebral hypoperfusion have not been fully investigated. Here, we investigated whether L-carnitine, an antioxidant agent, enhances axonal plasticity and oligodendrocyte expression, and explored the signaling pathways that mediate axonal plasticity in a rat chronic hypoperfusion model. Adult male Wistar rats subjected to ligation of the bilateral common carotid arteries (LBCCA) were treated with or without L-carnitine. L-carnitine-treated rats exhibited significantly reduced escape latency in the Morris water maze task at 28 days after chronic hypoperfusion. Western blot analysis indicated that L-carnitine increased levels of phosphorylated high-molecular weight neurofilament (pNFH), concurrent with a reduction in phosphorylated phosphatase tensin homolog deleted on chromosome 10 (PTEN), and increased phosphorylated Akt and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) at 28 days after chronic hypoperfusion. L-carnitine reduced lipid peroxidation and oxidative DNA damage, and enhanced oligodendrocyte marker expression and myelin sheath thickness after chronic hypoperfusion. L-carnitine regulates the PTEN/Akt/mTOR signaling pathway, and enhances axonal plasticity while concurrently ameliorating oxidative stress and increasing oligodendrocyte myelination of axons, thereby improving WMLs and cognitive impairment in a rat chronic hypoperfusion model. PMID:25465043

  2. Concentration-dependent requirement for local protein synthesis in motor neuron subtype-specific response to axon guidance cues.

    PubMed

    Nédelec, Stéphane; Peljto, Mirza; Shi, Peng; Amoroso, Mackenzie W; Kam, Lance C; Wichterle, Hynek

    2012-01-25

    Formation of functional motor circuits relies on the ability of distinct spinal motor neuron subtypes to project their axons with high precision to appropriate muscle targets. While guidance cues contributing to motor axon pathfinding have been identified, the intracellular pathways underlying subtype-specific responses to these cues remain poorly understood. In particular, it remains controversial whether responses to axon guidance cues depend on axonal protein synthesis. Using a growth cone collapse assay, we demonstrate that mouse embryonic stem cell-derived spinal motor neurons (ES-MNs) respond to ephrin-A5, Sema3f, and Sema3a in a concentration-dependent manner. At low doses, ES-MNs exhibit segmental or subtype-specific responses, while this selectivity is lost at higher concentrations. Response to high doses of semaphorins and to all doses of ephrin-A5 is protein synthesis independent. In contrast, using microfluidic devices and stripe assays, we show that growth cone collapse and guidance at low concentrations of semaphorins rely on local protein synthesis in the axonal compartment. Similar bimodal response to low and high concentrations of guidance cues is observed in human ES-MNs, pointing to a general mechanism by which neurons increase their repertoire of responses to the limited set of guidance cues involved in neural circuit formation.

  3. Endocytotic elimination and domain-selective tethering constitute a potential mechanism of protein segregation at the axonal initial segment

    PubMed Central

    Fache, Marie-Pierre; Moussif, Anissa; Fernandes, Fanny; Giraud, Pierre; Garrido, Juan José; Dargent, Bénédicte

    2004-01-01

    The axonal initial segment is a unique subdomain of the neuron that maintains cellular polarization and contributes to electrogenesis. To obtain new insights into the mechanisms that determine protein segregation in this subdomain, we analyzed the trafficking of a reporter protein containing the cytoplasmic II–III linker sequence involved in sodium channel targeting and clustering (Garrido, J.J., P. Giraud, E. Carlier, F. Fernandes, A. Moussif, M.P. Fache, D. Debanne, and B. Dargent. 2003. Science. 300:2091–2094). Here, we show that this reporter protein is preferentially inserted in the somatodendritic domain and is trapped at the axonal initial segment by tethering to the cytoskeleton, before its insertion in the axonal tips. The nontethered population in dendrites, soma, and the distal part of axons is subsequently eliminated by endocytosis. We provide evidence for the involvement of two independent determinants in the II–III linker of sodium channels. These findings indicate that endocytotic elimination and domain-selective tethering constitute a potential mechanism of protein segregation at the axonal initial segment of hippocampal neurons. PMID:15302857

  4. Axonal and dendritic synaptotagmin isoforms revealed by a pHluorin-syt functional screen.

    PubMed

    Dean, Camin; Dunning, F Mark; Liu, Huisheng; Bomba-Warczak, Ewa; Martens, Henrik; Bharat, Vinita; Ahmed, Saheeb; Chapman, Edwin R

    2012-05-01

    The synaptotagmins (syts) are a family of molecules that regulate membrane fusion. There are 17 mammalian syt isoforms, most of which are expressed in the brain. However, little is known regarding the subcellular location and function of the majority of these syts in neurons, largely due to a lack of isoform-specific antibodies. Here we generated pHluorin-syt constructs harboring a luminal domain pH sensor, which reports localization, pH of organelles to which syts are targeted, and the kinetics and sites of exocytosis and endocytosis. Of interest, only syt-1 and 2 are targeted to synaptic vesicles, whereas other isoforms selectively recycle in dendrites (syt-3 and 11), axons (syt-5, 7, 10, and 17), or both axons and dendrites (syt-4, 6, 9, and 12), where they undergo exocytosis and endocytosis with distinctive kinetics. Hence most syt isoforms localize to distinct secretory organelles in both axons and dendrites and may regulate neuropeptide/neurotrophin release to modulate neuronal function.

  5. Quantitative Analysis of Axonal Branch Dynamics in the Developing Nervous System

    PubMed Central

    Scott, Ethan K.; Goodhill, Geoffrey J.

    2016-01-01

    Branching is an important mechanism by which axons navigate to their targets during neural development. For instance, in the developing zebrafish retinotectal system, selective branching plays a critical role during both initial pathfinding and subsequent arborisation once the target zone has been reached. Here we show how quantitative methods can help extract new information from time-lapse imaging about the nature of the underlying branch dynamics. First, we introduce Dynamic Time Warping to this domain as a method for automatically matching branches between frames, replacing the effort required for manual matching. Second, we model branch dynamics as a birth-death process, i.e. a special case of a continuous-time Markov process. This reveals that the birth rate for branches from zebrafish retinotectal axons, as they navigate across the tectum, increased over time. We observed no significant change in the death rate for branches over this time period. However, blocking neuronal activity with TTX slightly increased the death rate, without a detectable change in the birth rate. Third, we show how the extraction of these rates allows computational simulations of branch dynamics whose statistics closely match the data. Together these results reveal new aspects of the biology of retinotectal pathfinding, and introduce computational techniques which are applicable to the study of axon branching more generally. PMID:26998842

  6. Small-Molecule Stabilization of 14-3-3 Protein-Protein Interactions Stimulates Axon Regeneration.

    PubMed

    Kaplan, Andrew; Morquette, Barbara; Kroner, Antje; Leong, SooYuen; Madwar, Carolin; Sanz, Ricardo; Banerjee, Sara L; Antel, Jack; Bisson, Nicolas; David, Samuel; Fournier, Alyson E

    2017-03-08

    Damaged central nervous system (CNS) neurons have a poor ability to spontaneously regenerate, causing persistent functional deficits after injury. Therapies that stimulate axon growth are needed to repair CNS damage. 14-3-3 adaptors are hub proteins that are attractive targets to manipulate cell signaling. We identify a positive role for 14-3-3s in axon growth and uncover a developmental regulation of the phosphorylation and function of 14-3-3s. We show that fusicoccin-A (FC-A), a small-molecule stabilizer of 14-3-3 protein-protein interactions, stimulates axon growth in vitro and regeneration in vivo. We show that FC-A stabilizes a complex between 14-3-3 and the stress response regulator GCN1, inducing GCN1 turnover and neurite outgrowth. These findings show that 14-3-3 adaptor protein complexes are druggable targets and identify a new class of small molecules that may be further optimized for the repair of CNS damage.

  7. A Microchip for High-throughput Axon Growth Drug Screening

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Hyun Soo; Jeong, Sehoon; Koo, Chiwan; Han, Arum; Park, Jaewon

    2016-01-01

    It has been recently known that not only the presence of inhibitory molecules associated with myelin but also the reduced growth capability of the axons limit mature central nervous system (CNS) axonal regeneration after injury. Conventional axon growth studies are typically conducted using multi-well cell culture plates that are very challenging to investigate localized effects of drugs and limited to low throughput. Unfortunately, there is currently no other in vitro tools that allow investigating localized axonal responses to biomolecules in high-throughput for screening potential drugs that might promote axonal growth. We have developed a compartmentalized neuron culture platform enabling localized biomolecular treatments in parallel to axons that are physically and fluidically isolated from their neuronal somata. The 24 axon compartments in the developed platform are designed to perform four sets of six different localized biomolecular treatments simultaneously on a single device. In addition, the novel microfluidic configuration allows culture medium of 24 axon compartments to be replenished altogether by a single aspiration process, making high-throughput drug screening a reality. PMID:27928514

  8. Axon guidance of rat cortical neurons by microcontact printed gradients.

    PubMed

    Fricke, Rita; Zentis, Peter D; Rajappa, Lionel T; Hofmann, Boris; Banzet, Marko; Offenhäusser, Andreas; Meffert, Simone H

    2011-03-01

    Substrate-bound gradients expressed in numerous spatio-temporal patterns play a crucial role during the development of complex neural circuits. A deeper understanding of the axon guidance mechanism is provided by studying the effect of a defined substrate-bound cue on a confined neural network. In this study, we constructed a discontinuous substrate-bound gradient to control neuronal cell position, the path of neurite growth, and axon directionality. A variety of gradient patterns, with slight changes in slope, width, and length were designed and fabricated by microcontact printing using laminin/poly-l-lysine (PLL) or PLL alone. The gradients were tested for neurite growth and their impact on axon guidance of embryonic rat cortical neurons. The neurite length was determined and the axon was evaluated by Tau-1 immunostaining. We found that the microgradients of laminin/PLL and PLL directed neurons' adhesion, differentially controlled the neurite growth, and guided up to 84% of the axons. The effect of the protein micropattern on axon guidance and neurite growth depended on the protein and geometric parameters used. Our approach proved to be very successful in guiding axons of single multipolar neurons with very high efficiency. It could thereby be useful to engineer defined neural networks for analyzing signal processing of functional circuits, as well as to unravel fundamental questions of the axon guidance mechanism.

  9. Action potential initiation and propagation in CA3 pyramidal axons.

    PubMed

    Meeks, Julian P; Mennerick, Steven

    2007-05-01

    Thin, unmyelinated axons densely populate the mammalian hippocampus and cortex. However, the location and dynamics of spike initiation in thin axons remain unclear. We investigated basic properties of spike initiation and propagation in CA3 neurons of juvenile rat hippocampus. Sodium channel alpha subunit distribution and local applications of tetrodotoxin demonstrate that the site of first threshold crossing in CA3 neurons is approximately 35 microm distal to the soma, somewhat more proximal than our previous estimates. This discrepancy can be explained by the finding, obtained with simultaneous whole cell somatic and extracellular axonal recordings, that a zone of axon stretching to approximately 100 microm distal to the soma reaches a maximum rate of depolarization nearly synchronously by the influx of sodium from the high-density channels. Models of the proximal axon incorporating observed distributions of sodium channel staining recapitulated salient features of somatic and axonal spike waveforms, including the predicted initiation zone, characteristic spike latencies, and conduction velocity. The preferred initiation zone was unaltered by stimulus strength or repetitive spiking, but repetitive spiking increased threshold and significantly slowed initial segment recruitment time and conduction velocity. Our work defines the dynamics of initiation and propagation in hippocampal principal cell axons and may help reconcile recent controversies over initiation site in other axons.

  10. Regulatory mechanisms underlying the differential growth of dendrites and axons.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xin; Sterne, Gabriella R; Ye, Bing

    2014-08-01

    A typical neuron is comprised of an information input compartment, or the dendrites, and an output compartment, known as the axon. These two compartments are the structural basis for functional neural circuits. However, little is known about how dendritic and axonal growth are differentially regulated. Recent studies have uncovered two distinct types of regulatory mechanisms that differentiate dendritic and axonal growth: dedicated mechanisms and bimodal mechanisms. Dedicated mechanisms regulate either dendritespecific or axon-specific growth; in contrast, bimodal mechanisms direct dendritic and axonal development in opposite manners. Here, we review the dedicated and bimodal regulators identified by recent Drosophila and mammalian studies. The knowledge of these underlying molecular mechanisms not only expands our understanding about how neural circuits are wired, but also provides insights that will aid in the rational design of therapies for neurological diseases.

  11. Receptor Tyrosine Kinases: Molecular Switches Regulating CNS Axon Regeneration

    PubMed Central

    Vigneswara, Vasanthy; Kundi, Sarina; Ahmed, Zubair

    2012-01-01

    The poor or lack of injured adult central nervous system (CNS) axon regeneration results in devastating consequences and poor functional recovery. The interplay between the intrinsic and extrinsic factors contributes to robust inhibition of axon regeneration of injured CNS neurons. The insufficient or lack of trophic support for injured neurons is considered as one of the major obstacles contributing to their failure to survive and regrow their axons after injury. In the CNS, many of the signalling pathways associated with neuronal survival and axon regeneration are regulated by several classes of receptor tyrosine kinases (RTK) that respond to a variety of ligands. This paper highlights and summarises the most relevant recent findings pertinent to different classes of the RTK family of molecules, with a particular focus on elucidating their role in CNS axon regeneration. PMID:22848811

  12. Neuronal polarity in Drosophila: sorting out axons and dendrites

    PubMed Central

    Rolls, Melissa M.

    2014-01-01

    Drosophila neurons have identifiable axons and dendrites based on cell shape, but it is only just starting to become clear how Drosophila neurons are polarized at the molecular level. Dendrite-specific components, including the Golgi complex, GABA receptors, neurotransmitter receptor scaffolding proteins and cell adhesion molecules have been described. And proteins involved in constructing presynaptic specializations are concentrated in axons of some neurons. A very simple model for how these components are distributed to axons and dendrites can be constructed based on the opposite polarity of microtubules in axons and dendrites: dynein carries cargo into dendrites, and kinesins carry cargo into axons. The simple model works well for multipolar neurons, but will likely need refinement for unipolar neurons, which are common in Drosophila. PMID:21557498

  13. Cat hindlimb motoneurons during locomotion. I. Destination, axonal conduction velocity, and recruitment threshold.

    PubMed

    Hoffer, J A; Loeb, G E; Marks, W B; O'Donovan, M J; Pratt, C A; Sugano, N

    1987-02-01

    Fine flexible wire microelectrodes chronically implanted in the fifth lumbar ventral root (L5 VR) of 17 cats rendered stable records of the natural discharge patterns of 164 individual axons during locomotion on a treadmill. Fifty-one out of 164 axons were identified as motoneurons projecting to the anterior thigh muscle group. For these axons, the centrifugal propagation of action potentials was demonstrated by the technique of spike-triggered averaging using signals recorded from cuff electrodes implanted around the femoral nerve. The axonal conduction velocity was measured from the femoral nerve cuff records. For 43/51 motoneurons, the corresponding target muscle was identified by spike-triggered averaging of signals recorded from bipolar EMG electrodes implanted in each of the anterior thigh muscles: vastus intermedius, medialis and lateralis, sartorius anterior and medialis, and rectus femoris. For 32/51 motoneurons, the recruitment threshold during locomotion was determined from the mean value of the rectified digitally smoothed EMG of the target muscle measured at the time when the motoneuron fired its first spike for each step. The recruitment threshold of every motoneuron was relatively constant for a given speed of walking, but for some units there were small systematic variations as a function of treadmill speed (range: 0.1-1.3 m/s). Recruitment thresholds were standardized with respect to the mean value of peak EMG activity of the target muscle during 16 s of walking at 0.5 m/s. For 28/51 motoneurons recorded in nine cats, recruitment thresholds (range: 3-93% of peak target muscle EMG) were linearly correlated (r = 0.51, P less than 0.02) to axonal conduction velocities (range: 57-117 m/s). In addition, for seven recorded pairs of motoneurons that projected to the same muscle in the same cat, the recruitment thresholds were ordered by relative conduction velocities. Taken together, these results are consistent with the notion that, in normal cat

  14. Vascular endothelial-derived semaphorin 3 inhibits sympathetic axon growth.

    PubMed

    Damon, Deborah H

    2006-03-01

    Vascular sympathetic innervation is an important determinant of blood pressure and blood flow. The mechanisms that determine vascular sympathetic innervation are not well understood. Recent studies indicate that vascular endothelial cells (EC) express semaphorin 3A, a repulsive axon guidance cue. This suggests that EC would inhibit the growth of axons to blood vessels. The present study tests this hypothesis. RT-PCR and Western analyses confirmed that rat aortic vascular ECs expressed semaphorin 3A as well as other class 3 semaphorins (sema 3s). To determine the effects of EC-derived sema 3 on sympathetic axons, axon outgrowth was assessed in cultures of neonatal sympathetic ganglia grown for 72 h in the absence and presence of vascular EC. Nerve growth factor-induced axon growth in the presence of ECs was 50 +/- 4% (P < 0.05) of growth in the absence of ECs. ECs did not inhibit axon growth in the presence of an antibody that neutralized the activity of sema 3 (P > 0.05). RT-PCR and Western analyses also indicated that sema 3s were expressed in ECs of intact arteries. To assess the function of sema 3s in arteries, sympathetic ganglia were grown in the presence of arteries for 72 h, and the percentage of axons that grew toward the artery was determined: 44 +/- 4% of axons grew toward neonatal carotid arteries. Neutralization of sema 3s or removal of EC increased the percentage of axons that grew toward the artery (71 +/- 8% and 72 +/- 8%, respectively). These data indicate that vascular EC-derived sema 3s inhibit sympathetic axon growth and may thus be a determinant of vascular sympathetic innervation.

  15. Slits and Robo-2 regulate the coalescence of subsets of olfactory sensory neuron axons within the ventral region of the olfactory bulb.

    PubMed

    Cho, Jin H; Kam, Joseph W K; Cloutier, Jean-François

    2012-11-15

    Olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs) project their axons to second-order neurons in the olfactory bulb (OB) to form a precise glomerular map and these stereotypic connections are crucial for accurate odorant information processing by animals. To form these connections, olfactory sensory neuron (OSN) axons respond to axon guidance molecules that direct their growth and coalescence. We have previously implicated the axon guidance receptor Robo-2 in the accurate coalescence of OSN axons within the dorsal region of the OB (Cho et al., 2011). Herein, we have examined whether Robo-2 and its ligands, the Slits, contribute to the formation of an accurate glomerular map within more ventral regions of the OB. We have ablated expression of Robo-2 in OSNs and assessed the targeting accuracy of axons expressing either the P2 or MOR28 olfactory receptors, which innervate two different regions of the ventral OB. We show that P2-positive axons, which express Robo-2, coalesce into glomeruli more ventrally and form additional glomeruli in the OB of robo-2(lox/lox);OMP-Cre mice. We also demonstrate that Robo-2-mediated targeting of P2 axons along the dorsoventral axis of the OB is controlled by Slit-1 and Slit-3 expression. Interestingly, although MOR28-positive OSNs only express low levels of Robo-2, a reduced number of MOR28-positive glomeruli is observed in the OB of robo-2(lox/lox);OMP-Cre mice. Taken together, our results demonstrate that Slits and Robo-2 are required for the formation of an accurate glomerular map in the ventral region of the OB.

  16. Effects of eribulin, vincristine, paclitaxel and ixabepilone on fast axonal transport and kinesin-1 driven microtubule gliding: Implications for chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy

    PubMed Central

    LaPointe, Nichole E.; Morfini, Gerardo; Brady, Scott T.; Feinstein, Stuart C.; Wilson, Leslie; Jordan, Mary Ann

    2014-01-01

    Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) is a serious, painful and dose-limiting side effect of cancer drugs that target microtubules. The mechanisms underlying the neuronal damage are unknown, but may include disruption of fast axonal transport, an essential microtubule-based process that moves cellular components over long distances between neuronal cell bodies and nerve terminals. This idea is supported by the “dying back” pattern of degeneration observed in CIPN, and by the selective vulnerability of sensory neurons bearing the longest axonal projections. In this study, we test the hypothesis that microtubule-targeting drugs disrupt fast axonal transport using vesicle motility assays in isolated squid axoplasm and a cell-free microtubule gliding assay with defined components. We compare four clinically-used drugs, eribulin, vincristine, paclitaxel and ixabepilone. Of these, eribulin is associated with a relatively low incidence of severe neuropathy, while vincristine has a relatively high incidence. In vesicle motility assays, we found that all four drugs inhibited anterograde (conventional kinesin-dependent) fast axonal transport, with the potency being vincristine = ixabepilone > paclitaxel = eribulin. Interestingly, eribulin and paclitaxel did not inhibit retrograde (cytoplasmic dynein-dependent) fast axonal transport, in contrast to vincristine and ixabepilone. Similarly, vincristine and ixabepilone both exerted significant inhibitory effects in an in vitro microtubule gliding assay consisting of recombinant kinesin (kinesin-1) and microtubules composed of purified bovine brain tubulin, whereas paclitaxel and eribulin had negligible effects. Our results suggest that (i) inhibition of microtubule-based fast axonal transport may be a significant contributor to neurotoxicity induced by microtubule-targeting drugs, and (ii) that individual microtubule-targeting drugs affect fast axonal transport through different mechanisms. PMID:23711742

  17. Axon and dendrite pruning in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Yu, Fengwei; Schuldiner, Oren

    2014-08-01

    Pruning, a process by which neurons selectively remove exuberant or unnecessary processes without causing cell death, is crucial for the establishment of mature neural circuits during animal development. Yet relatively little is known about molecular and cellular mechanisms that govern neuronal pruning. Holometabolous insects, such as Drosophila, undergo complete metamorphosis and their larval nervous systems are replaced with adult-specific ones, thus providing attractive models for studying neuronal pruning. Drosophila mushroom body and dendritic arborization neurons have been utilized as two appealing systems to elucidate the underlying mechanisms of axon and dendrite pruning, respectively. In this review we highlight recent developments and discuss some similarities and differences in the mechanisms that regulate these two distinct modes of neuronal pruning in Drosophila.

  18. Patterns of growth, axonal extension and axonal arborization of neuronal lineages in the developing Drosophila brain

    PubMed Central

    Larsen, Camilla; Shy, Diana; Spindler, Shana R.; Fung, Siaumin; Pereanu, Wayne; Younossi -Hartenstein, Amelia; Hartenstein, Volker

    2009-01-01

    The Drosophila central brain is composed of approximately 100 paired lineages, with most lineages comprising 100–150 neurons. Most lineages have a number of important characteristics in common. Typically, neurons of a lineage stay together as a coherent cluster and project their axons into a coherent bundle visible from late embryo to adult. Neurons born during the embryonic period form the primary axon tracts (PATs) that follow stereotyped pathways in the neuropile. Apoptotic cell death removes an average of 30–40% of primary neurons around the time of hatching. Secondary neurons generated during the larval period form secondary axon tracts (SATs) that typically fasciculate with their corresponding primary axon tract. SATs develop into the long fascicles that interconnect the different compartments of the adult brain. Structurally, we distinguish between three types of lineages: PD lineages, characterized by distinct, spatially separate proximal and distal arborizations; C lineages with arborizations distributed continuously along the entire length of their tract; D lineages that lack proximal arborizations. Arborizations of many lineages, in particular those of the PD type, are restricted to distinct neuropile compartments. We propose that compartments are ‘scaffolded” by individual lineages, or small groups thereof. Thereby, the relatively small number of primary neurons of each primary lineage set up the compartment map in the late embryo. Compartments grow during the larval period simply by an increase in arbor volume of primary neurons. Arbors of secondary neurons form within or adjacent to the larval compartments, resulting in smaller compartment subdivisions and additional, adult specific compartments. PMID:19538956

  19. Neuron Morphology Influences Axon Initial Segment Plasticity.

    PubMed

    Gulledge, Allan T; Bravo, Jaime J

    2016-01-01

    In most vertebrate neurons, action potentials are initiated in the axon initial segment (AIS), a specialized region of the axon containing a high density of voltage-gated sodium and potassium channels. It has recently been proposed that neurons use plasticity of AIS length and/or location to regulate their intrinsic excitability. Here we quantify the impact of neuron morphology on AIS plasticity using computational models of simplified and realistic somatodendritic morphologies. In small neurons (e.g., dentate granule neurons), excitability was highest when the AIS was of intermediate length and located adjacent to the soma. Conversely, neurons having larger dendritic trees (e.g., pyramidal neurons) were most excitable when the AIS was longer and/or located away from the soma. For any given somatodendritic morphology, increasing dendritic membrane capacitance and/or conductance favored a longer and more distally located AIS. Overall, changes to AIS length, with corresponding changes in total sodium conductance, were far more effective in regulating neuron excitability than were changes in AIS location, while dendritic capacitance had a larger impact on AIS performance than did dendritic conductance. The somatodendritic influence on AIS performance reflects modest soma-to-AIS voltage attenuation combined with neuron size-dependent changes in AIS input resistance, effective membrane time constant, and isolation from somatodendritic capacitance. We conclude that the impact of AIS plasticity on neuron excitability will depend largely on somatodendritic morphology, and that, in some neurons, a shorter or more distally located AIS may promote, rather than limit, action potential generation.

  20. The Number of Alphaherpesvirus Particles Infecting Axons and the Axonal Protein Repertoire Determines the Outcome of Neuronal Infection

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Infection by alphaherpesviruses invariably results in invasion of the peripheral nervous system (PNS) and establishment of either a latent or productive infection. Infection begins with long-distance retrograde transport of viral capsids and tegument proteins in axons toward the neuronal nuclei. Initial steps of axonal entry, retrograde transport, and replication in neuronal nuclei are poorly understood. To better understand how the mode of infection in the PNS is determined, we utilized a compartmented neuron culturing system where distal axons of PNS neurons are physically separated from cell bodies. We infected isolated axons with fluorescent-protein-tagged pseudorabies virus (PRV) particles and monitored viral entry and transport in axons and replication in cell bodies during low and high multiplicities of infection (MOIs of 0.01 to 100). We found a threshold for efficient retrograde transport in axons between MOIs of 1 and 10 and a threshold for productive infection in the neuronal cell bodies between MOIs of 1 and 0.1. Below an MOI of 0.1, the viral genomes that moved to neuronal nuclei were silenced. These genomes can be reactivated after superinfection by a nonreplicating virus, but not by a replicating virus. We further showed that viral particles at high-MOI infections compete for axonal proteins and that this competition determines the number of viral particles reaching the nuclei. Using mass spectrometry, we identified axonal proteins that are differentially regulated by PRV infection. Our results demonstrate the impact of the multiplicity of infection and the axonal milieu on the establishment of neuronal infection initiated from axons. PMID:25805728

  1. Anti-glycan antibodies halt axon regeneration in a model of Guillain Barrè Syndrome axonal neuropathy by inducing microtubule disorganization via RhoA-ROCK-dependent inactivation of CRMP-2.

    PubMed

    Rozés Salvador, Victoria; Heredia, Florencia; Berardo, Andrés; Palandri, Anabela; Wojnacki, Jose; Vivinetto, Ana L; Sheikh, Kazim A; Caceres, Alfredo; Lopez, Pablo H H

    2016-04-01

    Several reports have linked the presence of high titers of anti-Gg Abs with delayed recovery/poor prognosis in GBS. In most cases, failure to recover is associated with halted/deficient axon regeneration. Previous work identified that monoclonal and patient-derived anti-Gg Abs can act as inhibitory factors in an animal model of axon regeneration. Further studies using primary dorsal root ganglion neuron (DRGn) cultures demonstrated that anti-Gg Abs can inhibit neurite outgrowth by targeting gangliosides via activation of the small GTPase RhoA and its associated kinase (ROCK), a signaling pathway common to other established inhibitors of axon regeneration. We aimed to study the molecular basis of the inhibitory effect of anti-Gg abs on neurite outgrowth by dissecting the molecular dynamics of growth cones (GC) cytoskeleton in relation to the spatial-temporal analysis of RhoA activity. We now report that axon growth inhibition in DRGn induced by a well characterized mAb targeting gangliosides GD1a/GT1b involves: i) an early RhoA/ROCK-independent collapse of lamellipodia; ii) a RhoA/ROCK-dependent shrinking of filopodia; and iii) alteration of GC microtubule organization/and presumably dynamics via RhoA/ROCK-dependent phosphorylation of CRMP-2 at threonine 555. Our results also show that mAb 1B7 inhibits peripheral axon regeneration in an animal model via phosphorylation/inactivation of CRMP-2 at threonine 555. Overall, our data may help to explain the molecular mechanisms underlying impaired nerve repair in GBS. Future work should define RhoA-independent pathway/s and effectors regulating actin cytoskeleton, thus providing an opportunity for the design of a successful therapy to guarantee an efficient target reinnervation.

  2. Local erythropoietin signaling enhances regeneration in peripheral axons.

    PubMed

    Toth, C; Martinez, J A; Liu, W Q; Diggle, J; Guo, G F; Ramji, N; Mi, R; Hoke, A; Zochodne, D W

    2008-06-23

    Erythropoietin (EPO) and its receptor (EPO-R), mediate neuroprotection from axonopathy and apoptosis in the peripheral nervous system (PNS). We examined the impact and potential mechanisms of local EPO signaling on regenerating PNS axons in vivo and in vitro. As a consequence of injury, peripheral nerve axons and DRG neurons have a marked increase in the expression of EPO and EPO-R. Local delivery of EPO via conduit over 2 weeks to rat sciatic nerve following crush injury increased the density and maturity of regenerating myelinated axons growing distally from the crush site. In addition, EPO also rescued retrograde degeneration and atrophy of axons. EPO substantially increased the density and intensity of calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) expression within outgrowing axons. Behavioral improvements in sensorimotor function also occurred in rats exposed to near nerve EPO delivery. EPO delivery led to decreased nuclear factor kappaB (NFkB) activation but increased phosphorylation of Akt and STAT3 within nerve and dorsal root ganglia neurons indicating rescue from an injury phenotype. Spinal cord explant studies also demonstrated a similar dose-dependent effect of EPO upon motor axonal outgrowth. Local EPO signaling enhances regenerating peripheral nervous system axons in addition to its known neuroprotection. Exogenous EPO may have a therapeutic role in a large number of peripheral nerve diseases through its impact on regeneration.

  3. Axonal Transport and Morphology: How Myelination gets Nerves into Shape

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jung, Peter; Zhao, Peng; Monsma, Paula; Brown, Tony

    2011-03-01

    The local caliber of mature axons is largely determined by neurofilament (NF) content. The axoskeleton, mainly consisting of NFs, however, is dynamic. NFs are assembled in the cell body and are transported by molecular motors on microtubule tracks along the axon at a slow rate of fractions of mm per day. We combine live cell fluorescent imaging techniques to access NF transport in myelinated and non-myelinated segments of axons with computational modeling of the active NF flow to show that a), myelination locally slows NF transport rates by regulating duty ratios and b), that the predicted increase in axon caliber agrees well with experiments. This study, for the first time, links NF kinetics directly to axonal morphology, providing a novel conceptual framework for the physical understanding of processes leading to the formation of axonal structures such as the ``Nodes of Ranvier'' as well as abnormal axonal swellings associated with neurodegenerative diseases like Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). NSF grants # IOS-0818412(PJ) and IOS-0818653 (AB).

  4. Developmental mechanism of the periodic membrane skeleton in axons

    PubMed Central

    Zhong, Guisheng; He, Jiang; Zhou, Ruobo; Lorenzo, Damaris; Babcock, Hazen P; Bennett, Vann; Zhuang, Xiaowei

    2014-01-01

    Actin, spectrin, and associated molecules form a periodic sub-membrane lattice structure in axons. How this membrane skeleton is developed and why it preferentially forms in axons are unknown. Here, we studied the developmental mechanism of this lattice structure. We found that this structure emerged early during axon development and propagated from proximal regions to distal ends of axons. Components of the axon initial segment were recruited to the lattice late during development. Formation of the lattice was regulated by the local concentration of βII spectrin, which is higher in axons than in dendrites. Increasing the dendritic concentration of βII spectrin by overexpression or by knocking out ankyrin B induced the formation of the periodic structure in dendrites, demonstrating that the spectrin concentration is a key determinant in the preferential development of this structure in axons and that ankyrin B is critical for the polarized distribution of βII spectrin in neurites. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.04581.001 PMID:25535840

  5. A Microchip for Quantitative Analysis of CNS Axon Growth under Localized Biomolecular Treatments

    PubMed Central

    Park, Jaewon; Kim, Sunja; Park, Su Inn; Choe, Yoonsuck; Li, Jianrong; Han, Arum

    2013-01-01

    Growth capability of neurons is an essential factor in axon regeneration. To better understand how microenvironments influence axon growth, methods that allow spatial control of cellular microenvironments and easy quantification of axon growth are critically needed. Here, we present a microchip capable of physically guiding the growth directions of axons while providing physical and fluidic isolation from neuronal somata/dendrites that enables localized biomolecular treatments and linear axon growth. The microchip allows axons to grow in straight lines inside the axon compartments even after the isolation; therefore, significantly facilitating the axon length quantification process. We further developed an image processing algorithm that automatically quantifies axon growth. The effect of localized extracellular matrix components and brain-derived neurotropic factor treatments on axon growth was investigated. Results show that biomolecules may have substantially different effects on axon growth depending on where they act. For example, while chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan causes axon retraction when added to the axons, it promotes axon growth when applied to the somata. The newly developed microchip overcomes limitations of conventional axon growth research methods that lack localized control of biomolecular environments and are often performed at a significantly lower cell density for only a short period of time due to difficulty in monitoring of axonal growth. This microchip may serve as a powerful tool for investigating factors that promote axon growth and regeneration. PMID:24161788

  6. High plasticity of axonal pathology in Alzheimer's disease mouse models.

    PubMed

    Blazquez-Llorca, Lidia; Valero-Freitag, Susana; Rodrigues, Eva Ferreira; Merchán-Pérez, Ángel; Rodríguez, J Rodrigo; Dorostkar, Mario M; DeFelipe, Javier; Herms, Jochen

    2017-02-07

    Axonal dystrophies (AxDs) are swollen and tortuous neuronal processes that are associated with extracellular depositions of amyloid β (Aβ) and have been observed to contribute to synaptic alterations occurring in Alzheimer's disease. Understanding the temporal course of this axonal pathology is of high relevance to comprehend the progression of the disease over time. We performed a long-term in vivo study (up to 210 days of two-photon imaging) with two transgenic mouse models (dE9xGFP-M and APP-PS1xGFP-M). Interestingly, AxDs were formed only in a quarter of GFP-expressing axons near Aβ-plaques, which indicates a selective vulnerability. AxDs, especially those reaching larger sizes, had long lifetimes and appeared as highly plastic structures with large variations in size and shape and axonal sprouting over time. In the case of the APP-PS1 mouse only, the formation of new long axonal segments in dystrophic axons (re-growth phenomenon) was observed. Moreover, new AxDs could appear at the same point of the axon where a previous AxD had been located before disappearance (re-formation phenomenon). In addition, we observed that most AxDs were formed and developed during the imaging period, and numerous AxDs had already disappeared by the end of this time. This work is the first in vivo study analyzing quantitatively the high plasticity of the axonal pathology around Aβ plaques. We hypothesized that a therapeutically early prevention of Aβ plaque formation or their growth might halt disease progression and promote functional axon regeneration and the recovery of neural circuits.

  7. Reassembly of Excitable Domains after CNS Axon Regeneration

    PubMed Central

    Marin, Miguel A.; de Lima, Silmara; Gilbert, Hui-Ya; Giger, Roman J.; Benowitz, Larry

    2016-01-01

    Action potential initiation and propagation in myelinated axons require ion channel clustering at axon initial segments (AIS) and nodes of Ranvier. Disruption of these domains after injury impairs nervous system function. Traditionally, injured CNS axons are considered refractory to regeneration, but some recent approaches challenge this view by showing robust long-distance regeneration. However, whether these approaches allow remyelination and promote the reestablishment of AIS and nodes of Ranvier is unknown. Using mouse optic nerve crush as a model for CNS traumatic injury, we performed a detailed analysis of AIS and node disruption after nerve crush. We found significant disruption of AIS and loss of nodes within days of the crush, and complete loss of nodes 1 week after injury. Genetic deletion of the tumor suppressor phosphatase and tensin homolog (Pten) in retinal ganglion cells (RGCs), coupled with stimulation of RGCs by inflammation and cAMP, dramatically enhanced regeneration. With this treatment, we found significant reestablishment of RGC AIS, remyelination, and even reassembly of nodes in regions proximal, within, and distal to the crush site. Remyelination began near the retina, progressed distally, and was confirmed by electron microscopy. Although axons grew rapidly, remyelination and nodal ion channel clustering was much slower. Finally, genetic deletion of ankyrinG from RGCs to block AIS reassembly did not affect axon regeneration, indicating that preservation of neuronal polarity is not required for axon regeneration. Together, our results demonstrate, for the first time, that regenerating CNS axons can be remyelinated and reassemble new AIS and nodes of Ranvier. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT We show, for the first time, that regenerated CNS axons have the capacity to both remyelinate and reassemble the axon initial segments and nodes of Ranvier necessary for rapid and efficient action potential propagation. PMID:27581456

  8. BDNF promotes axon branching of retinal ganglion cells via miRNA-132 and p250GAP.

    PubMed

    Marler, Katharine J; Suetterlin, Philipp; Dopplapudi, Asha; Rubikaite, Aine; Adnan, Jihad; Maiorano, Nicola A; Lowe, Andrew S; Thompson, Ian D; Pathania, Manav; Bordey, Angelique; Fulga, Tudor; Van Vactor, David L; Hindges, Robert; Drescher, Uwe

    2014-01-15

    A crucial step in the development of the vertebrate visual system is the branching of retinal ganglion cell (RGC) axons within their target, the superior colliculus/tectum. A major player in this process is the neurotrophin brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). However, the molecular basis for the signaling pathways mediating BDNF action is less well understood. As BDNF exerts some of its functions by controlling the expression of microRNAs (miRNAs), we investigated whether miRNAs are also involved in BDNF-mediated retinal axon branching. Here, we demonstrate that the expression pattern of miRNA-132 in the retina is consistent with its involvement in this process, and that BDNF induces the upregulation of miRNA-132 in retinal cultures. Furthermore, in vitro gain-of-function and loss-of-function approaches in retinal cultures reveal that miRNA-132 mediates axon branching downstream of BDNF. A known target of miRNA-132 is the Rho family GTPase-activating protein, p250GAP. We find that p250GAP is expressed in RGC axons and mediates the effects of miRNA-132 in BDNF-induced branching. BDNF treatment or overexpression of miRNA-132 leads to a reduction in p250GAP protein levels in retinal cultures, whereas the overexpression of p250GAP abolishes BDNF-induced branching. Finally, we used a loss-of-function approach to show that miRNA-132 affects the maturation of RGC termination zones in the mouse superior colliculus in vivo, while their topographic targeting remains intact. Together, our data indicate that BDNF promotes RGC axon branching during retinocollicular/tectal map formation via upregulation of miRNA-132, which in turn downregulates p250GAP.

  9. Switching responses: spatial and temporal regulators of axon guidance.

    PubMed

    Kaplan, Andrew; Kent, Christopher B; Charron, Frédéric; Fournier, Alyson E

    2014-04-01

    The ability of the axonal growth cone to switch between attraction and repulsion in response to guidance cues in the extracellular environment during nervous system development is fundamental to the precise wiring of complex neural circuits. Regulation of cell-surface receptors by means of transcriptional control, local translation, trafficking and proteolytic processing are powerful mechanisms to regulate the response of the growth cone. Important work has also revealed how intracellular signalling pathways, including calcium and cyclic nucleotide signalling, can alter the directional response elicited by a particular cue. Here, we describe how these multiple regulatory mechanisms influence growth cone turning behaviour. We focus on recent evidence that suggests a significant role for 14-3-3 adaptor proteins in modifying growth cone turning behaviour and mediating directional polarity switches during development. Characterizing how 14-3-3 s regulate growth cone signalling will provide invaluable insight into nervous system development and may facilitate the identification of novel targets for promoting nerve regeneration following injury.

  10. Intra-axonal myosin and actin in nerve regeneration.

    PubMed

    McQuarrie, Irvine G; Lund, Linda M

    2009-10-01

    A focused review of sciatic nerve regeneration in the rat model, based on research conducted by the authors, is presented. We examine structural proteins carried distally in the axon by energy-requiring motor enzymes, using protein chemistry and molecular biology techniques in combination with immunohistochemistry. Relevant findings from other laboratories are cited and discussed. The general conclusion is that relatively large amounts of actin and tubulin are required to construct a regenerating axon and that these materials mainly originate in the parent axon. The motor enzymes that carry these proteins forward as macromolecules include kinesin and dynein but probably also include myosin.

  11. Axon-glial interactions at the Drosophila CNS midline.

    PubMed

    Crews, Stephen T

    2010-01-01

    The glia that reside at the midline of the Drosophila CNS are an important embryonic signaling center and also wrap the axons that cross the CNS. The development of the midline glia (MG) is characterized by migration, ensheathment, subdivision of axon commissures, apoptosis, and the extension of glial processes. All of these events are characterized by cell-cell contact between MG and adjacent neurons. Cell adhesion and signaling proteins that mediate different aspects of MG development and MG-neuron interactions have been identified. This provides a foundation for ultimately obtaining an integrated picture of how the MG assemble into a characteristic axonal support structure in the CNS.

  12. Neuronal ADAM10 Promotes Outgrowth of Small-Caliber Myelinated Axons in the Peripheral Nervous System.

    PubMed

    Meyer zu Horste, Gerd; Derksen, Angelika; Stassart, Ruth; Szepanowski, Fabian; Thanos, Melissa; Stettner, Mark; Boettcher, Christina; Lehmann, Helmar C; Hartung, Hans-Peter; Kieseier, Bernd C

    2015-11-01

    The regulation of myelination and axonal outgrowth in the peripheral nervous system is controlled by a complex signaling network involving various signaling pathways. Members of the A Disintegrin And Metalloproteinase (ADAM) family are membrane-anchored proteinases with both proteolytic and disintegrin characteristics that modulate the function of signaling molecules. One family member, ADAM17, is known to influence myelination by cleaving and thus regulating one of the key signals, neuregulin-1, which controls peripheral nervous system myelination. A similar function for ADAM10 had been suggested by previous in vitro studies. Here, we assessed whether ADAM10 exerts a similar function in vivo and deleted ADAM10 in a cell type-specific manner in either neurons or Schwann cells. We found that ADAM10 is not required in either Schwann cells or neurons for normal myelination during development or for remyelination after injury. Instead, ADAM10 is required specifically in neurons for the outgrowth of myelinated small-fiber axons in vitro and after injury in vivo. Thus, we report for the first time a neuron-intrinsic function of ADAM10 in axonal regeneration that is distinct from that of the related protein family member ADAM17 and that may have implications for targeting ADAM function in nervous system diseases.

  13. Local Release of Paclitaxel from Aligned, Electrospun Microfibers Promotes Axonal Extension.

    PubMed

    Roman, Jose A; Reucroft, Ian; Martin, Russell A; Hurtado, Andres; Mao, Hai-Quan

    2016-10-01

    Traumatic spinal cord injuries ultimately result in an inhibitory environment that prevents axonal regeneration from occurring. A low concentration administration of paclitaxel has been previously shown to promote axonal extension and attenuate the upregulation of inhibitory molecules after a spinal cord injury. In this study, paclitaxel is incorporated into electrospun poly(l-lactic acid) (PLA) microfibers, and it is established that a local release of paclitaxel from aligned, electrospun microfibers promotes neurite extension in a growth-conducive and inhibitory environment. Isolated dorsal root ganglion cells are cultured for 5 d directly on tissue culture polystyrene surface, PLA film, random, or aligned electrospun PLA microfibers (1.44 ± 0.03 μm) with paclitaxel incorporated at various concentrations (0%-5.0% w/w in reference to fiber weight). To determine the effect of a local release of paclitaxel, paclitaxel-loaded microfibers are placed in CellCrown inserts above cultured neurons. Average neurite extension rate is quantified for each sample. A local release of paclitaxel maintains neuronal survival and neurite extension in a concentration-dependent manner when coupled with aligned microfibers when cultured on laminin or an inhibitory surface of aggrecan. The findings provide a targeted approach to improve axonal extension across the inhibitory environment present after a traumatic injury in the spinal cord.

  14. Loss of Mitochondrial Fission Depletes Axonal Mitochondria in Midbrain Dopamine Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Berthet, Amandine; Margolis, Elyssa B.; Zhang, Jue; Hsieh, Ivy; Zhang, Jiasheng; Hnasko, Thomas S.; Ahmad, Jawad; Edwards, Robert H.; Sesaki, Hiromi; Huang, Eric J.

    2014-01-01

    Disruptions in mitochondrial dynamics may contribute to the selective degeneration of dopamine (DA) neurons in Parkinson's disease (PD). However, little is known about the normal functions of mitochondrial dynamics in these neurons, especially in axons where degeneration begins, and this makes it difficult to understand the disease process. To study one aspect of mitochondrial dynamics—mitochondrial fission—in mouse DA neurons, we deleted the central fission protein dynamin-related protein 1 (Drp1). Drp1 loss rapidly eliminates the DA terminals in the caudate–putamen and causes cell bodies in the midbrain to degenerate and lose α-synuclein. Without Drp1, mitochondrial mass dramatically decreases, especially in axons, where the mitochondrial movement becomes uncoordinated. However, in the ventral tegmental area (VTA), a subset of midbrain DA neurons characterized by small hyperpolarization-activated cation currents (Ih) is spared, despite near complete loss of their axonal mitochondria. Drp1 is thus critical for targeting mitochondria to the nerve terminal, and a disruption in mitochondrial fission can contribute to the preferential death of nigrostriatal DA neurons. PMID:25339743

  15. Axon degeneration induces glial responses through Draper-TRAF4-JNK signalling

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Tsai-Yi; MacDonald, Jennifer M.; Neukomm, Lukas J.; Sheehan, Amy E.; Bradshaw, Rachel; Logan, Mary A.; Freeman, Marc R.

    2017-01-01

    Draper/Ced-1/MEGF-10 is an engulfment receptor that promotes clearance of cellular debris in C. elegans, Drosophila and mammals. Draper signals through an evolutionarily conserved Src family kinase cascade to drive cytoskeletal rearrangements and target engulfment through Rac1. Glia also alter gene expression patterns in response to axonal injury but pathways mediating these responses are poorly defined. We show Draper is cell autonomously required for glial activation of transcriptional reporters after axonal injury. We identify TNF receptor associated factor 4 (TRAF4) as a novel Draper binding partner that is required for reporter activation and phagocytosis of axonal debris. TRAF4 and misshapen (MSN) act downstream of Draper to activate c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) signalling in glia, resulting in changes in transcriptional reporters that are dependent on Drosophila AP-1 (dAP-1) and STAT92E. Our data argue injury signals received by Draper at the membrane are important regulators of downstream transcriptional responses in reactive glia. PMID:28165006

  16. Complex Intrinsic Membrane Properties and Dopamine Shape Spiking Activity in a Motor Axon

    PubMed Central

    Ballo, Aleksander W.; Bucher, Dirk

    2009-01-01

    We studied the peripheral motor axons of the two pyloric dilator (PD) neurons of the stomatogastric ganglion in the lobster, Homarus americanus. Intracellular recordings from the motor nerve showed both fast and slow voltage- and activity-dependent dynamics. During rhythmic bursts, the PD axons displayed changes in spike amplitude and duration. Pharmacological experiments and the voltage-dependence of these phenomena suggest that inactivation of sodium and A-type potassium channels are responsible. In addition, the “resting” membrane potential was dependent on ongoing spike or burst activity, with more hyperpolarized values when activity was strong. Nerve stimulations, pharmacological block and current clamp experiments suggest that this is due to a functional antagonism between a slow after-hyperpolarization (sAHP) and inward rectification through hyperpolarization-activated current (IH). Dopamine application resulted in modest depolarization and “ectopic” peripheral spike initiation in the absence of centrally generated activity. This effect was blocked by CsCl and ZD7288, consistent with a role of IH. High frequency nerve stimulation inhibited peripheral spike initiation for several seconds, presumably due to the sAHP. Both during normal bursting activity and antidromic nerve stimulation, the conduction delay over the length of the peripheral nerve changed in a complex manner. This suggests that axonal membrane dynamics can have a substantial effect on the temporal fidelity of spike patterns propagated from a spike initiation site to a synaptic target, and that neuromodulators can influence the extent to which spike patterns are modified. PMID:19386902

  17. Loss of mitochondrial fission depletes axonal mitochondria in midbrain dopamine neurons.

    PubMed

    Berthet, Amandine; Margolis, Elyssa B; Zhang, Jue; Hsieh, Ivy; Zhang, Jiasheng; Hnasko, Thomas S; Ahmad, Jawad; Edwards, Robert H; Sesaki, Hiromi; Huang, Eric J; Nakamura, Ken

    2014-10-22

    Disruptions in mitochondrial dynamics may contribute to the selective degeneration of dopamine (DA) neurons in Parkinson's disease (PD). However, little is known about the normal functions of mitochondrial dynamics in these neurons, especially in axons where degeneration begins, and this makes it difficult to understand the disease process. To study one aspect of mitochondrial dynamics-mitochondrial fission-in mouse DA neurons, we deleted the central fission protein dynamin-related protein 1 (Drp1). Drp1 loss rapidly eliminates the DA terminals in the caudate-putamen and causes cell bodies in the midbrain to degenerate and lose α-synuclein. Without Drp1, mitochondrial mass dramatically decreases, especially in axons, where the mitochondrial movement becomes uncoordinated. However, in the ventral tegmental area (VTA), a subset of midbrain DA neurons characterized by small hyperpolarization-activated cation currents (Ih) is spared, despite near complete loss of their axonal mitochondria. Drp1 is thus critical for targeting mitochondria to the nerve terminal, and a disruption in mitochondrial fission can contribute to the preferential death of nigrostriatal DA neurons.

  18. Live Imaging of Nicotine Induced Calcium Signaling and Neurotransmitter Release Along Ventral Hippocampal Axons.

    PubMed

    Zhong, Chongbo; Talmage, David A; Role, Lorna W

    2015-06-24

    Sustained enhancement of axonal signaling and increased neurotransmitter release by the activation of pre-synaptic nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) is an important mechanism for neuromodulation by acetylcholine (ACh). The difficulty with access to probing the signaling mechanisms within intact axons and at nerve terminals both in vitro and in vivo has limited progress in the study of the pre-synaptic components of synaptic plasticity. Here we introduce a gene-chimeric preparation of ventral hippocampal (vHipp)-accumbens (nAcc) circuit in vitro that allows direct live imaging to analyze both the pre- and post-synaptic components of transmission while selectively varying the genetic profile of the pre- vs post-synaptic neurons. We demonstrate that projections from vHipp microslices, as pre-synaptic axonal input, form multiple, reliable glutamatergic synapses with post-synaptic targets, the dispersed neurons from nAcc. The pre-synaptic localization of various subtypes of nAChRs are detected and the pre-synaptic nicotinic signaling mediated synaptic transmission are monitored by concurrent electrophysiological recording and live cell imaging. This preparation also provides an informative approach to study the pre- and post-synaptic mechanisms of glutamatergic synaptic plasticity in vitro.

  19. Role of macrophages in Wallerian degeneration and axonal regeneration after peripheral nerve injury.

    PubMed

    Chen, Peiwen; Piao, Xianhua; Bonaldo, Paolo

    2015-11-01

    The peripheral nervous system (PNS) has remarkable regenerative abilities after injury. Successful PNS regeneration relies on both injured axons and non-neuronal cells, including Schwann cells and immune cells. Macrophages are the most notable immune cells that play key roles in PNS injury and repair. Upon peripheral nerve injury, a large number of macrophages are accumulated at the injury sites, where they not only contribute to Wallerian degeneration, but also are educated by the local microenvironment and polarized to an anti-inflammatory phenotype (M2), thus contributing to axonal regeneration. Significant progress has been made in understanding how macrophages are educated and polarized in the injured microenvironment as well as how they contribute to axonal regeneration. Following the discussion on the main properties of macrophages and their phenotypes, in this review, we will summarize the current knowledge regarding the mechanisms of macrophage infiltration after PNS injury. Moreover, we will discuss the recent findings elucidating how macrophages are polarized to M2 phenotype in the injured PNS microenvironment, as well as the role and underlying mechanisms of macrophages in peripheral nerve injury, Wallerian degeneration and regeneration. Furthermore, we will highlight the potential application by targeting macrophages in treating peripheral nerve injury and peripheral neuropathies.

  20. Network state-dependent inhibition of identified hippocampal CA3 axo-axonic cells in vivo.

    PubMed

    Viney, Tim J; Lasztoczi, Balint; Katona, Linda; Crump, Michael G; Tukker, John J; Klausberger, Thomas; Somogyi, Peter

    2013-12-01

    Hippocampal sharp waves are population discharges initiated by an unknown mechanism in pyramidal cell networks of CA3. Axo-axonic cells (AACs) regulate action potential generation through GABAergic synapses on the axon initial segment. We found that CA3 AACs in anesthetized rats and AACs in freely moving rats stopped firing during sharp waves, when pyramidal cells fire most. AACs fired strongly and rhythmically around the peak of theta oscillations, when pyramidal cells fire at low probability. Distinguishing AACs from other parvalbumin-expressing interneurons by their lack of detectable SATB1 transcription factor immunoreactivity, we discovered a somatic GABAergic input originating from the medial septum that preferentially targets AACs. We recorded septo-hippocampal GABAergic cells that were activated during hippocampal sharp waves and projected to CA3. We hypothesize that inhibition of AACs, and the resulting subcellular redistribution of inhibition from the axon initial segment to other pyramidal cell domains, is a necessary condition for the emergence of sharp waves promoting memory consolidation.

  1. Activating the translational repressor 4E-BP or reducing S6K-GSK3β activity prevents accelerated axon growth induced by hyperactive mTOR in vivo

    PubMed Central

    Gong, Xuan; Zhang, Longbo; Huang, Tianxiang; Lin, Tiffany V.; Miyares, Laura; Wen, John; Hsieh, Lawrence; Bordey, Angélique

    2015-01-01

    Abnormal axonal connectivity and hyperactive mTOR complex 1 (mTORC1) are shared features of several neurological disorders. Hyperactive mTORC1 alters axon length and polarity of hippocampal neurons in vitro, but the impact of hyperactive mTORC1 on axon growth in vivo and the mechanisms underlying those effects remain unclear. Using in utero electroporation during corticogenesis, we show that increasing mTORC1 activity accelerates axon growth without multiple axon formation. This was prevented by counteracting mTORC1 signaling through p70S6Ks (S6K1/2) or eukaryotic initiation factor 4E-binding protein (4E-BP1/2), which both regulate translation. In addition to regulating translational targets, S6K1 indirectly signals through GSK3β, a regulator of axogenesis. Although blocking GSK3β activity did not alter axon growth under physiological conditions in vivo, blocking it using a dominant-negative mutant or lithium chloride prevented mTORC1-induced accelerated axon growth. These data reveal the contribution of translational and non-translational downstream effectors such as GSK3β to abnormal axon growth in neurodevelopmental mTORopathies and open new therapeutic options for restoring long-range connectivity. PMID:26220974

  2. Npn-1 contributes to axon-axon interactions that differentially control sensory and motor innervation of the limb.

    PubMed

    Huettl, Rosa-Eva; Soellner, Heidi; Bianchi, Elisa; Novitch, Bennett G; Huber, Andrea B

    2011-02-01

    The initiation, execution, and completion of complex locomotor behaviors are depending on precisely integrated neural circuitries consisting of motor pathways that activate muscles in the extremities and sensory afferents that deliver feedback to motoneurons. These projections form in tight temporal and spatial vicinities during development, yet the molecular mechanisms and cues coordinating these processes are not well understood. Using cell-type specific ablation of the axon guidance receptor Neuropilin-1 (Npn-1) in spinal motoneurons or in sensory neurons in the dorsal root ganglia (DRG), we have explored the contribution of this signaling pathway to correct innervation of the limb. We show that Npn-1 controls the fasciculation of both projections and mediates inter-axonal communication. Removal of Npn-1 from sensory neurons results in defasciculation of sensory axons and, surprisingly, also of motor axons. In addition, the tight coupling between these two heterotypic axonal populations is lifted with sensory fibers now leading the spinal nerve projection. These findings are corroborated by partial genetic elimination of sensory neurons, which causes defasciculation of motor projections to the limb. Deletion of Npn-1 from motoneurons leads to severe defasciculation of motor axons in the distal limb and dorsal-ventral pathfinding errors, while outgrowth and fasciculation of sensory trajectories into the limb remain unaffected. Genetic elimination of motoneurons, however, revealed that sensory axons need only minimal scaffolding by motor axons to establish their projections in the distal limb. Thus, motor and sensory axons are mutually dependent on each other for the generation of their trajectories and interact in part through Npn-1-mediated fasciculation before and within the plexus region of the limbs.

  3. An evolutionarily conserved mechanism for cAMP elicited axonal regeneration involves direct activation of the dual leucine zipper kinase DLK

    PubMed Central

    Hao, Yan; Frey, Erin; Yoon, Choya; Wong, Hetty; Nestorovski, Douglas; Holzman, Lawrence B; Giger, Roman J; DiAntonio, Aaron; Collins, Catherine

    2016-01-01

    A broadly known method to stimulate the growth potential of axons is to elevate intracellular levels of cAMP, however the cellular pathway(s) that mediate this are not known. Here we identify the Dual Leucine-zipper Kinase (DLK, Wnd in Drosophila) as a critical target and effector of cAMP in injured axons. DLK/Wnd is thought to function as an injury ‘sensor’, as it becomes activated after axonal damage. Our findings in both Drosophila and mammalian neurons indicate that the cAMP effector kinase PKA is a conserved and direct upstream activator of Wnd/DLK. PKA is required for the induction of Wnd signaling in injured axons, and DLK is essential for the regenerative effects of cAMP in mammalian DRG neurons. These findings link two important mediators of responses to axonal injury, DLK/Wnd and cAMP/PKA, into a unified and evolutionarily conserved molecular pathway for stimulating the regenerative potential of injured axons. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.14048.001 PMID:27268300

  4. Restoring axonal localization and transport of transmembrane receptors to promote repair within the injured CNS: a critical step in CNS regeneration

    PubMed Central

    Forbes, Lindsey H.; Andrews, Melissa R.

    2017-01-01

    Each neuronal subtype is distinct in how it develops, responds to environmental cues, and whether it is capable of mounting a regenerative response following injury. Although the adult central nervous system (CNS) does not regenerate, several experimental interventions have been trialled with successful albeit limited instances of axonal repair. We highlight here some of these approaches including extracellular matrix (ECM) modification, cellular grafting, gene therapy-induced replacement of proteins, as well as application of biomaterials. We also review the recent report demonstrating the failure of axonal localization and transport of growth-promoting receptors within certain classes of mature neurons. More specifically, we discuss an inability of integrin receptors to localize within the axonal compartment of mature motor neurons such as in the corticospinal and rubrospinal tracts, whereas in immature neurons of those pathways and in mature sensory tracts such as in the optic nerve and dorsal column pathways these receptors readily localize within axons. Furthermore we assert that this failure of axonal localization contributes to the intrinsic inability of axonal regeneration. We conclude by highlighting the necessity for both combined therapies as well as a targeted approach specific to both age and neuronal subtype will be required to induce substantial CNS repair. PMID:28250734

  5. Analysis of YFP(J16)-R6/2 reporter mice and postmortem brains reveals early pathology and increased vulnerability of callosal axons in Huntington's disease.

    PubMed

    Gatto, Rodolfo G; Chu, Yaping; Ye, Allen Q; Price, Steven D; Tavassoli, Ehsan; Buenaventura, Andrea; Brady, Scott T; Magin, Richard L; Kordower, Jeffrey H; Morfini, Gerardo A

    2015-09-15

    Cumulative evidence indicates that the onset and severity of Huntington's disease (HD) symptoms correlate with connectivity deficits involving specific neuronal populations within cortical and basal ganglia circuits. Brain imaging studies and pathological reports further associated these deficits with alterations in cerebral white matter structure and axonal pathology. However, whether axonopathy represents an early pathogenic event or an epiphenomenon in HD remains unknown, nor is clear the identity of specific neuronal populations affected. To directly evaluate early axonal abnormalities in the context of HD in vivo, we bred transgenic YFP(J16) with R6/2 mice, a widely used HD model. Diffusion tensor imaging and fluorescence microscopy studies revealed a marked degeneration of callosal axons long before the onset of motor symptoms. Accordingly, a significant fraction of YFP-positive cortical neurons in YFP(J16) mice cortex were identified as callosal projection neurons. Callosal axon pathology progressively worsened with age and was influenced by polyglutamine tract length in mutant huntingtin (mhtt). Degenerating axons were dissociated from microscopically visible mhtt aggregates and did not result from loss of cortical neurons. Interestingly, other axonal populations were mildly or not affected, suggesting differential vulnerability to mhtt toxicity. Validating these results, increased vulnerability of callosal axons was documented in the brains of HD patients. Observations here provide a structural basis for the alterations in cerebral white matter structure widely reported in HD patients. Collectively, our data demonstrate a dying-back pattern of degeneration for cortical projection neurons affected in HD, suggesting that axons represent an early and potentially critical target for mhtt toxicity.

  6. Axon guidance: repulsion and attraction in roundabout ways.

    PubMed

    Pappu, Kartik S; Zipursky, S Lawrence

    2010-05-11

    The secreted signal Slit and its three receptors, Robo1-3, regulate axon guidance in the Drosophila nervous system. Differences in expression and structure of Robo paralogs contribute to diversifying growth cone responses to a common ligand.

  7. Motile axonal mitochondria contribute to the variability of presynaptic strength.

    PubMed

    Sun, Tao; Qiao, Haifa; Pan, Ping-Yue; Chen, Yanmin; Sheng, Zu-Hang

    2013-08-15

    One of the most notable characteristics of synaptic transmission is the wide variation in synaptic strength in response to identical stimulation. In hippocampal neurons, approximately one-third of axonal mitochondria are highly motile, and some dynamically pass through presynaptic boutons. This raises a fundamental question: can motile mitochondria contribute to the pulse-to-pulse variability of presynaptic strength? Recently, we identified syntaphilin as an axonal mitochondrial-docking protein. Using hippocampal neurons and slices of syntaphilin knockout mice, we demonstrate that the motility of axonal mitochondria correlates with presynaptic variability. Enhancing mitochondrial motility increases the pulse-to-pulse variability, whereas immobilizing mitochondria reduces the variability. By dual-color live imaging at single-bouton levels, we further show that motile mitochondria passing through boutons dynamically influence synaptic vesicle release, mainly by altering ATP homeostasis in axons. Thus, our study provides insight into the fundamental properties of the CNS to ensure the plasticity and reliability of synaptic transmission.

  8. Restoration of visual function by enhancing conduction in regenerated axons

    PubMed Central

    Bei, Fengfeng; Lee, Henry Hing Cheong; Liu, Xuefeng; Gunner, Georgia; Jin, Hai; Ma, Long; Wang, Chen; Hou, lijun; Hensch, Takao K.; Frank, Eric; Sanes, Joshua R.; Chen, Chinfei; Fagiolini, Michela; He, Zhigang

    2016-01-01

    Although a number of repair strategies have been shown to promote axon outgrowth following neuronal injury in the mammalian central nervous system, it remains unclear whether regenerated axons establish functional synapses and support behavior. Here, in both juvenile and adult mice, we show that either PTEN and SOCS3 co-deletion, or co-overexpression of osteopontin (OPN)/insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1)/ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF), induces regrowth of retinal axons and formation of functional synapses in the superior colliculus (SC), but not significant recovery of visual function. Further analyses suggest that regenerated axons fail to conduct action potentials from the eye to the SC due to lack of myelination. Consistent with this idea, administration of voltage-gated potassium channel blockers restores conduction and results in increased visual acuity. Thus, enhancing both regeneration and conduction effectively improves function after optic nerve injury. PMID:26771493

  9. Sodium Channels, Mitochondria, and Axonal Degeneration in Peripheral Neuropathy.

    PubMed

    Persson, Anna-Karin; Hoeijmakers, Janneke G J; Estacion, Mark; Black, Joel A; Waxman, Stephen G

    2016-05-01

    Peripheral neuropathy results from damage to peripheral nerves and is often accompanied by pain in affected limbs. Treatment represents an unmet medical need and a thorough understanding of the mechanisms underlying axonal injury is needed. Longer nerve fibers tend to degenerate first (length-dependence), and patients carrying pathogenic mutations throughout life usually become symptomatic in mid- or late-life (time-dependence). The activity of voltage-gated sodium channels can contribute to axonal injury and sodium channel gain-of-function mutations have been linked to peripheral neuropathy. Recent studies have implicated sodium channel activity, mitochondrial compromise, and reverse-mode Na(+)/Ca(2+) exchange in time- and length-dependent axonal injury. Elucidation of molecular mechanisms underlying axonal injury in peripheral neuropathy may provide new therapeutic strategies for this painful and debilitating condition.

  10. Neuronal intrinsic barriers for axon regeneration in the adult CNS

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Fang; He, Zhigang

    2010-01-01

    A major reason for the devastating and permanent disabilities after spinal cord and other types of CNS injury is the failure of injured axons to regenerate and to re-build the functional circuits. Thus, a long-standing goal has been to develop strategies that could promote axon regeneration and restore functions. Recent studies revealed that simply removing extracellular inhibitory activities is insufficient for successful axon regeneration in the adult CNS. On the other side, evidence from different species and different models is accumulating to support the notion that diminished intrinsic regenerative ability of mature neurons is a major contributor to regeneration failure. This review will summarize the molecular mechanisms regulating intrinsic axon growth capacity in the adult CNS and discuss potential implications for therapeutic strategies. PMID:20418094

  11. Recovery of axonal myelination sheath and axonal caliber in the mouse corpus callosum following damage induced by N,N-diethyldithiocarbamate.

    PubMed

    Utrera, Juana; Romero, Rafael; Verdaguer, Ester; Junyent, Fèlix; Auladell, Carme

    2011-12-01

    Disulfiram is an aldehyde dehydrogenase inhibitor used for the treatment of alcohol dependence and of cocaine addiction. It has been demonstrated that subchronic administration of disulfiram or N,N-diethyldithiocarbamate (DEDTC), the main derivative of disulfiram, to rats can produce central-peripheral distal axonopathy. However, few data regarding the axonal effects of these compounds in the central nervous system exist. Our previous studies have revealed DEDTC-induced axonal damage in the mouse brain during the course of postnatal development, together with alterations in axonal pathfinding and in the myelination process, with partial recovery during the post-treatment period. In order to gather new data about how this axonal damage and recovery occurs in the central nervous system, we performed an ultrastructural analysis of the axons located in the corpus callosum from mice treated with DEDTC during postnatal development. The axonal caliber throughout the axonal area, the maximum axonal diameter, the maximum fiber diameter, and the axonal circularity, at different postnatal stages [from postnatal day (P)9 to P30], were analyzed. In addition, parameters related to the myelinization process (number of myelinated axons, sheath thickness, and the ratio of myelinated axons to total axons) were evaluated. A reduction in the average value of axonal caliber during treatment and a delay in the axonal myelination process were detected. Whereas early recovery of individual axons occurred after treatment (P22), complete recovery of myelinated axons occurred at late postnatal stages (P42). Therefore, chronic treatment with dithiocarbamates requires periods of rest to encourage the recovery of myelinated axons.

  12. Evaluation of the Technicon Axon analyser.

    PubMed

    Martínez, C; Márquez, M; Cortés, M; Mercé, J; Rodriguez, J; González, F

    1990-01-01

    An evaluation of the Technicon Axon analyser was carried out following the guidelines of the 'Sociedad Española de Química Clínica' and the European Committee for Clinical Laboratory Standards.A photometric study revealed acceptable results at both 340 nm and 404 nm. Inaccuracy and imprecision were lower at 404 nm than at 340 nm, although poor dispersion was found at both wavelengths, even at low absorbances. Drift was negligible, the imprecision of the sample pipette delivery system was greater for small sample volumes, the reagent pipette delivery system imprecision was acceptable and the sample diluting system study showed good precision and accuracy.Twelve analytes were studied for evaluation of the analyser under routine working conditions. Satisfactory results were obtained for within-run imprecision, while coefficients of variation for betweenrun imprecision were much greater than expected. Neither specimenrelated nor specimen-independent contamination was found in the carry-over study. For all analytes assayed, when comparing patient sample results with those obtained in a Hitachi 737 analyser, acceptable relative inaccuracy was observed.

  13. Differential compartmentalization of mRNAs in squid giant axon.

    PubMed

    Chun, J T; Gioio, A E; Crispino, M; Giuditta, A; Kaplan, B B

    1996-11-01

    Previously, we reported that the squid giant axon contains a heterogeneous population of mRNAs that includes beta-actin, beta-tubulin, kinesin, neurofilament proteins, and enolase. To define the absolute levels and relative distribution of these mRNAs, we have used competitive reverse transcription-PCR to quantify the levels of five mRNAs present in the giant axon and giant fiber lobe (GFL), the location of the parental cell soma. In the GFL, the number of transcripts for these mRNAs varied over a fourfold range, with beta-tubulin being the most abundant mRNA species (1.25 x 10(9) molecules per GFL). Based on transcript number, the rank order of mRNA levels in the GFL was beta-tubulin > beta-actin > kinesin > enolase > microtubule-associated protein (MAP) H1. In contrast, kinesin mRNA was most abundant in the axon (4.1 x 10(7) molecules per axon) with individual mRNA levels varying 15-fold. The rank order of mRNA levels in the axon was kinesin > beta-tubulin > MAP H1 > beta-actin > enolase. The relative abundance of the mRNA species in the axon did not correlate with the size of the transcript, nor was it directly related to their corresponding levels in the GFL. Taken together, these findings confirm that significant amounts of mRNA are present in the giant axon and suggest that specific mRNAs are differentially transported into the axonal domain.

  14. 6-Sulphated Chondroitins Have a Positive Influence on Axonal Regeneration

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Rachel; Rosahl, Thomas W.; Whiting, Paul J.; Fawcett, James W.; Kwok, Jessica C. F.

    2011-01-01

    Chondroitin sulphate proteoglycans (CSPGs) upregulated in the glial scar inhibit axon regeneration via their sulphated glycosaminoglycans (GAGs). Chondroitin 6-sulphotransferase-1 (C6ST-1) is upregulated after injury leading to an increase in 6-sulphated GAG. In this study, we ask if this increase in 6-sulphated GAG is responsible for the increased inhibition within the glial scar, or whether it represents a partial reversion to the permissive embryonic state dominated by 6-sulphated glycosaminoglycans (GAGs). Using C6ST-1 knockout mice (KO), we studied post-injury changes in chondroitin sulphotransferase (CSST) expression and the effect of chondroitin 6-sulphates on both central and peripheral axon regeneration. After CNS injury, wild-type animals (WT) showed an increase in mRNA for C6ST-1, C6ST-2 and C4ST-1, but KO did not upregulate any CSSTs. After PNS injury, while WT upregulated C6ST-1, KO showed an upregulation of C6ST-2. We examined regeneration of nigrostriatal axons, which demonstrate mild spontaneous axon regeneration in the WT. KO showed many fewer regenerating axons and more axonal retraction than WT. However, in the PNS, repair of the median and ulnar nerves led to similar and normal levels of axon regeneration in both WT and KO. Functional tests on plasticity after the repair also showed no evidence of enhanced plasticity in the KO. Our results suggest that the upregulation of 6-sulphated GAG after injury makes the extracellular matrix more permissive for axon regeneration, and that the balance of different CSs in the microenvironment around the lesion site is an important factor in determining the outcome of nervous system injury. PMID:21747937

  15. Molecular Determinants Fundamental to Axon Regeneration After SCI

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-01-01

    Months 1-18) Introduction: The zebrafish spinal cord model system is unique because of the co-existence of brainstem neurons that do ( regenerators ) and...3: To identify genes involved in axon regeneration from brainstem neurons in the injured adult zebrafish spinal cord. Experiments will be...performed to label brainstem neurons with fast blue that do or do not, regenerate an axon across an injury in the adult zebrafish spinal cord. Non

  16. Molecular Determinants Fundamental to Axon Regeneration After SCI

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-07-01

    1-12) Introduction: The zebrafish spinal cord model system is unique because of the co-existence of brainstem neurons that do ( regenerators ) and...11 SOW: Specifc Aim 3: To identify genes involved in axon regeneration from brainstem neurons in the injured adult zebrafish spinal cord...Experiments will be performed to label brainstem neurons with fast blue that do or do not, regenerate an axon across an injury in the adult zebrafish

  17. Molecular Determinants Fundamental to Axon Regeneration after SCI

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-10-01

    adult zebrafish (Specific Aim 1). We also will examine in vivo the role of PTP σ in inhibition of axon regeneration (Specific Aim 2). In addition, we...AWARD NUMBER: W81XWH-11-1-0645 TITLE: Molecular Determinants Fundamental to Axon Regeneration ... Regeneration after SCI 5b. GRANT NUMBER W81XWH-11-1-0645 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT NUMBER 6. AUTHOR(S) 5d. PROJECT NUMBER Jeffrey Alan Plunkett, Ph.D

  18. Modality-Specific Axonal Regeneration: Toward Selective Regenerative Neural Interfaces

    PubMed Central

    Lotfi, Parisa; Garde, Kshitija; Chouhan, Amit K.; Bengali, Ebrahim; Romero-Ortega, Mario I.

    2011-01-01

    Regenerative peripheral nerve interfaces have been proposed as viable alternatives for the natural control of robotic prosthetic devices. However, sensory and motor axons at the neural interface are of mixed sub-modality types, which difficult the specific recording from motor axons and the eliciting of precise sensory modalities through selective stimulation. Here we evaluated the possibility of using type specific neurotrophins to preferentially entice the regeneration of defined axonal populations from transected peripheral nerves into separate compartments. Segregation of mixed sensory fibers from dorsal root ganglion neurons was evaluated in vitro by compartmentalized diffusion delivery of nerve growth factor (NGF) and neurotrophin-3 (NT-3), to preferentially entice the growth of TrkA+ nociceptive and TrkC+ proprioceptive subsets of sensory neurons, respectively. The average axon length in the NGF channel increased 2.5-fold compared to that in saline or NT-3, whereas the number of branches increased threefold in the NT-3 channels. These results were confirmed using a 3D “Y”-shaped in vitro assay showing that the arm containing NGF was able to entice a fivefold increase in axonal length of unbranched fibers. To address if such segregation can be enticed in vivo, a “Y”-shaped tubing was used to allow regeneration of the transected adult rat sciatic nerve into separate compartments filled with either NFG or NT-3. A significant increase in the number of CGRP+ pain fibers were attracted toward the sural nerve, while N-52+ large-diameter axons were observed in the tibial and NT-3 compartments. This study demonstrates the guided enrichment of sensory axons in specific regenerative chambers, and supports the notion that neurotrophic factors can be used to segregate sensory and perhaps motor axons in separate peripheral interfaces. PMID:22016734

  19. Morphology of axonal transport abnormalities in primate eyes.

    PubMed

    Radius, R L; Anderson, D R

    1981-11-01

    The ultrastructure of the retina and optic nerve head was studied in primate eyes after central retinal artery occlusion. Within 2 hours of the vascular occlusion the inner retinal layers undergo watery (isosmotic) swelling. This watery swelling of axons and astroglia extends into the nerve head as far back as the anterior boundary of the scleral lamina cribrosa. The swelling is increased 4 hours after the occlusion, and by 24 hours disintegration has occurred. At the optic nerve head mitochondria and vesicles of smooth endoplasmic reticulum begin to accumulate within 2 hours. The accumulation increases at 4 hours and persists to 24 hours. The watery swelling seems characteristic of ischaemic axons. Membranous organelles accumulate at the boundary of an ischaemic zone when material carried by axonal transport is brought via the healthy axon segment to the boundary, but they cannot proceed further into the ischaemic zone. Such accumulation is typical of locations where rapid orthograde axonal transport or retrograde axonal transport is blocked. In contrast, when slow axonal flow is impaired, the swelling is characterised by an excess of cytoplasmic gel without a marked accumulation of organelles. Rapid orthograde transport and retrograde transport seem to be closely related to one another, while slow axoplasmic flow seems fundamentally different. From morphological findings we suspect that, in experimental glaucoma, intraocular pressure first affects the intracellular physiological process of rapid orthograde and retrograde axonal transport. Watery swelling may not occur unless the ischaemic injury to cell metabolism is more advanced. In contrast, in experimental papilloedema, the swelling results predominantly from impaired slow axoplasmic flow.

  20. Morphology of axonal transport abnormalities in primate eyes.

    PubMed Central

    Radius, R L; Anderson, D R

    1981-01-01

    The ultrastructure of the retina and optic nerve head was studied in primate eyes after central retinal artery occlusion. Within 2 hours of the vascular occlusion the inner retinal layers undergo watery (isosmotic) swelling. This watery swelling of axons and astroglia extends into the nerve head as far back as the anterior boundary of the scleral lamina cribrosa. The swelling is increased 4 hours after the occlusion, and by 24 hours disintegration has occurred. At the optic nerve head mitochondria and vesicles of smooth endoplasmic reticulum begin to accumulate within 2 hours. The accumulation increases at 4 hours and persists to 24 hours. The watery swelling seems characteristic of ischaemic axons. Membranous organelles accumulate at the boundary of an ischaemic zone when material carried by axonal transport is brought via the healthy axon segment to the boundary, but they cannot proceed further into the ischaemic zone. Such accumulation is typical of locations where rapid orthograde axonal transport or retrograde axonal transport is blocked. In contrast, when slow axonal flow is impaired, the swelling is characterised by an excess of cytoplasmic gel without a marked accumulation of organelles. Rapid orthograde transport and retrograde transport seem to be closely related to one another, while slow axoplasmic flow seems fundamentally different. From morphological findings we suspect that, in experimental glaucoma, intraocular pressure first affects the intracellular physiological process of rapid orthograde and retrograde axonal transport. Watery swelling may not occur unless the ischaemic injury to cell metabolism is more advanced. In contrast, in experimental papilloedema, the swelling results predominantly from impaired slow axoplasmic flow. Images PMID:6173060

  1. Molecular Determinants Fundamental to Axon Regeneration after SCI

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-09-01

    Figure 10. Zebrafish Spinal cord transection. Isolated spinal column of transected zebrafish spinal cord (rostral to left), panel A. Arrows...mammalian spinal cord, axon regeneration is frustrated by inhibitors such as chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans (CSPGs) expressed by reactive astrocytes...present at the injury site. In adult zebrafish, Danio rerio, some brainstem neuronsare able to grow their axon beyond a spinal cord injury, even

  2. Magnetic Resonance Characterization of Axonal Response to Spinal Cord Injury

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-10-01

    proper diagnosis and treatment. Magnetic resonance imaging ( MRI ) is routinely performed in patients and provides valuable information about cord edema and...novel MRI methods to the problem of assessment of axonal loss, axonal diameter distribution, and myelin loss (q-space imaging (QSI) and ultra-short...echo-time (UTE) MRI ) first on animal specimens and then on human subjects. During the final period of the project the focus of the research was on the

  3. Axonal Noise as a Source of Synaptic Variability

    PubMed Central

    Neishabouri, Ali; Faisal, A. Aldo

    2014-01-01

    Post-synaptic potential (PSP) variability is typically attributed to mechanisms inside synapses, yet recent advances in experimental methods and biophysical understanding have led us to reconsider the role of axons as highly reliable transmission channels. We show that in many thin axons of our brain, the action potential (AP) waveform and thus the Ca++ signal controlling vesicle release at synapses will be significantly affected by the inherent variability of ion channel gating. We investigate how and to what extent fluctuations in the AP waveform explain observed PSP variability. Using both biophysical theory and stochastic simulations of central and peripheral nervous system axons from vertebrates and invertebrates, we show that channel noise in thin axons (<1 µm diameter) causes random fluctuations in AP waveforms. AP height and width, both experimentally characterised parameters of post-synaptic response amplitude, vary e.g. by up to 20 mV and 0.5 ms while a single AP propagates in C-fibre axons. We show how AP height and width variabilities increase with a ¾ power-law as diameter decreases and translate these fluctuations into post-synaptic response variability using biophysical data and models of synaptic transmission. We find for example that for mammalian unmyelinated axons with 0.2 µm diameter (matching cerebellar parallel fibres) axonal noise alone can explain half of the PSP variability in cerebellar synapses. We conclude that axonal variability may have considerable impact on synaptic response variability. Thus, in many experimental frameworks investigating synaptic transmission through paired-cell recordings or extracellular stimulation of presynaptic neurons, causes of variability may have been confounded. We thereby show how bottom-up aggregation of molecular noise sources contributes to our understanding of variability observed at higher levels of biological organisation. PMID:24809823

  4. Spinal irradiation does not inhibit distal axonal sprouting

    SciTech Connect

    Pamphlett, R.S.

    1988-05-01

    In an attempt to determine the relative importance of the nerve cell body and of the axon in initiating and controlling axonal regeneration, nerve cell bodies were irradiated and the ability of the distal axon to sprout was examined. Mice were subjected to either 25 or 50 Gray (Gy) of x-irradiation localized to the lumbar spinal cord. After times varying from 1 day to 6 months after irradiation, a sublethal dose of botulinum toxin (BoTx) was injected into the calf muscles of one leg. The soleus muscle was examined histologically after times varying from 1 week to 6 months after injection, and BoTx-induced ultraterminal axonal sprouting was assessed by the number of motor endplates showing sprouts, the length of the sprouts, and the long term endplate morphology. Apart from some irradiated subgroups having slightly shorter sprout lengths, no significant differences were found between irradiated and nonirradiated groups. The results suggest either that the processes in the nerve cell body responsible for initiating and supporting axonal growth are resistant to large doses of irradiation, or that growth regulatory mechanisms in the distal axon are under local control.

  5. Axon morphology at the lamina cribrosa in monkey eyes.

    PubMed

    Radius, R L; Klewin, K M

    1986-01-01

    The eyes of 8 monkeys (Aotus trivirgatus) were studied. The mean cross-section area and the least diameter of axon cylinders were calculated from measurements made by computer assisted planimetry of electron photomicrographs of sections through the optic nerve head at the level of the lamina cribrosa. The density of intrabundle connective tissue and glial cell elements in nerve fiber bundles was also calculated. The mean cross-section area and minimum diameter of axons in the temporal part were less than in the nasal part of the nerve. The values for axons in the superior and inferior parts of the nerve were intermediate. A similar pattern of increasing dimensions was seen in axons from the more axial nerve compared to neurons in the more circumferential nerve sectors. The density of the intrabundle, nonaxonal tissue elements did not differ significantly across the nerve. Although axon dimensions may play some role in defining the vulnerability of neuronal tissue to a pressure insult, the results of this anatomic investigation do not support the hypothesis that differences in axonal distribution by size across the nerve section define the regional vulnerability of the nerve head to elevated intraocular pressure.

  6. Axons degenerate in the absence of mitochondria in C. elegans.

    PubMed

    Rawson, Randi L; Yam, Lung; Weimer, Robby M; Bend, Eric G; Hartwieg, Erika; Horvitz, H Robert; Clark, Scott G; Jorgensen, Erik M

    2014-03-31

    Many neurodegenerative disorders are associated with mitochondrial defects [1-3]. Mitochondria can play an active role in degeneration by releasing reactive oxygen species and apoptotic factors [4-7]. Alternatively, mitochondria can protect axons from stress and insults, for example by buffering calcium [8]. Recent studies manipulating mitochondria lend support to both of these models [9-13]. Here, we identify a C. elegans mutant, ric-7, in which mitochondria are unable to exit the neuron cell bodies, similar to the kinesin-1/unc-116 mutant. When axons lacking mitochondria are cut with a laser, they rapidly degenerate. Some neurons even spontaneously degenerate in ric-7 mutants. Degeneration can be suppressed by forcing mitochondria into the axons of the mutants. The protective effect of mitochondria is also observed in the wild-type: a majority of axon fragments containing a mitochondrion survive axotomy, whereas those lacking mitochondria degenerate. Thus, mitochondria are not required for axon degeneration and serve a protective role in C. elegans axons.

  7. Myelin vs axon abnormalities in white matter in bipolar disorder.

    PubMed

    Lewandowski, Kathryn E; Ongür, Dost; Sperry, Sarah H; Cohen, Bruce M; Sehovic, Selma; Goldbach, Jacqueline R; Du, Fei

    2015-03-13

    White matter (WM) abnormalities are among the most commonly reported neuroimaging findings in bipolar disorder. Nonetheless, the specific nature and pathophysiology of these abnormalities remain unclear. Use of a combination of magnetization transfer ratio (MTR) and diffusion tensor spectroscopy (DTS) permits examination of myelin and axon abnormalities separately. We aimed to examine myelination and axon geometry in euthymic patients with bipolar disorder with psychosis (BDP) by combining these two complementary noninvasive MRI techniques. We applied a combined MRI approach using MTR to study myelin content and DTS to study metabolite (N-acetylaspartate, NAA) diffusion within axons in patients with BDP (n=21) and healthy controls (n=24). Data were collected from a 1 × 3 × 3-cm voxel within the right prefrontal cortex WM at 4 Tesla. Clinical and cognitive data were examined in association with MTR and DTS data. MTR was significantly reduced in BDP, suggesting reduced myelin content. The apparent diffusion coefficient of NAA did not differ from healthy controls, suggesting no changes in axon geometry in patients with BDP. These findings suggest that patients with BDP exhibit reduced myelin content, but no changes in axon geometry compared with controls. These findings are in contrast with our recent findings, using the same techniques, in patients with schizophrenia (SZ), which suggest both myelination and axon abnormalities in SZ. This difference may indicate that alterations in WM in BDP may have unique causes and may be less extensive than WM abnormalities seen in SZ.

  8. Developmental time windows for axon growth influence neuronal network topology.

    PubMed

    Lim, Sol; Kaiser, Marcus

    2015-04-01

    Early brain connectivity development consists of multiple stages: birth of neurons, their migration and the subsequent growth of axons and dendrites. Each stage occurs within a certain period of time depending on types of neurons and cortical layers. Forming synapses between neurons either by growing axons starting at similar times for all neurons (much-overlapped time windows) or at different time points (less-overlapped) may affect the topological and spatial properties of neuronal networks. Here, we explore the extreme cases of axon formation during early development, either starting at the same time for all neurons (parallel, i.e., maximally overlapped time windows) or occurring for each neuron separately one neuron after another (serial, i.e., no overlaps in time windows). For both cases, the number of potential and established synapses remained comparable. Topological and spatial properties, however, differed: Neurons that started axon growth early on in serial growth achieved higher out-degrees, higher local efficiency and longer axon lengths while neurons demonstrated more homogeneous connectivity patterns for parallel growth. Second, connection probability decreased more rapidly with distance between neurons for parallel growth than for serial growth. Third, bidirectional connections were more numerous for parallel growth. Finally, we tested our predictions with C. elegans data. Together, this indicates that time windows for axon growth influence the topological and spatial properties of neuronal networks opening up the possibility to a posteriori estimate developmental mechanisms based on network properties of a developed network.

  9. Myelin vs Axon Abnormalities in White Matter in Bipolar Disorder

    PubMed Central

    Lewandowski, Kathryn E; Ongür, Dost; Sperry, Sarah H; Cohen, Bruce M; Sehovic, Selma; Goldbach, Jacqueline R; Du, Fei

    2015-01-01

    White matter (WM) abnormalities are among the most commonly reported neuroimaging findings in bipolar disorder. Nonetheless, the specific nature and pathophysiology of these abnormalities remain unclear. Use of a combination of magnetization transfer ratio (MTR) and diffusion tensor spectroscopy (DTS) permits examination of myelin and axon abnormalities separately. We aimed to examine myelination and axon geometry in euthymic patients with bipolar disorder with psychosis (BDP) by combining these two complementary noninvasive MRI techniques. We applied a combined MRI approach using MTR to study myelin content and DTS to study metabolite (N-acetylaspartate, NAA) diffusion within axons in patients with BDP (n=21) and healthy controls (n=24). Data were collected from a 1 × 3 × 3-cm voxel within the right prefrontal cortex WM at 4 Tesla. Clinical and cognitive data were examined in association with MTR and DTS data. MTR was significantly reduced in BDP, suggesting reduced myelin content. The apparent diffusion coefficient of NAA did not differ from healthy controls, suggesting no changes in axon geometry in patients with BDP. These findings suggest that patients with BDP exhibit reduced myelin content, but no changes in axon geometry compared with controls. These findings are in contrast with our recent findings, using the same techniques, in patients with schizophrenia (SZ), which suggest both myelination and axon abnormalities in SZ. This difference may indicate that alterations in WM in BDP may have unique causes and may be less extensive than WM abnormalities seen in SZ. PMID:25409595

  10. Parametric Probability Distribution Functions for Axon Diameters of Corpus Callosum.

    PubMed

    Sepehrband, Farshid; Alexander, Daniel C; Clark, Kristi A; Kurniawan, Nyoman D; Yang, Zhengyi; Reutens, David C

    2016-01-01

    Axon diameter is an important neuroanatomical characteristic of the nervous system that alters in the course of neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis. Axon diameters vary, even within a fiber bundle, and are not normally distributed. An accurate distribution function is therefore beneficial, either to describe axon diameters that are obtained from a direct measurement technique (e.g., microscopy), or to infer them indirectly (e.g., using diffusion-weighted MRI). The gamma distribution is a common choice for this purpose (particularly for the inferential approach) because it resembles the distribution profile of measured axon diameters which has been consistently shown to be non-negative and right-skewed. In this study we compared a wide range of parametric probability distribution functions against empirical data obtained from electron microscopy images. We observed that the gamma distribution fails to accurately describe the main characteristics of the axon diameter distribution, such as location and scale of the mode and the profile of distribution tails. We also found that the generalized extreme value distribution consistently fitted the measured distribution better than other distribution functions. This suggests that there may be distinct subpopulations of axons in the corpus callosum, each with their own distribution profiles. In addition, we observed that several other distributions outperformed the gamma distribution, yet had the same number of unknown parameters; these were the inverse Gaussian, log normal, log logistic and Birnbaum-Saunders distributions.

  11. Parametric Probability Distribution Functions for Axon Diameters of Corpus Callosum

    PubMed Central

    Sepehrband, Farshid; Alexander, Daniel C.; Clark, Kristi A.; Kurniawan, Nyoman D.; Yang, Zhengyi; Reutens, David C.

    2016-01-01

    Axon diameter is an important neuroanatomical characteristic of the nervous system that alters in the course of neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis. Axon diameters vary, even within a fiber bundle, and are not normally distributed. An accurate distribution function is therefore beneficial, either to describe axon diameters that are obtained from a direct measurement technique (e.g., microscopy), or to infer them indirectly (e.g., using diffusion-weighted MRI). The gamma distribution is a common choice for this purpose (particularly for the inferential approach) because it resembles the distribution profile of measured axon diameters which has been consistently shown to be non-negative and right-skewed. In this study we compared a wide range of parametric probability distribution functions against empirical data obtained from electron microscopy images. We observed that the gamma distribution fails to accurately describe the main characteristics of the axon diameter distribution, such as location and scale of the mode and the profile of distribution tails. We also found that the generalized extreme value distribution consistently fitted the measured distribution better than other distribution functions. This suggests that there may be distinct subpopulations of axons in the corpus callosum, each with their own distribution profiles. In addition, we observed that several other distributions outperformed the gamma distribution, yet had the same number of unknown parameters; these were the inverse Gaussian, log normal, log logistic and Birnbaum-Saunders distributions. PMID:27303273

  12. Spatially coordinated kinase signaling regulates local axon degeneration.

    PubMed

    Chen, Mark; Maloney, Janice A; Kallop, Dara Y; Atwal, Jasvinder K; Tam, Stephen J; Baer, Kristin; Kissel, Holger; Kaminker, Joshua S; Lewcock, Joseph W; Weimer, Robby M; Watts, Ryan J

    2012-09-26

    In addition to being a hallmark of neurodegenerative disease, axon degeneration is used during development of the nervous system to prune unwanted connections. In development, axon degeneration is tightly regulated both temporally and spatially. Here, we provide evidence that degeneration cues are transduced through various kinase pathways functioning in spatially distinct compartments to regulate axon degeneration. Intriguingly, glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK3) acts centrally, likely modulating gene expression in the cell body to regulate distally restricted axon degeneration. Through a combination of genetic and pharmacological manipulations, including the generation of an analog-sensitive kinase allele mutant mouse for GSK3β, we show that the β isoform of GSK3, not the α isoform, is essential for developmental axon pruning in vitro and in vivo. Additionally, we identify the dleu2/mir15a/16-1 cluster, previously characterized as a regulator of B-cell proliferation, and the transcription factor tbx6, as likely downstream effectors of GSK3β in axon degeneration.

  13. Cell biology in neuroscience: Cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying axon formation, growth, and branching.

    PubMed

    Lewis, Tommy L; Courchet, Julien; Polleux, Franck

    2013-09-16

    Proper brain wiring during development is pivotal for adult brain function. Neurons display a high degree of polarization both morphologically and functionally, and this polarization requires the segregation of mRNA, proteins, and lipids into the axonal or somatodendritic domains. Recent discoveries have provided insight into many aspects of the cell biology of axonal development including axon specification during neuronal polarization, axon growth, and terminal axon branching during synaptogenesis.

  14. Eye-specific projections of retinogeniculate axons are altered in albino mice.

    PubMed

    Rebsam, Alexandra; Bhansali, Punita; Mason, Carol A

    2012-04-04

    The divergence of retinal ganglion cell (RGC) axons into ipsilateral and contralateral projections at the optic chiasm and the subsequent segregation of retinal inputs into eye-specific domains in their target, the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus (dLGN), are crucial for binocular vision. In albinism, affected individuals exhibit a lack or reduction of pigmentation in the eye and skin, a concomitant reduced ipsilateral projection, and diverse visual defects. Here we investigate how such altered decussation affects eye-specific retinogeniculate targeting in albino mice using the C57BL/6 Tyr(c-2J/c-2J) strain, in which tyrosinase, necessary for melanogenesis, is mutated. In albino mice, fewer RGCs from the ventrotemporal (VT) retina project ipsilaterally, reflected in a decrease in cells expressing ipsilateral markers. In addition, a population of RGCs from the VT retina projects contralaterally and, within the dLGN, their axons cluster into a patch separated from the contralateral termination area. Furthermore, eye-specific segregation is not complete in the albino dLGN and, upon perturbing postnatal retinal activity with epibatidine, the ipsilateral projection fragments and the aberrant contralateral patch disappears. These results suggest that the defects in afferent targeting and activity-dependent refinement in the albino dLGN arise from RGC misspecification together with potential perturbations of early activity patterns in the albino retina.

  15. Rapamycin-Resistant mTOR Activity Is Required for Sensory Axon Regeneration Induced by a Conditioning Lesion

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Na; Ding, Yue; Chan, Leung Ting; Wang, Xu; Gao, Xin; Jiang, Songshan

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Neuronal mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) activity is a critical determinant of the intrinsic regenerative ability of mature neurons in the adult central nervous system (CNS). However, whether its action also applies to peripheral nervous system (PNS) neurons after injury remains elusive. To address this issue unambiguously, we used genetic approaches to determine the role of mTOR signaling in sensory axon regeneration in mice. We showed that deleting mTOR in dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons suppressed the axon regeneration induced by conditioning lesions. To establish whether the impact of mTOR on axon regeneration results from functions of mTOR complex 1 (mTORC1) or 2 (mTORC2), two distinct kinase complexes, we ablated either Raptor or Rictor in DRG neurons. We found that suppressing mTORC1 signaling dramatically decreased the conditioning lesion effect. In addition, an injury to the peripheral branch boosts mTOR activity in DRG neurons that cannot be completely inhibited by rapamycin, a widely used mTOR-specific inhibitor. Unexpectedly, examining several conditioning lesion–induced pro-regenerative pathways revealed that Raptor deletion but not rapamycin suppressed Stat3 activity in neurons. Therefore, our results demonstrate that crosstalk between mTOR and Stat3 signaling mediates the conditioning lesion effect and provide genetic evidence that rapamycin-resistant mTOR activity contributes to the intrinsic axon growth capacity in adult sensory neurons after injury. PMID:28101526

  16. Restoration of skilled locomotion by sprouting corticospinal axons induced by co-deletion of PTEN and SOCS3

    PubMed Central

    Jin, Duo; Liu, Yuanyuan; Sun, Fang; Wang, Xuhua; Liu, Xuefeng; He, Zhigang

    2015-01-01

    The limited rewiring of the corticospinal tract (CST) only partially compensates the lost functions after stroke, brain trauma and spinal cord injury. Therefore it is important to develop new therapies to enhance the compensatory circuitry mediated by spared CST axons. Here by using a unilateral pyramidotomy model, we find that deletion of cortical suppressor of cytokine signaling 3 (SOCS3), a negative regulator of cytokine-activated pathway, promotes sprouting of uninjured CST axons to the denervated spinal cord. A likely trigger of such sprouting is ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF) expressed in local spinal neurons. Such sprouting can be further enhanced by deletion of phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN), a mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) negative regulator, resulting in significant recovery of skilled locomotion. Ablation of the corticospinal neurons with sprouting axons abolishes the improved behavioural performance. Furthermore, by optogenetics-based specific CST stimulation, we show a direct limb motor control by sprouting CST axons, providing direct evidence for the reformation of a functional circuit. PMID:26598325

  17. Nano neuro knitting: Peptide nanofiber scaffold for brain repair and axon regeneration with functional return of vision

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ellis-Behnke, Rutledge G.; Liang, Yu-Xiang; You, Si-Wei; Tay, David K. C.; Zhang, Shuguang; So, Kwok-Fai; Schneider, Gerald E.

    2006-03-01

    Nanotechnology is often associated with materials fabrication, microelectronics, and microfluidics. Until now, the use of nanotechnology and molecular self assembly in biomedicine to repair injured brain structures has not been explored. To achieve axonal regeneration after injury in the CNS, several formidable barriers must be overcome, such as scar tissue formation after tissue injury, gaps in nervous tissue formed during phagocytosis of dying cells after injury, and the failure of many adult neurons to initiate axonal extension. Using the mammalian visual system as a model, we report that a designed self-assembling peptide nanofiber scaffold creates a permissive environment for axons not only to regenerate through the site of an acute injury but also to knit the brain tissue together. In experiments using a severed optic tract in the hamster, we show that regenerated axons reconnect to target tissues with sufficient density to promote functional return of vision, as evidenced by visually elicited orienting behavior. The peptide nanofiber scaffold not only represents a previously undiscovered nanobiomedical technology for tissue repair and restoration but also raises the possibility of effective treatment of CNS and other tissue or organ trauma. CNS regeneration | tissue repair | nanomedicine

  18. Inhibition of TLR4 Signalling-Induced Inflammation Attenuates Secondary Injury after Diffuse Axonal Injury in Rats

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Yonglin; Zhang, Ming; Zhao, Junjie; Ma, Xudong; Huang, Tingqin; Pang, Honggang

    2016-01-01

    Increasing evidence suggests that secondary injury after diffuse axonal injury (DAI) damages more axons than the initial insult, but the underlying mechanisms of this phenomenon are not fully understood. Recent studies show that toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) plays a critical role in promoting adaptive immune responses and have been shown to be associated with brain damage. The purpose of this study was to investigate the role of the TLR4 signalling pathway in secondary axonal injury in the cortices of DAI rats. TLR4 was mainly localized in microglial cells and neurons, and the levels of TLR4 downstream signalling molecules, including TLR4, myeloid differentiation primary response gene 88, toll/IR-1-(TIR-) domain-containing adaptor protein inducing interferon-beta, interferon regulatory factor 3, interferon β, nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) p65, and phospho-NF-κB p65, significantly increased and peaked at 1 d after DAI. Inhibition of TLR4 by TAK-242 attenuated apoptosis, neuronal and axonal injury, and glial responses. The neuroprotective effects of TLR4 inhibition were associated with decreases in the levels of TLR4 downstream signalling molecules and inflammatory factors, including interleukin-1β, interleukin-6, and tumour necrosis factor-α. These results suggest that the TLR4 signalling pathway plays an important role in secondary injury and may be an important therapeutic target following DAI. PMID:27478307

  19. Nano neuro knitting: peptide nanofiber scaffold for brain repair and axon regeneration with functional return of vision.

    PubMed

    Ellis-Behnke, Rutledge G; Liang, Yu-Xiang; You, Si-Wei; Tay, David K C; Zhang, Shuguang; So, Kwok-Fai; Schneider, Gerald E

    2006-03-28

    Nanotechnology is often associated with materials fabrication, microelectronics, and microfluidics. Until now, the use of nanotechnology and molecular self assembly in biomedicine to repair injured brain structures has not been explored. To achieve axonal regeneration after injury in the CNS, several formidable barriers must be overcome, such as scar tissue formation after tissue injury, gaps in nervous tissue formed during phagocytosis of dying cells after injury, and the failure of many adult neurons to initiate axonal extension. Using the mammalian visual system as a model, we report that a designed self-assembling peptide nanofiber scaffold creates a permissive environment for axons not only to regenerate through the site of an acute injury but also to knit the brain tissue together. In experiments using a severed optic tract in the hamster, we show that regenerated axons reconnect to target tissues with sufficient density to promote functional return of vision, as evidenced by visually elicited orienting behavior. The peptide nanofiber scaffold not only represents a previously undiscovered nanobiomedical technology for tissue repair and restoration but also raises the possibility of effective treatment of CNS and other tissue or organ trauma.

  20. Pathogenic forms of tau inhibit kinesin-dependent axonal transport through a mechanism involving activation of axonal phosphotransferases.

    PubMed

    Kanaan, Nicholas M; Morfini, Gerardo A; LaPointe, Nichole E; Pigino, Gustavo F; Patterson, Kristina R; Song, Yuyu; Andreadis, Athena; Fu, Yifan; Brady, Scott T; Binder, Lester I

    2011-07-06

    Aggregated filamentous forms of hyperphosphorylated tau (a microtubule-associated protein) represent pathological hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and other tauopathies. While axonal transport dysfunction is thought to represent a primary pathogenic factor in AD and other neurodegenerative diseases, the direct molecular link between pathogenic forms of tau and deficits in axonal transport remain unclear. Recently, we demonstrated that filamentous, but not soluble, forms of wild-type tau inhibit anterograde, kinesin-based fast axonal transport (FAT) by activating axonal protein phosphatase 1 (PP1) and glycogen synthase kinase 3 (GSK3), independent of microtubule binding. Here, we demonstrate that amino acids 2-18 of tau, comprising a phosphatase-activating domain (PAD), are necessary and sufficient for activation of this pathway in axoplasms isolated from squid giant axons. Various pathogenic forms of tau displaying increased exposure of PAD inhibited anterograde FAT in squid axoplasm. Importantly, immunohistochemical studies using a novel PAD-specific monoclonal antibody in human postmortem tissue indicated that increased PAD exposure represents an early pathogenic event in AD that closely associates in time with AT8 immunoreactivity, an early marker of pathological tau. We propose a model of pathogenesis in which disease-associated changes in tau conformation lead to increased exposure of PAD, activation of PP1-GSK3, and inhibition of FAT. Results from these studies reveal a novel role for tau in modulating axonal phosphotransferases and provide a molecular basis for a toxic gain-of-function associated with pathogenic forms of tau.

  1. Axonal loss in the multiple sclerosis spinal cord revisited.

    PubMed

    Petrova, N; Carassiti, D; Altmann, D R; Baker, D; Schmierer, K

    2017-04-12

    Preventing chronic disease deterioration is an unmet need in people with multiple sclerosis, where axonal loss is considered a key substrate of disability. Clinically, chronic multiple sclerosis often presents as progressive myelopathy. Spinal cord cross-sectional area assessed using MRI predicts increasing disability and has, by inference, been proposed as an indirect index of axonal degeneration. However, the association between cross-sectional area and axonal loss, and their correlation with demyelination, have never been systematically investigated using human post mortem tissue. We extensively sampled spinal cords of seven women and six men with multiple sclerosis (mean disease duration= 29 years) and five healthy controls to quantify axonal density and its association with demyelination and cross-sectional area. 396 tissue blocks were embedded in paraffin and immuno-stained for myelin basic protein and phosphorylated neurofilaments. Measurements included total cross-sectional area, areas of (i) lateral cortico-spinal tracts, (ii) grey matter, (iii) white matter, (iv) demyelination, and the number of axons within the lateral cortico-spinal tracts. Linear mixed models were used to analyse relationships. In multiple sclerosis cross-sectional area reduction at cervical, thoracic and lumbar levels ranged between 19 and 24% with white (19-24%) and grey (17-21%) matter atrophy contributing equally across levels. Axonal density in multiple sclerosis was lower by 57-62% across all levels and affected all fibres regardless of diameter. Demyelination affected 24-48% of the grey matter, most extensively at the thoracic level, and 11-13% of the white matter, with no significant differences across levels. Disease duration was associated with reduced axonal density, however not with any area index. Significant association was detected between focal demyelination and decreased axonal density. In conclusion, over nearly 30 years multiple sclerosis reduces axonal density by 60

  2. The dynein inhibitor Ciliobrevin D inhibits the bidirectional transport of organelles along sensory axons and impairs NGF-mediated regulation of growth cones and axon branches.

    PubMed

    Sainath, Rajiv; Gallo, Gianluca

    2015-07-01

    The axonal transport of organelles is critical for the development, maintenance, and survival of neurons, and its dysfunction has been implicated in several neurodegenerative diseases. Retrograde axon transport is mediated by the motor protein dynein. In this study, using embryonic chicken dorsal root ganglion neurons, we investigate the effects of Ciliobrevin D, a pharmacological dynein inhibitor, on the transport of axonal organelles, axon extension, nerve growth factor (NGF)-induced branching and growth cone expansion, and axon thinning in response to actin filament depolymerization. Live imaging of mitochondria, lysosomes, and Golgi-derived vesicles in axons revealed that both the retrograde and anterograde transport of these organelles was inhibited by treatment with Ciliobrevin D. Treatment with Ciliobrevin D reversibly inhibits axon extension and transport, with effects detectable within the first 20 min of treatment. NGF induces growth cone expansion, axonal filopodia formation and branching. Ciliobrevin D prevented NGF-induced formation of axonal filopodia and branching but not growth cone expansion. Finally, we report that the retrograde reorganization of the axonal cytoplasm which occurs on actin filament depolymerization is inhibited by treatment with Ciliobrevin D, indicating a role for microtubule based transport in this process, as well as Ciliobrevin D accelerating Wallerian degeneration. This study identifies Ciliobrevin D as an inhibitor of the bidirectional transport of multiple axonal organelles, indicating this drug may be a valuable tool for both the study of dynein function and a first pass analysis of the role of axonal transport.

  3. Studies in the development of a bridging device for guiding regenerating axons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wen, Xuejun

    At present there is no clinically effective treatment for injuries or pathological processes that disrupt the continuity of axons in the mature central nervous system. However, a number of studies suggest that a tremendous potential exists for developing therapies. In particular biomaterials in the form of bridging substrates been shown to support at least some level of axonal regeneration across the lesion site, but display a limited capacity for directing axons toward their targets. To influence the directionality of the regeneration process filaments and tubes appear promising but the technology is far from optimized. As a step toward optimization, we investigated various components of a tissue-engineered bridging device consisting of numerous filaments surrounded by a semipermeable biodegradable hollow fiber membrane (HFM). In the first part of the thesis, we studied the influence of filament diameter and various extracellular matrix coatings on neuron regeneration suing a dorsal root ganglion explant model. We found that laminin surface treated filaments that approached the size of spinal axons support significantly longer regenerative outgrowth than similarly treated filaments of larger diameter, and exceed outgrowth distance on similarly sized filaments treated with fibronectin. Such substrates also consistently supported the attachment and alignment of glial cells and directed the outgrowth of regenerating axons along the long axis of the filaments. In the last part of the thesis, biodegradable hollow fiber membranes were fabricated and their physical, chemical and degradation properties were analyzed. We found that it is possible to use phase inversion methods to fabricate hollow fiber membranes of widely varying properties that degrade of the course of several months. We then evaluated the biocompatibility of the new materials after implantation in the CNS using an adult rat model. We found that the implants were well tolerated and elicited a reaction

  4. Differential conduction block in branches of a bifurcating axon.

    PubMed Central

    Grossman, Y; Parnas, I; Spira, M E

    1979-01-01

    1. Propagation of action potentials at high frequency was studied in a branching axon of the lobster by means of simultaneous intracellular recording both before and after the branch point. 2. Although the branching axon studied has a geometrical ratio close to one (perfect impedance matching) conduction across the branch point failed at stimulation frequencies above 30 Hz. 3. The block of conduction after high frequency stimulation occurred at the branch point per se. The parent axon and daughter branches continued to conduct action potentials. 4. Conduction block after high frequency stimulation appeared first in the thicker daughter branch and only later in the thin branch. 5. With high frequency stimulation there was a 10-15% reduction in amplitude of the action potential in the parent axon, a corresponding decrease in the rate of rise of the action potential, a 25-30% decrease in conduction velocity, marked increase in threshold and prolongation of the refractory period. In addition the membrane was depolarized by 1-3 mV. 6. Measurements of the membrane current using the patch clamp technique showed a large decrease in the phase of inward current associated with the action potential, before the branching point. 7. The small membrane depolarization seen after high frequency stimulation is not the sole cause of the conduction block. Imposed prolonged membrane depolarization (8 mV for 120 sec) was insufficient to produce conduction block. 8. In vivo chronic extracellular recordings from the main nerve bundle (which contains the parent axon) and the large daughter branch revealed that: (a) the duration and frequency of trains of action potentials along the axons exceeded those used in the isolated nerve experiments and (b) conduction failure in the large daughter branch could be induced in the whole animal by electrical stimulation of the main branch as in the isolated preparation. 9. Possible mechanisms underlying block of conduction after high frequency

  5. Differential conduction block in branches of a bifurcating axon.

    PubMed

    Grossman, Y; Parnas, I; Spira, M E

    1979-10-01

    1. Propagation of action potentials at high frequency was studied in a branching axon of the lobster by means of simultaneous intracellular recording both before and after the branch point. 2. Although the branching axon studied has a geometrical ratio close to one (perfect impedance matching) conduction across the branch point failed at stimulation frequencies above 30 Hz. 3. The block of conduction after high frequency stimulation occurred at the branch point per se. The parent axon and daughter branches continued to conduct action potentials. 4. Conduction block after high frequency stimulation appeared first in the thicker daughter branch and only later in the thin branch. 5. With high frequency stimulation there was a 10-15% reduction in amplitude of the action potential in the parent axon, a corresponding decrease in the rate of rise of the action potential, a 25-30% decrease in conduction velocity, marked increase in threshold and prolongation of the refractory period. In addition the membrane was depolarized by 1-3 mV. 6. Measurements of the membrane current using the patch clamp technique showed a large decrease in the phase of inward current associated with the action potential, before the branching point. 7. The small membrane depolarization seen after high frequency stimulation is not the sole cause of the conduction block. Imposed prolonged membrane depolarization (8 mV for 120 sec) was insufficient to produce conduction block. 8. In vivo chronic extracellular recordings from the main nerve bundle (which contains the parent axon) and the large daughter branch revealed that: (a) the duration and frequency of trains of action potentials along the axons exceeded those used in the isolated nerve experiments and (b) conduction failure in the large daughter branch could be induced in the whole animal by electrical stimulation of the main branch as in the isolated preparation. 9. Possible mechanisms underlying block of conduction after high frequency

  6. Viral vector-mediated downregulation of RhoA increases survival and axonal regeneration of retinal ganglion cells

    PubMed Central

    Koch, Jan Christoph; Tönges, Lars; Michel, Uwe; Bähr, Mathias; Lingor, Paul

    2014-01-01

    The Rho/ROCK pathway is a promising therapeutic target in neurodegenerative and neurotraumatic diseases. Pharmacological inhibition of various pathway members has been shown to promote neuronal regeneration and survival. However, because pharmacological inhibitors are inherently limited in their specificity, shRNA-mediated approaches can add more information on the function of each single kinase involved. Thus, we generated adeno-associated viral vectors (AAV) to specifically downregulate Ras homologous member A (RhoA) via shRNA. We found that specific knockdown of RhoA promoted neurite outgrowth of retinal ganglion cells (RGC) grown on the inhibitory substrate chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan (CSPG) as well as neurite regeneration of primary midbrain neurons (PMN) after scratch lesion. In the rat optic nerve crush (ONC) model in vivo, downregulation of RhoA significantly enhanced axonal regeneration compared to control. Moreover, survival of RGC transduced with AAV expressing RhoA-shRNA was substantially increased at 2 weeks after optic nerve axotomy. Compared to previous data using pharmacological inhibitors to target RhoA, its upstream regulator Nogo or its main downstream target ROCK, the specific effects of RhoA downregulation shown here were most pronounced in regard to promoting RGC survival but neurite outgrowth and axonal regeneration were also increased significantly. Taken together, we show here that specific knockdown of RhoA substantially increases neuronal survival after optic nerve axotomy and modestly increases neurite outgrowth in vitro and axonal regeneration after optic nerve crush. PMID:25249936

  7. Genetic analyses of roundabout (ROBO) axon guidance receptors in autism.

    PubMed

    Anitha, A; Nakamura, Kazuhiko; Yamada, Kazuo; Suda, Shiro; Thanseem, Ismail; Tsujii, Masatsugu; Iwayama, Yoshimi; Hattori, Eiji; Toyota, Tomoko; Miyachi, Taishi; Iwata, Yasuhide; Suzuki, Katsuaki; Matsuzaki, Hideo; Kawai, Masayoshi; Sekine, Yoshimoto; Tsuchiya, Kenji; Sugihara, Gen-Ichi; Ouchi, Yasuomi; Sugiyama, Toshiro; Koizumi, Keita; Higashida, Haruhiro; Takei, Nori; Yoshikawa, Takeo; Mori, Norio

    2008-10-05

    Autism is a pervasive developmental disorder diagnosed in early childhood. Abnormalities of serotonergic neurotransmission have been reported in autism. Serotonin transporter (SERT) modulates serotonin levels, and is a major therapeutic target in autism. Factors that regulate SERT expression might be implicated in the pathophysiology of autism. One candidate SERT regulatory protein is the roundabout axon guidance molecule, ROBO. SerT expression in Drosophila is regulated by robo; it plays a vital role in mammalian neurodevelopment also. Here, we examined the associations of ROBO3 and ROBO4 with autism, in a trio association study using DNA from 252 families recruited to AGRE. Four SNPs of ROBO3 (rs3923890, P = 0.023; rs7925879, P = 0.017; rs4606490, P = 0.033; and rs3802905, P = 0.049) and a single SNP of ROBO4 (rs6590109, P = 0.009) showed associations with autism; the A/A genotype of rs3923890 showed lower ADI-R_A scores, which reflect social interaction. Significant haplotype associations were also observed for ROBO3 and ROBO4. We further compared the mRNA expressions of ROBO1, ROBO2, ROBO3, and ROBO4 in the lymphocytes of 19 drug-naïve autistic patients and 20 age- and sex-matched controls. Expressions of ROBO1 (P = 0.018) and ROBO2 (P = 0.023) were significantly reduced in the autistic group; the possibility of using the altered expressions of ROBO as peripheral markers for autism, may be explored. In conclusion, we suggest a possible role of ROBO in the pathogenesis of autism. Abnormalities of ROBO may lead to autism either by interfering with serotonergic system, or by disrupting neurodevelopment. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report relating ROBO with autism.

  8. Changes in axonally transported proteins during axon regeneration in toad retinal ganglion cells

    PubMed Central

    1981-01-01

    In an effort to understand the regulation of the transition of a mature neuron to the growth, or regenerating, state we have analyzed the composition of the axonally transported proteins in the retinal ganglion cells of the toad Bufo marinus after inducing axon regeneration by crushing the optic nerve. At increasing intervals after axotomy, we labeled the retinal ganglion cells with [35S]methionine and subsequently analyzed the labeled transported polypeptides in the crushed optic nerve by means of one- and two-dimensional electrophoretic techniques. The most significant conclusion from these experiments is that, while the transition from the mature to the regenerating state does not require a gross qualitative alteration in the composition of axonally transported proteins, the relative labeling of a small subset of rapidly transported proteins is altered dramatically (changes of more than 20-fold) and reproducibly (more than 30 animals) by axotomy. One of these growth-associated proteins (GAPs) was soluble in an aqueous buffer, while three were associated with a crude membrane fraction. The labeling of all three of the membrane- associated GAPs increased during the first 8 d after axotomy, and they continued to be labeled for at least 4 wk. The modulation of these proteins after axotomy is consistent with the possibility that they are involve in growth-specific functions and that the altered expression of a small number of genes is a crucial regulatory event in the transition of a mature neuron to a growth state. In addition to these selective changes in rapidly transported proteins, we observed the following more general metabolic correlates of the regeneration process: The total radioactive label associated with the most rapidly transported proteins (groups I and II) increased three to fourfold during the first 8 d after the nerve was crushed, while the total label associated with more slowly moving proteins (group IV) increased about 10-fold during this same

  9. Myelinated sensory and alpha motor axon regeneration in peripheral nerve neuromas

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Macias, M. Y.; Lehman, C. T.; Sanger, J. R.; Riley, D. A.

    1998-01-01

    Histochemical staining for carbonic anhydrase and cholinesterase (CE) activities was used to analyze sensory and motor axon regeneration, respectively, during neuroma formation in transected and tube-encapsulated peripheral nerves. Median-ulnar and sciatic nerves in the rodent model permitted testing whether a 4 cm greater distance of the motor neuron soma from axotomy site or intrinsic differences between motor and sensory neurons influenced regeneration and neuroma formation 10, 30, and 90 days later. Ventral root radiculotomy confirmed that CE-stained axons were 97% alpha motor axons. Distance significantly delayed axon regeneration. When distance was negligible, sensory axons grew out sooner than motor axons, but motor axons regenerated to a greater quantity. These results indicate regeneration differences between axon subtypes and suggest more extensive branching of motor axons within the neuroma. Thus, both distance from injury site to soma and inherent motor and sensory differences should be considered in peripheral nerve repair strategies.

  10. Regulation of Microtubule Dynamics in Axon Regeneration: Insights from C. elegans.

    PubMed

    Tang, Ngang Heok; Chisholm, Andrew D

    2016-01-01

    The capacity of an axon to regenerate is regulated by its external environment and by cell-intrinsic factors. Studies in a variety of organisms suggest that alterations in axonal microtubule (MT) dynamics have potent effects on axon regeneration. We review recent findings on the regulation of MT dynamics during axon regeneration, focusing on the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. In C. elegans the dual leucine zipper kinase (DLK) promotes axon regeneration, whereas the exchange factor for Arf6 (EFA-6) inhibits axon regeneration. Both DLK and EFA-6 respond to injury and control axon regeneration in part via MT dynamics. How the DLK and EFA-6 pathways are related is a topic of active investigation, as is the mechanism by which EFA-6 responds to axonal injury. We evaluate potential candidates, such as the MT affinity-regulating kinase PAR-1/MARK, in regulation of EFA-6 and axonal MT dynamics in regeneration.

  11. Regulation of Microtubule Dynamics in Axon Regeneration: Insights from C. elegans

    PubMed Central

    Tang, Ngang Heok; Chisholm, Andrew D.

    2016-01-01

    The capacity of an axon to regenerate is regulated by its external environment and by cell-intrinsic factors. Studies in a variety of organisms suggest that alterations in axonal microtubule (MT) dynamics have potent effects on axon regeneration. We review recent findings on the regulation of MT dynamics during axon regeneration, focusing on the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. In C. elegans the dual leucine zipper kinase (DLK) promotes axon regeneration, whereas the exchange factor for Arf6 (EFA-6) inhibits axon regeneration. Both DLK and EFA-6 respond to injury and control axon regeneration in part via MT dynamics. How the DLK and EFA-6 pathways are related is a topic of active investigation, as is the mechanism by which EFA-6 responds to axonal injury. We evaluate potential candidates, such as the MT affinity-regulating kinase PAR-1/MARK, in regulation of EFA-6 and axonal MT dynamics in regeneration. PMID:27350865

  12. Cortical Interneuron Subtypes Vary in Their Axonal Action Potential Properties

    PubMed Central

    Casale, Amanda E.; Foust, Amanda J.; Bal, Thierry

    2015-01-01

    The role of interneurons in cortical microcircuits is strongly influenced by their passive and active electrical properties. Although different types of interneurons exhibit unique electrophysiological properties recorded at the soma, it is not yet clear whether these differences are also manifested in other neuronal compartments. To address this question, we have used voltage-sensitive dye to image the propagation of action potentials into the fine collaterals of axons and dendrites in two of the largest cortical interneuron subtypes in the mouse: fast-spiking interneurons, which are typically basket or chandelier neurons; and somatostatin containing interneurons, which are typically regular spiking Martinotti cells. We found that fast-spiking and somatostatin-expressing interneurons differed in their electrophysiological characteristics along their entire dendrosomatoaxonal extent. The action potentials generated in the somata and axons, including axon collaterals, of somatostatin-expressing interneurons are significantly broader than those generated in the same compartments of fast-spiking inhibitory interneurons. In addition, action potentials back-propagated into the dendrites of somatostatin-expressing interneurons much more readily than fast-spiking interneurons. Pharmacological investigations suggested that axonal action potential repolarization in both cell types depends critically upon Kv1 channels, whereas the axonal and somatic action potentials of somatostatin-expressing interneurons also depend on BK Ca2+-activated K+ channels. These results indicate that the two broad classes of interneurons studied here have expressly different subcellular physiological properties, allowing them to perform unique computational roles in cortical circuit operations. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Neurons in the cerebral cortex are of two major types: excitatory and inhibitory. The proper balance of excitation and inhibition in the brain is critical for its operation. Neurons

  13. A novel technique using hydrophilic polymers to promote axonal fusion.

    PubMed

    Bamba, Ravinder; Riley, D Colton; Kelm, Nathaniel D; Does, Mark D; Dortch, Richard D; Thayer, Wesley P

    2016-04-01

    The management of traumatic peripheral nerve injury remains a considerable concern for clinicians. With minimal innovations in surgical technique and a limited number of specialists trained to treat peripheral nerve injury, outcomes of surgical intervention have been unpredictable. The inability to manipulate the pathophysiology of nerve injury (i.e., Wallerian degeneration) has left scientists and clinicians depending on the slow and lengthy process of axonal regeneration (~1 mm/day). When axons are severed, the endings undergo calcium-mediated plasmalemmal sealing, which limits the ability of the axon to be primarily repaired. Polythethylene glycol (PEG) in combination with a bioengineered process overcomes the inability to fuse axons. The mechanism for PEG axonal fusion is not clearly understood, but multiple studies have shown that a providing a calcium-free environment is essential to the process known as PEG fusion. The proposed mechanism is PEG-induced lipid bilayer fusion by removing the hydration barrier surrounding the axolemma and reducing the activation energy required for membrane fusion to occur. This review highlights PEG fusion, its past and current studies, and future directions in PEG fusion.

  14. Mechanisms of Distal Axonal Degeneration in Peripheral Neuropathies

    PubMed Central

    Cashman, Christopher R.; Höke, Ahmet

    2015-01-01

    Peripheral neuropathy is a common complication of a variety of diseases and treatments, including diabetes, cancer chemotherapy, and infectious causes (HIV, hepatitis C, and Campylobacter jejuni). Despite the fundamental difference between these insults, peripheral neuropathy develops as a combination of just six primary mechanisms: altered metabolism, covalent modification, altered organelle function and reactive oxygen species formation, altered intracellular and inflammatory signaling, slowed axonal transport, and altered ion channel dynamics and expression. All of these pathways converge to lead to axon dysfunction and symptoms of neuropathy. The detailed mechanisms of axon degeneration itself have begun to be elucidated with studies of animal models with altered degeneration kinetics, including the slowed Wallerian degeneration (Wlds) and Sarmknockout animal models. These studies have shown axonal degeneration to occur througha programmed pathway of injury signaling and cytoskeletal degradation. Insights into the common disease insults that converge on the axonal degeneration pathway promise to facilitate the development of therapeutics that may be effective against other mechanisms of neurodegeneration. PMID:25617478

  15. Axon Regeneration Genes Identified by RNAi Screening in C. elegans

    PubMed Central

    Nix, Paola; Hammarlund, Marc; Hauth, Linda; Lachnit, Martina; Jorgensen, Erik M.

    2014-01-01

    Axons of the mammalian CNS lose the ability to regenerate soon after development due to both an inhibitory CNS environment and the loss of cell-intrinsic factors necessary for regeneration. The complex molecular events required for robust regeneration of mature neurons are not fully understood, particularly in vivo. To identify genes affecting axon regeneration in Caenorhabditis elegans, we performed both an RNAi-based screen for defective motor axon regeneration in unc-70/β-spectrin mutants and a candidate gene screen. From these screens, we identified at least 50 conserved genes with growth-promoting or growth-inhibiting functions. Through our analysis of mutants, we shed new light on certain aspects of regeneration, including the role of β-spectrin and membrane dynamics, the antagonistic activity of MAP kinase signaling pathways, and the role of stress in promoting axon regeneration. Many gene candidates had not previously been associated with axon regeneration and implicate new pathways of interest for therapeutic intervention. PMID:24403161

  16. Mechanistic logic underlying the axonal transport of cytosolic proteins

    PubMed Central

    Scott, David A.; Das, Utpal; Tang, Yong; Roy, Subhojit

    2011-01-01

    Proteins vital to presynaptic function are synthesized in the neuronal perikarya and delivered into synapses via two modes of axonal transport. While membrane-anchoring proteins are conveyed in fast axonal transport via motor-driven vesicles, cytosolic proteins travel in slow axonal transport; via mechanisms that are poorly understood. We found that in cultured axons, populations of cytosolic proteins tagged to photoactivable-GFP (PA-GFP) move with a slow motor-dependent anterograde bias; distinct from vesicular-trafficking or diffusion of untagged PA-GFP. The overall bias is likely generated by an intricate particle-kinetics involving transient assembly and short-range vectorial spurts. In-vivo biochemical studies reveal that cytosolic proteins are organized into higher-order structures within axon-enriched fractions that are largely segregated from vesicles. Data-driven biophysical modeling best predicts a scenario where soluble molecules dynamically assemble into mobile supra-molecular structures. We propose a model where cytosolic proteins are transported by dynamically assembling into multi-protein complexes that are directly/indirectly conveyed by motors. PMID:21555071

  17. A Transcription Factor Network Coordinates Attraction, Repulsion, and Adhesion Combinatorially to Control Motor Axon Pathway Selection

    PubMed Central

    Zarin, Aref Arzan; Asadzadeh, Jamshid; Hokamp, Karsten; McCartney, Daniel; Yang, Long; Bashaw, Greg J.; Labrador, Juan-Pablo

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY Combinations of transcription factors (TFs) instruct precise wiring patterns in the developing nervous system; however, how these factors impinge on surface molecules that control guidance decisions is poorly understood. Using mRNA profiling, we identified the complement of membrane molecules regulated by the homeobox TF Even-skipped (Eve), the major determinant of dorsal motor neuron (dMN) identity in Drosophila. Combinatorial loss- and gain-of-function genetic analyses of Eve target genes indicate that the integrated actions of attractive, repulsive, and adhesive molecules direct eve-dependent dMN axon guidance. Furthermore, combined misexpression of Eve target genes is sufficient to partially restore CNS exit and can convert the guidance behavior of interneurons to that of dMNs. Finally, we show that a network of TFs, comprised of eve, zfh1, and grain, induces the expression of the Unc5 and Beaten-path guidance receptors and the Fasciclin 2 and Neuroglian adhesion molecules to guide individual dMN axons. PMID:24560702

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

    PubMed

    Rosenzweig, Shira; Carmichael, S Thomas

    2015-10-14

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

  19. Glutamate Stimulates Local Protein Synthesis in the Axons of Rat Cortical Neurons by Activating α-Amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic Acid (AMPA) Receptors and Metabotropic Glutamate Receptors*

    PubMed Central

    Hsu, Wei-Lun; Chung, Hui-Wen; Wu, Chih-Yueh; Wu, Huei-Ing; Lee, Yu-Tao; Chen, En-Chan; Fang, Weilun; Chang, Yen-Chung

    2015-01-01

    Glutamate is the principal excitatory neurotransmitter in the mammalian CNS. By analyzing the metabolic incorporation of azidohomoalanine, a methionine analogue, in newly synthesized proteins, we find that glutamate treatments up-regulate protein translation not only in intact rat cortical neurons in culture but also in the axons emitting from cortical neurons before making synapses with target cells. The process by which glutamate stimulates local translation in axons begins with the binding of glutamate to the ionotropic AMPA receptors and metabotropic glutamate receptor 1 and members of group 2 metabotropic glutamate receptors on the plasma membrane. Subsequently, the activated mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling pathway and the rise in Ca2+, resulting from Ca2+ influxes through calcium-permeable AMPA receptors, voltage-gated Ca2+ channels, and transient receptor potential canonical channels, in axons stimulate the local translation machinery. For comparison, the enhancement effects of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) on the local protein synthesis in cortical axons were also studied. The results indicate that Ca2+ influxes via transient receptor potential canonical channels and activated the mTOR pathway in axons also mediate BDNF stimulation to local protein synthesis. However, glutamate- and BDNF-induced enhancements of translation in axons exhibit different kinetics. Moreover, Ca2+ and mTOR signaling appear to play roles carrying different weights, respectively, in transducing glutamate- and BDNF-induced enhancements of axonal translation. Thus, our results indicate that exposure to transient increases of glutamate and more lasting increases of BDNF would stimulate local protein synthesis in migrating axons en route to their targets in the developing brain. PMID:26134564

  20. Pathogenesis of ganglion "cell death" in glaucoma and neuroprotection: focus on ganglion cell axonal mitochondria.

    PubMed

    Osborne, Neville N

    2008-01-01

    Retinal ganglion cell axons within the globe are functionally specialized being richly provided with many mitochondria. The mitochondria produce the high energy requirement for nerve conduction in the unmyelinated part of the ganglion cell axons. We have proposed that in the initiation of glaucoma, an alteration in the quality of blood flow dynamics in the optic nerve head causes a compromise in the retinal ganglion cell axon energy requirement, rendering the ganglion cells susceptible to additional insults. One secondary insult might be light entering the eye to further affect ganglion cell axon mitochondrial function. Other insults to the ganglion cells might be substances (e.g., glutamate, nitric oxide, TNF-alpha) released from astrocytes. These effects ultimately cause ganglion cell death because of the inability of mitochondria to maintain normal function. We therefore suggest that ganglion cell apoptosis in glaucoma is both receptor and mitochondrial mediated. Agents targeted specifically at enhancing ganglion cell mitochondrial energy production should therefore be beneficial in a disease like glaucoma. Ganglion cell death in glaucoma might therefore, in principle, not be unlike the pathophysiology of numerous neurological disorders involving energy dysregulation and oxidative stress. The trigger(s) for ganglion cell apoptosis in glaucoma is/are likely to be multifactorial, and the rationale for targeting impaired energy production as a possibility of improving a patient's quality of life is based on logic derived from laboratory studies where neuronal apoptosis is shown to occur via different mechanisms. Light-induced neuronal apoptosis is likely to be more relevant to ganglion cell death in glaucoma than, for example, neuronal apoptosis associated with Parkinson's disease. Logic suggests that enhancing mitochondrial function generally will slow down ganglion cell apoptosis and therefore benefit glaucoma patients. On the basis of our laboratory studies, we

  1. Growing axons analysis by using Granulometric Size Distribution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gonzalez, Mariela A.; Ballarin, Virginia L.; Rapacioli, Melina; Celín, A. R.; Sánchez, V.; Flores, V.

    2011-09-01

    Neurite growth (neuritogenesis) in vitro is a common methodology in the field of developmental neurobiology. Morphological analyses of growing neurites are usually difficult because their thinness and low contrast usually prevent to observe clearly their shape, number, length and spatial orientation. This paper presents the use of the granulometric size distribution in order to automatically obtain information about the shape, size and spatial orientation of growing axons in tissue cultures. The results here presented show that the granulometric size distribution results in a very useful morphological tool since it allows the automatic detection of growing axons and the precise characterization of a relevant parameter indicative of the axonal growth spatial orientation such as the quantification of the angle of deviation of the growing direction. The developed algorithms automatically quantify this orientation by facilitating the analysis of these images, which is important given the large number of images that need to be processed for this type of study.

  2. Axon selection: From a polarized cytoplasm to a migrating neuron.

    PubMed

    de Anda, Froylan Calderon; Tsai, Li-Huei

    2011-05-01

    The shape of a neuron supplies valuable clues as to its function. Neurons typically extend a single long, thin axon, which will transmit signals and several shorter and thicker dendrites, which will receive signals. The understanding of the means by which neurons acquire a polarized morphology is a fundamental issue in developmental neurobiology. The current view suggests that axon selection involves a stochastic mechanism. However, new data suggest that a polarized cytoplasm not only determines the position of neurite emergence, but also sets the conditions for morphological polarization. In vertebrates, neurons migrate before establishing their final morphology. Recent work shows that the polarized cytoplasm also determines how neurons migrate. Thus, neuronal migration might influence the processes by which neurons form an axon.

  3. Evidence of widespread axonal pathology in Wolfram syndrome.

    PubMed

    Shannon, P; Becker, L; Deck, J

    1999-09-01

    Wolfram syndrome, characterised by diabetes insipidus, diabetes mellitus, optic atrophy sensorineural deafness and acquired urinary tract abnormalities, is an hereditary neurodegenerative syndrome, the pathogenesis of which is unknown. We report the post-mortem findings on a patient with well-documented Wolfram syndrome. The brain showed severe degeneration of the optic nerves, chiasm and tracts as well as severe loss of neurons from the lateral geniculate nuclei, basis pontis, and the hypothalamic paraventricular and supraoptic nuclei. In addition, there was a widespread axonal dystrophy with axonal swellings in the pontocerebellar tracts, the optic radiations, the hippocampal fornices and the deep cerebral white matter. This widespread axonal pathology parallels the pattern of neurodegeneration and in many areas is more striking than neuronal loss.

  4. Semaphorin 7A promotes axon outgrowth through integrins and MAPKs.

    PubMed

    Pasterkamp, R Jeroen; Peschon, Jacques J; Spriggs, Melanie K; Kolodkin, Alex L

    2003-07-24

    Striking parallels exist between immune and nervous system cellular signalling mechanisms. Molecules originally shown to be critical for immune responses also serve neuronal functions, and similarly neural guidance cues can modulate immune function. We show here that semaphorin 7A (Sema7A), a membrane-anchored member of the semaphorin family of guidance proteins previously known for its immunomodulatory effects, can also mediate neuronal functions. Unlike many other semaphorins, which act as repulsive guidance cues, Sema7A enhances central and peripheral axon growth and is required for proper axon tract formation during embryonic development. Unexpectedly, Sema7A enhancement of axon outgrowth requires integrin receptors and activation of MAPK signalling pathways. These findings define a previously unknown biological function for semaphorins, identify an unexpected role for integrins and integrin-dependent intracellular signalling in mediating semaphorin responses, and provide a framework for understanding and interfering with Sema7A function in both immune and nervous systems.

  5. Involvement of SARA in Axon and Dendrite Growth.

    PubMed

    Arias, Cristina Isabel; Siri, Sebastián Omar; Conde, Cecilia

    2015-01-01

    SARA (Smad Anchor for Receptor Activation) plays a crucial role in Rab5-mediated endocytosis in cell lines localizing to early endosomes where it regulates morphology and function. Here, we analyzed the role of SARA during neuronal development and tested whether it functions as a regulator of endocytic trafficking of selected axonal and membrane proteins. Suppression of SARA perturbs the appearance of juxtanuclear endocytic recycling compartments and the neurons show long axons with large growth cones. Furthermore, surface distribution of the cell adhesion molecule L1 in axons and the fusion of vesicles containing transferring receptor (TfR) in dendrites were increased in neurons where SARA was silenced. Conversely, SARA overexpression generated large early endosomes and reduced neurite outgrowth. Taken together, our findings suggest a significant contribution of SARA to key aspects of neuronal development, including neurite formation.

  6. [Mechanisms of growth of neuronal axons and dendrites].

    PubMed

    Lest'anová, Z; Bacová, Z; Havránek, T; Bakos, J

    2013-01-01

    Brain development is determined by neuronal differentiation including changes of cell polarity and asymetric growth of neuronal processes. Although, there are many unkown factors contributing to changes of lenght of neuronal cones, mounting experimental and review papers focus on changes of growth conus and role of axonal transport. In particular, mechanisms of actin/microtubule polymerisation and depolymerisation are important. Role of intracellular calcium is also significant. Normal and properly timed changes of lenght of axons and dendrites are dependent on interaction of neurons and glia. Moreover, regeneration of injured axons is dependent on growth factors secreted from glial cells. The aim of the present study is characterisation of the most important mechanisms underlying changes of lenght of neurites.

  7. Secretion-related uptake of horseradish peroxidase in neurohypophysial axons

    PubMed Central

    1976-01-01

    During secretion of the neurohypophysial hormones, oxytocin and vasopressin, secretory granule membrane is added to the plasma membrane of the axon terminals. It is generally assumed that subsequent internalization of this additional membrane occurs by endocytosis. In order to study this process, we have traced the uptake of intravenously injected horseradish peroxidase by neurohypophysial axons in rats and golden hamsters. Peroxidase reaction product within the secretory axons was found mainly in vacuolar and C-shaped structures of a size comparable with or larger than the neurosecretory granules. Our observations suggest that these large horseradish peroxidase (HRP)- impregnated vacuoles arise directly by a form of macropinocytosis. Morphometric analysis indicated that this form of membrane retrieval increased significantly after the two types of stimuli used, reversible hemorrhage and electrical stimulation of the pituitary stalk. Microvesicular uptake of HRP was found to be comparatively less. PMID:181385

  8. Histone Deacetylase Inhibitors Preserve Function in Aging Axons

    PubMed Central

    Baltan, Selva

    2012-01-01

    Aging increases the vulnerability of aging white matter to ischemic injury. Histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors preserve young adult white matter structure and function during ischemia by conserving ATP and reducing excitotoxicity. In isolated optic nerve from 12 month old mice, deprived of oxygen and glucose, we show that pan- and Class I specific HDAC inhibitors promote functional recovery of axons. This protection correlates with preservation of axonal mitochondria. The cellular expression of HDAC 3, in the central nervous system (CNS) and HDAC 2 in optic nerve considerably changed with age expanding to more cytoplasmic domains from nuclear compartments suggesting that changes in glial cell protein acetylation may confer protection to aging axons. Our results indicate manipulation of HDAC activities in glial cells may have a universal potential for stroke therapy across age groups. PMID:23050648

  9. Using quantum filters to process images of diffuse axonal injury

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pineda Osorio, Mateo

    2014-06-01

    Some images corresponding to a diffuse axonal injury (DAI) are processed using several quantum filters such as Hermite Weibull and Morse. Diffuse axonal injury is a particular, common and severe case of traumatic brain injury (TBI). DAI involves global damage on microscopic scale of brain tissue and causes serious neurologic abnormalities. New imaging techniques provide excellent images showing cellular damages related to DAI. Said images can be processed with quantum filters, which accomplish high resolutions of dendritic and axonal structures both in normal and pathological state. Using the Laplacian operators from the new quantum filters, excellent edge detectors for neurofiber resolution are obtained. Image quantum processing of DAI images is made using computer algebra, specifically Maple. Quantum filter plugins construction is proposed as a future research line, which can incorporated to the ImageJ software package, making its use simpler for medical personnel.

  10. Pili canaliculi as manifestation of giant axonal neuropathy*

    PubMed Central

    de Almeida Jr., Hiram Larangeira; Garcias, Gilberto; Silva, Ricardo Marques e; Batista, Stela Laner; Pasetto, Fernanda

    2016-01-01

    Giant axonal neuropathy is a rare autosomal recessive neurodegenerative disease. The condition is characterized by neurons with abnormally large axons due to intracellular filament accumulation. The swollen axons affect both the peripheral and central nervous system. A 6-year old female patient had been referred to a geneticist reporting problems with walking and hypotonia. At the age of 10, she became wheelchair dependent. Scanning electron microscopy of a curly hair classified it as pili canaliculi. GAN gene sequencing demonstrated mutation c.1456G>A (p.GLU486LYS). At the age of 12, the patient died due to respiratory complications. Dermatologists should be aware of this entity since hair changes are considered suggestive of GAN. PMID:28300918

  11. The axon-protective WLD(S) protein partially rescues mitochondrial respiration and glycolysis after axonal injury.

    PubMed

    Godzik, Katharina; Coleman, Michael P

    2015-04-01

    The axon-protective Wallerian degeneration slow (WLD(S)) protein can ameliorate the decline in axonal ATP levels after neurite transection. Here, we tested the hypothesis that this effect is associated with maintenance of mitochondrial respiration and/or glycolysis. We used isolated neurites of superior cervical ganglion (SCG) cultures in the Seahorse XF-24 Metabolic Flux Analyser to determine mitochondrial respiration and glycolysis under different conditions. We observed that both mitochondrial respiration and glycolysis declined significantly during the latent phase of Wallerian degeneration. WLD(S) partially reduced the decline both in glycolysis and in mitochondrial respiration. In addition, we found that depleting NAD levels in uncut cultures led to changes in mitochondrial respiration and glycolysis similar to those rescued by WLD(S) after cut, suggesting that the maintenance of NAD levels in Wld(S) neurites after axonal injury at least partially underlies the maintenance of ATP levels. However, by using another axon-protective mutation (Sarm1(-/-)), we could demonstrate that rescue of basal ECAR (and hence probably glycolysis) rather than basal OCR (mitochondrial respiration) may be part of the protective phenotype to delay Wallerian degeneration. These findings open new routes to study glycolysis and the connection between NAD and ATP levels in axon degeneration, which may help to eventually develop therapeutic strategies to treat neurodegenerative diseases.

  12. Mild Traumatic Brain Injury and Diffuse Axonal Injury in Swine

    PubMed Central

    Browne, Kevin D.; Chen, Xiao-Han; Meaney, David F.

    2011-01-01

    Abstract Until recently, mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) or “concussion” was generally ignored as a major health issue. However, emerging evidence suggests that this injury is by no means mild, considering it induces persisting neurocognitive dysfunction in many individuals. Although little is known about the pathophysiological aspects of mTBI, there is growing opinion that diffuse axonal injury (DAI) may play a key role. To explore this possibility, we adapted a model of head rotational acceleration in swine to produce mTBI by scaling the mechanical loading conditions based on available biomechanical data on concussion thresholds in humans. Using these input parameters, head rotational acceleration was induced in either the axial plane (transverse to the brainstem; n=3), causing a 10- to 35-min loss of consciousness, or coronal plane (circumferential to the brainstem; n=2), which did not produce a sustained loss of consciousness. Seven days following injury, immunohistochemical analyses of the brains revealed that both planes of head rotation induced extensive axonal pathology throughout the white matter, characterized as swollen axonal bulbs or varicosities that were immunoreactive for accumulating neurofilament protein. However, the distribution of the axonal pathology was different between planes of head rotation. In particular, more swollen axonal profiles were observed in the brainstems of animals injured in the axial plane, suggesting an anatomic substrate for prolonged loss of consciousness in mTBI. Overall, these data support DAI as an important pathological feature of mTBI, and demonstrate that surprisingly overt axonal pathology may be present, even in cases without a sustained loss of consciousness. PMID:21740133

  13. Hypergravity hinders axonal development of motor neurons in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Kalichamy, Saraswathi Subbammal; Yoon, Kyoung-hye

    2016-01-01

    As space flight becomes more accessible in the future, humans will be exposed to gravity conditions other than our 1G environment on Earth. Our bodies and physiology, however, are adapted for life at 1G gravity. Altering gravity can have profound effects on the body, particularly the development of muscles, but the reasons and biology behind gravity’s effect are not fully known. We asked whether increasing gravity had effects on the development of motor neurons that innervate and control muscle, a relatively unexplored area of gravity biology. Using the nematode model organism Caenorhabditis elegans, we examined changes in response to hypergravity in the development of the 19 GABAergic DD/VD motor neurons that innervate body muscle. We found that a high gravity force above 10G significantly increases the number of animals with defects in the development of axonal projections from the DD/VD neurons. We showed that a critical period of hypergravity exposure during the embryonic/early larval stage was sufficient to induce defects. While characterizing the nature of the axonal defects, we found that in normal 1G gravity conditions, DD/VD axonal defects occasionally occurred, with the majority of defects occurring on the dorsal side of the animal and in the mid-body region, and a significantly higher rate of error in the 13 VD axons than the 6 DD axons. Hypergravity exposure increased the rate of DD/VD axonal defects, but did not change the distribution or the characteristics of the defects. Our study demonstrates that altering gravity can impact motor neuron development. PMID:27833821

  14. Uncovering sensory axonal dysfunction in asymptomatic type 2 diabetic neuropathy

    PubMed Central

    Sung, Jia-Ying; Tani, Jowy; Chang, Tsui-San; Lin, Cindy Shin-Yi

    2017-01-01

    This study investigated sensory and motor nerve excitability properties to elucidate the development of diabetic neuropathy. A total of 109 type 2 diabetes patients were recruited, and 106 were analyzed. According to neuropathy severity, patients were categorized into G0, G1, and G2+3 groups using the total neuropathy score-reduced (TNSr). Patients in the G0 group were asymptomatic and had a TNSr score of 0. Sensory and motor nerve excitability data from diabetic patients were compared with data from 33 healthy controls. Clinical assessment, nerve conduction studies, and sensory and motor nerve excitability testing data were analyzed to determine axonal dysfunction in diabetic neuropathy. In the G0 group, sensory excitability testing revealed increased stimulus for the 50% sensory nerve action potential (P<0.05), shortened strength-duration time constant (P<0.01), increased superexcitability (P<0.01), decreased subexcitability (P<0.05), decreased accommodation to depolarizing current (P<0.01), and a trend of decreased accommodation to hyperpolarizing current in threshold electrotonus. All the changes progressed into G1 (TNSr 1–8) and G2+3 (TNSr 9–24) groups. In contrast, motor excitability only had significantly increased stimulus for the 50% compound motor nerve action potential (P<0.01) in the G0 group. This study revealed that the development of axonal dysfunction in sensory axons occurred prior to and in a different fashion from motor axons. Additionally, sensory nerve excitability tests can detect axonal dysfunction even in asymptomatic patients. These insights further our understanding of diabetic neuropathy and enable the early detection of sensory axonal abnormalities, which may provide a basis for neuroprotective therapeutic approaches. PMID:28182728

  15. Uncovering sensory axonal dysfunction in asymptomatic type 2 diabetic neuropathy.

    PubMed

    Sung, Jia-Ying; Tani, Jowy; Chang, Tsui-San; Lin, Cindy Shin-Yi

    2017-01-01

    This study investigated sensory and motor nerve excitability properties to elucidate the development of diabetic neuropathy. A total of 109 type 2 diabetes patients were recruited, and 106 were analyzed. According to neuropathy severity, patients were categorized into G0, G1, and G2+3 groups using the total neuropathy score-reduced (TNSr). Patients in the G0 group were asymptomatic and had a TNSr score of 0. Sensory and motor nerve excitability data from diabetic patients were compared with data from 33 healthy controls. Clinical assessment, nerve conduction studies, and sensory and motor nerve excitability testing data were analyzed to determine axonal dysfunction in diabetic neuropathy. In the G0 group, sensory excitability testing revealed increased stimulus for the 50% sensory nerve action potential (P<0.05), shortened strength-duration time constant (P<0.01), increased superexcitability (P<0.01), decreased subexcitability (P<0.05), decreased accommodation to depolarizing current (P<0.01), and a trend of decreased accommodation to hyperpolarizing current in threshold electrotonus. All the changes progressed into G1 (TNSr 1-8) and G2+3 (TNSr 9-24) groups. In contrast, motor excitability only had significantly increased stimulus for the 50% compound motor nerve action potential (P<0.01) in the G0 group. This study revealed that the development of axonal dysfunction in sensory axons occurred prior to and in a different fashion from motor axons. Additionally, sensory nerve excitability tests can detect axonal dysfunction even in asymptomatic patients. These insights further our understanding of diabetic neuropathy and enable the early detection of sensory axonal abnormalities, which may provide a basis for neuroprotective therapeutic approaches.

  16. Cytoplasmic dynein is associated with slow axonal transport.

    PubMed Central

    Dillman, J F; Dabney, L P; Pfister, K K

    1996-01-01

    Neuronal function is dependent on the transport of materials from the cell body to the synapse via anterograde axonal transport. Anterograde axonal transport consists of several components that differ in both rate and protein composition. In fast transport, membranous organelles are moved along microtubules by the motor protein kinesin. The cytoskeleton and the cytomatrix proteins move in the two components of slow transport. While the mechanisms underlying slow transport are unknown, it has been hypothesized that the movement of microtubules in slow transport is generated by sliding. To determine whether dynein, a motor protein that causes microtubule sliding in flagella, may play a role in slow axonal transport, we identified the transport rate components with which cytoplasmic dynein is associated in rat optic nerve. Nearly 80% of the anterogradely moving dynein was associated with slow transport, whereas only approximately 15% of the dynein was associated with the membranous organelles of anterograde fast axonal transport. A segmental analysis of the transport of dynein through contiguous regions of the optic nerve and tract showed that dynein is associated with the microfilaments and other proteins of slow component b. Dynein from this transport component has the capacity to bind microtubules in vitro. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that cytoplasmic dynein generates the movement of microtubules in slow axonal transport. A model is presented to illustrate how dynein attached to the slow component b complex of proteins is appropriately positioned to generate force of the correct polarity to slide microtubules down the axon. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 3 Fig. 4 PMID:8552592

  17. Axons provide the secretory machinery for trafficking of voltage-gated sodium channels in peripheral nerve

    PubMed Central

    González, Carolina; Cánovas, José; Fresno, Javiera; Couve, Eduardo; Court, Felipe A.; Couve, Andrés

    2016-01-01

    The regulation of the axonal proteome is key to generate and maintain neural function. Fast and slow axoplasmic waves have been known for decades, but alternative mechanisms to control the abundance of axonal proteins based on local synthesis have also been identified. The presence of the endoplasmic reticulum has been documented in peripheral axons, but it is still unknown whether this localized organelle participates in the delivery of axonal membrane proteins. Voltage-gated sodium channels are responsible for action potentials and are mostly concentrated in the axon initial segment and nodes of Ranvier. Despite their fundamental role, little is known about the intracellular trafficking mechanisms that govern their availability in mature axons. Here we describe the secretory machinery in axons and its contribution to plasma membrane delivery of sodium channels. The distribution of axonal secretory components was evaluated in axons of the sciatic nerve and in spinal nerve axons after in vivo electroporation. Intracellular protein trafficking was pharmacologically blocked in vivo and in vitro. Axonal voltage-gated sodium channel mRNA and local trafficking were examined by RT-PCR and a retention-release methodology. We demonstrate that mature axons contain components of the endoplasmic reticulum and other biosynthetic organelles. Axonal organelles and sodium channel localization are sensitive to local blockade of the endoplasmic reticulum to Golgi transport. More importantly, secretory organelles are capable of delivering sodium channels to the plasma membrane in isolated axons, demonstrating an intrinsic capacity of the axonal biosynthetic route in regulating the axonal proteome in mammalian axons. PMID:26839409

  18. The Flamingo ortholog FMI-1 controls pioneer-dependent navigation of follower axons in C. elegans.

    PubMed

    Steimel, Andreas; Wong, Lianna; Najarro, Elvis Huarcaya; Ackley, Brian D; Garriga, Gian; Hutter, Harald

    2010-11-01

    Development of a functional neuronal network during embryogenesis begins with pioneer axons creating a scaffold along which later-outgrowing axons extend. The molecular mechanism used by these follower axons to navigate along pre-existing axons remains poorly understood. We isolated loss-of-function alleles of fmi-1, which caused strong axon navigation defects of pioneer and follower axons in the ventral nerve cord (VNC) of C. elegans. Notably follower axons, which exclusively depend on pioneer axons for correct navigation, frequently separated from the pioneer. fmi-1 is the sole C. elegans ortholog of Drosophila flamingo and vertebrate Celsr genes, and this phenotype defines a new role for this important molecule in follower axon navigation. FMI-1 has a unique and strikingly conserved structure with cadherin and C-terminal G-protein coupled receptor domains and could mediate cell-cell adhesion and signaling functions. We found that follower axon navigation depended on the extracellular but not on the intracellular domain, suggesting that FMI-1 mediates primarily adhesion between pioneer and follower axons. By contrast, pioneer axon navigation required the intracellular domain, suggesting that FMI-1 acts as receptor transducing a signal in this case. Our findings indicate that FMI-1 is a cell-type dependent axon guidance factor with different domain requirements for its different functions in pioneers and followers.

  19. Rodent spinal cord injury models for studies of axon regeneration.

    PubMed

    Steward, Oswald; Willenberg, Rafer

    2017-01-01

    For over a century, axon regeneration has been considered the Holy Grail for spinal cord injury (SCI) repair. Although there are other factors that could contribute to improving function, restoring the long motor and sensory tracts that are interrupted by SCI has the greatest potential for actually reversing paralysis, restoring the brain's control of autonomic functions mediated by sympathetic and parasympathetic circuits of the spinal cord and restoring sensation. Accordingly and in keeping with the overall theme of this special issue, this review focuses narrowly on rodent SCI models for studies of axon regeneration.

  20. [Target Molecule for a Demyelinating Type of Guillain-Barré Syndrome, Acute Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy].

    PubMed

    Mori, Masahiro

    2015-11-01

    Guillain-Barré syndrome is classified into demyelinating type, acute inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (AIDP) and axonal form, acute axonal motor neuropathy (AMAN). It has been clearly established that the target molecule for the former is a ganglioside. In contrast, despite years of effort, the target molecule for the latter has not been identified. Recently, molecules around the nodes of Ranvier have entered the spotlight, and "moesin" was reported to be a target molecule for cytomegalovirus associated-AIDP.

  1. RIP2-mediated LKB1 deletion causes axon degeneration in the spinal cord and hind-limb paralysis.

    PubMed

    Sun, Gao; Reynolds, Richard; Leclerc, Isabelle; Rutter, Guy A

    2011-03-01

    Axon degeneration is observed in neurodegenerative diseases and neuroinflammatory disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and multiple sclerosis. The molecular basis of this process remains largely unknown. Here, we show that mice deleted for the tumour suppressor LKB1 (also called STK11) in the spinal cord, some parts of the brain and in the endocrine pancreas (βLKB1KO mice) develop hind-limb dysfunction and axon degeneration at about 7 weeks. Demyelination and macrophage infiltration are observed in the white matter of these mice, predominantly in the bilateral and anterior funiculi of the thoracic segment of the spinal cord, suggesting damage to the ascending sensory signalling pathway owing to LKB1 deletion in the brain. Microtubule structures were also affected in the degenerated foci, with diminished neurofilament and tubulin expression. Deletion of both PRKAA1 genes, whose products AMPKα1 and AMPKα2 are also downstream targets of LKB1, with the same strategy was without effect. We thus define LKB1 as an intrinsic suppressor of axon degeneration and a possible target for strategies that can reverse this process.

  2. Cell surface control of the layer specific targeting in the Drosophila visual system.

    PubMed

    Hakeda-Suzuki, Satoko; Suzuki, Takashi

    2014-01-01

    To achieve the precise wiring of axons in the brain required to form a fine architecture, a molecular level interaction between axons and their targets is necessary. The Drosophila visual system has a layered and columnar structure which is often found in the brain of vertebrates. With powerful genetic tools for its analysis, the Drosophila visual system provides a useful framework to examine the molecular mechanisms of axon targeting specificity. The medulla is the second optic ganglion in the Drosophila optic lobe, and is subdivided into ten layers. Among the eight photoreceptor types, R7 and R8 pass through the first optic ganglion lamina and innervate the medulla. In the medulla, R7 and R8 axons grow in a distinct manner to reach their final target layers: M6 and M3, respectively. The axons from R7 and R8 take characteristic steps to extend toward their target layer. In this review, we discuss the formation of the Drosophila optic lobe and the molecular mechanisms of layer specific