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See detailNeurodegeneration by Activation of the Microglial Complement–Phagosome Pathway
Bodea, Liviu-Gabriel; Wang, Yiner; Linnartz-Gerlach, Bettina et al

in Journal of Neuroscience (2014), 34(25), 8546-8556

Systemic inflammatory reactions have been postulated to exacerbate neurodegenerative diseases via microglial activation. We now demonstrate in vivo that repeated systemic challenge of mice over four ... [more ▼]

Systemic inflammatory reactions have been postulated to exacerbate neurodegenerative diseases via microglial activation. We now demonstrate in vivo that repeated systemic challenge of mice over four consecutive days with bacterial LPS maintained an elevated microglial inflammatory phenotype and induced loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra. The same total cumulative LPS dose given within a single application did not induce neurodegeneration. Whole-genome transcriptome analysis of the brain demonstrated that repeated systemic LPS application induced an activation pattern involving the classical complement system and its associated phagosome pathway. Loss of dopaminergic neurons induced by repeated systemic LPS application was rescued in complement C3-deficient mice, confirming the involvement of the complement system in neurodegeneration. Our data demonstrate that a phagosomal inflammatory response of microglia is leading to complement-mediated loss of dopaminergic neurons. [less ▲]

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See detailTocopherol derivative TFA-12 promotes myelin repair in experimental models of multiple sclerosis.
Blanchard, Benoit; Heurtaux, Tony UL; Nait Oumesmar, Brahim

in Journal of Neuroscience (2013), 33(28), 11633-42

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See detailOligodendrocyte lineage cells contribute unique features to rett syndrome neuropathology
Nguyen, Minh Vu Chong UL; Felice, Christy A.; Du, Fang et al

in Journal of Neuroscience (2013), 33(48), 18764-18774

Mutations in the methyl-CpG binding protein 2 gene, Mecp2, affect primarily the brain and lead to a wide range of neuropsychiatric disorders, most commonly Rett syndrome (RTT). Although the neuropathology ... [more ▼]

Mutations in the methyl-CpG binding protein 2 gene, Mecp2, affect primarily the brain and lead to a wide range of neuropsychiatric disorders, most commonly Rett syndrome (RTT). Although the neuropathology of RTT is well understood, the cellular and molecular mechanism(s), which lead to the disease initiation and progression, has yet to be elucidated. RTT was initially attributed only to neuronal dysfunction, but our recent studies and those of others show that RTT is not exclusively neuronal but rather also involves interactions between neurons and glia. Importantly, studies have shown that MeCP2-restored astrocytes and microglia are able to attenuate the disease progression in otherwise MeCP2-null mice. Here we show that another type of glia, oligodendrocytes, and their progenitors are also involved in manifestation of specific RTT symptoms. Mice that lost MeCP2 specifically in the oligodendrocyte lineage cells, although overall normal, were more active and developed severe hindlimb clasping phenotypes. Inversely, restoration of MeCP2 in oligodendrocyte lineage cells, in otherwise MeCP2-null mice, although only mildly prolonging their lifespan, significantly improved the locomotor deficits and hindlimb clasping phenotype, both in male and female mice, and fully restored the body weight in male mice. Finally, we found that the level of some myelin-related proteins was impaired in the MeCP2-null mice. Expression of MeCP2 in oligodendrocytes of these mice only partially restored their expression, suggesting that there is a non-cell-autonomous effect by other cell types in the brains on the expression of myelin-related proteins in oligodendrocytes. © 2013 the authors. [less ▲]

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See detailChondrolectin Mediates Growth Cone Interactions of Motor Axons with an Intermediate Target
Zhong, Zhen; Ohnmacht, Jochen UL; Reimer, Michell et al

in Journal of Neuroscience (2012), 32(13), 4426-4439

The C-type lectin chondrolectin (chodl) represents one of the major gene products dysregulated in spinal muscular atrophy models in mice. However, to date, no function has been determined for the gene. We ... [more ▼]

The C-type lectin chondrolectin (chodl) represents one of the major gene products dysregulated in spinal muscular atrophy models in mice. However, to date, no function has been determined for the gene. We have identified chodl and other novel genes potentially involved in motor axon differentiation, by expression profiling of transgenically labeled motor neurons in embryonic zebrafish. To enrich the profile for genes involved in differentiation of peripheral motor axons, we inhibited the function of LIM-HDs (LIM homeodomain factors) by overexpression of a dominant-negative cofactor, thereby rendering labeled axons unable to grow out of the spinal cord. Importantly, labeled cells still exhibited axon growth and most cells retained markers of motor neuron identity. Functional tests of chodl, by overexpression and knockdown, confirm crucial functions of this gene for motor axon growth in vivo. Indeed, knockdown of chodl induces arrest or stalling of motor axon growth at the horizontal myoseptum, an intermediate target and navigational choice point, and reduced muscle innervation at later developmental stages. This phenotype is rescued by chodl overexpression, suggesting that correct expression levels of chodl are important for interactions of growth cones of motor axons with the horizontal myoseptum. Combined, these results identify upstream regulators and downstream functions of chodl during motor axon growth [less ▲]

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See detailMeCP2 is critical for maintaining mature neuronal networks and global brain anatomy during late stages of postnatal brain development and in the mature adult brain
Nguyen, Minh Vu Chong UL; Du, Fang; Felice, Christy A. et al

in Journal of Neuroscience (2012), 32(29), 10021-10034

Mutations in the X-linked gene, methyl-CpG binding protein 2 (Mecp2), underlie a wide range of neuropsychiatric disorders, most commonly, Rett Syndrome (RTT), a severe autism spectrum disorder that ... [more ▼]

Mutations in the X-linked gene, methyl-CpG binding protein 2 (Mecp2), underlie a wide range of neuropsychiatric disorders, most commonly, Rett Syndrome (RTT), a severe autism spectrum disorder that affects approximately one in 10,000 female live births. Because mutations in the Mecp2 gene occur in the germ cells with onset of neurological symptoms occurring in early childhood, the role of MeCP2 has been ascribed to brain maturation at a specific developmental window. Here, we show similar kinetics of onset and progression of RTT-like symptoms in mice, including lethality, if MeCP2 is removed postnatally during the developmental stage that coincides with RTT onset, or adult stage. For the first time, we show that brains that lose MeCP2 at these two different stages are actively shrinking, resulting in higher than normal neuronal cell density. Furthermore, we show that mature dendritic arbors of pyramidal neurons are severely retracted and dendritic spine density is dramatically reduced. In addition, hippocampal astrocytes have significantly less complex ramified processes. These changes accompany a striking reduction in the levels of several synaptic proteins, including CaMKII α/β, AMPA, and NMDA receptors, and the synaptic vesicle proteins Vglut and Synapsin, which represent critical modifiers of synaptic function and dendritic arbor structure. Importantly, the mRNA levels of these synaptic proteins remains unchanged, suggesting that MeCP2 likely regulates these synaptic proteins post-transcriptionally, directly or indirectly. Our data suggest a crucial role for MeCP2 in post-transcriptional regulation of critical synaptic proteins involved in maintaining mature neuronal networks during late stages of postnatal brain development. © 2012 the authors. [less ▲]

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See detailCiliary neurotrophic factor cell-based delivery prevents synaptic impairment and improves memory in mouse models of Alzheimer's disease.
Garcia, Pierre UL

in Journal of Neuroscience (2010), 30(22), 7516-7527

The development of novel therapeutic strategies for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) represents one of the biggest unmet medical needs today. Application of neurotrophic factors able to modulate neuronal survival ... [more ▼]

The development of novel therapeutic strategies for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) represents one of the biggest unmet medical needs today. Application of neurotrophic factors able to modulate neuronal survival and synaptic connectivity is a promising therapeutic approach for AD. We aimed to determine whether the loco-regional delivery of ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF) could prevent amyloid-beta oligomer-induced synaptic damages and associated cognitive impairments that typify AD. To ensure long-term administration of CNTF in the brain, we used recombinant cells secreting CNTF encapsulated in alginate polymers. The implantation of these bioreactors in the brain of Abeta ligomer-infused mice led to a continuous secretion of recombinant CNTF and was associated with the robust improvement of cognitive performances.Most importantly,CNTF led to full recovery of cognitive function associated with the stabilization of synaptic protein levels in the Tg2576 AD mouse model. In vitro as well as in vivo, CNTF activated a Janus kinase/signal transducer and activator of transcription-mediated survival pathway that prevented synaptic and neuronal degeneration. These preclinical studies suggest that CNTF and/or CNTF receptor-associated pathways may have AD-modifying activity through protection against progressive ABeta-related memory deficits. Our data also encourage additional exploration of ex vivo gene transfer for the prevention and/or treatment of AD. [less ▲]

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See detailProtons selectively induce lasting excitation and sensitization to mechanical stumulation of nociceptors in rat skin, in vitro
Steen, Kai h; Reeh, Peter-Werner; Anton, Fernand UL et al

in Journal of Neuroscience (1992), 12(1), 86-95

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