|Peripherin is a subunit of peripheral nerve neurofilaments: implications for differential vulnerability of CNS and peripheral nervous system axons. |
Yuan, A; Sasaki, T; Kumar, A; Peterhoff, CM; Rao, MV; Liem, RK; Julien, JP; Nixon, RA
The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience
Peripherin, a neuronal intermediate filament protein implicated in neurodegenerative disease, coexists with the neurofilament triplet proteins [neurofilament light (NFL), medium (NFM), and heavy (NFH) chain] but has an unknown function. The earlier peak expression of peripherin than the triplet during brain development and its ability to form homopolymers, unlike the triplet, which are obligate heteropolymers, have supported a widely held view that peripherin and neurofilament triplets form separate filament systems. However, here, we demonstrate that, despite a postnatal decline in expression, peripherin is as abundant as the triplet in the adult PNS and exists in a relatively fixed stoichiometry with these subunits. Peripherin exhibits a distribution pattern identical to those of triplet proteins in sciatic axons and colocalizes with NFL on single neurofilaments by immunogold electron microscopy. Peripherin also coassembles into a single network of filaments containing NFL, NFM, and NFH with and without α-internexin in quadruple- or quintuple-transfected SW13vim(-) cells. Genetically deleting NFL in mice dramatically reduces peripherin content in sciatic axons. Moreover, peripherin mutations has been shown to disrupt the neurofilament network in transfected SW13vim(-) cells. These data show that peripherin and the neurofilament proteins are functionally interdependent. The results strongly support the view that, rather than forming an independent structure, peripherin is a subunit of neurofilaments in the adult PNS. Our findings provide a basis for its close relationship with neurofilaments in PNS diseases associated with neurofilament accumulation.
|Motor unit abnormalities in Dystonia musculorum mice. |
De Repentigny, Y; Ferrier, A; Ryan, SD; Sato, T; Kothary, R
Dystonia musculorum (dt) is a mouse inherited sensory neuropathy caused by mutations in the dystonin gene. While the primary pathology lies in the sensory neurons of dt mice, the overt movement disorder suggests motor neurons may also be affected. Here, we report on the contribution of motor neurons to the pathology in dt(27J) mice. Phenotypic dt(27J) mice display reduced alpha motor neuron cell number and eccentric alpha motor nuclei in the ventral horn of the lumbar L1 spinal cord region. A dramatic reduction in the total number of motor axons in the ventral root of postnatal day 15 dt(27J) mice was also evident. Moreover, analysis of the trigeminal nerve of the brainstem showed a 2.4 fold increase in number of degenerating neurons coupled with a decrease in motor neuron number relative to wild type. Aberrant phosphorylation of neurofilaments in the perikaryon region and axonal swellings within the pre-synaptic terminal region of motor neurons were observed. Furthermore, neuromuscular junction staining of dt(27J) mouse extensor digitorum longus and tibialis anterior muscle fibers showed immature endplates and a significant decrease in axon branching compared to wild type littermates. Muscle atrophy was also observed in dt(27J) muscle. Ultrastructure analysis revealed amyelinated motor axons in the ventral root of the spinal nerve, suggesting a possible defect in Schwann cells. Finally, behavioral analysis identified defective motor function in dt(27J) mice. This study reveals neuromuscular defects that likely contribute to the dt(27J) pathology and identifies a critical role for dystonin outside of sensory neurons.
|Spatial and temporal requirements for sonic hedgehog in the regulation of thalamic interneuron identity. |
Jeong, Yongsu, et al.
Development, 138: 531-41 (2011)
In caudal regions of the diencephalon, sonic hedgehog (Shh) is expressed in the ventral midline of prosomeres 1-3 (p1-p3), which underlie the pretectum, thalamus and prethalamus, respectively. Shh is also expressed in the zona limitans intrathalamica (zli), a dorsally projecting spike that forms at the p2-p3 boundary. The presence of two Shh signaling centers in the thalamus has made it difficult to determine the specific roles of either one in regional patterning and neuronal fate specification. To investigate the requirement of Shh from a focal source of expression in the ventral midline of the diencephalon, we used a newly generated mouse line carrying a targeted deletion of the 525 bp intronic sequence mediating Shh brain enhancer-1 (SBE1) activity. In SBE1 mutant mice, Shh transcription was initiated but not maintained in the ventral midline of the rostral midbrain and caudal diencephalon, yet expression in the zli was unaffected. In the absence of ventral midline Shh, rostral thalamic progenitors (pTH-R) adopted the molecular profile of a more caudal thalamic subtype (pTH-C). Surprisingly, despite their early mis-specification, neurons derived from the pTH-R domain continued to migrate to their proper thalamic nucleus, extended axons along their normal trajectory and expressed some, but not all, of their terminal differentiation markers. Our results, and those of others, suggest a model whereby Shh signaling from distinct spatial and temporal domains in the diencephalon exhibits unique and overlapping functions in the development of discrete classes of thalamic interneurons.
|Viral induction of central nervous system innate immune responses. |
Rempel, JD; Quina, LA; Blakely-Gonzales, PK; Buchmeier, MJ; Gruol, DL
Journal of virology
The ability of the central nervous system (CNS) to generate innate immune responses was investigated in an in vitro model of CNS infection. Cultures containing CNS cells were infected with mouse hepatitis virus-JHM, which causes fatal encephalitis in mice. Immunostaining indicated that viral infection had a limited effect on culture characteristics, overall cell survival, or cell morphology at the early postinfection times studied. Results from Affymetrix gene array analysis, assessed on RNA isolated from virally and sham-infected cultures, were compared with parallel protein assays for cytokine, chemokine, and cell surface markers. Of the 126 transcripts found to be differentially expressed between viral and sham infections, the majority were related to immunological responses. Virally induced increases in interleukin-6 and tumor necrosis factor alpha mRNA and protein expression correlated with the genomic induction of acute-phase proteins. Genomic and protein analysis indicated that viral infection resulted in prominent expression of neutrophil and macrophage chemotactic proteins. In addition, mRNA expression of nonclassical class I molecules H2-T10, -T17, -M2, and -Q10, were enhanced three- to fivefold in virus-infected cells compared to sham-infected cells. Thus, upon infection, resident brain cells induced a breadth of innate immune responses that could be vital in directing the outcome of the infection and, in vivo, would provide signals which would summon the peripheral immune system to respond to the infection. Further understanding of how these innate responses participate in immune protection or immunopathology in the CNS will be critical in efforts to intervene in severe encephalitis.