Experimental neurology [journal]
- Neuroprosthetics and the science of patient input. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Exp Neurol 2016 Jul 22.
Safe and effective neuroprosthetic systems are of great interest to both DARPA and CDRH, due to their innovative nature and their potential to aid severely disabled populations.By expanding technological boundaries in human-device interfaces, these devices introduce new potential benefits and risks. Therefore patient input, which is increasingly important in weighing benefits and risks, is particularly relevant for this class of devices. FDA has been a significant contributor to an ongoing stakeholder conversation about the inclusion of the patient voice, working collaboratively to create a new framework for a patient-centered approach to medical device development. This framework is evolving through open dialogue with researcher and patient communities, investment in the science of patient input, and policymaking that is responsive to patient-centered data throughout the total product life cycle. In this commentary, we will discuss recent developments in patient-centered benefit-risk assessment and its relevance to the development of neural prosthetic systems.
- Plasticity in respiratory motor neurons in response to reduced synaptic inputs: A form of homeostatic plasticity in respiratory control? [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Exp Neurol 2016 Jul 22.
For most individuals, the respiratory control system produces a remarkably stable and coordinated motor output-recognizable as a breath-from birth until death. Very little is understood regarding the processes by which the respiratory control system maintains network stability in the presence of changing physiological demands and network properties that occur throughout life. An emerging principle of neuroscience is that neural activity is sensed and adjusted locally to assure that neurons continue to operate in an optimal range, yet to date, it is unknown whether such homeostatic plasticity is a feature of the neurons controlling breathing. Here, we review the evidence that local mechanisms sense and respond to perturbations in respiratory neural activity, with a focus on plasticity in respiratory motor neurons. We discuss whether these forms of plasticity represent homeostatic plasticity in respiratory control. We present new analyses demonstrating that reductions in synaptic inputs to phrenic motor neurons elicit a compensatory enhancement of phrenic inspiratory motor output, a form of plasticity termed inactivity-induced phrenic motor facilitation (iPMF), that is proportional to the magnitude of activity deprivation. Although the physiological role of iPMF is not understood, we hypothesize that it may have an important role in protecting the drive to breathe during conditions of prolonged or intermittent reductions in respiratory neural activity, such as following spinal cord injury or during central sleep apnea.
- Transient loss of consciousness during hypercapnia and hypoxia: Involvement of pathways associated with general anesthesia. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Exp Neurol 2016 Jul 22.
Transient loss of consciousness (TLOC), frequently triggered by perturbation in essential physiological parameters such as pCO2or O2, is considered a passive consequence of generalized degradation in high-level cerebral functioning.However, the fact that it is almost always accompanied by atonia and loss of spinal nocifensive reflexes suggests that it might actually be part of a "syndrome" mediated by neural circuitry, and ultimately be adaptive. Widespread suppression by molecules distributed in the vasculature is also the classical explanation of general anesthesia. Recent data, however, suggest that anesthesia is due, rather, to drug action at a specific brainstem locus, the mesopontine tegmental anesthesia area (MPTA), with the spectrum of anesthetic effects resulting from secondary recruitment of specific axonal pathways. If so, might the MPTA also be involved in TLOC induced by hypercapnia and hypoxia?We exposed rats to gas mixtures that provoke hypercapnia and hypoxia and asked whether cell-selective lesions of the MPTA affect TLOC. Entry into TLOC, monitored as time to loss of the righting reflex (LORR) was unaffected. However, resumption of the righting reflex (RORR), and of response to pinch stimuli (ROPR), was significantly delayed. The extent of both effects correlated with the extent of damage in the MPTA, but was unrelated to damage that extended beyond the borders of the MPTA. The results implicate neurons in a specific common-core region of the MPTA in TLOC induced by both forms of asphyxia. This is the same area responsible for general anesthesia induced by GABAergic anesthetic agents. This implies the involvement of a common set of brain nuclei and dedicated axonal pathways, rather than nonspecific global suppression, in the mechanism mediating all three instances of TLOC.
- Accessory respiratory muscles enhance ventilation in ALS model mice and are activated by excitatory V2a neurons. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Exp Neurol 2016 Jul 22.
Inspiratory accessory respiratory muscles (ARMs) enhance ventilation when demands are high, such as during exercise and/or pathological conditions. Despite progressive degeneration of phrenic motor neurons innervating the diaphragm, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients and rodent models are able to maintain ventilation at early stages of disease. In order to assess the contribution of ARMs to respiratory compensation in ALS, we examined the activity of ARMs and ventilation throughout disease progression in SOD1(G93A) ALS model mice at rest using a combination of electromyography and unrestrained whole body plethysmography. Increased ARM activity, accompanied by increased ventilation, is observed beginning at the onset of symptoms. However, ARM recruitment fails to occur at rest at late stages of disease, even though the same ARMs are used for other behaviors. Using a chemogenetic approach, we demonstrate that a glutamatergic class of neurons in the brainstem and spinal cord, the V2a class, is sufficient to drive increased ARM activity at rest in healthy mice. Additionally, we reveal pathology in the medial reticular formation of the brainstem of SOD1(G93A) mice using immunohistochemistry and confocal imaging. Both spinal and brainstem V2a neurons degenerate in ALS model mice, accompanied by regional activation of astrocytes and microglia. These results establish inspiratory ARM recruitment as one of the compensatory mechanisms that maintains breathing at early stages of disease and indicate that V2a neuron degeneration may contribute to ARM failure at late stages of disease.
- A decrease of ripples precedes seizure onset in mesial temporal lobe epilepsy. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Exp Neurol 2016 Jul 22; 284(Pt A):29-37.
High-frequency oscillations (HFOs) are promising biomarkers for epileptic foci; however, their characteristic changes during the preictal period remain unclear. Here, the preictal HFOs were recorded and detected by an automated HFOs detection method in the mouse pilocarpine model as well as in patients with mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (mTLE) and neocortical epilepsy. A total of sixteen low-voltage fast (LVF) and fifty-three hypersynchronous-onset (HYP) seizures were recorded in ten mice. The rate of ripples (80-250Hz) decreased during 1min before the onset of LVF and HYP seizures, which was primarily due to the reduction of type II (independent of epileptiform discharges) rather than type I ripples (superimposed on epileptiform activities). The ripple rate decreased until 30s before HYP seizure, whereas it increased with a peak at 40s during the 1min preictal period of LVF seizures. Furthermore, the "ripple reduction" phenomenon was also observed in all twelve seizures from nine patients with mTLE but not in neocortical epilepsy. These results indicate that ripples may potentially be helpful for understanding the mechanisms of ictogenesis in mTLE, and the different modes of ripple changes during the minute before LVF and HYP seizures might also be beneficial for the diagnosis of seizure types.
- Inspiratory muscle conditioning exercise and diaphragm gene therapy in Pompe disease: Clinical evidence of respiratory plasticity. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Exp Neurol 2016 Jul 21.
Pompe disease is an inherited disorder due to a mutation in the gene that encodes acid α-glucosidase (GAA). Children with infantile-onset Pompe disease develop progressive hypotonic weakness and cardiopulmonary insufficiency that may eventually require mechanical ventilation (MV). Our team conducted a first in human trial of diaphragmatic gene therapy (AAV1-CMV-GAA) to treat respiratory neural dysfunction in infantile-onset Pompe. Subjects (aged 2-15years, full-time MV: n=5, partial/no MV: n=4) underwent a period of preoperative inspiratory muscle conditioning exercise. The change in respiratory function after exercise alone was compared to the change in function after intramuscular delivery of AAV1-CMV-GAA to the diaphragm with continued exercise. Since AAV-mediated gene therapy can reach phrenic motoneurons via retrograde transduction, we hypothesized that AAV1-CMV-GAA would improve dynamic respiratory motor function to a greater degree than exercise alone. Dependent measures were maximal inspiratory pressure (MIP), respiratory responses to inspiratory threshold loads (load compensation: LC), and physical evidence of diaphragm activity (descent on MRI, EMG activity). Exercise alone did not change function. After AAV1-CMV-GAA, MIP was unchanged. Flow and volume LC responses increased after dosing (p<0.05 to p<0.005), but only in the subjects with partial/no MV use. Changes in LC tended to occur on or after 180days. At Day 180, the four subjects with MRI evidence of diaphragm descent had greater maximal voluntary ventilation (p<0.05) and tended to be younger, stronger, and use fewer hours of daily MV. In conclusion, combined AAV1-CMV-GAA and exercise training conferred benefits to dynamic motor function of the diaphragm.Children with a higher baseline neuromuscular function may have greater potential for functional gains.
- Accumulated α-synuclein affects the progression of GM2 gangliosidoses. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Exp Neurol 2016 Jul 21.
The accumulation of α-synuclein (ASyn) has been observed in several lysosomal storage diseases (LSDs) but it remains unclear if ASyn accumulation contributes to LSD pathology. ASyn also accumulates in the neurons of Sandhoff disease (SD) patients and SD model mice (Hexb-/- ASyn+/+ mice). SD is a lysosomal storage disorder caused by the absence of a functional β-subunit on the β-hexosaminidase A and B enzymes, which leads to the accumulation of ganglioside in the central nervous system. Here, we explored the role of accumulated ASyn in the progression of Hexb-/- mice by creating a Hexb-/- ASyn-/- double-knockout mice. Our results show that Hexb-/- ASyn-/- mice demonstrated active microglia levels and less dopaminergic neuron loss, without altering the neuronal storage of ganglioside. The autophagy and ubiquitin proteasome pathways are defective in the neurons of Hexb-/- ASyn+/+ mice. In ultrastructural physiological studies, the mitochondria structures look degenerated and dysfunctional. As a result, expression of manganese superoxide dismutase 2 are reduced, and reactive oxygen species-mediated oxidative damage in the neurons of Hexb-/- ASyn+/+ mice.Interestingly, these dysfunctions improved in Hexb-/- ASyn-/- mice. But any clinical improvement were hardly observed in Hexb-/- ASyn-/- mice. Taken together, these findings suggest that ASyn accumulation plays an important role in the pathogenesis of neuropathy in SD and other LSDs, and is therefore a target for novel therapies.
- Impaired regeneration in aged nerves: Clearing out the old to make way for the new. [REVIEW, JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Exp Neurol 2016 Jul 20.
Although many observational studies have shown that peripheral nerve regeneration is impaired with aging, underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms have remained obscure until recently. A series of recent genetic, live imaging and heterochronic parabiosis experiments are providing new insights into the underlying mechanisms of reduced regenerative capacity with aging. These studies show that Schwann cells in the aged animal pose a primary impediment to axon regeneration in older animals as they fail to support regenerating axons, while the contribution from macrophages remains an unresolved issue. Neurons do not appear to have an intrinsic defect of axonal elongation with aging but are impaired when they encounter an inhibitory environment, suggesting that therapeutic approaches to improve intrinsic neuronal regeneration capacity across inhibitory environments, as it is being done in central nervous system regeneration, can improve peripheral nerve regeneration as well. As in many aspects of neuroscience therapeutics development, a combinatorial approach may yield the best outcomes for nerve regeneration in aged individuals.
- Activation of GABAA receptors controls mesiotemporal lobe epilepsy despite changes in chloride transporters expression: In vivo and in silico approach. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Exp Neurol 2016 Jul 19; 284(Pt A):11-28.
Mesiotemporal lobe Epilepsy (MTLE), the most frequent form of focal epilepsy, is often drug-resistant. Enriching the epileptic focus with GABA-releasing engineered cells has been proposed as a strategy to prevent seizures. However, ex vivo data from animal models and MTLE patients suggest that, due to changes in chloride homeostasis, GABAA receptor activation is depolarizing and partly responsible for focal interictal discharges and seizure initiation. To understand how these two contradictory aspects of GABAergic neurotransmission coexist in MTLE, we used an established mouse model of MTLE presenting hippocampal sclerosis and recurrent hippocampal paroxysmal discharges (HPDs) 30-40days after a unilateral injection of kainate in the dorsal hippocampus. We first showed that injections of GABAA receptor agonists either systemically or directly into hippocampus suppressed HPDs. Western-blotting and immunostaining revealed that levels of α1, α3 and γ2 GABAA receptor subunits were increased in epileptic mice, compared to saline controls, while levels of R1 and R2 GABAB receptor subunits but also NR1, NR2A and NR2B NMDA receptor subunits and GluR1 and GluR2 AMPA receptor subunits were decreased. In addition, we showed that the expression of the transporter NKCC1, which load neurons with chloride, was increased, whereas KCC2, a chloride extruder, was decreased and that HPDs were suppressed by injection of blockers of NKCC1. These different changes were integrated in a numerical model, and in silico simulations supported the notion that chloride imbalance impair local inhibitory control of pyramidal neurons' activity in this model of MTLE. However, our numerical model also suggested that lasting activation of these receptors restore physiological intracellular chloride concentrations and suppress HPDs. Overall, our study suggests that activation of GABAA receptor remains an effective antiepileptic strategy to suppress focal seizures in MTLE, and demonstrates that modeling and simulation studies provide new insights about the cellular and synaptic mechanisms of this disease.