- Potential Role of Gut Microbiota in ALS Pathogenesis and Possible Novel Therapeutic Strategies. [Journal Article]
- JCJ Clin Gastroenterol 2018 May 18
- CONCLUSIONS: Our preliminary results confirm that there is a difference in the microbiota profile in ALS patients.
- All-Optical Electrophysiology for High-Throughput Functional Characterization of a Human iPSC-Derived Motor Neuron Model of ALS. [Journal Article]
- SCStem Cell Reports 2018 May 11
- Human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived neurons are an attractive substrate for modeling disease, yet the heterogeneity of these cultures presents a challenge for functional characterizati...
Human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived neurons are an attractive substrate for modeling disease, yet the heterogeneity of these cultures presents a challenge for functional characterization by manual patch-clamp electrophysiology. Here, we describe an optimized all-optical electrophysiology, "Optopatch," pipeline for high-throughput functional characterization of human iPSC-derived neuronal cultures. We demonstrate the method in a human iPSC-derived motor neuron (iPSC-MN) model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). In a comparison of iPSC-MNs with an ALS-causing mutation (SOD1 A4V) with their genome-corrected controls, the mutants showed elevated spike rates under weak or no stimulus and greater likelihood of entering depolarization block under strong optogenetic stimulus. We compared these results with numerical simulations of simple conductance-based neuronal models and with literature results in this and other iPSC-based models of ALS. Our data and simulations suggest that deficits in slowly activating potassium channels may underlie the changes in electrophysiology in the SOD1 A4V mutation.
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and the Respiratory System. [Review]
- CCClin Chest Med 2018; 39(2):391-400
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that always affects the respiratory muscles. It is characterized by degeneration of motor neurons in the brain and spin...
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that always affects the respiratory muscles. It is characterized by degeneration of motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord. Respiratory complications are the most common causes of death in ALS and typically occur within 3 to 5 years of diagnosis. Because ALS affects both upper and lower motor neurons, it causes hyperreflexia, spasticity, muscle fasciculations, muscle atrophy, and weakness. It ultimately progresses to functional quadriplegia. ALS most commonly begins in the limbs, but in about one-third of cases it begins in the bulbar muscles responsible for speech and swallowing.
- Differential toxicity of TDP-43 isoforms depends on their sub-mitochondrial localization in neuronal cells. [Journal Article]
- JNJ Neurochem 2018 May 20
- TAR DNA binding protein 43 (TDP-43) is an RNA binding protein and a major component of protein aggregates found in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and several other neurodegenerative diseases. TDP-43 e...
TAR DNA binding protein 43 (TDP-43) is an RNA binding protein and a major component of protein aggregates found in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and several other neurodegenerative diseases. TDP-43 exists as a full length protein and as two shorter forms of 25 and 35 kDa. Full length mutant TDP-43s found in ALS patients re-localize from the nucleus to the cytoplasm and in part to mitochondria, where they exert a toxic role associated with neurodegeneration. However, induction of mitochondrial damage by TDP-43 fragments is yet to be clarified. In this work, we show that the mitochondrial 35 kDa truncated form of TDP-43 is restricted to the intermembrane space while the full length forms also localise in the mitochondrial matrix in cultured neuronal NSC-34 cells. Interestingly, the full length forms clearly affect mitochondrial metabolism and morphology, possibly via their ability to inhibit the expression of Complex I subunits encoded by the mitochondrial-transcribed mRNAs, while the 35 kDa form does not. In the light of the known differential contribution of the full length and short isoforms to generate toxic aggregates, we propose that the presence of full length TDP-43s in the matrix is a primary cause of mitochondrial damage. This in turn may cause oxidative stress inducing toxic oligomers formation, in which short TDP-43 forms play a major role. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
- FTLD/ALS-linked TDP-43 mutations do not alter TDP-43's ability to self-regulate its expression in Drosophila. [Journal Article]
- BRBrain Res 2018 May 17
- TDP-43 is a major disease-causing protein in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration (FTLD). Today, more than 50 missense mutations in the TARDBP/TDP-43 gene have be...
TDP-43 is a major disease-causing protein in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration (FTLD). Today, more than 50 missense mutations in the TARDBP/TDP-43 gene have been described in patients with FTLD/ALS. However, the functional consequences of FTLD/ALS-linked TDP-43 mutations are not fully elucidated. In the physiological state, TDP-43 expression is tightly regulated through an autoregulatory negative feedback loop. Maintaining normal TDP-43 protein levels is critical for proper physiological functions of the cells. In the present study, we investigated whether the FTLD/ALS-associated mutations could interfere with TDP-43 protein's capacity to modulate its own protein levels using Drosophila as an experimental model. Our data show that FTLD/ALS-associated mutant proteins regulate TDP-43 production with the same efficiency as the wild-type form of the protein. Thus, FTLD/ALS-linked TDP-43 mutations do not alter TDP-43's ability to self-regulate its expression and consequently of the homeostasis of TDP-43 protein levels.
- Astrocyte elevated gene-1 is a novel regulator of astrogliosis and excitatory amino acid transporter-2 via interplaying with nuclear factor-κB signaling in astrocytes from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis mouse model with hSOD1G93A mutation. [Journal Article]
- MCMol Cell Neurosci 2018 May 16
- AEG-1 has received extensive attention on cancer research. However, little is known about its roles in astrogliosis of Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). In this study, we detected AEG-1 expression...
AEG-1 has received extensive attention on cancer research. However, little is known about its roles in astrogliosis of Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). In this study, we detected AEG-1 expression in hSOD1G93A-positive (mut-SOD1) astrocytes and wild type (wt-SOD1) astrocytes, and intend to elucidate its potential functions in ALS related astrogliosis and the always accompanied dysregulated glutamate clearance. Results showed elevated protein and mRNA levels of AEG-1 in mut-SOD1 astrocytes; Also, NF-κB signaling pathway related proteins and inflammatory cytokines were upregulated in mut-SOD1 astrocytes; AEG-1 knockdown attenuated astrocytes proliferation and pro-inflammatory release; also we found that AEG-1 silence inhibited translocation of p65 from cytoplasma to nuclear, which was associated with inhibited NF-κB signaling. Besides, excitatory amino acid transporter-2 (EAAT2) expression levels were significantly decreased, accompanied by impaired glutamate clearance ability, in mut-SOD1 astrocytes; yin yang 1 (YY1), a transcriptional inhibitor for EAAT2, increased in nucleus of mut-SOD1 astrocytes. AEG-1 silence inhibited translocation of YY1 to nucleus, increased EAAT2 expression levels, and enhanced astrocytic ability of glutamate clearance, ultimately exerted the neuronal protection. Findings from this study implicate potential function of AEG-1 in mut-SOD1 related astrogliosis and the accompanied excitatory cytotoxic mechanism in ALS.
- [Suspension of Respiratory Support in Patients with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis]. [Journal Article]
- CBCuad Bioet 2018 May-Aug; 29(96):137-146
- Decision making in advanced Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) patients keeps on being a controversial issue. The aim of this work is to discuss ethical implications of withdrawing respiratory suppo...
Decision making in advanced Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) patients keeps on being a controversial issue. The aim of this work is to discuss ethical implications of withdrawing respiratory support treatment in patients with ALS. Through a bibliographic search on Pubmed database (2010-2016) we investigated whether or not the use of Non-Invasive Ventilation (NIV) and Mechanical Ventilation (MV) would increase survival and quality of life. We included 38 review articles. From these papers, results and ethical implications of initiating and mainly withdrawing respiratory support were analyzed. Survival time increased with NIV and with MV. Quality of life, above all according to physiological criteria, improved with NIV but regarding MV it remained controversial. Implementation and future withdrawal of MV seemed open to medical and ethical discussion. From a perspective of the intrinsic dignity of every human being, whatever its quality of life was, and knowing that no effective therapies for the underlying disease are available, the decision to remove MV in a patient with advanced ALS requires: knowledge of the will of the patient and, above all, evaluating whether this respiratory support measure is becoming objectively disproportionate.
- Lingual and Jaw Kinematic Abnormalities Precede Speech and Swallowing Impairments in ALS. [Journal Article]
- DDysphagia 2018 May 17
- Early identification of bulbar involvement in persons with ALS is critical for improving diagnosis and prognosis; however, efficacious diagnostic markers have not yet been identified. The purpose of ...
Early identification of bulbar involvement in persons with ALS is critical for improving diagnosis and prognosis; however, efficacious diagnostic markers have not yet been identified. The purpose of this study was to determine whether kinematic changes of the tongue and jaw during swallowing, measured using 3D electromagnetic articulography (EMA), predate clinically identifiable symptoms of speech and swallowing impairment in persons diagnosed with ALS. Data were collected from 16 adults diagnosed with ALS and 18 neurotypical controls. Groups were aged matched. Eligible participants with ALS were tolerating an unrestricted diet (FOIS = 7), produced intelligible speech (> 97%), and had a speaking rate greater than 150 words per minute. Participants completed a 3-mL water swallow task, during which EMA recorded kinematic measures of the anterior and posterior regions of tongue including lingual speed, range of motion, duration, coordination, and efficiency. Jaw speed and range of motion were also recorded. Persons diagnosed with ALS demonstrated reduced posterior lingual range of motion (11.40 mm ± 4.01 vs. 16.07 mm ± 5.27), slower posterior lingual speeds (83.67 mm/s ± 47.96 vs. 141.35 mm/s ± 66.54), increased lingual movement duration (13.46 s ± 6.75 vs. 9.21 s ± 3.28), and reduced lingual coordination (0.04 s ± 0.11 vs. 17 s ± 0.19) during the 3-oz water swallow task compared to controls. Persons diagnosed with ALS demonstrated increased range of motion (9.86 mm ± 5.38 vs. 6 mm ± 3.78) and increased jaw speed (68.62 mm/s ± 50.13 vs. 34.72 mm/s ± 17.75) during swallowing compared to controls. The current findings suggest that changes in lingual and jaw motor performance during a simple water swallow task are present in persons with ALS who are pre-symptomatic of clinically detectable bulbar impairment.
- Importance of Functional Loss of FUS in FTLD/ALS. [Review]
- FMFront Mol Biosci 2018; 5:44
- Fused in sarcoma (FUS) is an RNA binding protein that regulates RNA metabolism including alternative splicing, transcription, and RNA transportation. FUS is genetically and pathologically involved in...
Fused in sarcoma (FUS) is an RNA binding protein that regulates RNA metabolism including alternative splicing, transcription, and RNA transportation. FUS is genetically and pathologically involved in frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD)/amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Multiple lines of evidence across diverse models suggest that functional loss of FUS can lead to neuronal dysfunction and/or neuronal cell death. Loss of FUS in the nucleus can impair alternative splicing and/or transcription, whereas dysfunction of FUS in the cytoplasm, especially in the dendritic spines of neurons, can cause mRNA destabilization. Alternative splicing of the MAPT gene at exon 10, which generates 4-repeat Tau (4R-Tau) and 3-repeat Tau (3R-Tau), is one of the most impactful targets regulated by FUS. Additionally, loss of FUS function can affect dendritic spine maturations by destabilizing mRNAs such as Glutamate receptor 1 (GluA1), a major AMPA receptor, and Synaptic Ras GTPase-activating protein 1 (SynGAP1). Moreover, FUS is involved in axonal transport and morphological maintenance of neurons. These findings indicate that a biological link between loss of FUS function, Tau isoform alteration, aberrant post-synaptic function, and phenotypic expression might lead to the sequential cascade culminating in FTLD. Thus, to facilitate development of early disease markers and/or therapeutic targets of FTLD/ALS it is critical that the functions of FUS and its downstream pathways are unraveled.
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- miR126-5p down-regulation facilitates axon degeneration and NMJ disruption via a non-cell-autonomous mechanism in ALS. [Journal Article]
- JNJ Neurosci 2018 May 17
- Axon degeneration and disruption of neuromuscular junctions (NMJs) are key events in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) pathology. Although the disease's etiology is not fully understood, it is thou...
Axon degeneration and disruption of neuromuscular junctions (NMJs) are key events in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) pathology. Although the disease's etiology is not fully understood, it is thought to involve a non-cell-autonomous mechanism and alterations in RNA metabolism. Here, we identified reduced levels of miR-126-5p in pre-symptomatic ALS male mice models, and an increase in its targets: axon destabilizing type-3 Semaphorins and their co-receptor Neuropilins. Utilizing compartmentalized in vitro co-cultures, we demonstrated that myocytes expressing diverse ALS-causing mutations promote axon degeneration and NMJ dysfunction, which were inhibited by applying Neuropilin1 (NRP1) blocking antibody. Finally, overexpressing miR126-5p is sufficient to transiently rescue axon degeneration and NMJ disruption both in vitro and in vivo Thus, we demonstrate a novel mechanism underlying ALS pathology, in which alterations in miR126-5p facilitate a non-cell-autonomous mechanism of motor neuron degeneration in ALS.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENTIn spite of some progress, currently no effective treatment is available for ALS. We suggest a novel regulatory role for miR126-5p in ALS and demonstrate for the first time a mechanism by which alterations in miR126-5p contribute to axon degeneration and NMJ disruption observed in ALS. We show that miR126-5p is altered in ALS models and that it can modulate Sema3 and NRP protein expression. Furthermore, NRP1 elevations in motor neurons and muscle secretion of Sema3A contribute to axon degeneration and NMJ disruption in ALS. Finally, overexpressing miR126-5p is sufficient to transiently rescue NMJ disruption and axon degeneration both in vitro and in vivo.