Intellectual and social disabilities are common comorbidities in adolescents and adults with MAGEL2 gene deficiency characterizing the Prader-Willi and Schaaf-Yang neurodevelopmental syndromes. The cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the risk for autism in these syndromes are not understood. We ask whether vasopressin functions are altered by MAGEL2 deficiency and whether a treatment with vasopressin can alleviate the disabilities of social behavior. We used Magel2 knockout mice (adult males) combined with optogenetic or pharmacological tools to characterize disease modifications in the vasopressinergic brain system and monitor its impact on neurophysiological and behavioral functions. We find that the activation of vasopressin neurons and its projections in the lateral septum are inappropriate to perform a social habituation/discrimination task. Mechanistically, the lack of vasopressin impedes the deactivation of somatostatin neurons in the lateral septum, which predicts social discrimination deficits. Correction of vasopressin septal content by administration or optogenetic stimulation of projecting axons suppressed the activity of somatostatin neurons and ameliorated social behavior. This preclinical study identifies vasopressin in the lateral septum as a key factor in the pathophysiology.
Amélie M. Borie, Yann Dromard, Gilles Guillon, Aleksandra Olma, Maurice Manning, Françoise Muscatelli, Michel G. Desarmenien, Freddy Jeanneteau
Polyglutamine (polyQ) diseases are devastating, slowly progressing neurodegenerative conditions caused by expansion of polyQ-encoding CAG repeats within the coding regions of distinct, unrelated genes. In spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA), polyQ expansion within the androgen receptor (AR) causes progressive neuromuscular toxicity, the molecular basis of which is unclear. Using quantitative proteomics, we identified changes in the AR interactome caused by polyQ expansion. We found that the deubiquitinase USP7 preferentially interacts with polyQ-expanded AR, and that lowering USP7 levels reduced mutant AR aggregation and cytotoxicity in cell models of SBMA. Moreover, USP7 knockdown suppressed disease phenotypes in SBMA and spinocerebellar ataxia type 3 (SCA3) fly models, and monoallelic knockout of Usp7 ameliorated several motor deficiencies in transgenic SBMA mice. USP7 overexpression resulted in reduced AR ubiquitination, indicating the direct action of USP7 on AR. Using quantitative proteomics, we identified the ubiquitinated lysine residues on mutant AR that are regulated by USP7. Finally, we found that USP7 also differentially interacts with mutant Huntingtin (HTT) protein in striatum and frontal cortex of a knock-in mouse model of Huntington’s disease. Taken together, our findings reveal a critical role for USP7 in the pathophysiology of SBMA and suggest a similar role in SCA3 and Huntington’s disease.
Anna Pluciennik, Yuhong Liu, Elana Molotsky, Gregory B. Marsh, Bedri Ranxhi, Frederick J. Arnold, Sophie St-Cyr, Beverly L. Davidson, Naemeh Pourshafie, Andrew P. Lieberman, Wei Gu, Sokol V. Todi, Diane E Merry
Dysregulation of habit formation has been recently proposed as pivotal to eating disorders. Here, we report that a subset of patients suffering from restrictive anorexia nervosa have enhanced habit formation compared with healthy controls. Habit formation is modulated by striatal cholinergic interneurons. These interneurons express vesicular transporters for acetylcholine (VAChT) and glutamate (VGLUT3) and use acetylcholine/glutamate cotransmission to regulate striatal functions. Using mice with genetically silenced VAChT (VAChT conditional KO, VAChTcKO) or VGLUT3 (VGLUT3cKO), we investigated the roles that acetylcholine and glutamate released by cholinergic interneurons play in habit formation and maladaptive eating. Silencing glutamate favored goal-directed behaviors and had no impact on eating behavior. In contrast, VAChTcKO mice were more prone to habits and maladaptive eating. Specific deletion of VAChT in the dorsomedial striatum of adult mice was sufficient to phenocopy maladaptive eating behaviors of VAChTcKO mice. Interestingly, VAChTcKO mice had reduced dopamine release in the dorsomedial striatum but not in the dorsolateral striatum. The dysfunctional eating behavior of VAChTcKO mice was alleviated by donepezil and by l-DOPA, confirming an acetylcholine/dopamine deficit. Our study reveals that loss of acetylcholine leads to a dopamine imbalance in striatal compartments, thereby promoting habits and vulnerability to maladaptive eating in mice.
Mathieu Favier, Helena Janickova, Damian Justo, Ornela Kljakic, Léonie Runtz, Joman Y. Natsheh, Tharick A. Pascoal, Jurgen Germann, Daniel Gallino, Jun-II Kang, Xiang Qi Meng, Christina Antinora, Sanda Raulic, Jacob P.R. Jacobsen, Luc Moquin, Erika Vigneault, Alain Gratton, Marc G. Caron, Philibert Duriez, Mark P. Brandon, Pedro Rosa Neto, M. Mallar Chakravarty, Mohammad M. Herzallah, Philip Gorwood, Marco A.M. Prado, Vania F. Prado, Salah El Mestikawy
Oligodendrocytes express low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR) to endocytose cholesterol for the maintenance of adulthood myelination. However, the potential role of LDLR in chronic cerebral ischemia-related demyelination remains unclear. We used bilateral carotid artery stenosis (BCAS) to induce sustained cerebral ischemia in mice. This hypoxic-ischemic injury caused a remarkable decline of oligodendroglial LDLR with impaired oligodendroglial differentiation and survival. Oligodendroglial cholesterol levels, however, remained unchanged. Mice miR-344e-3p and human homolog miR-410-3p, two miRNAs directly targeting Ldlr, were identified in experimental and clinical leukoaraiosis, thus leading to LDLR reduction. Lentiviral delivery of LDLR ameliorated the demyelination following chronic cerebral ischemia. By contrast, Ldlr-/- mice displayed inadequate myelination in the corpus callosum. Ldlr-/- oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs) exhibited defective ability to differentiate and myelinate axons in vitro. Transplantation with Ldlr-/- OPCs could not rescue the BCAS-induced demyelination. Such LDLR-dependent myelin restoration might involve a physical interaction of the Asn-Pro-Val-Tyr (NPVY) motif with phosphotyrosine binding domain of Shc, which subsequently activated MEK/ERK pathway. Together, our findings demonstrate that the aberrant oligodendroglial LDLR in chronic cerebral ischemia impairs myelination through intracellular signal transduction. Preservation of oligodendroglial LDLR may provide a promising approach to treat ischemic demyelination.
Yi Xie, Xiaohao Zhang, Pengfei Xu, Nana Zhao, Ying Zhao, Yunzi Li, Ye Hong, Mengna Peng, Kang Yuan, Ting Wan, Rui Sun, Deyan Chen, Lili Xu, Jingjing Chen, Hongquan Guo, Wanying Shan, Juanji Li, Rongrong Li, Yunyun Xiong, Dezhi Liu, Yuhui Wang, George Liu, Ruidong Ye, Xinfeng Liu
Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are synthesized by neurons and glia and released into the extracellular space, where they act as modulators of neuroplasticity and neuroinflammatory agents. Development of epilepsy (epileptogenesis) is associated with increased expression of MMPs and therefore they may represent potential therapeutic drug targets. Using qPCR and immunohistochemistry, we studied the expression of MMPs and their endogenous inhibitors TIMPs, in patients with status epilepticus (SE) or temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE), and in a rat TLE model. Furthermore, we tested the MMP2/9 inhibitor IPR-179 in the rapid kindling rat model and in the intrahippocampal kainic-acid mouse model.In both human and experimental epilepsy, MMP and TIMP expression was persistently dysregulated in the hippocampus compared to controls. IPR-179 treatment reduced seizure severity in the rapid kindling model and reduced the number of spontaneous seizures in the kainic-acid model (during and up to 7 weeks after delivery) without side effects while improving cognitive behavior. Moreover, our data suggest that IPR-179 prevented an MMP2/9-dependent switch-off normally restraining network excitability during the activity period. Since increased MMP expression is a prominent hallmark of the human epileptogenic brain and the MMP inhibitor IPR-179 has antiseizure and antiepileptogenic effects in rodent epilepsy models and attenuates seizure-induced cognitive decline, it deserves further investigation in clinical trials.
Diede W.M. Broekaart, Alexandra Bertran, Shaobo Jia, Anatoly Korotkov, Oleg Senkov, Anika Bongaarts, James D. Mills, Jasper Joris Anink, Jesus Seco-Moral, Johannes Baaijen, Sander Idema, Elodie Chabrol, Albert Becker, Wytse Wadman, Teresa Tarrago, Jan A. Gorter, Eleonora Aronica, Roger Prades, Alexander Dityatev, Erwin A. van Vliet
Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) is a common tumor predisposition syndrome, caused by NF1 gene mutation, in which affected patients develop Schwann cell lineage peripheral nerve sheath tumors (neurofibromas). To investigate human neurofibroma pathogenesis, we differentiated a series of isogenic patient-specific NF1-mutant human induced-pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) into Schwannian lineage cells (SLCs). We found that while wild-type and heterozygous NF1-mutant hiPSC-SLCs did not form tumors following mouse sciatic nerve implantation, NF1-null SLCs formed bona fide neurofibromas with high levels of SOX10 expression. To confirm that SOX10+ SLCs contain the cells of origin for neurofibromas, both Nf1 alleles were inactivated in mouse Sox10+ cells, leading to classic nodular cutaneous and plexiform neurofibroma formation that completely recapitulate their human counterparts. Moreover, we discovered that NF1 loss impaired Schwann cell differentiation by inducing a persistent stem-like state to expand the pool of progenitors required to initiate tumor formation, indicating that in addition to regulating MAPK-mediated cell growth, NF1 loss also alters Schwann cell differentiation to promote neurofibroma development. Taken together, we established complementary humanized neurofibroma explant and first-in-kind mouse genetically engineered nodular cutaneous neurofibroma models that delineate neurofibroma pathogenesis amenable to future therapeutic target discovery and evaluation.
Juan Mo, Corina Anastasaki, Zhiguo Chen, Tracey Shipman, Jason B. Papke, Kevin Y. Yin, David H. Gutmann, Lu Q. Le
The α6β4 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) is enriched in dorsal root ganglia neurons and is an attractive non-opioid therapeutic target for pain. However, difficulty expressing human α6β4 receptors in recombinant systems has precluded drug discovery. Here, genome-wide screening identified accessory proteins that enable reconstitution of human α6β4 nAChRs. BARP, an auxiliary subunit of voltage-dependent calcium channels, promoted α6β4 surface expression while IRE1α, an unfolded protein response sensor, enhanced α6β4 receptor assembly. Effects on α6β4 involve BARP’s N-terminal region and IRE1α’s splicing of XBP1 mRNA. Furthermore, clinical efficacy of nicotinic agents in relieving neuropathic pain best correlated with their activity on α6β4. Finally, BARP-knockout, but not NACHO-knockout mice lacked nicotine-induced antiallodynia, highlighting the functional importance of α6β4 in pain. These results identify roles for IRE1α and BARP in neurotransmitter receptor assembly and unlock drug discovery for the previously elusive α6β4 receptor.
Daniel Knowland, Shenyan Gu, William A. Eckert III, G. Brent Dawe, Jose A. Matta, James Limberis, Alan D. Wickenden, Anindya Bhattacharya, David S. Bredt
Edema is an important target for clinical intervention after traumatic brain injury (TBI). We used in vivo cellular resolution imaging and electrophysiological recording to examine the ionic mechanisms underlying neuronal edema and their effects on neuronal and network excitability after controlled cortical impact (CCI) in mice. Unexpectedly, we found that neuronal edema 48 hours after CCI was associated with reduced cellular and network excitability, concurrent with an increase in the expression ratio of the cation-chloride cotransporters (CCCs) NKCC1 and KCC2. Treatment with the CCC blocker bumetanide prevented neuronal swelling via a reversal in the NKCC1/KCC2 expression ratio, identifying altered chloride flux as the mechanism of neuronal edema. Importantly, bumetanide treatment was associated with increased neuronal and network excitability after injury, including increased susceptibility to spreading depolarizations (SDs) and seizures, known agents of clinical worsening after TBI. Treatment with mannitol, a first-line edema treatment in clinical practice, was also associated with increased susceptibility to SDs and seizures after CCI, showing that neuronal volume reduction, regardless of mechanism, was associated with an excitability increase. Finally, we observed an increase in excitability when neuronal edema normalized by 1 week after CCI. We conclude that neuronal swelling may exert protective effects against damaging excitability in the aftermath of TBI and that treatment of edema has the potential to reverse these effects.
Punam A. Sawant-Pokam, Tyler J. Vail, Cameron S. Metcalf, Jamie L. Maguire, Thomas O. McKean, Nick O. McKean, K.C. Brennan
BACKGROUND Cytotoxic T lymphocyte antigen 4 (CTLA4) is essential for immune homeostasis. Genetic mutations causing haploinsufficiency (CTLA4h) lead to a phenotypically heterogenous, immune-mediated disease that can include neuroinflammation. The neurological manifestations of CTLA4h are poorly characterized.METHODS We performed an observational natural history study of 50 patients with CTLA4h who were followed at the NIH. We analyzed clinical, radiological, immunological, and histopathological data.RESULTS Evidence for neuroinflammation was observed in 32% (n = 16 of 50) of patients in this cohort by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and/or by cerebrospinal fluid analysis. Clinical symptoms were commonly absent or mild in severity, with headaches as the leading complaint (n = 13 of 16). The most striking findings were relapsing, large, contrast-enhancing focal lesions in the brain and spinal cord observed on MRI. We detected inflammation in the cerebrospinal fluid and leptomeninges before the parenchyma. Brain biopsies of inflammatory lesions from 10 patients showed perivascular and intraparenchymal mixed cellular infiltrates with little accompanying demyelination or neuronal injury.CONCLUSIONS Neuroinflammation due to CTLA4h is mediated primarily by an infiltrative process with a distinct and striking dissociation between clinical symptoms and radiological findings in the majority of patients.FUNDING NIAID, NIH, Division of Intramural Research, NINDS, NIH, Division of Intramural Research, and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society–American Brain Foundation.TRIAL REGISTRATION ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00001355.
Matthew K. Schindler, Stefania Pittaluga, Yoshimi Enose-Akahata, Helen C. Su, V. Koneti Rao, Amy Rump, Steven Jacobson, Irene Cortese, Daniel S. Reich, Gulbu Uzel
Postnatal failure of oligodendrocyte maturation has been proposed as a cellular mechanism of diffuse white matter injury (WMI) in premature infants. However, the molecular mechanisms for oligodendrocyte maturational failure remain unclear. In neonatal mice and cultured differentiating oligodendrocytes, sublethal intermittent hypoxic (IH) stress activated cyclophilin D–dependent mitochondrial proton leak and uncoupled mitochondrial respiration, leading to transient bioenergetic stress. This was associated with development of diffuse WMI: poor oligodendrocyte maturation, diffuse axonal hypomyelination, and permanent sensorimotor deficit. In normoxic mice and oligodendrocytes, exposure to a mitochondrial uncoupler recapitulated the phenotype of WMI, supporting the detrimental role of mitochondrial uncoupling in the pathogenesis of WMI. Compared with WT mice, cyclophilin D–knockout littermates did not develop bioenergetic stress in response to IH challenge and fully preserved oligodendrocyte maturation, axonal myelination, and neurofunction. Our study identified the cyclophilin D–dependent mitochondrial proton leak and uncoupling as a potentially novel subcellular mechanism for the maturational failure of oligodendrocytes and offers a potential therapeutic target for prevention of diffuse WMI in premature infants experiencing chronic IH stress.
Zoya Niatsetskaya, Sergey Sosunov, Anna Stepanova, James Goldman, Alexander Galkin, Maria Neginskaya, Evgeny Pavlov, Vadim Ten