Article

Late-onset corticohippocampal neurodepletion attributable to catastrophic failure of oxidative phosphorylation in MILON mice

Departments of Medical Nutrition and Biosciences, Karolinska Institutet, Novum, Huddinge Hospital, S-141 86 Huddinge, Sweden.
The Journal of Neuroscience : The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience (Impact Factor: 6.75). 11/2001; 21(20):8082-90.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT We generated mitochondrial late-onset neurodegeneration (MILON) mice with postnatal disruption of oxidative phosphorylation in forebrain neurons. They develop normally and display no overt behavioral disturbances or histological changes during the first 5 months of life. The MILON mice display reduced levels of mitochondrial DNA and mitochondrial RNA from 2 and 4 months of age, respectively, and severely respiratory chain-deficient neurons from 4 months of age. Surprisingly, these respiratory chain-deficient neurons are viable for at least 1 month without showing signs of neurodegeneration or major induction of defenses against oxidative stress. Prolonged neuronal respiratory chain deficiency is thus required for the induction of neurodegeneration. Before developing neurological symptoms, MILON mice show increased vulnerability to excitotoxic stress. We observed a markedly enhanced sensitivity to excitotoxic challenge, manifest as an abundance of terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated biotinylated UTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) reactive cells after kainic acid injection, in 4-month-old MILON mice, showing that respiratory chain-deficient neurons are more vulnerable to stress. At approximately 5-5.5 months of age, MILON mice start to show signs of disease, followed by death shortly thereafter. The debut of overt disease in MILON mice coincides with onset of rapidly progressive neurodegeneration and massive cell death in hippocampus and neocortex. This profound neurodegenerative process is manifested as axonal degeneration, gliosis, and abundant TUNEL-positive nuclei. The MILON mouse model provides a novel and powerful tool for additional studies of the role for respiratory chain deficiency in neurodegeneration and aging.

Download full-text

Full-text

Available from: Mats I Ekstrand, Apr 07, 2014
0 Followers
 · 
60 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Neuronal oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) deficiency has been associated with a variety of neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson's disease and Huntington's disease. However, it is not clear how mitochondrial dysfunction alone can lead to a preferential elimination of certain neuronal populations in vivo. We compared different types of neuronal populations undergoing the same OXPHOS deficiency to determine their relative susceptibility and mechanisms responsible for selective neuron vulnerability. We used a mouse model expressing a mitochondria-targeted restriction enzyme, PstI or mito-PstI. The expression of mito-PstI induces double-strand breaks in the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), leading to OXPHOS deficiency, mostly due to mtDNA depletion. We targeted mito-PstI expression to the cortex, hippocampus, and striatum under the CaMKII-α promoter. Animals undergoing long-term expression of mito-PstI displayed a selective worsening of the striatum over cortical and hippocampal areas. Mito-PstI expression and mtDNA depletion were not worse in the striatum, but the latter showed the most severe defects in mitochondrial membrane potential, response to calcium, and survival. These results showed that the striatum is particularly sensitive to defects in OXPHOS possibly due to an increased reliance on OXPHOS function in this area and differences in response to physiological stimuli. These results may help explain the neuropathological features associated with Huntington's disease, which have been associated with OXPHOS defects.
    The Journal of Neuroscience : The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience 07/2011; 31(27):9895-904. DOI:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.6223-10.2011 · 6.75 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The MitoPark mouse, in which the mitochondrial transcription factor Tfam is selectively removed in midbrain dopamine (DA) neurons, is a genetic model for Parkinson's disease (PD) that replicates the slow and progressive development of key symptoms. To further validate this model, we have extended both behavioral and biochemical analyses in these animals. We found that vertical movements decline earlier and faster than horizontal movements, possibly modeling the early occurrence of axial, postural instability in PD. L-DOPA induces different locomotor responses depending on the age: in young MitoPark mice the L-DOPA-induced motor activation is small; middle-aged MitoPark mice respond in a dose-dependent manner to L-DOPA, whereas aged MitoPark mice display a double-peaked locomotor response to a high dose of L-DOPA that includes an intermittent period of very low motor activity, similar to the 'on-off' phenomenon in PD. To correlate behavior with biochemical data, we analyzed monoamine levels in three different brain areas that are highly innervated by the DA system: striatum, anterior cortex and olfactory bulb. DA levels declined earlier and faster in striatum than in cortex; only at the latest time-point analyzed, DA levels were found to be significantly lower than control levels in the olfactory bulb. Interestingly, the ratio between homovanillic acid (HVA) and DA differed between regions over time. In striatum and olfactory bulb, the ratio increased steeply indicating increased DA turnover. In contrast, the ratio decreased over time in cortex, revealing important differences between DA cells in substantia nigra and the ventral tegmental area.
    Genes Brain and Behavior 10/2009; 9(2):173-81. DOI:10.1111/j.1601-183X.2009.00542.x · 3.51 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: DNA polymerase gamma (pol gamma) is the sole DNA polymerase devoted to mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) replication. We have characterized the molecular and physiological effects of over-expression of the catalytic subunit of pol gamma, pol gamma-alpha, in the nervous system of Drosophila melanogaster using the upstream activation sequence (UAS)/yeast transcriptional activator by binding to UAS (GAL4) system. Tissue-specific over-expression of pol gamma-alpha was confirmed by immunoblot analysis, whereas the very low levels of endogenous protein are undetectable in UAS or GAL4 control lines. The transgenic flies over-expressing pol gamma-alpha in the nervous system showed a moderate increase in pupal lethality, and a significant decrease in the median life span of adult flies. Moreover, these flies displayed a decrease in the rate of synthesis of mtDNA, which is accompanied by a significant mtDNA depletion, and a corresponding decrease in the levels of mitochondrial transcription factor A (mtTFA). Biochemical analysis showed an oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) defect in transgenic flies, which were more susceptible to oxidative stress. Although we did not detect apoptosis in the nervous system of adult transgenic flies, brains of larvae over-expressing pol gamma-alpha showed evidence of increased cell death that correlates with the observed phenotypes. Our data establish an animal model that mimics some of the features of human mtDNA depletion syndromes.
    Journal of Neurochemistry 05/2008; 105(1):165-76. DOI:10.1111/j.1471-4159.2007.05122.x · 4.24 Impact Factor