p75 neurotrophin receptor signaling in nervous system injury and degeneration: paradox and opportunity.
ABSTRACT Injury or insult to the adult nervous system often results in reactivation of signaling pathways that are normally only active during development. The p75 neurotrophin receptor (p75(NTR)) is one such signaling molecule whose expression increases markedly following neural injury in many of the same cell types that express p75(NTR) during development. A series of studies during the past decade has demonstrated that p75(NTR) signaling contributes to neuronal and glial cell damage, axonal degeneration and dysfunction during injury and cellular stress. Why the nervous system reacts to injury by inducing a molecule that aids the demise of cells and axons is a biological paradox that remains to be explained satisfactorily. On the other hand, it may offer unique therapeutic opportunities for limiting the severity of nervous system injury and disease.
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ABSTRACT: Neurotrophins can regulate opposing functions that result in cell survival or apoptosis, depending on which form of the protein is secreted and which receptor and signaling pathway is activated. We have recently developed a transgenic model in which inducible and patchy Muller cell ablation leads to photoreceptor degeneration. This study aimed to examine the roles of mature neurotrophin-3 (NT3), pro-NT3 and p75 neurotrophin receptor (P75NTR) in photoreceptor degeneration in this model. Transgenic mice received tamoxifen to induce Muller cell ablation. Changes in the status of Muller and microglia cells as well as expression of mature NT3, pro-NT3 and P75NTR were examined by immunohistochemistry and Western blot analysis. Recombinant mature NT3 and an antibody neutralizing 75NTR were injected intravitreally 3 and 6 days after Muller cell ablation to examine their effects on photoreceptor degeneration and microglial activation. We found that patchy loss of Muller cells was associated with activation of surviving Muller cells and microglial cells, concurrently with reduced expression of mature NT3 and upregulation of pro-NT3 and P75NTR. Intravitreal injection of mature NT3 and a neutralizing antibody to P75NTR, either alone or in combination, attenuated photoreceptor degeneration and the beneficial effect was associated with inhibition of microglial activation. Our data suggest that Muller cell ablation alters the balance between the protective and deleterious effects of mature NT3 and pro-NT3. Modulation of the neuroprotective action of mature NT3 and pro-apoptotic pro-NT3/P75NTR signaling may represent a novel pharmacological strategy for photoreceptor protection in retinal disease.Journal of Neuroinflammation 11/2013; 10(1):137. · 4.35 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Activation of phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) and Akt (protein kinase B) is a common response triggered by a range of membrane-bound receptors on many cell types. In T lymphocytes, the PI3K-Akt pathway promotes clonal expansion, differentiation, and survival of effector cells and suppresses the generation of regulatory T cells. PI3K activation is tightly controlled by signals through the T cell receptor (TCR) and the co-stimulatory receptor CD28, however sustained and periodic signals from additional co-receptors are now being recognized as critical contributors to the activation of this pathway. Accumulating evidence suggests that many members of the Tumor Necrosis Factor receptor (TNFR) superfamily, TNFR2 (TNFRSF1B), OX40 (TNFRSF4), 4-1BB (TNFRSF9), HVEM (TNFRSF14), and DR3 (TNFRSF25), that are constitutive or inducible on T cells, can directly or indirectly promote activity in the PI3K-Akt pathway. We discuss recent data which suggests that ligation of one TNFR family molecule organizes a signalosome, via TNFR-associated factor (TRAF) adapter proteins in T cell membrane lipid microdomains, that results in the subsequent accumulation of highly concentrated depots of PI3K and Akt in close proximity to TCR signaling units. We propose this may be a generalizable mechanism applicable to other TNFR family molecules that will result in a quantitative contribution of these signalosomes to enhancing and sustaining PI3K and Akt activation triggered by the TCR. We also review data that other TNFR molecules, such as CD40 (TNFRSF5), RANK (TNFRSF11A), FN14 (TNFRSF12A), TACI (TNFRSF13B), BAFFR (TNFRSF13C), and NGFR (TNFRSF16), contribute to the activation of this pathway in diverse cell types through a similar ability to recruit PI3K or Akt into their signaling complexes.Frontiers in Immunology 01/2013; 4:139.
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ABSTRACT: The somatosensory system of vertebrates transmits information from external and internal environments to the brain. This information relates to various modalities such as touch, temperature, itch and pain. The different modalities require a variety of subtypes of sensory neurons, tuned to detect and transmit specific stimuli. Each of these subtypes expresses a specific set of proteins to serve this highly specialized function and to control the cell type specific gene expression. This thesis explores the development and diversity of sensory neuronal subtypes in the dorsal root ganglion (DRG) of the mouse. In the five studies included in this thesis, we have investigated the roles of several genes in the development and function of sensory neurons. In Paper I, the focus is on a transcription factor, Cux2. We described that its expression is limited to large, early born neurons, which are mainly mechanosensitive, including a lineage of poorly characterized large TrkA+ neurons. We found no evidence that Cux2 would affect neuronal subtype specification, but instead we showed that it contributes to regulation of mechanosensation. Transcription factors themselves are closely regulated in order to be expressed at the right time and place in development. In Paper II we identified that FGF signaling from earlier-born neurons triggers the upregulation of the transcription factor Runx1 early in the development of the thermo-nociceptive lineage. Signaling by soluble factors is also involved in the late stages of maturation of neuronal identity, as we demonstrated in Paper IV for the Ret receptor. We reported that the loss of Ret expression caused a hypersensitivity to several sensory modalities and showed that Ret is necessary for the expression of a large number of ion channels and receptors. One of the Ret-regulated genes was the cold receptor TrpM8. In Paper III we showed that TrpM8 expression was confined to a small population of neurons lacking coexpression with most subtype markers. We also characterized the developmental expression of all members of the TrpM family in the DRG and showed that most of them were expressed with individual temporal patterns. Finally, in Paper V, we characterized the expression pattern of the enzyme Tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), the function of which is unknown in the DRG. TH is central in the catecholamine synthesis pathway, but whether or not that pathway is active in the DRG is uncertain. We showed that neurons expressing TH belong to the Ret+ population and that the expression of TH depends on Runx1 but not Ret. In summary, we have described a number of novel sensory neuron populations as well as genetic mechanisms governing development and diversification of specific populations. These results lead to a better understanding of the somatosensory system and hopefully in extension to better treatments for patients with somatosensory disturbances such as chronic pain conditions.02/2013, Degree: PhD, Supervisor: Patrik Ernfors