Neuronal sensitivity to TDP-43 overexpression is dependent on timing of induction

Department of Neuroscience, Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, FL 32224, USA.
Acta Neuropathologica (Impact Factor: 10.76). 04/2012; 123(6):807-23. DOI: 10.1007/s00401-012-0979-3
Source: PubMed


Ubiquitin-immunoreactive neuronal inclusions composed of TAR DNA binding protein of 43 kDa (TDP-43) are a major pathological feature of frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD-TDP). In vivo studies with TDP-43 knockout mice have suggested that TDP-43 plays a critical, although undefined role in development. In the current report, we generated transgenic mice that conditionally express wild-type human TDP-43 (hTDP-43) in the forebrain and established a paradigm to examine the sensitivity of neurons to TDP-43 overexpression at different developmental stages. Continuous TDP-43 expression during early neuronal development produced a complex phenotype, including aggregation of phospho-TDP-43, increased ubiquitin immunoreactivity, mitochondrial abnormalities, neurodegeneration and early lethality. In contrast, later induction of hTDP-43 in the forebrain of weaned mice prevented early death and mitochondrial abnormalities while yielding salient features of FTLD-TDP, including progressive neurodegeneration and ubiquitinated, phospho-TDP-43 neuronal cytoplasmic inclusions. These results suggest that neurons in the developing forebrain are extremely sensitive to TDP-43 overexpression and that timing of TDP-43 overexpression in transgenic mice must be considered when distinguishing normal roles of TDP-43, particularly as they relate to development, from its pathogenic role in FTLD-TDP and other TDP-43 proteinopathies. Finally, our adult induction of hTDP-43 strategy provides a mouse model that develops critical pathological features that are directly relevant for human TDP-43 proteinopathies.

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    • "Additionally, we failed to detect downregulation in the cortex and hippocampus of 2 month old iTDP-438A animals (figure 4F). Seeking to validate our methodology, we analyzed hippocampal RNA from a line of transgenic mice overexpressing human wild type TDP-43, iTDP-4317D, that have previously been reported to express reduced Tardbp mRNA [24]. We observed a statistically significant reduction in Tardbp using all three primer pairs (figure 4F). "
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    ABSTRACT: The majority of cases of frontotemporal lobar degeneration and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis are pathologically defined by the cleavage, cytoplasmic redistribution and aggregation of TAR DNA binding protein of 43 kDa (TDP-43). To examine the contribution of these potentially toxic mechanisms in vivo, we generated transgenic mice expressing human TDP-43 containing the familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis-linked M337V mutation and identified two lines that developed neurological phenotypes of differing severity and progression. The first developed a rapid cortical neurodegenerative phenotype in the early postnatal period, characterized by fragmentation of TDP-43 and loss of endogenous murine Tdp-43, but entirely lacking aggregates of ubiquitin or TDP-43. A second, low expressing line was aged to 25 months without a severe neurodegenerative phenotype, despite a 30% loss of mouse Tdp-43 and accumulation of lower molecular weight TDP-43 species. Furthermore, TDP-43 fragments generated during neurodegeneration were not C-terminal, but rather were derived from a central portion of human TDP-43. Thus we find that aggregation is not required for cell loss, loss of murine Tdp-43 is not necessarily sufficient in order to develop a severe neurodegenerative phenotype and lower molecular weight TDP-43 positive species in mouse models should not be inherently assumed to be representative of human disease. Our findings are significant for the interpretation of other transgenic studies of TDP-43 proteinopathy.
    PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(1):e86513. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0086513 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    • "Several other studies demonstrated the potential contribution of TDP-43 deficiency to disease pathogenesis [10], [12], while our group and others have demonstrated that overexpression of the human TDP-43 (hTDP-43) protein, either wild-type (hTDP-43WT) or mutant hTDP-43, leads to pathological phenotypes consistent with certain TDP-43 proteinopathies. These phenotypes may include some of the following: increased ubiquitination, truncation, aggregation and phosphorylation of TDP-43, cytoplasmic TDP-43 inclusions, neuronal degeneration, motor dysfunction, learning and memory deficits, and mitochondrial abnormalities [13], [14], [15], [16], [17], [18], [19]. Moreover, we [14], [15] and others [12] have observed that expression of hTDP-43 protein in transgenic mice decreases the mRNA levels of endogenous mouse Tardbp. "
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    ABSTRACT: Tar DNA binding protein 43 (TDP-43) is the major component of pathological deposits in frontotemporal lobar degeneration with TDP-43 inclusions (FTLD-TDP) and in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). It has been reported that TDP-43 transgenic mouse models expressing human TDP-43 wild-type or ALS-associated mutations recapitulate certain ALS and FTLD pathological phenotypes. Of note, expression of human TDP-43 (hTDP-43) reduces the levels of mouse Tdp-43 (mTdp-43). However, it remained unclear whether the mechanisms through which TDP-43 induces ALS or FTLD-like pathologies resulted from a reduction in mTdp-43, an increase in hTDP-43, or a combination of both. In elucidating the role of mTdp-43 and hTDP-43 in hTDP-43 transgenic mice, we observed that reduction of mTdp-43 in non-transgenic mice by intraventricular brain injection of AAV1-shTardbp leads to a dramatic increase in the levels of splicing variants of mouse sortilin 1 and translin. However, the levels of these two abnormal splicing variants are not increased in hTDP-43 transgenic mice despite significant downregulation of mTdp-43 in these mice. Moreover, further downregulation of mTdp-43 in hTDP-43 hemizygous mice, which are asymptomatic, to the levels equivalent to that of mTdp-43 in hTDP-43 homozygous mice does not induce the pathological phenotypes observed in the homozygous mice. Lastly, the number of dendritic spines and the RNA levels of TDP-43 RNA targets critical for synapse formation and function are significantly decreased in symptomatic homozygous mice. Together, our findings indicate that mTdp-43 downregulation does not lead to a loss of function mechanism or account for the pathological phenotypes observed in hTDP-43 homozygous mice because hTDP-43 compensates for the reduction, and associated functions of mTdp-43. Rather, expression of hTDP-43 beyond a certain threshold leads to abnormal metabolism of TDP-43 RNA targets critical for neuronal structure and function, which might be responsible for the ALS or FTLD-like pathologies observed in homozygous hTDP-43 transgenic mice.
    PLoS ONE 07/2013; 8(7):e69864. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0069864 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    • "Functional studies which exploit the capabilities of the in vivo model systems utilized in this report could compliment these human studies. For example, the rTg4510 model of tauopathy can now be crossbred with conditional TDP-43 models created by our group and others [7, 24] to determine if the two pathologies act in concert to accelerate the FTLD-like neurodegeneration of these models. Furthermore, we can now suppress tau expression in the rTg4510 mice and determine if the TDP-43 pathology is reversible and if any reversion of TDP-43 pathology tracks with the cognitive recovery observed in tau suppressed rTg4510 mice [46]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) has been subdivided based on the main pathology found in the brains of affected individuals. When the primary pathology is aggregated, hyperphosphorylated tau, the pathological diagnosis is FTLD-tau. When the primary pathology is cytoplasmic and/or nuclear aggregates of phosphorylated TAR-DNA-binding protein (TDP-43), the pathological diagnosis is FTLD-TDP. Notably, TDP-43 pathology can also occur in conjunction with a number of neurodegenerative disorders; however, unknown environmental and genetic factors may regulate this TDP-43 pathology. Using transgenic mouse models of several diseases of the central nervous system, we explored whether a primary proteinopathy might secondarily drive TDP-43 proteinopathy. We found abnormal, cytoplasmic accumulation of phosphorylated TDP-43 specifically in two tau transgenic models, but TDP-43 pathology was absent in mouse models of Aβ deposition, α-synucleinopathy or Huntington’s disease. Though tau pathology showed considerable overlap with cytoplasmic, phosphorylated TDP-43, tau pathology generally preceded TDP-43 pathology. Biochemical analysis confirmed the presence of TDP-43 abnormalities in the tau mice, which showed increased levels of high molecular weight, soluble TDP-43 and insoluble full-length and ~35 kD TDP-43. These data demonstrate that the neurodegenerative cascade associated with a primary tauopathy in tau transgenic mice can also promote TDP-43 abnormalities. These findings provide the first in vivo models to understand how TDP-43 pathology may arise as a secondary consequence of a primary proteinopathy. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00401-013-1123-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
    Acta Neuropathologica 05/2013; 126(1). DOI:10.1007/s00401-013-1123-8 · 10.76 Impact Factor
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