Absence of 2-hydroxylated sphingolipids is compatible with normal neural development but causes late-onset axon and myelin sheath degeneration.
ABSTRACT Sphingolipids containing 2-hydroxylated fatty acids are among the most abundant lipid components of the myelin sheath and therefore are thought to play an important role in formation and function of myelin. To prove this hypothesis, we generated mice lacking a functional fatty acid 2-hydroxylase (FA2H) gene. FA2H-deficient (FA2H(-/-)) mice lacked 2-hydroxylated sphingolipids in the brain and in peripheral nerves. In contrast, nonhydroxylated galactosylceramide was increased in FA2H(-/-) mice. However, oligodendrocyte differentiation examined by in situ hybridization with cRNA probes for proteolipid protein and PDGFalpha receptor and the time course of myelin formation were not altered in FA2H(-/-) mice compared with wild-type littermates. Nerve conduction velocity measurements of sciatic nerves revealed no significant differences between FA2H(-/-) and wild-type mice. Moreover, myelin of FA2H(-/-) mice up to 5 months of age appeared normal at the ultrastructural level, in the CNS and peripheral nervous system. Myelin thickness and g-ratios were normal in FA2H(-/-) mice. Aged (18-month-old) FA2H(-/-) mice, however, exhibited scattered axonal and myelin sheath degeneration in the spinal cord and an even more pronounced loss of stainability of myelin sheaths in sciatic nerves. These results show that structurally and functionally normal myelin can be formed in the absence of 2-hydroxylated sphingolipids but that its long-term maintenance is strikingly impaired. Because axon degeneration appear to start rather early with respect to myelin degenerations, these lipids might be required for glial support of axon function.
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ABSTRACT: Long axons and their enwrapping glia (EG; Schwann cells (SCs) and oligodendrocytes (OLGs)) form a unique compound structure that serves as conduit for transport of electric and chemical information in the nervous system. The peculiar cytoarchitecture over an enormous length as well as its substantial energetic requirements make this conduit particularly susceptible to detrimental alterations. Degeneration of long axons independent of neuronal cell bodies is observed comparatively early in a range of neurodegenerative conditions as a consequence of abnormalities in SCs and OLGs . This leads to the most relevant disease symptoms and highlights the critical role that these glia have for axon integrity, but the underlying mechanisms remain elusive. The quest to understand why and how axons degenerate is now a crucial frontier in disease-oriented research. This challenge is most likely to lead to significant progress if the inextricable link between axons and their flanking glia in pathological situations is recognized. In this review I compile recent advances in our understanding of the molecular programs governing axon degeneration, and mechanisms of EG's non-cell autonomous impact on axon-integrity. A particular focus is placed on emerging evidence suggesting that EG nurture long axons by virtue of their intimate association, release of trophic substances, and neurometabolic coupling. The correction of defects in these functions has the potential to stabilize axons in a variety of neuronal diseases in the peripheral nervous system and central nervous system (PNS and CNS).Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience 01/2013; 7:256. DOI:10.3389/fncel.2013.00256 · 4.18 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The terms "neuroacanthocytosis" (NA) and "neurodegeneration with brain iron accumulation" (NBIA) both refer to groups of genetically heterogeneous disorders, classified together due to similarities of their phenotypic or pathological findings. Even collectively, the disorders that comprise these sets are exceedingly rare and challenging to study. The NBIA disorders are defined by their appearance on brain magnetic resonance imaging, with iron deposition in the basal ganglia. Clinical features vary, but most include a movement disorder. New causative genes are being rapidly identified; however, the mechanisms by which mutations cause iron accumulation and neurodegeneration are not well understood. NA syndromes are also characterized by a progressive movement disorder, accompanied by cognitive and psychiatric features, resulting from mutations in a number of genes whose roles are also basically unknown. An overlapping feature of the two groups, NBIA and NA, is the occurrence of acanthocytes, spiky red cells with a poorly-understood membrane dysfunction. In this review we summarise recent developments in this field, specifically insights into cellular mechanisms and from animal models. Cell membrane research may shed light upon the significance of the erythrocyte abnormality, and upon possible connections between the two sets of disorders. Shared pathophysiologic mechanisms may lead to progress in the understanding of other types of neurodegeneration.Neurobiology of Disease 03/2012; 46(3):607-24. DOI:10.1016/j.nbd.2012.03.006 · 5.20 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Compact Disc-interactive is a platform which matches the bit rate of the ADSL transmission technology and the MPEG video compression algorithm. ADSL technology, coupled with the MPEG video compression algorithm, provides an ideal medium for delivery of video-on-demand and multimedia services over the existing telephone copper based loop plant. The ADSL allows for video delivery with full user control, simultaneous with existing voice services, over a single non loaded twisted pair up to 18kft or 5.5km in length. A working prototype of the complete end to end system including a networked CD-i player is demonstrated and described. The necessary technologies are now here for possible residential multimedia applications. Our experiment demonstrates feasibility of networking of the existing multimedia platforms which were originally designed for CD-ROM based stand alone systems. The approach to applications porting by virtualization these platforms is advantageous due to the existing popularity of titles as well as the existing application development systems for creation of new applicationsMultimedia Communications, 1994. MULTIMEDIA '94., 5th IEEE COMSOC International Workshop on; 06/1994