Rapamycin treatment augments motor neuron degeneration in SOD1(G93A) mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
ABSTRACT Aberrant protein misfolding may contribute to the pathogenesis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) but the detailed mechanisms are largely unknown. Our previous study has shown that autophagy is altered in the mouse model of ALS. In the present study, we systematically investigated the correlation of the autophagic alteration with the motor neurons (MNs) degeneration in the ALS mice. We have demonstrated that the autophagic protein marker LC3-II is markedly and specifically increased in the spinal cord MNs of the ALS mice. Electron microscopy and immunochemistry studies have shown that autophagic vacuoles are significantly accumulated in the dystrophic axons of spinal cord MNs of the ALS mice. All these changes in the ALS mice appear at the age of 90 d when the ALS mice display modest clinical symptoms; and they become prominent at the age of 120 d. The clinical symptoms are correlated with the progression of MNs degeneration. Moreover, we have found that p62/SQSTM1 is accumulated progressively in the spinal cord, indicating that the possibility of impaired autophagic flux in the SOD1(G93A) mice. Furthermore, to our surprise, we have found that treatment with autophagy enhancer rapamycin accelerates the MNs degeneration, shortens the life span of the ALS mice, and has no obvious effects on the accumulation of SOD1 aggregates. In addition, we have demonstrated that rapamycin treatment in the ALS mice causes more severe mitochondrial impairment, higher Bax levels and greater caspase-3 activation. These findings suggest that selective degeneration of MNs is associated with the impairment of the autophagy pathway and that rapamycin treatment may exacerbate the pathological processing through apoptosis and other mechanisms in the ALS mice.
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ABSTRACT: X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy (X-ALD) is a rare neurometabolic disease characterized by the accumulation of very long chain fatty acids (VLCFAs) due to a loss of function of the peroxisomal transporter ABCD1. Here, using in vivo and in vitro models, we demonstrate that autophagic flux was impaired due to elevated mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling, which contributed to X-ALD pathogenesis. We also show that excess VLCFAs downregulated autophagy in human fibroblasts. Furthermore, mTOR inhibition by a rapamycin derivative (temsirolimus) restored autophagic flux and inhibited the axonal degenerative process as well as the associated locomotor impairment in the Abcd1 (-) /Abcd2 (-/-) mouse model. This process was mediated through the restoration of proteasome function and redox as well as metabolic homeostasis. These findings provide the first evidence that links impaired autophagy to X-ALD, which may yield a therapy based on autophagy activators for adrenomyeloneuropathy patients.Acta Neuropathologica 12/2014; 129(3). DOI:10.1007/s00401-014-1378-8 · 9.78 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The discovery that rapamycin increases lifespan in mice and restores/delays many aging phenotypes has led to the speculation that rapamycin has 'anti-aging' properties. The major question discussed in this review is whether a manipulation that has anti-aging properties can alter the onset and/or progression of Alzheimer's disease, a disease in which age is the major risk factor. Rapamycin has been shown to prevent (and possibly restore in some cases) the deficit in memory observed in the mouse model of Alzheimer's disease (AD-Tg) as well as reduce Aβ and tau aggregation, restore cerebral blood flow and vascularization, and reduce microglia activation. All of these parameters are widely recognized as symptoms central to the development of AD. Furthermore, rapamycin has also been shown to improve memory and reduce anxiety and depression in several other mouse models that show cognitive deficits as well as in 'normal' mice. The current research shows the feasibility of using pharmacological agents that increase lifespan, such as those identified by the National Institute on Aging Intervention Testing Program, to treat Alzheimer's disease. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Inc.Experimental Gerontology 12/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.exger.2014.12.002 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Background MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are noncoding small RNAs that regulate gene expression. This study investigated whether formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) specimen from postmortem cases of neurodegenerative disorders would be suitable for miRNA profiling.ResultsTen FFPE samples from 6 cases of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and 4 neurologically normal controls were selected for miRNA analysis on the basis of the following criteria for RNA quality: (i) a postmortem interval of less than 6 hours, (ii) a formalin fixation time of less than 4 weeks, (iii) an RNA yield per sample of more than 500 ng, and (iv) sufficient quality of the RNA agarose gel image. An overall RNA extraction success rate was 46.2%. For ALS, a total of 364 miRNAs were identified in the motor cortex, 91 being up-regulated and 233 down-regulated. Target genes were predicted using miRNA bioinformatics software, and the data applied to ontology analysis. This indicated that one of the miRNAs up-regulated in ALS (miR-338-3p) had already been identified in leukocytes, serum, cerebrospinal fluid and frozen spinal cord from ALS patients.Conclusion Although analysis was possible for just under half of the specimens examined, we were able to show that informative miRNA data can be derived from archived FFPE samples from postmortem cases of neurodegenerative disorders.12/2014; 2(1):173. DOI:10.1186/s40478-014-0173-z