M Murawsky

Unité Inserm U1077, Caen, Lower Normandy, France

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Publications (16)58.46 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The wobbler mutant mouse displays a recessively inherited neurological disease with degeneration of motoneurons and is considered to be an animal model for human motoneuron diseases. Mutant mice can be clinically recognised at about 3-4 weeks of age but a polymorphic marker close to the wobbler gene offers the opportunity of a preclinical diagnosis. Using this polymorphic marker we performed morphometric (cell size) analysis of spinal cord motoneurons from 10 to 40 days post natal (PN). We observed at day 16 PN a transient appearance of swollen motoneurons, probably those that present vacuolar degeneration a little later and possibly die. One week later, from 21 days onwards, we found that the subpopulation of large motoneurons was depleted in the mutant mice. The absence of large motoneurons may have important physiological consequences and the loss or absence of differentiation of this particular subpopulation of motoneurons may be a key event in the course of the disease.
    Brain Research 04/2002; 930(1-2):53-7. · 2.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease or HIV encephalitis, neuronal DNA fragmentation has been observed at unexpected high frequencies, without definitive evidence for activation of an irreversible apoptotic pathway. The wobbler mouse is a suggested genetic model of neurodegenerative disease. The mutant mouse develops normally until the fourth week of age when atrophy and weakness of forelimb muscles become apparent. There is a slow progression of the disease and wobbler mice may survive for several months. Spinal cord examination reveals the presence of several motoneurons with perikaryal vacuolar degeneration. In this study, we observed, using terminal dUTP nick-end-labelling staining in mutant spinal cord sections, a massive although very transient DNA fragmentation in different cell types, including glial cells and motoneurons, before the apparition of any clinical symptoms. In older wobbler mice, this DNA fragmentation had completely disappeared and the majority of motoneurons survived. To our knowledge, this is the first example of a massive and transient DNA fragmentation in the central nervous system during the early course of a neurodegenerative disease.
    Neuroscience Letters 07/2001; 305(3):202-6. · 2.03 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A thorough examination of the structure and plasticity of the neuromuscular system was performed in tenascin-C mutant mice deficient in tenascin-C. The study of the peripheral nerve revealed a number of abnormal features. In the motor nerve, numerous unmyelinated and myelinated fibers with degraded myelin were present. Schwann cell processes often enclosed degenerative terminals. Transgene (beta-galactosidase) expression analyzed at the ultrastructural level was found to be unequally distributed in the mutant's neuromuscular tissues. At the NMJ, preterminal disorganization was prevalent. Some axon terminals exhibited abnormal overgrowth. A surprising lack of beta-galactosidase expression at some cellular sites known to possess tenascin-C in wild type mice correlated best with marked changes in the cytoarchitecture of the peripheral nerve and NMJ. In some other -but not all- cellular sites which normally express the molecule, immunofluorescence analysis suggested the presence of significant but low levels of tenascin-C-like immunoreactivity together with beta-galactosidase expression. Messenger RNA detection by RT-PCR confirmed the presence of low amounts of tenascin-C mRNA in skeletal muscle suggesting that the mice deficient in tenascin-C are not complete knock-outs of this gene, but low-expression mutants. Following in vivo injections of botulinum type-A toxin, we observed a greatly reduced sprouting response of the motor nerves in tenascin-C mutant mice. We also observed that N-CAM and beta-catenin were overexpressed in the mutant. Our results suggest that tenascin-C is involved both in stabilization and in plasticity of the NMJ.
    Cellular and molecular biology 04/1998; 44(2):357-79. · 0.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Several new neurotrophic factors have been recently identified and shown to prevent motoneuron death in vitro and in vivo. One such agent is brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). In this study, we tested BDNF on an animal model of early-onset motoneuron disease: the paralysé mouse mutant, characterized by a progressive skeletal muscle atrophy and the loss of 30-35% of spinal lumbar motoneurons between the first and second week post-natal. The results show that subcutaneous injections of 1 or 10 mg/kg BDNF did not have any significant effect in increasing the mean survival time of mutant mice or in preventing the loss of motor function and total body weight in paralysé mice. The weight and choline acetyltransferase activity of specific muscles and the number of motoneurons in the spinal cords were identical in BDNF-treated and placebo-injected paralysé mice. These results suggest that BDNF does not act on the disease process in paralysé mice in the conditions we used. By contrast, BDNF has previously been shown to partially prevent the loss of motor function in the wobbler mouse, a suggested model of later-onset motoneuron disease. Taken together these findings suggest that BDNF acts differently on early and late-onset motoneuron diseases. It is however possible that treatment of paralysé mice with BDNF or combinations of different neurotrophic factors prior to the phenotypical expression of the paralysé mutation may prevent the loss of motor function and motoneurons in mutant mice.
    Journal of the Neurological Sciences 01/1998; 153(1):20-4. · 2.24 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The survival and morphometric characteristics of lumbar spinal motoneurons were examined in the paralysé mouse mutant. Affected (par/par) mice can be first recognized at approximately postnatal day (PN) 7 to 8 and are characterized by their smaller-than-normal body size, a progressive generalized muscle weakness, and lack of coordination. Mutant mice die by PN16-18, when they have become almost completely paralyzed. Previously, we have shown that this mutation involves alteration of several developmental aspects of the neuromuscular system. However, whether ventral (or anterior) horn motoneurons degenerate and die during the course of the disease was unknown. We report here that at the time the mutant phenotype can be first identified (i.e. approximately PN8), lumbar motoneuron numbers in the lateral motor column of the spinal cord of paralysé mice were not significantly different from those of control littermates. In contrast, by PN14, there was a significant (30 to 35%) decrease in motoneuron numbers in mutant compared to control mice. Furthermore, motoneuron (nuclear and soma) sizes were significantly decreased in the mutants at both stages examined, i.e. PN8 and PN14. These results show that the paralysé mutation involves atrophy and subsequent death of anterior horn motoneurons. Together with the rapid progression and the severity of the disease, these results suggest that the paralysé mouse may represent a good animal model for studying early-onset human motor neuron diseases such as spinal muscular atrophy.
    Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology 07/1996; 55(6):698-703. · 4.35 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The wobbler mouse mutation, an autosomal recessive mutation, leads to motoneuron degeneration in early post-natal development. Transgenic mice in which neurons overexpress human bcl2 transgene have been generated: the overexpression of bcl2 reduces the neuron loss during naturally occurring and experimentally-induced cell deaths. In the present study, we generate mice co-expressing the wobbler mutant gene and the bcl2 transgene in order to determine the effects of Bcl2 overexpression on the neurodegenerative disorders of the wobbler mouse. The clinical signs of the disease (weakness, tremor, small size) as well as biochemical and histological parameters (choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) activity in muscles, gliosis in spinal cord) are similar in bcl2 positive and negative wobbler mice. These results point to the fact that the neuron-specific expression of the human bcl2 transgene does not correct the effects of the wobbler mutation.
    Neuroscience Letters 11/1995; 199(3):163-6. · 2.03 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The wobbler mouse develops an inherited motoneuronal degeneration of unknown origin in the spinal cord. Primary cultures of adult wobbler spinal cord astrocytes display abnormal morphological characteristics with fewer processes and paucity of cell-cell contacts. We have searched for a possible involvement of glutamate and glutamine intra- and extracellular accumulations in vitro in the abnormal differentiation of mutant astrocytes. We have found significantly higher glutamate and glutamine concentrations in the culture media of mutant astrocytes over a 3-day period compared with normal control astrocytes. Moreover, intracellular glutamate concentrations decreased substantially in mutant astrocytes, but intracellular glutamine concentrations remained unchanged. Furthermore, decreasing initial glutamine concentrations in the culture medium (glutamine-depleted medium) led to the recovery of normal extra- and intracellular concentrations of glutamate and recovery of quasi-normal morphological differentiation and increased cell-cell contacts, leading to an essentially normal looking astrocyte network after 3 days of culture. Under these conditions, which lead to recovery, the only remaining abnormality was the higher glutamine extracellular concentration attained in the originally depleted glutamine media. These findings suggest that mechanisms regulating glutamate/glutamine synthesis and/or influx/efflux are defective in wobbler astrocytes, leading to metabolic imbalance and possible cytotoxic effects characterized by disturbed intercellular networks and poor differentiation.
    Journal of Neurochemistry 10/1995; 65(3):1199-204. · 3.97 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Recombinant human insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) is being considered as a possible therapeutic agent for the treatment of motoneuron diseases like amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The neurological mutant mouse wobbler, carries an autosomal recessive gene (wr) and has been characterized as a model of lower motoneuron disorders with associated muscle atrophy, denervation and reinnervation. The purpose of the present study was to determine the possible beneficial effect of IGF-I administration in this mouse model. Upon diagnosis at 4 weeks of age, affected mice and their control normal littermates received human recombinant IGF-I (1 mg/kg) or vehicle solution, once a day, for 6 weeks. Body weight and grip strength were evaluated periodically during the treatment period. Mean muscle fiber diameter on biceps brachii sections, choline acetyltransferase activity in muscle extracts, and motoneuron numbers in spinal cord sections were determined. IGF-I treated wobbler mice showed a marked weight increase from 3 to 6 weeks of treatment in comparison with placebo treated mutant mice. At the end of the treatment, grip strength, estimated by dynamometer resistance, was 40% higher in IGF-I treated versus placebo treated animals. Mean muscle fiber diameter which is smaller in wobbler mice than in normal mice was increased in IGF-I treated mutants. However, in this study the muscle choline acetyltransferase activity and the number of spinal cord motoneurons were unchanged. Thus, IGF-I administration mainly results in a significant effect on the behavioral and skeletal muscle histochemical parameters of the wobbler mouse mutant.
    Journal of the Neurological Sciences 06/1995; 129 Suppl:122-6. · 2.24 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Mice affected by the wobbler mutation are characterized by a muscular atrophy associated with motoneuron degeneration. As soon as the first clinical signs of the disease appear, reactive astrocytes, strongly glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP)-positive, are observed in the spinal cord grey matter. They become prevalent at all levels with disease progression. Immunostaining of glutamine synthetase (GS) shows that these reactive astrocytes are never GS-positive. The activity and protein amounts of GS remain normal in wobbler spinal cord although astrocytosis develops. Thus, gliosis in the wobbler mouse seems to involve a subpopulation of astrocytes, which is strongly GFAP-positive but GS-negative.
    Neuroscience Letters 02/1995; 183(3):179-82. · 2.03 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The wobbler mutation is inherited as an autosomal recessive trait and displays a muscular atrophy associated with motoneuron degeneration in early postnatal development. It has been shown that the level of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) is greatly increased in the spinal cord of wobbler mice. We performed immunocytochemical analyses combined with confocal microscopy to study the developmental distribution of GFAP-positive astrocytes in the spinal cord of wobbler mice during the course of the disease, and in primary cultures of adult wobbler spinal cord astrocytes. Many changes in the number and distribution of astrocytes were observed in the wobbler mice from 1-10 months post-partum. Strongly GFAP-positive astrocytes are present in small number in the anterior horn by 1 month. They increase in number and are observed in the entire spinal cord grey and white matters by 2-10 months. These reactive astrocytes have thick, short, extensively branched processes which contrast with the long, unbranched processes observed in control mice. The wobbler astrocyte processes are oriented perpendicular to the surface of the spinal cord, which contrasts with the normal parallel, concentric orientation. No expansion of astrocyte processes exit from the white matter towards the grey matter. Moreover, the surface of the wobbler spinal cord beneath the meninges displays a dramatic decrease of interdigitating processes, end feet and flattened cell bodies of astrocytes that form a disorganized layer. In vitro, mutant astrocytes have morphological characteristics similar to those in vivo and, in particular, develop short, thick, branched processes. These mutant astrocytes in cultures do not contact one another, whereas normal mature cultures show an increased incidence of cell-cell contacts between long processes. The increase of astrocyte reactivity associated with these modifications in astrocytic process arrangement may reflect an important primary event in the course of the wobbler disease rather than a non-specific response to motoneuronal death.
    Journal of Neurocytology 04/1994; 23(3):179-92. · 1.94 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The expression of cytotactin, an extracellular matrix glycoprotein involved in morphogenesis and regeneration, was determined in the normal and regenerating neuromuscular system of the frog Rana temporaria. Cytotactin was expressed in adult brain and gut as two major components of Mr 190,000 and 200,000 and a minor form of higher molecular weight, but was almost undetectable in skeletal muscle extract. However, cytotactin was concentrated at the neuromuscular junctions as well as at the nodes of Ranvier. After nerve transection, cytotactin staining increased in the distal stump along the endoneurial tubes. In preparations of basal lamina sheaths of frog cutaneous pectoris muscle obtained by inducing the degeneration of both nerve and muscle fibers, cytotactin was found in dense accumulations at original synaptic sites. In order to define the role of cytotactin in axonal regeneration and muscle reinnervation, the effect of anti-cytotactin antibodies on the reinnervation of the basal lamina sheaths preparations was examined in vivo. In control preparations, regenerating nerve terminals preferentially reinnervate the original synaptic sites. In the presence of anti-cytotactin antibodies, axon regeneration occurred with normal fasciculation and branching but with altered preterminal nerve fibers pathways. Ultrastructural observations showed that synaptic basal laminae reinnervation was greatly delayed or inhibited. These results suggest that cytotactin plays a primordial role in synaptogenesis, at least during nerve regeneration and reinnervation in the adult neuromuscular system.
    Developmental Biology 03/1992; 149(2):381-94. · 3.87 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: 1. To approach the involvement of tissue-specific elements in the compartmentalization of ubiquitous polymorphic proteins, immunohistochemical methods were used to analyze the localization of butyrylcholinesterase (BuChE) in Xenopus oocytes microinjected with synthetic BuChEmRNA alone and in combination with tissue-extracted mRNAs. 2. When injected alone BuChEmRNA efficiently directed the synthesis of small membrane-associated accumulations localized principally on the external surface of the oocyte's animal pole. Tunicamycin blocked the appearance of such accumulations, suggesting that glycosylation is involved in the transport of nascent BuChE molecules to the oocyte's surface. Coinjection with brain or muscle mRNA, but not liver mRNA, facilitated the formation of pronounced, tissue-characteristic BuChE aggregates. 3. These findings implicate tissue-specific mRNAs in the assembly of the clone-produced protein and in its nonuniform distribution in the oocyte membrane or extracellular material.
    Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology 10/1989; 9(3):323-41. · 2.29 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cytotactin is an extracellular glycoprotein found in a highly specialized distribution during embryonic development. In the brain, it is synthesized by glia, not neurons. It is involved in neuron-glia adhesion in vitro and affects neuronal migration in the developing cerebellum. In an attempt to extend these observations to the peripheral nervous system, we have examined the distribution and localization of cytotactin in different parts of the normal and regenerating neuromuscular system. In the normal neuromuscular system, cytotactin accumulated at critical sites of cell-cell interactions, specifically at the neuromuscular junction and the myotendinous junction, as well at the node of Ranvier (Rieger, F., J. K. Daniloff, M. Pinçon-Raymond, K. L. Crossin, M. Grumet, and G. M. Edelman. 1986. J. Cell Biol. 103:379-391). At the neuromuscular junction, cytotactin was located in terminal nonmyelinating Schwann cells. Cytotactin was also detected near the insertion points of the muscle fibers to tendinous structures in both the proximal and distal endomysial regions of the myotendinous junctions. This was in striking contrast to staining for the neural cell adhesion molecule, N-CAM, which was accumulated near the extreme ends of the muscle fiber. Peripheral nerve damage resulted in modulation of expression of cytotactin in both nerve and muscle, particularly among the interacting tissues during regeneration and reinnervation. In denervated muscle, cytotactin accumulated in interstitial spaces and near the previous synaptic sites. Cytotactin levels were elevated and remained high along the endoneurial tubes and in the perineurium as long as muscle remained denervated. Reinnervation led to a return to normal levels of cytotactin both in inner surfaces of the nerve fascicles and in the perineurium. In dorsal root ganglia, the processes surrounding ganglionic neurons became intensely stained by anticytotactin antibodies after the nerve was cut, and returned to normal by 30 d after injury. These data suggest that local signals between neurons, glia, and supporting cells may regulate cytotactin expression in the neuromuscular system in a fashion coordinate with other cell adhesion molecules. Moreover, innervation may regulate the relative amount and distribution of cytotactin both in muscle and in Schwann cells.
    The Journal of Cell Biology 03/1989; 108(2):625-35. · 10.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The neural cell adhesion molecule (N-CAM) is a membrane glycoprotein involved in neuron-neuron and neuron-muscle adhesion. It can be synthesized in various forms by both nerve and muscle and it becomes concentrated at the motor endplate. Biochemical analysis of a frog muscle extract enriched in basal lamina revealed the presence of a polydisperse, polysialylated form of N-CAM with an average Mr of approximately 160,000 as determined by SDS-PAGE, which was converted to a form of 125,000 Mr by treatment with neuraminidase. To define further the role of N-CAM in neuromuscular junction organization, we studied the distribution of N-CAM in an in vivo preparation of frog basal lamina sheaths obtained by inducing the degeneration of both nerve and muscle fibers. Immunoreactive material could be readily detected by anti-N-CAM antibodies in such basal lamina sheaths. Ultrastructural analysis using immunogold techniques revealed N-CAM in close association with the basal lamina sheaths, present in dense accumulation at places that presumably correspond to synaptic regions. N-CAM epitopes were also associated with collagen fibrils in the extracellular matrix. The ability of anti-N-CAM antibodies to perturb nerve regeneration and reinnervation of the remaining basal lamina sheaths was then examined. In control animals, myelinating Schwann cells wrapped around the regenerated axon and reinnervation occurred only at the old synaptic areas; new contacts between nerve and basal lamina had a terminal Schwann cell capping the nerve terminal. In the presence of anti-N-CAM antibodies, three major abnormalities were observed in the regeneration and reinnervation processes: (a) regenerated axons in nerve trunks that had grown back into the old Schwann cell basal lamina were rarely associated with myelinating Schwann cell processes, (b) ectopic synapses were often present, and (c) many of the axon terminals lacked a terminal Schwann cell capping the nerve-basal lamina contact area. These results suggest that N-CAM may play an important role not only in the determination of synaptic areas but also in Schwann cell-axon interactions during nerve regeneration.
    The Journal of Cell Biology 09/1988; 107(2):707-19. · 10.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In the muscular dysgenic (mdg/mdg) mouse embryo, both muscle and nerve are affected early during embryogenesis, from Embryonic Day 13 (E13). We now find that the mutation affects not only the degree of differentiation of the muscle and the pattern of motor innervation but also the relationship between Schwann cell and axon. We studied the sciatic nerve of normal and mdg/mdg embryos between E13 and E18 at the ultrastructural level. We found that in mdg/mdg nerve, (1) Schwann cells do not totally enwrap the growing axons in their most distal part, close to the growth cone, and (2) the terminal Schwann cells do not correctly surround the nerve endings and seal the corresponding synaptic contacts. Moreover, both types of mutant Schwann cell lack a normal electron-dense basal lamina. We found that there is an excess of axons relative to the Schwann cell population in the intramuscular portions of the mdg/mdg sciatic nerve. Our observations point toward a possible defect of the mechanism of migration and maturation of Schwann cells. Such a defect may in turn affect primarily or secondarily the mutual influences between Schwann cell and axon and lead to some or all of the major abnormalities observed in the mdg/mdg neuromuscular system, namely, multifocal polyinnervation, immature axon-myotube contacts, and abnormal T-tubule-sarcoplasmic reticulum junctions.
    Developmental Biology 12/1987; 124(1):259-68. · 3.87 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Isolated motor endplates from mouse intercostal muscles can be obtained after subcellular fractionation. On these motor endplates, localization of the nicotinic receptor and of the voltage-dependent Na+ channel coincides as demonstrated by double labeling with rhodamine alpha-bungarotoxin and a specific anti-Na+ channel monoclonal antibody. High density of Na+ channel at the motor endplate is confirmed by the enrichment in TTX binding sites as compared to the crude homogenate. In contrast isolated motor endplates are almost completely devoid of Ca2+ channel antagonist binding sites.
    Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 09/1986; 139(1):196-201. · 2.28 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

344 Citations
58.46 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 1994–1998
    • Unité Inserm U1077
      Caen, Lower Normandy, France
  • 1996
    • Wake Forest University
      • Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy
      Winston-Salem, North Carolina, United States
  • 1992
    • French Institute of Health and Medical Research
      Lutetia Parisorum, Île-de-France, France
  • 1988
    • The Rockefeller University
      • Laboratory of Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience
      New York City, New York, United States