[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The available evidence suggests that the lethality of glioblastoma is driven by small subpopulations of cells that self-renew and exhibit tumorigenicity. It remains unclear whether tumorigenicity exists as a static property of a few cells or as a dynamically acquired property. We used tumor-sphere and xenograft formation as assays for tumorigenicity and examined subclones isolated from established and primary glioblastoma lines. Our results indicate that glioblastoma tumorigenicity is largely deterministic, yet the property can be acquired spontaneously at low frequencies. Further, these dynamic transitions are governed by epigenetic reprogramming through the lysine-specific demethylase 1 (LSD1). LSD depletion increases trimethylation of histone 3 lysine 4 at the avian myelocytomatosis viral oncogene homolog (MYC) locus, which elevates MYC expression. MYC, in turn, regulates oligodendrocyte lineage transcription factor 2 (OLIG2), SRY (sex determining region Y)-box 2 (SOX2), and POU class 3 homeobox 2 (POU3F2), a core set of transcription factors required for reprogramming glioblastoma cells into stem-like states. Our model suggests epigenetic regulation of key transcription factors governs transitions between tumorigenic states and provides a framework for glioblastoma therapeutic development.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 07/2015; 75(15 Supplement). DOI:10.1073/pnas.1501967112 · 9.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Previous studies indicated that intracerebroventricular administration of nerve growth factor (NGF) leads to massive Schwann cell hyperplasia surrounding the medulla oblongata and spinal cord. This study was designed to characterize the proliferation of peripheral glial cells, that is, Schwann and satellite cells, in the trigeminal ganglia and dorsal root ganglia (DRG) of adult rats during two weeks of NGF infusion using bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) to label dividing cells. The trigeminal ganglia as well as the cervical and lumbar DRG were analyzed. Along the entire neuraxis a small number of dividing cells were observed within these regions under physiological condition. NGF infusion has dramatically increased the generation of new cells in the neuronal soma and axonal compartments of sensory ganglia and along the dorsal root and the dorsal root entry zone. Quantification of BrdU positive cells within sensory ganglia revealed a 2.3- to 3-fold increase in glial cells compared to controls with a similar response to NGF for the different peripheral ganglia examined. Immunofluorescent labeling with S100 β revealed that Schwann and satellite cells underwent mitosis after NGF administration. These data indicate that intracerebroventricular NGF infusion significantly induces gliogenesis in trigeminal ganglia and the spinal sensory ganglia and along the dorsal root entry zone as well as the dorsal root.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Expanded hexanucleotide repeats in the chromosome 9 open reading frame 72 (C9orf72) gene are the most common genetic cause of ALS and frontotemporal degeneration (FTD). Here, we identify nuclear RNA foci containing the hexanucleotide expansion (GGGGCC) in patient cells, including white blood cells, fibroblasts, glia, and multiple neuronal cell types (spinal motor, cortical, hippocampal, and cerebellar neurons). RNA foci are not present in sporadic ALS, familial ALS/FTD caused by other mutations (SOD1, TDP-43, or tau), Parkinson disease, or nonneurological controls. Antisense oligonucleotides (ASOs) are identified that reduce GGGGCC-containing nuclear foci without altering overall C9orf72 RNA levels. By contrast, siRNAs fail to reduce nuclear RNA foci despite marked reduction in overall C9orf72 RNAs. Sustained ASO-mediated lowering of C9orf72 RNAs throughout the CNS of mice is demonstrated to be well tolerated, producing no behavioral or pathological features characteristic of ALS/FTD and only limited RNA expression alterations. Genome-wide RNA profiling identifies an RNA signature in fibroblasts from patients with C9orf72 expansion. ASOs targeting sense strand repeat-containing RNAs do not correct this signature, a failure that may be explained, at least in part, by discovery of abundant RNA foci with C9orf72 repeats transcribed in the antisense (GGCCCC) direction, which are not affected by sense strand-targeting ASOs. Taken together, these findings support a therapeutic approach by ASO administration to reduce hexanucleotide repeat-containing RNAs and raise the potential importance of targeting expanded RNAs transcribed in both directions.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 10/2013; 110(47). DOI:10.1073/pnas.1318835110 · 9.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The placenta is a transient organ that is necessary for proper fetal development. Its main functional component is the trophoblast, which is derived from extra-embryonic ectoderm. Little is known about early trophoblast differentiation in the human embryo, owing to lack of a proper in vitro model system. Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) differentiate into functional trophoblast following BMP4 treatment in the presence of feeder-conditioned media; however, this model has not been widely accepted, in part owing to a lack of proof for a trophoblast progenitor population. We have previously shown that p63, a member of the p53 family of nuclear proteins, is expressed in proliferative cytotrophoblast (CTB), precursors to terminally differentiated syncytiotrophoblast (STB) in chorionic villi and extravillous trophoblast (EVT) at the implantation site. Here, we show that BMP4-treated hESCs differentiate into bona fide CTB by direct comparison with primary human placental tissues and isolated CTB through gene expression profiling. We show that, in primary CTB, p63 levels are reduced as cells differentiate into STB, and that forced expression of p63 maintains cyclin B1 and inhibits STB differentiation. We also establish that, similar to in vivo events, hESC differentiation into trophoblast is characterized by a p63(+)/KRT7(+) CTB stem cell state, followed by formation of functional KLF4(+) STB and HLA-G(+) EVT. Finally, we illustrate that downregulation of p63 by shRNA inhibits differentiation of hESCs into functional trophoblast. Taken together, our results establish that BMP4-treated hESCs are an excellent model of human trophoblast differentiation, closely mimicking the in vivo progression from p63(+) CTB stem cells to terminally differentiated trophoblast subtypes.
Development 09/2013; 140(19). DOI:10.1242/dev.092155 · 6.27 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recruitment of monocytes into sites of inflammation is essential in the immune response. In cancer, recruited monocytes promote invasion, metastasis, and possibly angiogenesis. LDL receptor-related protein (LRP1) is an endocytic and cell-signaling receptor that regulates cell migration. In this study, we isografted PanO2 pancreatic carcinoma cells into mice in which LRP1 is deleted in myeloid lineage cells. Recruitment of monocytes into orthotopic and subcutaneous tumors was significantly increased in these mice, compared with control mice. LRP1-deficient bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMDMs) expressed higher levels of multiple chemokines, including, most prominently, macrophage inflammatory protein-1α/CCL3, which is known to amplify inflammation. Increased levels of CCL3 were detected in LRP1-deficient tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs), isolated from PanO2 tumors, and in RAW 264.7 macrophage-like cells in which LRP1 was silenced. LRP1-deficient BMDMs migrated more rapidly than LRP1-expressing cells in vitro. The difference in migration was reversed by CCL3-neutralizing antibody, by CCR5-neutralizing antibody, and by inhibiting NFκB with JSH-23. Inhibiting NFκB reversed the increase in CCL3 expression associated with LRP1 gene-silencing in RAW 264.7 cells. Tumors formed in mice with LRP1-deficient myeloid cells demonstrated increased angiogenesis. Although VEGF mRNA expression was not increased in LRP1-deficient TAMs, at the single-cell level, the increase in TAM density in tumors with LRP1-deficient myeloid cells may have allowed these TAMs to contribute an increased amount of VEGF to the tumor microenvironment. Our results demonstrate that macrophage density in tumors is correlated with cancer angiogenesis in a novel model system. Myeloid cell LRP1 may be an important regulator of cancer progression.
Cancer Research 04/2013; 73(13). DOI:10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-12-4233 · 9.28 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chronic pancreatitis is an inflammatory disease that causes progressive destruction of pancreatic acinar cells and, ultimately, loss of pancreatic function. We investigated the role of IκB kinase α (IKKα) in pancreatic homeostasis. Pancreas-specific ablation of IKKα (IkkαΔpan) caused spontaneous and progressive acinar cell vacuolization and death, interstitial fibrosis, inflammation, and circulatory release of pancreatic enzymes, clinical signs resembling those of human chronic pancreatitis. Loss of pancreatic IKKα causes defective autophagic protein degradation, leading to accumulation of p62-mediated protein aggregates and enhanced oxidative and ER stress in acinar cells, but none of these effects is related to NF-κB. Pancreas-specific p62 ablation prevented ER and oxidative stresses and attenuated pancreatitis in IkkαΔpan mice, suggesting that cellular stress induced by p62 aggregates promotes development of pancreatitis. Importantly, downregulation of IKKα and accumulation of p62 aggregates were also observed in chronic human pancreatitis. Our studies demonstrate that IKKα, which may control autophagic protein degradation through its interaction with ATG16L2, plays a critical role in maintaining pancreatic acinar cell homeostasis, whose dysregulation promotes pancreatitis through p62 aggregate accumulation.
The Journal of clinical investigation 04/2013; 123(5). DOI:10.1172/JCI64498 · 13.77 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Breast cancer and melanoma cells commonly metastasize to the brain using homing mechanisms that are poorly understood. Cancer patients with brain metastases display poor prognosis and survival due to the lack of effective therapeutics and treatment strategies. Recent work using intravital microscopy and preclinical animal models indicates that metastatic cells colonize the brain specifically in close contact with the existing brain vasculature. However, it is not known how contact with the vascular niche promotes microtumor formation. Here, we investigate the role of connexins in mediating early events in brain colonization using transparent zebrafish and chicken embryo models of brain metastasis. We provide evidence that breast cancer and melanoma cells utilize connexin gap junction proteins (Cx43, Cx26) to initiate brain metastatic lesion formation in association with the vasculature. RNAi depletion of connexins or pharmacological blocking of connexin-mediated cell-cell communication with carbenoxolone inhibited brain colonization by blocking tumor cell extravasation and blood vessel co-option. Activation of the metastatic gene twist in breast cancer cells increased Cx43 protein expression and gap junction communication leading to increased extravasation, blood vessel co-option, and brain colonization. Conversely, inhibiting twist activity reduced Cx43-mediated gap junction coupling and brain colonization. Database analyses of patient histories revealed increased expression of connexins 26 and 43 in primary melanoma and breast cancer tumors, respectively, which correlated with increased cancer recurrence and metastasis. Together our data indicate that connexins 43 and 26 mediate cancer cell metastasis to the brain and suggests that connexins might be exploited therapeutically to benefit cancer patients with metastatic disease.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Agmatine, an endogenous metabolite of arginine, selectively suppresses growth in cells with high proliferative kinetics, such as transformed cells, through depletion of intracellular polyamine levels. In the present study, we depleted intracellular polyamine content with agmatine to determine if attrition by cell death contributes to the growth-suppressive effects. We did not observe an increase in necrosis, DNA fragmentation, or chromatin condensation in Ha-Ras-transformed NIH-3T3 cells administered agmatine. In response to Ca(2+)-induced oxidative stress in kidney mitochondrial preparations, agmatine demonstrated attributes of a free radical scavenger by protecting against the oxidation of sulfhydryl groups and decreasing hydrogen peroxide content. The functional outcome was a protective effect against Ca(2+)-induced mitochondrial swelling and mitochondrial membrane potential collapse. We also observed decreased expression of proapoptotic Bcl-2 family members and of execution caspase-3, implying antiapoptotic potential. Indeed, we found that apoptosis induced by camptothecin or 5-fluorourocil was attenuated in cells administered agmatine. Agmatine may offer an alternative to the ornithine decarboxylase inhibitor difluoromethyl ornithine for depletion of intracellular polyamine content while avoiding the complications of increasing polyamine import and reducing the intracellular free radical scavenger capacity of polyamines. Depletion of intracellular polyamine content with agmatine suppressed cell growth, yet its antioxidant capacity afforded protection from mitochondrial insult and resistance to cellular apoptosis. These results could explain the beneficial outcomes observed with agmatine in models of injury and disease.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Exogenously provided NGF enhances cognitive performance in impaired rodents and humans and is currently a promising compound for the treatment of dementia. To investigate whether NGF-dependent cognitive improvement may be due in part to increased hippocampal neurogenesis, adult and aged male rats were treated with NGF or vehicle intracerebroventricularly for 6 or 20 days followed by evaluation of cholinergic parameters and hippocampal neurogenesis. We show that NGF increases hippocampal cholinergic activity as rapidly as 3 days after initiation of treatment. NGF treatment for 6 days did not affect proliferation of progenitor cells in the dentate gyrus granule cell layer (GCL). However, continuous NGF infusion enhanced survival of new neurons in the GCL of young adult, but not aged rats. Taken together, these findings suggest that NGF, likely mediated through increased cholinergic tone, promotes neurogenesis in the adult hippocampus, which may relate to the nootropic action of NGF.
Neurobiology of Disease 05/2007; 26(1):47-55. DOI:10.1016/j.nbd.2006.11.015 · 5.20 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: High fat diets and obesity pose serious health problems, such as type II diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Impaired cognitive function is also associated with high fat intake. In this study, we show that just 4 weeks of feeding a diet rich in fat ad libitum decreased hippocampal neurogenesis in male, but not female, rats. There was no obesity, but male rats fed a diet rich in fat exhibited elevated serum corticosterone levels compared with those fed standard rat chow. These data indicate that high dietary fat intake can disrupt hippocampal neurogenesis, probably through an increase in serum corticosterone levels, and that males are more susceptible than females.
European Journal of Neurology 01/2007; 13(12):1385-8. DOI:10.1111/j.1468-1331.2006.01500.x · 4.06 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The objective of the present study was to determine whether a systematic optimization of Morris water maze (mwm) testing parameters could reveal a significant role of the septohippocampal cholinergic system in spatial working memory. Young adult rats were lesioned using 192 IgG-saporin infused bilaterally into the medial septum. Lesions were near complete as measured by choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) activity and immunohistochemistry. Behavioral testing was performed in three phases. In the first, lesioned and unlesioned rats were trained in the mwm focusing on working memory, which was tested using novel platform locations daily. In the second phase, the optimal locations were retested with increasing intertrial intervals (ITI). In the third phase, intracerebroventricular infusions of nerve growth factor (NGF) were employed to enhance cholinergic activity of the unlesioned rats and potentially further separate group performance. Neither the standard or increased ITI resulted in a consistent significant difference in spatial working memory between groups. In addition, NGF treatment also failed to induce a significant difference in behavioral performance. In conclusion, impairments in working memory as assessed by the mwm could not be revealed despite a greater than 90% loss of hippocampal ChAT and the use of optimal testing parameters and NGF treatment.
Behavioural Brain Research 04/2006; 168(1):37-46. DOI:10.1016/j.bbr.2005.10.008 · 3.39 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Regulatable gene therapy systems provide a method to alter neurotransmitter levels in vivo. We developed a rodent fibroblast cell line expressing the choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) cDNA that is silenced by doxycycline (DOX) administration. The ability of the cell line to improve cognition was tested by grafting after cholinergic lesions. Ibotenic acid was injected bilaterally into the nucleus basalis of rats, which were distributed into three groups. One group received no treatment, while the second group received cortical transplants (Graft). The third group received identical grafts but was treated with DOX to turn off ChAT expression (Graft/DOX). An unlesioned group served as control. Water maze acquisition was significantly better in the Graft group compared to the Graft/DOX group, an effect also seen in the retention and spatial probe trials. However, cognitive enhancement was restricted to spatial tasks, as inhibitory avoidance or open-field activity measures were unchanged. Molecular and biochemical analyses confirmed that DOX regulated transgene transcription and ACh levels. This study demonstrates that regulatable gene therapy has therapeutic value for single-gene disorders and also provides a mechanism to deliver small molecules in a spatiotemporal pattern to delineate the role of these compounds in discrete behavioral tasks.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A relatively early and substantial loss of basal forebrain cholinergic neurons is a constant feature of Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, the mechanisms that contribute to the selective vulnerability of these neurons are not fully delineated. In the present series of experiments, we determined the possible contribution of apoptotic processes and other pathologic cascades to the degeneration of the cholinergic neurons of the nucleus basalis of Meynert (NBM) in AD. In contrast to neurons in the frontal cortex which showed prominent DNA fragmentation as detected by the TUNEL method, no DNA fragmentation was observed within the NBM in any of the AD or normal brains. Similarly, immunoreactivity for the apoptotic signals Fas, Fas-ligand, Bax, Bcl-x, caspase-8, caspase-9 and caspase-3 was absent from the NBM of AD and control brains. In contrast, a substantial subpopulation of cholinergic neurons within the NBM in AD displayed prominent immunoreactivity for the apoptotic signal Fas-associated death domain (FADD) in the form of tangles. FADD immunoreactivity was also present in dystrophic neurites. FADD-positive tangle-like structures were localized in neurons which contained immunoreactivity for the cholinergic marker choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) and the low affinity neurotrophin receptor p75NTR. While many of the NBM cholinergic neurons in control brains contained immunoreactivity for the calcium binding protein calbindin-D28K (CB), the NBM neurons in AD displayed a substantial loss of CB immunoreactivity. Importantly, most of FADD-immunoreactive cholinergic neurons were devoid of CB immunoreactivity, and, conversely, most CB-positive cholinergic neurons had no FADD immunoreactivity. FADD immunoreactivity within the basal forebrain was colocalized with phosphorylated tau immunoreactive tangles and dystrophic neurites. In contrast, FADD immunoreactivity did not appear to be related to the primarily diffuse amyloid-beta deposits intermingled between cholinergic neurons in AD NBM. Finally, many CD68-positive microglia were observed surrounding the NBM cholinergic neurons in AD. In conclusion, the findings of the present study indicate that, while the FADD apoptotic signaling pathway may be triggered within the basal forebrain cholinergic neurons in AD, the apoptotic cascade is most likely aborted as no DNA fragmentation was detected and the executioner caspase-3 was not up-regulated within these neurons. The findings also suggest possible relationships between loss of CB, FADD expression and phosphorylation of tau within the basal forebrain cholinergic neurons in AD.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) is used experimentally to elicit the innate physiological responses observed in human sepsis. We have previously shown that LPS causes depletion of plasma arginine before inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) activity, indicating that changes in arginine uptake and/or production rather than enhanced consumption are responsible. Because the kidney is the primary source of circulating arginine and renal failure is a hallmark of septicemia, we determined the time course of changes in arginine metabolism and kidney function relative to iNOS expression. LPS given intravenously to anesthetized rats caused a decrease in mean arterial blood pressure after 120 min that coincided with increased plasma nitric oxide end products (NOx) and iNOS expression in lung and liver. Interestingly, impairment of renal function preceded iNOS activity by 30-60 min and occurred in tandem with decreased renal arginine production. The baseline rate of renal arginine production was approximately 60 micromol.h(-1).kg(-1), corresponding to an apparent plasma half-life of approximately 20 min, and decreased by one-half within 60 min of LPS. Calculations based on the systemic production and clearance show that normally only 5% of kidney arginine output is destined to become nitric oxide and that <25% of LPS-impaired renal production was converted to NOx in the first 4 h. In addition, we provide novel observations indicating that the kidney appears refractory to iNOS induction by LPS because no discernible enhancement of renal NOx production occurred within 4 h, and iNOS expression in the kidney was muted compared with that in liver or lung. These studies demonstrate that the major factor responsible for the rapid decrease in extracellular arginine content following LPS is impaired production by the kidney, a phenomenon that appears linked to reduced renal perfusion.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A rat fibroblast cell line was modified to contain the Drosophila choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) cDNA under the control of a tetracycline-regulated system. Several clonal lines were assessed in vitro and in vivo to establish the optimal clone for gene therapy experiments. The influence of in vitro cell density on ChAT expression was compared to biological activity detected after grafting to the rat brain. While each clone had different ChAT activity patterns, all clones had low activity immediately post-grafting which increased over time, reaching a plateau between 1 and 2 months which was maintained for at least 1 year. The clones expressed a high basal ChAT activity level in vitro that was repressed in a dose- and time-dependent manner with doxycycline (DOX) treatment. In the absence of DOX, high levels of ChAT activity were maintained for at least 2 months in vitro. DOX induced a rapid and strong (200-fold) suppression of ChAT activity within 48 h. A dose-response curve indicated that the fibroblasts were very sensitive to low concentrations of DOX (ED50 12 pg/ml). Removal of DOX led to a derepression of ChAT activity within 2 days. These cells will be useful for ex vivo gene therapy of the cholinergic system.
Molecular Brain Research 08/2004; 126(1):1-13. DOI:10.1016/j.molbrainres.2004.03.006 · 2.00 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Choline acetyltransferase (ChAT), the enzyme that synthesizes the neurotransmitter acetylcholine (ACh), is thought to be present in kinetic excess in cholinergic neurons. The rate-limiting factor in ACh production is the provision of choline to ChAT. Cholinergic neurons are relatively unique in their expression of the choline transporter 1 (CHT1), which exhibits high-affinity for choline and catalyzes its uptake from the extracellular space to the neuron. Multiple lines of evidence indicate that the activity of CHT1 is a key determinant of choline supply for ACh synthesis. We examined the interaction of ChAT and ChT activity using mice heterozygous for a null mutation in the Chat gene (Chat+/-). In these mice, brain ChAT activity was reduced by 40-50% relative to the wild type, but brain ACh levels as well as ACh content and depolarization-evoked ACh release in hippocampal slices were normal. However, the amount of choline taken up by CHT1 and ACh synthesized de novo from choline transported by CHT1 in hippocampal slices, as well as levels of CHT1 mRNA in the septum and CHT1 protein in several regions of the CNS, were 50-100% higher in Chat+/- than in Chat+/+ mice. Thus, haploinsufficiency of ChAT leads to an increased expression of CHT1. Increased ChT activity may compensate for the reduced ChAT activity in Chat+/- mice, contributing to the maintenance of apparently normal cholinergic function as reflected by normal performance of these mice in several behavioral assays.
The Journal of Neuroscience : The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience 07/2004; 24(24):5459-66. DOI:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1106-04.2004 · 6.75 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Nerve growth factor (NGF) delivered via intracerebroventricular (ICV) infusion restores behavioral and biochemical deficits in animal models of cholinergic hypofunction. However, ICV infusion of NGF induces an array of adverse events including weight loss, thermal hyperalgesia, and Schwann cell hyperplasia. We compared ICV administration with three different doses of intraparenchymally delivered NGF with cytochrome C infusion serving as a control. The goal of the study was to determine whether direct infusion of NGF would result in a more restricted topographical distribution of NGF leading to a reduction or elimination of the adverse events while still augmenting cholinergic functioning sufficiently to restore spatial mnemonic processing. Subsequent to bilateral ibotenic acid lesions of the nucleus basalis magnocellularis (NBM), NGF was delivered into the lateral ventricle or adjacent to the NBM for 11 weeks. Ibotenic acid lesions resulted in reductions in choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) activity in the cortex. The highest and medium dose of NGF led to significant restoration in ChAT activity on par with ICV infusion. The lowest dose was ineffective in altering ChAT activity in any region assayed. Similarly, the two highest doses did not alter weight gain, but ICV-NGF led to a significant weight loss. Intraparenchymal infusion resulted in a dose-dependent attenuation of the development of thermal hyperalgesia. However, the highest dose of intraparenchymal NGF induced Schwann cell hyperplasia at the level of the medulla and upper cervical spinal cord. ICV-NGF was able to completely restore spatial learning and memory as predicted while only the highest intraparenchymal dose was able to able to restore the mnemonic deficits. These data suggest that intraparenchymal infusion of growth factors may provide a viable delivery method in clinical trials using this mode of drug delivery once an optimal dose has been established.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this study we examined the developmental roles of acetylcholine (ACh) by establishing and analyzing mice lacking choline acetyltransferase (ChAT), the biosynthetic enzyme for ACh. As predicted, ChAT-deficient embryos lack both spontaneous and nerve-evoked postsynaptic potentials in muscle and die at birth. In mutant embryos, abnormally increased nerve branching occurs on contact with muscle, and hyperinnervation continues throughout subsequent prenatal development. Postsynaptically, ACh receptor clusters are markedly increased in number and occupy a broader muscle territory in the mutants. Concomitantly, the mutants have significantly more motor neurons than normal. At an ultrastructural level, nerve terminals are smaller in mutant neuromuscular junctions, and they make fewer synaptic contacts to the postsynaptic muscle membrane, although all of the typical synaptic components are present in the mutant. These results indicate that ChAT is uniquely essential for the patterning and formation of mammalian neuromuscular synapses.
The Journal of Neuroscience : The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience 02/2003; 23(2):539-49. · 6.75 Impact Factor