Electroconvulsive shock ameliorates disease processes and extends survival in huntingtin mutant mice

Laboratory of Neurosciences, National Institute on Aging Intramural Research Program, Biomedical Research Center, Baltimore, MD 21224, USA.
Human Molecular Genetics (Impact Factor: 6.39). 02/2011; 20(4):659-69. DOI: 10.1093/hmg/ddq512
Source: PubMed


Huntington's disease (HD) is an inherited neurodegenerative disorder caused by expanded polyglutamine repeats in the huntingtin (Htt) protein. Mutant Htt may damage and kill striatal neurons by a mechanism involving reduced production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and increased oxidative and metabolic stress. Because electroconvulsive shock (ECS) can stimulate the production of BDNF and protect neurons against stress, we determined whether ECS treatment would modify the disease process and provide a therapeutic benefit in a mouse model of HD. ECS (50 mA for 0.2 s) or sham treatment was administered once weekly to male N171-82Q Htt mutant mice beginning at 2 months of age. Endpoints measured included motor function, striatal and cortical pathology, and levels of protein chaperones and BDNF. ECS treatment delayed the onset of motor symptoms and body weight loss and extended the survival of HD mice. Striatal neurodegeneration was attenuated and levels of protein chaperones (Hsp70 and Hsp40) and BDNF were elevated in striatal neurons of ECS-treated compared with sham-treated HD mice. Our findings demonstrate that ECS can increase the resistance of neurons to mutant Htt resulting in improved functional outcome and extended survival. The potential of ECS as an intervention in subjects that inherit the mutant Htt gene merits further consideration.

Download full-text


Available from: Eitan Okun
  • Source
    • "Finally, we established that 6-OHDA and ECS induces a synergistic increase in astrocytic reaction suggesting a possible participation of this cellular population in the neuroprotection described. ECS improves neuronal survival in a variety of contexts (Mascó et al., 1999; Kondratyev et al., 2001; Mughal et al., 2011; Anastasía et al., 2007), but the mechanisms of such effect has not been established. ECS-induced seizures are associated with glutamate release and the activation of glutamate receptors: N-methyl-D-aspartic acid (NMDA) receptor activation may have trophic effects in cultured do- Fig. 4. Survival of SNpc neurons induced by ECS after 6-OHDA requires GDNF. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Sustained motor improvement in human patients with idiopathic Parkinson's disease has been described following electroconvulsive shock (ECS) treatment. In rats, ECS stimulates the expression of various trophic factors (TFs), some of which have been proposed to exert neuroprotective actions. We previously reported that ECS protects the integrity of the rat nigrostriatal dopaminergic system against 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA)-induced toxicity; in order to shed light into its neuroprotective mechanism, we studied glial cell-line derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) levels (the most efficient TF for dopaminergic neurons) in the substantia nigra (SN) and striatum of 6-OHDA-injected animals with or without ECS treatment. 6-OHDA injection decreased GDNF levels in the SN control animals, but not in those receiving chronic ECS, suggesting that changes in GDNF expression may participate in the ECS neuroprotective mechanism. To evaluate this possibility, we inhibit GDNF by infusion of GDNF function blocking antibodies in the SN of 6-OHDA-injected animals treated with ECS (or sham ECS). Animals were sacrificed 7 days after 6-OHDA infusion, and the integrity of the nigrostriatal system was studied by tyrosine hydroxylase immunohistochemistry and Cresyl Violet staining. Neuroprotection observed in ECS-treated animals was inhibited by GDNF antibodies in the SN. These results robustly demonstrate that GDNF is essential for the ECS neuroprotective effect observed in 6-OHDA-injected animals.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2011 · Neuroscience
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Huntington's disease (HD) is a neurodegenerative disease for which there is no cure. Therapies that are efficacious in animal models have to date shown benefit for humans. One potential powerful approach is gene therapy. The ideal method of administration of gene therapy has been hotly debated and viral vectors have provided one method of long-term and wide-spread delivery to the brain. Trophic factors to protect cells from degeneration and RNAi to reduce mutant huntingtin (mHtt) protein expression are 2 main classes of compounds that demonstrate benefit in animal models. This review will examine some commonly used adeno-associated viral (AAV) vectors and discuss some therapies that hold promise for HD.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2011 · Neurobiology of Disease
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Mouse models of human diseases are created both to understand the pathogenesis of the disorders and to find successful therapies for them. This work is the second part in a series of reviews of mouse models of polyglutamine (polyQ) hereditary disorders and focuses on in vivo experimental therapeutic approaches. Like part I of the polyQ mouse model review, this work is supplemented with a table that contains data from experimental studies of therapeutic approaches in polyQ mouse models. The aim of this review was to characterize the benefits and outcomes of various therapeutic strategies in mouse models. We examine whether the therapeutic strategies are specific to a single disease or are applicable to more than one polyQ disorder in mouse models. In addition, we discuss the suitability of mouse models in therapeutic approaches. Although the majority of therapeutic studies were performed in mouse models of Huntington disease, similar strategies were also used in other disease models. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s12035-012-8316-3) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2012 · Molecular Neurobiology
Show more