[Purpose] The purpose of this study was to analyze and compare electrophysiological
characteristics observed in nerve conduction studies (NCS) of chronic inflammatory
demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP) and Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease type 1 (CMT 1).
[Subjects] A differential diagnosis of acquired and congenital demyelinating neuropathies
was based on a study of 35 patients with NCS-confirmed CIDP and 30 patients with CMT 1
genetically proven by peripheral myelin protein-22 (PMP-22) gene analysis, pulsed-field
gel electrophoresis (PFGE), and Southern blot analysis. [Methods] We analyzed values
collected in motor nerve conduction studies. We conducted dispersion analysis of the
amplitudes of the compound muscle action potential (CMAP) of various nerve types and
correlation coefficient analysis of the motor nerve conduction velocity (MNCV). [Results]
We found that CIDP and CMT 1 were clearly attributable to severe polyneuropathy. In
dispersion analysis, CIDP showed greater differences in proximal-to-distal amplitude
ratios. Moreover, CMT 1 showed relatively high correlations compared to CIDP based on
correlation coefficient analysis of MNCV. [Conclusion] The results of this study suggest
that CIDP showed greater asymmetry than CMT 1 in MNCV and CMAP amplitudes.
Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy; Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease type 1; Dispersion and correlation analysis
We previously reported that autosomal recessive demyelinating Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) type 4B1 neuropathy with myelin outfoldings is caused by loss of MTMR2 (Myotubularin-related 2) in humans, and we created a faithful mouse model of the disease. MTMR2 dephosphorylates both PtdIns3P and PtdIns(3,5)P2, thereby regulating membrane trafficking. However, the function of MTMR2 and the role of the MTMR2 phospholipid phosphatase activity in vivo in the nerve still remain to be assessed. Mutations in FIG4 are associated with CMT4J neuropathy characterized by both axonal and myelin damage in peripheral nerve. Loss of Fig4 function in the plt (pale tremor) mouse produces spongiform degeneration of the brain and peripheral neuropathy. Since FIG4 has a role in generation of PtdIns(3,5)P2 and MTMR2 catalyzes its dephosphorylation, these two phosphatases might be expected to have opposite effects in the control of PtdIns(3,5)P2 homeostasis and their mutations might have compensatory effects in vivo. To explore the role of the MTMR2 phospholipid phosphatase activity in vivo, we generated and characterized the Mtmr2/Fig4 double null mutant mice. Here we provide strong evidence that Mtmr2 and Fig4 functionally interact in both Schwann cells and neurons, and we reveal for the first time a role of Mtmr2 in neurons in vivo. Our results also suggest that imbalance of PtdIns(3,5)P2 is at the basis of altered longitudinal myelin growth and of myelin outfolding formation. Reduction of Fig4 by null heterozygosity and downregulation of PIKfyve both rescue Mtmr2-null myelin outfoldings in vivo and in vitro.
Charcot-Marie-Tooth type 4B1 (CMT4B1) and Charcot-Marie-Tooth type 4J (CMT4J) are severe autosomal recessive demyelinating neuropathies with childhood onset. We previously demonstrated that loss of the phospholipid phosphatase MTMR2 causes CMT4B1 with myelin outfoldings in human and mouse and that loss of the phospholipid phosphatase FIG4 causes CMT4J and neurodegeneration in the mouse. MTMR2 has a predicted role in membrane trafficking, which is crucial for myelin membrane biogenesis and homeostasis. However, the biochemical activity of MTMR2 in vivo and the role of MTMR2 in myelination still remain to be assessed. MTMR2 and FIG4 act on the same phospholipid substrate PtdIns(3,5)P2, but with predicted opposite effects. We generated a double Mtmr2/Fig4-null mouse which showed that Mtmr2 and Fig4 interact in neurons and Schwann cells to control phospholipid metabolism. Moreover, Mtmr2-null myelin outfoldings are rescued by Fig4 heterozygosity, suggesting that imbalance of PtdIns(3,5)P2 is at the basis of the excessive myelin growth and hypermyelination.
Charcot–Marie–Tooth (CMT) disease is the most common hereditary neuropathy. CMT falls into two main forms: the demyelinating CMT type 1 with decreased nerve conduction velocities and the axonal CMT type 2. CMT2 is further subtyped by linkage analysis into >10 loci, with eight genes identified.
Recently, mutations in the mitochondrial fusion protein 2 (MFN2) gene were reported in families with CMT2A1 and additional mutations have been detected in other studies, bringing to 42 the total number of different MFN2 mutations described thus far.2–4
In the current study, we report a novel MFN2 mutation shared by two apparently unrelated CMT2 families originating from the same area in Southern Italy.
Mutations in myelin protein zero (MPZ) cause Charcot–Marie–Tooth disease type 1B. Many dominant MPZ mutations, including R98C, present as infantile onset dysmyelinating neuropathies. We have generated an R98C ‘knock-in’ mouse model of Charcot–Marie–Tooth type 1B, where a mutation encoding R98C was targeted to the mouse Mpz gene. Both heterozygous (R98C/+) and homozygous (R98C/R98C) mice develop weakness, abnormal nerve conduction velocities and morphologically abnormal myelin; R98C/R98C mice are more severely affected. MpzR98C is retained in the endoplasmic reticulum of Schwann cells and provokes a transitory, canonical unfolded protein response. Ablation of Chop, a mediator of the protein kinase RNA-like endoplasmic reticulum kinase unfolded protein response pathway restores compound muscle action potential amplitudes of R98C/+ mice but does not alter the reduced conduction velocities, reduced axonal diameters or clinical behaviour of these animals. R98C/R98C Schwann cells are developmentally arrested in the promyelinating stage, whereas development is delayed in R98C/+ mice. The proportion of cells expressing c-Jun, an inhibitor of myelination, is elevated in mutant nerves, whereas the proportion of cells expressing the promyelinating transcription factor Krox-20 is decreased, particularly in R98C/R98C mice. Our results provide a potential link between the accumulation of MpzR98C in the endoplasmic reticulum and a developmental delay in myelination. These mice provide a model by which we can begin to understand the early onset dysmyelination seen in patients with R98C and similar mutations.
Charcot–Marie–Tooth type 1B; demyelination; neuromuscular disorders; glial cells; neuropathy
The X-linked form of Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT1X) is the second most common form of hereditary motor and sensory neuropathy. The clinical phenotype is characterized by progressive muscle atrophy and weakness, areflexia, and variable sensory abnormalities; central nervous system manifestations occur, too. Affected males have moderate to severe symptoms, whereas heterozygous females are usually less affected. Neurophysiology shows intermediate slowing of conduction and distal axonal loss. Nerve biopsies show more prominent axonal degeneration than de/remyelination. More than 400 different mutations in GJB1, the gene that encodes the gap junction (GJ) protein connexin32 (Cx32), cause CMT1X. Many Cx32 mutants fail to form functional GJs, or form GJs with abnormal biophysical properties. Schwann cells and oligodendrocytes express Cx32, and the GJs formed by Cx32 play an important role in the homeostasis of myelinated axons. Animal models of CMT1X demonstrate that loss of Cx32 in myelinating Schwann cells causes a demyelinating neuropathy. An effective therapy remains to be developed.
CMT; connexin32; gap junctions; myelin; neuropathy; oligodendrocytes; Schwann cells
The X-linked form of Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT1X) is the second most common form of hereditary motor and sensory neuropathy. The clinical phenotype is characterized by progressive weakness, atrophy, and sensory abnormalities that are most pronounced in the distal extremities. Some patients have CNS manifestations. Affected males have moderate to severe symptoms, whereas heterozygous females are usually less affected. Neurophysiology shows intermediate slowing of conduction and length-dependent axonal loss. Nerve biopsies show more prominent axonal degeneration than de/remyelination. Mutations in GJB1, the gene that encodes the gap junction (GJ) protein connexin32 (Cx32) cause CMT1X; more than 400 different mutations have been described. Many Cx32 mutants fail to form functional GJs, or form GJs with abnormal biophysical properties. Schwann cells and oligodendrocytes express Cx32, and the GJs formed by Cx32 play an important role in the homeostasis of myelinated axons. Animal models of CMT1X demonstrate that loss of Cx32 in myelinating Schwann cells causes a demyelinating neuropathy. Effective therapies remain to be developed.
CMT; neuropathy; connexin32; gap junctions; Schwann cells; oligodendrocytes; myelin
Hereditary motor and sensory neuropathy type I (HMSN I), also designated Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease type 1 (CMT1), is a peripheral neuropathy frequently inherited as an autosomal dominant trait, characterised by progressive distal muscular atrophy and sensory loss with markedly decreased nerve conduction velocity. A duplication within chromosome 17p11.2, cosegregating with the disease, has recently been reported in several CMT1a families. In order to estimate the frequency of this anomaly and determine the location of a duplication in this region, 12 CMT1 families were analysed with polymorphic DNA markers located within 17p11.2-12. Duplications were found in all families including loci D17S61 (EW401), D17S122 (VAW409R3a and RM11-GT), and D17S125 (VAW412R3). The duplications were completely linked and associated with the disease (lod score of 20.77 at zero recombination). Screening for the RM11-GT microsatellite showed that most of the duplicated haplotypes were heterozygous, supporting the hypothesis that the duplication resulted from an unequal crossing over. There was no significant haplotype association within the duplicated region suggesting that the duplication resulted de novo as an independent event in each family. In one family, recombination within the duplicated region was observed, indicating that genetic instability in 17p11.2 might be related to a high recombination rate. Since most cases of CMT1a seem to result from this segmental trisomy, it can be used as a basis for DNA diagnosis of the disease.
X-linked Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT1X) is an inherited peripheral neuropathy caused by mutations in GJB1, the gene that encodes the gap junction protein connexin32 (Cx32). Cx32 is expressed by myelinating Schwann cells and forms gap junctions in non-compact myelin areas but axonal involvement is more prominent in X-linked compared to other forms of demyelinating Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease. To clarify the cellular and molecular mechanisms of axonal pathology in CMT1X, we studied Gjb1-null mice at early stages (i.e. 2- to 4-month-old) of the neuropathy, when there is minimal or no demyelination. The diameters of large myelinated axons were progressively reduced in Gjb1-null mice compared to those in wild type littermates. Furthermore, neurofilaments were relatively more dephosphorylated and more densely packed starting at 2 months of age. Increased expression of β-amyloid precursor protein, a marker of axonal damage, was also detected in Gjb1-null nerves. Finally, fast axonal transport, assayed by sciatic nerve ligation experiments, was slower in distal axons of Gjb1-null vs. wild type animals with reduced accumulation of synaptic vesicle-associated proteins. These findings demonstrate that axonal abnormalities including impaired cytoskeletal organization and defects in axonal transport precede demyelination in this mouse model of CMT1-X.
Axonal degeneration; Axonal transport; Charcot-Marie Tooth; Connexin32; Cx32; Gap junctions; Neurofilaments
METHODS—Seven families were studied with an axonal
form of Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT) associated with mutations in
the peripheral myelin protein zero (MPZ) gene—Thr124Met or Asp75Val.
these mutations commonly showed relatively late onset sensorimotor
neuropathy predominantly involving the lower limbs. Sensory impairment
typically was marked, and distal muscle atrophy and weakness were also
present in the legs. Adie's pupil and deafness were often present, and
serum creatine kinase concentrations were often raised irrespective of
which MPZ mutation was present. Relatively well preserved motor and
sensory nerve conduction velocities contrasted with reduced or absent
compound muscle action potentials and sensory nerve action potentials.
Axonal change with marked axonal sprouting was seen in sural nerve specimens.
associated clinical findings suggest that patients with axonal CMT with
an MPZ gene mutation share distinctive clinical features.
Background and Purpose
Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT) type 1A (CMT1A) is the demyelinating form of CMT that is significantly associated with PMP22 duplication. Some studies have found that the disease-related disabilities of these patients are correlated with their compound muscle action potentials (CMAPs), while others have suggested that they are related to the nerve conduction velocities. In the present study, we investigated the correlations between the disease-related disabilities and the electrophysiological values in a large cohort of Korean CMT1A patients.
We analyzed 167 CMT1A patients of Korean origin with PMP22 duplication using clinical and electrophysiological assessments, including the CMT neuropathy score and the functional disability scale.
Clinical motor disabilities were significantly correlated with the CMAPs but not the motor nerve conduction velocities (MNCVs). Moreover, the observed sensory impairments matched the corresponding reductions in the sensory nerve action potentials (SNAPs) but not with slowing of the sensory nerve conduction velocities (SNCVs). In addition, CMAPs were strongly correlated with the disease duration but not with the age at onset. The terminal latency index did not differ between CMT1A patients and healthy controls.
In CMT1A patients, disease-related disabilities such as muscle wasting and sensory impairment were strongly correlated with CMAPs and SNAPs but not with the MNCVs or SNCVs. Therefore, we suggest that the clinical disabilities of CMT patients are determined by the extent of axonal dysfunction.
charcot-marie-tooth disease; CMT1A; compound muscle action potential; duplication; nerve conduction velocity; sensory nerve action potential
Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease (CMT) is one of the most common inherited peripheral neuropathies. The underlying mutations in demyelinating forms tend to affect genes expressed in Schwann cells (CMT Types 1, 3 and 4), while axonal forms of the disease usually have their origins in genes expressed in the affected neurons (CMT Type 2). Repeated rounds of nerve degeneration and regeneration characterize CMT2, but evidence for regeneration has not been demonstrated at a molecular level. Subtractive hybridization was performed on sural nerve biopsies from a patient presenting an axonal form of CMT and an unaffected sibling, which revealed over-expression of genes associated with the regeneration of axons, including PMP22, SPARC/osteonectin, CD9, CD44, EEF1A1 and γ-actin. These results suggest that axonal degeneration elicits a regeneration transcriptional response in the surrounding Schwann cells. This response contrasts with other neurodegenerative diseases in which programmed cell death or an inappropriate immune response are activated. Additionally, Lamin A/C, which is mutated in CMT2B1, was over-expressed in the patient, suggesting that CMT-causing genes may interact in a regulatory network.
Nerve degeneration; nerve regeneration; gene expression profiling
Forty-seven cases of Charcot-Marie-Tooth peripheral neuropathy were seen in 18 families within a defined area, with a disease prevalence of 1 in 16 400. Maximum motor nerve conduction velocity (MNCV) measurement divided off two types of neuropathy (MNCV less than 30 ms-1 and greater than 40 ms-1), but did not distinguish clinically affected from normal in families whose probands had median nerve MNCV greater than 40 ms-1. In the neuronal type of neuropathy ((MNCV greater than 40 ms-1) two genotypes were seen, autosomal dominant (ADN) and autosomal recessive (ARN). Most cases with the demyelinating type (MNCV less than 30 ms-1) had an autosomal dominant genotype (ADD) but one family had possible X linked recessive inheritance (XRD). In one autosomal dominant family a father and son had different electrophysiological types of neuropathy. Peroneal muscle weakness was progressive with age in the ADD genotype and certain patterns of phenotypic features were associated with the major genotypes. Age of onset was not found to be reliable in distinguishing genotypes. Care is needed when counselling isolated male cases because of asymptomatic affected females in the autosomal dominant genotypes, and the possibility of ill defined X linked forms.
The author reports his experience on Refsum's disease and that gained after personally examining in detail 64 patients with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease over the past ten years. The "cerebellar" inco-ordination in Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (with or without distal wasting) and in Refsum's disease is analysed. Some variations in the motor and sensory neuropathy of Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease and Refsum's disease are discussed. The adequacy of motor conduction velocity in genetically distinguishing types of the above mentioned familial peripheral neuropathies is reviewed. Data on the neuropathy assessed by modern techniques of three original patients of Roussy and Levy (1926) are given. The possibility of extensor plantar responses in patients with Charcot-Marie-Tooth and Refsum's disease without structural lesion of the pyramidal tract is pointed out. The existence of the association between Friedreich's ataxia and Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease is criticised. It is emphasised that spinocerebellar degeneration (other than Friedreich's ataxia) presenting with distal limb weakness and wasting and sensory impairment may mimic Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease.
A French family had Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease type 2 (CMT2) which was characterised by late onset of peripheral neuropathy involvement, Argyll Robertson-like pupils, dysphagia, and deafness. Electrophysiological studies and nerve biopsy defined the neuropathy as
axonal type. Genetic analysis of myelin protein zero (MPZ) found a
mutation in codon 124 resulting in substitution of threonine by
methionine. One of the patients, presently 30 years old, showed only
Argyll Robertson-like pupils as an objective sign but no clinical or
electrophysiological signs of peripheral neuropathy.
Myelin protein zero (MPZ) is a major component of compact myelin in peripheral nerves where it plays an essential role in myelin formation and adhesion. MPZ gene mutations are usually responsible for demyelinating neuropathies, namely Charcot–Marie–Tooth (CMT) type 1B, Déjèrine–Sottas neuropathy and congenital hypomyelinating neuropathy. Less frequently, axonal CMT (CMT2) associated with MPZ mutations has been described. We report six patients (one sporadic case and five subjects from two apparently unrelated families) with a late onset, but rapidly progressive, axonal peripheral neuropathy. In all patients, molecular analysis demonstrated a novel heterozygous missense mutation (208C>T) in MPZ exon 2, causing the Pro70Ser substitution in the extracellular domain. The diagnosis of CMT2 associated with MPZ mutations should be considered in both sporadic and familial cases of late onset, progressive polyneuropathy. The mechanism whereby compact myelin protein mutations cause axonal neuropathy remains to be elucidated.
In the peripheral nervous system disorders plasticity is related to changes on the axon and Schwann cell biology, and the synaptic formations and connections, which could be also a focus for therapeutic research. Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT) represents a large group of inherited peripheral neuropathies that involve mainly both motor and sensory nerves and induce muscular atrophy and weakness. Genetic analysis has identified several pathways and molecular mechanisms involving myelin structure and proper nerve myelination, transcriptional regulation, protein turnover, vesicle trafficking, axonal transport and mitochondrial dynamics. These pathogenic mechanisms affect the continuous signaling and dialogue between the Schwann cell and the axon, having as final result the loss of myelin and nerve maintenance; however, some late onset axonal CMT neuropathies are a consequence of Schwann cell specific changes not affecting myelin. Comprehension of molecular pathways involved in Schwann cell-axonal interactions is likely not only to increase the understanding of nerve biology but also to identify the molecular targets and cell pathways to design novel therapeutic approaches for inherited neuropathies but also for most common peripheral neuropathies. These approaches should improve the plasticity of the synaptic connections at the neuromuscular junction and regenerate cell viability based on improving myelin and axon interaction.
Studying the function and malfunction of genes and proteins associated with inherited forms of peripheral neuropathies has provided multiple clues to our understanding of myelinated nerves in health and disease. Here, we have generated a mouse model for the peripheral neuropathy Charcot–Marie–Tooth disease type 4H by constitutively disrupting the mouse orthologue of the suspected culprit gene FGD4 that encodes the small RhoGTPase Cdc42-guanine nucleotide exchange factor Frabin. Lack of Frabin/Fgd4 causes dysmyelination in mice in early peripheral nerve development, followed by profound myelin abnormalities and demyelination at later stages. At the age of 60 weeks, this was accompanied by electrophysiological deficits. By crossing mice carrying alleles of Frabin/Fgd4 flanked by loxP sequences with animals expressing Cre recombinase in a cell type-specific manner, we show that Schwann cell-autonomous Frabin/Fgd4 function is essential for proper myelination without detectable primary contributions from neurons. Deletion of Frabin/Fgd4 in Schwann cells of fully myelinated nerve fibres revealed that this protein is not only required for correct nerve development but also for accurate myelin maintenance. Moreover, we established that correct activation of Cdc42 is dependent on Frabin/Fgd4 function in healthy peripheral nerves. Genetic disruption of Cdc42 in Schwann cells of adult myelinated nerves resulted in myelin alterations similar to those observed in Frabin/Fgd4-deficient mice, indicating that Cdc42 and the Frabin/Fgd4–Cdc42 axis are critical for myelin homeostasis. In line with known regulatory roles of Cdc42, we found that Frabin/Fgd4 regulates Schwann cell endocytosis, a process that is increasingly recognized as a relevant mechanism in peripheral nerve pathophysiology. Taken together, our results indicate that regulation of Cdc42 by Frabin/Fgd4 in Schwann cells is critical for the structure and function of the peripheral nervous system. In particular, this regulatory link is continuously required in adult fully myelinated nerve fibres. Thus, mechanisms regulated by Frabin/Fgd4–Cdc42 are promising targets that can help to identify additional regulators of myelin development and homeostasis, which may crucially contribute also to malfunctions in different types of peripheral neuropathies.
Charcot–Marie–Tooth disease; hereditary motor and sensory neuropathy; myelination; Rho-GTPase Cdc42; Frabin/Fgd4
Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT) is the most common form of inherited motor and sensory neuropathy. Moreover, CMT is a genetically heterogeneous disorder of the peripheral nervous system, with many genes identified as CMT-causative. CMT has two usual classifications: type 1, the demyelinating form (CMT1); and type 2, the axonal form (CMT2). In addition, patients are classified as CMTX if they have an X-linked inheritance pattern and CMT4 if the inheritance pattern is autosomal recessive. A large amount of new information on the genetic causes of CMT has become available, and mutations causing it have been associated with more than 17 different genes and 25 chromosomal loci. Advances in our understanding of the molecular basis of CMT have revealed an enormous diversity in genetic mechanisms, despite a clinical entity that is relatively uniform in presentation. In addition, recent encouraging studies - shown in CMT1A animal models - concerning the therapeutic effects of certain chemicals have been published; these suggest potential therapies for the most common form of CMT, CMT1A. This review focuses on the inherited motor and sensory neuropathy subgroup for which there has been an explosion of new molecular genetic information over the past decade.
Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease; Neuropathy; Axon; Gene; Mutation
Mutations in the mitochondrial protein GDAP1 are the cause of Charcot-Marie-Tooth type 4A disease (CMT4A), a severe form of peripheral neuropathy associated with either demyelinating, axonal or intermediate phenotypes. GDAP1 is located in the outer mitochondrial membrane and it seems that may be related with the mitochondrial network dynamics. We are interested to define cell expression in the nervous system and the effect of mutations in mitochondrial morphology and pathogenesis of the disease. We investigated GDAP1 expression in the nervous system and dorsal root ganglia (DRG) neuron cultures. GDAP1 is expressed in motor and sensory neurons of the spinal cord and other large neurons such as cerebellar Purkinje neurons, hippocampal pyramidal neurons, mitral neurons of the olfactory bulb and cortical pyramidal neurons. The lack of GDAP1 staining in the white matter and nerve roots suggested that glial cells do not express GDAP1. In DRG cultures satellite cells and Schwann cells were GDAP1-negative. Overexpression of GDAP1-induced fragmentation of mitochondria suggesting a role of GDAP1 in the fission pathway of the mitochondrial dynamics. Missense mutations showed two different patterns: most of them induced mitochondrial fragmentation but the T157P mutation showed an aggregation pattern. Whereas null mutations of GDAP1 should be associated with loss of function of the protein, missense mutations may act through different pathogenic mechanisms including a dominant-negative effect, suggesting that different molecular mechanisms may underlay the pathogenesis of CMT4A.
Charcot-Marie-Tooth type 4A disease; GDAP1; peripheral neuropathy; mitochondrial dynamics; fusion and fission pathway; CMT4A mutations and pathogenesis
Charcot-Marie-Tooth Type 2A is a dominantly inherited peripheral neuropathy characterized by axonal degeneration of sensory and motor nerves. The disease is caused by mutations in the mitochondrial fusion gene MFN2. Mfn2 is an integral outer mitochondrial membrane protein composed of a large GTPase domain and two heptad repeat (HR) domains that face the cytoplasm. Mitochondrial membrane fusion and division are balanced processes that are necessary to maintain tubular mitochondrial morphology, respiratory function, and uniform distribution of the organelle throughout the cell. We have utilized primary fibroblasts from CMT2A patients to survey mitochondrial phenotypes associated with heterozygous MFN2 alleles expressed at physiological levels. Our results indicate that, in fibroblasts, mitofusin expression, mitochondrial morphology, ultrastructure, mtDNA content, and respiratory capacity are not affected by the presence of mutant Mfn2 protein. Consistent with a lack of mitochondrial dysfunction, we also show that mitochondrial fusion occurs efficiently in CMT2A patient-derived fibroblasts. Our observations are in agreement with the neuronal specificity of the disease and are consistent with a recent finding that mitochondrial fusion can be maintained in cells that express mutant Mfn2 protein due to complementation by a second mitofusin, Mfn1. We discuss our results and those of others in terms of a comprehensive model for the mechanism(s) by which mutations in MFN2 may lead to CMT2A disease.
CMT2A; peripheral neuropathy; mitochondria; mitofusin; Mfn2; Mfn1; GTPase; membrane fusion; fibroblasts
Sixty-seven patients in 29 families with the diagnosis of Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease or hereditary motor and sensory neuropathy in northern Sweden were examined by pedigree and DNA analysis for the CMT1a duplication within chromosome 17p11.2. There were 39 patients in nine families with Charcot-Marie-Tooth type 1 and autosomal dominant inheritance and in all these cases the duplication was seen. In six patients in three families with Charcot-Marie-Tooth type 1 the pedigrees strongly suggested autosomal recessive inheritance. In two patients DNA analysis was not informative but in the others no duplication was shown. There were also 11 "sporadic" patients and one pair of sibs classified as Charcot-Marie-Tooth type 1, but there was no duplication shown although in four patients DNA analysis was not informative. In nine patients with Charcot-Marie-Tooth type 2 from five families and in 13 unaffected relatives of Charcot-Marie-Tooth patients the CMT1a duplication was not found.
Previous studies in our laboratory have shown that in models for three distinct forms of the inherited and incurable nerve disorder, Charcot–Marie–Tooth neuropathy, low-grade inflammation implicating phagocytosing macrophages mediates demyelination and perturbation of axons. In the present study, we focus on colony-stimulating factor-1, a cytokine implicated in macrophage differentiation, activation and proliferation and fostering neural damage in a model for Charcot–Marie–Tooth neuropathy 1B. By crossbreeding a model for the X-linked form of Charcot–Marie–Tooth neuropathy with osteopetrotic mice, a spontaneous null mutant for colony-stimulating factor-1, we demonstrate a robust and persistent amelioration of demyelination and axon perturbation. Furthermore, functionally important domains of the peripheral nervous system, such as juxtaparanodes and presynaptic terminals, were preserved in the absence of colony-stimulating factor-1-dependent macrophage activation. As opposed to other Schwann cell-derived cytokines, colony-stimulating factor-1 is expressed by endoneurial fibroblasts, as revealed by in situ hybridization, immunocytochemistry and detection of β-galactosidase expression driven by the colony-stimulating factor-1 promoter. By both light and electron microscopic studies, we detected extended cell–cell contacts between the colony-stimulating factor-1-expressing fibroblasts and endoneurial macrophages as a putative prerequisite for the effective and constant activation of macrophages by fibroblasts in the chronically diseased nerve. Interestingly, in human biopsies from patients with Charcot–Marie–Tooth type 1, we also found frequent cell–cell contacts between macrophages and endoneurial fibroblasts and identified the latter as main source for colony-stimulating factor-1. Therefore, our study provides strong evidence for a similarly pathogenic role of colony-stimulating factor-1 in genetically mediated demyelination in mice and Charcot–Marie–Tooth type 1 disease in humans. Thus, colony-stimulating factor-1 or its cognate receptor are promising target molecules for treating the detrimental, low-grade inflammation of several inherited neuropathies in humans.
inflammation; endoneurial fibroblasts; myelin, axonopathy; neuromuscular junction
Myelin insulates axons in the peripheral nervous system to allow rapid propagation of action potentials, and proper myelination requires the precise regulation of genes encoding myelin proteins, including PMP22. The correct gene dosage of PMP22 is critical; a duplication of PMP22 is the most common cause of the peripheral neuropathy Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease (CMT) (classified as type 1A), while a deletion of PMP22 leads to another peripheral neuropathy, hereditary neuropathy with liability to pressure palsies. Recently, duplications upstream of PMP22, but not containing the gene itself, were reported in patients with CMT1A like symptoms, suggesting that this region contains regulators of PMP22. Using chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis of two transcription factors known to upregulate PMP22—EGR2 and SOX10—we found several enhancers in this upstream region that contain open chromatin and direct reporter gene expression in tissue culture and in vivo in zebrafish. These studies provide a novel means to identify critical regulatory elements in genes that are required for myelination, and elucidate the functional significance of non-coding genomic rearrangements.
Mutations in the gene of the peripheral myelin protein zero (P0) give rise to the peripheral neuropathies Charcot-Marie-Tooth type 1B disease (CMT1B), Déjérine-Sottas syndrome, and congenital hypomyelinating neuropathy. To investigate the pathomechanisms of a specific point mutation in the P0 gene, we generated two independent transgenic mouse lines expressing the pathogenic CMT1B missense mutation Ile106Leu (P0sub) under the control of the P0 promoter on a wild-type background. Both P0sub-transgenic mouse lines showed shivering and ultrastructural abnormalities including retarded myelination, onion bulb formation, and dysmyelination seen as aberrantly folded myelin sheaths and tomacula in all nerve fibers. Functionally, the mutation leads to dispersed compound muscle action potentials and severely reduced conduction velocities. Our observations support the view that the Ile106Leu mutation acts by a dominant-negative gain of function and that the P0sub-transgenic mouse represents an animal model for a severe, tomaculous form of CMT1B.
myelin P0 protein; myelin; peripheral neuropathies; tomacula; dominant-negative effects
In peripheral nerve myelin, the intraperiod line results from compaction of the extracellular space due to homophilic adhesion between extracellular domains (ECD) of the protein zero (P0) glycoprotein. Point mutations in this region of P0 cause human hereditary demyelinating neuropathies such as Charcot-Marie-Tooth. We describe transgenic mice expressing a full-length P0 modified in the ECD with a myc epitope tag. The presence of the myc sequence caused a dysmyelinating peripheral neuropathy similar to two distinct subtypes of Charcot-Marie-Tooth, with hypomyelination, altered intraperiod lines, and tomacula (thickened myelin). The tagged protein was incorporated into myelin and was associated with the morphological abnormalities. In vivo and in vitro experiments showed that P0myc retained partial adhesive function, and suggested that the transgene inhibits P0-mediated adhesion in a dominant-negative fashion. These mice suggest new mechanisms underlying both the pathogenesis of P0 ECD mutants and the normal interactions of P0 in the myelin sheath.
Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease; myelin protein zero; tomacula; transgenic mice; Myc-tag