Search tips
Search criteria

Results 1-25 (1182641)

Clipboard (0)

Related Articles

1.  Hippocampal demyelination and memory dysfunction are associated with increased levels of the neuronal microRNA miR-124 and reduced AMPA receptors 
Annals of neurology  2013;73(5):637-645.
Hippocampal demyelination, a common feature of postmortem multiple sclerosis (MS) brains, reduces neuronal gene expression and is a likely contributor to the memory impairment that is found in greater than 40% of individuals with (MS). How demyelination alters neuronal gene expression is unknown.
To explore if loss of hippocampal myelin alters expression of neuronal microRNAs (miRNA), we compared miRNA profiles from myelinated and demyelinated hippocampi from postmortem MS brains and performed validation studies.
A network-based interaction analysis depicts a correlation between increased neuronal miRNAs and decreased neuronal genes identified in our previous study. The neuronal miRNA miR-124, was increased in demyelinated MS hippocampi and targets mRNAs encoding 26 neuronal proteins that were decreased in demyelinated hippocampus, including the ionotrophic glutamate receptors, AMPA 2 and AMPA3. Hippocampal demyelination in mice also increased miR-124, reduced expression of AMPA receptors and decreased memory performance in water maze tests. Remyelination of the mouse hippocampus reversed these changes.
We establish here that myelin alters neuronal gene expression and function by modulating the levels of the neuronal miRNA miR-124. Inhibition of miR-124 in hippocampal neurons may provide a therapeutic approach to improve memory performance in MS patients.
PMCID: PMC3679350  PMID: 23595422
Multiple sclerosis; myelin; microRNA
2.  Glutamatergic Transmission Aberration: A Major Cause of Behavioral Deficits in a Murine Model of Down's Syndrome 
The Journal of Neuroscience  2014;34(15):5099-5106.
Trisomy 21, or Down's syndrome (DS), is the most common genetic cause of intellectual disability. Altered neurotransmission in the brains of DS patients leads to hippocampus-dependent learning and memory deficiency. Although genetic mouse models have provided important insights into the genes and mechanisms responsible for DS-specific changes, the molecular mechanisms leading to memory deficits are not clear. We investigated whether the segmental trisomy model of DS, Ts[Rb(12.1716)]2Cje (Ts2), exhibits hippocampal glutamatergic transmission abnormalities and whether these alterations cause behavioral deficits. Behavioral assays demonstrated that Ts2 mice display a deficit in nest building behavior, a measure of hippocampus-dependent nonlearned behavior, as well as dysfunctional hippocampus-dependent spatial memory tested in the object-placement and the Y-maze spontaneous alternation tasks. Magnetic resonance spectra measured in the hippocampi revealed a significantly lower glutamate concentration in Ts2 as compared with normal disomic (2N) littermates. The glutamate deficit accompanied hippocampal NMDA receptor1 (NMDA-R1) mRNA and protein expression level downregulation in Ts2 compared with 2N mice. In concert with these alterations, paired-pulse analyses suggested enhanced synaptic inhibition and/or lack of facilitation in the dentate gyrus of Ts2 compared with 2N mice. Ts2 mice also exhibited disrupted synaptic plasticity in slice recordings of the hippocampal CA1 region. Collectively, these findings imply that deficits in glutamate and NMDA-R1 may be responsible for impairments in synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus associated with behavioral dysfunctions in Ts2 mice. Thus, these findings suggest that glutamatergic deficits have a significant role in causing intellectual disabilities in DS.
PMCID: PMC3983795  PMID: 24719089
Down's syndrome; glutamate; LTP; NMDA receptors; spatial memory
3.  Mechanisms of Primary Axonal Damage in a Viral Model of Multiple Sclerosis 
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory demyelinating disease of the central nervous system (CNS). Recent studies have demonstrated that significant axonal injury also occurs in MS patients and correlates with neurological dysfunction, but it is not known whether this neuronal damage is a primary disease process, or occurs only secondary to demyelination. In the current studies, neurotropic strains of mouse hepatitis virus (MHV) that induce meningitis, encephalitis, and demyelination in the CNS, an animal model of MS, were used to evaluate mechanisms of axonal injury. The pathogenic properties of genetically engineered isogenic spike protein recombinant demyelinating and non-demyelinating strains of MHV were compared. Studies demonstrate that a demyelinating strain of MHV causes concomitant axonal loss and macrophage-mediated demyelination. The mechanism of axonal loss and demyelination in MHV infection is dependent on successful transport of virus from gray matter to white matter using the MHV host attachment spike glycoprotein. Our data show that axonal loss and demyelination can be independent direct viral cytopathic events, and suggest similar direct axonal damage may occur in MS. These results have important implications for the design of neuroprotective strategies for CNS demyelinating disease, and our model identifies the spike protein as a therapeutic target to prevent axonal transport of neurotropic viruses.
PMCID: PMC2747667  PMID: 19692601
Multiple Sclerosis; Axonal loss; demyelination; axonal transport; macrophages; neurotropic viruses
4.  Possible Effects of Synaptic Imbalances on Oligodendrocyte–Axonic Interactions in Schizophrenia: A Hypothetical Model 
A model of glial–neuronal interactions is proposed that could be explanatory for the demyelination identified in brains with schizophrenia. It is based on two hypotheses: (1) that glia–neuron systems are functionally viable and important for normal brain function, and (2) that disruption of this postulated function disturbs the glial categorization function, as shown by formal analysis. According to this model, in schizophrenia receptors on astrocytes in glial–neuronal synaptic units are not functional, loosing their modulatory influence on synaptic neurotransmission. Hence, an unconstrained neurotransmission flux occurs that hyperactivates the axon and floods the cognate receptors of neurotransmitters on oligodendrocytes. The excess of neurotransmitters may have a toxic effect on oligodendrocytes and myelin, causing demyelination. In parallel, an increasing impairment of axons may disconnect neuronal networks. It is formally shown how oligodendrocytes normally categorize axonic information processing via their processes. Demyelination decomposes the oligodendrocyte–axonic system making it incapable to generate categories of information. This incoherence may be responsible for symptoms of disorganization in schizophrenia, such as thought disorder, inappropriate affect and incommunicable motor behavior. In parallel, the loss of oligodendrocytes affects gap junctions in the panglial syncytium, presumably responsible for memory impairment in schizophrenia.
PMCID: PMC3102422  PMID: 21647404
glial–neuronal interactions; demyelination; schizophrenia; synaptic imbalance
5.  Neurogenesis in the chronic lesions of multiple sclerosis 
Brain  2008;131(9):2366-2375.
Subcortical white matter in the adult human brain contains a population of interneurons that helps regulate cerebral blood flow. We investigated the fate of these neurons following subcortical white matter demyelination. Immunohistochemistry was used to examine neurons in normal-appearing subcortical white matter and seven acute and 59 chronic demyelinated lesions in brains from nine patients with multiple sclerosis and four controls. Seven acute and 44 of 59 chronic multiple sclerosis lesions had marked neuronal loss. Compared to surrounding normal-appearing white matter, the remaining 15 chronic multiple sclerosis lesions contained a 72% increase in mature interneuron density, increased synaptic densities and cells with phenotypic characteristics of immature neurons. Lesion areas with increased neuron densities contained a morphologically distinct population of activated microglia. Subventricular zones contiguous with demyelinated lesions also contained an increase in cells with phenotypes of neuronal precursors. These results support neurogenesis in a subpopulation of demyelinated subcortical white matter lesions in multiple sclerosis brains.
PMCID: PMC2525445  PMID: 18669500
multiple sclerosis; white matter neurons; neurogenesis
6.  Deep Gray Matter Demyelination Detected by Magnetization Transfer Ratio in the Cuprizone Model 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(12):e84162.
In multiple sclerosis (MS), the correlation between lesion load on conventional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and clinical disability is weak. This clinico-radiological paradox might partly be due to the low sensitivity of conventional MRI to detect gray matter demyelination. Magnetization transfer ratio (MTR) has previously been shown to detect white matter demyelination in mice. In this study, we investigated whether MTR can detect gray matter demyelination in cuprizone exposed mice. A total of 54 female C57BL/6 mice were split into one control group () and eight cuprizone exposed groups (). The mice were exposed to (w/w) cuprizone for up to six weeks. MTR images were obtained at a 7 Tesla Bruker MR-scanner before cuprizone exposure, weekly for six weeks during cuprizone exposure, and once two weeks after termination of cuprizone exposure. Immunohistochemistry staining for myelin (anti-Proteolopid Protein) and oligodendrocytes (anti-Neurite Outgrowth Inhibitor Protein A) was obtained after each weekly scanning. Rates of MTR change and correlations between MTR values and histological findings were calculated in five brain regions. In the corpus callosum and the deep gray matter a significant rate of MTR value decrease was found, per week () and per week () respectively. The MTR values correlated to myelin loss as evaluated by immunohistochemistry (Corpus callosum: . Deep gray matter: ), but did not correlate to oligodendrocyte density. Significant results were not found in the cerebellum, the olfactory bulb or the cerebral cortex. This study shows that MTR can be used to detect demyelination in the deep gray matter, which is of particular interest for imaging of patients with MS, as deep gray matter demyelination is common in MS, and is not easily detected on conventional clinical MRI.
PMCID: PMC3875491  PMID: 24386344
7.  Hippocampal CA1 atrophy and synaptic loss during experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, EAE 
Over half of multiple sclerosis (MS) patients experience cognitive deficits, including learning and memory dysfunction, and the mechanisms underlying these deficits remain poorly understood. Neuronal injury and synaptic loss have been shown to occur within the hippocampus in other neurodegenerative disease models, and these pathologies have been correlated with cognitive impairment. Whether hippocampal abnormalities occur in MS models is unknown. Using experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), we evaluated hippocampal neurodegeneration and inflammation during disease. Hippocampal pathology began early in EAE disease course, and included decreases in CA1 pyramidal layer volume, loss of inhibitory interneurons and increased cell death of neurons and glia. It is interesting to note that these effects occurred in the presence of chronic microglial activation, with a relative paucity of infiltrating blood-borne immune cells. Widespread diffuse demyelination occurred in the hippocampus, but there was no significant decrease in axonal density. Furthermore, there was a significant reduction in pre-synaptic puncta and synaptic protein expression within the hippocampus, as well as impaired performance on a hippocampal-dependent spatial learning task. Our results demonstrate that neurodegenerative changes occur in the hippocampus during autoimmune-mediated demyelinating disease. This work establishes a preclinical model for assessing treatments targeted toward preventing hippocampal neuropathology and dysfunction in MS.
PMCID: PMC3033772  PMID: 20157291
EAE; hippocampus; MS; pathology
8.  Perivenous demyelination: association with clinically defined acute disseminated encephalomyelitis and comparison with pathologically confirmed multiple sclerosis 
Brain  2010;133(2):333-348.
Distinction between acute disseminated encephalomyelitis and acute multiple sclerosis is often clinically difficult. Perivenous demyelination is the pathological hallmark of acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, whereas confluent demyelination is the hallmark of acute multiple sclerosis. We investigated whether perivenous demyelination versus confluent demyelination distinguishes acute disseminated encephalomyelitis from multiple sclerosis. Patients with perivenous demyelination (n = 13; median age 43 years, range 5–67) on brain biopsy and/or autopsy, ascertained retrospectively, were compared with a cohort with confluent demyelination only (n = 91; 84% multiple sclerosis, 16% isolated syndrome at follow-up; median age 39 years, range 10–69). Clinical presentation, course and the International Paediatric Multiple Sclerosis Study Group clinical criteria for acute disseminated encephalomyelitis were assessed in both cohorts. Among the perivenous demyelination cohort, 10 patients had only perivenous demyelination and three also had confluent demyelination. All but one patient with perivenous demyelination only had a monophasic course, whereas two of three with both types had a relapsing course. The perivenous demyelination cohort was more likely than the confluent demyelination cohort to present with encephalopathy (P < 0.001), depressed level of consciousness (P < 0.001), headache (P < 0.001), meningismus (P = 0.04), cerebrospinal fluid pleocytosis (P = 0.04) or multifocal enhancing magnetic resonance imaging lesions (P < 0.001). A distinct pattern of cortical microglial activation and aggregation without associated cortical demyelination was found among six perivenous demyelination patients, all of whom had encephalopathy and four of whom had depressed level of consciousness. This pattern of cortical pathology was not observed in the confluent demyelination cohort, even in one patient with depressed level of consciousness. Clinical criteria were 80% sensitive and 91% specific for pathologically defined acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (perivenous demyelination), but misdiagnosed acute disseminated encephalomyelitis among 9% of patients with confluent demyelination and multiple sclerosis diagnosis at last follow-up. Perivenous demyelination is associated with meningoencephalopathic presentations and a monophasic course. Depressed level of consciousness is a more specific clinical criterion for pathologically confirmed acute disseminated encephalomyelitis than encephalopathy, which over-diagnosed acute disseminated encephalomyelitis among multiple sclerosis patients. A distinct pattern of cortical microglial activation without cortical demyelination may be the pathological correlate of depressed level of consciousness in acute disseminated encephalomyelitis. Although pathological evidence of perivenous demyelination may be superior to clinical criteria for diagnosing acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, the co-occurrence of perivenous and confluent demyelination in some individuals suggests pathogenic overlap between acute disseminated encephalomyelitis and multiple sclerosis and misclassification even with biopsy.
PMCID: PMC2822631  PMID: 20129932
multiple sclerosis; magnetic resonance imaging; neuropathology; immune-mediated demyelination; demyelinating disease
9.  Effects of lead exposure on hippocampal metabotropic glutamate receptor subtype 3 and 7 in developmental rats 
A complete explanation of the mechanisms by which Pb2+ exerts toxic effects on developmental central nervous system remains unknown. Glutamate is critical to the developing brain through various subtypes of ionotropic or metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs). Ionotropic N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors have been considered as a principal target in lead-induced neurotoxicity. The relationship between mGluR3/mGluR7 and synaptic plasticity had been verified by many recent studies. The present study aimed to examine the role of mGluR3/mGluR7 in lead-induced neurotoxicity.
Twenty-four adult and female rats were randomly selected and placed on control or 0.2% lead acetate during gestation and lactation. Blood lead and hippocampal lead levels of pups were analyzed at weaning to evaluate the actual lead content at the end of the exposure. Impairments of short -term memory and long-term memory of pups were assessed by tests using Morris water maze and by detection of hippocampal ultrastructural alterations on electron microscopy. The impact of lead exposure on mGluR3 and mGluR7 mRNA expression in hippocampal tissue of pups were investigated by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction and its potential role in lead neurotoxicity were discussed.
Lead levels of blood and hippocampi in the lead-exposed rats were significantly higher than those in the controls (P < 0.001). In tests using Morris Water Maze, the overall decrease in goal latency and swimming distance was taken to indicate that controls had shorter latencies and distance than lead-exposed rats (P = 0.001 and P < 0.001 by repeated-measures analysis of variance). On transmission electron microscopy neuronal ultrastructural alterations were observed and the results of real-time polymerase chain reaction showed that exposure to 0.2% lead acetate did not substantially change gene expression of mGluR3 and mGluR7 mRNA compared with controls.
Exposure to lead before and after birth can damage short-term and long-term memory ability of young rats and hippocampal ultrastructure. However, the current study does not provide evidence that the expression of rat hippocampal mGluR3 and mGluR7 can be altered by systemic administration of lead during gestation and lactation, which are informative for the field of lead-induced developmental neurotoxicity noting that it seems not to be worthwhile to include mGluR3 and mGluR7 in future studies.
PMCID: PMC2674876  PMID: 19374778
10.  Docosahexaenoic acid promotes hippocampal neuronal development and synaptic function 
Journal of neurochemistry  2009;111(2):510-521.
Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, 22:6n-3), the major polyunsaturated fatty acid accumulated in the brain during development, has been implicated in learning and memory, but underlying cellular mechanisms are not clearly understood. Here, we demonstrate that DHA significantly affects hippocampal neuronal development and synaptic function in developing hippocampi. In embryonic neuronal cultures, DHA supplementation uniquely promoted neurite growth, synapsin puncta formation and synaptic protein expression, particularly synapsins and glutamate receptors. In DHA-supplemented neurons, spontaneous synaptic activity was significantly increased, mostly because of enhanced glutamatergic synaptic activity. Conversely, hippocampal neurons from DHA-depleted fetuses showed inhibited neurite growth and synaptogenesis. Furthermore, n-3 fatty acid deprivation during development resulted in marked decreases of synapsins and glutamate receptor subunits in the hippocampi of 18-day-old pups with concomitant impairment of long-term potentiation, a cellular mechanism underlying learning and memory. While levels of synapsins and NMDA receptor subunit NR2A were decreased in most hippocampal regions, NR2A expression was particularly reduced in CA3, suggesting possible role of DHA in CA3-NMDA receptor-dependent learning and memory processes. The DHA-induced neurite growth, synaptogenesis, synapsin, and glutamate receptor expression, and glutamatergic synaptic function may represent important cellular aspects supporting the hippocampus-related cognitive function improved by DHA.
PMCID: PMC2773444  PMID: 19682204
docosahexaenoic acid; hippocampal development; long-term potentiation; neurite growth; synaptic function; synaptogenesis
Annals of neurology  2012;72(6):918-926.
Generation and differentiation of new oligodendrocytes in demyelinated white matter is the best described repair process in the adult human brain. However, remyelinating capacity falters with age in patients with multiple sclerosis. (MS). Since demyelination of cerebral cortex is extensive in brains from MS patients, we investigated the capacity of cortical lesions to remyelinate and directly compared the extent of remyelination in lesions that involve cerebral cortex and adjacent subcortical white matter.
Postmortem brain tissue from 22 patients with MS (age 27 to 77 years) and 6 subjects without brain disease were analyzed. Regions of cerebral cortex with reduced myelin were examined for remyelination, oligodendrocyte progenitor cells, reactive astrocytes, and molecules that inhibit remyelination.
“New” oligodendrocytes that were actively forming myelin sheaths were identified in 30/42 remyelinated subpial cortical lesions, including lesions from three patients in their 70's. Oligodendrocyte progenitor cells were not decreased in demyelinated or remyelinated cortices when compared to adjacent normal-appearing cortex or controls. In demyelinated lesions involving cortex and adjacent white matter, the cortex showed greater remyelination, more actively remyelinating oligodendrocytes and fewer reactive astrocytes. Astrocytes in the white-matter, but not in cortical portions of these lesions, significantly up-regulate CD44, hyaluronan, and versican, molecules that form complexes that inhibit oligodendrocyte maturation and remyelination.
Endogenous remyelination of the cerebral cortex occurs in individuals with MS regardless of disease duration or chronological age of the patient. Cortical remyelination should be considered as a primary outcome measure in future clinical trials testing remyelination therapies.
PMCID: PMC3535551  PMID: 23076662
multiple sclerosis; remyelination
12.  A 17 year-old girl with a demyelinating disease requiring mechanical ventilation: a case report 
BMC Research Notes  2013;6:22.
Demyelinating diseases cause destruction of the myelin sheath, while axons are relatively spared. Pathologically, demyelination can be the result of an inflammatory process, viral infection, acquired metabolic derangement and ischemic insult. Three diseases that can cause inflammatory demyelination of the CNS are: Multiple sclerosis (MS), Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM) and Acute hemorrhagic leucoencephalitis. Differentiation is not always easy and there is considerable overlaping. Data about adults with acute demyelination requiring ICU admission is limited.
Case presentation
A 17 year old Greek female was hospitalised in the ICU because of acute respiratory failure requiring mechanical ventilation. She had a history of febrile disease one month before, acute onset of paraplegia, diplopia, progressive arm weakness and dyspnea. Her consciousness was not impaired. A demyelinating central nervous system (CNS) disease, possibly post infectious encephalomyelitis (ADEM) was the underlying condition. The MRI of the brain disclosed diffused expanded cerebral lesions involving the optic nerve, basal ganglia cerebellum, pons and medulla oblongata. There was also extended involvement of the cervical and thoracic part of the spinal cord. CSF leukocyte count was elevated with lymphocyte predominance. The patient required mechanical ventilation for two months. Then she was transferred to a rehabilitation centre. Three years later she remains paraplegic. Since then she has not suffered any other demyelination attack.
Demyelinating diseases can cause acute respiratory failure when the spinal cord is affected. Severe forms of these diseases, making necessary ICU admission, is less frequently reported. Intensivists should be aware of the features of these rare diseases.
PMCID: PMC3579686  PMID: 23331922
13.  K+ Channel Alterations in the Progression of Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis 
Neurobiology of Disease  2012;47(2):280-293.
Voltage-gated K+ (Kv) channels play critical roles not only in regulating synaptic transmission and intrinsic excitability of neurons, but also in controlling the function and proliferation of other cells in the central nervous system (CNS). The non-specific Kv channel blocker, 4-AminoPyridine (4-AP) (Dalfampridine, Ampyra®), is currently used to treat multiple sclerosis (MS), an inflammatory demyelinating disease. However, little is known how various types of Kv channels are altered in any inflammatory demyelinating diseases. By using established animal models for MS, Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis (EAE), we report that expression and distribution patterns of Kv channels are altered in the CNS correlating with EAE severity. The juxtaparanodal (JXP) targeting of Kv1.2/Kvβ2 along myelinated axons is disrupted within demyelinated lesions in the white matter of spinal cord in EAE. Moreover, somatodendritic Kv2.1 channels in the motor neurons of lower spinal cord significantly decrease correlating with EAE severity. Interestingly, Kv1.4 expression surrounding lesions is markedly up-regulated in the initial acute phase of both EAE models. Its expression in glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP)-positive astrocytes further increases in the remitting phase of remitting-relapsing EAE (rrEAE), but decreases in late chronic EAE (chEAE) and the relapse of rrEAE, suggesting that Kv1.4-positive astrocytes may be neuroprotective. Taken together, our studies reveal myelin-dependent and -independent alterations of Kv channels in the progression of EAE and lay a solid foundation for future study in search of a better treatment for MS.
PMCID: PMC3367054  PMID: 22560931
voltage-gated potassium (Kv) channel; experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE); 4-AminoPyridine (4-AP); myelin; astrocyte; spinal cord
14.  Mitochondrial changes within axons in multiple sclerosis 
Brain : a journal of neurology  2009;132(Pt 5):1161-1174.
Multiple sclerosis is the most common cause of non-traumatic neurological impairment in young adults. An energy deficient state has been implicated in the degeneration of axons, the pathological correlate of disease progression, in multiple sclerosis. Mitochondria are the most efficient producers of energy and play an important role in calcium homeostasis. We analysed the density and function of mitochondria using immunohistochemistry and histochemistry, respectively, in chronic active and inactive lesions in progressive multiple sclerosis. As shown before in acute pattern III and Balo’s lesions, the mitochondrial respiratory chain complex IV activity is reduced despite the presence of mitochondria in demyelinated axons with amyloid precursor protein accumulation, which are predominantly located at the active edge of chronic active lesions. Furthermore, the strong non-phosphorylated neurofilament (SMI32) reactivity was associated with a significant reduction in complex IV activity and mitochondria within demyelinated axons. The complex IV defect associated with axonal injury may be mediated by soluble products of innate immunity, as suggested by an inverse correlation between complex IV activity and macrophage/microglial density in chronic lesions. However, in inactive areas of chronic multiple sclerosis lesions the mitochondrial respiratory chain complex IV activity and mitochondrial mass, judged by porin immunoreactivity, are increased within approximately half of large (>2.5 μm diameter) chronically demyelinated axons compared with large myelinated axons in the brain and spinal cord. The axon-specific mitochondrial docking protein (syntaphilin) and phosphorylated neurofilament-H were increased in chronic lesions. The lack of complex IV activity in a proportion of Na+/K+ ATPase α-1 positive demyelinated axons supports axonal dysfunction as a contributor to neurological impairment and disease progression. Furthermore, in vitro studies show that inhibition of complex IV augments glutamate-mediated axonal injury (amyloid precursor protein and SMI32 reactivity). Our findings have important implications for both axonal degeneration and dysfunction during the progressive stage of multiple sclerosis.
PMCID: PMC3605917  PMID: 19293237
Mitochondria; axonal degeneration; multiple sclerosis
15.  A Mutation in the Gene Encoding Mitochondrial Mg2+ Channel MRS2 Results in Demyelination in the Rat 
PLoS Genetics  2011;7(1):e1001262.
The rat demyelination (dmy) mutation serves as a unique model system to investigate the maintenance of myelin, because it provokes severe myelin breakdown in the central nervous system (CNS) after normal postnatal completion of myelination. Here, we report the molecular characterization of this mutation and discuss the possible pathomechanisms underlying demyelination. By positional cloning, we found that a G-to-A transition, 177 bp downstream of exon 3 of the Mrs2 (MRS2 magnesium homeostasis factor (Saccharomyces cerevisiae)) gene, generated a novel splice acceptor site which resulted in functional inactivation of the mutant allele. Transgenic rescue with wild-type Mrs2-cDNA validated our findings. Mrs2 encodes an essential component of the major Mg2+ influx system in mitochondria of yeast as well as human cells. We showed that the dmy/dmy rats have major mitochondrial deficits with a markedly elevated lactic acid concentration in the cerebrospinal fluid, a 60% reduction in ATP, and increased numbers of mitochondria in the swollen cytoplasm of oligodendrocytes. MRS2-GFP recombinant BAC transgenic rats showed that MRS2 was dominantly expressed in neurons rather than oligodendrocytes and was ultrastructurally observed in the inner membrane of mitochondria. Our observations led to the conclusion that dmy/dmy rats suffer from a mitochondrial disease and that the maintenance of myelin has a different mechanism from its initial production. They also established that Mg2+ homeostasis in CNS mitochondria is essential for the maintenance of myelin.
Author Summary
The myelin sheath that surrounds the axon of a neuron acts as a biological insulator. Its major function is to increase the speed at which impulses propagate along myelinated fibers in the central nervous system, as well as the peripheral nervous system. Alterations or damage affecting this structure (demyelination) result in the disruption of signals between the brain and other parts of the body. In the rat, mutations producing demyelination have been frequently identified and characterized and have contributed to a better understanding of the genetics of myelin development, physiology, and pathology. This paper reports the molecular characterization of a recessive allele responsible for the progressive disruption of myelin that was initially observed in mutant rats, previously named demyelination (dmy). This mutation generates an additional splicing acceptor site in an intron of the mitochondrial Mg2+ transporter gene (Mrs2), resulting in the insertion of a 83-bp genomic DNA segment into the Mrs2 transcript and complete functional inactivation of the mutant allele. We firstly defined the biological function of MRS2 in mammals and demonstrated the crucial and unexpected role of MRS2 in myelin physiology. Our findings might be helpful in the development of new therapeutic strategies for demyelinating syndromes.
PMCID: PMC3017111  PMID: 21253565
16.  Dysregulated phosphorylation of Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II-α in the hippocampus of subjects with mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease 
Journal of neurochemistry  2011;119(4):791-804.
Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is a progressive, neurodegenerative disorder and the most prevalent senile dementia. The early symptom of memory dysfunction involves synaptic loss, thought to be mediated by soluble amyloid-beta (Aβ) oligomers. These aggregate species target excitatory synapses and their levels correlate with disease severity. Studies in cell culture and rodents have shown that oligomers increase intracellular calcium (Ca2+), impairing synaptic plasticity. Yet, the molecular mechanism mediating Aβ oligomers’ toxicity in the aged brain remains unclear. Here, we apply quantitative immunofluorescence in human brain tissue from clinically diagnosed mild cognitive impaired (MCI) and AD patients to investigate the distribution of phosphorylated (active) Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase-α (p(Thr286)CaMKII), a critical enzyme for activity-dependent synaptic remodeling associated with cognitive function. We show that p(Thr286)CaMKII immunoreactivity is redistributed from dendritic arborizations to neural perikarya of both MCI and AD hippocampi. This finding correlates with cognitive assessment scores, suggesting that it may be a molecular read-out of the functional deficits in early AD. Treatment with oligomeric Aβ replicated the observed phenotype in mice and resulted in a loss of p(Thr286)CaMKII from synaptic spines of primary hippocampal neurons. Both outcomes were prevented by inhibiting the phosphatase calcineurin (CaN). Collectively, our results support a model in which the synaptotoxicity of Aβ oligomers in human brain involves the CaN-dependent subcellular redistribution of p(Thr286)CaMKII. Therapies designed to normalize the homeostatic imbalance of neuronal phosphatases and downstream dephosphorylation of synaptic p(Thr286)CaMKII should be considered to prevent and treat early AD.
PMCID: PMC4021864  PMID: 21883216
amyloid-beta oligomers; calcineurin (CaN); calcium/calmodulin dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII); Alzheimer’s disease; hippocampus; immunofluorescence
17.  Increased mitochondrial content in remyelinated axons: implications for multiple sclerosis 
Brain  2011;134(7):1901-1913.
Mitochondrial content within axons increases following demyelination in the central nervous system, presumably as a response to the changes in energy needs of axons imposed by redistribution of sodium channels. Myelin sheaths can be restored in demyelinated axons and remyelination in some multiple sclerosis lesions is extensive, while in others it is incomplete or absent. The effects of remyelination on axonal mitochondrial content in multiple sclerosis, particularly whether remyelination completely reverses the mitochondrial changes that follow demyelination, are currently unknown. In this study, we analysed axonal mitochondria within demyelinated, remyelinated and myelinated axons in post-mortem tissue from patients with multiple sclerosis and controls, as well as in experimental models of demyelination and remyelination, in vivo and in vitro. Immunofluorescent labelling of mitochondria (porin, a voltage-dependent anion channel expressed on all mitochondria) and axons (neurofilament), and ultrastructural imaging showed that in both multiple sclerosis and experimental demyelination, mitochondrial content within remyelinated axons was significantly less than in acutely and chronically demyelinated axons but more numerous than in myelinated axons. The greater mitochondrial content within remyelinated, compared with myelinated, axons was due to an increase in density of porin elements whereas increase in size accounted for the change observed in demyelinated axons. The increase in mitochondrial content in remyelinated axons was associated with an increase in mitochondrial respiratory chain complex IV activity. In vitro studies showed a significant increase in the number of stationary mitochondria in remyelinated compared with myelinated and demyelinated axons. The number of mobile mitochondria in remyelinated axons did not significantly differ from myelinated axons, although significantly greater than in demyelinated axons. Our neuropathological data and findings in experimental demyelination and remyelination in vivo and in vitro are consistent with a partial amelioration of the supposed increase in energy demand of demyelinated axons by remyelination.
PMCID: PMC3122369  PMID: 21705418
multiple sclerosis; axon; demyelination; mitochondria; remyelination
18.  Mesenchymal stromal-cell transplants induce oligodendrocyte progenitor migration and remyelination in a chronic demyelination model 
Cell Death & Disease  2013;4(8):e779-.
Demyelinating disorders such as leukodystrophies and multiple sclerosis are neurodegenerative diseases characterized by the progressive loss of myelin that may lead toward a chronic demyelination of the brain's white matter, impairing normal axonal conduction velocity and ultimately causing neurodegeneration. Current treatments modifying the pathological mechanisms are capable of ameliorating the disease; however, frequently, these therapies are not sufficient to repress the progressive demyelination into a chronic condition and permanent loss of function. To this end, we analyzed the effect that bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stromal cell (BM-MSC) grafts exert in a chronically demyelinated mouse brain. As a result, oligodendrocyte progenitors were recruited surrounding the graft due to the expression of various trophic signals by the grafted MSCs. Although there was no significant reaction in the non-grafted side, in the grafted regions oligodendrocyte progenitors were detected. These progenitors were derived from the nearby tissue as well as from the neurogenic niches, including the subependymal zone and dentate gyrus. Once near the graft site, the cells matured to myelinating oligodendrocytes. Finally, electrophysiological studies demonstrated that axonal conduction velocity was significantly increased in the grafted side of the fimbria. In conclusion, we demonstrate here that in chronic demyelinated white matter, BM-MSC transplantation activates oligodendrocyte progenitors and induces remyelination in the tissue surrounding the stem cell graft.
PMCID: PMC3763464  PMID: 23990019
mesenchymal stromal cells; demyelinating mouse model; trophic release; oligodendrocyte activation; remyelination
19.  The Role of Myelin in Theiler's Virus Persistence in the Central Nervous System 
PLoS Pathogens  2007;3(2):e23.
Theiler's virus, a picornavirus, persists for life in the central nervous system of mouse and causes a demyelinating disease that is a model for multiple sclerosis. The virus infects neurons first but persists in white matter glial cells, mainly oligodendrocytes and macrophages. The mechanism, by which the virus traffics from neurons to glial cells, and the respective roles of oligodendrocytes and macrophages in persistence are poorly understood. We took advantage of our previous finding that the shiverer mouse, a mutant with a deletion in the myelin basic protein gene (Mbp), is resistant to persistent infection to examine the role of myelin in persistence. Using immune chimeras, we show that resistance is not mediated by immune responses or by an efficient recruitment of inflammatory cells into the central nervous system. With both in vivo and in vitro experiments, we show that the mutation does not impair the permissiveness of neurons, oligodendrocytes, and macrophages to the virus. We demonstrate that viral antigens are present in cytoplasmic channels of myelin during persistent infection of wild-type mice. Using the optic nerve as a model, we show that the virus traffics from the axons of retinal ganglion cells to the cytoplasmic channels of myelin, and that this traffic is impaired by the shiverer mutation. These results uncover an unsuspected axon to myelin traffic of Theiler's virus and the essential role played by the infection of myelin/oligodendrocyte in persistence.
Author Summary
Theiler's virus persists in the central nervous system of mice and causes a chronic disease that resembles multiple sclerosis, a common demyelinating disease of humans. The virus infects neurons for one to two weeks, but later on it persists in the white matter, in oligodendrocytes and also in macrophages. Oligodendrocytes are the myelin-making cells of the central nervous system. Strikingly, in mice with a genetic defect of myelin, the virus infects neurons normally but is unable to persist. Understanding the reason for the lack of persistence in this mutant mouse should pinpoint an essential step in the complex process resulting in persistence. In this article, we show that resistance to persistent infection is not mediated by the immune system and is not due to inefficient viral replication in oligodendrocytes or macrophages. Instead, we show that virus transported in axons traffics into the myelin, and that this traffic is interrupted by the myelin mutation. This unsuspected axon to myelin traffic of Theiler's virus is necessary for viral persistence. Our results warrant looking for a similar phenomenon in other persistent infections of the nervous system, including in humans.
PMCID: PMC1797621  PMID: 17305428
20.  Antineuroinflammatory and neurotrophic effects of CNTF and C16 peptide in an acute experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis rat model 
Experimentalallergic encephalomyelitis (EAE) is an animal model for inflammatory demyelinating autoimmune disease, i.e., multiple sclerosis (MS). In the present study, we investigated the antineuroinflammatory/neuroprotective effects of C16, an ανβ3 integrin-binding peptide, and recombinant rat ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF), a cytokine that was originally identified as a survival factor for neurons, in an acute rodent EAE model. In this model, C16 peptide was injected intravenously every day for 2 weeks, and CNTF was delivered into the cerebral ventricles with Alzet miniosmotic pumps. Disease severity was assessed weekly using a scale ranging from 0 to 5. Multiple histological and molecular biological assays were employed to assess inflammation, axonal loss, neuronal apoptosis, white matter demyelination, and gliosis in the brain and spinal cord of different groups. Our results showed that the EAE induced rats revealed a significant increase in inflammatory cells infiltration, while C16 treatment could inhibit the infiltration of leukocytes and macrophages down to 2/3–1/3 of vehicle treated EAE control (P < 0.05). The delayed onset of disease, reduced clinical score (P < 0.01) in peak stage and more rapid recovery also were achieved in C16 treated group. Besides impairing inflammation, CNTF treatment also exerted direct neuroprotective effects, decreasing demyelination and axon loss score (P < 0.05 versus vehicle treated EAE control), and reducing the neuronal death from 40 to 50% to 10 to 20% (P < 0.05). Both treatments suppressed the expression of cytokine tumor necrosis factor-α and interferon-γ when compared with the vehicle control (P < 0.05). Combined treatment with C16 and CNTF produced more obvious functional recovery and neuroprotective effects than individually treatment (P < 0.05). These results suggested that combination treatment with C16 and CNTF, which target different neuroprotection pathways, may be an effective therapeutic alternative to traditional therapy.
PMCID: PMC3874474  PMID: 24416000
multiple sclerosis; anti-inflammatory; demyelination; neuroprotective effects
21.  Different Mechanisms of Inflammation Induced in Virus and Autoimmune-Mediated Models of Multiple Sclerosis in C57BL6 Mice 
BioMed Research International  2013;2013:589048.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory demyelinating disease of the human central nervous system (CNS). Neurotropic demyelinating strain of MHV (MHV-A59 or its isogenic recombinant strain RSA59) induces MS-like disease in mice mediated by microglia, along with a small population of T cells. The mechanism of demyelination is at least in part due to microglia-mediated myelin stripping, with some direct axonal injury. Immunization with myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG) induces experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), a mainly CD4+ T-cell-mediated disease, although CD8+ T cells may play a significant role in demyelination. It is possible that both autoimmune and nonimmune mechanisms such as direct viral toxicity may induce MS. Our study directly compares CNS pathology in autoimmune and viral-induced MS models. Mice with viral-induced and EAE demyelinating diseases demonstrated similar patterns and distributions of demyelination that accumulated over the course of the disease. However, significant differences in acute inflammation were noted. Inflammation was restricted mainly to white matter at all times in EAE, whereas inflammation initially largely involved gray matter in acute MHV-induced disease and then is subsequently localized only in white matter in the chronic disease phase. The presence of dual mechanisms of demyelination may be responsible for the failure of immunosuppression to promote long-term remission in many MS patients.
PMCID: PMC3780522  PMID: 24083230
22.  Loss of Cdc42 leads to defects in synaptic plasticity and remote memory recall 
eLife  2014;3:e02839.
Cdc42 is a signaling protein important for reorganization of actin cytoskeleton and morphogenesis of cells. However, the functional role of Cdc42 in synaptic plasticity and in behaviors such as learning and memory are not well understood. Here we report that postnatal forebrain deletion of Cdc42 leads to deficits in synaptic plasticity and in remote memory recall using conditional knockout of Cdc42. We found that deletion of Cdc42 impaired LTP in the Schaffer collateral synapses and postsynaptic structural plasticity of dendritic spines in CA1 pyramidal neurons in the hippocampus. Additionally, loss of Cdc42 did not affect memory acquisition, but instead significantly impaired remote memory recall. Together these results indicate that the postnatal functions of Cdc42 may be crucial for the synaptic plasticity in hippocampal neurons, which contribute to the capacity for remote memory recall.
eLife digest
Neurons communicate with one another at junctions called synapses, which are typically formed between the dendrite of one neuron and the axon terminus of another. The dendrites are protrusions coming out of the cell body that receive inputs from other cells; the axon is a cable-like structure that enables neurons to contact other cells. In excitatory neurons in part of the brain called the hippocampus, the dendrites are themselves covered in structures called spines, so most synapses are formed between an axon terminus (belonging to the presynaptic cell) and a dendritic spine (on the postsynaptic cell). The hippocampus is necessary for the formation of long-term memories.
The strength of a synapse can increase or decrease over time—a property that is called synaptic plasticity. Changes in the strength of synapses are thought to underlie learning and memory, and long-lasting changes in synaptic strength involve increases or decreases in the number and size of dendritic spines. Such changes are possible because spines have an internal skeleton that can be assembled and disassembled in a matter of minutes. This ‘remodeling’ process is regulated by a family of enzymes called small GTPases. One of these, known as Cdc42, has been shown to promote the formation and maintenance of spines in cell culture, but its role in synaptic plasticity, learning and memory remains unknown.
Now, Kim, Wang et al. have used genetically modified mice who have had Cdc42 deleted from excitatory neurons in their forebrain to examine the functions of this enzyme in living animals. These ‘knockout’ mice showed a small but statistically significant reduction in the number of dendritic spines in the hippocampus. They also showed smaller changes in spine volume and impaired long-term synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus.
When the mice performed long-term memory tests where they learnt to associate a specific set of visual cues with an impending electric shock, the knockout mice performed well for up to a few days. However, when tested again on the same task 45 days later, the knockout mice did not perform as well as normal mice. This is surprising, given the presumed role of long-term synaptic plasticity in learning and memory, and indicates that Cdc42 is required for ‘remote memory’, the form of memory lasting for many days. Similar results were obtained with another memory test using a water maze, where the animals have to remember the location of a hidden platform. Normal mice remember the location for more than 30 days. In contrast, the knockout mice could only remember the location for a few days.
As well as providing the first demonstration of the role of Cdc42 in synaptic plasticity in live animals, the work of Kim, Wang et al. has provided new insights into the functions of this enzyme in memory. Further work is required to determine how Cdc42 interacts with other proteins present at synapses.
PMCID: PMC4115656  PMID: 25006034
small GTPase; LTP; hippocampus; structural plasticity; dendritic spine; mouse
Neurobiology of disease  2007;28(2):184-196.
Mice with inactivation of the Tuberous sclerosis complex-1 (Tsc1) gene in glia (Tsc1GFAPCKO mice) have deficient astrocyte glutamate transporters and develop seizures, suggesting that abnormal glutamate homeostasis contributes to neurological abnormalities in these mice. We examined the hypothesis that Tsc1GFAPCKO mice have elevated extracellular brain glutamate levels that may cause neuronal death, abnormal glutamatergic synaptic function, and associated impairments in behavioral learning. In vivo microdialysis documented elevated glutamate levels in hippocampi of Tsc1GFAPCKO mice and several cell death assays demonstrated neuronal death in hippocampus and neocortex. Impairment of long-term potentiation (LTP) with tetanic stimulation was observed in hippocampal slices from Tsc1GFAPCKO mice and was reversed by low concentrations of NMDA antagonist, indicating that excessive synaptic glutamate directly inhibited LTP. Finally, Tsc1GFAPCKO mice exhibited deficits in two hippocampal-dependent learning paradigms. These results suggest that abnormal glutamate homeostasis predisposes to excitotoxic cell death, impaired synaptic plasticity and learning deficits in Tsc1GFAPCKO mice.
PMCID: PMC2117357  PMID: 17714952
glia; astrocyte; glutamate transporter; microdialysis; long-term potentiation; learning; excitotoxicity; seizure; epilepsy
24.  Antibody to Aquaporin 4 in the Diagnosis of Neuromyelitis Optica 
PLoS Medicine  2007;4(4):e133.
Neuromyelitis optica (NMO) is a demyelinating disease of the central nervous system (CNS) of putative autoimmune aetiology. Early discrimination between multiple sclerosis (MS) and NMO is important, as optimum treatment for both diseases may differ considerably. Recently, using indirect immunofluorescence analysis, a new serum autoantibody (NMO-IgG) has been detected in NMO patients. The binding sites of this autoantibody were reported to colocalize with aquaporin 4 (AQP4) water channels. Thus we hypothesized that AQP4 antibodies in fact characterize NMO patients.
Methods and Findings
Based on these observations we cloned human water channel AQP4, expressed the protein in a eukaryotic transcription/translation system, and employed the recombinant AQP4 to establish a new radioimmunoprecipitation assay (RIPA). Indeed, application of this RIPA showed that antibodies against AQP4 exist in the majority of patients with NMO (n = 37; 21 positive) as well as in patients with isolated longitudinally extensive transverse myelitis (n = 6; six positive), corresponding to a sensitivity of 62.8% and a specificity of 98.3%. By contrast, AQP4 antibodies were virtually absent in 291 other participants, which included patients with MS (n = 144; four positive), patients with other inflammatory and noninflammatory neurological diseases (n = 73; one positive), patients with systemic autoimmune diseases (n = 45; 0 positive), and healthy participants (n = 29; 0 positive).
In the largest series reported so far to our knowledge, we quantified AQP4 antibodies in patients with NMO versus various other diseases, and showed that the aquaporin 4 water channel is a target antigen in a majority of patients with NMO. The newly developed assay represents a highly specific, observer-independent, and easily reproducible detection method facilitating clinically relevant discrimination between NMO, MS, and other inflammatory diseases.
A newly developed method to detect antibodies to the aquaporin 4 water channel can help discriminate between neuromyelitis optica, multiple sclerosis, and other inflammatory diseases.
Editors' Summary
Neuromyelitis optica (NMO or Devic syndrome) is a rare disease in which the immune system destroys the myelin (fatty material that insulates nerve fibers so that the body and the brain can communicate using electrical messages) in the optic nerve and spinal cord. Myelin destruction (demyelination) in these parts of the central nervous system (CNS) causes pain and swelling (inflammation) of the optic nerve (optic neuritis) and spinal cord (myelitis). The resultant disruption of communication along these nerves means that patients with NMO experience temporary or permanent blindness in one or both eyes that is preceded or followed by limb weakness or paralysis and loss of bladder and bowel control. These two sets of symptoms can occur many months apart and may happen once during a person's lifetime or recur at intervals. There is no cure for NMO, but corticosteroids or plasmapheresis reduce inflammation during acute attacks and, because NMO is an autoimmune disease (one in which the immune system attacks the body's own tissues instead of foreign organisms), long-term immunosuppression may prevent further attacks.
Why Was This Study Done?
There are many inflammatory/demyelinating diseases of the CNS with clinical symptoms similar to those of NMO. It is particularly hard to distinguish between NMO and multiple sclerosis, an autoimmune disease that involves widespread demyelination. Neurologists need to make a correct diagnosis before starting any treatment and usually use clinical examination and magnetic resonance imaging (to detect sites of inflammation) to help them in this task. Recently, however, a biomarker for NMO was identified. Many patients with NMO make autoantibodies (proteins that recognize a component of a person's own tissues) called NMO-IgGs. These recognize aquaporin 4 (AQP4), a protein that allows water to move through cell membranes. It is not known how often patients with NMO or other demyelinating diseases make antibodies to AQP4, so it is unclear whether testing for these antibodies would help in the diagnosis of NMO. In this study, the researchers have developed a new assay for antibodies to AQP4 and then quantified the antibodies in patients with NMO and other demyelinating diseases.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers made radioactively labeled AQP4 in a test tube, then incubated samples of this with serum (the liquid portion of blood), added small beads coated with protein A (a bacterial protein that binds to antibodies) and allowed the beads to settle. The amount of radioactivity attached to the beads indicates the amount of antibody to AQP4 in the original serum. The researchers used this radioimmunoprecipitation assay to measure antibodies to AQP4 in sera from 37 patients with NMO and from six with another neurological condition, longitudinally extensive transverse myelitis (LETM), which is characterized by large demyelinated lesions across the width of the spinal cord but no optic neuritis; these patients often develop NMO. They also measured antibodies to AQP4 in the sera of nearly 300 other people including patients with multiple sclerosis, other neurological conditions, various autoimmune diseases, and healthy individuals. Nearly two-thirds of the patients with NMO and all those with LETM made antibodies against AQP4; very few of the other study participants made these antibodies. In particular, only four of the 144 patients with multiple sclerosis made AQP4 antibodies.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings indicate that testing for antibodies to AQP4 could help neurologists distinguish between NMO and multiple sclerosis and between NMO and other demyelinating diseases of the CNS. In addition, the new radioimmunoprecipitation assay provides a standardized, high-throughput way to quantitatively test for these antibodies, whereas the indirect immune fluorescence assay for measurement of unspecific NMO-IgG is observer-dependent and nonquantitative. Although these findings need to be confirmed in more patients and the assay's reliability demonstrated in different settings, the measurement of antibodies to AQP4 by radioimmunoprecipitation may become a standard part of the differential diagnosis of NMO. Additional research will determine whether AQP4 is the only protein targeted by autoantibodies in NMO and whether this targeting is a critical part of the disease process.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at
US National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke has information for patients who have neuromyelitis optica, transverse myelitis, and multiple sclerosis
The Transverse Myelitis Association offers information and useful links for patients and their carers about transverse myelitis and neuromyelitis optica (in several languages, including English and Spanish)
Mayo Clinic information for patients on Devic's syndrome
Medline Plus encyclopedia pages discuss autoimmune disorders (in English and Spanish)
A brief overview of aquaporins is available from the University of Miami
The American MS Society has information on MS
PMCID: PMC1852124  PMID: 17439296
25.  Reversible Behavioral Deficits in Rats during a Cycle of Demyelination-Remyelination of the Fimbria 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(1):e53775.
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) selectively damages white matter. White matter damage does not produce deficits in many behavioral tests used to analyze experimental TBI. Rats were impaired on an active place avoidance task following inactivation of one hippocampal injection of tetrodotoxin. The need for both hippocampi suggests that acquisition of the active place avoidance task may require interhippocampal communication. The controlled cortical impact model of TBI demyelinates midline white matter and impairs rats on the active place avoidance task. One white matter region that is demyelinated is the fimbria that contains hippocampal commissural fibers. We therefore tested whether demyelination of the fimbria produces deficits in active place avoidance. Lysophosphatidylcholine (LPC) was injected stereotaxically to produce a cycle of demyelination-remyelination of the fimbria. At 4 days, myelin loss was observed in the fimbria of LPC-, but not saline-injected rats. Fourteen days after injection, myelin content increased in LPC-, but not saline-injected rats. Three days after injection, both saline- and LPC-injected rats had similar performance on an open field and passive place avoidance task in which the rat avoided a stationary shock zone on a stationary arena. The following day, on the active place avoidance task, LPC-injected rats had a significantly higher number of shock zone entrances suggesting learning was impaired. At 14 days after injection, saline- and LPC-injected rats had similar performance on open field and passive place avoidance. On active place avoidance, however, saline- and LPC-injected rats had a similar number of total entrances suggesting that the impairment seen at 4 days was no longer present at 14 days. These data suggest that active place avoidance is highly sensitive to white matter injury.
PMCID: PMC3551947  PMID: 23349742

Results 1-25 (1182641)