A better understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying the development and progression of diabetic neuropathy (DN) is essential for the design of mechanism-based therapies. We examined changes in global gene expression to define pathways regulated by diabetes in peripheral nerve.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
Microarray data for 24-week-old BKS db/db and db/+ mouse sciatic nerve were analyzed to define significantly differentially expressed genes (DEGs); DEGs were further analyzed to identify regulated biological processes and pathways. Expression profile clustering was performed to identify coexpressed DEGs. A set of coexpressed lipid metabolism genes was used for promoter sequence analysis.
Gene expression changes are consistent with structural changes of axonal degeneration. Pathways regulated in the db/db nerve include lipid metabolism, carbohydrate metabolism, energy metabolism, peroxisome proliferator–activated receptor signaling, apoptosis, and axon guidance. Promoter sequences of lipid metabolism–related genes exhibit evidence of coregulation of lipid metabolism and nervous system development genes.
Our data support existing hypotheses regarding hyperglycemia-mediated nerve damage in DN. Moreover, our analyses revealed a possible coregulation mechanism connecting hyperlipidemia and axonal degeneration.
Biochemical abnormalities in peripheral nerve are thought to precede and condition the development of diabetic neuropathy, but metabolic intervention in chronic diabetic neuropathy produces only limited acute clinical response. The residual, metabolically unresponsive neurological deficits have never been rigorously defined in terms of either persistent metabolic derangements or irreversible structural defects because human nerve tissue is rarely accessible for anatomical and biochemical study and experimentally diabetic animals do not develop the structural hallmarks of human diabetic neuropathy. Detailed neuroanatomical-functional-biochemical correlation was therefore undertaken in long-term spontaneously diabetic BB-Wistar rats that functionally and structurally model human diabetic neuropathy. Vigorous insulin replacement in chronically diabetic BB rats essentially normalized both the sural nerve fiber caliber spectrum and the decreased sciatic nerve myo-inositol and (Na,K)-ATPase levels generally associated with conduction slowing in diabetic animals; yet, nerve conduction was only partially restored toward normal. Morphometric analysis revealed a striking disappearance of paranodal axo-glial junctional complexes that was not corrected by insulin replacement. Loss of these strategic junctional complexes, which are thought to limit lateral migration of axolemmal Na channels away from nodes of Ranvier, correlates with and can account for the diminished nodal Na permeability and resultant nodal conduction delay characteristic of chronic diabetic neuropathy in this animal model.
To evaluate mechanisms underlying diabetic neuropathy progression using indexes of sural nerve morphometry obtained from two identical randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
Sural nerve myelinated fiber density (MFD), nerve conduction velocities (NCVs), vibration perception thresholds, clinical symptom scores, and a visual analog scale for pain were analyzed in participants with diabetic neuropathy. A loss of ≥500 fibers/mm2 in sural nerve MFD over 52 weeks was defined as progressing diabetic neuropathy, and a MFD loss of ≤100 fibers/mm2 during the same time interval as nonprogressing diabetic neuropathy. The progressing and nonprogressing cohorts were matched for baseline characteristics using an O'Brien rank-sum and baseline MFD.
At 52 weeks, the progressing cohort demonstrated a 25% decrease (P < 0.0001) from baseline in MFD, while the nonprogressing cohort remained unchanged. MFD was not affected by active drug treatment (P = 0.87), diabetes duration (P = 0.48), age (P = 0.11), or BMI (P = 0.30). Among all variables tested, elevated triglycerides and decreased peroneal motor NCV at baseline significantly correlated with loss of MFD at 52 weeks (P = 0.04).
In this cohort of participants with mild to moderate diabetic neuropathy, elevated triglycerides correlated with MFD loss independent of disease duration, age, diabetes control, or other variables. These data support the evolving concept that hyperlipidemia is instrumental in the progression of diabetic neuropathy.
The pathogenesis of human diabetic neuropathy remains unclear. Mendenhall's syndrome is characterised by a mutation in the insulin receptor gene with consequent lifelong uncontrolled hyperglycaemia. The sural nerve biopsy from a patient with Mendenhall's syndrome showed a gross loss of myelinated fibres that was comparable with the degree of fibre loss in a case matched diabetic patient with established neuropathy. The biopsy from the patient with Mendenhall's syndrome showed only a very mild degree of microangiopathy, however, which failed to relate to the degree of nerve fibre loss and also did not compare with the advanced degree of microangiopathy seen in the diabetic patient. Thus hyperglycaemia itself did not result in appreciable microangiopathy. Furthermore the presence of severe neuropathy without advanced microangiopathy suggests an important and independent role for metabolic factors in the pathogenesis of neuropathy.
Diabetes mellitus type II afflicts at least 2 million people in Iran. Neuropathy is one of the most common complications of diabetes and lowers the patient's quality of life. Since neuropathy often leads to ulceration and amputation, we have tried to elucidate the factors that can affect its progression.
In this case-control study, 110 diabetic patients were selected from the Shariati Hospital diabetes clinic. Michigan Neuropathic Diabetic Scoring (MNDS) was used to differentiate cases from controls. The diagnosis of neuropathy was confirmed by nerve conduction studies (nerve conduction velocity and electromyography). The multiple factors compared between the two groups included consumption of angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEI), blood pressure, serum lipid level, sex, smoking, method of diabetes control and its quality.
Statistically significant relationships were found between neuropathy and age, gender, quality of diabetes control and duration of disease (P values in the order: 0.04, 0.04, < 0.001 and 0.005). No correlation was found with any atherosclerosis risk factor (high BP, hyperlipidemia, cigarette smoking).
In this study, hyperglycemia was the only modifiable risk factor for diabetic neuropathy. Glycemic control reduces the incidence of neuropathy, slows its progression and improves the diabetic patient's quality of life. More attention must be paid to elderly male diabetic patients with poor diabetes control with regard to regular foot examinations and more practical education.
The pathogenesis of neuropathy in type 2 diabetes mellitus is multifactorial.Dyslipidemia may contribute to the development of diabetic neuropathy. This study aimed to assess the atherogenic lipid indices in type 2 diabetic patients with neuropathy.
Material and Methods:
Fifty-one patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus and 31 healthy subjects were studied in the Unit of Neurophysiology at the University Hospital of Medical College, Al-Nahrin University in Baghdad, Iraq, from January 2002 to January 2003. Neuropathy total symptom score (NTSS), neuropathy impairment score in the lower leg (NIS-LL), and electrophysiological study of sensory (ulnar and sural) and motor (ulnar and common peroneal) nerves were used to assess nerve function. Fasting venous blood was obtained from each participant for determination of lipid profile and atherogenic lipid ratios.
The frequency of high blood pressure was significantly higher in neuropathic patients. The electrophysiology study revealed significant decrease in conduction velocity of ulnar (sensory and motor components), sural, and common peroneal nerves. The minimum F-wave latency of motor nerve was significantly prolonged. Among the lipid fractions, only high-density lipoprotein–cholesterol was significantly reduced by 14% of healthy participant's value. Atherogenic lipid ratios were significantly higher in diabetic patients than corresponding healthy ratios.
Metabolic lipid disturbances in terms of atherogenicity co-existwith neuropathy in type 2 diabetes mellitus, irrespective of duration of disease.
Atherogenic ratios; neuropathy; type 2 diabetes
Evidences of oxidative and/or nitrosative stress in type 2 diabetes mellitus were demonstrated in experimental and human studies. This study is aimed to assess the serum peroxynitrite and oxidized lipoproteins in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus presented with clinical and laboratory evidences of peripheral neuropathy.
Materials and Methods:
Eighty four patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (51 of them had neuropathy) and 31 apparent healthy subjects were studied in the unit of neurophysiology at the University Hospital of Medical College, Al-Nahrin University in Baghdad, Iraq. Neuropathy total symptom score (NTSS), neuropathy impairment score in the lower leg (NIS-LL), and nerve conduction velocity of sensory (ulnar and sural) and motor (ulnar and common peroneal) nerves were used to assess the neuropathy. Fasting venous blood was obtained from each participant for the determination of serum glucose and oxidized lipoproteins.
The electrophysiology study revealed significant decrease in conduction velocity of ulnar (sensory and motor components), sural, and common peroneal nerves in diabetic neuropathy compared to diabetics without neuropathy and healthy subjects. Significant high level of serum peroxynitrite was found in diabetic patients with or without neuropathy compared with non-diabetics. The changes in serum-oxidized lipoproteins in patients with diabetics with or without neuropathy were non-significantly differed from healthy subjects. Neither nitrosative stress nor oxidative stress indices correlated with the variables that are related to the neuropathy.
It concludes that evidence of nitrosative and to less extent the oxidative stress is associated with neuropathy in type 2 diabetes mellitus and their indices not correlated with variables related to neuropathy.
Neuropathy; peroxynitrite; type 2 diabetes
OBJECTIVE—Glomerular mesangial expansion and podocyte loss are important early features of diabetic nephropathy, whereas tubulointerstitial injury and fibrosis are critical for progression of diabetic nephropathy to kidney failure. Therefore, we analyzed the expression of genes in glomeruli and tubulointerstitium in kidney biopsies from diabetic nephropathy patients to identify pathways that may be activated in humans but not in murine models of diabetic nephropathy that fail to progress to glomerulosclerosis, tubulointerstitial fibrosis, and kidney failure.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS—Kidney biopsies were obtained from 74 patients (control subjects, early and progressive type 2 diabetic nephropathy). Glomerular and tubulointerstitial mRNAs were microarrayed, followed by bioinformatics analyses. Gene expression changes were confirmed by real-time RT-PCR and immunohistological staining. Samples from db/db C57BLKS and streptozotocin-induced DBA/2J mice, commonly studied murine models of diabetic nephropathy, were analyzed.
RESULTS—In human glomeruli and tubulointerstitial samples, the Janus kinase (Jak)-signal transducer and activator of transcription (Stat) pathway was highly and significantly regulated. Jak-1, -2, and -3 as well as Stat-1 and -3 were expressed at higher levels in patients with diabetic nephropathy than in control subjects. The estimated glomerular filtration rate significantly correlated with tubulointerstitial Jak-1, -2, and -3 and Stat-1 expression (R2 = 0.30–0.44). Immunohistochemistry found strong Jak-2 staining in glomerular and tubulointerstitial compartments in diabetic nephropathy compared with control subjects. In contrast, there was little or no increase in expression of Jak/Stat genes in the db/db C57BLKS or diabetic DBA/2J mice.
CONCLUSIONS—These data suggest a direct relationship between tubulointerstitial Jak/Stat expression and progression of kidney failure in patients with type 2 diabetic nephropathy and distinguish progressive human diabetic nephropathy from nonprogressive murine diabetic nephropathy.
Molecular events that result in loss of pain perception are poorly understood in diabetic neuropathy. Our results show that the receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE), a receptor associated with sustained NF-κB activation in the diabetic microenvironment, has a central role in sensory neuronal dysfunction. In sural nerve biopsies, ligands of RAGE, the receptor itself, activated NF-κBp65, and IL-6 colocalized in the microvasculature of patients with diabetic neuropathy. Activation of NF-κB and NF-κB–dependent gene expression was upregulated in peripheral nerves of diabetic mice, induced by advanced glycation end products, and prevented by RAGE blockade. NF-κB activation was blunted in RAGE-null (RAGE–/–) mice compared with robust enhancement in strain-matched controls, even 6 months after diabetes induction. Loss of pain perception, indicative of long-standing diabetic neuropathy, was reversed in WT mice treated with soluble RAGE. Most importantly, loss of pain perception was largely prevented in RAGE–/– mice, although they were not protected from diabetes-induced loss of PGP9.5-positive plantar nerve fibers. These data demonstrate, for the first time to our knowledge, that the RAGE–NF-κB axis operates in diabetic neuropathy, by mediating functional sensory deficits, and that its inhibition may provide new therapeutic approaches.
Herein, we performed microarray experiments in Schwann cells infected with live M. leprae and identified novel differentially expressed genes (DEG) in M. leprae infected cells. Also, we selected candidate genes associated or implicated with leprosy in genetic studies and biological experiments. Forty-seven genes were selected for validation in two independent types of samples by multiplex qPCR. First, an in vitro model using THP-1 cells was infected with live Mycobacterium leprae and M. bovis bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG). In a second situation, mRNA obtained from nerve biopsies from patients with leprosy or other peripheral neuropathies was tested. We detected DEGs that discriminate M. bovis BCG from M. leprae infection. Specific signatures of susceptible responses after M. leprae infection when compared to BCG lead to repression of genes, including CCL2, CCL3, IL8 and SOD2. The same 47-gene set was screened in nerve biopsies, which corroborated the down-regulation of CCL2 and CCL3 in leprosy, but also evidenced the down-regulation of genes involved in mitochondrial metabolism, and the up-regulation of genes involved in lipid metabolism and ubiquitination. Finally, a gene expression signature from DEG was identified in patients confirmed of having leprosy. A classification tree was able to ascertain 80% of the cases as leprosy or non-leprous peripheral neuropathy based on the expression of only LDLR and CCL4. A general immune and mitochondrial hypo-responsive state occurs in response to M. leprae infection. Also, the most important genes and pathways have been highlighted providing new tools for early diagnosis and treatment of leprosy.
Diabetic neuropathy is common, under or misdiagnosed, and causes substantial morbidity with increased mortality. Defining and developing sensitive diagnostic tests for diabetic neuropathy is not only key to implementing earlier interventions but also to ensure that the most appropriate endpoints are employed in clinical intervention trials. This is critical as many potentially effective therapies may never progress to the clinic, not due to a lack of therapeutic effect, but because the endpoints were not sufficiently sensitive or robust to identify benefit. Apart from improving glycaemic control, there is no licensed treatment for diabetic neuropathy, however, a number of pathogenetic pathways remain under active study. Painful diabetic neuropathy is a cause of considerable morbidity and whilst many pharmacological and nonpharmacological interventions are currently used, only two are approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. We address the important issue of the ‘placebo effect’ and also consider potential new pharmacological therapies as well as nonpharmacological interventions in the treatment of painful diabetic neuropathy.
diabetic neuropathy; diagnosis; painful diabetic neuropathy; nonpharmacological treatment; pharmacological
Background and aim: The diagnosis of peripheral diabetic neuropathy is based on clinical examination. Nerve conduction study (NCS) enables earlier diagnosis, but it is demanding and requires specialised personnel. In an attempt to simplify the procedure, this study aimed to identify a new electrophysiological index, which might correlate with results obtained on standardised NCS in patients with long-standing type 2 diabetes.
Patients and methods: Medical records of type 2 diabetic patients evaluated for neuropathy by NCS were reviewed retrospectively. This analysis included 104 patients (50 men, 54 women) with a mean age of 67.1±5.5 years and mean diabetes duration of 13.1±2.7 years. NCS was performed on radial, ulnar, sural, and peroneal nerves. Neuropathy was defined as impaired NCS. Ratios of neurophysiological parameters from these nerves were calculated and each of them was compared with diagnosis of neuropathy.
Results: The sural sensory/radial motor amplitude ratio had the best combination of sensitivity (85%) and specificity (71%) for neuropathy. It also remained the strongest independent predictor of neuropathy in multivariate regression analysis: low levels of this ratio yielded an odds ratio of 7.7 for neuropathy.
Conclusions: The sural sensory/radial motor amplitude ratio has a high sensitivity and a moderately high specificity for the diagnosis of neuropathy, low levels being associated with a nearly eightfold increase in the risk for neuropathy. These results encourage further evaluation of this and other electrophysiological indices to enable wider availability of NCS.
diabetes mellitus; diabetic peripheral neuropathy; nerve conduction study
We examined the efficacy of herpes simplex virus vector-mediated gene transfer of erythropoietin in preventing neuropathy in mouse model of streptozotocin-diabetes. A replication-incompetent herpes simplex virus vector with erythropoietin under the control of the human cytomegalovirus promoter (vector DHEPO) was constructed. DHEPO expressed and released erythropoietin from primary dorsal root ganglion neurons in vitro, and following subcutaneous inoculation in the foot, expressed erythropoietin in dorsal root ganglion neurons in vivo. At 2 weeks after induction of diabetes, subcutaneous inoculation of erythropoietin prevented the reduction in sensory nerve amplitude characteristic of diabetic neuropathy measured 4 weeks later, preserved autonomic function measured by pilocarpine-induced sweating, and prevented the loss of nerve fibres in the skin and reduction of neuropeptide calcitonin gene-related peptide in the dorsal horn of spinal cord of the diabetic mice. We further investigated whether vector-mediated local expression of erythropoietin in dorsal root ganglion neurons can protect in vivo as well as in vitro hyperglycemia-induced axonal degeneration. Our findings show that the AKT/GSK-3β dependent pathway plays an important role in mediating the protection of erythropoietin against diabetic neuropathy. Herpes simplex virus-mediated transfer of erythropoietin to dorsal root ganglia may prove useful in treatment of diabetic neuropathy.
diabetes; gene therapy; herpes simplex virus; erythropoietin
Idiopathic CD4+ T-lymphocytopenia is a rare immune disorder characterized by an unexplained deficit of CD4+ T cells and results in various opportunistic infections. Herein, we report a case of new onset weakness in a 10-year-old boy secondary to motor axonal neuropathy associated with idiopathic CD4+ T-lymphocytopenia. The patient was referred to rehabilitation for an evaluation of progressive weakness involving all four limbs. A subsequent nerve conduction study and needle electromyography identified motor axonal neuropathy. At that time, laboratory studies specific to the differential diagnosis of motor axonal neuropathy were performed; however, the abnormality noted was a decreased CD4+ T-lymphocyte count. Motor axonal neuropathy represents an uncommon manifestation of idiopathic CD4+ T-lymphocytopenia and is probably associated with an underlying immune process.
Axonal neuropathy; Idiopathic CD4-positive T-lymphocytopenia
The results of applying a battery of peripheral nerve function tests in three groups of diabetics are reported. The tests examined the integrity of all the major subgroups of nerve fibres. The diabetics were grouped according to the clinical severity of their neuropathy: Group I--11 patients with long standing diabetes but clinically insignificant neuropathy, Group II--27 patients with mild neuropathy and Group III--23 patients with neuropathic foot lesions. As expected the incidence of abnormality of all functions increased from Group I to III, but within a group there was no clear pattern of differential involvement of different fibre types. The study has identified those tests that are suitable for detecting early neuropathy (warming and vibration perception thresholds and sensory nerve action potentials) and those which are likely to be useful in assessing deterioration or improvement (particularly vibration perception threshold), but since the different tests cannot be equally matched for sensitivity it is not possible to interpret the results in terms of the degree of pathological involvement of different fibre groups.
Charcot Marie Tooth (CMT) disease is a heterogeneous group of inherited peripheral motor and sensory neuropathies. CMT4H is an early onset autosomal recessive demyelinating neuropathy. The locus responsible for CMT4H was assigned to chromosome 12p11.21-q13.11 by homozygosity mapping and mutations in the Frabin gene (FGD4 Rho GDP/GTP exchange factor) were subsequently identified in six families.
We sequenced the Frabin gene in a cohort of 12 UK CMT families with clinically defined autosomal recessive demyelinating neuropathy.
We identified a novel homozygous Frabin p.R275X mutation in a family from Northern Ireland. The two affected cases in this family had a very slowly progressive neuropathy with both cases remaining ambulant into middle age. Examination of mRNA from lymphoblasts showed that this stop mutation caused very little nonsense mediated mRNA decay and the predominant mRNA species was the mutant form that is likely to be translated into a truncated protein.
This work extends the understanding of the pathogenesis of Frabin mutation-associated Charcot Marie Tooth (CMT) 4H and suggests that mutations in Frabin should also be considered in ambulant adults with CMT1.
= autosomal recessive;
= Charcot Marie Tooth;
= motor conduction velocity;
= Medical Research Council;
= nonsense mediated mRNA decay.
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.
Diabetic neuropathy (DN) refers to symptoms and signs of neuropathy in a patient with diabetes in whom other causes of neuropathy have been excluded. Distal symmetrical neuropathy is the commonest accounting for 75% DN. Asymmetrical neuropathies may involve cranial nerves, thoracic or limb nerves; are of acute onset resulting from ischaemic infarction of vasa nervosa. Asymmetric neuropathies in diabetic patients should be investigated for entrapment neuropathy. Diabetic amyotrophy, initially considered to result from metabolic changes, and later ischaemia, is now attributed to immunological changes. For diagnosis of DN, symptoms, signs, quantitative sensory testing, nerve conduction study, and autonomic testing are used; and two of these five are recommended for clinical diagnosis. Management of DN includes control of hyperglycaemia, other cardiovascular risk factors; α lipoic acid and L carnitine. For neuropathic pain, analgesics, non‐steroidal anti‐inflammatory drugs, antidepressants, and anticonvulsants are recommended. The treatment of autonomic neuropathy is symptomatic.
neuropathy; diabetes; treatment; classification; pathophysiology
NDRG1 is an intracellular protein that is induced under a number of stress and pathological conditions, and it is thought to be associated with cell growth and differentiation. Recently, human NDRG1 was identified as a gene responsible for hereditary motor and sensory neuropathy-Lom (classified as Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease type 4D), which is characterized by early-onset peripheral neuropathy, leading to severe disability in adulthood. In this study, we generated mice lacking Ndrg1 to analyze its function and elucidate the pathogenesis of Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease type 4D. Histological analysis showed that the sciatic nerve of Ndrg1-deficient mice degenerated with demyelination at about 5 weeks of age. However, myelination of Schwann cells in the sciatic nerve was normal for 2 weeks after birth. Ndrg1-deficient mice showed muscle weakness, especially in the hind limbs, but complicated motor skills were retained. In wild-type mice, NDRG1 was abundantly expressed in the cytoplasm of Schwann cells rather than the myelin sheath. These results indicate that NDRG1 deficiency leads to Schwann cell dysfunction, suggesting that NDRG1 is essential for maintenance of the myelin sheaths in peripheral nerves. These mice will be used for future analyses of the mechanisms of myelin maintenance.
Neurotrophin-3 (NT-3), a member of the neurotrophin family, has
been shown to be necessary for the development of muscle spindle and
Merkel cell afferent nerve fibres in animal models.The presence of NT-3
in the suprabasal epidermis, where many unmyelinated sensory fibres
terminate, has been shown for the first time. As these fibres are
affected in early diabetic neuropathy and a clinical trial of
recombinant human NT-3 in diabetic neuropathy is in progress, the
concentrations of endogenous NT-3 in skin of 24 patients at different
stages of diabetic polyneuropathy have been investigated. NT-3
concentrations, measured with a specific immunoassay, were significantly higher in affected skin biopsies from patients with diabetic neuropathy than matched control skin (diabetic skin 6.32(1.18) pg/mg v control skin 1.28 (0.05)
(mean (SEM)); p<0.004, Mann-Whitney U
test), particularly in the later stages. The optical density of
NT-3-immunostaining was also significantly greater in the epidermis in
diabetic patients (diabetic epidermis 0.30(0.06)
v controls 0.24 (0.01); p<0.02). No
correlation was found between individual quantitative sensory tests and
the increase of NT-3 concentration. The increase of NT-3 seems to
reflect the degree of skin denervation in diabetic neuropathy, and may
represent a compensatory mechanism. The concentrations of NT-3 in other peripheral targets deserve study in diabetic neuropathy.
The nonhuman primate model of glaucomatous optic neuropathy most faithfully reproduces the human disease. We used high-density oligonucleotide arrays to investigate whole genome transcriptional changes occurring at the optic nerve head during primate experimental glaucoma.
Laser scarification of the trabecular meshwork of cynomolgus macaques produced elevated intraocular pressure that was monitored over time and led to varying degrees of damage in different samples. The macaques were examined clinically before enucleation and the myelinated optic nerves were processed post-mortem to determine the degree of neuronal loss. Global gene expression was examined in dissected optic nerve heads with Affymetrix GeneChip microarrays. We validated a subset of differentially expressed genes using qRT-PCR, immunohistochemistry, and immuno-enriched astrocytes from healthy and glaucomatous human donors. These genes have previously defined roles in axonal outgrowth, immune response, cell motility, neuroprotection, and extracellular matrix remodeling.
Our findings show that glaucoma is associated with increased expression of genes that mediate axonal outgrowth, immune response, cell motility, neuroprotection, and ECM remodeling. These studies also reveal that, as glaucoma progresses, retinal ganglion cell axons may make a regenerative attempt to restore lost nerve cell contact.
The mechanism/s leading to diabetic neuropathy are complex. Transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) has been associated with diabetic nephropathy and retinopathy but not neuropathy. In this study, changes in TGF-β isoforms were examined in-vivo and in-vitro. Two groups of animals, streptozotocin diabetic with neuropathy and non-diabetic controls were examined at 4 weeks (n=10/group) and 12 weeks (n=8/group). In diabetic DRG using quantitative real-time PCR (QRT-PCR), TGF-β1 and TGF-β2 mRNA, but not TGF-β3, was increased at 4 and 12 weeks. In sciatic nerve TGF-β3 mRNA was primarily increased. Immunohistochemistry (DRG) and immunoblotting (sciatic nerve) showed similar differential protein expression. In sciatic nerve TGF-β formed homo- and heterodimers, of which β2/β3, β1/β1, and β1/β3 were significantly increased, while that of the TGF-β2/β2 homodimer was decreased, in diabetic compared to non-diabetic rats. In-vitro, pretreatment of embryonic DRG with TGF-β neutralizing antibody prevents the increase in total TGF-β protein observed with high glucose using immunoblotting. In high glucose conditions, combination with TGF-β2 > β1 increases the percent of cleaved caspase-3 compared to high glucose alone and TGF-β neutralizing antibody inhibits this increase. Furthermore, consistent with the findings in diabetic DRG and nerve, TGF-β isoforms applied directly in vitro reduce neurite outgrowth, and this effect is partially reversed by TGF-β neutralizing antibody. These findings implicate upregulation of TGF-β in experimental diabetic peripheral neuropathy and indicate a novel mechanism of cellular injury related to elevated glucose levels. In combination, these findings indicate a potential new target for treatment of diabetic peripheral neuropathy.
cell death; cytokines; diabetes; DRG; neuropathy; sciatic nerve; TGF-β
► Intracellular traffic defects cause important human diseases. ► Mutations causing CMT often alter intracellular trafficking. ► Alterations of intracellular traffic are one of the major causes of CMT neuropathy.
Mutations of genes whose primary function is the regulation of membrane traffic are increasingly being identified as the underlying causes of various important human disorders. Intriguingly, mutations in ubiquitously expressed membrane traffic genes often lead to cell type- or organ-specific disorders. This is particularly true for neuronal diseases, identifying the nervous system as the most sensitive tissue to alterations of membrane traffic. Charcot–Marie–Tooth (CMT) disease is one of the most common inherited peripheral neuropathies. It is also known as hereditary motor and sensory neuropathy (HMSN), which comprises a group of disorders specifically affecting peripheral nerves. This peripheral neuropathy, highly heterogeneous both clinically and genetically, is characterized by a slowly progressive degeneration of the muscle of the foot, lower leg, hand and forearm, accompanied by sensory loss in the toes, fingers and limbs. More than 30 genes have been identified as targets of mutations that cause CMT neuropathy. A number of these genes encode proteins directly or indirectly involved in the regulation of intracellular traffic. Indeed, the list of genes linked to CMT disease includes genes important for vesicle formation, phosphoinositide metabolism, lysosomal degradation, mitochondrial fission and fusion, and also genes encoding endosomal and cytoskeletal proteins. This review focuses on the link between intracellular transport and CMT disease, highlighting the molecular mechanisms that underlie the different forms of this peripheral neuropathy and discussing the pathophysiological impact of membrane transport genetic defects as well as possible future ways to counteract these defects.
CMT, Charcot-Marie-Tooth; DENN, differentially expressed in neoplastic versus normal cells; DNM2, dynamin 2; FYVE, Fab1p–YOTB–Vac1p–EEA1; GDAP1, ganglioside induced differentiation associated protein-1; GEF, guanine nucleotide exchange factor; HMSN, hereditary motor and sensory neuropathy; HSPs, heat shock proteins; KIF1b, kinesin family member 1β; LITAF, lipopolysaccharide-induced TNF factor; LRSAM1, leucine repeat and sterile alpha motif containing 1; MFN2, mitofusin 2; MTMRs, myotubularin-related proteins; MVBs, multivesicular bodies; NDRG1, N-myc downstream regulated gene 1; Nedd4, neuronal precursor cell expressed developmentally downregulated 4; NEFL, neurofilament light polypetide; OPA, optic atrophy proteins; PH, pleckstrin homology; PMP22, peripheral myelin protein 22; PtdIns, phosphatidylinositol; PIs, phosphoinositides; SH3TC2, SH3 domain and tetratricopeptide repeats-containing protein 2; SIMPLE, small integral membrane protein of lysosome/late endosome; SNAREs, soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment protein receptor; Tsg101, tumor susceptibility gene 101; Charcot–Marie–Tooth disease; Intracellular traffic; Membrane traffic; Peripheral neuropathy; Neurodegeneration; Polyneuropathy; Axon degeneration
Diabetic neuropathy is a common form of peripheral neuropathy, yet the mechanisms responsible for pain in this disease are poorly understood. Alterations in the expression and function of voltage-gated tetrodotoxin-resistant (TTX-R) sodium channels have been implicated in animal models of neuropathic pain, including models of diabetic neuropathy. We investigated the expression and function of TTX-sensitive (TTX-S) and TTX-R sodium channels in dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons and the responses to thermal hyperalgesia and mechanical allodynia in streptozotocin-treated rats between 4–8 weeks after onset of diabetes. Diabetic rats demonstrated a significant reduction in the threshold for escape from innocuous mechanical pressure (allodynia) and a reduction in the latency to withdrawal from a noxious thermal stimulus (hyperalgesia). Both TTX-S and TTX-R sodium currents increased significantly in small DRG neurons isolated from diabetic rats. The voltage-dependent activation and steady-state inactivation curves for these currents were shifted negatively. TTX-S currents induced by fast or slow voltage ramps increased markedly in neurons from diabetic rats. Immunoblots and immunofluorescence staining demonstrated significant increases in the expression of Nav1.3 (TTX-S) and Nav1.7 (TTX-S) and decreases in the expression of Nav1.6 (TTX-S) and Nav1.8 (TTX-R) in diabetic rats. The level of serine/threonine phosphorylation of Nav1.6 and Nav1.8 increased in response to diabetes. In addition, increased tyrosine phosphorylation of Nav1.6 and Nav1.7 was observed in DRGs from diabetic rats. These results suggest that both TTX-S and TTX-R sodium channels play important roles and that differential phosphorylation of sodium channels involving both serine/threonine and tyrosine sites contributes to painful diabetic neuropathy.
The Michigan Neuropathy Screening Instrument (MNSI) is used to assess distal symmetrical peripheral neuropathy in diabetes. It includes two separate assessments: a 15-item self-administered questionnaire and a lower extremity examination that includes inspection and assessment of vibratory sensation and ankle reflexes. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the performance of the MNSI in detecting distal symmetrical peripheral neuropathy in patients with Type 1 diabetes and to develop new scoring algorithms.
The MNSI was performed by trained personnel at each of the 28 Diabetes Control and Complications Trial/Epidemiology of Diabetes Interventions and Complications clinical sites. Neurologic examinations and nerve conduction studies were performed during the same year. Confirmed clinical neuropathy was defined by symptoms and signs of distal symmetrical peripheral neuropathy based on the examination of a neurologist and abnormal nerve conduction findings in ≥ 2 anatomically distinct nerves among the sural, peroneal and median nerves.
We studied 1184 subjects with Type 1 diabetes. Mean age was 47 years and duration of diabetes was 26 years. Thirty per cent of participants had confirmed clinical neuropathy, 18% had ≥ 4 and 5% had ≥ 7 abnormal responses on the MNSI questionnaire, and 33% had abnormal scores (≥ 2.5) on the MNSI examination. New scoring algorithms were developed and cut points defined to improve the performance of the MNSI questionnaire, examination and the combination of the two.
Altering the cut point to define an abnormal test from ≥ 7 abnormal to ≥ 4 abnormal items improves the performance of the MNSI questionnaire. The MNSI is a simple, non-invasive and valid measure of distal symmetrical peripheral neuropathy in Type 1 diabetes.
measurement; peripheral neuropathy