Although neuronal RNA oxidation is a prominent and established feature in age-associated neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer disease (AD), oxidative damage to neuronal RNA in aging and in the transitional stages from normal elderly to the onset of AD has not been fully examined. In this study, we used an in situ approach to identify an oxidized RNA nucleoside 8-hydroxyguanosine (8OHG) in the cerebral cortex of 65 individuals without dementia ranging in age from 0.3 to 86 years. We also examined brain samples from 20 elderly who were evaluated for their premortem clinical dementia rating score and postmortem brain pathological diagnoses to investigate preclinical AD and mild cognitive impairment. Relative density measurements of 8OHG-immunoreactivity revealed a statistically significant increase in neuronal RNA oxidation during aging in the hippocampus and the temporal neocortex. In subjects with mild cognitive impairment but not preclinical AD, neurons of the temporal cortex showed a higher burden of oxidized RNA compared to age-matched controls. These results indicate that although neuronal RNA oxidation fundamentally occurs as an age-associated phenomenon, more prominent RNA damage than in normal aging correlates with the onset of cognitive impairment in the prodromal stage of AD.
Aging; 8-hydroxyguanosine; Mild cognitive impairment; Neurodegeneration; Oxidative damage; Preclinical Alzheimer disease; RNA
Axonal injury is consistently observed following traumatic brain injury (TBI). Prior research has extensively characterized the post-TBI response in myelinated axons. Despite evidence that unmyelinated axons comprise a numerical majority of cerebral axons, pathological changes in unmyelinated axons following TBI have not been systematically studied. To identify morphological correlates of functional impairment of unmyelinated fibers following TBI, we assessed ultrastructural changes in corpus callosum axons. Adult rats received moderate fluid percussion TBI, which produced diffuse injury with no contusion. Cross-sectional areas of 13,797 unmyelinated, and 3,278 intact myelinated axons were stereologically measured at survival intervals from 3 hours to 15 days post-injury. The mean caliber of unmyelinated axons was significantly reduced at 3 to 7 days, and recovered by 15 days, but the time course of this shrinkage varied among the genu, mid-callosum and splenium. Relatively large unmyelinated axons appeared to be particularly vulnerable. Injury-induced decreases in unmyelinated fiber density were also observed but they were more variable than caliber reductions. By contrast, no significant morphometric changes were observed in myelinated axons. The finding of a preferential vulnerability in unmyelinated axons has implications for current concepts of axonal responses following TBI and for development of specifically targeted therapies.
Axonal injury; Corpus callosum; Stereology; Traumatic brain injury; Ultrastructure; Unmyelinated axons
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a major environmental risk factor for subsequent development of Alzheimer disease (AD). Pathological features that are common to AD and many tauopathies are neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs) and neuropil threads composed of hyperphosphorylated tau. Axonal accumulations of total and phospho-tau have been observed within hours to weeks and intracytoplasmic NFTs have been documented years following severe TBI in humans. We previously reported that controlled cortical impact TBI accelerated tau pathology in young 3×Tg-AD mice. Here, we used this TBI mouse model to investigate mechanisms responsible for increased tau phosphorylation and accumulation following brain trauma. We found that TBI resulted in abnormal axonal accumulation of several kinases that phosphorylate tau. Notably, c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) was markedly activated in injured axons and colocalized with phospho-tau. We found that moderate reduction of JNK activity (40%) by a peptide inhibitor, DJNKi1, was sufficient to reduce total and phospho-tau accumulations in axons of these mice with TBI. Longer-term studies will be required to determine whether reducing acute tau pathology proves beneficial in brain trauma.
c-Jun N-terminal kinase; Controlled cortical impact; D-JNKi1; Kinase; Phosphorylation; tau; Traumatic brain injury
Neuregulin1 (NRG1) is a neuron-derived trophic molecule that supports axoglial and neuromuscular development through several alternatively spliced isoforms; its possible role in the pathogenesis and progression of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is not known. We analyzed the relationship of NRG1 isoform expression to glial cell activation and motor neuron loss in spinal cords of ALS patients and during disease progression in the superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) ALS mouse model. Microgliosis, astrocytosis and motor neuron loss were observed in the ventral horns in ALS patients and were increased in SOD1 mice along with disease progression. Type III (membrane-bound) NRG1 expression was reduced in parallel with motor neuron loss but type I (secreted) NRG1 increased and was associated with glial activation. Increased NRG1 erbB2 receptor activation was observed on activated microglia in both ALS patients and in SOD1 mice. This activation was observed at the time of disease onset and prior to upregulation of NRG1 gene expression in the mice. The downregulation of membrane-bound type III NRG1 forms may reflect motor neuron loss, but increased signaling by secreted type NRG1 isoforms could contribute to disease pathogenesis through glial cell activation. NRG1 might, therefore, represent a novel therapeutic target against disease progression in ALS.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; Microglia; Motor neuron; Neuregulin; SOD1
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal adult-onset neurodegenerative disease that causes degeneration of motor neurons and paralysis. Approximately 20% of familial ALS cases have been linked to mutations in the copper/zinc superoxide dismutase (SOD1) gene but it is unclear how mutations in the protein result in motor neuron degeneration. Transgenic (tg) mice expressing mutated forms of human SOD1 (hSOD1) develop clinical and pathological features similar to those of ALS. We used tg mice expressing hSOD1-G93A, hSOD1-G37R, and hSOD1-wild type to investigate a new subcellular pathology involving mutant hSOD1 protein prominently localizing to the nuclear compartment and disruption of the architecture of nuclear gems. We developed methods for extracting relatively pure cell nucleus fractions from mouse CNS tissues and demonstrate low nuclear presence of endogenous SOD1 in mouse brain and spinal cord, but prominent nuclear accumulation of hSOD1-G93A, -G37R and -wild type in tg mice. hSOD1 concentrated in nuclei of spinal cord cells, particularly motor neurons, at a young age. The survival motor neuron protein (SMN) complex is disrupted in motor neuron nuclei prior to disease onset in hSOD1-G93A and -G37R mice; age-matched hSOD1-wild type mice did not show SMN disruption despite a nuclear presence. Our data suggest new mechanisms involving hSOD1 accumulation in the cell nucleus and mutant hSOD1-specific perturbations in SMN localization with disruption of the nuclear SMN complex in the ALS model mice and suggest overlap of pathogenic mechanisms with spinal muscular atrophy.
Cajal body; Gemin 1; Nuclear gems; Snurportin; Spinal muscular atrophy
Clinicopathologic correlation studies are critically important for the field of Alzheimer disease (AD) research. Studies on human subjects with autopsy confirmation entail numerous potential biases that affect both their general applicability and the validity of the correlations. Many sources of data variability can weaken the apparent correlation between cognitive status and AD neuropathologic changes. Indeed, most persons in advanced old age have significant non-AD brain lesions that may alter cognition independently of AD. Worldwide research efforts have evaluated thousands of human subjects to assess the causes of cognitive impairment in the elderly, and these studies have been interpreted in different ways. We review the literature focusing on the correlation of AD neuropathologic changes (i.e. β-amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles) with cognitive impairment. We discuss the various patterns of brain changes that have been observed in elderly individuals to provide a perspective for understanding AD clinicopathologic correlation and conclude that evidence from many independent research centers strongly supports the existence of a specific disease, as defined by the presence of Aβ plaques and neurofibrillary tangles. Although Aβ plaques may play a key role in AD pathogenesis, the severity of cognitive impairment correlates best with the burden of neocortical neurofibrillary tangles.
Aging; Alzheimer disease; Amyloid; Dementia; Epidemiology; Neuropathology; MAPT; Neurofibrillary tangles
1p/19q codeletion is a favorable prognostic marker of oligodendrogliomas. While fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and microsatellite-based polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for loss of heterozygosity (LOH) are common methods to test for 1p/19q codeletion, it is unclear which test is better at prognostic stratification. This study analyzed outcomes of 111 oligodendrogliomas with both 1p/19q FISH and LOH done at the time of diagnosis. Overall concordance between the 2 assays was 81.1%. In grade III oligodendrogliomas, LOH was better than FISH at survival stratification (p < 0.0001 for LOH vs. p = 0.02 for FISH), although increasing the stringency of FISH interpretation criteria improved concordance and prognostic power. Oligodendrogliomas that were 1p/19q-codeleted by FISH but also had 10q LOH were negative for 1p/19q codeletion by PCR analysis in over 70% of cases, with very poor survival in the grade III subset. Thus, although PCR-based LOH is a better stratifier of 1p/19q status, FISH still has clinical and prognostic utility, especially if 10q data can be incorporated.
1p/19q; 10q; Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR); Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH); Loss of heterozygosity (LOH); Microsatellite; Oligodendroglioma
Histochemical analysis of Alzheimer disease (AD) brain tissues indicates that butyrylcholinesterase (BuChE) is present in β-amyloid (Aβ) plaques. The role of BuChE in AD pathology is unknown but an animal model developing similar BuChE-associated Aβ plaques could provide insights. The APPSWE/PSEN1dE9 mouse (ADTg), which develops Aβ plaques, was examined to determine if BuChE associates with these plaques, as in AD. We found that in mature ADTg mice, BuChE activity associated with Aβ plaques. Aβ-, thioflavin-S- and BuChE-positive plaques mainly accumulated in olfactory structures, cerebral cortex, hippocampal formation, amygdala and cerebellum. No plaques were stained for acetylcholinesterase activity. The distribution and abundance of plaque staining in ADTg closely resembled many aspects of plaque staining in AD. BuChE staining consistently showed fewer plaques than were detected with Aβ immunostaining but a greater number of plaques than were visualized with thioflavin-S. Double-labelling experiments demonstrated that all BuChE-positive plaques were Aβ-positive while only some BuChE-positive plaques were thioflavin-S-positive. These observations suggest that BuChE is associated with a subpopulation of Aβ plaques and may play a role in AD plaque maturation. Further study of this animal model could clarify the role of BuChE in AD pathology.
β-amyloid; Alzheimer disease; Amygdala; Cerebellum; Cerebral cortex; Cholinesterases; Hippocampus; Olfactory structures; Thioflavin-S
A recent study of CDK4/6-inhibitors in glioblastoma (GBM) xenografts identified retinoblastoma tumor suppressor protein RB1 status as a determinant of tumor therapeutic efficacy. Because of the need for clinically applicable RB1 testing, we assessed the utility of 2 complementary methods for determining RB1 status in GBM. Using fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and immunohistochemistry (IHC), we analyzed 34 GBMs that had also undergone molecular characterization as part of The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA). By IHC, 4 tumors (11.8%) had complete loss of RB protein expression, including 2 with homozygous deletion of RB1 by FISH and 1 with hemizygous deletion of RB1 by FISH combined with a novel nonsense mutation in RB1. Consistent with these results, in an independent set of 51 GBMs tested by IHC we demonstrated loss of RB1 protein in 5 (9.8%). In GBM molecular subtype analysis of TCGA data, complete loss of RB1 transcript expression was seen in 18 of 170 tumors (10.6%) and these were highly enriched for, but not exclusive to, the proneural subtype (p < 0.01). These data support the use of IHC for determining RB1 status in clinical GBM specimens and suggest that RB1 alterations may be more common in certain GBM subgroups.
Fluorescence in situ hybridization; Glioblastoma; Immunohistochemistry; Patient stratification; RB1; The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA)
The human polyomavirus JC (JCV) infects glial cells and causes progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), a demyelinating disease of the brain, in immunosuppressed individuals. The extent of JCV infection of neurons is unclear. We determined the prevalence and pattern of JCV infection in grey matter (GM) by immunostaining in archival brain samples of 49 PML patients and 109 control subjects. Among PML patients, 96% had demyelinating lesions in white matter and at the grey-white junction (GWJ); 57% had them in the GM. Most JCV-infected cells in GWJ and GM were glia but JCV infected neurons in PML lesions at the GWJ of 54% and GM of 50% patients, and in GM outside of areas of demyelination in 11% of patients. JCV regulatory T antigen (Ag) was expressed more frequently in cortical neurons than the VP1 capsid protein. None of the control subjects without PML had any cells expressing JCV proteins. Thus, the cerebral cortex often harbors demyelinating lesions of PML and JCV infection of cortical neurons is frequent in PML patients. The predominance of T Ag over VP1 expression suggests a restrictive infection in neurons. These results indicate that JCV infection of cerebral cortical neurons is a previously under-appreciated component of PML pathogenesis.
Cortical neurons; Demyelination; JC virus; Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy
The simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) macaque model resembles human HIV-AIDS and associated brain dysfunction. Altered expression of synaptic markers and transmitters in neuro-AIDS has been reported, but limited data exist for the cholinergic system and lipid mediators such as prostaglandins. Here, we analyzed cholinergic basal forebrain neurons with their telencephalic projections and the rate-limiting enzymes for prostaglandin synthesis, cyclooxygenases 1 and 2 (COX1 and 2) in brains of SIV-infected macaques with and without encephalitis and antiretroviral therapy, and uninfected controls. COX1 but not COX2 was co-expressed with markers of cholinergic phenotype, i.e. choline acetyltransferase and vesicular acetylcholine transporter (VAChT), in basal forebrain neurons of monkey, as well as human samples. COX1 was decreased in basal forebrain neurons in macaques with AIDS vs. uninfected and asymptomatic SIV-infected macaques. VAChT-positive fiber density was reduced in frontal, parietal and hippocampal-entorhinal cortex. Although brain SIV burden and associated COX1- and COX2-positive mononuclear and endothelial inflammatory reactions were mostly reversed in AIDS-diseased macaques that received 6-chloro-2′,3′-dideoxyguanosine treatment, decreased VAChT-positive terminal density and reduced cholinergic COX1 expression were not. Thus, COX1 expression is a feature of primate cholinergic basal forebrain neurons; it may be functionally important and a critical biomarker of cholinergic dysregulation accompanying lentiviral encephalopathy. These results imply that insufficiently prompt initiation of antiretroviral therapy in lentiviral infection may lead to neurostructurally unremarkable but neurochemically prominent, irreversible brain damage.
AIDS; Antiretroviral treatment; Cholinergic; Dementia; Encephalitis; Prostaglandins
Conditions that compromise the blood-brain barrier (BBB) have been increasingly implicated in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer disease (AD). AGRIN is a heparan sulfate proteoglycan (HSPG) found abundantly in basement membranes of the cerebral vasculature, where it has been proposed to serve a functional role in the BBB. Furthermore, AGRIN is the major HSPG associated with amyloid plaques in AD brains. To examine the relationship of AGRIN, the BBB and AD-related pathologies, we generated mice in which the Agrn gene was deleted from either endothelial cells or neurons using gene-targeting or was overexpressed using a genomic transgene construct. These mice were combined with a transgenic model of AD that overexpresses disease-associated forms of amyloid precursor protein and presenilin1. In mice lacking endothelial cell expression of Agrn, the BBB remained intact but aquaporin 4 levels were reduced, indicating that the loss of AGRIN affects BBB-associated components. This change in Agrn resulted in an increase in β-amyloid (Aβ) in the brain. Conversely, overexpression of Agrn decreased Aβ deposition, whereas elimination of Agrn from neurons did not change Aβ levels. These results indicate that AGRIN is important for maintaining BBB composition and that changes in Agrn expression (particularly vessel-associated AGRIN) influence Aβ homeostasis in mouse models of AD.
Alzheimer disease; Aquaporin 4; Blood-brain barrier; Conditional knockout; Fibrillogenesis; Isoform-specific knockout; Orthogonal arrays; Transmembrane agrin
The development of the microvasculature of the human cerebral cortex offers insight into the response of the cerebral cortex to later-life brain injury. We describe the 3 basic and distinct components of the developmental anatomy of the cerebral cortical microvascular system. The first compartment is meningeal and, therefore, extracerebral. In addition to the major venous sinuses, arachnoidal arteries and veins, the pial anastomotic capillary plexus that covers the surface of the developing and adult cerebral cortex represents the source of the penetrating vessels that become the second component, the intracerebral extrinsic microvascular compartment. During embryogenesis, sprouting vascular elements from pial capillaries pierce the brain external glial limiting membrane and penetrate the cortex. These vessels, which eventually differentiate into arterioles and venules, are separated from the cortical tissue by the extravascular Virchow-Robin compartment (V-RC) formed between the internal vascular and the external glial basal laminae. The V-RC remains open to the meningeal interstitial spaces and outside of the blood-brain barrier (BBB), and acts as a prelymphatic drainage system for removal of substances that cannot be transported into the blood or catabolized intracellularly. The third element is the dense intracerebral intrinsic microvascular compartment. Intracerebral capillary vessels sprout from the perforating vessels, penetrate through the Virchow-Robin glial membrane and enter the neuropil. Intracerebral capillaries lack smooth muscle and a V-RC and consist only of endothelial cells separated from the intracerebral space by a basal lamina. Their role as the physiological BBB is the exchange of oxygen, glucose and small molecules. This developmental perspective highlights 3 principles: (a) the V-RC is intimately related to the cortical penetrating arterioles and venules and represents an inefficient proto-lymphatic system that lacks the anatomic and physiological constituents found in lymphatic beds elsewhere in the body; (b) the anatomic contiguity of the V-RC and the penetrating vascular compartment (arterioles and venules) implies that pathology in 1 compartment could lead to dysfunction in the others; and (c) the anatomic localization of the immunological BBB at the level of the penetrating venules might impose constraints on immunologically-mediated transport involving the V-RC.
Alzheimer disease; Chronic traumatic encephalopathy; Development; Microvascular; Neocortex
Proteolytic cleavage of tau at glutamic acid 391 (E391) is linked to the pathogenesis of Alzheimer disease (AD). This C-terminal truncated tau species exists in neurofibrillary tangles and abnormal neurites in the brains of AD patients and may potentiate tau polymerization. We generated a mouse model that expresses human tau truncated at E391 to begin to elucidate the role of this C-terminal truncated tau species in the development of tau pathology. Our results show that truncated but otherwise wild type human tau is sufficient to drive pre-tangle pathological changes in tau, including accumulation of insoluble tau, somatodendritic redistribution, formation of pathological conformations, and dual phosphorylation of tau at sites associated with AD pathology. In addition, these mice exhibit atypical neuritic tau immunoreactivity, including abnormal neuritic processes and dystrophic neurites. These results suggest that changes in tau proteolysis can initiate tauopathy.
Aggregation; Alzheimer disease; tau; Transgenic mice; Truncation
Type I and type II focal cortical dysplasias (FCDs) exhibit distinct histopathological features that suggest different pathogenic mechanisms. Type I FCDs are characterized by mild laminar disorganization and hypertrophic neurons whereas type II FCDs exhibit dramatic laminar disorganization and cytomegalic cells (balloon cells). Both FCD types are associated with intractable epilepsy; therefore, identifying cellular or molecular differences between these lesion types that explains the histological differences could provide new diagnostic and therapeutic insights. Type II FCDs express nestin, a neuroglial progenitor protein that is modulated in vitro by the stem cell proteins c-Myc, SOX2, and Oct-4 following activation of mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1). Since mTORC1 activation has been demonstrated in type II FCDs, we hypothesized that c-Myc, SOX2, and Oct-4 expression would distinguish type II from type I FCDs. In addition, we assayed the expression of progenitor cell proteins FOXG1, KLF4, Nanog, and SOX3. Differential expression of 7 stem cell proteins and aberrant phosphorylation of 2 mTORC1 substrates, S6 and S6 kinase 1 proteins, clearly distinguished type II from type I FCDs (n = 10 each). Our results demonstrate new potential pathogenic pathways in type II FCDs and suggest biomarkers for diagnostic pathology in resected epilepsy specimens.
Cortical dysplasia; Epilepsy; mTOR; STRADa; Tuberous sclerosis
α-Synuclein is a major component of Lewy bodies in Parkinson disease (PD) and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB). We recently showed that abnormal α-synuclein with resistance to proteinase K (PK) is deposited at presynapses of distinct brain anatomic regions from the early stage of PD and DLB. NUB1, a synphilin-1 binding protein, also accumulates in Lewy bodies but it is not known whether abnormal α-synuclein is associated with NUB1. Here, we demonstrate that in the brains of patients with PD and DLB, NUB1 accumulates in the presynapses in the hippocampus, cerebral neocortex and substantia nigra in which PK-resistant α-synuclein is deposited. Endogenous NUB1 also accumulated with PK-resistant α-synuclein in the presynapses of transgenic mice that express human α-synuclein with an A53T mutation. Immunoelectron microscopy showed that NUB1 was localized to presynaptic nerve terminals where no abnormal filaments were seen. Biochemical analyses showed that NUB1 coexists with abnormal α-synuclein in the brains of DLB patients. These findings suggest that NUB1 along with abnormal α-synuclein is involved in the pathogenesis of Lewy body diseases.
α-Synuclein; Dementia with Lewy bodies; NUB1; Parkinson disease; Presynapse; Proteinase K; Synphilin-1
Despite the key role of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) neurons in the modulation of cerebral cortical output, little is known about their development in the human cortex. We analyzed several GABAergic parameters in standardized regions of the cerebral cortex and white matter in a total of 38 human fetuses and infants from 19 gestational weeks to 2.7 postnatal years utilizing immunocytochemistry, Western blotting, tissue autoradiography and computer-based cellular quantitation. At least 20% of GABAergic neurons in the white matter migrated toward the cortex over late gestation. After term, migration declined and ended within 6 postnatal months. In parallel, the GABAergic neuronal density increased in the cortex over late gestation, also with a peak at term. From midgestation to infancy, the pattern of GABAA receptor binding changed from uniformly low across all cortical layers to high levels concentrated in the middle laminae; glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD65 and GAD67) levels differentially increased. Thus, the second half of gestation is a period of rapid development of the cortical GABAergic system that continues into early infancy. This time period corresponds to the peak window of vulnerability to perinatal hypoxia-ischemia in which GABAergic neurons are potentially developmentally susceptible, including in the preterm infant.
Autoradiography; Doublecortin; GAD65/67; Neuronal migration; Periventricular leukomalacia
Individuals with antemortem preservation of cognition who show autopsy evidence of at least moderate Alzheimer disease (AD) pathology suggest the possibility of brain reserve, that is, functional resistance to structural brain damage. This reserve would, however, only be relevant if the pathologic markers correlate well with dementia. Using data from the Nun Study (n = 498) and the Adult Changes in Thought (ACT) Study (n = 323), we show that Braak staging correlates strongly with dementia status. Moreover, participants with severe (Braak stage V–VI) AD pathology who remained not demented represent only 12% (Nun Study) and 8% (ACT study) of nondemented subjects. Comparison of these subjects to those who were demented revealed that the former group was often significantly memory impaired despite not being classified as demented. Most of these nondemented participants showed only stage V neurofibrillary pathology and frontal tangle counts that were slightly lower than a comparable (Braak stage V) dementia group. In summary, these data indicate that, in individuals with AD-type pathology who do not meet criteria for dementia, neocortical neurofibrillary tangles are somewhat reduced and incipient cognitive decline is present. Our data provide a foundation for helping to define additional factors that may impair, or be protective of, cognition in older adults.
Adult Changes in Thought Study; Alzheimer disease; brain reserve; dementia; Nun Study; presymptomatic; preclinical
Neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs) have been implicated in mediating neuronal death and disease progression in human tauopathies; however, mounting in vivo data suggest that NFTs may not be the primary initiators of neurotoxicity. Caspase activity has been implicated in processes associated with the development of tauopathy, but the position that caspase activation holds in neurodegenerative cascades remains uncertain. Using multiphoton real time imaging microscopy, de Calignon et al recently demonstrated that caspase activation precedes and leads to tangle formation within 24 hours in the rTg4510 mouse model of tauopathy. Here, we used immunoelectron microscopy to determine whether caspase-cleaved tau was present in NFTs of rTg4510 mice. Using a caspase-cleaved-tau-specific antibody (TauC3), we found very little immunogold labeling in NFTs in the brains of rTg4510 mice. By immunohistochemistry, the number of TauC3-positive neurons was far less than the numbers of neurons stained with the MC1 antibody, which recognizes abnormal conformations of tau. Biochemically, caspase-cleaved tau was barely detectable in fractions of rTg4510 mouse brain extracts. Our data suggest that caspase activation might be one of multiple routes through which NFT formation occurs, rather than an obligatory initiation step in pathological tau production in rTg4510 mice.
Alzheimer disease; Caspase-cleaved tau; Immunoelectron microscopy; Mouse model of tauopathy; Neurofibrillary tangles
TAR DNA binding protein-43 (TDP-43) plays a central role in the neuropathology of frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD-TDP) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, but the relationship between TDP-43 abnormalities and Alzheimer disease (AD) remains unclear. To determine whether TDP-43 can serve as a neuropathological marker of AD, we performed biochemical characterization and quantification of TDP-43 in homogenates from parietal neocortex of subjects with a clinical diagnosis of no cognitive impairment (NCI, n = 12), mild cognitive impairment (MCI, n = 12), or AD (n = 12). Immunoblots revealed increased detergent-insoluble TDP-43 in the cortex of 0/12, 3/12 and 6/12 individuals with NCI, MCI or AD, respectively. Detergent-insoluble TDP-43 was positively correlated with the accumulation of soluble Aβ42, amyloid plaques and paired helical filament tau. In contrast, phospho-TDP-43 was decreased in the cytosolic fraction and detergent-soluble membrane/nuclear fraction from AD patients and correlated with antemortem cognitive function. Immunofluorescence analysis confirmed that the frequencies of individuals with TPD-43 or phospo-TDP-43 cytoplasmic inclusions were higher in AD than in NCI, with MCI at an intermediate level. These data indicate that abnormalities of TDP-43 occur in an important subset of MCI and AD patients and that they correlate with the clinical and neuropathological features of AD.
Alzheimer disease; Amyloid; Human; Immunoblot; Mild cognitive impairment; tau; TDP-43
γ-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) neurons in the medulla oblongata help regulate homeostasis, in part through interactions with the medullary serotonergic (5-HT) system. Previously, we reported abnormalities in multiple 5-HT markers in the medullary 5-HT system of infants dying from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), suggesting that 5-HT dysfunction is involved in its pathogenesis. Here, we tested the hypothesis that markers of GABAA receptors are decreased in the medullary 5-HT system in SIDS cases compared to controls. Using tissue receptor autoradiography with the radioligand 3H-GABA, we found 25–52% reductions in GABAA receptor binding density in 7 of 10 key nuclei sampled of the medullary 5-HT system in the SIDS cases (postconceptional age [PCA] = 51.7 ± 8.3, n = 28) vs. age-adjusted controls (PCA = 55.3 ± 13.5, n = 8) (p ≤ 0.04). By Western blotting there was 46.2% reduction in GABAAα3 subunit levels in the gigantocellularis (component of the medullary 5-HT system) of SIDS cases (PCA = 53.9 ± 8.4, n = 24) vs. controls (PCA = 55.3 ± 8.3, n = 8) (56.8% standard in SIDS cases vs. 99.35% in controls; p = 0.026). These data suggest that medullary GABAA receptors are abnormal in SIDS infants and that SIDS is a complex disorder of a homeostatic network in the medulla that involves deficits of the GABAergic and 5-HT systems.
Autoradiography; Arcuate nucleus; Autoradiography; Homeostasis; Hypoxia; Raphé
We studied the expression and distribution of the microtubule-severing enzyme spastin in 3 human glioblastoma cell lines (U87MG, U138MG, and T98G) and in clinical tissue samples representative of all grades of diffuse astrocytic gliomas (n= 45). In adult human brains, spastin was distributed predominantly in neurons and neuropil puncta, and to a lesser extent, in glia. Compared to normal mature brain tissues, spastin expression and cellular distribution were increased in neoplastic glial phenotypes, especially in glioblastoma (p < 0.05 vs. low-grade diffuse astrocytomas). Overlapping punctate and diffuse patterns of localization were identified in tumor cells in tissues and in interphase and mitotic cells of glioblastoma cell lines. There was enrichment of spastin in the leading edges of cells in T98G glioblastoma cell cultures and in neoplastic cell populations in tumor specimens. Real-time PCR and immunoblotting experiments revealed greater levels of spastin mRNA and protein expression in the glioblastoma cell lines vs. normal human astrocytes. Functional experiments indicated that spastin depletion resulted in reduced cell motility and higher cell proliferation of T98G cells. To our knowledge, this is the first report of spastin involvement in cell motility. Collectively, our results indicate that spastin expression in glioblastomas might be linked to tumor cell motility, migration, and invasion.
Astrocyte; Brain tumor; Cell motility; Glioblastoma; Glioma; Microtubule severing; Spastin
There are few pathologic studies of gliomas in patients with neurofibromatosis type 1. We analyzed clinical and pathologic features of gliomas from 100 neurofibromatosis type 1 patients (57 men; 43 women). The median age at tumor diagnosis was 13 years (range, 4 months to 68 years). Most tumors were typical pilocytic astrocytoma (PA) (49%) or diffusely infiltrating astrocytoma (DA) (27%) that included World Health Organization Grades II (5%), III (15%), and IV (7%); others were designated as low-grade astrocytoma, subtype indeterminate (LGSI; 17%). Two pilomyxoid astrocytomas, 1 desmoplastic infantile ganglioglioma and 1 conventional ganglioglioma, were also identified. The tumors in 24 cases arose in the optic pathways and included PA (n = 14), LGSI (n = 4), DA (n = 4), pilomyxoid astrocytoma (n = 1), and ganglioglioma (n = 1). The prognoses of the PA and LGSI gliomas overall were generally favorable; there were no survival differences between PA and LGSI groups based on site, tumor size, mitotic activity, or MIB-1 labeling index. In the combined PA and LGSI group, age younger than 10 years and gross total resection were associated with an increased overall survival rate (p = 0.047 and 0.002, respectively). Compared with the combined group (PA + LGSI), patients with DA at all sites had decreased overall and recurrence-free survival times (p < 0.001 and p = 0.003, respectively). This study emphasizes the wide histologic spectrum of gliomas that occur in patients with neurofibromatosis type 1. Classic PA and LGSI are the most common, and most have favorable prognoses. By contrast, DAs are more aggressive, similar to those that arise sporadically.
Astrocytoma; Brain tumor; Central nervous system; Glioma; Neurofibromatosis; Pilocytic astrocytoma
Cerebellar ataxia is a prominent clinical symptom in patients with mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) disease. Often this is progressive with onset in young adulthood. Here, we performed a detailed neuropathological investigation of the olivary-cerebellum in 14 genetically and clinically well-defined patients with mtDNA disease. Quantitative neuropathological investigation showed varying levels of loss of Purkinje cells, and neurons of the dentate nucleus and inferior olivary nuclei. Typically, focal Purkinje cell loss was present in patients with the m.3243A>G mutation due to the presence of microinfarcts with relative preservation of neuronal cell populations in olivary and dentate nuclei. In contrast, patients with the m.8344A>G mutation or recessive POLG mutations showed extensive and global neuronal cell loss in all 3 olivary-cerebellum areas examined. Molecular analysis of mutated mtDNA heteroplasmy levels revealed that neuronal cell loss occurred independently of the level of mutated mtDNA present within surviving neurons. High levels of neuronal respiratory chain deficiency, particularly of complex I, were detected in surviving cells; levels of deficiency were greater in regions with extensive cell loss. We found a relationship between respiratory deficiency and neuronal cell density, indicating that neuronal cell death correlates with respiratory deficiency. These findings highlight the vulnerability of the olivary-cerebellum to mtDNA defects.
Cerebellar ataxia; Mitochondrial DNA; Mitochondrial disease; Neurodegeneration; Olivo-Cerebellum
Parahippocampal brain areas including the subiculum, presubiculum and parasubiculum, and entorhinal cortex give rise to major input and output neurons of the hippocampus and exert increased excitability in animal models and human temporal lobe epilepsy. Using immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization for somatostatin and neuropeptide Y, we investigated plastic morphologic and neurochemical changes in parahippocampal neurons in the kainic acid (KA) model of temporal lobe epilepsy. Although constitutively contained in similar subclasses of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-ergic neurons, both neuropeptide systems undergo distinctly different changes in their expression. Somatostatin messenger RNA (mRNA) is rapidly but transiently expressed de novo in pyramidal neurons of the subiculum and entorhinal cortex 24 hours after KA. Surviving somatostatin interneurons display increased mRNA levels at late intervals (3 months) after KA and increased labeling of their terminals in the outer molecular layer of the subiculum; the labeling correlates with the number of spontaneous seizures, suggesting that the seizures may trigger somatostatin expression. In contrast, neuropeptide Y mRNA is consistently expressed in principal neurons of the proximal subiculum and the lateral entorhinal cortex and labeling for the peptide persistently increased in virtually all major excitatory pathways of the hippocampal formation. The pronounced plastic changes differentially involving both neuropeptide systems indicate marked rearrangement of parahippocampal areas, presumably aiming at endogenous seizure protection. Their receptors may be targets for anticonvulsive drug therapy.
Entorhinal cortex; Epileptogenesis; Kainic acid; Neuropeptides; Status epilepticus; Subiculum; Temporal lobe epilepsy