Analysis of transcriptional profiles and functional clustering of global cerebellar gene expression in PCD3J mice.
ABSTRACT: The Purkinje cell degeneration (PCD) mutant mouse is characterized by a degeneration of cerebellar Purkinje cells and progressive ataxia. To identify the molecular mechanisms that lead to the death of Purkinje neurons in PCD mice, we used Affymetrix microarray technology to compare cerebellar gene expression profiles in pcd3J mutant mice 14 days of age (prior to Purkinje cell loss) to unaffected littermates. Microarray analysis, Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA) and expression analysis systematic explorer (EASE) software were used to identify biological and molecular pathways implicated in the progression of Purkinje cell degeneration. IPA analysis indicated that mutant pcd3J mice showed dysregulation of specific processes that may lead to Purkinje cell death, including several molecules known to control neuronal apoptosis such as Bad, CDK5 and PTEN. These findings demonstrate the usefulness of these powerful microarray analysis tools and have important implications for understanding the mechanisms of selective neuronal death and for developing therapeutic strategies to treat neurodegenerative disorders.
Project description:Mifepristone (RU486), which binds with high affinity to both progesterone and glucocorticosteroid receptors (PR and GR), is well known for its use in the termination of unwanted pregnancy, but other activities including neuroprotection have been suggested. Cerebellar organotypic cultures from 3 to 7 postnatal day rat (P3-P7) were studied to examine the neuroprotective potential of RU486. In such cultures, Purkinje cells enter a process of apoptosis with a maximum at P3. This study shows that RU486 (20 microM) can protect Purkinje cells from this apoptotic process. The neuroprotective effect did involve neither PR nor GR, because it could not be mimicked or inhibited by other ligands of these receptors, and because it still took place in PR mutant (PR-KO) mice and in brain-specific GR mutant mice (GRNes/Cre). Potent antioxidant agents did not prevent Purkinje cells from this developmental cell death. The neuroprotective effect of RU486 could also be observed in pathological Purkinje cell death. Indeed, this steroid is able to prevent Purkinje cells from death in organotypic cultures of cerebellar slices from Purkinje cell degeneration (pcd) mutant mice, a murine model of hereditary neurodegenerative ataxia. In P0 cerebellar slices treated with RU486 for 6 days and further kept in culture up to 21 days, the synthetic steroid increased by 16.2-fold the survival of pcd/pcd Purkinje cells. Our results show that RU486 may act through a new mechanism, not yet elucidated, to protect Purkinje cells from death.
Project description:The molecular pathways controlling cerebellar Purkinje cell dendrite formation and maturation are poorly understood. The Purkinje cell degeneration (pcd) mutant mouse is characterized by mutations in Nna1, a gene discovered in an axonal regenerative context, but whose actual function in development and disease is unknown. We found abnormal development of Purkinje cell dendrites in postnatal pcd(Sid) mice and linked this deficit to a deletion mutation in exon 7 of Nna1. With single cell gene profiling and virus-based gene transfer, we analyzed a molecular pathway downstream to Nna1 underlying abnormal Purkinje cell dendritogenesis in pcd(Sid) mice. We discovered that mutant Nna1 dramatically increases intranuclear localization of lysyl oxidase propeptide, which interferes with NF-?B RelA signaling and microtubule-associated protein regulation of microtubule stability, leading to underdevelopment of Purkinje cell dendrites. These findings provide insight into Nna1's role in neuronal development and why its absence renders Purkinje cells more vulnerable.
Project description:This study represents the first detailed analysis of the spontaneous neurological mouse mutant, tippy, uncovering its unique cerebellar phenotype. Homozygous tippy mutant mice are small, ataxic, and die around weaning. Although the cerebellum shows grossly normal foliation, tippy mutants display a complex cerebellar Purkinje cell phenotype consisting of abnormal dendritic branching with immature spine features and patchy, non-apoptotic cell death that is associated with widespread dystrophy and degeneration of the Purkinje cell axons throughout the white matter, the cerebellar nuclei, and the vestibular nuclei. Moderate anatomical abnormalities of climbing fiber innervation of tippy mutant Purkinje cells were not associated with changes in climbing fiber-EPSC amplitudes. However, decreased ESPC amplitudes were observed in response to parallel fiber stimulation and correlated well with anatomical evidence for patchy dark cell degeneration of Purkinje cell dendrites in the molecular layer. The data suggest that the Purkinje neurons are a primary target of the tippy mutation. Furthermore, we hypothesize that the Purkinje cell axonal pathology together with disruptions in the balance of climbing fiber and parallel fiber-Purkinje cell input in the cerebellar cortex underlie the ataxic phenotype in these mice. The constellation of Purkinje cell dendritic malformation and degeneration phenotypes in tippy mutants is unique and has not been reported in any other neurologic mutant. Fine mapping of the tippy mutation to a 2.1 MB region of distal chromosome 9, which does not encompass any gene previously implicated in cerebellar development or neuronal degeneration, confirms that the tippy mutation identifies novel biology and gene function.
Project description:AIM:Neurodegeneration is associated with dysfunction of calcium buffering capacity and thereby sustained cellular and mitochondrial calcium overload. Paraneoplastic cerebellar degeneration (PCD), characterized by progressive Purkinje neurone degeneration following paraneoplastic Yo antibody internalization and binding to cerebellar degeneration-related protein CDR2 and CDR2L, has been linked to intracellular calcium homeostasis imbalance due to calbindin D28k malfunction. Therefore, we hypothesized that Yo antibody internalization affects not only calbindin calcium binding capacity, but also calcium-sensitive mitochondrial-associated signalling, causing mitochondrial calcium overload and thereby Purkinje neurone death. METHODS:Immunohistochemically, we evaluated cerebellar organotypic slice cultures of rat brains after inducing PCD through the application of Yo antibody-positive PCD patient sera or purified antibodies against CDR2 and CDR2L how pharmacologically biased mitochondrial signalling affected PCD pathology. RESULTS:We found that Yo antibody internalization into Purkinje neurons caused depletion of Purkinje neurone calbindin-immunoreactivity, cannabinoid 1 receptor over-activation and alterations in the actions of the mitochondria permeability transition pore (MPTP), voltage-dependent anion channels, reactive oxygen species (ROS) and Na+ /Ca2+ exchangers (NCX). The pathological mechanisms caused by Yo antibody binding to CDR2 or CDR2L differed between the two targets. Yo-CDR2 binding did not alter the mitochondrial calcium retention capacity, cyclophilin D-independent opening of MPTP or activity of NCX. CONCLUSION:These findings suggest that minimizing intracellular calcium overload toxicity either directly with cyclosporin-A or indirectly with cannabidiol or the ROS scavenger butylated hydroxytoluene promotes mitochondrial calcium homeostasis and may therefore be used as future neuroprotective therapy for PCD patients.
Project description:A perplexing question in neurodegeneration is why different neurons degenerate. The Purkinje cell degeneration (pcd) mouse displays a dramatic phenotype of degeneration of cerebellar Purkinje cells. Loss of CCP1/Nna1 deglutamylation of tubulin accounts for pcd neurodegeneration, but the mechanism is unknown. In this study, we modulated the dosage of fission and fusion genes in a Drosophila melanogaster loss-of-function model and found that mitochondrial fragmentation and disease phenotypes were rescued by reduced Drp1. We observed mitochondrial fragmentation in CCP1 null cells and in neurons from pcd mice, and we documented reduced mitochondrial fusion in cells lacking CCP1. We examined the effect of tubulin hyperglutamylation on microtubule-mediated mitochondrial motility in pcd neurons and noted markedly reduced retrograde axonal transport. Mitochondrial stress promoted Parkin-dependent turnover of CCP1, and CCP1 and Parkin physically interacted. Our results indicate that CCP1 regulates mitochondrial motility through deglutamylation of tubulin and that loss of CCP1-mediated mitochondrial fusion accounts for the exquisite vulnerability of Purkinje neurons in pcd mice.
Project description:The coordination of movement across the body is a fundamental, yet poorly understood aspect of motor control. Mutant mice with cerebellar circuit defects exhibit characteristic impairments in locomotor coordination; however, the fundamental features of this gait ataxia have not been effectively isolated. Here we describe a novel system (LocoMouse) for analyzing limb, head, and tail kinematics of freely walking mice. Analysis of visibly ataxic Purkinje cell degeneration (pcd) mice reveals that while differences in the forward motion of individual paws are fully accounted for by changes in walking speed and body size, more complex 3D trajectories and, especially, inter-limb and whole-body coordination are specifically impaired. Moreover, the coordination deficits in pcd are consistent with a failure to predict and compensate for the consequences of movement across the body. These results isolate specific impairments in whole-body coordination in mice and provide a quantitative framework for understanding cerebellar contributions to coordinated locomotion.
Project description:Paraneoplastic neurological disorders result from an autoimmune response against neural self-antigens that are ectopically expressed in neoplastic cells. In paraneoplastic disorders associated to autoantibodies against intracellular proteins, such as paraneoplastic cerebellar degeneration (PCD), current data point to a major role of cell-mediated immunity. In an animal model, in which a neo-self-antigen was expressed in both Purkinje neurons and implanted breast tumor cells, immune checkpoint blockade led to complete tumor control at the expense of cerebellum infiltration by T cells and Purkinje neuron loss, thereby mimicking PCD. Here, we identify 2 potential therapeutic targets expressed by cerebellum-infiltrating T cells in this model, namely α4 integrin and IFN-γ. Mice with PCD were treated with anti-α4 integrin antibodies or neutralizing anti-IFN-γ antibodies at the onset of neurological signs. Although blocking α4 integrin had little or no impact on disease development, treatment using the anti-IFN-γ antibody led to almost complete protection from PCD. These findings strongly suggest that the production of IFN-γ by cerebellum-invading T cells plays a major role in Purkinje neuron death. Our successful preclinical use of neutralizing anti-IFN-γ antibody for the treatment of PCD offers a potentially new therapeutic opportunity for cancer patients at the onset of paraneoplastic neurological disorders.
Project description:The Purkinje cell degeneration (pcd) mouse is a recessive model of neurodegeneration, involving cerebellum and retina. Purkinje cell death in pcd is dramatic, as >99% of Purkinje neurons are lost in 3 weeks. Loss of function of Nna1 causes pcd, and Nna1 is a highly conserved zinc carboxypeptidase. To determine the basis of pcd, we implemented a two-pronged approach, combining characterization of loss-of-function phenotypes of the Drosophila Nna1 ortholog (NnaD) with proteomics analysis of pcd mice. Reduced NnaD function yielded larval lethality, with survivors displaying phenotypes that mirror disease in pcd. Quantitative proteomics revealed expression alterations for glycolytic and oxidative phosphorylation enzymes. Nna proteins localize to mitochondria, loss of NnaD/Nna1 produces mitochondrial abnormalities, and pcd mice display altered proteolytic processing of Nna1 interacting proteins. Our studies indicate that Nna1 loss of function results in altered bioenergetics and mitochondrial dysfunction.
Project description:Purkinje cell degeneration (pcd) mice have a mutation within the gene encoding cytosolic carboxypeptidase 1 (CCP1/Nna1), which has homology to metallocarboxypeptidases. To assess the function of CCP1/Nna1, quantitative proteomics and peptidomics approaches were used to compare proteins and peptides in mutant and wild-type mice. Hundreds of peptides derived from cytosolic and mitochondrial proteins are greatly elevated in pcd mouse hypothalamus, amygdala, cortex, prefrontal cortex, and striatum. However, the major proteins detected on 2-D gel electrophoresis were present in mutant and wild-type mouse cortex and hypothalamus at comparable levels, and proteasome activity is normal in these brain regions of pcd mice, suggesting that the increase in cellular peptide levels in the pcd mice is due to reduced degradation of the peptides downstream of the proteasome. Both nondegenerating and degenerating regions of pcd mouse brain, but not wild-type mouse brain, show elevated autophagy, which can be triggered by a decrease in amino acid levels. Taken together with previous studies on CCP1/Nna1, these data suggest that CCP1/Nna1 plays a role in protein turnover by cleaving proteasome-generated peptides into amino acids and that decreased peptide turnover in the pcd mice leads to cell death.
Project description:Several spontaneous mouse mutants with deficits in motor coordination and associated cerebellar neuropathology have been described. Intriguingly, both visible gait alterations and neuroanatomical abnormalities throughout the brain differ across mutants. We previously used the LocoMouse system to quantify specific deficits in locomotor coordination in mildly ataxic Purkinje cell degeneration mice (pcd; Machado et al., 2015). Here, we analyze the locomotor behavior of severely ataxic reeler mutants and compare and contrast it with that of pcd. Despite clearly visible gait differences, direct comparison of locomotor kinematics and linear discriminant analysis reveal a surprisingly similar pattern of impairments in multijoint, interlimb, and whole-body coordination in the two mutants. These findings capture both shared and specific signatures of gait ataxia and provide a quantitative foundation for mapping specific locomotor impairments onto distinct neuropathologies in mice.