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Decreased signalling of EphA4 improves functional performance and motor neuron survival in the SOD1G93A ALS mouse model.


ABSTRACT: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is an untreatable, progressive, neurodegenerative disease specifically affecting motor neurons. Recently, the tyrosine kinase receptor EphA4 was directly implicated in ALS disease progression. We report that a long-lived mutated form of the EphA4 antagonist EphA4-Fc (mutEphA4-Fc), which blocks EphA4 binding to its ligands and inhibits its function, significantly improved functional performance in SOD1G93A ALS model mice, as assessed by rotarod and hind-limb grip strength tests. Further, heterozygous motor neuron-specific EphA4 gene deletion in SOD1G93A mice promoted significant improvement in functional performance during the disease course and a delay in disease onset relative to control mice. Importantly, mice in the heterozygous deletion group showed significantly improved survival of motor neurons and architecture of endplates of neuromuscular junctions compared with control and homozygous EphA4-deletion groups. Our novel results show that EphA4 signalling directly regulates motor neuron survival and that mutEphA4-Fc is a promising therapeutic candidate to slow disease progression in ALS.

SUBMITTER: Zhao J 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC6065374 | BioStudies | 2018-01-01T00:00:00Z

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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