ASCs-Exosomes Recover Coupling Efficiency and Mitochondrial Membrane Potential in an in vitro Model of ALS.
ABSTRACT: The amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disorder characterized by motoneurons death. Mutations in the superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) protein have been identified to be related to the disease. Beyond the different altered pathways, the mitochondrial dysfunction is one of the major features that leads to the selective death of motoneurons in ALS. The NSC-34 cell line, overexpressing human SOD1(G93A) mutant protein [NSC-34(G93A)], is considered an optimal in vitro model to study ALS. Here we investigated the energy metabolism in NSC-34(G93A) cells and in particular the effect of the mutated SOD1(G93A) protein on the mitochondrial respiratory capacity (complexes I-IV) by high resolution respirometry (HRR) and cytofluorimetry. We demonstrated that NSC-34(G93A) cells show a reduced mitochondrial oxidative capacity. In particular, we found significant impairment of the complex I-linked oxidative phosphorylation, reduced efficiency of the electron transfer system (ETS) associated with a higher rate of dissipative respiration, and a lower membrane potential. In order to rescue the effect of the mutated SOD1 gene on mitochondria impairment, we evaluated the efficacy of the exosomes, isolated from adipose-derived stem cells, administrated on the NSC-34(G93A) cells. These data show that ASCs-exosomes are able to restore complex I activity, coupling efficiency and mitochondrial membrane potential. Our results improve the knowledge about mitochondrial bioenergetic defects directly associated with the SOD1(G93A) mutation, and prove the efficacy of adipose-derived stem cells exosomes to rescue the function of mitochondria, indicating that these vesicles could represent a valuable approach to target mitochondrial dysfunction in ALS.
Project description:Vulnerability of motoneurons in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) arises from a combination of several mechanisms, including protein misfolding and aggregation, mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative damage. Protein aggregates are found in motoneurons in models for ALS linked to a mutation in the gene coding for Cu,Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD1) and in ALS patients as well. Aggregation of mutant SOD1 in the cytoplasm and/or into mitochondria has been repeatedly proposed as a main culprit for the degeneration of motoneurons. It is, however, still debated whether SOD1 aggregates represent a cause, a correlate or a consequence of processes leading to cell death. We have exploited the ability of glutaredoxins (Grxs) to reduce mixed disulfides to protein thiols either in the cytoplasm and in the IMS (Grx1) or in the mitochondrial matrix (Grx2) as a tool for restoring a correct redox environment and preventing the aggregation of mutant SOD1. Here we show that the overexpression of Grx1 increases the solubility of mutant SOD1 in the cytosol but does not inhibit mitochondrial damage and apoptosis induced by mutant SOD1 in neuronal cells (SH-SY5Y) or in immortalized motoneurons (NSC-34). Conversely, the overexpression of Grx2 increases the solubility of mutant SOD1 in mitochondria, interferes with mitochondrial fragmentation by modifying the expression pattern of proteins involved in mitochondrial dynamics, preserves mitochondrial function and strongly protects neuronal cells from apoptosis. The toxicity of mutant SOD1, therefore, mostly arises from mitochondrial dysfunction and rescue of mitochondrial damage may represent a promising therapeutic strategy.
Project description:Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal adult-onset neurodegenerative disorder affecting motor neurons (MNs). Evidences indicate that ALS is a non-cell autonomous disease in which glial cells participate in both disease onset and progression. Exosomal transfer of mutant copper-zinc superoxide dismutase 1 (mSOD1) from cell-to-cell was suggested to contribute to disease dissemination. Data from our group and others showed that exosomes from activated cells contain inflammatory-related microRNAs (inflamma-miRNAs) that recapitulate the donor cell. While glia-derived exosomes and their effects in neurons have been addressed by several studies, only a few investigated the influence of motor neuron (MN)-derived exosomes in other cell function, the aim of the present study. We assessed a set of inflamma-miRs in NSC-34 MN-like cells transfected with mutant SOD1(G93A) and extended the study into their derived exosomes (mSOD1 exosomes). Then, the effects produced by mSOD1 exosomes in the activation and polarization of the recipient N9 microglial cells were investigated. Exosomes in coculture with N9 microglia and NSC-34 cells [either transfected with either wild-type (wt) human SOD1 or mutant SOD1(G93A)] showed to be transferred into N9 cells. Increased miR-124 expression was found in mSOD1 NSC-34 cells and in their derived exosomes. Incubation of mSOD1 exosomes with N9 cells determined a sustained 50% reduction in the cell phagocytic ability. It also caused a persistent NF-kB activation and an acute generation of NO, MMP-2, and MMP-9 activation, as well as upregulation of IL-1?, TNF-?, MHC-II, and iNOS gene expression, suggestive of induced M1 polarization. Marked elevation of IL-10, Arginase 1, TREM2, RAGE, and TLR4 mRNA levels, together with increased miR-124, miR-146a, and miR-155, at 24 h incubation, suggest the switch to mixed M1 and M2 subpopulations in the exosome-treated N9 microglial cells. Exosomes from mSOD1 NSC-34 MNs also enhanced the number of senescent-like positive N9 cells. Data suggest that miR-124 is translocated from the mSOD1 MNs to exosomes, which determine early and late phenotypic alterations in the recipient N9-microglial cells. In conclusion, modulation of the inflammatory-associated miR-124, in mSOD1 NSC-34 MNs, with potential benefits in the cargo of their exosomes may reveal a promising therapeutic strategy in halting microglia activation and associated effects in MN degeneration.
Project description:Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a rapidly evolving and fatal adult-onset neurological disease characterized by progressive degeneration of motoneurons. Our previous study showed that glycinergic innervation of spinal motoneurons is deficient in an ALS mouse model expressing a mutant form of human superoxide dismutase-1 with a Gly93?Ala substitution (G93A-SOD1). In this study, we have examined, using whole-cell patch-clamp recordings, glycine receptor (GlyR)-mediated currents in spinal motoneurons from these transgenic mice. We developed a dissociated spinal cord culture model using embryonic transgenic mice expressing enhanced green fluorescent protein (eGFP) driven by the Hb9 promoter. Motoneurons were identified as Hb9-eGFP-expressing (Hb9-eGFP(+)) neurons with a characteristic morphology. To examine GlyRs in ALS motoneurons, we bred G93A-SOD1 mice to Hb9-eGFP mice and compared glycine-evoked currents in cultured Hb9-eGFP(+) motoneurons prepared from G93A-SOD1 embryos and from their nontransgenic littermates. Glycine-evoked current density was significantly smaller in the G93A-SOD1 motoneurons compared with control. Furthermore, the averaged current densities of spontaneous glycinergic miniature IPSCs (mIPSCs) were significantly smaller in the G93A-SOD1 motoneurons than in control motoneurons. No significant differences in GABA-induced currents and GABAergic mIPSCs were observed between G93A-SOD1 and control motoneurons. Quantitative single-cell reverse transcription-PCR found lower GlyR?1 subunit mRNA expression in G93A-SOD1 motoneurons, indicating that the reduction of GlyR current may result from the downregulation of GlyR mRNA expression in motoneurons. Immunocytochemistry demonstrated a decrease of surface postsynaptic GlyR on G93A-SOD1 motoneurons. Our study suggests that selective alterations in GlyR function contribute to inhibitory insufficiency in motoneurons early in the disease process of ALS.
Project description:Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disease characterized by progressive loss of motoneurons. Hyperexcitability and excitotoxicity have been implicated in the early pathogenesis of ALS. Studies addressing excitotoxic motoneuron death and intracellular Ca(2+) overload have mostly focused on Ca(2+) influx through AMPA glutamate receptors. However, intrinsic excitability of motoneurons through voltage-gated ion channels may also have a role in the neurodegeneration. In this study we examined the function and localization of voltage-gated Ca(2+) channels in cultured spinal cord motoneurons from mice expressing a mutant form of human superoxide dismutase-1 with a Gly93?Ala substitution (G93A-SOD1). Using whole-cell patch-clamp recordings, we showed that high voltage activated (HVA) Ca(2+) currents are increased in G93A-SOD1 motoneurons, but low voltage activated Ca(2+) currents are not affected. G93A-SOD1 motoneurons also have altered persistent Ca(2+) current mediated by L-type Ca(2+) channels. Quantitative single-cell RT-PCR revealed higher levels of Ca1a, Ca1b, Ca1c, and Ca1e subunit mRNA expression in G93A-SOD1 motoneurons, indicating that the increase of HVA Ca(2+) currents may result from upregulation of Ca(2+) channel mRNA expression in motoneurons. The localizations of the Ca1B N-type and Ca1D L-type Ca(2+) channels in motoneurons were examined by immunocytochemistry and confocal microscopy. G93A-SOD1 motoneurons had increased Ca1B channels on the plasma membrane of soma and dendrites. Ca1D channels are similar on the plasma membrane of soma and lower on the plasma membrane of dendrites of G93A-SOD1 motoneurons. Our study demonstrates that voltage-gated Ca(2+) channels have aberrant functions and localizations in ALS mouse motoneurons. The increased HVA Ca(2+) currents and PCCa current could contribute to early pathogenesis of ALS.
Project description:Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease in which pathogenesis and death of motor neurons are triggered by non-cell-autonomous mechanisms. We showed earlier that exposing primary rat spinal cord cultures to conditioned media derived from primary mouse astrocyte conditioned media (ACM) that express human SOD1(G93A) (ACM-hSOD1(G93A)) quickly enhances Nav channel-mediated excitability and calcium influx, generates intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS), and leads to death of motoneurons within days. Here we examined the role of mitochondrial structure and physiology and of the activation of c-Abl, a tyrosine kinase that induces apoptosis. We show that ACM-hSOD1(G93A), but not ACM-hSOD1(WT), increases c-Abl activity in motoneurons, interneurons and glial cells, starting at 60 min; the c-Abl inhibitor STI571 (imatinib) prevents this ACM-hSOD1(G93A)-mediated motoneuron death. Interestingly, similar results were obtained with ACM derived from astrocytes expressing SOD1(G86R) or TDP43(A315T). We further find that co-application of ACM-SOD1(G93A) with blockers of Nav channels (spermidine, mexiletine, or riluzole) or anti-oxidants (Trolox, esculetin, or tiron) effectively prevent c-Abl activation and motoneuron death. In addition, ACM-SOD1(G93A) induces alterations in the morphology of neuronal mitochondria that are related with their membrane depolarization. Finally, we find that blocking the opening of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore with cyclosporine A, or inhibiting mitochondrial calcium uptake with Ru360, reduces ROS production and c-Abl activation. Together, our data point to a sequence of events in which a toxic factor(s) released by ALS-expressing astrocytes rapidly induces hyper-excitability, which in turn increases calcium influx and affects mitochondrial structure and physiology. ROS production, mediated at least in part through mitochondrial alterations, trigger c-Abl signaling and lead to motoneuron death.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is an incurable fatal motoneuron disease with a lifetime risk of approximately 1:400. It is characterized by progressive weakness, muscle wasting, and death ensuing 3-5 years after diagnosis. Granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) is a drug candidate for ALS, with evidence for efficacy from animal studies and interesting data from pilot clinical trials. To gain insight into the disease mechanisms and mode of action of G-CSF, we performed gene expression profiling on isolated lumbar motoneurons from SOD1(G93A) mice, the most frequently studied animal model for ALS, with and without G-CSF treatment. RESULTS:Motoneurons from SOD1(G93A) mice present a distinct gene expression profile in comparison to controls already at an early disease stage (11 weeks of age), when treatment was initiated. The degree of deregulation increases at a time where motor symptoms are obvious (15 weeks of age). Upon G-CSF treatment, transcriptomic deregulations of SOD1(G93A) motoneurons were notably restored. Discriminant analysis revealed that SOD1 mice treated with G-CSF has a transcriptom close to presymptomatic SOD1 mice or wild type mice. Some interesting genes modulated by G-CSF treatment relate to neuromuscular function such as CCR4-NOT or Prss12. CONCLUSIONS:Our data suggest that G-CSF is able to re-adjust gene expression in symptomatic SOD1(G93A) motoneurons. This provides further arguments for G-CSF as a promising drug candidate for ALS.
Project description:Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurological condition with no cure. Mitochondrial dysfunction, Ca(2+) overloading and local hypoxic/ischemic environments have been implicated in the pathophysiology of ALS and are conditions that may initiate metabolic acidosis in the affected tissue. We tested the hypothesis that acidotoxicity and acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs) are involved in the pathophysiology of ALS. We found that motoneurons were selectively vulnerable to acidotoxicity in vitro, and that acidotoxicity was partially reduced in asic1a-deficient motoneuron cultures. Cross-breeding of SOD1(G93A) ALS mice with asic1a-deficient mice delayed the onset and progression of motor dysfunction in SOD1 mice. Interestingly, we also noted a strong increase in ASIC2 expression in motoneurons of SOD1 mice and sporadic ALS patients during disease progression. Pharmacological pan-inhibition of ASIC channels with the lipophilic amiloride derivative, 5-(N,N-dimethyl)-amiloride hydrochloride, potently protected cultured motoneurons against acidotoxicity, and, given post-symptom onset, significantly improved lifespan, motor performance and motoneuron survival in SOD1 mice. Together, our data provide strong evidence for the involvement of acidotoxicity and ASIC channels in motoneuron degeneration, and highlight the potential of ASIC inhibitors as a new treatment approach for ALS.
Project description:BH3-only proteins couple diverse stress signals to the evolutionarily conserved mitochondrial apoptosis pathway. Previously, we reported that the activation of the BH3-only protein p53-up-regulated mediator of apoptosis (Puma) was necessary and sufficient for endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress- and proteasome inhibition-induced apoptosis in neuroblastoma and other cancer cells. Defects in protein quality control have also been suggested to be a key event in ALS, a fatal neurodegenerative condition characterized by motoneuron degeneration. Using the SOD1(G93A) mouse model as well as human post mortem samples from ALS patients, we show evidence for increased ER stress and defects in protein degradation in motoneurons during disease progression. Before symptom onset, we detected a significant up-regulation of Puma in motoneurons of SOD1(G93A) mice. Genetic deletion of puma significantly improved motoneuron survival and delayed disease onset and motor dysfunction in SOD1(G93A) mice. However, it had no significant effect on lifespan, suggesting that other ER stress-related cell-death proteins or other factors, such as excitotoxicity, necrosis, or inflammatory injury, may contribute at later disease stages. Indeed, further experiments using cultured motoneurons revealed that genetic deletion of puma protected motoneurons against ER stress-induced apoptosis but showed no effect against excitotoxic injury. These findings demonstrate that a single BH3-only protein, the ER stress-associated protein Puma, plays an important role during the early stages of chronic neurodegeneration in vivo.
Project description:Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is an adult-onset neurodegenerative disorder characterized by loss of motor neurons. Dominant mutations in the gene for superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) give rise to familial ALS by an unknown mechanism. Here we show that genetic deficiency of mammalian sterile 20-like kinase 1 (MST1) delays disease onset and extends survival in mice expressing the ALS-associated G93A mutant of human SOD1. SOD1(G93A) induces dissociation of MST1 from a redox protein thioredoxin-1 and promotes MST1 activation in spinal cord neurons in a reactive oxygen species-dependent manner. Moreover, MST1 was found to mediate SOD1(G93A)-induced activation of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase and caspases as well as impairment of autophagy in spinal cord motoneurons of SOD1(G93A) mice. Our findings implicate MST1 as a key determinant of neurodegeneration in ALS.
Project description:Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is an adult onset neurodegenerative disease that causes progressive paralysis and death due to degeneration of motoneurons in spinal cord, brainstem and motor cortex. Nowadays, there is no effective therapy and patients die 2-5 years after diagnosis. Resveratrol (trans-3,4',5-trihydroxystilbene) is a natural polyphenol found in grapes, with promising neuroprotective effects since it induces expression and activation of several neuroprotective pathways involving Sirtuin1 and AMPK. The objective of this work was to assess the effect of resveratrol administration on SOD1(G93A) ALS mice. We determined the onset of symptoms by rotarod test and evaluated upper and lower motoneuron function using electrophysiological tests. We assessed the survival of the animals and determined the number of spinal motoneurons. Finally, we further investigated resveratrol mechanism of action by means of western blot and immunohistochemical analysis. Resveratrol treatment from 8 weeks of age significantly delayed disease onset and preserved lower and upper motoneuron function in female and male animals. Moreover, resveratrol significantly extended SOD1(G93A) mice lifespan and promoted survival of spinal motoneurons. Delayed resveratrol administration from 12 weeks of age also improved spinal motoneuron function preservation and survival. Further experiments revealed that resveratrol protective effects were associated with increased expression and activation of Sirtuin 1 and AMPK in the ventral spinal cord. Both mediators promoted normalization of the autophagic flux and, more importantly, increased mitochondrial biogenesis in the SOD1(G93A) spinal cord. Taken together, our findings suggest that resveratrol may represent a promising therapy for ALS.