Single Cell Transcriptome Analysis of Niemann-Pick Disease, Type C1 Cerebella.
ABSTRACT: Niemann-Pick disease, type C1 (NPC1) is a lysosomal disease characterized by endolysosomal storage of unesterified cholesterol and decreased cellular cholesterol bioavailability. A cardinal symptom of NPC1 is cerebellar ataxia due to Purkinje neuron loss. To gain an understanding of the cerebellar neuropathology we obtained single cell transcriptome data from control (Npc1+/+) and both three-week-old presymptomatic and seven-week-old symptomatic mutant (Npc1-/-) mice. In seven-week-old Npc1-/- mice, differential expression data was obtained for neuronal, glial, vascular, and myeloid cells. As anticipated, we observed microglial activation and increased expression of innate immunity genes. We also observed increased expression of innate immunity genes by other cerebellar cell types, including Purkinje neurons. Whereas neuroinflammation mediated by microglia may have both neuroprotective and neurotoxic components, the contribution of increased expression of these genes by non-immune cells to NPC1 pathology is not known. It is possible that dysregulated expression of innate immunity genes by non-immune cells is neurotoxic. We did not anticipate a general lack of transcriptomic changes in cells other than microglia from presymptomatic three-week-old Npc1-/- mice. This observation suggests that microglia activation precedes neuronal dysfunction. The data presented in this paper will be useful for generating testable hypotheses related to disease progression and Purkinje neurons loss as well as providing insight into potential novel therapeutic interventions.
Project description:Little is known about the effects of NPC1 deficiency in brain development and whether these effects contribute to neurodegeneration in Niemann-Pick disease type C (NPC). Degeneration of cerebellar Purkinje cells occurs at an earlier stage and to a greater extent in NPC; therefore, we analyzed the effect of NPC1 deficiency on microglia and on climbing fiber synaptic refinement during cerebellar postnatal development using the Npc1nmf164 mouse. Our analysis revealed that NPC1 deficiency leads to early phenotypic changes in microglia that are not associated with an innate immune response. However, the lack of NPC1 in Npc1nmf164 mice significantly affected the early development of microglia by delaying the radial migration, increasing the proliferation and impairing the differentiation of microglia precursor cells during postnatal development. Additionally, increased phagocytic activity of differentiating microglia was observed at the end of the second postnatal week in Npc1nmf164 mice. Moreover, significant climbing fiber synaptic refinement deficits along with an increased engulfment of climbing fiber synaptic elements by microglia were found in Npc1nmf164 mice, suggesting that profound developmental defects in microglia and synaptic connectivity might precede and predispose Purkinje cells to early neurodegeneration in NPC.
Project description:Niemann-Pick type C1 (NPC1) disease is a fatal neurodegenerative disease characterized by neuronal lipid storage and progressive Purkinje cell loss in the cerebellum. We investigated whether therapeutic approaches to bypass the cholesterol trafficking defect in NPC1 disease might delay disease progression in the npc1(-/-) mouse model. We show that the neurosteroid allopregnanolone (ALLO) and T0901317, a synthetic oxysterol ligand, act in concert to delay onset of neurological symptoms and prolong the lifespan of npc1(-/-) mice. ALLO and T0901317 therapy preserved Purkinje cells, suppressed cerebellar expression of microglial-associated genes and inflammatory mediators, and reduced infiltration of activated microglia in the cerebellar tissue. To establish whether the mechanism of neuroprotection in npc1(-/-) mice involves GABA(A) receptor activation, we compared treatment of natural ALLO and ent-ALLO, a stereoisomer that has identical physical properties of natural ALLO but is not a GABA(A) receptor agonist. ent-ALLO provided identical functional and survival benefits as natural ALLO in npc1(-/-) mice, strongly supporting a GABA(A) receptor-independent mechanism for ALLO action. On the other hand, the efficacy of ALLO, ent-ALLO, and T0901317 therapy correlated with the ability of these compounds to activate pregnane X receptor-dependent pathways in vivo. These findings suggest that treatment with pregnane X receptor ligands may be useful clinically in delaying the progressive neurodegeneration in human NPC disease.
Project description:Niemann Pick Type-C disease (NPC) is an inherited lysosomal storage disease (LSD) caused by pathogenic variants in the Npc1 or Npc2 genes that lead to the accumulation of cholesterol and lipids in lysosomes. NPC1 deficiency causes neurodegeneration, dementia and early death. Cerebellar Purkinje cells (PCs) are particularly hypersensitive to NPC1 deficiency and degenerate earlier than other neurons in the brain. Activation of microglia is an important contributor to PCs degeneration in NPC. However, the mechanisms by which activated microglia promote PCs degeneration in NPC are not completely understood. Here, we are demonstrating that in the Npc1nmf164 mouse cerebellum, microglia in the molecular layer (ML) are activated and contacting dendrites at early stages of NPC, when no loss of PCs is detected. During the progression of PCs degeneration in Npc1nmf164 mice, accumulation of phagosomes and autofluorescent material in microglia at the ML coincided with the degeneration of dendrites and PCs. Feeding Npc1nmf164 mice a western diet (WD) increased microglia activation and corresponded with a more extensive degeneration of dendrites but not PC somata. Together our data suggest that microglia contribute to the degeneration of PCs by interacting, engulfing and phagocytosing their dendrites while the cell somata are still present.
Project description:Niemann-Pick disease, type C1 (NPC1) is a neurodegenerative, lysosomal storage disorder due to mutation of the NPC1 gene. The NPC1 phenotype is characterized by progressive neuronal dysfunction, including cerebellar ataxia and dementia. There is histological evidence of neuroinflammation and progressive neuronal loss, with cerebellar Purkinje cells particularly vulnerable to loss of NPC1 function. Necroptosis was evaluated as a mechanism of neuronal loss. Receptor-interacting protein kinase 1 (RIP1) and RIP3 are key components of the necrosomal complex that regulates necroptotic cell death. We report increased expression of RIP1 and RIP3 in NPC1 fibroblasts, NPC1 iPS cell-derived neuronal precursors, and in cerebellar tissue from both NPC1 mice and patients. Our data suggest a positive correlation between NPC1 neurological disease severity and assembly of the necrosome complex. Furthermore, we demonstrate that pharmacological inhibition of RIP1 decreases cell death both in vitro and in vivo. Treatment of Npc1-mutant mice with necrostatin-1, an allosteric inhibitor of RIP1, significantly delayed cerebellar Purkinje cell loss, progression of neurological symptoms, and death. Collectively, our data identified necroptosis as a key component of the molecular network that contributes to neuronal loss in NPC1 and establish that inhibition of necroptosis is a potential therapeutic intervention.
Project description:: Niemann-Pick disease, type C1 (NPC1) is a lysosomal disease characterized by progressive cerebellar ataxia. In NPC1, a defect in cholesterol transport leads to endolysosomal storage of cholesterol and decreased cholesterol bioavailability. Purkinje neurons are sensitive to the loss of NPC1 function. However, degeneration of Purkinje neurons is not uniform. They are typically lost in an anterior-to-posterior gradient with neurons in lobule X being resistant to neurodegeneration. To gain mechanistic insight into factors that protect or potentiate Purkinje neuron loss, we compared RNA expression in cerebellar lobules III, VI, and X from control and mutant mice. An unexpected finding was that the gene expression differences between lobules III/VI and X were more pronounced than those observed between mutant and control mice. Functional analysis of genes with anterior to posterior gene expression differences revealed an enrichment of genes related to neuronal cell survival within the posterior cerebellum. This finding is consistent with the observation, in multiple diseases, that posterior Purkinje neurons are, in general, resistant to neurodegeneration. To our knowledge, this is the first study to evaluate anterior to posterior transcriptome-wide changes in gene expression in the cerebellum. Our data can be used to not only explore potential pathological mechanisms in NPC1, but also to further understand cerebellar biology.
Project description:A hallmark of Niemann-Pick disease, type C (NPC) is the progressive degeneration of Purkinje neurons in the cerebellum caused by the accumulation of free cholesterol and glycosphingolipids in the lysosome. Recent studies suggest that the state of glycosylation of lysosomal membrane proteins may play a role in disease progression. Our study has identified the presence of a highly glycosylated form of Lysosome Associated Membrane Protein 1 (LAMP1) that correlated spatiotemporally with Purkinje neuron loss. This form of LAMP1 was predominantly localized to activated microglia; showing a ~5-fold increase in surface labeling by FACS analysis. This suggests a potential role for LAMP1 in the neuro-inflammatory process in these mice during disease progression. Analysis of other mouse models of neurodegeneration that exhibit neuro-inflammation showed little or no presence of this glycosylated form of LAMP1, suggesting this observation for LAMP1 is specific to NPC disease. Furthermore, early treatment of Npc1-/- mice with 2-hydroxypropyl-?-cyclodextrin (HP?CD), significantly prevented the appearance of the glycosylated LAMP1 in the cerebellum of Npc1-/- mice at 7 weeks, consistent with the prevention of neuro-inflammation in mice treated with this drug. Treatment of Npc1-/- mice with HP?CD at 7 weeks, after disease onset, did not reverse or prevent further appearance of the hyperglycosylated LAMP1, demonstrating that once this aspect of neuro-inflammation began, it continued despite the HP?CD treatment. Analysis of LAMP1 in cerebellar tissue of NPC1 patients showed a small level of hyperglycosylated LAMP1 in the tissue, however, this was not seen in the CSF of patients.
Project description:We previously demonstrated that the direct transplantation of human umbilical cord blood-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hUCB-MSCs) into the dentate gyrus ameliorated the neurological symptoms of Niemann-Pick type C1 (NPC1)-mutant mice. However, the clinical presentation of NPC1-mutant mice was not fully understood with a molecular mechanism. Here, we found 14,15-epoxyeicosatrienoic acid (14,15-EET), a cytochrome P450 (CYP) metabolite, from hUCB-MSCs and the cerebella of NPC1-mutant mice and investigated the functional consequence of this metabolite. Our screening of the CYP2J family indicated a dysregulation in the CYP system in a cerebellar-specific manner. Moreover, in Purkinje cells, CYP2J6 showed an elevated expression level compared to that of astrocytes, granule cells, and microglia. In this regard, we found that one CYP metabolite, 14,15-EET, acts as a key mediator in ameliorating cholesterol accumulation. In confirming this hypothesis, 14,15-EET treatment reduced the accumulation of cholesterol in human NPC1 patient-derived fibroblasts in vitro by suppressing cholesterol synthesis and ameliorating the impaired autophagic flux. We show that the reduced activity within the CYP system in the cerebellum could cause the neurological symptoms of NPC1 patients, as 14,15-EET treatment significantly rescued cholesterol accumulation and impaired autophagy. We also provide evidence that the intranasal administration of hUCB-MSCs is a highly promising alternative to traumatic surgical transplantation for NPC1 patients.
Project description:Pathways regulating neuronal vulnerability are poorly understood, yet are central to identifying therapeutic targets for degenerative neurological diseases. Here, we characterize mechanisms underlying neurodegeneration in Niemann-Pick type C (NPC) disease, a lysosomal storage disorder characterized by impaired cholesterol trafficking. To date, the relative contributions of neuronal and glial defects to neuron loss are poorly defined. Using gene targeting, we generate Npc1 conditional null mutant mice. Deletion of Npc1 in mature cerebellar Purkinje cells leads to an age-dependent impairment in motor tasks, including rotarod and balance beam performance. Surprisingly, these mice did not show the early death or weight loss that are characteristic of global Npc1 null mice, suggesting that Purkinje cell degeneration does not underlie these phenotypes. Histological examination revealed the progressive loss of Purkinje cells in an anterior-to-posterior gradient. This cell autonomous neurodegeneration occurs in a spatiotemporal pattern similar to that of global knockout mice. A subpopulation of Purkinje cells in the posterior cerebellum exhibits marked resistance to cell death despite Npc1 deletion. To explore this selective response, we investigated the electrophysiological properties of vulnerable and susceptible Purkinje cell subpopulations. Unexpectedly, Purkinje cells in both subpopulations displayed no electrophysiological abnormalities prior to degeneration. Our data establish that Npc1 deficiency leads to cell autonomous, selective neurodegeneration and suggest that the ataxic symptoms of NPC disease arise from Purkinje cell death rather than cellular dysfunction.
Project description:Niemann-Pick disease, type C1, is a cholesterol storage disease where unesterified cholesterol accumulates intracellularly. In the cerebellum this causes neurodegeneration of the Purkinje neurons that die in an anterior-to-posterior and time-dependent manner. This results in cerebellar ataxia as one of the major outcomes of the disease. Proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9) plays a significant role in the regulation of serum cholesterol levels by modulating LDL receptor levels on peripheral tissues. In the central nervous system, PCSK9 may have a similar effect on the closely related VLDL and ApoE2 receptors to regulate brain cholesterol. In addition, regulation of VLDLR and ApoER2 by PCSK9 may contribute to neuronal apoptotic pathways through Reelin, the primary ligand of VLDLR and ApoER2. Defects in reelin signaling results in cerebellar dysfunction leading to ataxia as seen in the Reeler mouse. Our recent findings that Pcsk9 is expressed ~8-fold higher in the anterior lobules of the cerebellum compared to the posterior lobule X, which is resistant to neurodegeneration, prompted us to ask whether PCSK9 could play a role in NPC1 disease progression. We addressed this question genetically, by characterizing NPC1 disease in the presence or absence of PCSK9. Analysis of double mutant Pcsk9-/-/Npc1-/- mice by disease severity scoring, motor assessments, lifespan, and cerebellar Purkinje cell staining, showed no obvious difference in NPC1 disease progression with that of Npc1-/- mice. This suggests that PCSK9 does not play an apparent role in NPC1 disease progression.