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Molecular Neurodegeneration

Qingyi Ma, Zhen Zhao, Abhay P Sagare, Yingxi Wu, Min Wang, Nelly Chuqui Owens, Philip B Verghese, Joachim Herz, David M Holtzman, Berislav V Zlokovic
BACKGROUND: Clearance at the blood-brain barrier (BBB) plays an important role in removal of Alzheimer's amyloid-β (Aβ) toxin from brain both in humans and animal models. Apolipoprotein E (apoE), the major genetic risk factor for AD, disrupts Aβ clearance at the BBB. The cellular and molecular mechanisms, however, still remain unclear, particularly whether the BBB-associated brain capillary pericytes can contribute to removal of aggregated Aβ from brain capillaries, and whether removal of Aβ aggregates by pericytes requires apoE, and if so, is Aβ clearance on pericytes apoE isoform-specific...
October 19, 2018: Molecular Neurodegeneration
Takae Kiyama, Ching-Kang Chen, Steven W Wang, Ping Pan, Zhenlin Ju, Jing Wang, Shinako Takada, William H Klein, Chai-An Mao
BACKGROUND: Mitochondrial dysfunction has been implicated in the pathologies of a number of retinal degenerative diseases in both the outer and inner retina. In the outer retina, photoreceptors are particularly vulnerable to mutations affecting mitochondrial function due to their high energy demand and sensitivity to oxidative stress. However, it is unclear how defective mitochondrial biogenesis affects neural development and contributes to neural degeneration. In this report, we investigated the in vivo function of nuclear respiratory factor 1 (Nrf1), a major transcriptional regulator of mitochondrial biogenesis in both proliferating retinal progenitor cells (RPCs) and postmitotic rod photoreceptor cells (PRs)...
October 17, 2018: Molecular Neurodegeneration
Sander Beel, Sarah Herdewyn, Raheem Fazal, Mathias De Decker, Matthieu Moisse, Wim Robberecht, Ludo Van Den Bosch, Philip Van Damme
BACKGROUND: TAR DNA binding protein 43 (TDP-43) is the main disease protein in most patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and about 50% of patients with frontotemporal dementia (FTD). TDP-43 pathology is not restricted to patients with missense mutations in TARDBP, the gene encoding TDP-43, but also occurs in ALS/FTD patients without known genetic cause or in patients with various other ALS/FTD gene mutations. Mutations in progranulin (GRN), which result in a reduction of ~ 50% of progranulin protein (PGRN) levels, cause FTD with TDP-43 pathology...
October 16, 2018: Molecular Neurodegeneration
Annerieke Sierksma, Ashley Lu, Evgenia Salta, Elke Vanden Eynden, Zsuzsanna Callaerts-Vegh, Rudi D'Hooge, David Blum, Luc Buée, Mark Fiers, Bart De Strooper
BACKGROUND: Despite diverging levels of amyloid-β (Aβ) and TAU pathology, different mouse models, as well as sporadic AD patients show predictable patterns of episodic memory loss. MicroRNA (miRNA) deregulation is well established in AD brain but it is unclear whether Aβ or TAU pathology drives those alterations and whether miRNA changes contribute to cognitive decline. METHODS: miRNAseq was performed on cognitively intact (4 months) and impaired (10 months) male APPtg (APPswe /PS1L166P ) and TAUtg (THY-Tau22) mice and their wild-type littermates (APPwt and TAUwt)...
October 12, 2018: Molecular Neurodegeneration
Olivia J Conway, Minerva M Carrasquillo, Xue Wang, Jenny M Bredenberg, Joseph S Reddy, Samantha L Strickland, Curtis S Younkin, Jeremy D Burgess, Mariet Allen, Sarah J Lincoln, Thuy Nguyen, Kimberly G Malphrus, Alexandra I Soto, Ronald L Walton, Bradley F Boeve, Ronald C Petersen, John A Lucas, Tanis J Ferman, William P Cheshire, Jay A van Gerpen, Ryan J Uitti, Zbigniew K Wszolek, Owen A Ross, Dennis W Dickson, Neill R Graff-Radford, Nilüfer Ertekin-Taner
BACKGROUND: Rare coding variants ABI3_rs616338-T and PLCG2_rs72824905-G were identified as risk or protective factors, respectively, for Alzheimer's disease (AD). METHODS: We tested the association of these variants with five neurodegenerative diseases in Caucasian case-control cohorts: 2742 AD, 231 progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), 838 Parkinson's disease (PD), 306 dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) and 150 multiple system atrophy (MSA) vs. 3351 controls; and in an African-American AD case-control cohort (181 AD, 331 controls)...
October 11, 2018: Molecular Neurodegeneration
Erik C B Johnson, Eric B Dammer, Duc M Duong, Luming Yin, Madhav Thambisetty, Juan C Troncoso, James J Lah, Allan I Levey, Nicholas T Seyfried
BACKGROUND: The complicated cellular and biochemical changes that occur in brain during Alzheimer's disease are poorly understood. In a previous study we used an unbiased label-free quantitative mass spectrometry-based proteomic approach to analyze these changes at a systems level in post-mortem cortical tissue from patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD), asymptomatic Alzheimer's disease (AsymAD), and controls. We found modules of co-expressed proteins that correlated with AD phenotypes, some of which were enriched in proteins identified as risk factors for AD by genetic studies...
October 4, 2018: Molecular Neurodegeneration
Wei Cao, Hui Zheng
Alzheimer's disease (AD) represents an urgent public health mandate. AD is no longer considered a neural-centric disease; rather, a plethora of recent studies strongly implicate a critical role played by neuroinflammation in the pathogeneses of AD and other neurodegenerative conditions. A close functional connection between the immune system and central nervous system is increasingly recognized. In late-onset AD, aging represents the most significant risk factor. Here, from an immunological perspective, we summarize the prominent molecular and cellular changes in the periphery of aging individuals and AD patients...
October 3, 2018: Molecular Neurodegeneration
Michael Dumbacher, Tom Van Dooren, Katrien Princen, Koen De Witte, Mélissa Farinelli, Sam Lievens, Jan Tavernier, Wim Dehaen, Stefaan Wera, Joris Winderickx, Sara Allasia, Amuri Kilonda, Stéphane Spieser, Arnaud Marchand, Patrick Chaltin, Casper C Hoogenraad, Gerard Griffioen
BACKGROUND: Neuronal Ca2+ dyshomeostasis and hyperactivity play a central role in Alzheimer's disease pathology and progression. Amyloid-beta together with non-genetic risk-factors of Alzheimer's disease contributes to increased Ca2+ influx and aberrant neuronal activity, which accelerates neurodegeneration in a feed-forward fashion. As such, identifying new targets and drugs to modulate excessive Ca2+ signalling and neuronal hyperactivity, without overly suppressing them, has promising therapeutic potential...
September 26, 2018: Molecular Neurodegeneration
Xianyuan Xiang, Thomas M Piers, Benedikt Wefers, Kaichuan Zhu, Anna Mallach, Bettina Brunner, Gernot Kleinberger, Wilbur Song, Marco Colonna, Jochen Herms, Wolfgang Wurst, Jennifer M Pocock, Christian Haass
BACKGROUND: The R47H variant of the Triggering Receptor Expressed on Myeloid cells 2 (TREM2) significantly increases the risk for late onset Alzheimer's disease. Mouse models accurately reproducing phenotypes observed in Alzheimer' disease patients carrying the R47H coding variant are required to understand the TREM2 related dysfunctions responsible for the enhanced risk for late onset Alzheimer's disease. METHODS: A CRISPR/Cas9-assisted gene targeting strategy was used to generate Trem2 R47H knock-in mice...
September 6, 2018: Molecular Neurodegeneration
Julia K Götzl, Alessio-Vittorio Colombo, Katrin Fellerer, Anika Reifschneider, Georg Werner, Sabina Tahirovic, Christian Haass, Anja Capell
BACKGROUND: Heterozygous loss-of-function mutations in the progranulin gene (GRN) lead to frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) while the complete loss of progranulin (PGRN) function results in neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (NCL), a lysosomal storage disease. Thus the growth factor-like protein PGRN may play an important role in lysosomal degradation. In line with a potential lysosomal function, PGRN is partially localized and processed in lysosomes. In the central nervous system (CNS), PGRN is like other lysosomal proteins highly expressed in microglia, further supporting an important role in protein degradation...
September 4, 2018: Molecular Neurodegeneration
Bruno Becker, Faisal Hayat Nazir, Gunnar Brinkmalm, Elena Camporesi, Hlin Kvartsberg, Erik Portelius, Martina Boström, Marie Kalm, Kina Höglund, Maria Olsson, Henrik Zetterberg, Kaj Blennow
BACKGROUND: Neurogranin (Ng) is a small 7.6 kDa postsynaptic protein that has been detected at elevated concentrations in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD), both as a full-length molecule and as fragments from its C-terminal half. Ng is involved in postsynaptic calcium (Ca) signal transduction and memory formation via binding to calmodulin in a Ca-dependent manner. The mechanism of Ng secretion from neurons to CSF is currently unknown, but enzymatic cleavage of Ng may be of relevance...
August 29, 2018: Molecular Neurodegeneration
Mark T W Ebbert, Stefan L Farrugia, Jonathon P Sens, Karen Jansen-West, Tania F Gendron, Mercedes Prudencio, Ian J McLaughlin, Brett Bowman, Matthew Seetin, Mariely DeJesus-Hernandez, Jazmyne Jackson, Patricia H Brown, Dennis W Dickson, Marka van Blitterswijk, Rosa Rademakers, Leonard Petrucelli, John D Fryer
BACKGROUND: Many neurodegenerative diseases are caused by nucleotide repeat expansions, but most expansions, like the C9orf72 'GGGGCC' (G4 C2 ) repeat that causes approximately 5-7% of all amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD) cases, are too long to sequence using short-read sequencing technologies. It is unclear whether long-read sequencing technologies can traverse these long, challenging repeat expansions. Here, we demonstrate that two long-read sequencing technologies, Pacific Biosciences' (PacBio) and Oxford Nanopore Technologies' (ONT), can sequence through disease-causing repeats cloned into plasmids, including the FTD/ALS-causing G4 C2 repeat expansion...
August 21, 2018: Molecular Neurodegeneration
Haihan Jiao, Matt Rutar, Nilisha Fernando, Ted Yednock, Sethu Sankaranarayanan, Riemke Aggio-Bruce, Jan Provis, Riccardo Natoli
BACKGROUND: The role of the alternative complement pathway and its mediation by retinal microglia and macrophages, is well-established in the pathogenesis of Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD). However, the contribution of the classical complement pathway towards the progression of retinal degenerations is not fully understood, including the role of complement component 1q (C1q) as a critical activator molecule of the classical pathway. Here, we investigated the contribution of C1q to progressive photoreceptor loss and neuroinflammation in retinal degenerations...
August 20, 2018: Molecular Neurodegeneration
Justin Rustenhoven, Amy M Smith, Leon C Smyth, Deidre Jansson, Emma L Scotter, Molly E V Swanson, Miranda Aalderink, Natacha Coppieters, Pritika Narayan, Renee Handley, Chris Overall, Thomas I H Park, Patrick Schweder, Peter Heppner, Maurice A Curtis, Richard L M Faull, Mike Dragunow
BACKGROUND: Microglia play critical roles in the brain during homeostasis and pathological conditions. Understanding the molecular events underpinning microglial functions and activation states will further enable us to target these cells for the treatment of neurological disorders. The transcription factor PU.1 is critical in the development of myeloid cells and a major regulator of microglial gene expression. In the brain, PU.1 is specifically expressed in microglia and recent evidence from genome-wide association studies suggests that reductions in PU...
August 20, 2018: Molecular Neurodegeneration
Changyoun Kim, Brian Spencer, Edward Rockenstein, Hodaka Yamakado, Michael Mante, Anthony Adame, Jerel Adam Fields, Deborah Masliah, Michiyo Iba, He-Jin Lee, Robert A Rissman, Seung-Jae Lee, Eliezer Masliah
BACKGROUND: Synucleinopathies of the aging population are an heterogeneous group of neurological disorders that includes Parkinson's disease (PD) and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) and are characterized by the progressive accumulation of α-synuclein in neuronal and glial cells. Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2), a pattern recognition immune receptor, has been implicated in the pathogenesis of synucleinopathies because TLR2 is elevated in the brains of patients with PD and TLR2 is a mediator of the neurotoxic and pro-inflammatory effects of extracellular α-synuclein aggregates...
August 9, 2018: Molecular Neurodegeneration
Giovanni Nardo, Maria Chiara Trolese, Mattia Verderio, Alessandro Mariani, Massimiliano de Paola, Nilo Riva, Giorgia Dina, Nicolò Panini, Eugenio Erba, Angelo Quattrini, Caterina Bendotti
BACKGROUND: The major histocompatibility complex I (MHCI) is a key molecule for the interaction of mononucleated cells with CD8+ T lymphocytes. We previously showed that MHCI is upregulated in the spinal cord microglia and motor axons of transgenic SOD1G93A mice. METHODS: To assess the role of MHCI in the disease, we examined transgenic SOD1G93A mice crossbred with β2 microglobulin-deficient mice, which express little if any MHCI on the cell surface and are defective for CD8+ T cells...
August 9, 2018: Molecular Neurodegeneration
Jason A Chen, Zhongbo Chen, Hyejung Won, Alden Y Huang, Jennifer K Lowe, Kevin Wojta, Jennifer S Yokoyama, Gilbert Bensimon, P Nigel Leigh, Christine Payan, Aleksey Shatunov, Ashley R Jones, Cathryn M Lewis, Panagiotis Deloukas, Philippe Amouyel, Christophe Tzourio, Jean-Francois Dartigues, Albert Ludolph, Adam L Boxer, Jeff M Bronstein, Ammar Al-Chalabi, Daniel H Geschwind, Giovanni Coppola
BACKGROUND: Progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) is a rare neurodegenerative disease for which the genetic contribution is incompletely understood. METHODS: We conducted a joint analysis of 5,523,934 imputed SNPs in two newly-genotyped progressive supranuclear palsy cohorts, primarily derived from two clinical trials (Allon davunetide and NNIPPS riluzole trials in PSP) and a previously published genome-wide association study (GWAS), in total comprising 1646 cases and 10,662 controls of European ancestry...
August 8, 2018: Molecular Neurodegeneration
Julia Obergasteiger, Giulia Frapporti, Peter P Pramstaller, Andrew A Hicks, Mattia Volta
The combination of genetics and genomics in Parkinson´s disease has recently begun to unveil molecular mechanisms possibly underlying disease onset and progression. In particular, catabolic processes such as autophagy have been increasingly gaining relevance as post-mortem evidence and experimental models suggested a participation in neurodegeneration and alpha-synuclein Lewy body pathology. In addition, familial Parkinson´s disease linked to LRRK2 and alpha-synuclein provided stronger correlation between etiology and alterations in autophagy...
August 2, 2018: Molecular Neurodegeneration
Jens Mayer, Christian Harz, Laura Sanchez, Gavin C Pereira, Esther Maldener, Sara R Heras, Lyle W Ostrow, John Ravits, Ranjan Batra, Eckart Meese, Jose Luis García-Pérez, John L Goodier
BACKGROUND: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disorder. About 90% of ALS cases are without a known genetic cause. The human endogenous retrovirus multi-copy HERV-K(HML-2) group was recently reported to potentially contribute to neurodegeneration and disease pathogenesis in ALS because of transcriptional upregulation and toxic effects of HML-2 Envelope (Env) protein. Env and other proteins are encoded by some transcriptionally active HML-2 loci. However, more detailed information is required regarding which HML-2 loci are transcribed in ALS, which of their proteins are expressed, and differences between the disease and non-disease states...
August 2, 2018: Molecular Neurodegeneration
Daniel Felsky, Ellis Patrick, Julie A Schneider, Sara Mostafavi, Chris Gaiteri, Nikolaos Patsopoulos, David A Bennett, Philip L De Jager
BACKGROUND: The role of the innate immune system in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and neurodegenerative disease susceptibility has recently been highlighted in genetic studies. However, we do not know whether risk for inflammatory disease predisposes unaffected individuals to late-life cognitive deficits or AD-related neuropathology. We investigated whether genetic risk scores for seven immune diseases and central nervous system traits were related to cognitive decline (nmax  = 1601), classical AD neuropathology (nmax  = 985), or microglial density (nmax  = 184)...
July 24, 2018: Molecular Neurodegeneration
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