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Transgenic Models of Behaviour

Michelle Briffa, Stephanie Ghio, Johanna Neuner, Alison J Gauci, Rebecca Cacciottolo, Christelle Marchal, Mario Caruana, Christophe Cullin, Neville Vassallo, Ruben J Cauchi
A signature feature of age-related neurodegenerative proteinopathies is the misfolding and aggregation of proteins, typically amyloid-β (Aβ) in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and α-synuclein (α-syn) in Parkinson's disease (PD), into soluble oligomeric structures that are highly neurotoxic. Cellular and animal models that faithfully replicate the hallmark features of these disorders are being increasing exploited to identify disease-modifying compounds. Natural compounds have been identified as a useful source of bioactive molecules with promising neuroprotective capabilities...
December 2, 2016: Neuroscience Letters
N Schindler, J Mayer, S Saenger, U Gimsa, C Walz, J Brenmoehl, D Ohde, E Wirthgen, A Tuchscherer, V C Russo, M Frank, T Kirschstein, F Metzger, A Hoeflich
Brain growth and function are regulated by insulin-like growth factors I and II (IGF-I and IGF-II) but also by IGF-binding proteins (IGFBPs), including IGFBP-2. In addition to modulating IGF activities, IGFBP-2 interacts with a number of components of the extracellular matrix and cell membrane via a Cardin-Weintraub sequence or heparin binding domain (HBD1). The nature and the signalling elicited by these interactions are not fully understood. Here, we examined transgenic mice (H1d-hBP2) overexpressing a mutant human IGFBP-2 that lacks a specific heparin binding domain (HBD1) known as the Cardin-Weintraub sequence...
November 16, 2016: Growth Hormone & IGF Research
N Perentos, A U Nicol, A Q Martins, J E Stewart, P Taylor, A J Morton
BACKGROUND: Large mammals with complex central nervous systems offer new possibilities for translational research into basic brain function. Techniques for monitoring brain activity in large mammals, however, are not as well developed as they are in rodents. NEW METHOD: We have developed a method for chronic monitoring of electroencephalographic (EEG) activity in unrestrained sheep. We describe the methods for behavioural training prior to implantation, surgical procedures for implantation, a protocol for reliable anaesthesia and recovery, methods for EEG data collection, as well as data pertaining to suitability and longevity of different types of electrodes...
November 30, 2016: Journal of Neuroscience Methods
Gordon F Hagerman, Nicole C L Noel, Sylvia Y Cao, Michèle G DuVal, A Phillip Oel, W Ted Allison
Hurdles in the treatment of retinal degeneration include managing the functional rewiring of surviving photoreceptors and integration of any newly added cells into the remaining second-order retinal neurons. Zebrafish are the premier genetic model for such questions, and we present two new transgenic lines allowing us to contrast vision loss and recovery following conditional ablation of specific cone types: UV or blue cones. The ablation of each cone type proved to be thorough (killing 80% of cells in each intended cone class), specific, and cell-autonomous...
2016: PloS One
Navina L Chrobok, Alexandre Jaouen, Keith K Fenrich, John G J M Bol, Micha M M Wilhelmus, Benjamin Drukarch, Franck Debarbieux, Anne-Marie van Dam
Leukocyte infiltration into the central nervous system (CNS) is a key pathological feature in multiple sclerosis (MS) and the MS animal model experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). Recently, preventing leukocyte influx into the CNS of MS patients is the main target of MS therapies and insight into cell behaviour in the circulation is needed for further elucidation of such therapies. In this study, we aimed at in vivo visualization of monocytes in a time-dependent manner during EAE. Using intravital two-photon microscopy (IVM), we imaged CX3CR1(gfp/gfp) mice during EAE, visualizing CX3CR1-GFP(+) monocytes and their dynamics in the spinal cord vasculature...
November 9, 2016: Amino Acids
Edwige Roy, Zoltan Neufeld, Luca Cerone, Ho Yi Wong, Samantha Hodgson, Jean Livet, Kiarash Khosrotehrani
Interfollicular epidermal (IFE) homeostasis is a major physiological process allowing maintenance of the skin barrier function. Despite progress in our understanding of stem cell populations in different hair follicle compartments, cellular mechanisms of IFE maintenance, in particular, whether a hierarchy of progenitors exists within this compartment, have remained controversial. We here used multicolour lineage tracing with Brainbow transgenic labels activated in the epidermis to track individual keratinocyte clones...
October 21, 2016: EMBO Journal
Xing Guo, XiaoYan Sun, Di Hu, Ya-Juan Wang, Hisashi Fujioka, Rajan Vyas, Sudha Chakrapani, Amit Umesh Joshi, Yu Luo, Daria Mochly-Rosen, Xin Qi
Mutant Huntingtin (mtHtt) causes neurodegeneration in Huntington's disease (HD) by evoking defects in the mitochondria, but the underlying mechanisms remains elusive. Our proteomic analysis identifies valosin-containing protein (VCP) as an mtHtt-binding protein on the mitochondria. Here we show that VCP is selectively translocated to the mitochondria, where it is bound to mtHtt in various HD models. Mitochondria-accumulated VCP elicits excessive mitophagy, causing neuronal cell death. Blocking mtHtt/VCP mitochondrial interaction with a peptide, HV-3, abolishes VCP translocation to the mitochondria, corrects excessive mitophagy and reduces cell death in HD mouse- and patient-derived cells and HD transgenic mouse brains...
August 26, 2016: Nature Communications
Sriram Jayabal, Lovisa Ljungberg, Alanna J Watt
KEY POINTS: Spinocerebellar ataxia type 6 (SCA6) is a midlife-onset neurodegenerative disease caused by a CACNA1A mutation; CACNA1A is also implicated in cerebellar development. We have previously shown that when disease symptoms are present in midlife in SCA6(84Q/84Q) mice, cerebellar Purkinje cells spike with reduced rate and precision. In contrast, we find that during postnatal development (P10-13), SCA6(84Q/84Q) Purkinje cells spike with elevated rate and precision. Although surplus climbing fibres are linked to ataxia in other mouse models, we found surplus climbing fibre inputs on developing (P10-13) SCA6(84Q/84Q) Purkinje cells when motor deficits were not detected...
August 17, 2016: Journal of Physiology
Jianxun Lei, Barbara Benson, Huy Tran, Solomon F Ofori-Acquah, Kalpna Gupta
Pain is a hallmark feature of sickle cell anemia (SCA) but management of chronic as well as acute pain remains a major challenge. Mouse models of SCA are essential to examine the mechanisms of pain and develop novel therapeutics. To facilitate this effort, we compared humanized homozygous BERK and Townes sickle mice for the effect of gender and age on pain behaviors. Similar to previously characterized BERK sickle mice, Townes sickle mice show more mechanical, thermal, and deep tissue hyperalgesia with increasing age...
2016: PloS One
Lucy H Brunt, Roderick E H Skinner, Karen A Roddy, Natalia M Araujo, Emily J Rayfield, Chrissy L Hammond
OBJECTIVE: There is increasing evidence that joint shape is a potent predictor of osteoarthritis risk; yet the cellular events underpinning joint morphogenesis remain unclear. We sought to develop a genetically tractable animal model to study the events controlling joint morphogenesis. DESIGN: Zebrafish larvae were subjected to periods of flaccid paralysis, rigid paralysis or hyperactivity. Immunohistochemistry and transgenic reporters were used to monitor changes to muscle and cartilage...
June 29, 2016: Osteoarthritis and Cartilage
Aurelia Vernay, Ludivine Therrault, Béatrice Blot, Valérie Risson, Sylvie Dirrig-Grosch, Robin Waegaert, Thiebault Lequeu, François Sellal, Laurent Schaeffer, Rémy Saddoul, Jean-Philippe Loeffler, Frédérique René
Mutations in the charged multivesicular body protein 2B (CHMP2B) are associated with frontotemporal dementia (FTD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and with a mixed ALS-FTD syndrome. To model this syndrome we generated a transgenic mouse line expressing the human CHMP2B(intron5) mutant in a neuron specific manner. These mice developed a dose-dependent disease phenotype. A longitudinal study revealed progressive gait abnormalities, reduced muscle strength and decreased motor coordination. CHMP2B(intron5) mice died due to generalized paralysis...
June 21, 2016: Human Molecular Genetics
Sowmya Madhavadas, Sarada Subramanian
OBJECTIVE: Several dietary supplements are actively being tested for their dual role of alleviating the metabolic perturbations and restricting the consequent cognitive dysfunctions seen in neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease (AD). The aim of the current study was to assess the influence of aqueous extract of cinnamon (CE) on the monosodium glutamate-induced non-transgenic rat model of AD (NTAD) established with insulin resistance, hyperglycaemia, neuronal loss, and cognitive impairment at a very early stage of life...
June 16, 2016: Nutritional Neuroscience
Marie K Bondulich, Tong Guo, Christopher Meehan, John Manion, Teresa Rodriguez Martin, Jacqueline C Mitchell, Tibor Hortobagyi, Natalia Yankova, Virginie Stygelbout, Jean-Pierre Brion, Wendy Noble, Diane P Hanger
Human neurodegenerative tauopathies exhibit pathological tau aggregates in the brain along with diverse clinical features including cognitive and motor dysfunction. Post-translational modifications including phosphorylation, ubiquitination and truncation, are characteristic features of tau present in the brain in human tauopathy. We have previously reported an N-terminally truncated form of tau in human brain that is associated with the development of tauopathy and is highly phosphorylated. We have generated a new mouse model of tauopathy in which this human brain-derived, 35 kDa tau fragment (Tau35) is expressed in the absence of any mutation and under the control of the human tau promoter...
August 2016: Brain: a Journal of Neurology
Roua Abulkassim, Ros Brett, Scott M MacKenzie, Trevor J Bushell
Proteinase-activated receptor-2 (PAR2) is widely expressed in the CNS but whether it plays a key role in inflammation-related behavioural changes remains unknown. Hence, in the present study we have examined whether PAR2 contributes to behaviour associated with systemic inflammation using PAR2 transgenic mice. The onset of sickness behaviour was delayed and the recovery accelerated in PAR2(-/-) mice in the LPS-induced model of sickness behaviour. In contrast, PAR2 does not contribute to behaviour under normal conditions...
June 15, 2016: Journal of Neuroimmunology
Pratap Meera, Stefan M Pulst, Thomas S Otis
Degenerative ataxias are a common form of neurodegenerative disease that affect about 20 individuals per 100,000. The autosomal dominant spinocerebellar ataxias (SCAs) are caused by a variety of protein coding mutations (single nucleotide changes, deletions and expansions) in single genes. Affected genes encode plasma membrane and intracellular ion channels, membrane receptors, protein kinases, protein phosphatases and proteins of unknown function. Although SCA-linked genes are quite diverse they share two key features: first, they are highly, although not exclusively, expressed in cerebellar Purkinje neurons (PNs), and second, when mutated they lead ultimately to the degeneration of PNs...
August 15, 2016: Journal of Physiology
Raúl Guillot, Raúl Cortés, Sandra Navarro, Morena Mischitelli, Víctor García-Herranz, Elisa Sánchez, Laura Cal, Juan Carlos Navarro, Jesús M Míguez, Sergey Afanasyev, Aleksei Krasnov, Roger D Cone, Josep Rotllant, Jose Miguel Cerdá-Reverter
Melanocortin signaling is regulated by the binding of naturally occurring antagonists, agouti-signaling protein (ASIP) and agouti-related protein (AGRP) that compete with melanocortin peptides by binding to melanocortin receptors to regulate energy balance and growth. Using a transgenic model overexpressing ASIP, we studied the involvement of melanocortin system in the feeding behaviour, growth and stress response of zebrafish. Our data demonstrate that ASIP overexpression results in enhanced growth but not obesity...
June 2016: Hormones and Behavior
Y Chen, Y Niu, W Ji
Nonhuman primates (NHPs) are superior than rodents to be animal models for the study of human diseases, due to their similarities in terms of genetics, physiology, developmental biology, social behaviour and cognition. Transgenic animals have become a key tool in functional genomics to generate models for human diseases and validate new drugs. However, until now, progress in the field of transgenic NHPs has been slow because of technological limitations. Many human diseases, including neurodegenerative disorders, are caused by mutations in endogenous genes...
September 2016: Journal of Internal Medicine
Elizabeth A Skillings, A Jennifer Morton
BACKGROUND: Impairments in energy metabolism are implicated in Huntington's disease (HD) pathogenesis. Reduced levels of the mitochondrial enzyme succinate dehydrogenase (SDH), the main element of complex II, are observed post mortem in the brains of HD patients, and energy metabolism defects have been identified in both presymptomatic and symptomatic HD patients. OBJECTIVE: Chemical preconditioning with 3-nitropropionic acid (3-NP), an irreversible inhibitor of SDH, has been shown to increase tolerance against experimental hypoxia in both heart and brain...
2016: Journal of Huntington's Disease
Yi Lu, Cheng Zhong, Lulu Wang, Pengfei Wei, Wei He, Kang Huang, Yi Zhang, Yang Zhan, Guoping Feng, Liping Wang
Temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) is one of the most common drug-resistant forms of epilepsy in adults and usually originates in the hippocampal formations. However, both the network mechanisms that support the seizure spread and the exact directions of ictal propagation remain largely unknown. Here we report the dissection of ictal propagation in the hippocampal-entorhinal cortex (HP-EC) structures using optogenetic methods in multiple brain regions of a kainic acid-induced model of TLE in VGAT-ChR2 transgenic mice...
March 21, 2016: Nature Communications
Jana Schmidt, Thorsten Schmidt, Matthias Golla, Lisa Lehmann, Jonasz Jeremiasz Weber, Jeannette Hübener-Schmid, Olaf Riess
Spinocerebellar ataxia type 3 (SCA3) is an autosomal dominantly inherited neurodegenerative disorder for which no curative therapy is available. The cause of this disease is the expansion of a CAG repeat in the so-called ATXN3 gene leading to an expanded polyglutamine stretch in the ataxin-3 protein. Although the function of ataxin-3 has been defined as a deubiquitinating enzyme, the pathogenic pathway underlying SCA3 remains to be deciphered. Besides others, also the glutamatergic system seems to be altered in SCA3...
July 2016: Journal of Neurochemistry
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