AAV2 mediated retrograde transduction of corticospinal motor neurons reveals initial and selective apical dendrite degeneration in ALS

Javier H. Jara, Stephanie R. Villa, Nabil A. Khan, Martha C. Bohn, P. Hande Özdinler*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

43 Scopus citations

Abstract

Corticospinal motor neurons (CSMN) are the cortical component of motor neuron circuitry, which controls voluntary movement and degenerates in diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, primary lateral sclerosis and hereditary spastic paraplegia. By using dual labeling combined with molecular marker analysis, we identified AAV2-2 mediated retrograde transduction as an effective approach to selectively target CSMN without affecting other neuron populations both in wild-type and hSOD1G93A transgenic ALS mice. This approach reveals very precise details of cytoarchitectural defects within vulnerable neurons in vivo. We report that CSMN vulnerability is marked by selective degeneration of apical dendrites especially in layer II/III of the hSOD1G93A mouse motor cortex, where cortical input to CSMN function is vastly modulated. While our findings confirm the presence of astrogliosis and microglia activation, they do not lend support to their direct role for the initiation of CSMN vulnerability. This study enables development of targeted gene replacement strategies to CSMN in the cerebral cortex, and reveals CSMN cortical modulation defects as a potential cause of neuronal vulnerability in ALS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)174-183
Number of pages10
JournalNeurobiology of Disease
Volume47
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2012

Keywords

  • ALS
  • Corticospinal motor neurons
  • Gene therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology

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