BACKGROUND: The involvement of non-neuronal cells and the cells of innate immunity has been attributed to the initiation and progression of ALS. TDP-43 pathology is observed in a broad spectrum of ALS cases and is one of the most commonly shared pathologies. The potential involvement of the neuroimmune axis in the motor cortex of ALS patients with TDP-43 pathology needs to be revealed. This information is vital for building effective treatment strategies. METHODS: We investigated the presence of astrogliosis and microgliosis in the motor cortex of ALS patients with TDP-43 pathology. prpTDP-43A315T-UeGFP mice, corticospinal motor neuron (CSMN) reporter line with TDP-43 pathology, are utilized to reveal the timing and extent of neuroimmune interactions and the involvement of non-neuronal cells to neurodegeneration. Electron microscopy and immunolabeling techniques are used to mark and monitor cells of interest. RESULTS: We detected both activated astrocytes and microglia, especially rod-like microglia, in the motor cortex of patients and TDP-43 mouse model. Besides, CCR2+ TMEM119- infiltrating monocytes were detected as they penetrate the brain parenchyma. Interestingly, Betz cells, which normally do not express MCP1, were marked with high levels of MCP1 expression when diseased. CONCLUSIONS: There is an early contribution of a neuroinflammatory response for upper motor neuron (UMN) degeneration with respect to TDP-43 pathology, and MCP1-CCR2 signaling is important for the recognition of diseased upper motor neurons by infiltrating monocytes. The findings are conserved among species and are observed in both ALS and ALS-FTLD patients.
- MCP1-CCR2 axis
- Upper motor neurons
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience