Plastic changes have been reported in the SOD1-G93A mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a disorder characterized by progressive motoneuronal loss; however, whether these changes related with the onset and development of motor impairments is still unclear. Here, the functional and anatomical changes taking place in SOD1-G93A mice and their time course were investigated during ongoing motoneuronal degeneration. Starting from about 4 postnatal weeks, SOD1-G93A and wild-type (WT) mice were evaluated in the rotarod test, to be sacrificed at about 12-13 or 19 weeks of age, and their lumbar spinal cords were processed for histo- and immunohistochemistry. Compared to age-matched WT controls, 12 weeks-old SOD1-G93A mice exhibited relatively mild or no motor impairments in the rotarod test, in spite of a dramatic (approximate to 60%, as estimated by stereology) loss of choline acetyl-transferase (ChAT)-immunoreactive motoneurons which remained virtually unchanged in SOD1-G93A mice surviving up to 19 weeks. Notably, the functional sparing in SOD1-G93A mice at 12 weeks was paralleled by a marked approximate to 50% increase in motoneuron volume and a near-normal density of acetylcholinesterase-positive process arborization, which was significantly increased when analyzed as ratio to the decreased number of ChAT-positive motoneurons. By contrast, at 19 weeks, when motor deficits had become dramatically evident, both measures were found reverted to about 50-60% of control values. Thus, at specific stages during the progression of the disease, robust compensatory events take place in surviving motoneurons of SOD1-G93A mice, which sustain motor performance, and whose full understanding may highlight a valuable therapeutic opportunity window.
|Titolo:||Compensatory changes in degenerating spinal motoneurons sustain functional sparing in the SOD1-G93A mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2019|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|