Spinal poly-GA inclusions in a C9orf72 mouse model trigger motor deficits and inflammation without neuron loss

Martin H. Schludi, Lore Becker, Lillian Garrett, Tania F. Gendron, Qihui Zhou, Franziska Schreiber, Bastian Popper, Leda Dimou, Tim M. Strom, Juliane Winkelmann, Anne von Thaden, Kristin Rentzsch, Stephanie May, Meike Michaelsen, Benjamin M. Schwenk, Jing Tan, Benedikt Schoser, Marianne Dieterich, Leonard Petrucelli, Sabine M. HölterWolfgang Wurst, Helmut Fuchs, Valerie Gailus-Durner, Martin Hrabe de Angelis, Thomas Klopstock, Thomas Arzberger, Dieter Edbauer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

41 Scopus citations

Abstract

Translation of the expanded (ggggcc)n repeat in C9orf72 patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD) causes abundant poly-GA inclusions. To elucidate their role in pathogenesis, we generated transgenic mice expressing codon-modified (GA)149 conjugated with cyan fluorescent protein (CFP). Transgenic mice progressively developed poly-GA inclusions predominantly in motoneurons and interneurons of the spinal cord and brain stem and in deep cerebellar nuclei. Poly-GA co-aggregated with p62, Rad23b and the newly identified Mlf2, in both mouse and patient samples. Consistent with the expression pattern, 4-month-old transgenic mice showed abnormal gait and progressive balance impairment, but showed normal hippocampus-dependent learning and memory. Apart from microglia activation we detected phosphorylated TDP-43 but no neuronal loss. Thus, poly-GA triggers behavioral deficits through inflammation and protein sequestration that likely contribute to the prodromal symptoms and disease progression of C9orf72 patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)241-254
Number of pages14
JournalActa neuropathologica
Volume134
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2017

Keywords

  • ALS
  • C9orf72
  • FTD
  • FTLD
  • MND
  • Mouse model
  • Neurodegeneration
  • Neurological disorder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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