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  • T lymphocytes facilitate brain metastasis of breast cancer by inducing Guanylate-Binding Protein 1 expression
    Acta Neuropathol. (IF 12.213) Pub Date : 2018-01-19
    Dana A. M. Mustafa, Rute M. S. M. Pedrosa, Marcel Smid, Marcel van der Weiden, Vanja de Weerd, Alex L. Nigg, Cor Berrevoets, Lona Zeneyedpour, Neibla Priego, Manuel Valiente, Theo M. Luider, Reno Debets, John W. M. Martens, John A. Foekens, Anieta M. Sieuwerts, Johan M. Kros

    The discovery of genes and molecular pathways involved in the formation of brain metastasis would direct the development of therapeutic strategies to prevent this deadly complication of cancer. By comparing gene expression profiles of Estrogen Receptor negative (ER-) primary breast tumors between patients who developed metastasis to brain and to organs other than brain, we found that T lymphocytes promote the formation of brain metastases. To functionally test the ability of T cells to promote brain metastasis, we used an in vitro blood–brain barrier (BBB) model. By co-culturing T lymphocytes with breast cancer cells, we confirmed that T cells increase the ability of breast cancer cells to cross the BBB. Proteomics analysis of the tumor cells revealed Guanylate-Binding Protein 1 (GBP1) as a key T lymphocyte-induced protein that enables breast cancer cells to cross the BBB. The GBP1 gene appeared to be up-regulated in breast cancer of patients who developed brain metastasis. Silencing of GBP1 reduced the ability of breast cancer cells to cross the in vitro BBB model. In addition, the findings were confirmed in vivo in an immunocompetent syngeneic mouse model. Co-culturing of ErbB2 tumor cells with activated T cells induced a significant increase in Gbp1 expression by the cancer cells. Intracardial inoculation of the co-cultured tumor cells resulted in preferential seeding to brain. Moreover, intracerebral outgrowth of the tumor cells was demonstrated. The findings point to a role of T cells in the formation of brain metastases in ER- breast cancers, and provide potential targets for intervention to prevent the development of cerebral metastases.

  • Cofactors influence the biological properties of infectious recombinant prions
    Acta Neuropathol. (IF 12.213) Pub Date : 2017-11-01
    Natalia Fernández-Borges, Michele A. Di Bari, Hasier Eraña, Manuel Sánchez-Martín, Laura Pirisinu, Beatriz Parra, Saioa R. Elezgarai, Ilaria Vanni, Rafael López-Moreno, Gabriele Vaccari, Vanessa Venegas, Jorge M. Charco, David Gil, Chafik Harrathi, Claudia D’Agostino, Umberto Agrimi, Tomás Mayoral, Jesús R. Requena, Romolo Nonno, Joaquín Castilla

    Prion diseases are caused by a misfolding of the cellular prion protein (PrP) to a pathogenic isoform named PrPSc. Prions exist as strains, which are characterized by specific pathological and biochemical properties likely encoded in the three-dimensional structure of PrPSc. However, whether cofactors determine these different PrPSc conformations and how this relates to their specific biological properties is largely unknown. To understand how different cofactors modulate prion strain generation and selection, Protein Misfolding Cyclic Amplification was used to create a diversity of infectious recombinant prion strains by propagation in the presence of brain homogenate. Brain homogenate is known to contain these mentioned cofactors, whose identity is only partially known, and which facilitate conversion of PrPC to PrPSc. We thus obtained a mix of distinguishable infectious prion strains. Subsequently, we replaced brain homogenate, by different polyanionic cofactors that were able to drive the evolution of mixed prion populations toward specific strains. Thus, our results show that a variety of infectious recombinant prions can be generated in vitro and that their specific type of conformation, i.e., the strain, is dependent on the cofactors available during the propagation process. These observations have significant implications for understanding the pathogenesis of prion diseases and their ability to replicate in different tissues and hosts. Importantly, these considerations might apply to other neurodegenerative diseases for which different conformations of misfolded proteins have been described.

  • BACE1 inhibition more effectively suppresses initiation than progression of β-amyloid pathology
    Acta Neuropathol. (IF 12.213) Pub Date : 2018-01-11
    Finn Peters, Hazal Salihoglu, Eva Rodrigues, Etienne Herzog, Tanja Blume, Severin Filser, Mario Dorostkar, Derya R. Shimshek, Nils Brose, Ulf Neumann, Jochen Herms

    BACE1 is the rate-limiting protease in the production of synaptotoxic β-amyloid (Aβ) species and hence one of the prime drug targets for potential therapy of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). However, so far pharmacological BACE1 inhibition failed to rescue the cognitive decline in mild-to-moderate AD patients, which indicates that treatment at the symptomatic stage might be too late. In the current study, chronic in vivo two-photon microscopy was performed in a transgenic AD model to monitor the impact of pharmacological BACE1 inhibition on early β-amyloid pathology. The longitudinal approach allowed to assess the kinetics of individual plaques and associated presynaptic pathology, before and throughout treatment. BACE1 inhibition could not halt but slow down progressive β-amyloid deposition and associated synaptic pathology. Notably, the data revealed that the initial process of plaque formation, rather than the subsequent phase of gradual plaque growth, is most sensitive to BACE1 inhibition. This finding of particular susceptibility of plaque formation has profound implications to achieve optimal therapeutic efficacy for the prospective treatment of AD.

  • Paragangliomas arise through an autonomous vasculo-angio-neurogenic program inhibited by imatinib
    Acta Neuropathol. (IF 12.213) Pub Date : 2018-01-05
    Fabio Verginelli, Silvia Perconti, Simone Vespa, Francesca Schiavi, Sampath Chandra Prasat, Paola Lanuti, Alessandro Cama, Lorenzo Tramontana, Diana Liberata Esposito, Simone Guarnieri, Artenca Sheu, Mattia Russel Pantalone, Rosalba Florio, Annalisa Morgano, Cosmo Rossi, Giuseppina Bologna, Marco Marchisio, Andrea D’Argenio, Elisa Taschin, Rosa Visone, Giuseppe Opocher, Angelo Veronese, Carlo T. Paties, Vinalogu K. Rajasekhar, Cecilia Söderberg-Nauclér, Mario Sanna, Lavinia Vittoria Lotti, Renato Mariani-Costantini

    Tumours can be viewed as aberrant tissues or organs sustained by tumorigenic stem-like cells that engage into dysregulated histo/organogenetic processes. Paragangliomas, prototypical organoid tumours constituted by dysmorphic variants of the vascular and neural tissues found in normal paraganglia, provide a model to test this hypothesis. To understand the origin of paragangliomas, we built a biobank comprising 77 cases, 18 primary cultures, 4 derived cell lines, 80 patient-derived xenografts and 11 cell-derived xenografts. We comparatively investigated these unique complementary materials using morphofunctional, ultrastructural and flow cytometric assays accompanied by microRNA studies. We found that paragangliomas contain stem-like cells with hybrid mesenchymal/vasculoneural phenotype, stabilized and expanded in the derived cultures. The viability and growth of such cultures depended on the downregulation of the miR-200 and miR-34 families, which allowed high PDGFRA and ZEB1 protein expression levels. Both tumour tissue- and cell culture-derived xenografts recapitulated the vasculoneural paraganglioma structure and arose from mesenchymal-like cells through a fixed developmental sequence. First, vasculoangiogenesis organized the microenvironment, building a perivascular niche which in turn supported neurogenesis. Neuroepithelial differentiation was associated with severe mitochondrial dysfunction, not present in cultured paraganglioma cells, but acquired in vivo during xenograft formation. Vasculogenesis was the Achilles’ heel of xenograft development. In fact, imatinib, that targets endothelial-mural signalling, blocked paraganglioma xenograft formation (11 xenografts from 12 cell transplants in the control group versus 2 out of 10 in the treated group, P = 0.0015). Overall our key results were unaffected by the SDHx gene carrier status of the patient, characterized for 70 out of 77 cases. In conclusion, we explain the biphasic vasculoneural structure of paragangliomas and identify an early and pharmacologically actionable phase of paraganglioma organization.

  • Multiple system atrophy: experimental models and reality
    Acta Neuropathol. (IF 12.213) Pub Date : 2017-10-20
    Cassia Overk, Edward Rockenstein, Elvira Valera, Nadia Stefanova, Gregor Wenning, Eliezer Masliah

    Multiple system atrophy (MSA) is a rapidly progressing fatal synucleinopathy of the aging population characterized by parkinsonism, dysautonomia, and in some cases ataxia. Unlike other synucleinopathies, in this disorder the synaptic protein, α-synuclein (α-syn), predominantly accumulates in oligodendroglial cells (and to some extent in neurons), leading to maturation defects of oligodendrocytes, demyelination, and neurodegeneration. The mechanisms through which α-syn deposits occur in oligodendrocytes and neurons in MSA are not completely clear. While some studies suggest that α-syn might transfer from neurons to glial cells, others propose that α-syn might be aberrantly overexpressed by oligodendroglial cells. A number of in vivo models have been developed, including transgenic mice overexpressing α-syn under oligodendroglial promoters (e.g.: MBP, PLP, and CNP). Other models have been recently developed either by injecting synthetic α-syn fibrils or brain homogenates from patients with MSA into wild-type mice or by using viral vectors expressing α-syn under the MBP promoter in rats and non-human primates. Each of these models reproduces some of the neuropathological and functional aspects of MSA; however, none of them fully replicate the spectrum of MSA. Understanding better the mechanisms of how α-syn accumulates in oligodendrocytes and neurons will help in developing better models that recapitulate various pathogenic aspects of MSA in combination with translatable biomarkers of early stages of the disease that are necessary to devise disease-modifying therapeutics for MSA.

  • A knock-in/knock-out mouse model of HSPB8-associated distal hereditary motor neuropathy and myopathy reveals toxic gain-of-function of mutant Hspb8
    Acta Neuropathol. (IF 12.213) Pub Date : 2017-08-05
    Delphine Bouhy, Manisha Juneja, Istvan Katona, Anne Holmgren, Bob Asselbergh, Vicky De Winter, Tino Hochepied, Steven Goossens, Jody J. Haigh, Claude Libert, Chantal Ceuterick-de Groote, Joy Irobi, Joachim Weis, Vincent Timmerman

    Mutations in the small heat shock protein B8 gene (HSPB8/HSP22) have been associated with distal hereditary motor neuropathy, Charcot–Marie–Tooth disease, and recently distal myopathy. It is so far not clear how mutant HSPB8 induces the neuronal and muscular phenotypes and if a common pathogenesis lies behind these diseases. Growing evidence points towards a role of HSPB8 in chaperone-associated autophagy, which has been shown to be a determinant for the clearance of poly-glutamine aggregates in neurodegenerative diseases but also for the maintenance of skeletal muscle myofibrils. To test this hypothesis and better dissect the pathomechanism of mutant HSPB8, we generated a new transgenic mouse model leading to the expression of the mutant protein (knock-in lines) or the loss-of-function (functional knock-out lines) of the endogenous protein Hspb8. While the homozygous knock-in mice developed motor deficits associated with degeneration of peripheral nerves and severe muscle atrophy corroborating patient data, homozygous knock-out mice had locomotor performances equivalent to those of wild-type animals. The distal skeletal muscles of the post-symptomatic homozygous knock-in displayed Z-disk disorganisation, granulofilamentous material accumulation along with Hspb8, αB-crystallin (HSPB5/CRYAB), and desmin aggregates. The presence of the aggregates correlated with reduced markers of effective autophagy. The sciatic nerve of the homozygous knock-in mice was characterized by low autophagy potential in pre-symptomatic and Hspb8 aggregates in post-symptomatic animals. On the other hand, the sciatic nerve of the homozygous knock-out mice presented a normal morphology and their distal muscle displayed accumulation of abnormal mitochondria but intact myofiber and Z-line organisation. Our data, therefore, suggest that toxic gain-of-function of mutant Hspb8 aggregates is a major contributor to the peripheral neuropathy and the myopathy. In addition, mutant Hspb8 induces impairments in autophagy that may aggravate the phenotype.

  • Comprehensive molecular characterisation of epilepsy-associated glioneuronal tumours
    Acta Neuropathol. (IF 12.213) Pub Date : 2017-10-20
    Thomas J. Stone, Angus Keeley, Alex Virasami, William Harkness, Martin Tisdall, Elisa Izquierdo Delgado, Alice Gutteridge, Tony Brooks, Mark Kristiansen, Jane Chalker, Lisa Wilkhu, William Mifsud, John Apps, Maria Thom, Mike Hubank, Tim Forshew, J. Helen Cross, Darren Hargrave, Jonathan Ham, Thomas S. Jacques

    Glioneuronal tumours are an important cause of treatment-resistant epilepsy. Subtypes of tumour are often poorly discriminated by histological features and may be difficult to diagnose due to a lack of robust diagnostic tools. This is illustrated by marked variability in the reported frequencies across different epilepsy surgical series. To address this, we used DNA methylation arrays and RNA sequencing to assay the methylation and expression profiles within a large cohort of glioneuronal tumours. By adopting a class discovery approach, we were able to identify two distinct groups of glioneuronal tumour, which only partially corresponded to the existing histological classification. Furthermore, by additional molecular analyses, we were able to identify pathogenic mutations in BRAF and FGFR1, specific to each group, in a high proportion of cases. Finally, by interrogating our expression data, we were able to show that each molecular group possessed expression phenotypes suggesting different cellular differentiation: astrocytic in one group and oligodendroglial in the second. Informed by this, we were able to identify CCND1, CSPG4, and PDGFRA as immunohistochemical targets which could distinguish between molecular groups. Our data suggest that the current histological classification of glioneuronal tumours does not adequately represent their underlying biology. Instead, we show that there are two molecular groups within glioneuronal tumours. The first of these displays astrocytic differentiation and is driven by BRAF mutations, while the second displays oligodendroglial differentiation and is driven by FGFR1 mutations.

  • MSA prions exhibit remarkable stability and resistance to inactivation
    Acta Neuropathol. (IF 12.213) Pub Date : 2017-08-28
    Amanda L. Woerman, Sabeen A. Kazmi, Smita Patel, Yevgeniy Freyman, Abby Oehler, Atsushi Aoyagi, Daniel A. Mordes, Glenda M. Halliday, Lefkos T. Middleton, Steve M. Gentleman, Steven H. Olson, Stanley B. Prusiner

    In multiple system atrophy (MSA), progressive neurodegeneration results from the protein α-synuclein misfolding into a self-templating prion conformation that spreads throughout the brain. MSA prions are transmissible to transgenic (Tg) mice expressing mutated human α-synuclein (TgM83+/−), inducing neurological disease following intracranial inoculation with brain homogenate from deceased patient samples. Noting the similarities between α-synuclein prions and PrP scrapie (PrPSc) prions responsible for Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease (CJD), we investigated MSA transmission under conditions known to result in PrPSc transmission. When peripherally exposed to MSA via the peritoneal cavity, hind leg muscle, and tongue, TgM83+/− mice developed neurological signs accompanied by α-synuclein prions in the brain. Iatrogenic CJD, resulting from PrPSc prion adherence to surgical steel instruments, has been investigated by incubating steel sutures in contaminated brain homogenate before implantation into mouse brain. Mice studied using this model for MSA developed disease, whereas wire incubated in control homogenate had no effect on the animals. Notably, formalin fixation did not inactivate α-synuclein prions. Formalin-fixed MSA patient samples also transmitted disease to TgM83+/− mice, even after incubating in fixative for 244 months. Finally, at least 10% sarkosyl was found to be the concentration necessary to partially inactivate MSA prions. These results demonstrate the robustness of α-synuclein prions to denaturation. Moreover, they establish the parallel characteristics between PrPSc and α-synuclein prions, arguing that clinicians should exercise caution when working with materials that might contain α-synuclein prions to prevent disease.

  • A zebrafish model for C9orf72 ALS reveals RNA toxicity as a pathogenic mechanism
    Acta Neuropathol. (IF 12.213) Pub Date : 2018-01-04
    Bart Swinnen, Andre Bento-Abreu, Tania F. Gendron, Steven Boeynaems, Elke Bogaert, Rik Nuyts, Mieke Timmers, Wendy Scheveneels, Nicole Hersmus, Jiou Wang, Sarah Mizielinska, Adrian M. Isaacs, Leonard Petrucelli, Robin Lemmens, Philip Van Damme, Ludo Van Den Bosch, Wim Robberecht

    The exact mechanism underlying amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD) associated with the GGGGCC repeat expansion in C9orf72 is still unclear. Two gain-of-function mechanisms are possible: repeat RNA toxicity and dipeptide repeat protein (DPR) toxicity. We here dissected both possibilities using a zebrafish model for ALS. Expression of two DPRs, glycine–arginine and proline–arginine, induced a motor axonopathy. Similarly, expanded sense and antisense repeat RNA also induced a motor axonopathy and formed mainly cytoplasmic RNA foci. However, DPRs were not detected in these conditions. Moreover, stop codon-interrupted repeat RNA still induced a motor axonopathy and a synergistic role of low levels of DPRs was excluded. Altogether, these results show that repeat RNA toxicity is independent of DPR formation. This RNA toxicity, but not the DPR toxicity, was attenuated by the RNA-binding protein Pur-alpha and the autophagy-related protein p62. Our findings demonstrate that RNA toxicity, independent of DPR toxicity, can contribute to the pathogenesis of C9orf72-associated ALS/FTD.

  • Glia-to-neuron transfer of miRNAs via extracellular vesicles: a new mechanism underlying inflammation-induced synaptic alterations
    Acta Neuropathol. (IF 12.213) Pub Date : 2018-01-04
    Ilaria Prada, Martina Gabrielli, Elena Turola, Alessia Iorio, Giulia D’Arrigo, Roberta Parolisi, Mariacristina De Luca, Marco Pacifici, Mattia Bastoni, Marta Lombardi, Giuseppe Legname, Dan Cojoc, Annalisa Buffo, Roberto Furlan, Francesca Peruzzi, Claudia Verderio

    Recent evidence indicates synaptic dysfunction as an early mechanism affected in neuroinflammatory diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, which are characterized by chronic microglia activation. However, the mode(s) of action of reactive microglia in causing synaptic defects are not fully understood. In this study, we show that inflammatory microglia produce extracellular vesicles (EVs) which are enriched in a set of miRNAs that regulate the expression of key synaptic proteins. Among them, miR-146a-5p, a microglia-specific miRNA not present in hippocampal neurons, controls the expression of presynaptic synaptotagmin1 (Syt1) and postsynaptic neuroligin1 (Nlg1), an adhesion protein which play a crucial role in dendritic spine formation and synaptic stability. Using a Renilla-based sensor, we provide formal proof that inflammatory EVs transfer their miR-146a-5p cargo to neuron. By western blot and immunofluorescence analysis we show that vesicular miR-146a-5p suppresses Syt1 and Nlg1 expression in receiving neurons. Microglia-to-neuron miR-146a-5p transfer and Syt1 and Nlg1 downregulation do not occur when EV–neuron contact is inhibited by cloaking vesicular phosphatidylserine residues and when neurons are exposed to EVs either depleted of miR-146a-5p, produced by pro-regenerative microglia, or storing inactive miR-146a-5p, produced by cells transfected with an anti-miR-146a-5p. Morphological analysis reveals that prolonged exposure to inflammatory EVs leads to significant decrease in dendritic spine density in hippocampal neurons in vivo and in primary culture, which is rescued in vitro by transfection of a miR-insensitive Nlg1 form. Dendritic spine loss is accompanied by a decrease in the density and strength of excitatory synapses, as indicated by reduced mEPSC frequency and amplitude. These findings link inflammatory microglia and enhanced EV production to loss of excitatory synapses, uncovering a previously unrecognized role for microglia-enriched miRNAs, released in association to EVs, in silencing of key synaptic genes.

  • Genetic alterations and tumor immune attack in Yo paraneoplastic cerebellar degeneration
    Acta Neuropathol. (IF 12.213) Pub Date : 2018-01-03
    Mathilde Small, Isabelle Treilleux, Coline Couillault, Daniel Pissaloux, Géraldine Picard, Sandrine Paindavoine, Valery Attignon, Qing Wang, Véronique Rogemond, Stéphanie Lay, Isabelle Ray-Coquard, Jacobus Pfisterer, Florence Joly, Andreas Du Bois, Dimitri Psimaras, Nathalie Bendriss-Vermare, Christophe Caux, Bertrand Dubois, Jérôme Honnorat, Virginie Desestret

    Paraneoplastic cerebellar degenerations with anti-Yo antibodies (Yo-PCD) are rare syndromes caused by an auto-immune response against neuronal antigens (Ags) expressed by tumor cells. However, the mechanisms responsible for such immune tolerance breakdown are unknown. We characterized 26 ovarian carcinomas associated with Yo-PCD for their tumor immune contexture and genetic status of the 2 onconeural Yo-Ags, CDR2 and CDR2L. Yo-PCD tumors differed from the 116 control tumors by more abundant T and B cells infiltration occasionally organized in tertiary lymphoid structures harboring CDR2L protein deposits. Immune cells are mainly in the vicinity of apoptotic tumor cells, revealing tumor immune attack. Moreover, contrary to un-selected ovarian carcinomas, 65% of our Yo-PCD tumors presented at least one somatic mutation in Yo-Ags, with a predominance of missense mutations. Recurrent gains of the CDR2L gene with tumor protein overexpression were also present in 59% of Yo-PCD patients. Overall, each Yo-PCD ovarian carcinomas carried at least one genetic alteration of Yo-Ags. These data demonstrate an association between massive infiltration of Yo-PCD tumors by activated immune effector cells and recurrent gains and/or mutations in autoantigen-encoding genes, suggesting that genetic alterations in tumor cells trigger immune tolerance breakdown and initiation of the auto-immune disease.

  • Functional requirement of a wild-type allele for mutant IDH1 to suppress anchorage-independent growth through redox homeostasis
    Acta Neuropathol. (IF 12.213) Pub Date : 2017-12-29
    Patricia D. B. Tiburcio, Bing Xiao, Shauna Berg, Sydney Asper, Sean Lyne, Yan Zhang, Xingen Zhu, Hai Yan, L. Eric Huang

    Mutations of isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 (IDH1) gene are most common in glioma, arguably preceding all known genetic alterations during tumor development. IDH1 mutations nearly invariably target the enzymatic active site Arg132, giving rise to the predominant IDH1R132H. Cells harboring IDH1R132H-heterozygous mutation produce 2-hydroxyglutarate (2-HG), which results in histone and DNA hypermethylation. Although exogenous IDH1R132H transduction has been shown to promote anchorage-independent growth, the biological role of IDH1R132H in glioma remains debatable. In this study, we demonstrate that heterozygous IDH1R132H suppresses but hemizygous IDH1R132H promotes anchorage-independent growth. Whereas genetic deletion of the wild-type allele in IDH1R132H-heterozygous cells resulted in a pronounced increase in neurosphere genesis, restoration of IDH1 expression in IDH1R132H-hemizygous cells led to the contrary. Conversely, anchorage-independent growth was antagonistic to the mutant IDH1 function by inhibiting gene expression and 2-HG production. Furthermore, we identified that in contrast to IDH1R132H-hemizygous neurosphere, IDH1R132H-heterozygous cells maintained a low level of reducing power to suppress neurosphere genesis, which could be bypassed, however, by the addition of reducing agent. Taken together, these results underscore the functional importance of IDH1 mutation heterozygosity in glioma biology and indicate functional loss of mutant IDH1 as an escape mechanism underlying glioma progression and the pathway of redox homeostasis as potential therapeutic targets.

  • Synapse loss in the prefrontal cortex is associated with cognitive decline in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
    Acta Neuropathol. (IF 12.213) Pub Date : 2017-12-22
    Christopher M. Henstridge, Dimitrios I. Sideris, Emily Carroll, Sanziana Rotariu, Sally Salomonsson, Makis Tzioras, Chris-Anne McKenzie, Colin Smith, Christine A. F. von Arnim, Albert C. Ludolph, Dorothée Lulé, Danielle Leighton, Jon Warner, Elaine Cleary, Judith Newton, Robert Swingler, Siddharthan Chandran, Thomas H. Gillingwater, Sharon Abrahams, Tara L. Spires-Jones

    In addition to motor neurone degeneration, up to 50% of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients present with cognitive decline. Understanding the neurobiological changes underlying these cognitive deficits is critical, as cognitively impaired patients exhibit a shorter survival time from symptom onset. Given the pathogenic role of synapse loss in other neurodegenerative diseases in which cognitive decline is apparent, such as Alzheimer’s disease, we aimed to assess synaptic integrity in the ALS brain. Here, we have applied a unique combination of high-resolution imaging of post-mortem tissue with neuropathology, genetic screening and cognitive profiling of ALS cases. Analyses of more than 1 million synapses using two complimentary high-resolution techniques (electron microscopy and array tomography) revealed a loss of synapses from the prefrontal cortex of ALS patients. Importantly, synapse loss was significantly greater in cognitively impaired cases and was not due to cortical atrophy, nor associated with dementia-associated neuropathology. Interestingly, we found a trend between pTDP-43 pathology and synapse loss in the frontal cortex and discovered pTDP-43 puncta at a subset of synapses in the ALS brains. From these data, we postulate that synapse loss in the prefrontal cortex represents an underlying neurobiological substrate of cognitive decline in ALS.

  • Neuronal complex I deficiency occurs throughout the Parkinson’s disease brain, but is not associated with neurodegeneration or mitochondrial DNA damage
    Acta Neuropathol. (IF 12.213) Pub Date : 2017-12-21
    Irene H. Flønes, Erika Fernandez-Vizarra, Maria Lykouri, Brage Brakedal, Geir Olve Skeie, Hrvoje Miletic, Peer K. Lilleng, Guido Alves, Ole-Bjørn Tysnes, Kristoffer Haugarvoll, Christian Dölle, Massimo Zeviani, Charalampos Tzoulis

    Mitochondrial complex I deficiency occurs in the substantia nigra of individuals with Parkinson’s disease. It is generally believed that this phenomenon is caused by accumulating mitochondrial DNA damage in neurons and that it contributes to the process of neurodegeneration. We hypothesized that if these theories are correct, complex I deficiency should extend beyond the substantia nigra to other affected brain regions in Parkinson’s disease and correlate tightly with neuronal mitochondrial DNA damage. To test our hypothesis, we employed a combination of semiquantitative immunohistochemical analyses, Western blot and activity measurements, to assess complex I quantity and function in multiple brain regions from an extensively characterized population-based cohort of idiopathic Parkinson’s disease (n = 18) and gender and age matched healthy controls (n = 11). Mitochondrial DNA was assessed in single neurons from the same areas by real-time PCR. Immunohistochemistry showed that neuronal complex I deficiency occurs throughout the Parkinson’s disease brain, including areas spared by the neurodegenerative process such as the cerebellum. Activity measurements in brain homogenate confirmed a moderate decrease of complex I function, whereas Western blot was less sensitive, detecting only a mild reduction, which did not reach statistical significance at the group level. With the exception of the substantia nigra, neuronal complex I loss showed no correlation with the load of somatic mitochondrial DNA damage. Interestingly, α-synuclein aggregation was less common in complex I deficient neurons in the substantia nigra. We show that neuronal complex I deficiency is a widespread phenomenon in the Parkinson’s disease brain which, contrary to mainstream theory, does not follow the anatomical distribution of neurodegeneration and is not associated with the neuronal load of mitochondrial DNA mutation. Our findings suggest that complex I deficiency in Parkinson’s disease can occur independently of mitochondrial DNA damage and may not have a pathogenic role in the neurodegenerative process.

  • Distinguishing features of microglia- and monocyte-derived macrophages after stroke
    Acta Neuropathol. (IF 12.213) Pub Date : 2017-12-16
    Golo Kronenberg, Ria Uhlemann, Nadine Richter, Friederike Klempin, Stephanie Wegner, Lilian Staerck, Susanne Wolf, Wolfgang Uckert, Helmut Kettenmann, Matthias Endres, Karen Gertz

    After stroke, macrophages in the ischemic brain may be derived from either resident microglia or infiltrating monocytes. Using bone marrow (BM)-chimerism and dual-reporter transgenic fate mapping, we here set out to delimit the responses of either cell type to mild brain ischemia in a mouse model of 30 min transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAo). A discriminatory analysis of gene expression at 7 days post-event yielded 472 transcripts predominantly or exclusively expressed in blood-derived macrophages as well as 970 transcripts for microglia. The differentially regulated genes were further collated with oligodendrocyte, astrocyte, and neuron transcriptomes, resulting in a dataset of microglia- and monocyte-specific genes in the ischemic brain. Functional categories significantly enriched in monocytes included migration, proliferation, and calcium signaling, indicative of strong activation. Whole-cell patch-clamp analysis further confirmed this highly activated state by demonstrating delayed outward K+ currents selectively in invading cells. Although both cell types displayed a mixture of known phenotypes pointing to the significance of ‘intermediate states’ in vivo, blood-derived macrophages were generally more skewed toward an M2 neuroprotective phenotype. Finally, we found that decreased engraftment of blood-borne cells in the ischemic brain of chimeras reconstituted with BM from Selplg−/− mice resulted in increased lesions at 7 days and worse post-stroke sensorimotor performance. In aggregate, our study establishes crucial differences in activation state between resident microglia and invading macrophages after stroke and identifies unique genomic signatures for either cell type.

  • Spread of aggregates after olfactory bulb injection of α-synuclein fibrils is associated with early neuronal loss and is reduced long term
    Acta Neuropathol. (IF 12.213) Pub Date : 2017-12-05
    Nolwen L. Rey, Sonia George, Jennifer A. Steiner, Zachary Madaj, Kelvin C. Luk, John Q. Trojanowski, Virginia M.-Y. Lee, Patrik Brundin

    Parkinson’s disease is characterized by degeneration of substantia nigra dopamine neurons and by intraneuronal aggregates, primarily composed of misfolded α-synuclein. The α-synuclein aggregates in Parkinson’s patients are suggested to first appear in the olfactory bulb and enteric nerves and then propagate, following a stereotypic pattern, via neural pathways to numerous regions across the brain. We recently demonstrated that after injection of either mouse or human α-synuclein fibrils into the olfactory bulb of wild-type mice, α-synuclein fibrils recruited endogenous α-synuclein into pathological aggregates that spread transneuronally to over 40 other brain regions and subregions, over 12 months. We previously reported the progressive spreading of α-synuclein aggregates, between 1 and 12 months following α-synuclein fibril injections, and now report how far the pathology has spread 18- and 23-month post-injection in this model. Our data show that between 12 and 18 months, there is a further increase in the number of brain regions exhibiting pathology after human, and to a lesser extent mouse, α-synuclein fibril injections. At both 18 and 23 months after injection of mouse and human α-synuclein fibrils, we observed a reduction in the density of α-synuclein aggregates in some brain regions compared to others at 12 months. At 23 months, no additional brain regions exhibited α-synuclein aggregates compared to earlier time points. In addition, we also demonstrate that the induced α-synucleinopathy triggered a significant early neuron loss in the anterior olfactory nucleus. By contrast, there was no loss of mitral neurons in the olfactory bulb, even at 18 month post-injection. We speculate that the lack of continued progression of α-synuclein pathology is due to compromise of the neural circuitry, consequential to neuron loss and possibly to the activation of proteolytic mechanisms in resilient neurons of wild-type mice that counterbalances the spread and seeding by degrading pathogenic α-synuclein.

  • Neuropathology of iatrogenic Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease and immunoassay of French cadaver-sourced growth hormone batches suggest possible transmission of tauopathy and long incubation periods for the transmission of Abeta pathology
    Acta Neuropathol. (IF 12.213) Pub Date : 2017-11-22
    Charles Duyckaerts, Véronique Sazdovitch, Kunie Ando, Danielle Seilhean, Nicolas Privat, Zehra Yilmaz, Laurène Peckeu, Elodie Amar, Emmanuel Comoy, Aleksandra Maceski, Sylvain Lehmann, Jean-Pierre Brion, Jean-Philippe Brandel, Stéphane Haïk

    Abeta deposits and tau pathology were investigated in 24 French patients that died from iatrogenic Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease after exposure to cadaver-derived human growth hormone (c-hGH) in the 1980s. Abeta deposits were found only in one case that had experienced one of the longest incubation periods. Three cases had also intracellular tau accumulation. The analysis of 24 batches of c-hGH, produced between 1974 and 1988, demonstrated for the first time the presence of Abeta and tau contaminants in c-hGH (in 17 and 6 batches, respectively). The incubation of prion disease was shorter in the French patients than the incubation times reported in two previously published British series. We interpreted the low incidence of Abeta in this French series as a consequence of the shorter incubation period observed in France, as compared to that observed in the United Kingdom. This concept suggested that a mean incubation period for the development of detectable Abeta deposits would be longer than 18 years after the first exposure. Moreover, we hypothesized that tau pathology might also be transmissible in humans.

  • Sense-encoded poly-GR dipeptide repeat proteins correlate to neurodegeneration and uniquely co-localize with TDP-43 in dendrites of repeat-expanded C9orf72 amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
    Acta Neuropathol. (IF 12.213) Pub Date : 2017-12-01
    Shahram Saberi, Jennifer E. Stauffer, Jie Jiang, Sandra Diaz Garcia, Amy E. Taylor, Derek Schulte, Takuya Ohkubo, Cheyenne L. Schloffman, Marcus Maldonado, Michael Baughn, Maria J. Rodriguez, Don Pizzo, Don Cleveland, John Ravits

    Hexanucleotide repeat expansions in C9orf72 are the most common genetic cause of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (C9 ALS). The main hypothesized pathogenic mechanisms are C9orf72 haploinsufficiency and/or toxicity from one or more of bi-directionally transcribed repeat RNAs and their dipeptide repeat proteins (DPRs) poly-GP, poly-GA, poly-GR, poly-PR and poly-PA. Recently, nuclear import and/or export defects especially caused by arginine-containing poly-GR or poly-PR have been proposed as significant contributors to pathogenesis based on disease models. We quantitatively studied and compared DPRs, nuclear pore proteins and C9orf72 protein in clinically related and clinically unrelated regions of the central nervous system, and compared them to phosphorylated TDP-43 (pTDP-43), the hallmark protein of ALS. Of the five DPRs, only poly-GR was significantly abundant in clinically related areas compared to unrelated areas (p < 0.001), and formed dendritic-like aggregates in the motor cortex that co-localized with pTDP-43 (p < 0.0001). While most poly-GR dendritic inclusions were pTDP-43 positive, only 4% of pTDP-43 dendritic inclusions were poly-GR positive. Staining for arginine-containing poly-GR and poly-PR in nuclei of neurons produced signals that were not specific to C9 ALS. We could not detect significant differences of nuclear markers RanGap, Lamin B1, and Importin β1 in C9 ALS, although we observed subtle nuclear changes in ALS, both C9 and non-C9, compared to control. The C9orf72 protein itself was diffusely expressed in cytoplasm of large neurons and glia, and nearly 50% reduced, in both clinically related frontal cortex and unrelated occipital cortex, but not in cerebellum. In summary, sense-encoded poly-GR DPR was unique, and localized to dendrites and pTDP43 in motor regions of C9 ALS CNS. This is consistent with new emerging ideas about TDP-43 functions in dendrites.

  • Polygenic hazard score: an enrichment marker for Alzheimer’s associated amyloid and tau deposition
    Acta Neuropathol. (IF 12.213) Pub Date : 2017-11-24
    Chin Hong Tan, Chun Chieh Fan, Elizabeth C. Mormino, Leo P. Sugrue, Iris J. Broce, Christopher P. Hess, William P. Dillon, Luke W. Bonham, Jennifer S. Yokoyama, Celeste M. Karch, James B. Brewer, Gil D. Rabinovici, Bruce L. Miller, Gerard D. Schellenberg, Karolina Kauppi, Howard A. Feldman, Dominic Holland, Linda K. McEvoy, Bradley T. Hyman, David A. Bennett, Ole A. Andreassen, Anders M. Dale, Rahul S. Desikan, For the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative

    There is an urgent need for identifying nondemented individuals at the highest risk of progressing to Alzheimer’s disease (AD) dementia. Here, we evaluated whether a recently validated polygenic hazard score (PHS) can be integrated with known in vivo cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) or positron emission tomography (PET) biomarkers of amyloid, and CSF tau pathology to prospectively predict cognitive and clinical decline in 347 cognitive normal (CN; baseline age range = 59.7–90.1, 98.85% white) and 599 mild cognitively impaired (MCI; baseline age range = 54.4–91.4, 98.83% white) individuals from the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative 1, GO, and 2. We further investigated the association of PHS with post-mortem amyloid load and neurofibrillary tangles in the Religious Orders Study and Memory and Aging Project (ROSMAP) cohort (N = 485, age at death range = 71.3–108.3). In CN and MCI individuals, we found that amyloid and total tau positivity systematically varies as a function of PHS. For individuals in greater than the 50th percentile PHS, the positive predictive value for amyloid approached 100%; for individuals in less than the 25th percentile PHS, the negative predictive value for total tau approached 85%. High PHS individuals with amyloid and tau pathology showed the steepest longitudinal cognitive and clinical decline, even among APOE ε4 noncarriers. Among the CN subgroup, we similarly found that PHS was strongly associated with amyloid positivity and the combination of PHS and biomarker status significantly predicted longitudinal clinical progression. In the ROSMAP cohort, higher PHS was associated with higher post-mortem amyloid load and neurofibrillary tangles, even in APOE ε4 noncarriers. Together, our results show that even after accounting for APOE ε4 effects, PHS may be useful in MCI and preclinical AD therapeutic trials to enrich for biomarker-positive individuals at highest risk for short-term clinical progression.

  • Parkinson’s disease: experimental models and reality
    Acta Neuropathol. (IF 12.213) Pub Date : 2017-11-18
    Peizhou Jiang, Dennis W. Dickson

    Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a chronic, progressive movement disorder of adults and the second most common neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimer’s disease. Neuropathologic diagnosis of PD requires moderate-to-marked neuronal loss in the ventrolateral substantia nigra pars compacta and α-synuclein (αS) Lewy body pathology. Nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurodegeneration correlates with the Parkinsonian motor features, but involvement of other peripheral and central nervous system regions leads to a wide range of non-motor features. Nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurodegeneration is shared with other parkinsonian disorders, including some genetic forms of parkinsonism, but many of these disorders do not have Lewy bodies. An ideal animal model for PD, therefore, should exhibit age-dependent and progressive dopaminergic neurodegeneration, motor dysfunction, and abnormal αS pathology. Rodent models of PD using genetic or toxin based strategies have been widely used in the past several decades to investigate the pathogenesis and therapeutics of PD, but few recapitulate all the major clinical and pathologic features of PD. It is likely that new strategies or better understanding of fundamental disease processes may facilitate development of better animal models. In this review, we highlight progress in generating rodent models of PD based on impairments of four major cellular functions: mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation, autophagy-lysosomal metabolism, ubiquitin–proteasome protein degradation, and endoplasmic reticulum stress/unfolded protein response. We attempt to evaluate how impairment of these major cellular systems contribute to PD and how they can be exploited in rodent models. In addition, we review recent cell biological studies suggesting a link between αS aggregation and impairment of nuclear membrane integrity, as observed during cellular models of apoptosis. We also briefly discuss the role of incompetent phagocytic clearance and how this may be a factor to consider in developing new rodent models of PD.

  • The function of the cellular prion protein in health and disease
    Acta Neuropathol. (IF 12.213) Pub Date : 2017-11-18
    Joel C. Watts, Matthew E. C. Bourkas, Hamza Arshad

    The essential role of the cellular prion protein (PrPC) in prion disorders such as Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease is well documented. Moreover, evidence is accumulating that PrPC may act as a receptor for protein aggregates and transduce neurotoxic signals in more common neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease. Although the pathological roles of PrPC have been thoroughly characterized, a general consensus on its physiological function within the brain has not yet been established. Knockout studies in various organisms, ranging from zebrafish to mice, have implicated PrPC in a diverse range of nervous system-related activities that include a key role in the maintenance of peripheral nerve myelination as well as a general ability to protect against neurotoxic stimuli. Thus, the function of PrPC may be multifaceted, with different cell types taking advantage of unique aspects of its biology. Deciphering the cellular function(s) of PrPC and the consequences of its absence is not simply an academic curiosity, since lowering PrPC levels in the brain is predicted to be a powerful therapeutic strategy for the treatment of prion disease. In this review, we outline the various approaches that have been employed in an effort to uncover the physiological and pathological functions of PrPC. While these studies have revealed important clues about the biology of the prion protein, the precise reason for PrPC’s existence remains enigmatic.

  • Changes in chromatin state reveal ARNT2 at a node of a tumorigenic transcription factor signature driving glioblastoma cell aggressiveness
    Acta Neuropathol. (IF 12.213) Pub Date : 2017-11-17
    Alexandra Bogeas, Ghislaine Morvan-Dubois, Elias A. El-Habr, François-Xavier Lejeune, Matthieu Defrance, Ashwin Narayanan, Klaudia Kuranda, Fanny Burel-Vandenbos, Salwa Sayd, Virgile Delaunay, Luiz G. Dubois, Hugues Parrinello, Stéphanie Rialle, Sylvie Fabrega, Ahmed Idbaih, Jacques Haiech, Ivan Bièche, Thierry Virolle, Michele Goodhardt, Hervé Chneiweiss, Marie-Pierre Junier

    Although a growing body of evidence indicates that phenotypic plasticity exhibited by glioblastoma cells plays a central role in tumor development and post-therapy recurrence, the master drivers of their aggressiveness remain elusive. Here we mapped the changes in active (H3K4me3) and repressive (H3K27me3) histone modifications accompanying the repression of glioblastoma stem-like cells tumorigenicity. Genes with changing histone marks delineated a network of transcription factors related to cancerous behavior, stem state, and neural development, highlighting a previously unsuspected association between repression of ARNT2 and loss of cell tumorigenicity. Immunohistochemistry confirmed ARNT2 expression in cell sub-populations within proliferative zones of patients’ glioblastoma. Decreased ARNT2 expression was consistently observed in non-tumorigenic glioblastoma cells, compared to tumorigenic cells. Moreover, ARNT2 expression correlated with a tumorigenic molecular signature at both the tissue level within the tumor core and at the single cell level in the patients’ tumors. We found that ARNT2 knockdown decreased the expression of SOX9, POU3F2 and OLIG2, transcription factors implicated in glioblastoma cell tumorigenicity, and repressed glioblastoma stem-like cell tumorigenic properties in vivo. Our results reveal ARNT2 as a pivotal component of the glioblastoma cell tumorigenic signature, located at a node of a transcription factor network controlling glioblastoma cell aggressiveness.

  • Artificial intelligence in neurodegenerative disease research: use of IBM Watson to identify additional RNA-binding proteins altered in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
    Acta Neuropathol. (IF 12.213) Pub Date : 2017-11-13
    Nadine Bakkar, Tina Kovalik, Ileana Lorenzini, Scott Spangler, Alix Lacoste, Kyle Sponaugle, Philip Ferrante, Elenee Argentinis, Rita Sattler, Robert Bowser

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a devastating neurodegenerative disease with no effective treatments. Numerous RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) have been shown to be altered in ALS, with mutations in 11 RBPs causing familial forms of the disease, and 6 more RBPs showing abnormal expression/distribution in ALS albeit without any known mutations. RBP dysregulation is widely accepted as a contributing factor in ALS pathobiology. There are at least 1542 RBPs in the human genome; therefore, other unidentified RBPs may also be linked to the pathogenesis of ALS. We used IBM Watson® to sieve through all RBPs in the genome and identify new RBPs linked to ALS (ALS-RBPs). IBM Watson extracted features from published literature to create semantic similarities and identify new connections between entities of interest. IBM Watson analyzed all published abstracts of previously known ALS-RBPs, and applied that text-based knowledge to all RBPs in the genome, ranking them by semantic similarity to the known set. We then validated the Watson top-ten-ranked RBPs at the protein and RNA levels in tissues from ALS and non-neurological disease controls, as well as in patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells. 5 RBPs previously unlinked to ALS, hnRNPU, Syncrip, RBMS3, Caprin-1 and NUPL2, showed significant alterations in ALS compared to controls. Overall, we successfully used IBM Watson to help identify additional RBPs altered in ALS, highlighting the use of artificial intelligence tools to accelerate scientific discovery in ALS and possibly other complex neurological disorders.

  • Co-occurrence of mixed proteinopathies in late-stage Huntington’s disease
    Acta Neuropathol. (IF 12.213) Pub Date : 2017-11-13
    Isabelle St-Amour, Andréanne Turgeon, Claudia Goupil, Emmanuel Planel, Sébastien S. Hébert

    Accumulating evidence highlights the potential role of mixed proteinopathies (i.e., abnormal protein aggregation) in the development of clinical manifestations of neurodegenerative diseases (NDD). Huntington’s disease (HD) is an inherited NDD caused by autosomal-dominant expanded CAG trinucleotide repeat mutation in the gene coding for Huntingtin (Htt). Previous studies have suggested the coexistence of phosphorylated-Tau, α-synuclein (α-Syn) and TAR DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43) inclusions in HD. However, definite evidence that HD pathology in humans can be accompanied by other proteinopathies is still lacking. Using human post-mortem putamen samples from 31 controls and 56 HD individuals, we performed biochemical analyses of the expression, oligomerization and aggregation of Tau, α-Syn, TDP-43, and Amyloid precursor protein (APP)/Aβ. In HD brain, we observed reduced soluble protein (but not mRNA) levels of Htt, α-Syn, and Tau. Our results also support abnormal phosphorylation of Tau in more advanced stages of disease. Aberrant splicing of Tau exons 2, 3 (exclusion) and 10 (inclusion) was also detected in HD patients, leading to higher 0N4R and lower 1N3R isoforms. Finally, following formic acid extraction, we observed increased aggregation of TDP-43, α-Syn, and phosphorylated-Tau during HD progression. Notably, we observed that 88% of HD patients with Vonsattel grade 4 neuropathology displayed at least one non-Htt proteinopathy compared to 29% in controls. Interestingly, α-Syn aggregation correlated with Htt, TDP-43 and phosphorylated-Tau in HD but not in controls. The impact of this work is twofold: (1) it provides compelling evidences that Tau, α-Syn and TDP-43 proteinopathies are increased in HD, and (2) it suggests the involvement of common mechanisms leading to abnormal accumulation of aggregation-prone proteins in NDD. Further studies will be needed to decipher the impact of these proteinopathies on clinical manifestation of HD.

  • The choroid plexus is a key cerebral invasion route for T cells after stroke
    Acta Neuropathol. (IF 12.213) Pub Date : 2017-07-31
    Gemma Llovera, Corinne Benakis, Gaby Enzmann, Ruiyao Cai, Thomas Arzberger, Alireza Ghasemigharagoz, Xiang Mao, Rainer Malik, Ivana Lazarevic, Sabine Liebscher, Ali Ertürk, Lilja Meissner, Denis Vivien, Christof Haffner, Nikolaus Plesnila, Joan Montaner, Britta Engelhardt, Arthur Liesz

    Neuroinflammation contributes substantially to stroke pathophysiology. Cerebral invasion of peripheral leukocytes—particularly T cells—has been shown to be a key event promoting inflammatory tissue damage after stroke. While previous research has focused on the vascular invasion of T cells into the ischemic brain, the choroid plexus (ChP) as an alternative cerebral T-cell invasion route after stroke has not been investigated. We here report specific accumulation of T cells in the peri-infarct cortex and detection of T cells as the predominant population in the ipsilateral ChP in mice as well as in human post-stroke autopsy samples. T-cell migration from the ChP to the peri-infarct cortex was confirmed by in vivo cell tracking of photoactivated T cells. In turn, significantly less T cells invaded the ischemic brain after photothrombotic lesion of the ipsilateral ChP and in a stroke model encompassing ChP ischemia. We detected a gradient of CCR2 ligands as the potential driving force and characterized the neuroanatomical pathway for the intracerebral migration. In summary, our study demonstrates that the ChP is a key invasion route for post-stroke cerebral T-cell invasion and describes a CCR2-ligand gradient between cortex and ChP as the potential driving mechanism for this invasion route.

  • The neuroprotective transcription factor ATF5 is decreased and sequestered into polyglutamine inclusions in Huntington’s disease
    Acta Neuropathol. (IF 12.213) Pub Date : 2017-08-31
    Ivó H. Hernández, Jesús Torres-Peraza, María Santos-Galindo, Eloísa Ramos-Morón, M. Rosario Fernández-Fernández, María J. Pérez-Álvarez, Antonio Miranda-Vizuete, José J. Lucas

    Activating transcription factor-5 (ATF5) is a stress-response transcription factor induced upon different cell stressors like fasting, amino-acid limitation, cadmium or arsenite. ATF5 is also induced, and promotes transcription of anti-apoptotic target genes like MCL1, during the unfolded protein response (UPR) triggered by endoplasmic reticulum stress. In the brain, high ATF5 levels are found in gliomas and also in neural progenitor cells, which need to decrease their ATF5 levels for differentiation into mature neurons or glia. This initially led to believe that ATF5 is not expressed in adult neurons. More recently, we reported basal neuronal ATF5 expression in adult mouse brain and its neuroprotective induction during UPR in a mouse model of status epilepticus. Here we aimed to explore whether ATF5 is also expressed by neurons in human brain both in basal conditions and in Huntington’s disease (HD), where UPR has been described to be partially impaired due to defective ATF6 processing. Apart from confirming that ATF5 is present in human adult neurons, here we report accumulation of ATF5 within the characteristic polyglutamine-containing neuronal nuclear inclusions in brains of HD patients and mice. This correlates with decreased levels of soluble ATF5 and of its antiapoptotic target MCL1. We then confirmed the deleterious effect of ATF5 deficiency in a Caenorhabditis elegans model of polyglutamine-induced toxicity. Finally, ATF5 overexpression attenuated polyglutamine-induced apoptosis in a cell model of HD. These results reflect that decreased ATF5 in HD—probably secondary to sequestration into inclusions—renders neurons more vulnerable to mutant huntingtin-induced apoptosis and that ATF5-increasing interventions might have therapeutic potential for HD.

  • Muscle satellite cells are functionally impaired in myasthenia gravis: consequences on muscle regeneration
    Acta Neuropathol. (IF 12.213) Pub Date : 2017-07-29
    Mohamed Attia, Marie Maurer, Marieke Robinet, Fabien Le Grand, Elie Fadel, Rozen Le Panse, Gillian Butler-Browne, Sonia Berrih-Aknin

    Myasthenia gravis (MG) is a neuromuscular disease caused in most cases by anti-acetyl-choline receptor (AChR) autoantibodies that impair neuromuscular signal transmission and affect skeletal muscle homeostasis. Myogenesis is carried out by muscle stem cells called satellite cells (SCs). However, myogenesis in MG had never been explored. The aim of this study was to characterise the functional properties of myasthenic SCs as well as their abilities in muscle regeneration. SCs were isolated from muscle biopsies of MG patients and age-matched controls. We first showed that the number of Pax7+ SCs was increased in muscle sections from MG and its experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis (EAMG) mouse model. Myoblasts isolated from MG muscles proliferate and differentiate more actively than myoblasts from control muscles. MyoD and MyoG were expressed at a higher level in MG myoblasts as well as in MG muscle biopsies compared to controls. We found that treatment of control myoblasts with MG sera or monoclonal anti-AChR antibodies increased the differentiation and MyoG mRNA expression compared to control sera. To investigate the functional ability of SCs from MG muscle to regenerate, we induced muscle regeneration using acute cardiotoxin injury in the EAMG mouse model. We observed a delay in maturation evidenced by a decrease in fibre size and MyoG mRNA expression as well as an increase in fibre number and embryonic myosin heavy-chain mRNA expression. These findings demonstrate for the first time the altered function of SCs from MG compared to control muscles. These alterations could be due to the anti-AChR antibodies via the modulation of myogenic markers resulting in muscle regeneration impairment. In conclusion, the autoimmune attack in MG appears to have unsuspected pathogenic effects on SCs and muscle regeneration, with potential consequences on myogenic signalling pathways, and subsequently on clinical outcome, especially in the case of muscle stress.

  • Distinct molecular profile of diffuse cerebellar gliomas
    Acta Neuropathol. (IF 12.213) Pub Date : 2017-08-29
    Masashi Nomura, Akitake Mukasa, Genta Nagae, Shogo Yamamoto, Kenji Tatsuno, Hiroki Ueda, Shiro Fukuda, Takayoshi Umeda, Tomonari Suzuki, Ryohei Otani, Keiichi Kobayashi, Takashi Maruyama, Shota Tanaka, Shunsaku Takayanagi, Takahide Nejo, Satoshi Takahashi, Koichi Ichimura, Taishi Nakamura, Yoshihiro Muragaki, Yoshitaka Narita, Motoo Nagane, Keisuke Ueki, Ryo Nishikawa, Junji Shibahara, Hiroyuki Aburatani, Nobuhito Saito

    Recent studies have demonstrated that tumor-driving alterations are often different among gliomas that originated from different brain regions and have underscored the importance of analyzing molecular characteristics of gliomas stratified by brain region. Therefore, to elucidate molecular characteristics of diffuse cerebellar gliomas (DCGs), 27 adult, mostly glioblastoma cases were analyzed. Comprehensive analysis using whole-exome sequencing, RNA sequencing, and Infinium methylation array (n = 17) demonstrated their distinct molecular profile compared to gliomas in other brain regions. Frequent mutations in chromatin-modifier genes were identified including, noticeably, a truncating mutation in SETD2 (n = 4), which resulted in loss of H3K36 trimethylation and was mutually exclusive with H3F3A K27M mutation (n = 3), suggesting that epigenetic dysregulation may lead to DCG tumorigenesis. Alterations that cause loss of p53 function including TP53 mutation (n = 9), PPM1D mutation (n = 2), and a novel type of PPM1D fusion (n = 1), were also frequent. On the other hand, mutations and copy number changes commonly observed in cerebral gliomas were infrequent. DNA methylation profile analysis demonstrated that all DCGs except for those with H3F3A mutations were categorized in the “RTK I (PDGFRA)” group, and those DCGs had a gene expression signature that was highly associated with PDGFRA. Furthermore, compared with the data of 315 gliomas derived from different brain regions, promoter methylation of transcription factors genes associated with glial development showed a characteristic pattern presumably reflecting their tumor origin. Notably, SOX10, a key transcription factor associated with oligodendroglial differentiation and PDGFRA regulation, was up-regulated in both DCG and H3 K27M-mutant diffuse midline glioma, suggesting their developmental and biological commonality. In contrast, SOX10 was silenced by promoter methylation in most cerebral gliomas. These findings may suggest potential tailored targeted therapy for gliomas according to their brain region, in addition to providing molecular clues to identify the region-related cellular origin of DCGs.

  • RNAi screen identifies essential regulators of human brain metastasis-initiating cells
    Acta Neuropathol. (IF 12.213) Pub Date : 2017-08-01
    Mohini Singh, Chitra Venugopal, Tomas Tokar, Kevin R. Brown, Nicole McFarlane, David Bakhshinyan, Thusyanth Vijayakumar, Branavan Manoranjan, Sujeivan Mahendram, Parvez Vora, Maleeha Qazi, Manvir Dhillon, Amy Tong, Kathrin Durrer, Naresh Murty, Robin Hallet, John A. Hassell, David R. Kaplan, Jean-Claude Cutz, Igor Jurisica, Jason Moffat, Sheila K. Singh

    Brain metastases (BM) are the most common brain tumor in adults and are a leading cause of cancer mortality. Metastatic lesions contain subclones derived from their primary lesion, yet their functional characterization is limited by a paucity of preclinical models accurately recapitulating the metastatic cascade, emphasizing the need for a novel approach to BM and their treatment. We identified a unique subset of stem-like cells from primary human patient brain metastases, termed brain metastasis-initiating cells (BMICs). We now establish a BMIC patient-derived xenotransplantation (PDXT) model as an investigative tool to comprehensively interrogate human BM. Using both in vitro and in vivo RNA interference screens of these BMIC models, we identified SPOCK1 and TWIST2 as essential BMIC regulators. SPOCK1 in particular is a novel regulator of BMIC self-renewal, modulating tumor initiation and metastasis from the lung to the brain. A prospective cohort of primary lung cancer specimens showed that SPOCK1 was overexpressed only in patients who ultimately developed BM. Protein–protein interaction network mapping between SPOCK1 and TWIST2 identified novel pathway interactors with significant prognostic value in lung cancer patients. Of these genes, INHBA, a TGF-β ligand found mutated in lung adenocarcinoma, showed reduced expression in BMICs with knockdown of SPOCK1. In conclusion, we have developed a useful preclinical model of BM, which has served to identify novel putative BMIC regulators, presenting potential therapeutic targets that block the metastatic process, and transform a uniformly fatal systemic disease into a locally controlled and eminently more treatable one.

  • Affected female carriers of MTM1 mutations display a wide spectrum of clinical and pathological involvement: delineating diagnostic clues
    Acta Neuropathol. (IF 12.213) Pub Date : 2017-07-06
    Valérie Biancalana, Sophie Scheidecker, Marguerite Miguet, Annie Laquerrière, Norma B. Romero, Tanya Stojkovic, Osorio Abath Neto, Sandra Mercier, Nicol Voermans, Laura Tanner, Curtis Rogers, Elisabeth Ollagnon-Roman, Helen Roper, Célia Boutte, Shay Ben-Shachar, Xavière Lornage, Nasim Vasli, Elise Schaefer, Pascal Laforet, Jean Pouget, Alexandre Moerman, Laurent Pasquier, Pascale Marcorelle, Armelle Magot, Benno Küsters, Nathalie Streichenberger, Christine Tranchant, Nicolas Dondaine, Raphael Schneider, Claire Gasnier, Nadège Calmels, Valérie Kremer, Karine Nguyen, Julie Perrier, Erik Jan Kamsteeg, Pierre Carlier, Robert-Yves Carlier, Julie Thompson, Anne Boland, Jean-François Deleuze, Michel Fardeau, Edmar Zanoteli, Bruno Eymard, Jocelyn Laporte

    X-linked myotubular myopathy (XLMTM), a severe congenital myopathy, is caused by mutations in the MTM1 gene located on the X chromosome. A majority of affected males die in the early postnatal period, whereas female carriers are believed to be usually asymptomatic. Nevertheless, several affected females have been reported. To assess the phenotypic and pathological spectra of carrier females and to delineate diagnostic clues, we characterized 17 new unrelated affected females and performed a detailed comparison with previously reported cases at the clinical, muscle imaging, histological, ultrastructural and molecular levels. Taken together, the analysis of this large cohort of 43 cases highlights a wide spectrum of clinical severity ranging from severe neonatal and generalized weakness, similar to XLMTM male, to milder adult forms. Several females show a decline in respiratory function. Asymmetric weakness is a noteworthy frequent specific feature potentially correlated to an increased prevalence of highly skewed X inactivation. Asymmetry of growth was also noted. Other diagnostic clues include facial weakness, ptosis and ophthalmoplegia, skeletal and joint abnormalities, and histopathological signs that are hallmarks of centronuclear myopathy such as centralized nuclei and necklace fibers. The histopathological findings also demonstrate a general disorganization of muscle structure in addition to these specific hallmarks. Thus, MTM1 mutations in carrier females define a specific myopathy, which may be independent of the presence of an XLMTM male in the family. As several of the reported affected females carry large heterozygous MTM1 deletions not detectable by Sanger sequencing, and as milder phenotypes present as adult-onset limb-girdle myopathy, the prevalence of this myopathy is likely to be greatly underestimated. This report should aid diagnosis and thus the clinical management and genetic counseling of MTM1 carrier females. Furthermore, the clinical and pathological history of this cohort may be useful for therapeutic projects in males with XLMTM, as it illustrates the spectrum of possible evolution of the disease in patients surviving long term.

  • Alpha-synuclein oligomers: a new hope
    Acta Neuropathol. (IF 12.213) Pub Date : 2017-08-12
    Nora Bengoa-Vergniory, Rosalind F. Roberts, Richard Wade-Martins, Javier Alegre-Abarrategui

    Alpha-synuclein is a protein implicated in Parkinson’s disease and thought to be one of the main pathological drivers in the disease, although it remains unclear how this protein elicits its neurotoxic effects. Recent findings indicate that the assembly of toxic oligomeric species of alpha-synuclein may be one of the key processes for the pathology and spread of the disease. The absence of a sensitive in situ detection method has hindered the study of these oligomeric species and the role they play in the human brain until recently. In this review, we assess the evidence for the toxicity and prion-like activity of oligomeric forms of alpha-synuclein and discuss the advances in our understanding of the role of alpha-synuclein in Parkinson’s disease that may be brought about by the specific and sensitive detection of distinct oligomeric species in post-mortem patient brain. Finally, we discuss current approaches being taken to therapeutically target alpha-synuclein oligomers and their implications.

  • Uncoupling N -acetylaspartate from brain pathology: implications for Canavan disease gene therapy
    Acta Neuropathol. (IF 12.213) Pub Date : 2017-11-07
    Georg von Jonquieres, Ziggy H. T. Spencer, Benjamin D. Rowlands, Claudia B. Klugmann, Andre Bongers, Anne E. Harasta, Kristina E. Parley, Jennie Cederholm, Orla Teahan, Russell Pickford, Fabien Delerue, Lars M. Ittner, Dominik Fröhlich, Catriona A. McLean, Anthony S. Don, Miriam Schneider, Gary D. Housley, Caroline D. Rae, Matthias Klugmann

    N-Acetylaspartate (NAA) is the second most abundant organic metabolite in the brain, but its physiological significance remains enigmatic. Toxic NAA accumulation appears to be the key factor for neurological decline in Canavan disease—a fatal neurometabolic disorder caused by deficiency in the NAA-degrading enzyme aspartoacylase. To date clinical outcome of gene replacement therapy for this spongiform leukodystrophy has not met expectations. To identify the target tissue and cells for maximum anticipated treatment benefit, we employed comprehensive phenotyping of novel mouse models to assess cell type-specific consequences of NAA depletion or elevation. We show that NAA-deficiency causes neurological deficits affecting unconscious defensive reactions aimed at protecting the body from external threat. This finding suggests, while NAA reduction is pivotal to treat Canavan disease, abrogating NAA synthesis should be avoided. At the other end of the spectrum, while predicting pathological severity in Canavan disease mice, increased brain NAA levels are not neurotoxic per se. In fact, in transgenic mice overexpressing the NAA synthesising enzyme Nat8l in neurons, supra-physiological NAA levels were uncoupled from neurological deficits. In contrast, elimination of aspartoacylase expression exclusively in oligodendrocytes elicited Canavan disease like pathology. Although conditional aspartoacylase deletion in oligodendrocytes abolished expression in the entire CNS, the remaining aspartoacylase in peripheral organs was sufficient to lower NAA levels, delay disease onset and ameliorate histopathology. However, comparable endpoints of the conditional and complete aspartoacylase knockout indicate that optimal Canavan disease gene replacement therapies should restore aspartoacylase expression in oligodendrocytes. On the basis of these findings we executed an ASPA gene replacement therapy targeting oligodendrocytes in Canavan disease mice resulting in reversal of pre-existing CNS pathology and lasting neurological benefits. This finding signifies the first successful post-symptomatic treatment of a white matter disorder using an adeno-associated virus vector tailored towards oligodendroglial-restricted transgene expression.

  • α-Synuclein transfer between neurons and astrocytes indicates that astrocytes play a role in degradation rather than in spreading
    Acta Neuropathol. (IF 12.213) Pub Date : 2017-07-19
    Frida Loria, Jessica Y. Vargas, Luc Bousset, Sylvie Syan, Audrey Salles, Ronald Melki, Chiara Zurzolo

    Recent evidence suggests that disease progression in Parkinson’s disease (PD) could occur by the spreading of α-synuclein (α-syn) aggregates between neurons. Here we studied the role of astrocytes in the intercellular transfer and fate of α-syn fibrils, using in vitro and ex vivo models. α-Syn fibrils can be transferred to neighboring cells; however, the transfer efficiency changes depending on the cell types. We found that α-syn is efficiently transferred from astrocytes to astrocytes and from neurons to astrocytes, but less efficiently from astrocytes to neurons. Interestingly, α-syn puncta are mainly found inside the lysosomal compartments of the recipient cells. However, differently from neurons, astrocytes are able to efficiently degrade fibrillar α-syn, suggesting an active role for these cells in clearing α-syn deposits. Astrocytes co-cultured with organotypic brain slices are able to take up α-syn fibrils from the slices. Altogether our data support a role for astrocytes in trapping and clearing α-syn pathological deposits in PD.

  • Medulloblastoma: experimental models and reality
    Acta Neuropathol. (IF 12.213) Pub Date : 2017-07-19
    Julia E. Neumann, Fredrik J. Swartling, Ulrich Schüller

    Medulloblastoma is the most frequent malignant brain tumor in childhood, but it may also affect infants, adolescents, and young adults. Recent advances in the understanding of the disease have shed light on molecular and clinical heterogeneity, which is now reflected in the updated WHO classification of brain tumors. At the same time, it is well accepted that preclinical research and clinical trials have to be subgroup-specific. Hence, valid models have to be generated specifically for every medulloblastoma subgroup to properly mimic molecular fingerprints, clinical features, and responsiveness to targeted therapies. This review summarizes the availability of experimental medulloblastoma models with a particular focus on how well these models reflect the actual disease subgroup. We further describe technical advantages and disadvantages of the models and finally point out how some models have successfully been used to introduce new drugs and why some medulloblastoma subgroups are extraordinary difficult to model.

  • Conserved DNA methylation combined with differential frontal cortex and cerebellar expression distinguishes C9orf72 -associated and sporadic ALS, and implicates SERPINA1 in disease
    Acta Neuropathol. (IF 12.213) Pub Date : 2017-08-14
    Mark T. W. Ebbert, Christian A. Ross, Luc J. Pregent, Rebecca J. Lank, Cheng Zhang, Rebecca B. Katzman, Karen Jansen-West, Yuping Song, Edroaldo Lummertz da Rocha, Carla Palmucci, Pamela Desaro, Amelia E. Robertson, Ana M. Caputo, Dennis W. Dickson, Kevin B. Boylan, Rosa Rademakers, Tamas Ordog, Hu Li, Veronique V. Belzil

    We previously found C9orf72-associated (c9ALS) and sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (sALS) brain transcriptomes comprise thousands of defects, among which, some are likely key contributors to ALS pathogenesis. We have now generated complementary methylome data and combine these two data sets to perform a comprehensive “multi-omic” analysis to clarify the molecular mechanisms initiating RNA misregulation in ALS. We found that c9ALS and sALS patients have generally distinct but overlapping methylome profiles, and that the c9ALS- and sALS-affected genes and pathways have similar biological functions, indicating conserved pathobiology in disease. Our results strongly implicate SERPINA1 in both C9orf72 repeat expansion carriers and non-carriers, where expression levels are greatly increased in both patient groups across the frontal cortex and cerebellum. SERPINA1 expression is particularly pronounced in C9orf72 repeat expansion carriers for both brain regions, where SERPINA1 levels are strictly down regulated across most human tissues, including the brain, except liver and blood, and are not measurable in E18 mouse brain. The altered biological networks we identified contain critical molecular players known to contribute to ALS pathology, which also interact with SERPINA1. Our comprehensive combined methylation and transcription study identifies new genes and highlights that direct genetic and epigenetic changes contribute to c9ALS and sALS pathogenesis.

  • Deficiency of TYROBP, an adapter protein for TREM2 and CR3 receptors, is neuroprotective in a mouse model of early Alzheimer’s pathology
    Acta Neuropathol. (IF 12.213) Pub Date : 2017-06-13
    Jean-Vianney Haure-Mirande, Mickael Audrain, Tomas Fanutza, Soong Ho Kim, William L. Klein, Charles Glabe, Ben Readhead, Joel T. Dudley, Robert D. Blitzer, Minghui Wang, Bin Zhang, Eric E. Schadt, Sam Gandy, Michelle E. Ehrlich

    Conventional genetic approaches and computational strategies have converged on immune-inflammatory pathways as key events in the pathogenesis of late onset sporadic Alzheimer’s disease (LOAD). Mutations and/or differential expression of microglial specific receptors such as TREM2, CD33, and CR3 have been associated with strong increased risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease (AD). DAP12 (DNAX-activating protein 12)/TYROBP, a molecule localized to microglia, is a direct partner/adapter for TREM2, CD33, and CR3. We and others have previously shown that TYROBP expression is increased in AD patients and in mouse models. Moreover, missense mutations in the coding region of TYROBP have recently been identified in some AD patients. These lines of evidence, along with computational analysis of LOAD brain gene expression, point to DAP12/TYROBP as a potential hub or driver protein in the pathogenesis of AD. Using a comprehensive panel of biochemical, physiological, behavioral, and transcriptomic assays, we evaluated in a mouse model the role of TYROBP in early stage AD. We crossed an Alzheimer’s model mutant APPKM670/671NL/PSEN1Δexon9(APP/PSEN1) mouse model with Tyrobp−/− mice to generate AD model mice deficient or null for TYROBP (APP/PSEN1; Tyrobp+/− or APP/PSEN1; Tyrobp−/−). While we observed relatively minor effects of TYROBP deficiency on steady-state levels of amyloid-β peptides, there was an effect of Tyrobp deficiency on the morphology of amyloid deposits resembling that reported by others for Trem2−/− mice. We identified modulatory effects of TYROBP deficiency on the level of phosphorylation of TAU that was accompanied by a reduction in the severity of neuritic dystrophy. TYROBP deficiency also altered the expression of several AD related genes, including Cd33. Electrophysiological abnormalities and learning behavior deficits associated with APP/PSEN1 transgenes were greatly attenuated on a Tyrobp-null background. Some modulatory effects of TYROBP on Alzheimer’s-related genes were only apparent on a background of mice with cerebral amyloidosis due to overexpression of mutant APP/PSEN1. These results suggest that reduction of TYROBP gene expression and/or protein levels could represent an immune-inflammatory therapeutic opportunity for modulating early stage LOAD, potentially leading to slowing or arresting the progression to full-blown clinical and pathological LOAD.

  • Remodeling of heterochromatin structure slows neuropathological progression and prolongs survival in an animal model of Huntington’s disease
    Acta Neuropathol. (IF 12.213) Pub Date : 2017-06-07
    Junghee Lee, Yu Jin Hwang, Yunha Kim, Min Young Lee, Seung Jae Hyeon, Soojin Lee, Dong Hyun Kim, Sung Jae Jang, Hyoenjoo Im, Sun-Joon Min, Hyunah Choo, Ae Nim Pae, Dong Jin Kim, Kyung Sang Cho, Neil W. Kowall, Hoon Ryu

    Huntington’s disease (HD) is an autosomal-dominant inherited neurological disorder caused by expanded CAG repeats in exon 1 of the Huntingtin (HTT) gene. Altered histone modifications and epigenetic mechanisms are closely associated with HD suggesting that transcriptional repression may play a pathogenic role. Epigenetic compounds have significant therapeutic effects in cellular and animal models of HD, but they have not been successful in clinical trials. Herein, we report that dSETDB1/ESET, a histone methyltransferase (HMT), is a mediator of mutant HTT-induced degeneration in a fly HD model. We found that nogalamycin, an anthracycline antibiotic and a chromatin remodeling drug, reduces trimethylated histone H3K9 (H3K9me3) levels and pericentromeric heterochromatin condensation by reducing the expression of Setdb1/Eset. H3K9me3-specific ChIP-on-ChIP analysis identified that the H3K9me3-enriched epigenome signatures of multiple neuronal pathways including Egr1, Fos, Ezh1, and Arc are deregulated in HD transgenic (R6/2) mice. Nogalamycin modulated the expression of the H3K9me3-landscaped epigenome in medium spiny neurons and reduced mutant HTT nuclear inclusion formation. Moreover, nogalamycin slowed neuropathological progression, preserved motor function, and extended the life span of R6/2 mice. Together, our results indicate that modulation of SETDB1/ESET and H3K9me3-dependent heterochromatin plasticity is responsible for the neuroprotective effects of nogalamycin in HD and that small compounds targeting dysfunctional histone modification and epigenetic modification by SETDB1/ESET may be a rational therapeutic strategy in HD.

  • Does Parkinson’s disease start in the gut?
    Acta Neuropathol. (IF 12.213) Pub Date : 2017-10-16
    Arthur Lionnet, Laurène Leclair-Visonneau, Michel Neunlist, Shigeo Murayama, Masaki Takao, Charles H. Adler, Pascal Derkinderen, Thomas G. Beach

    Parkinson’s disease (PD) is pathologically characterized by the presence of intraneuronal inclusions, termed Lewy bodies and Lewy neurites, whose main component is alpha-synuclein. Based on the topographic distribution of Lewy bodies and neurites established after autopsy from PD patients, Braak and coworkers hypothesized that PD pathology may start in the gastrointestinal tract then spread through the vagus nerve to the brain. This hypothesis has been reinforced by the discovery that alpha-synuclein may be capable of spreading transcellularly, thereby providing a mechanistic basis for Braak’s hypothesis. This ‘gut to brain’ scenario has ignited heated debates within the movement disorders community and prompted a large number of studies in both humans and animals. Here, we review the arguments for and against the gut as the origin of PD. We conclude that the human autopsy evidence does not support the hypothesis and that it is too early to draw any definitive conclusions. We discuss how this issue might be further addressed in future research.

  • Rare ADAR and RNASEH2B variants and a type I interferon signature in glioma and prostate carcinoma risk and tumorigenesis
    Acta Neuropathol. (IF 12.213) Pub Date : 2017-10-13
    Ulrike Beyer, Frank Brand, Helge Martens, Julia Weder, Arne Christians, Natalie Elyan, Bettina Hentschel, Manfred Westphal, Gabriele Schackert, Torsten Pietsch, Bujung Hong, Joachim K. Krauss, Amir Samii, Peter Raab, Anibh Das, Claudia A. Dumitru, I. Erol Sandalcioglu, Oliver W. Hakenberg, Andreas Erbersdobler, Ulrich Lehmann, Guido Reifenberger, Michael Weller, Martin A. M. Reijns, Matthias Preller, Bettina Wiese, Christian Hartmann, Ruthild G. Weber

    In search of novel germline alterations predisposing to tumors, in particular to gliomas, we studied a family with two brothers affected by anaplastic gliomas, and their father and paternal great-uncle diagnosed with prostate carcinoma. In this family, whole-exome sequencing yielded rare, simultaneously heterozygous variants in the Aicardi–Goutières syndrome (AGS) genes ADAR and RNASEH2B co-segregating with the tumor phenotype. AGS is a genetically induced inflammatory disease particularly of the brain, which has not been associated with a consistently increased cancer risk to date. By targeted sequencing, we identified novel ADAR and RNASEH2B variants, and a 3- to 17-fold frequency increase of the AGS mutations ADAR,c.577C>G;p.(P193A) and RNASEH2B,c.529G>A;p.(A177T) in the germline of familial glioma patients as well as in test and validation cohorts of glioblastomas and prostate carcinomas versus ethnicity-matched controls, whereby rare RNASEH2B variants were significantly more frequent in familial glioma patients. Tumors with ADAR or RNASEH2B variants recapitulated features of AGS, such as calcification and increased type I interferon expression. Patients carrying ADAR or RNASEH2B variants showed upregulation of interferon-stimulated gene (ISG) transcripts in peripheral blood as seen in AGS. An increased ISG expression was also induced by ADAR and RNASEH2B variants in tumor cells and was blocked by the JAK inhibitor Ruxolitinib. Our data implicate rare variants in the AGS genes ADAR and RNASEH2B and a type I interferon signature in glioma and prostate carcinoma risk and tumorigenesis, consistent with a genetic basis underlying inflammation-driven malignant transformation in glioma and prostate carcinoma development.

  • Microglial-mediated PDGF-CC activation increases cerebrovascular permeability during ischemic stroke
    Acta Neuropathol. (IF 12.213) Pub Date : 2017-07-19
    Enming Joseph Su, Chunzhang Cao, Linda Fredriksson, Ingrid Nilsson, Christina Stefanitsch, Tamara K. Stevenson, Juanjuan Zhao, Margret Ragsdale, Yu-Yo Sun, Manuel Yepes, Chia-Yi Kuan, Ulf Eriksson, Dudley K. Strickland, Daniel A. Lawrence, Li Zhang

    Treatment of acute ischemic stroke with the thrombolytic tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) can significantly improve neurological outcomes; however, thrombolytic therapy is associated with an increased risk of intra-cerebral hemorrhage (ICH). Previously, we demonstrated that during stroke tPA acting on the parenchymal side of the neurovascular unit (NVU) can increase blood–brain barrier (BBB) permeability and ICH through activation of latent platelet-derived growth factor-CC (PDGF-CC) and signaling by the PDGF receptor-α (PDGFRα). However, in vitro, activation of PDGF-CC by tPA is very inefficient and the mechanism of PDGF-CC activation in the NVU is not known. Here, we show that the integrin Mac-1, expressed on brain microglia/macrophages (denoted microglia throughout), acts together with the endocytic receptor LRP1 in the NVU to promote tPA-mediated activation of PDGF-CC. Mac-1-deficient mice (Mac-1−/−) are protected from tPA-induced BBB permeability but not from permeability induced by intracerebroventricular injection of active PDGF-CC. Immunofluorescence analysis demonstrates that Mac-1, LRP1, and the PDGFRα all localize to the NVU of arterioles, and following middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) Mac-1−/− mice show significantly less PDGFRα phosphorylation, BBB permeability, and infarct volume compared to wild-type mice. Bone-marrow transplantation studies indicate that resident CD11b+ cells, but not bone-marrow-derived leukocytes, mediate the early activation of PDGF-CC by tPA after MCAO. Finally, using a model of thrombotic stroke with late thrombolysis, we show that wild-type mice have an increased incidence of spontaneous ICH following thrombolysis with tPA 5 h after MCAO, whereas Mac-1−/− mice are resistant to the development of ICH even with late tPA treatment. Together, these results indicate that Mac-1 and LRP1 act as co-factors for the activation of PDGF-CC by tPA in the NVU, and suggest a novel mechanism for tightly regulating PDGFRα signaling in the NVU and controlling BBB permeability.

  • The 2017 World Health Organization classification of tumors of the pituitary gland: a summary
    Acta Neuropathol. (IF 12.213) Pub Date : 2017-08-18
    M. Beatriz S. Lopes

    The 4th edition of the World Health Organization (WHO) classification of endocrine tumors has been recently released. In this new edition, major changes are recommended in several areas of the classification of tumors of the anterior pituitary gland (adenophypophysis). The scope of the present manuscript is to summarize these recommended changes, emphasizing a few significant topics. These changes include the following: (1) a novel approach for classifying pituitary neuroendocrine tumors according to pituitary adenohypophyseal cell lineages; (2) changes to the histological grading of pituitary neuroendocrine tumors with the elimination of the term “atypical adenoma;” and (3) introduction of new entities like the pituitary blastoma and re-definition of old entities like the null-cell adenoma. This new classification is very practical and mostly based on immunohistochemistry for pituitary hormones, pituitary-specific transcription factors, and other immunohistochemical markers commonly used in pathology practice, not requiring routine ultrastructural analysis of the tumors. Evaluation of tumor proliferation potential, by mitotic count and Ki-67 labeling index, and tumor invasion is strongly recommended on individual case basis to identify clinically aggressive adenomas. In addition, the classification offers the treating clinical team information on tumor prognosis by identifying specific variants of adenomas associated with an elevated risk for recurrence. Changes in the classification of non-neuroendocrine tumors are also proposed, in particular those tumors arising in the posterior pituitary including pituicytoma, granular cell tumor of the posterior pituitary, and spindle cell oncocytoma. These changes endorse those previously published in the 2016 WHO classification of CNS tumors. Other tumors arising in the sellar region are also reviewed in detail including craniopharyngiomas, mesenchymal and stromal tumors, germ cell tumors, and hematopoietic tumors. It is hoped that the 2017 WHO classification of pituitary tumors will establish more biologically and clinically uniform groups of tumors, make it possible for practicing pathologists to better diagnose these tumors, and contribute to our understanding of clinical outcomes for patients harboring pituitary tumors.

  • Persistent microglial activation and synaptic loss with behavioral abnormalities in mouse offspring exposed to CASPR2-antibodies in utero
    Acta Neuropathol. (IF 12.213) Pub Date : 2017-07-28
    Ester Coutinho, David A. Menassa, Leslie Jacobson, Steven J. West, Joana Domingos, Teresa C. Moloney, Bethan Lang, Paul J. Harrison, David L. H. Bennett, David Bannerman, Angela Vincent

    Gestational transfer of maternal antibodies against fetal neuronal proteins may be relevant to some neurodevelopmental disorders, but until recently there were no proteins identified. We recently reported a fivefold increase in CASPR2-antibodies in mid-gestation sera from mothers of children with intellectual and motor disabilities. Here, we exposed mice in utero to purified IgG from patients with CASPR2-antibodies (CASPR2-IgGs) or from healthy controls (HC-IgGs). CASPR2-IgG but not HC-IgG bound to fetal brain parenchyma, from which CASPR2-antibodies could be eluted. CASPR2-IgG exposed neonates achieved milestones similarly to HC-IgG exposed controls but, when adult, the CASPR2-IgG exposed progeny showed marked social interaction deficits, abnormally located glutamatergic neurons in layers V–VI of the somatosensory cortex, a 16% increase in activated microglia, and a 15–52% decrease in glutamatergic synapses in layers of the prefrontal and somatosensory cortices. Thus, in utero exposure to CASPR2-antibodies led to permanent behavioral, cellular, and synaptic abnormalities. These findings support a pathogenic role for maternal antibodies in human neurodevelopmental conditions, and CASPR2 as a potential target.

  • Endocytic vesicle rupture is a conserved mechanism of cellular invasion by amyloid proteins
    Acta Neuropathol. (IF 12.213) Pub Date : 2017-05-19
    William P. Flavin, Luc Bousset, Zachary C. Green, Yaping Chu, Stratos Skarpathiotis, Michael J. Chaney, Jeffrey H. Kordower, Ronald Melki, Edward M. Campbell

    Numerous pathological amyloid proteins spread from cell to cell during neurodegenerative disease, facilitating the propagation of cellular pathology and disease progression. Understanding the mechanism by which disease-associated amyloid protein assemblies enter target cells and induce cellular dysfunction is, therefore, key to understanding the progressive nature of such neurodegenerative diseases. In this study, we utilized an imaging-based assay to monitor the ability of disease-associated amyloid assemblies to rupture intracellular vesicles following endocytosis. We observe that the ability to induce vesicle rupture is a common feature of α-synuclein (α-syn) assemblies, as assemblies derived from WT or familial disease-associated mutant α-syn all exhibited the ability to induce vesicle rupture. Similarly, different conformational strains of WT α-syn assemblies, but not monomeric or oligomeric forms, efficiently induced vesicle rupture following endocytosis. The ability to induce vesicle rupture was not specific to α-syn, as amyloid assemblies of tau and huntingtin Exon1 with pathologic polyglutamine repeats also exhibited the ability to induce vesicle rupture. We also observe that vesicles ruptured by α-syn are positive for the autophagic marker LC3 and can accumulate and fuse into large, intracellular structures resembling Lewy bodies in vitro. Finally, we show that the same markers of vesicle rupture surround Lewy bodies in brain sections from PD patients. These data underscore the importance of this conserved endocytic vesicle rupture event as a damaging mechanism of cellular invasion by amyloid assemblies of multiple neurodegenerative disease-associated proteins, and suggest that proteinaceous inclusions such as Lewy bodies form as a consequence of continued fusion of autophagic vesicles in cells unable to degrade ruptured vesicles and their amyloid contents.

  • Sushi repeat-containing protein 1: a novel disease-associated molecule in cerebral amyloid angiopathy
    Acta Neuropathol. (IF 12.213) Pub Date : 2017-05-06
    Yasuteru Inoue, Mitsuharu Ueda, Masayoshi Tasaki, Akari Takeshima, Akihito Nagatoshi, Teruaki Masuda, Yohei Misumi, Takayuki Kosaka, Toshiya Nomura, Mayumi Mizukami, Sayaka Matsumoto, Taro Yamashita, Hitoshi Takahashi, Akiyoshi Kakita, Yukio Ando

    Sporadic cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA) is characterized by cerebrovascular amyloid beta (Aβ) deposits and causes cerebral hemorrhage and dementia. The exact molecules that co-accumulate with cerebrovascular Aβ deposits are still not fully known. In our study here, we performed proteomic analyses with microdissected leptomeningeal arteries and cerebral neocortical arterioles from 8 cases with severe CAA, 12 cases with mild CAA, and 10 control cases without CAA, and we determined the levels of highly expressed proteins in cerebral blood vessels in CAA. We focused on sushi repeat-containing protein 1 (SRPX1), which is specifically expressed in CAA-affected cerebral blood vessels. Because SRPX1, which is known as a tumor suppressor gene, reportedly induced apoptosis in tumor cells, we hypothesized that SRPX1 may play an important role in Aβ-induced apoptosis in CAA. Immunohistochemical studies revealed that SRPX1 co-accumulated with Aβ deposits in cerebral blood vessels of all autopsied cases with severe CAA. In contrast, no SRPX1 co-accumulated with Aβ deposits in senile plaques. Furthermore, we demonstrated that both Aβ40 and Aβ42 bound to SRPX1 in vitro and enhanced SRPX1 expression in primary cultures of cerebrovascular smooth muscle cells. SRPX1 enhanced caspase activity induced by Aβ40. Knockdown of SRPX1, in contrast, reduced the formation of Aβ40 accumulations and the activity of caspase in cultured cerebrovascular smooth muscle cells. SRPX1 may thus be a novel molecule that is up-regulated in cerebrovascular Aβ deposits and that may increase Aβ-induced cerebrovascular degeneration in CAA.

  • [F-18]-AV-1451 binding correlates with postmortem neurofibrillary tangle Braak staging
    Acta Neuropathol. (IF 12.213) Pub Date : 2017-06-13
    Marta Marquié, Michael Siao Tick Chong, Alejandro Antón-Fernández, Eline E. Verwer, Nil Sáez-Calveras, Avery C. Meltzer, Prianca Ramanan, Ana C. Amaral, Jose Gonzalez, Marc D. Normandin, Matthew P. Frosch, Teresa Gómez-Isla

    [F-18]-AV-1451, a PET tracer specifically developed to detect brain neurofibrillary tau pathology, has the potential to facilitate accurate diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), staging of brain tau burden and monitoring disease progression. Recent PET studies show that patients with mild cognitive impairment and AD dementia exhibit significantly higher in vivo [F-18]-AV-1451 retention than cognitively normal controls. Importantly, PET patterns of [F-18]-AV-1451 correlate well with disease severity and seem to match the predicted topographic Braak staging of neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs) in AD, although this awaits confirmation. We studied the correlation of autoradiographic binding patterns of [F-18]-AV-1451 and the stereotypical spatiotemporal pattern of progression of NFTs using legacy postmortem brain samples representing different Braak NFT stages (I-VI). We performed [F-18]-AV-1451 phosphor-screen autoradiography and quantitative tau measurements (stereologically based NFT counts and biochemical analysis of tau pathology) in three brain regions (entorhinal cortex, superior temporal sulcus and visual cortex) in a total of 22 cases: low Braak (I–II, n = 6), intermediate Braak (III–IV, n = 7) and high Braak (V–VI, n = 9). Strong and selective [F-18]-AV-1451 binding was detected in all tangle-containing regions matching precisely the observed pattern of PHF-tau immunostaining across the different Braak stages. As expected, no signal was detected in the white matter or other non-tangle containing regions. Quantification of [F-18]-AV-1451 binding was very significantly correlated with the number of NFTs present in each brain region and with the total tau and phospho-tau content as reported by Western blot and ELISA. [F-18]-AV-1451 is a promising biomarker for in vivo quantification of brain tau burden in AD. Neuroimaging–pathologic studies conducted on postmortem material from individuals imaged while alive are now needed to confirm these observations.

  • Autism spectrum disorder: neuropathology and animal models
    Acta Neuropathol. (IF 12.213) Pub Date : 2017-06-05
    Merina Varghese, Neha Keshav, Sarah Jacot-Descombes, Tahia Warda, Bridget Wicinski, Dara L. Dickstein, Hala Harony-Nicolas, Silvia De Rubeis, Elodie Drapeau, Joseph D. Buxbaum, Patrick R. Hof

    Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has a major impact on the development and social integration of affected individuals and is the most heritable of psychiatric disorders. An increase in the incidence of ASD cases has prompted a surge in research efforts on the underlying neuropathologic processes. We present an overview of current findings in neuropathology studies of ASD using two investigational approaches, postmortem human brains and ASD animal models, and discuss the overlap, limitations, and significance of each. Postmortem examination of ASD brains has revealed global changes including disorganized gray and white matter, increased number of neurons, decreased volume of neuronal soma, and increased neuropil, the last reflecting changes in densities of dendritic spines, cerebral vasculature and glia. Both cortical and non-cortical areas show region-specific abnormalities in neuronal morphology and cytoarchitectural organization, with consistent findings reported from the prefrontal cortex, fusiform gyrus, frontoinsular cortex, cingulate cortex, hippocampus, amygdala, cerebellum and brainstem. The paucity of postmortem human studies linking neuropathology to the underlying etiology has been partly addressed using animal models to explore the impact of genetic and non-genetic factors clinically relevant for the ASD phenotype. Genetically modified models include those based on well-studied monogenic ASD genes (NLGN3, NLGN4, NRXN1, CNTNAP2, SHANK3, MECP2, FMR1, TSC1/2), emerging risk genes (CHD8, SCN2A, SYNGAP1, ARID1B, GRIN2B, DSCAM, TBR1), and copy number variants (15q11-q13 deletion, 15q13.3 microdeletion, 15q11-13 duplication, 16p11.2 deletion and duplication, 22q11.2 deletion). Models of idiopathic ASD include inbred rodent strains that mimic ASD behaviors as well as models developed by environmental interventions such as prenatal exposure to sodium valproate, maternal autoantibodies, and maternal immune activation. In addition to replicating some of the neuropathologic features seen in postmortem studies, a common finding in several animal models of ASD is altered density of dendritic spines, with the direction of the change depending on the specific genetic modification, age and brain region. Overall, postmortem neuropathologic studies with larger sample sizes representative of the various ASD risk genes and diverse clinical phenotypes are warranted to clarify putative etiopathogenic pathways further and to promote the emergence of clinically relevant diagnostic and therapeutic tools. In addition, as genetic alterations may render certain individuals more vulnerable to developing the pathological changes at the synapse underlying the behavioral manifestations of ASD, neuropathologic investigation using genetically modified animal models will help to improve our understanding of the disease mechanisms and enhance the development of targeted treatments.

  • IFN-β-induced reactive oxygen species and mitochondrial damage contribute to muscle impairment and inflammation maintenance in dermatomyositis
    Acta Neuropathol. (IF 12.213) Pub Date : 2017-06-16
    Alain Meyer, Gilles Laverny, Yves Allenbach, Elise Grelet, Vanessa Ueberschlag, Andoni Echaniz-Laguna, Béatrice Lannes, Ghada Alsaleh, Anne Laure Charles, François Singh, Joffrey Zoll, Evelyne Lonsdorfer, François Maurier, Olivier Boyer, Jacques-Eric Gottenberg, Anne Sophie Nicot, Jocelyn Laporte, Olivier Benveniste, Daniel Metzger, Jean Sibilia, Bernard Geny

    Dermatomyositis (DM) is an autoimmune disease associated with enhanced type I interferon (IFN) signalling in skeletal muscle, but the mechanisms underlying muscle dysfunction and inflammation perpetuation remain unknown. Transcriptomic analysis of early untreated DM muscles revealed that the main cluster of down-regulated genes was mitochondria-related. Histochemical, electron microscopy, and in situ oxygraphy analysis showed mitochondrial abnormalities, including increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and decreased respiration, which was correlated with low exercise capacities and a type I IFN signature. Moreover, IFN-β induced ROS production in human myotubes was found to contribute to mitochondrial malfunctions. Importantly, the ROS scavenger N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) prevented mitochondrial dysfunctions, type I IFN-stimulated transcript levels, inflammatory cell infiltrate, and muscle weakness in an experimental autoimmune myositis mouse model. Thus, these data highlight a central role of mitochondria and ROS in DM. Mitochondrial dysfunctions, mediated by IFN-β induced-ROS, contribute to poor exercise capacity. In addition, mitochondrial dysfunctions increase ROS production that drive type I IFN-inducible gene expression and muscle inflammation, and may thus self-sustain the disease. Given that current DM treatments only induce partial recovery and expose to serious adverse events (including muscular toxicity), protecting mitochondria from dysfunctions may open new therapeutic avenues for DM.

  • IRE1 signaling exacerbates Alzheimer’s disease pathogenesis
    Acta Neuropathol. (IF 12.213) Pub Date : 2017-03-24
    Claudia Duran-Aniotz, Victor Hugo Cornejo, Sandra Espinoza, Álvaro O. Ardiles, Danilo B. Medinas, Claudia Salazar, Andrew Foley, Ivana Gajardo, Peter Thielen, Takao Iwawaki, Wiep Scheper, Claudio Soto, Adrian G. Palacios, Jeroen J. M. Hoozemans, Claudio Hetz

    Altered proteostasis is a salient feature of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), highlighting the occurrence of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and abnormal protein aggregation. ER stress triggers the activation of the unfolded protein response (UPR), a signaling pathway that enforces adaptive programs to sustain proteostasis or eliminate terminally damaged cells. IRE1 is an ER-located kinase and endoribonuclease that operates as a major stress transducer, mediating both adaptive and proapoptotic programs under ER stress. IRE1 signaling controls the expression of the transcription factor XBP1, in addition to degrade several RNAs. Importantly, a polymorphism in the XBP1 promoter was suggested as a risk factor to develop AD. Here, we demonstrate a positive correlation between the progression of AD histopathology and the activation of IRE1 in human brain tissue. To define the significance of the UPR to AD, we targeted IRE1 expression in a transgenic mouse model of AD. Despite initial expectations that IRE1 signaling may protect against AD, genetic ablation of the RNase domain of IRE1 in the nervous system significantly reduced amyloid deposition, the content of amyloid β oligomers, and astrocyte activation. IRE1 deficiency fully restored the learning and memory capacity of AD mice, associated with improved synaptic function and improved long-term potentiation (LTP). At the molecular level, IRE1 deletion reduced the expression of amyloid precursor protein (APP) in cortical and hippocampal areas of AD mice. In vitro experiments demonstrated that inhibition of IRE1 downstream signaling reduces APP steady-state levels, associated with its retention at the ER followed by proteasome-mediated degradation. Our findings uncovered an unanticipated role of IRE1 in the pathogenesis of AD, offering a novel target for disease intervention.

  • Deleterious ABCA7 mutations and transcript rescue mechanisms in early onset Alzheimer’s disease
    Acta Neuropathol. (IF 12.213) Pub Date : 2017-04-27
    Arne De Roeck, Tobi Van den Bossche, Julie van der Zee, Jan Verheijen, Wouter De Coster, Jasper Van Dongen, Lubina Dillen, Yalda Baradaran-Heravi, Bavo Heeman, Raquel Sanchez-Valle, Albert Lladó, Benedetta Nacmias, Sandro Sorbi, Ellen Gelpi, Oriol Grau-Rivera, Estrella Gómez-Tortosa, Pau Pastor, Sara Ortega-Cubero, Maria A. Pastor, Caroline Graff, Håkan Thonberg, Luisa Benussi, Roberta Ghidoni, Giuliano Binetti, Alexandre de Mendonça, Madalena Martins, Barbara Borroni, Alessandro Padovani, Maria Rosário Almeida, Isabel Santana, Janine Diehl-Schmid, Panagiotis Alexopoulos, Jordi Clarimon, Alberto Lleó, Juan Fortea, Magda Tsolaki, Maria Koutroumani, Radoslav Matěj, Zdenek Rohan, Peter De Deyn, Sebastiaan Engelborghs, Patrick Cras, Christine Van Broeckhoven, Kristel Sleegers, On behalf of the European Early-Onset Dementia (EU EOD) consortium

    Premature termination codon (PTC) mutations in the ATP-Binding Cassette, Sub-Family A, Member 7 gene (ABCA7) have recently been identified as intermediate-to-high penetrant risk factor for late-onset Alzheimer’s disease (LOAD). High variability, however, is observed in downstream ABCA7 mRNA and protein expression, disease penetrance, and onset age, indicative of unknown modifying factors. Here, we investigated the prevalence and disease penetrance of ABCA7 PTC mutations in a large early onset AD (EOAD)—control cohort, and examined the effect on transcript level with comprehensive third-generation long-read sequencing. We characterized the ABCA7 coding sequence with next-generation sequencing in 928 EOAD patients and 980 matched control individuals. With MetaSKAT rare variant association analysis, we observed a fivefold enrichment (p = 0.0004) of PTC mutations in EOAD patients (3%) versus controls (0.6%). Ten novel PTC mutations were only observed in patients, and PTC mutation carriers in general had an increased familial AD load. In addition, we observed nominal risk reducing trends for three common coding variants. Seven PTC mutations were further analyzed using targeted long-read cDNA sequencing on an Oxford Nanopore MinION platform. PTC-containing transcripts for each investigated PTC mutation were observed at varying proportion (5–41% of the total read count), implying incomplete nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD). Furthermore, we distinguished and phased several previously unknown alternative splicing events (up to 30% of transcripts). In conjunction with PTC mutations, several of these novel ABCA7 isoforms have the potential to rescue deleterious PTC effects. In conclusion, ABCA7 PTC mutations play a substantial role in EOAD, warranting genetic screening of ABCA7 in genetically unexplained patients. Long-read cDNA sequencing revealed both varying degrees of NMD and transcript-modifying events, which may influence ABCA7 dosage, disease severity, and may create opportunities for therapeutic interventions in AD.

  • Myelin regulatory factor drives remyelination in multiple sclerosis
    Acta Neuropathol. (IF 12.213) Pub Date : 2017-06-19
    Greg J. Duncan, Jason R. Plemel, Peggy Assinck, Sohrab B. Manesh, Fraser G. W. Muir, Ryan Hirata, Matan Berson, Jie Liu, Michael Wegner, Ben Emery, G. R. Wayne Moore, Wolfram Tetzlaff

    Remyelination is limited in the majority of multiple sclerosis (MS) lesions despite the presence of oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPCs) in most lesions. This observation has led to the view that a failure of OPCs to fully differentiate underlies remyelination failure. OPC differentiation requires intricate transcriptional regulation, which may be disrupted in chronic MS lesions. The expression of few transcription factors has been differentially compared between remyelinating lesions and lesions refractory to remyelination. In particular, the oligodendrocyte transcription factor myelin regulatory factor (MYRF) is essential for myelination during development, but its role during remyelination and expression in MS lesions is unknown. To understand the role of MYRF during remyelination, we genetically fate mapped OPCs following lysolecithin-induced demyelination of the corpus callosum in mice and determined that MYRF is expressed in new oligodendrocytes. OPC-specific Myrf deletion did not alter recruitment or proliferation of these cells after demyelination, but decreased the density of new glutathione S-transferase π positive oligodendrocytes. Subsequent remyelination in both the spinal cord and corpus callosum is highly impaired following Myrf deletion from OPCs. Individual OPC-derived oligodendrocytes, produced in response to demyelination, showed little capacity to express myelin proteins following Myrf deletion. Collectively, these data demonstrate a crucial role of MYRF in the transition of oligodendrocytes from a premyelinating to a myelinating phenotype during remyelination. In the human brain, we find that MYRF is expressed in NogoA and CNP-positive oligodendrocytes. In MS, there was both a lower density and proportion of oligodendrocyte lineage cells and NogoA+ oligodendrocytes expressing MYRF in chronically demyelinated lesions compared to remyelinated shadow plaques. The relative scarcity of oligodendrocyte lineage cells expressing MYRF in demyelinated MS lesions demonstrates, for the first time, that chronic lesions lack oligodendrocytes that express this necessary transcription factor for remyelination and supports the notion that a failure to fully differentiate underlies remyelination failure.

  • White matter injury in the preterm infant: pathology and mechanisms
    Acta Neuropathol. (IF 12.213) Pub Date : 2017-05-22
    Stephen A. Back

    The human preterm brain is particularly susceptible to cerebral white matter injury (WMI) that disrupts the normal progression of developmental myelination. Advances in the care of preterm infants have resulted in a sustained reduction in the severity of WMI that has shifted from more severe focal necrotic lesions to milder diffuse WMI. Nevertheless, WMI remains a global health problem and the most common cause of chronic neurological morbidity from cerebral palsy and diverse neurobehavioral disabilities. Diffuse WMI involves maturation-dependent vulnerability of the oligodendrocyte (OL) lineage with selective degeneration of late oligodendrocyte progenitors (preOLs) triggered by oxidative stress and other insults. The magnitude and distribution of diffuse WMI are related to both the timing of appearance and regional distribution of susceptible preOLs. Diffuse WMI disrupts the normal progression of OL lineage maturation and myelination through aberrant mechanisms of regeneration and repair. PreOL degeneration is accompanied by early robust proliferation of OL progenitors that regenerate and augment the preOL pool available to generate myelinating OLs. However, newly generated preOLs fail to differentiate and initiate myelination along their normal developmental trajectory despite the presence of numerous intact-appearing axons. Disrupted preOL maturation is accompanied by diffuse gliosis and disturbances in the composition of the extracellular matrix and is mediated in part by inhibitory factors derived from reactive astrocytes. Signaling pathways implicated in disrupted myelination include those mediated by Notch, WNT-beta catenin, and hyaluronan. Hence, there exists a potentially broad but still poorly defined developmental window for interventions to promote white matter repair and myelination and potentially reverses the widespread disturbances in cerebral gray matter growth that accompanies WMI.

  • Phenotypic and functional characterization of T cells in white matter lesions of multiple sclerosis patients
    Acta Neuropathol. (IF 12.213) Pub Date : 2017-06-17
    Gijsbert P. van Nierop, Marvin M. van Luijn, Samira S. Michels, Marie-Jose Melief, Malou Janssen, Anton W. Langerak, Werner J. D. Ouwendijk, Rogier Q. Hintzen, Georges M. G. M. Verjans

    T cells are considered pivotal in the pathology of multiple sclerosis (MS), but their function and antigen specificity are unknown. To unravel the role of T cells in MS pathology, we performed a comprehensive analysis on T cells recovered from paired blood, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), normal-appearing white matter (NAWM) and white matter lesions (WML) from 27 MS patients with advanced disease shortly after death. The differentiation status of T cells in these compartments was determined by ex vivo flow cytometry and immunohistochemistry. T-cell reactivity in short-term T-cell lines (TCL), generated by non-specific stimulation of T cells recovered from the same compartments, was determined by intracellular cytokine flow cytometry. Central memory T cells predominated in CSF and effector memory T cells were enriched in NAWM and WML. WML-derived CD8+ T cells represent chronically activated T cells expressing a cytotoxic effector phenotype (CD95L and granzyme B) indicative for local antigenic stimulation (CD137). The same lesions also contained higher CD8+ T-cell frequencies expressing co-inhibitory (TIM3 and PD1) and co-stimulatory (ICOS) T-cell receptors, yet no evidence for T-cell senescence (CD57) was observed. The oligoclonal T-cell receptor (TCR) repertoire, particularly among CD8+ T cells, correlated between TCL generated from anatomically separated WML of the same MS patient, but not between paired NAWM and WML. Whereas no substantial T-cell reactivity was detected towards seven candidate human MS-associated autoantigens (cMSAg), brisk CD8+ T-cell reactivity was detected in multiple WML-derived TCL towards autologous Epstein–Barr virus (EBV) infected B cells (autoBLCL). In one MS patient, the T-cell response towards autoBLCL in paired intra-lesional TCL was dominated by TCRVβ2+CD8+ T cells, which were localized in the parenchyma of the respective tissues expressing a polarized TCR and CD8 expression suggesting immunological synapse formation in situ. Collectively, the data suggest the involvement of effector memory cytotoxic T cells recognizing antigens expressed by autoBLCL, but not the assayed human cMSAg, in WML of MS patients.

  • H3-/IDH-wild type pediatric glioblastoma is comprised of molecularly and prognostically distinct subtypes with associated oncogenic drivers
    Acta Neuropathol. (IF 12.213) Pub Date : 2017-04-11
    Andrey Korshunov, Daniel Schrimpf, Marina Ryzhova, Dominik Sturm, Lukas Chavez, Volker Hovestadt, Tanvi Sharma, Antje Habel, Anna Burford, Chris Jones, Olga Zheludkova, Ella Kumirova, Christof M. Kramm, Andrey Golanov, David Capper, Andreas von Deimling, Stefan M. Pfister, David T. W. Jones

    Pediatric glioblastoma (pedGBM) is an extremely aggressive pediatric brain tumor, accounting for ~6% of all central nervous system neoplasms in children. Approximately half of pedGBM harbor recurrent somatic mutations in histone 3 variants or, infrequently, IDH1/2. The remaining subset of pedGBM is highly heterogeneous, and displays a variety of genomic and epigenetic features. In the current study, we aimed to further stratify an H3-/IDH-wild type (wt) pedGBM cohort assessed through genome-wide molecular profiling. As a result, we identified three molecular subtypes of these tumors, differing in their genomic and epigenetic signatures as well as in their clinical behavior. We designated these subtypes ‘pedGBM_MYCN’ (enriched for MYCN amplification), ‘pedGBM_RTK1’ (enriched for PDGFRA amplification) and ‘pedGBM_RTK2’ (enriched for EGFR amplification). These molecular subtypes were associated with significantly different outcomes, i.e. pedGBM_RTK2 tumors show a significantly longer survival time (median OS 44 months), pedGBM_MYCN display extremely poor outcomes (median OS 14 months), and pedGBM_RTK1 tumors harbor an intermediate prognosis. In addition, the various molecular subtypes of H3-/IDH-wt pedGBM were clearly distinguishable from their adult counterparts, underlining their biological distinctiveness. In conclusion, our study demonstrates significant molecular heterogeneity of H3-/IDH-wt pedGBM in terms of DNA methylation and cytogenetic alterations. The recognition of three molecular subtypes of H3-/IDH-wt pedGBM further revealed close correlations with biological parameters and clinical outcomes and may therefore, be predictive of response to standard treatment protocols, but could also be useful for stratification for novel, molecularly based therapies.

  • Microglia contribute to normal myelinogenesis and to oligodendrocyte progenitor maintenance during adulthood
    Acta Neuropathol. (IF 12.213) Pub Date : 2017-07-06
    Nora Hagemeyer, Klara-Maria Hanft, Maria-Anna Akriditou, Nicole Unger, Eun S. Park, E. Richard Stanley, Ori Staszewski, Leda Dimou, Marco Prinz

    Whereas microglia involvement in virtually all brain diseases is well accepted their role in the control of homeostasis in the central nervous system (CNS) is mainly thought to be the maintenance of neuronal function through the formation, refinement, and monitoring of synapses in both the developing and adult brain. Although the prenatal origin as well as the neuron-centered function of cortical microglia has recently been elucidated, much less is known about a distinct amoeboid microglia population formerly described as the “fountain of microglia” that appears only postnatally in myelinated regions such as corpus callosum and cerebellum. Using large-scale transcriptional profiling, fate mapping, and genetic targeting approaches, we identified a unique molecular signature of this microglia subset that arose from a CNS endogenous microglia pool independent from circulating myeloid cells. Microglia depletion experiments revealed an essential role of postnatal microglia for the proper development and homeostasis of oligodendrocytes and their progenitors. Our data provide new cellular and molecular insights into the myelin-supporting function of microglia in the normal CNS.

Some contents have been Reproduced with permission of the American Chemical Society.
Some contents have been Reproduced by permission of The Royal Society of Chemistry.
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