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Durham, NC, United States

Gonzalez-Perez P.,University of Massachusetts Medical School | Cirulli E.T.,Duke University | Drory V.E.,Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center | Drory V.E.,Tel Aviv University | And 18 more authors.

Objective: To identify the genetic variant that causes autosomal dominantly inheritedmotor neuron disease in a 4-generation Israeli-Arab family using genetic linkage and whole exome sequencing. Methods: Genetic linkage analysis was performed in this family using Illumina single nucleotide polymorphism chips. Whole exome sequencing was then undertaken onDNAsamples from2affected family members using an Illumina 2000 HiSeq platform in pursuit of potentially pathogenic genetic variants that comigrate with the disease in this pedigree. Variants meeting these criteria were then screened in all affected individuals. Results: A novel mutation (p.R191G) in the valosin-containing protein (VCP) gene was identified in the index family. Direct sequencing of the VCP gene in a panel of DNA from 274 unrelated individuals with familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (FALS) revealed 5 additional mutations. Among them, 2 were previously identified in pedigrees with a constellation of inclusion body myopathy with Paget disease of the bone and frontotemporal dementia (IBMPFD) and in FALS, and 2 other mutations (p.R159C and p.R155C) in IBMPFD alone.We did not detect VCP genemutations in DNA from 178 cases of sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Conclusions: We report a novel VCP mutation identified in an amyotrophic lateral sclerosis family (p.R191G) with atypical clinical features. In our experience, VCP mutations arise in approximately 1.5% of FALS cases. Our study supports the view that motor neuron disease is part of the clinical spectrum of VCP-associated disease. © 2012 American Academy of Neurology. Source

Klein R.C.,Duke University | Klein R.C.,Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center | Acheson S.K.,Duke University | Acheson S.K.,Neurobiology Research Laboratory | And 6 more authors.
Neurobiology of Aging

The human APOE4 allele is associated with an early age of onset and increased risk of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Apolipoprotein E is secreted as part of a high-density lipoprotein-like particle by glial cells in the brain for the primary purpose of transport of lipophilic compounds involved in the maintenance of synapses. Previous studies examining synaptic integrity in the amygdala of human apoE targeted replacement (TR) mice showed a decrease in spontaneous excitatory synaptic activity, dendritic arbor, and spine density associated with apoE4 compared with apoE3 and apoE2 in adult male mice. In the present study, we assessed how APOE genotype affects synaptic integrity of amygdala neurons by comparing electrophysiological and morphometric properties in human apoE3, E4, and E2/4TR mice at the age of 18-20months. In contrast to adult mice, we found that aged apoE4 TR mice exhibited the highest level of excitatory synaptic activity compared with other cohorts. Additionally, apoE4 mice had significantly greater spontaneous inhibitory activity than all other cohorts. Taken together, there was a significant interaction between genotypes when comparing inhibition relative to excitation; there was a simple main effect of frequency type with an imbalance toward inhibition in apoE4 mice but not in apoE3 or apoE2/4 mice. These results suggest that apoE isoforms differentially influence synaptic transmission throughout the life span, where aging coupled with apoE4 expression, results in an imbalance in maintaining integrity of synaptic transmission. © 2014 Elsevier Inc. Source

Citron B.A.,Neurobiology Research Laboratory | Citron B.A.,University of Kansas Medical Center | Ameenuddin S.,Neurobiology Research Laboratory | Uchida K.,Nagoya University | And 6 more authors.
Brain Research

Thrombin and membrane lipid peroxidation (MLP) have been implicated in various central nervous system (CNS) disorders from CNS trauma to stroke, Alzheimer's (AD) and Parkinson's (PD) diseases. Because thrombin also induces MLP in platelets and its involvement in neurodegenerative diseases we hypothesized that its deleterious effects might, in part, involve formation of MLP in neuronal cells. We previously showed that thrombin induced caspase-3 mediated apoptosis in motor neurons, via a proteinase-activated receptor (PAR1). We have now investigated thrombin's influence on the oxidative state of neurons leading to induction of MLP-protein adducts. Translational relevance of thrombin-induced MLP is supported by increased levels of 4-hydroxynonenal-protein adducts (HNEPA) in AD and PD brains. We now report for the first time that thrombin dose-dependently induces formation of HNEPA in NSC34 mouse motor neuron cells using anti-HNE and anti-acrolein monoclonal antibodies. The most prominent immunoreactive band, in SDS-PAGE, was at ∼54 kDa. Membrane fractions displayed higher amounts of the protein-adduct than cytosolic fractions. Thrombin induced MLP was mediated, at least in part, through PAR1 since a PAR1 active peptide, PAR1AP, also elevated HNEPA levels. Of interest, glutamate and Fe2SO4 also increased the ∼54 kDa HNEPA band in these cells but to a lesser extent. Taken together our results implicate the involvement of thrombin and MLP in neuronal cell loss observed in various CNS degenerative and traumatic pathologies. © 2016 Published by Elsevier B.V. Source

Moore N.L.T.,Duke University | Greenleaf A.L.R.,Duke University | Acheson S.K.,Neurobiology Research Laboratory | Wilson W.A.,Neurobiology Research Laboratory | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics

Adolescence is a well defined developmental period during which marijuana use is common. However, little is known about the response to marijuana in adolescents compared with adults. We have shown previously that adolescent rats are more impaired than adults by Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive compound in marijuana, in a spatial learning task, but the mechanism responsible for this differential impairment is not understood. We determined the role of THC tolerance and cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1) regulation in THC-induced spatial learning impairment in adolescent and adult rats. We measured the development of tolerance to THC-induced learning impairment in adolescent (postnatal days 30-35) and adult (postnatal days 70-75) rats. We pretreated them for 5 days with 10 mg/kg THC, and then evaluated the effects of vehicle or THC treatment on learning during training in the Morris water maze. We also determined CB1 number and functional coupling in the hippocampus of adolescents and adults. Finally, we measured the time course of hippocampal CB1 desensitization in adolescents and adults during treatment with 10 mg/kg THC or vehicle. Our results indicate that adults, but not adolescents, become tolerant to the effects of THC during water maze training after 5 days of pretreatment. CB1s in adolescent hippocampus are less functionally coupled to G proteins and desensitize more slowly in response to THC treatment than those of adults. THC may impair learning in adolescents more than in adults because of delayed activation of cellular homeostatic adaptive mechanisms underlying cannabinoid tolerance in the hippocampus. Source

Li Q.,Duke University | Li Q.,Neurobiology Research Laboratory | Yan H.,Duke University | Yan H.,Neurobiology Research Laboratory | And 4 more authors.
Brain Research

Although the endogenous cannabinoid system modulates a variety of physiological and pharmacological processes, the specific role of cannabinoid CB1 receptors in the modulation of glutamatergic neurotransmission and neural plasticity is not well understood. Using whole-cell patch clamp recording techniques, evoked or spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents (eEPSCs or sEPSCs) were recorded from visualized, layer II/III pyramidal cells in frontal cortical slices from rat brain. Bath application of the CB1 receptor agonist, WIN 55212-2 (WIN), reduced the amplitude of NMDA receptor-mediated EPSCs in a concentration-dependent manner. When co-applied with the specific CB1 antagonists, AM251 or AM281, WIN did not suppress NMDA receptor-mediated EPSCs. WIN also reduced the amplitude of evoked AMPA receptor-mediated EPSCs, an effect that was also reversed by AM251. Both the frequency and amplitude of spontaneous AMPA receptor-mediated EPSCs were significantly reduced by WIN. In contrast, WIN reduced the frequency, but not the amplitude of miniature EPSCs, suggesting that the suppression of glutamatergic activity by CB1 receptors in the frontal neocortex is mediated by a presynaptic mechanism. Taken together, these data indicate a critical role for endocannabinoid signaling in the regulation of excitatory synaptic transmission in frontal neocortex, and suggest a possible neuronal mechanism whereby THC regulates cortical function. Source

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