Axonal and neuromuscular synaptic phenotypes in Wld(S), SOD1(G93A) and ostes mutant mice identified by fiber-optic confocal microendoscopy

Frances Wong, Li Fan, Sara Wells, Robert Hartley, Francesca E. Mackenzie, Oyinlola Oyebode, Rosalind Brown, Derek Thomson, Michael P. Coleman, Gonzalo Blanco, Richard R. Ribchester

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We used live imaging by fiber-optic confocal microendoscopy (CME) of yellow fluorescent protein (YFP) expression in motor neurons to observe and monitor axonal and neuromuscular synaptic phenotypes in mutant mice. First, we visualized slow degeneration of axons and motor nerve terminals at neuromuscular junctions following sciatic nerve injury in Wld(S) mice with slow Wallerian degeneration. Protection of axotomized motor nerve terminals was much weaker in Wld(S) heterozygotes than in homozygotes. We then induced covert modifiers of axonal and synaptic degeneration in heterozygous Wld(S) mice, by N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea (ENU) mutagenesis, and used CME to identify candidate mutants that either enhanced or suppressed axonal or synaptic degeneration. From 219 of the F1 progeny of ENU-mutagenized BALB/c mice and thyl.2-YFP16/Wld(S) mice, CME revealed six phenodeviants with suppression of synaptic degeneration. Inheritance of synaptic protection was confirmed in three of these founders, with evidence of Mendelian inheritance of a dominant mutation in one of them (designated CEMOP_S5). We next applied CME repeatedly to living Wld(S) mice and to SOD1(G93A) Mice, an animal model of motor neuron disease, and observed degeneration of identified neuromuscular synapses over a 1-4 day period in both of these mutant lines. Finally, we used CME to observe slow axonal regeneration in the ENU-mutant ostes mouse strain. The data show that CME can be used to monitor covert axonal and neuromuscular synaptic pathology and, when combined with mutagenesis, to identify genetic modifiers of its progression in vivo. (C) 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)296-307
Number of pages12
JournalMolecular and Cellular Neuroscience
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2009


Dive into the research topics of 'Axonal and neuromuscular synaptic phenotypes in Wld(S), SOD1(G93A) and ostes mutant mice identified by fiber-optic confocal microendoscopy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this