Defects in neuromuscular junction remodelling in the Smn(2B/-) mouse model of spinal muscular atrophy

Lyndsay M. Murray, Ariane Beauvais, Kunal Bhanot, Rashmi Kothary*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a devastating childhood motor neuron disease caused by mutations and deletions within the survival motor neuron 1 (SMN1) gene. Although other tissues may be involved, motor neurons remain primary pathological targets, with loss of neuromuscular junctions (NMJs) representing an early and significant event in pathogenesis. Although defects in axonal outgrowth and pathfinding have been observed in cell culture and in lower organisms upon Smn depletion, developmental defects in mouse models have been less obvious. Here, we have employed the Smn(2B/-) mouse model to investigate NMJ remodelling during SMA pathology, induced reinnervation, and paralysis. We show that whilst NMJs are capable of remodelling during pathogenesis, there is a marked reduction in paralysis-induced remodelling and in the nerve-directed re-organisation of acetylcholine receptors. This reduction in remodelling potential could not be attributed to a decreased rate of axonal growth. Finally, we have identified a loss of terminal Schwann cells which could contribute to the defects in remodelling/maintenance observed. Our work demonstrates that there are specific defects in NMJ remodelling in an intermediate SMA mouse model, which could contribute to or underlie pathogenesis in SMA. The development of strategies that can promote the remodelling potential of NMJs may therefore be of significant benefit to SMA patients. (c) 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-67
Number of pages11
JournalNeurobiology of disease
Volume49
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2013

Keywords

  • Neuromuscular junction
  • Spinal muscular atrophy
  • Remodelling
  • Sprouting
  • Endplate
  • Schwann cell
  • AMYOTROPHIC-LATERAL-SCLEROSIS
  • SELECTIVE VULNERABILITY
  • DETERMINING GENE
  • MOTOR-NEURONS
  • SMN PROTEIN
  • MICE
  • SURVIVAL
  • DISEASE
  • PATHOLOGY
  • MOTONEURONS

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