Selective spatiotemporal vulnerability of central nervous system neurons to pathologic TAR DNA-binding protein 43 in aged transgenic mice

Annika van Hummel, Gabriella Chan, Julia van der Hoven, Marco Morsch, Stefania Ippati, Lisa Suh, Mian Bi, Prita R. Asih, Wei S. Lee, Troy A. Butler, Magdalena Przybyla, Glenda M. Halliday, Olivier Piguet, Matthew C. Kiernan, Roger S. Chung, Lars M. Ittner, Yazi D. Ke*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a rapidly progressing and fatal disease characterized by muscular atrophy because of loss of upper and lower motor neurons. Histopathologically, most patients with ALS have abnormal cytoplasmic accumulation and aggregation of the nuclear RNA-regulating protein TAR DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43). Pathogenic mutations in the TARDBP gene that encode TDP-43 have been identified in familial ALS. We have previously reported transgenic mice with neuronal expression of human TDP-43 carrying the pathogenic A315T mutation (iTDP-43A315T mice), presenting with early-onset motor deficits in adolescent animals. Here, we analyzed aged iTDP-43A315T mice, focusing on the spatiotemporal profile and progression of neurodegeneration in upper and lower motor neurons. Magnetic resonance imaging and histologic analysis revealed a differential loss of upper motor neurons in a hierarchical order as iTDP-43A315T mice aged. Furthermore, we report progressive gait problems, profound motor deficits, and muscle atrophy in aged iTDP-43A315T mice. Despite these deficits and TDP-43 pathologic disorders in lower motor neurons, stereological analysis did not show cell loss in spinal cords. Taken together, neuronal populations in aging iTDP-43A315T mice show differential susceptibility to the expression of human TDP-43A315T.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1447-1456
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Pathology
Volume188
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2018

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