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Brain and behavior

Immunohistochemical and transcriptome analyses indicate complex breakdown of axonal transport mechanisms in canine distemper leukoencephalitis.


PMID 27247850

Abstract

CDV-DL (Canine distemper virus-induced demyelinating leukoencephalitis) represents a spontaneously occurring animal model for demyelinating disorders. Axonopathy represents a key pathomechanism in this disease; however, its underlying pathogenesis has not been addressed in detail so far. This study aimed at the characterization of axonal cytoskeletal, transport, and potential regenerative changes with a parallel focus upon Schwann cell remyelination. Immunohistochemistry of canine cerebellar tissue as well as a comparative analysis of genes from an independent microarray study were performed. Increased axonal immunoreactivity for nonphosphorylated neurofilament was followed by loss of cytoskeletal and motor proteins. Interestingly, a subset of genes encoding for neurofilament subunits and motor proteins was up-regulated in the chronic stage compared to dogs with subacute CDV-DL. However, immunohistochemically, hints for axonal regeneration were restricted to up-regulated axonal positivity of hypoxia-inducible factor 1 alpha, while growth-associated protein 43, erythropoietin and its receptor were not or even down-regulated. Periaxin-positive structures, indicative of Schwann cell remyelination, were only detected within few advanced lesions. The present findings demonstrate a complex sequence of axonal cytoskeletal breakdown mechanisms. Moreover, though sparse, this is the first report of Schwann cell remyelination in CDV-DL. Facilitation of these very limited endogenous regenerative responses represents an important topic for future research.