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Human molecular genetics

Disruption of the astrocytic TNFR1-GDNF axis accelerates motor neuron degeneration and disease progression in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.


PMID 27288458

Abstract

Considerable evidence indicates that neurodegeneration in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) can be conditioned by a deleterious interplay between motor neurons and astrocytes. Astrocytes are the major glial component in the central nervous system (CNS) and fulfill several activities that are essential to preserve CNS homeostasis. In physiological and pathological conditions, astrocytes secrete a wide range of factors by which they exert multimodal influences on their cellular neighbours. Among others, astrocytes can secrete glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF), one of the most potent protective agents for motor neurons. This suggests that the modulation of the endogenous mechanisms that control the production of astrocytic GDNF may have therapeutic implications in motor neuron diseases, particularly ALS. In this study, we identified TNF receptor 1 (TNFR1) signalling as a major promoter of GDNF synthesis/release from human and mouse spinal cord astrocytes in vitro and in vivo To determine whether endogenously produced TNFα can also trigger the synthesis of GDNF in the nervous system, we then focused on SOD1

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