Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Other Motor Neuron Disorders: Official Publication of the World Federation of Neurology, Research Group on Motor Neuron Diseases
INTRODUCTION: The aim of this study was to determine the effect of hNT neuron transplants on motor neuron function in SOD1 (G93A) mice when motor deficits were already apparent. METHOD: The hNT neurons were implanted into L(4)-L(5) segments of the ventral horn spinal cord of mice at 15-16 weeks of age: either G93A mice, transgenic mice carrying the normal allele for human SOD1 gene (hTg), or control wild type mice (wt). Behavioral tests (rotorod, beam balance, extension reflex, footprint) were performed prior to transplantation and at weekly intervals afterwards.
Many degenerative diseases that occur with aging, as well as premature aging syndromes, are characterized by presenting cells with critically short telomeres. Telomerase reintroduction is envisioned as a putative therapy for diseases characterized by telomere exhaustion. K5-mTert transgenic mice overexpress telomerase in a wide spectrum of tissues. These mice have a higher incidence of both induced and spontaneous tumors, resulting in increased mortality during the first year of life.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
In investigating the role of metal ions in the pathogenesis of Huntington's disease, we examined the effects of clioquinol, a metal-binding compound currently in clinical trials for Alzheimer's disease treatment, on mutant huntingtin-expressing cells. We found that PC12 cells expressing polyglutamine-expanded huntingtin exon 1 accumulated less mutant protein and showed decreased cell death when treated with clioquinol. This effect was polyglutamine-length-specific and did not alter mRNA levels or protein degradation rates.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive disease which is caused by degeneration of motor neurons in the central nervous system. The incidence of ALS is higher in men than women, but the female advantage disappears with increased age. Here, we report evidence that the female advantage is due to the protective role of estrogen. In an ALS mouse model carrying the human Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase (hSOD1) G93A transgene, ovariectomy did not alter the onset age of the disease while reducing the female lifespan by 7 days and making it comparable to that of the male transgenic mice.
Autophagy is a highly regulated intracellular process involved in the turnover of most cellular constituents and in the maintenance of cellular homeostasis. It is well-established that the basal autophagic activity of living cells decreases with age, thus contributing to the accumulation of damaged macromolecules during aging. Conversely, the activity of this catabolic pathway is required for lifespan extension in animal models such as Caenorhabditis elegans and Drosophila melanogaster.
Neural progenitor cells (NPs) have shown several promising benefits for the treatment of neurological disorders. To evaluate the therapeutic potential of human neural progenitor cells (hNPs) in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), we transplanted hNPs or growth factor (GF)-expressing hNPs into the central nervous system (CNS) of mutant Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD1(G93A)) transgenic mice.
Major advances in aging research have been made by studying the effect of genetic modifications on the lifespan of organisms, such as yeast, invertebrates (worms and flies) and mice. Data from yeast and invertebrates have been the most plentiful because of the ease in which genetic manipulations can be made and the rapidity by which lifespan experiments can be performed. With the ultimate focus on advancing human health, testing genetic interventions in mammals is crucial, and the mouse has proven to be the mammal most amenable to this task.
With ageing, there is a loss of adult stem cell function. However, there is no direct evidence that this has a causal role in ageing-related decline. We tested this using muscle-derived stem/progenitor cells (MDSPCs) in a murine progeria model. Here we show that MDSPCs from old and progeroid mice are defective in proliferation and multilineage differentiation. Intraperitoneal administration of MDSPCs, isolated from young wild-type mice, to progeroid mice confer significant lifespan and healthspan extension.
Caloric restriction (CR), a reduction of food intake while avoiding malnutrition, can delay the onset of cancer and age-related diseases in several species, including mice. In addition, depending of the genetic background, CR can also increase or decrease mouse longevity. This has highlighted the importance of identifying the molecular pathways that interplay with CR in modulating longevity. Significant lifespan extension in mice has been recently achieved through over-expression of the catalytic subunit of mouse telomerase (mTERT) in a cancer protective background.
The contribution that oxidative damage to DNA and/or RNA makes to the aging process remains undefined. In this study, we used the hMTH1-Tg mouse model to investigate how oxidative damage to nucleic acids affects aging. hMTH1-Tg mice express high levels of the hMTH1 hydrolase that degrades 8-oxodGTP and 8-oxoGTP and excludes 8-oxoguanine from both DNA and RNA. Compared to wild-type animals, hMTH1-overexpressing mice have significantly lower steady-state levels of 8-oxoguanine in both nuclear and mitochondrial DNA of several organs, including the brain.