Targeting motor neuron disease

Motor neuron diseases are a group of progressive neurological disorders that destroy motor neurons, the cells that control essential voluntary muscle activity such as speaking, walking, breathing, and swallowing. When there are disruptions in the signals between the lowest motor neurons and the muscle, the muscles do not work properly; the muscles gradually weaken and may begin wasting away. The authors continue their research to understand the factors involved.

Cresyl violet staining on a 20-μm axial section of the lumbar portion
of the spinal cord following CTB-SAP treatment.

Gulino R, Vicario N, Giunta MAS, Spoto G, Calabrese G, Vecchio M, Gulisano M, Leanza G, & Parenti R. Neuromuscular Plasticity in a Mouse Neurotoxic Model of Spinal Motoneuronal Loss. (2019). Int J Mol Sci, 20 (6):2019/03/29.

Objective: To use a neurotoxic model of spinal motoneuron depletion, induced by injection of CTB-SAP, to investigate the possible occurrence of compensatory changes in both the muscle and spinal cord.

Summary:  Plastic changes in surviving motoneurons produce a functional restoration probably similar to the compensatory changes occurring in disease.  These changes could be  driven by glutamatergic signaling; astrocytes contacting surviving motoneurons may support this process.

Dose:  Mice received 2 injections of CTB-SAP (3 mcg CTB-Sap in 2 mcL PBS) into the medial and lateral left gastrocnemius muscle.

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