Citation

Tripathi P, Rodriguez-Muela N, Klim JR, de Boer AS, Agrawal S, Sandoe J, Lopes CS, Ogliari KS, Williams LA, Shear M, Rubin LL, Eggan K, Zhou Q. 2017. Reactive Astrocytes Promote ALS-like Degeneration and Intracellular Protein Aggregation in Human Motor Neurons by Disrupting Autophagy through TGF-β1. Stem cell reports. 9(2):667-680. Pubmed: 28712846 DOI:10.1016/j.stemcr.2017.06.008

Abstract

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal and rapidly progressing motor neuron disease. Astrocytic factors are known to contribute to motor neuron degeneration and death in ALS. However, the role of astrocyte in promoting motor neuron protein aggregation, a disease hallmark of ALS, remains largely unclear. Here, using culture models of human motor neurons and primary astrocytes of different genotypes (wild-type or SOD1 mutant) and reactive states (non-reactive or reactive), we show that reactive astrocytes, regardless of their genotypes, reduce motor neuron health and lead to moderate neuronal loss. After prolonged co-cultures of up to 2 months, motor neurons show increased axonal and cytoplasmic protein inclusions characteristic of ALS. Reactive astrocytes induce protein aggregation in part by releasing transforming growth factor β1 (TGF-β1), which disrupts motor neuron autophagy through the mTOR pathway. These results reveal the important contribution of reactive astrocytes in promoting aspects of ALS pathology independent of genetic influences.
Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Related Faculty

Photo of Lee Rubin

Lee Rubin investigates the key molecular mediators of different neurodegenerative diseases, with the ultimate goal of finding effective preclinical therapeutic candidates.

Photo of Kevin Eggan

Kevin Eggan investigates the mechanisms that cause motor neuron degeneration in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), and seeks to translate new discoveries into new therapeutic options for patients.

Search Menu