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N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) excitotoxicity is implicated in the pathogenesis of Huntington's disease (HD), a late-onset neurodegenerative disorder. However, NMDARs are poor therapeutic targets, due to their essential physiological role. Recent studies demonstrate that synaptic NMDAR transmission drives neuroprotective gene transcription, whereas(More)
Predictive genetic testing for Huntington's disease (HD) has revealed early cognitive deficits in asymptomatic gene carriers, such as altered working memory, executive function and impaired recognition memory. The perirhinal cortex processes aspects of recognition memory and the underlying mechanism is believed to be long-term depression (LTD) of excitatory(More)
BACKGROUND The introduction of gene testing for Huntington's disease (HD) has enabled the neuropsychiatric and cognitive profiling of human gene carriers prior to the onset of overt motor and cognitive symptoms. Such studies reveal an early decline in working memory and executive function, altered EEG and a loss of striatal dopamine receptors. Working(More)
Huntington's disease (HD) is a progressive, fatal neurological condition caused by an expansion of CAG (glutamine) repeats in the coding region of the Huntington gene. To date, there is no cure but great strides have been made to understand pathophysiological mechanisms. In particular, genetic animal models of HD have been instrumental in elucidating the(More)
Huntington's disease (HD) is a fatal neurodegenerative disorder characterized by progressive motor, psychiatric and cognitive decline. Marked neuronal loss occurs in the cortex and striatum. HD is inherited in an autosomal dominant fashion and caused by a trinucleotide repeat expansion (CAG) in the gene encoding the protein huntingtin. Predictive genetic(More)
The NMDAR plays a unique and vital role in subcellular signaling. Calcium influx initiates signaling cascades important for both synaptic plasticity and survival; however, overactivation of the receptor leads to toxicity and cell death. This dichotomy is partially explained by the subcellular location of the receptor. NMDARs located at the synapse stimulate(More)
Progranulin haploinsufficiency is a common cause of familial frontotemporal dementia (FTD), but the role of progranulin in the brain is poorly understood. To investigate the role of murine progranulin (Grn) in the CNS in vivo, we generated mice targeted at the progranulin locus (Grn) using a gene-trap vector. Constitutive progranulin knockout mice (GrnKO)(More)
Huntington's disease (HD) is an autosomal dominant, late onset, neurodegenerative disease characterized by motor deficits and dementia that is caused by expansion of a CAG repeat in the HD gene. Clinical manifestations result from selective neuronal degeneration of predominantly GABAergic striatal medium-sized spiny neurons (MSNs). A growing number of(More)
Vacuolar protein sorting 35 (VPS35) is a core component of the retromer complex, crucial to endosomal protein sorting and intracellular trafficking. We recently linked a mutation in VPS35 (p.D620N) to familial parkinsonism. Here, we characterize human VPS35 and retromer function in mature murine neuronal cultures and investigate neuron-specific consequences(More)
In Huntington's disease (HD), the mutant huntingtin (mhtt) protein is associated with striatal dysfunction and degeneration. Excitotoxicity and early synaptic defects are attributed, in part, to altered NMDA receptor (NMDAR) trafficking and function. Deleterious extrasynaptic NMDAR localization and signalling are increased early in yeast artificial(More)