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NMDA receptors play important roles in learning and memory and in sculpting neural connections during development. After the period of peak cortical plasticity, NMDA receptor-mediated EPSCs (NMDAR EPSCs) decrease in duration. A likely mechanism for this change in NMDA receptor properties is the molecular alteration of NMDA receptor structure by regulation(More)
BACKGROUND A pathological hallmark of most amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) cases are intracellular aggregates of the protein TDP-43. The pathophysiological relevance of TDP-43 is underlined by familial ALS cases caused by TDP-43 mutations. TDP-43 is involved in processing of both coding RNAs and microRNAs, which are key epigenetic regulators of(More)
The susceptibility of cortical networks to use-dependent modifications declines with age (critical period) and this decline of neuronal plasticity during development is paralleled by the shortening of NMDA receptor EPSCs. We showed previously in the somatosensory cortex that the shortening of NMDA receptor kinetics correlates with a(More)
Tumor-necrosis-factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) prevented secondary death of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) after axotomy of the optic nerve in vivo. This RGC rescue was confirmed in vitro in a mixed retinal culture model. In accordance with our previous findings, TNF-alpha decreased outward potassium currents in RGCs. Antagonism of the TNF-alpha-induced decrease in(More)
The neurotrophin brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) serves as a survival, mitogenic, and differentiation factor in both the developing and adult CNS and PNS. In an attempt to identify the molecular mechanisms underlying BDNF neuroprotection, we studied activation of two potentially neuroprotective signal transduction pathways by BDNF in a CNS trauma(More)
Axonal degeneration is one of the earliest features of Parkinson's disease pathology, which is followed by neuronal death in the substantia nigra and other parts of the brain. Inhibition of axonal degeneration combined with cellular neuroprotection therefore seem key to targeting an early stage in Parkinson's disease progression. Based on our previous(More)
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a genetically heterogeneous neurodegenerative syndrome hallmarked by adult-onset loss of motor neurons. We performed exome sequencing of 252 familial ALS (fALS) and 827 control individuals. Gene-based rare variant analysis identified an exome-wide significant enrichment of eight loss-of-function (LoF) mutations in TBK1(More)
We have investigated the role of caspase-8 and its mode of activation during apoptosis of adult rat retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) in vivo. Retinal pro-caspase-8 expression was almost completely restricted to RGCs. Although caspase-8 is known to be involved in death-receptor-dependent apoptosis, measurable caspase-8 activity or even RGC death could be(More)
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a predominantly clinical and electromyographic diagnosis. Conventional MRI reveals atrophy of the motor system, particularly the pyramidal tract, in the advanced stages but does not provide a sensitive measure of disease progression. Three patients with different principal symptoms of ALS, i.e., with predominant(More)