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A consistent clinical feature of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is the sparing of eye movements and the function of external sphincters, with corresponding preservation of motor neurons in the brainstem oculomotor nuclei, and of Onuf's nucleus in the sacral spinal cord. Studying the differences in properties of neurons that are vulnerable and resistant(More)
Phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN), a negative regulator of the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway, is widely involved in the regulation of protein synthesis. Here we show that the PTEN protein is enriched in cell bodies and axon terminals of purified motor neurons. We explored the role of the PTEN pathway by manipulating PTEN expression in(More)
Gene expression profiling has been used previously with spinal cord homogenates and laser capture microdissected motor neurons to determine the mechanisms involved in neurodegeneration in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. However, while cellular and animal model work has focused on superoxide dismutase 1-related amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, the(More)
Excitatory transmission in the brain is commonly mediated by the α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionic acid (AMPA) receptors. In amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), AMPA receptors allow cytotoxic levels of calcium into neurons, contributing to motor neuron injury. We have previously shown that oculomotor neurons resistant to the disease process(More)
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder with no effective treatment to date. Despite its multi-factorial aetiology, oxidative stress is hypothesized to be one of the key pathogenic mechanisms. It is thus proposed that manipulation of the expression of antioxidant genes that are downregulated in the presence of mutant(More)
Aging refers to the physical and functional decline of the tissues over time that often leads to age-related degenerative diseases. Accumulating evidence implicates that the senescence of neural stem cells (NSCs) is of paramount importance to the aging of central neural system (CNS). However, exploration of the underlying molecular mechanisms has been(More)
Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is the second most common genetic cause of death in childhood. However, no effective treatment is available to halt disease progression. SMA is caused by mutations in the survival motor neuron 1 (SMN1) gene. We previously reported that PTEN depletion leads to an increase in survival of SMN-deficient motor neurons. Here, we(More)
GLE1 mutations cause lethal congenital contracture syndrome 1 (LCCS1), a severe autosomal recessive fetal motor neuron disease, and more recently have been associated with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The gene encodes a highly conserved protein with an essential role in mRNA export. The mechanism linking Gle1 function to motor neuron degeneration in(More)
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