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Sympathetic neurons depend on nerve growth factor (NGF) for survival and die by apoptosis in its absence. We have investigated the pattern of expression of the Jun and Fos family of transcription factors in dying sympathetic neurons using antibodies specific for each family member. When sympathetic neurons are deprived of NGF, the level of c-Jun protein(More)
The blood-brain barrier (BBB) is formed by brain capillary endothelial cells (ECs). In the late embryonic and early postnatal period, these cells respond to inducing factors found in the brain environment by adopting a set of defined characteristics, including high-electrical-resistance tight junctions. Although the factors have not been identified(More)
Cytochrome c has been shown to play a role in cell-free models of apoptosis. During NGF withdrawal-induced apoptosis of intact rat superior cervical ganglion (SCG) neurons, we observe the redistribution of cytochrome c from the mitochondria to the cytoplasm. This redistribution is not inhibited by the caspase inhibitor Z-Val-Ala-Asp-fluoromethylketone(More)
Defective RNA metabolism is an emerging mechanism involved in ALS pathogenesis and possibly in other neurodegenerative disorders. Here, we show that microRNA (miRNA) activity is essential for long-term survival of postmitotic spinal motor neurons (SMNs) in vivo. Thus, mice that do not process miRNA in SMNs exhibit hallmarks of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA),(More)
To directly test the requirement for hedgehog signaling in the telencephalon from early neurogenesis, we examined conditional null alleles of both the Sonic hedgehog and Smoothened genes. While the removal of Shh signaling in these animals resulted in only minor patterning abnormalities, the number of neural progenitors in both the postnatal subventricular(More)
A major obstacle for the discovery of psychoactive drugs is the inability to predict how small molecules will alter complex behaviors. We report the development and application of a high-throughput, quantitative screen for drugs that alter the behavior of larval zebrafish. We found that the multidimensional nature of observed phenotypes enabled the(More)
BACKGROUND The Hedgehog (Hh) signaling pathway is vital to animal development as it mediates the differentiation of multiple cell types during embryogenesis. In adults, Hh signaling can be activated to facilitate tissue maintenance and repair. Moreover, stimulation of the Hh pathway has shown therapeutic efficacy in models of neuropathy. The underlying(More)
In the adult central nervous system, the vasculature of the neurogenic niche regulates neural stem cell behavior by providing circulating and secreted factors. Age-related decline of neurogenesis and cognitive function is associated with reduced blood flow and decreased numbers of neural stem cells. Therefore, restoring the functionality of the niche should(More)
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a rapidly progressing neurodegenerative disease, characterized by motor neuron (MN) death, for which there are no truly effective treatments. Here, we describe a new small molecule survival screen carried out using MNs from both wild-type and mutant SOD1 mouse embryonic stem cells. Among the hits we found, kenpaullone(More)
When deprived of nerve growth factor (NGF), developing sympathetic neurons die by apoptosis. This death is associated with an increase in the level of c-Jun protein and is blocked by expression of a c-Jun dominant negative mutant. Here we have investigated whether NGF withdrawal activates Jun kinases, a family of stress-activated protein kinases that can(More)