Differential effects on KCC2 expression and spasticity of ALS and traumatic injuries to motoneurons

Laura Mòdol, Renzo Mancuso, Albert Alé, Isaac Francos-Quijorna, Xavier Navarro

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17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disease manifested by progressive muscle atrophy and paralysis due to the loss of upper and lower motoneurons (MN). Spasticity appears in ALS patients leading to further disabling consequences. Loss of the inhibitory tone induced by downregulation of the potassium chloride cotransporter 2 (KCC2) in MN has been proposed to importantly contribute to the spastic behavior after spinal cord injury (SCI). The aim of the present study was to test whether the alterations in the expression of KCC2 are linked to the appearance of spasticity in the SODG93A ALS murine model. We compared SODG93A mice to wild type mice subjected to SCI to mimic the spinal MN disconnection from motor descending pathways, and to sciatic nerve lesion to mimic the loss of MN connectivity to muscle. Electrophysiological results show that loss of motor function is observed at presymptomatic stage (8 weeks) in SODG93A mice but hyperreflexia and spasticity do not appear until a late stage (16 weeks). However, KCC2 was not downregulated despite MN suffered disconnection both from muscles and upper MNs. Further experiments revealed decreased gephyrin expression, as a general marker of inhibitory systems, accompanied by a reduction in the number of Renshaw interneurons. Moreover, 5-HT fibers were increased in the ventral horn of the lumbar spinal cord at late stage of disease progression in SOD1G93A mice. Taken together, the present results indicate that spasticity appears late in the ALS model, and may be mediated by a decrease in inhibitory interneurons and an increase of 5-HT transmission, while the absence of down-regulation of KCC2 could rather indicate an inability of MNs to respond to insults. © 2014 Mòdol, Mancuso, Alé, Francos-Quijorna and Navarro.
Original languageEnglish
Article number7
JournalFrontiers in Cellular Neuroscience
Volume8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jan 2014

Keywords

  • Hypereflexia
  • KCC2 transporter
  • Motoneuron disease
  • SOD1 mice G93A
  • Spasticity

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