Author(s): Dayton RD, Gitcho MA, Orchard EA, Wilson JD, Wang DB,
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Abstract Pathological inclusions containing transactive response DNA-binding protein 43 kDa (TDP-43) are common in several neurodegenerative diseases including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). TDP-43 normally localizes predominantly to the nucleus, but during disease progression, it mislocalizes to the cytoplasm. We expressed TDP-43 in rats by an adeno-associated virus (AAV9) gene transfer method that transduces neurons throughout the central nervous system (CNS). To mimic the aberrant cytoplasmic TDP-43 found in disease, we expressed a form of TDP-43 with mutations in the nuclear localization signal sequence (TDP-NLS). The TDP-NLS was detected in both the cytoplasm and the nucleus of transduced neurons. Unlike wild-type TDP-43, expression of TDP-NLS did not induce mortality. However, the TDP-NLS induced disease-relevant motor impairments over 24 weeks. We compared the TDP-NLS to a 25 kDa C-terminal proaggregatory fragment of TDP-43 (TDP-25). The clinical phenotype of forelimb impairment was pronounced with the TDP-25 form, supporting a role of this C-terminal fragment in pathogenesis. The results advance previous rodent models by inducing cytoplasmic expression of TDP-43 in the spinal cord, and the non-lethal phenotype enabled long-term study. Approaching a more relevant disease state in an animal model that more closely mimics underlying mechanisms in human disease could unlock our ability to develop therapeutics.
This article was published in Mol Ther
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy