Altered distribution and levels of cathepsinD and cystatins in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis transgenic mice: Possible roles in motor neuron survival
2006 (English)In: Neuroscience, ISSN 0306-4522, E-ISSN 1873-7544, Vol. 143, no 2, 419-430 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
In amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) there is a selective degeneration of motor neurons leading to muscle paralysis and death. The mechanism underlying cell demise in ALS is not fully understood, but involves the activation of different proteolytic enzymes, including the caspase family of cysteine proteases. We have here studied whether other proteases, such as the cathepsins, residing in lysosomes, and the cathepsin inhibitors, cystatinB and -C are changed in ALS. The expression and protein levels of the cathepsinB, -L and -D all increased in the spinal cord in ALS mice, carrying the mutant copper/zinc superoxide dismutase (SOD1) gene. At the cellular level, cathepsinB and -L were present in ventral motor neurons in controls, but in the ALS mice cathepsinB was also expressed by glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) positive astrocytes. The distribution of the aspartic protease, cathepsinD also changed in ALS with a loss of the lysosomal staining in motor neurons. Inhibition of caspases by means of X-chromosome-linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein (XIAP) overexpression did not inhibit cleavage of cathepsinD in ALS mice, suggesting a caspase-independent pathway. Expression of cystatinB and -C increased slightly in the ALS spinal cords. Immunostaining showed that in ALS, cystatinC was present in motor neurons and in GFAP positive astrocytes. CystatinB that is a neuroprotective factor decreased in motor neurons in ALS but was expressed by activated microglial cells. The observed changes in the levels and distributions of cathepsinD and cystatinB and-C indicate a role of these proteins in the degeneration of motor neurons in ALS.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2006. Vol. 143, no 2, 419-430 p.
nerve cell death, cathepsinD, cystatinB, cystatinC, microglia, ALS
Medical and Health Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-95178DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2006.07.048ISI: 000242351100006PubMedID: 16973300OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-95178DiVA: diva2:169294