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  • Publication : 08 03 2019
  • Catégorie :La recherche médicale et génétique

Notch Signaling Mediates Astrocyte Abnormality in Spinal Muscular Atrophy Model Systems.    

Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is an autosomal recessive neuromuscular disorder characterized by the degeneration of spinal motor neurons and muscle atrophy. The disease is mainly caused by low level of the survival motor neuron (SMN) protein, which is coded by two genes, namely SMN1 and SMN2, but leads to selective spinal motor neuron degeneration when SMN1 gene is deleted or mutated. Previous reports have shown that SMN-protein-deficient astrocytes are abnormally abundant in the spinal cords of SMA model mice. However, the mechanism of the SMN- deficient astrocyte abnormality remains unclear. The purpose of this study is to identify the cellular signaling pathways associated with the SMN-deficient astrocyte abnormality and propose a candidate therapy tool that modulates signaling. In the present study, we found that the astrocyte density was increased around the central canal of the spinal cord in a mouse SMA model and we identified the dysregulation of Notch signaling which is a known mechanism that regulates astrocyte differentiation and proliferation, in the spinal cord in both early and late stages of SMA pathogenesis. Moreover, pharmacological inhibition of Notch signaling improved the motor functional deficits in SMA model mice. These findings indicate that dysregulated Notch signaling may be an underlying cause of SMA pathology.

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