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J Neurosci Res. 2006 Oct;84(5):1124-38.

Batten disease (JNCL) is linked to disturbances in mitochondrial, cytoskeletal, and synaptic compartments.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Medicine, National Public Health Institute, Biomedicum Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland.


Intracellular pathways leading to neuronal degeneration are poorly understood in the juvenile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (JNCL, Batten disease), caused by mutations in the CLN3 gene. To elucidate the early pathology, we carried out comparative global transcript profiling of the embryonic, primary cultures of the Cln3-/- mouse neurons. Statistical and functional analyses delineated three major cellular pathways or compartments affected: mitochondrial glucose metabolism, cytoskeleton, and synaptosome. Further functional studies showed a slight mitochondrial dysfunction and abnormalities in the microtubule cytoskeleton plus-end components. Synaptic dysfunction was also indicated by the pathway analysis, and by the gross upregulation of the G protein beta 1 subunit, known to regulate synaptic transmission via the voltage-gated calcium channels. Intracellular calcium imaging showed a delay in the recovery from depolarization in the Cln3-/- neurons, when the N-type Ca2+ channels had been blocked. The data suggests a link between the mitochondrial dysfunction and cytoskeleton-mediated presynaptic inhibition, thus providing a foundation for further investigation of the disease mechanism underlying JNCL disease.

Copyright 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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