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FASEB J. 2014 Aug;28(8):3618-32. doi: 10.1096/fj.13-248583. Epub 2014 May 6.

Neuregulin-1 is concentrated in the postsynaptic subsurface cistern of C-bouton inputs to α-motoneurons and altered during motoneuron diseases.

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  • 1Unitat de Neurobiologia Cellular, Departament de Medicina Experimental, Facultat de Medicina, Institut de Recerca Biomèdica de Lleida (IRBLLEIDA), Universitat de Lleida, Lleida, Catalonia, Spain.
  • 2Unitat de Neurobiologia Cellular, Departament de Medicina Experimental, Facultat de Medicina, Institut de Recerca Biomèdica de Lleida (IRBLLEIDA), Universitat de Lleida, Lleida, Catalonia, Spain josep.esquerda@mex.udl.cat jordi.caldero@mex.udl.cat.

Abstract

C boutons are large, cholinergic, synaptic terminals that arise from local interneurons and specifically contact spinal α-motoneurons (MNs). C boutons characteristically display a postsynaptic specialization consisting of an endoplasmic reticulum-related subsurface cistern (SSC) of unknown function. In the present work, by using confocal microscopy and ultrastructural immunolabeling, we demonstrate that neuregulin-1 (NRG1) accumulates in the SSC of mouse spinal MNs. We also show that the NRG1 receptors erbB2 and erbB4 are presynaptically localized within C boutons, suggesting that NRG1-based retrograde signaling may occur in this type of synapse. In most of the cranial nuclei, MNs display the same pattern of NRG1 distribution as that observed in spinal cord MNs. Conversely, MNs in oculomotor nuclei, which are spared in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), lack both C boutons and SSC-associated NRG1. NRG1 in spinal MNs is developmentally regulated and depends on the maintenance of nerve-muscle interactions, as we show after nerve transection experiments. Changes in NRG1 in C boutons were also investigated in mouse models of MN diseases: i.e., spinal muscular atrophy (SMNΔ7) and ALS (SOD1(G93A)). In both models, a transient increase in NRG1 in C boutons occurs during disease progression. These data increase our understanding of the role of C boutons in MN physiology and pathology.

© FASEB.

KEYWORDS:

amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; erbB receptors; interneurons; spinal cord ventral horn; spinal muscular atrophy

PMID:
24803543
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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