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J Neuropathol Exp Neurol. 1999 Oct;58(10):1099-110.

Extra neurofilament NF-L subunits rescue motor neuron disease caused by overexpression of the human NF-H gene in mice.

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Centre for Research in Neuroscience, McGill University, The Montreal General Hospital Research Institute, Quebec, Canada.


Previous studies demonstrated that transgenic mice overexpressing human neurofilament heavy (hNF-H) protein develop a progressive motor neuron disease characterized by the perikaryal accumulations of neurofilaments resembling those found in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). To further investigate this neurofilament-induced pathology, we generated transgenic mice expressing, solely or concomitantly, the hNF-H and the human neurofilament light (hNF-L) proteins. We report here that the motor neuron disease caused by excess hNF-H proteins can be rescued by overexpression of hNF-L in a dosage-dependent fashion. In hNF-H transgenic mice, the additional hNF-L led to reduction of perikaryal swellings, relief of axonal transport defect and restoration of axonal radial growth. A gene delivery approach based on recombinant adenoviruses bearing the hNF-L gene also demonstrated the possibility to reduce perikaryal swellings after their formation in adult mice. The finding that extra NF-L can protect against NF-H-mediated pathogenesis is of potential importance for ALS, particularly for cases with NF-H abnormalities.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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