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Brain Res. 2009 Feb 19;1255:170-9. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2008.11.099. Epub 2008 Dec 11.

Exposure to cerebrospinal fluid of sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients alters Nav1.6 and Kv1.6 channel expression in rat spinal motor neurons.

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Department of Neurophysiology, National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, Post Box no: 2900, Hosur Road, Bangalore-560 029, India.


Cerebro Spinal Fluid (CSF) from patients with ALS has been documented to have a toxic effect on motor neurons both in vivo and in vitro. Here we show that the CSF from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) patients (ALS-CSF) has the potential to perturb ion channel expression, specifically the Na(v)1.6, and K(v)1.6 channels in newborn rat spinal motor neurons both in vivo and in vitro. ALS-CSF and CSF from nonALS patients (nonALS-CSF) were intrathecally injected into 3-day-old rat pups at the rate of 1 microl/2.5 min using a microinjector. In addition, embryonic rat spinal cord cultures were also exposed to 10% ALS or nonALS-CSF on the 9th day in vitro (9DIV) in serum free DMEM medium. After 48 h of CSF exposure, the cultures and the spinal cord sections were processed for immunostaining of the above mentioned ion channels. We observed a decrease in the expression of Na(v)1.6 and K(v)1.6 channels in motor neurons in ALS-CSF treated group, and the presence of trophic factors like Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) and Ciliary Neurotrophic Factor CNTF partially reversed the effects produced by ALS-CSF. Altered expression of these voltage-gated channels may interfere with the electrical activity of motor neurons, and thereby lead to the degeneration of neurons.

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