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PLoS One. 2017 Jun 27;12(6):e0180038. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0180038. eCollection 2017.

Abnormal neurofilament inclusions and segregations in dorsal root ganglia of a Charcot-Marie-Tooth type 2E mouse model.

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Department of Pathology and Cell Biology, Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons, New York, New York, United States of America.
Department of Pathology and Cell Biology and Taub Institute for Research in Alzheimer's Disease and the Aging Brain, Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons, New York, New York, United States of America.


Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease or hereditary motor and sensory neuropathy is the most prevalent inherited peripheral neuropathy and is associated with over 90 causative genes. Mutations in neurofilament light polypeptide gene, NEFL cause CMT2E, an axonal form of CMT that results in abnormal structures and/or functions of peripheral axons in spinal cord motor neurons and dorsal root ganglion neurons. We have previously generated and characterized a knock-in mouse model of CMT2E with the N98S mutation in Nefl that presented with multiple inclusions in spinal cord neurons. In this report, we conduct immunofluorescence studies of cultured dorsal root ganglia (DRG) from NeflN98S/+ mice, and show that inclusions found in DRG neurites can occur in embryonic stages. Ultrastructural analyses reveal that the inclusions are disordered neurofilaments packed in high density, segregated from other organelles. Immunochemical studies show decreased NFL protein levels in DRG, cerebellum and spinal cord in NeflN98S/+ mice, and total NFL protein pool is shifted toward the triton-insoluble fraction. Our findings reveal the nature of the inclusions in NeflN98S/+ mice, provide useful information to understand mechanisms of CMT2E disease, and identify DRG from NeflN98S/+ mice as a useful cell line model for therapeutic discoveries.

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