Huntington's Disease Research Today is a free monthly online journal that collates and summarizes the latest research about Huntington's Disease, including details on genetics, causes, symptoms, treatment.
R6/2 Huntington's disease mice develop early and progressive abnormal brain metabolism and seizures.
Cepeda-Prado E, Popp S, Khan U, Stefanov D, Rodríguez J, Menalled LB, Dow-Edwards D, Small SA, Moreno H
The Robert F. Furchgott Center for Neural and Behavioral Science, State University of New York, Brooklyn, NY 11203, USA.
A hallmark feature of Huntington's disease pathology is the atrophy of brain regions including, but not limited to, the striatum. Though MRI studies have identified structural CNS changes in several Huntington's disease (HD) mouse models, the functional consequences of HD pathology during the progression of the disease have yet to be investigated using in vivo functional MRI (fMRI). To address this issue, we first established the structural and functional MRI phenotype of juvenile HD mouse model R6/2 at early and advanced stages of disease. Significantly higher fMRI signals [relative cerebral blood volumes (rCBVs)] and atrophy were observed in both age groups in specific brain regions. Next, fMRI results were correlated with electrophysiological analysis, which showed abnormal increases in neuronal activity in affected brain regions, thus identifying a mechanism accounting for the abnormal fMRI findings. [(14)C] 2-deoxyglucose maps to investigate patterns of glucose utilization were also generated. An interesting mismatch between increases in rCBV and decreases in glucose uptake was observed. Finally, we evaluated the sensitivity of this mouse line to audiogenic seizures early in the disease course. We found that R6/2 mice had an increased susceptibility to develop seizures. Together, these findings identified seizure activity in R6/2 mice and show that neuroimaging measures sensitive to oxygen metabolism can be used as in vivo biomarkers, preceding the onset of an overt behavioral phenotype. Since fMRI-rCBV can also be obtained in patients, we propose that it may serve as a translational tool to evaluate therapeutic responses in humans and HD mouse models.
Published 10 May 2012 in J Neurosci, 32(19): 6456-67.
Articles on Huntington's Disease published 1 May 2012:
pH as a biomarker of neurodegeneration in Huntington's disease: a translational rodent-human MRS study. J Cereb Blood Flow Metab, 32(5): 771-9.
Early diagnosis and follow-up of neurodegenerative diseases are often hampered by the lack of reliable biomarkers. Neuroimaging techniques like magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) offer promising tools to detect biochemical alterations at early stages of degeneration. Intracellular pH, which can be measured noninvasively by (31)P-MRS, has shown variations in several brain diseases. Our purpose has been to evaluate the potential of MRS-measured pH as a relevant biomarker of early degeneration ... [Abstract] [Full-text]
Articles on Huntington's Disease published 23 April 2012:
Recent research using various neuroimaging methods revealed the crucial role of the striatum concerning the neuropathology of Huntington's disease. Degenerative changes located in the basal ganglia are already observable in premanifest stages of Huntington's disease (pre-HD), i.e., before the onset of manifest motor symptoms. Although the impact of the striatum on reward and punishment processing is well-established in healthy subjects, these processes have not been investigated in manifest and ... [Abstract] [Full-text]
Articles on Huntington's Disease published 18 April 2012:
Shaping the role of mitochondria in the pathogenesis of Huntington's disease. EMBO J, 31(8): 1853-64.
Intense research on the pathogenesis of Huntington's disease (HD), a genetic neurodegenerative disease caused by a polyglutamine expansion in the Huntingtin (Htt) protein, revealed multiple potential mechanisms, among which mitochondrial alterations had emerged as key determinants of the natural history of the disease. Pharmacological and genetic animal models of mitochondrial dysfunction in the striatum, which is mostly affected in HD corroborated a key role for these organelles in the ... [Abstract] [Full-text]
Articles on Huntington's Disease published 16 April 2012:
Altered brain mechanisms of emotion processing in pre-manifest Huntington's disease. Brain, 135: 1165-79.
Huntington's disease is an inherited neurodegenerative disease that causes motor, cognitive and psychiatric impairment, including an early decline in ability to recognize emotional states in others. The pathophysiology underlying the earliest manifestations of the disease is not fully understood; the objective of our study was to clarify this. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate changes in brain mechanisms of emotion recognition in pre-manifest carriers of the abnormal ... [Abstract] [Full-text]
AAV-mediated delivery of the transcription factor XBP1s into the striatum reduces mutant Huntingtin aggregation in a mouse model of Huntington's disease. Biochem Biophys Res Commun, 420(3): 558-63.
Huntington's disease (HD) is caused by mutations that expand a polyglutamine region in the amino-terminal domain of Huntingtin (Htt), leading to the accumulation of intracellular inclusions and progressive neurodegeneration. Recent reports indicate the engagement of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress responses in human HD post mortem samples and animal models of the disease. Adaptation to ER stress is mediated by the activation of the unfolded protein response (UPR), an integrated signal ... [Abstract] [Full-text]
Protein misfolding and aggregation are associated with many neurodegenerative diseases, including Huntington's disease. The cellular machinery for maintaining proteostasis includes molecular chaperones that facilitate protein folding and reduce proteotoxicity. Increasing the protein folding capacity of cells through manipulation of DNAJ chaperones has been shown to suppress aggregation and ameliorate polyglutamine toxicity in cells and flies. However, to date these promising findings have not ... [Abstract] [Full-text]
Native mutant huntingtin in human brain: evidence for prevalence of full-length monomer. J Biol Chem, 287(16): 13487-99.
Huntington disease (HD) is caused by polyglutamine expansion in the N terminus of huntingtin (htt). Analysis of human postmortem brain lysates by SDS-PAGE and Western blot reveals htt as full-length and fragmented. Here we used Blue Native PAGE (BNP) and Western blots to study native htt in human postmortem brain. Antisera against htt detected a single band broadly migrating at 575-850 kDa in control brain and at 650-885 kDa in heterozygous and Venezuelan homozygous HD brains. ... [Abstract] [Full-text]
Huntington's disease is caused by expression of a mutant form of Huntingtin protein containing an expanded polyglutamine repeat. One possible treatment for Huntington's disease may be to reduce expression of mutant Huntingtin in the brain via RNA interference. Unless the therapeutic molecule is designed to be allele-specific, both wild-type and mutant protein will be suppressed by an RNA interference treatment. A key question is whether suppression of wild-type as well as mutant Huntingtin in ... [Abstract] [Full-text]
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