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Pharmacological Interventions to Ameliorate Neuropathological Symptoms in a Mouse Model of Lafora Disease

AuthorsBerthier, Arnaud ; Paya, Miguel; Garcia-Cabrero, A.M; Ballester, M.I.; Heredia, Miguel ; Serratosa, J.M; Sanchez, M.P; Sanz, Pascual
KeywordsLafora disease
Polyglucosan accumulation
4-phenylbutyric acid
Pharmacological intervention
Issue Date28-Jan-2015
CitationMolecular Neurobiology 53(2):1296-309. (2016)
AbstractLafora disease (LD, OMIM 254780) is a rare fatal neurodegenerative disorder that usually occurs during childhood with generalized tonic-clonic seizures, myoclonus, absences, drop attacks or visual seizures. Unfortunately, at present, available treatments are only palliatives and no curative drugs are available yet. The hallmark of the disease is the accumulation of insoluble polyglucosan inclusions, called Lafora bodies (LBs), within the neurons but also in heart, muscle and liver cells. Mouse models lacking functional EPM2A or EPM2B genes (the two major loci related to the disease) recapitulate the Lafora disease phenotype: they accumulate polyglucosan inclusions, show signs of neurodegeneration and have a dysregulation of protein clearance and endoplasmic reticulum stress response. In this study, we have subjected a mouse model of LD (Epm2b-/-) to different pharmacological interventions aimed to alleviate protein clearance and endoplasmic reticulum stress. We have used two chemical chaperones, trehalose and 4-phenylbutyric acid. In addition, we have used metformin, an activator of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), as it has a recognized neuroprotective role in other neurodegenerative diseases. Here, we show that treatment with 4-phenylbutyric acid or metformin decreases the accumulation of Lafora bodies and polyubiquitin protein aggregates in the brain of treated animals. 4-Phenylbutyric acid and metformin also diminish neurodegeneration (measured in terms of neuronal loss and reactive gliosis) and ameliorate neuropsychological tests of Epm2b-/- mice. As these compounds have good safety records and are already approved for clinical uses on different neurological pathologies, we think that the translation of our results to the clinical practice could be straightforward.
Description14 páginas; 9 figuras.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12035-015-9091-8
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