Effects of glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) were studied in transgenic (Tg) mice model for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. GDNF protein or vehicle was injected three times a week from 35 weeks of age into the right gastrocnemius muscle of Tg mice carrying mutant human Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase gene, and histological analysis was performed at 46 weeks. Clinical data showed a tendency of improvement, but was not significantly different between the two animal groups. In contrast, total number of and phospho-Akt (p-Akt) positive large motor neurons in the treated side was significantly more preserved in GDNF-treated group than in vehicle group (p < 0.05). Immunoreactivity of phospho-ERK and active caspases-3 and -9 showed no difference. These results indicate that the intramuscular injection of GDNF protein prevented motor neuron loss while preserving survival p-Akt signal and without affecting caspase activations, suggesting a future possibility for the therapy of the disease.
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology