Cell signaling pathways in autosomal-dominant leukodystrophy (ADLD): the intriguing role of the astrocytes

Stefano Ratti, Isabella Rusciano, Sara Mongiorgi, Eric Owusu Obeng, Alessandra Cappellini, Gabriella Teti, Mirella Falconi, Lia Talozzi, Sabina Capellari, Anna Bartoletti-Stella, Pietro Guaraldi, Pietro Cortelli, Pann Ghill Suh, Lucio Cocco, Lucia Manzoli, Giulia Ramazzotti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Autosomal-dominant leukodystrophy (ADLD) is a rare fatal neurodegenerative disorder with overexpression of the nuclear lamina component, Lamin B1 due to LMNB1 gene duplication or deletions upstream of the gene. The molecular mechanisms responsible for driving the onset and development of this pathology are not clear yet. Vacuolar demyelination seems to be one of the most significant histopathological observations of ADLD. Considering the role of oligodendrocytes, astrocytes, and leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF)-activated signaling pathways in the myelination processes, this work aims to analyze the specific alterations in different cell populations from patients with LMNB1 duplications and engineered cellular models overexpressing Lamin B1 protein. Our results point out, for the first time, that astrocytes may be pivotal in the evolution of the disease. Indeed, cells from ADLD patients and astrocytes overexpressing LMNB1 show severe ultrastructural nuclear alterations, not present in oligodendrocytes overexpressing LMNB1. Moreover, the accumulation of Lamin B1 in astrocytes induces a reduction in LIF and in LIF-Receptor (LIF-R) levels with a consequential decrease in LIF secretion. Therefore, in both our cellular models, Jak/Stat3 and PI3K/Akt axes, downstream of LIF/LIF-R, are downregulated. Significantly, the administration of exogenous LIF can partially reverse the toxic effects induced by Lamin B1 accumulation with differences between astrocytes and oligodendrocytes, highlighting that LMNB1 overexpression drastically affects astrocytic function reducing their fundamental support to oligodendrocytes in the myelination process. In addition, inflammation has also been investigated, showing an increased activation in ADLD patients’ cells.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCellular and Molecular Life Sciences
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2020


  • ADLD
  • Astrocyte
  • Cellular signaling
  • Lamin B1
  • LIF

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Pharmacology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Cell signaling pathways in autosomal-dominant leukodystrophy (ADLD): the intriguing role of the astrocytes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this