Increased expression of the beta3 subunit of voltage-gated Na+ channels in the spinal cord of the SOD1G93A mouse

Michele Nutini, Alida Spalloni, Fulvio Florenzano, Ruth E. Westenbroek, Claudia Marini, William A. Catterall, Giorgio Bernardi, Patrizia Longone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is an adult-onset disease characterized by the progressive degeneration of motoneurons (MNs). Altered electrical properties have been described in familial and sporadic ALS patients. Cortical and spinal neurons cultured from the mutant Cu,Zn superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1G93A) mouse, a murine model of ALS, exhibit a marked increase in the persistent Na+ currents. Here, we investigated the effects of the SOD1G93A mutation on the expression of the voltage-gated Na+ channel alpha subunit SCN8A (Nav1.6) and the beta subunits SCN1B (beta1), SCN2B (beta2), and SCN3B (beta3) in MNs of the spinal cord in presymptomatic (P75) and symptomatic (P120) mice. We observed a significant increase, within lamina IX, of the beta3 transcript and protein expression. On the other hand, the beta1 transcript was significantly decreased, in the same area, at the symptomatic stage, while the beta2 transcript levels were unaltered. The SCN8A transcript was significantly decreased at P120 in the whole spinal cord. These data suggest that the SOD1G93A mutation alters voltage-gated Na+ channel subunit expression. Moreover, the increased expression of the beta3 subunit support the hypothesis that altered persistent Na+ currents contribute to the hyperexcitability observed in the ALS-affected MNs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)108-118
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular and Cellular Neuroscience
Volume47
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2011

Keywords

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Beta3 Na+ channel subunit
  • Cu,Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD1) mouse
  • Laser-capture microdissection
  • Spinal motor neurons
  • Voltage-gated Na+ channel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Cell Biology

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