TNF-α overexpression may contribute to motor neuron death in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). We investigated the intracellular pathway associated with TNF-α in the wobbler mouse, a murine model of ALS, at the onset of symptoms. TNF-α and TNFR1 overexpression and JNK/p38MAPK phosphorylation occurred in neurons and microglia in early symptomatic mice, suggesting that this activation may contribute to motor neuron damage. The involvement of TNF-α was further confirmed by the protective effect of treatment with rhTNF-α binding protein (rhTBP-1) from 4 to 9 weeks of age. rhTBP-1 reduced the progression of symptoms, motor neuron loss, gliosis and JNK/p38MAPK phosphorylation in wobbler mice, but did not reduce TNF-α and TNFR1 levels. rhTBP-1 might possibly bind TNF-α and reduce the downstream phosphorylation of two main effectors of the neuroinflammatory response, p38MAPK and JNK.
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
- Glial activation
- Motor neuron degeneration
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