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In JoVE (1)
Other Publications (4)
Articles by Maria F. Pazyra-Murphy in JoVE
Preparation and Maintenance of Dorsal Root Ganglia Neurons in Compartmented Cultures
Maria F. Pazyra-Murphy1,2, Rosalind A. Segal1,2
1Department of Pediatric Oncology, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, 2Department of Neurobiology, Harvard Medical School
Here we describe the technique of preparing and maintaining compartmented chambers for culturing sensory neurons of the dorsal root ganglia.
Other articles by Maria F. Pazyra-Murphy on PubMed
Nature Neuroscience. Apr, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19287388
Sonic Hedgehog (Shh) has dual roles in vertebrate development, promoting progenitor cell proliferation and inducing tissue patterning. We found that the mitogenic and patterning functions of Shh can be uncoupled from one another. Using a genetic approach to selectively inhibit Shh-proteoglycan interactions in a mouse model, we found that binding of Shh to proteoglycans was required for proliferation of neural stem/precursor cells, but not for tissue patterning. Shh-proteoglycan interactions regulated both spatial and temporal features of Shh signaling. Proteoglycans localized Shh to specialized mitogenic niches and also acted at the single-cell level to regulate the duration of Shh signaling, thereby promoting a gene expression program that is important for cell division. Because activation of the Shh pathway is a feature of diverse human cancers, selective stimulation of proliferation by Shh-proteoglycan interactions may also figure prominently in neoplastic growth.
The Journal of Neuroscience : the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience. May, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19458239
Survival and maturation of dorsal root ganglia sensory neurons during development depend on target-derived neurotrophins. These target-derived signals must be transmitted across long distances to alter gene expression. Here, we address the possibility that long-range retrograde signals initiated by target-derived neurotrophins activate a specialized transcriptional program. The transcription factor MEF2D is expressed in sensory neurons; we show that expression of this factor is induced in response to target-derived neurotrophins that stimulate the distal axons. We demonstrate that MEF2D regulates expression of an anti-apoptotic bcl-2 family member, bcl-w. Expression of mef2d and bcl-w is stimulated in response to activation of a Trk-dependent ERK5/MEF2 pathway, and our data indicate that this pathway promotes sensory neuron survival. We find that mef2d and bcl-w are members of a larger set of retrograde response genes, which are preferentially induced by neurotrophin stimulation of distal axons. Thus, activation of an ERK5/MEF2D transcriptional program establishes and maintains the cellular constituents of functional sensory circuits.
The Journal of Neuroscience : the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience. Feb, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21289171
Small fiber sensory neuropathy is a common disorder in which progressive degeneration of small-diameter nociceptors causes decreased sensitivity to thermal stimuli and painful sensations in the extremities. In the majority of patients, the cause of small fiber sensory neuropathy is unknown, and treatment options are limited. Here, we show that Bcl-w (Bcl-2l2) is required for the viability of small fiber nociceptive sensory neurons. Bcl-w(-/-) mice demonstrate an adult-onset progressive decline in thermosensation and a decrease in nociceptor innervation of the epidermis. This denervation occurs without cell body loss, indicating that lack of Bcl-w results in a primary axonopathy. Consistent with this phenotype, we show that Bcl-w, in contrast to the closely related Bcl-2 and Bcl-xL, is enriched in axons of sensory neurons and that Bcl-w prevents the dying back of axons. Bcl-w(-/-) sensory neurons exhibit mitochondrial abnormalities, including alterations in axonal mitochondrial size, axonal mitochondrial membrane potential, and cellular ATP levels. Collectively, these data establish bcl-w(-/-) mice as an animal model of small fiber sensory neuropathy and provide new insight regarding the role of Bcl-w and of mitochondria in preventing axonal degeneration.
PloS One. 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21346813
Disruptions in axonal transport have been implicated in a wide range of neurodegenerative diseases. Cramping 1 (Cra1/+) and Legs at odd angles (Loa/+) mice, with hypomorphic mutations in the dynein heavy chain 1 gene, which encodes the ATPase of the retrograde motor protein dynein, were originally reported to exhibit late onset motor neuron disease. Subsequent, conflicting reports suggested that sensory neuron disease without motor neuron loss underlies the phenotypes of Cra1/+ and Loa/+ mice. Here, we present behavioral and anatomical analyses of Cra1/+ mice. We demonstrate that Cra1/+ mice exhibit early onset, stable behavioral deficits, including abnormal hindlimb posturing and decreased grip strength. These deficits do not progress through 24 months of age. No significant loss of primary motor neurons or dorsal root ganglia sensory neurons was observed at ages where the mice exhibited clear symptomatology. Instead, there is a decrease in complexity of neuromuscular junctions. These results indicate that disruption of dynein function in Cra1/+ mice results in abnormal morphology of neuromuscular junctions. The time course of behavioral deficits, as well as the nature of the morphological defects in neuromuscular junctions, suggests that disruption of dynein function in Cra1/+ mice causes a developmental defect in synapse assembly or stabilization.