Articles by Kasey M. Johnson in JoVE
An In Vitro Model for the Study of Cellular Pathophysiology in Globoid Cell Leukodystrophy Kumiko I. Claycomb1, Kasey M. Johnson1, Ernesto R. Bongarzone2, Stephen J. Crocker1 1Department of Neuroscience, University of Connecticut Health Center, 2Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, University of Illinois at Chicago Globoid cells are a defining pathological feature of Krabbe disease, a leukodystrophy currently lacking an effective long-term therapy. We have developed a cell culture model to study the innate biology and pathogenic potential of activated microglia and their transformation into globoid cells.
Other articles by Kasey M. Johnson on PubMed
Astrocyte Regulation of CNS Inflammation and Remyelination Brain Sciences. 2013 | Pubmed ID: 24961523 Astrocytes regulate fundamentally important functions to maintain central nervous system (CNS) homeostasis. Altered astrocytic function is now recognized as a primary contributing factor to an increasing number of neurological diseases. In this review, we provide an overview of our rapidly developing understanding of the basal and inflammatory functions of astrocytes as mediators of CNS responsiveness to inflammation and injury. Specifically, we elaborate on ways that astrocytes actively participate in the pathogenesis of demyelinating diseases of the CNS through their immunomodulatory roles as CNS antigen presenting cells, modulators of blood brain barrier function and as a source of chemokines and cytokines. We also outline how changes in the extracellular matrix can modulate astrocytes phenotypically, resulting in dysregulation of astrocytic responses during inflammatory injury. We also relate recent studies describing newly identified roles for astrocytes in leukodystrophies. Finally, we describe recent advances in how adapting this increasing breadth of knowledge on astrocytes has fostered new ways of thinking about human diseases, which offer potential to modulate astrocytic heterogeneity and plasticity towards therapeutic gain. In summary, recent studies have provided improved insight in a wide variety of neuroinflammatory and demyelinating diseases, and future research on astrocyte pathophysiology is expected to provide new perspectives on these diseases, for which new treatment modalities are increasingly necessary.
Aberrant Production of Tenascin-C in Globoid Cell Leukodystrophy Alters Psychosine-induced Microglial Functions Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology. Oct, 2014 | Pubmed ID: 25192051 Globoid cell leukodystrophy (GLD), or Krabbe disease, is a rare and often fatal demyelinating disease caused by mutations in the galactocerebrosidase (galc) gene that result in accumulation of galactosylsphingosine (psychosine). We recently reported that the extracellular matrix (ECM) protease, matrix metalloproteinase-3, is elevated in GLD and that it regulates psychosine-induced microglial activation. Here, we examined central nervous system ECM component expression in human GLD patients and in the twitcher mouse model of GLD using immunohistochemistry. The influence of ECM proteins on primary murine microglial responses to psychosine was evaluated using ECM proteins as substrates and analyzed by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction, immunocytochemistry, and ELISA. Functional analysis of microglial cytotoxicity was performed on oligodendrocytes in coculture, and cell death was measured by lactose dehydrogenase assay. Tenascin-C (TnC) was expressed at higher levels in human GLD and in twitcher mice versus controls. Microglial responses to psychosine were enhanced by TnC, as determined by an increase in globoid-like cell formation, matrix metalloproteinase-3 mRNA expression, and higher toxicity toward oligodendrocytes in culture. These findings were consistent with a shift toward the M1 microglial phenotype in TnC-grown microglia. Thus, elevated TnC expression in GLD modified microglial responses to psychosine. These data offer a novel perspective and enhance understanding of the microglial contribution to GLD pathogenesis.