Articles by Richard J. Batka in JoVE
Facial Nerve Axotomy in Mice: A Model to Study Motoneuron Response to Injury Deborah N. Olmstead1,2, Nichole A. Mesnard-Hoaglin3, Richard J. Batka1,2, Melissa M. Haulcomb1,2, Whitney M. Miller1,2, Kathryn J. Jones1,2 1Anatomy and Cell Biology, Indiana University School of Medicine, 2Research and Development Services, Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center, 3Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, University of Illinois, Chicago We present a surgical protocol detailing how to perform a cut or crush axotomy on the facial nerve in the mouse. The facial nerve axotomy can be employed to study the physiological response to nerve injury and test therapeutic techniques.
Other articles by Richard J. Batka on PubMed
Axotomy-induced Target Disconnection Promotes an Additional Death Mechanism Involved in Motoneuron Degeneration in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Transgenic Mice The Journal of Comparative Neurology. Jul, 2014 | Pubmed ID: 24424947 The target disconnection theory of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) pathogenesis suggests that disease onset is initiated by a peripheral pathological event resulting in neuromuscular junction loss and motoneuron (MN) degeneration. Presymptomatic mSOD1(G93A) mouse facial MN (FMN) are more susceptible to axotomy-induced cell death than wild-type (WT) FMN, which suggests additional CNS pathology. We have previously determined that the mSOD1 molecular response to facial nerve axotomy is phenotypically regenerative and indistinguishable from WT, whereas the surrounding microenvironment shows significant dysregulation in the mSOD1 facial nucleus. To elucidate the mechanisms underlying the enhanced mSOD1 FMN loss after axotomy, we superimposed the facial nerve axotomy model on presymptomatic mSOD1 mice and investigated gene expression for death receptor pathways after target disconnection by axotomy vs. disease progression. We determined that the TNFR1 death receptor pathway is involved in axotomy-induced FMN death in WT and is partially responsible for the mSOD1 FMN death. In contrast, an inherent mSOD1 CNS pathology resulted in a suppressed glial reaction and an upregulation in the Fas death pathway after target disconnection. We propose that the dysregulated mSOD1 glia fail to provide support the injured MN, leading to Fas-induced FMN death. Finally, we demonstrate that, during disease progression, the mSOD1 facial nucleus displays target disconnection-induced gene expression changes that mirror those induced by axotomy. This validates the use of axotomy as an investigative tool in understanding the role of peripheral target disconnection in the pathogenesis of ALS.
The Need for Speed in Rodent Locomotion Analyses Anatomical Record (Hoboken, N.J. : 2007). Oct, 2014 | Pubmed ID: 24890845 Locomotion analysis is now widely used across many animal species to understand the motor defects in disease, functional recovery following neural injury, and the effectiveness of various treatments. More recently, rodent locomotion analysis has become an increasingly popular method in a diverse range of research. Speed is an inseparable aspect of locomotion that is still not fully understood, and its effects are often not properly incorporated while analyzing data. In this hybrid manuscript, we accomplish three things: (1) review the interaction between speed and locomotion variables in rodent studies, (2) comprehensively analyze the relationship between speed and 162 locomotion variables in a group of 16 wild-type mice using the CatWalk gait analysis system, and (3) develop and test a statistical method in which locomotion variables are analyzed and reported in the context of speed. Notable results include the following: (1) over 90% of variables, reported by CatWalk, were dependent on speed with an average R(2) value of 0.624, (2) most variables were related to speed in a nonlinear manner, (3) current methods of controlling for speed are insufficient, and (4) the linear mixed model is an appropriate and effective statistical method for locomotion analyses that is inclusive of speed-dependent relationships. Given the pervasive dependency of locomotion variables on speed, we maintain that valid conclusions from locomotion analyses cannot be made unless they are analyzed and reported within the context of speed.
SOD1(G93A) Transgenic Mouse CD4(+) T Cells Mediate Neuroprotection After Facial Nerve Axotomy when Removed from a Suppressive Peripheral Microenvironment Brain, Behavior, and Immunity. Aug, 2014 | Pubmed ID: 24911596 Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease involving motoneuron (MN) axonal withdrawal and cell death. Previously, we established that facial MN (FMN) survival levels in the SOD1(G93A) transgenic mouse model of ALS are reduced and nerve regeneration is delayed, similar to immunodeficient RAG2(-/-) mice, after facial nerve axotomy. The objective of this study was to examine the functionality of SOD1(G93A) splenic microenvironment, focusing on CD4(+) T cells, with regard to defects in immune-mediated neuroprotection of injured MN. We utilized the RAG2(-/-) and SOD1(G93A) mouse models, along with the facial nerve axotomy paradigm and a variety of cellular adoptive transfers, to assess immune-mediated neuroprotection of FMN survival levels. We determined that adoptively transferred SOD1(G93A) unfractionated splenocytes into RAG2(-/-) mice were unable to support FMN survival after axotomy, but that adoptive transfer of isolated SOD1(G93A) CD4(+) T cells could. Although WT unfractionated splenocytes adoptively transferred into SOD1(G93A) mice were able to maintain FMN survival levels, WT CD4(+) T cells alone could not. Importantly, these results suggest that SOD1(G93A) CD4(+) T cells retain neuroprotective functionality when removed from a dysfunctional SOD1(G93A) peripheral splenic microenvironment. These results also indicate that the SOD1(G93A) central nervous system microenvironment is able to re-activate CD4(+) T cells for immune-mediated neuroprotection when a permissive peripheral microenvironment exists. We hypothesize that a suppressive SOD1(G93A) peripheral splenic microenvironment may compromise neuroprotective CD4(+) T cell activation and/or differentiation, which, in turn, results in impaired immune-mediated neuroprotection for MN survival after peripheral axotomy in SOD1(G93A) mice.