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Browsing by Subject "unfolded proteins"

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  • Montonen, Ella (2015)
    Endoplasmic reticulum stress (ER-stress) is the result of accumulation of unfolded and misfolded proteins in the ER. The unfolded proteins activate the unfolded protein response (UPR), which seeks to reduce the protein load in the ER and reduces ER-stress. When ER-stress is prolonged, the UPR will activate apoptosis. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a rare, progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects lower and higher motorneurons. The cause of ALS is unknown but ER-stress is known to play a role in the disease progression. CDNF is a new neurotrophic factor, which is known to play a role in protein folding in the ER. CDNF is neuroprotective and neurorestorative in animal models of Parkinson's disease. Thus, CDNF is a potential new drug candidate for treating ALS. The aim of this work was to examine the effect of CDNF on disease state and life span in transgenic SOD1(G93A)-mice. CDNF or PBS was injected into the mouse's ventricle in stereotaxic surgery when the mice were about 90 days old. Clinical status and motor coordination was monitored twice a week throughout the study. The mice were dissected when they reached the end point that was set for the study. Deepfrozen gastrocnemius muscles were stained with antibodies, to examine the integrity of the neuromuscular junctions (NMJ). Quantitative PCR (qPCR) was executed on deepfrozen spinal cord and motor cortex samples to measure the expression of ER-stress genes. The results showed that CDNF improves motor coordination and delays disease progression in SOD1 female mice. The NMJs were notably more damaged in SOD1 mice than in wild type mice, but CDNF did not have any significant effect on NMJ integrity. ER-stress could be observed in the spinal cord and motor cortex of SOD1 mice and CDNF decreased ER-stress in the motor cortex. CDNF did not decrease ER-stress in the spinal cord where the expression of apoptosis related genes was increased. Thus, CDNF is a potential new drug candidate for treating ALS and it should be studied further.