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Publication : Comparison of spinocerebellar ataxia type 3 mouse models identifies early gain-of-function, cell-autonomous transcriptional changes in oligodendrocytes.

First Author  Ramani B Year  2017
Journal  Hum Mol Genet Volume  26
Issue  17 Pages  3362-3374
PubMed ID  28854700 Mgi Jnum  J:244808
Mgi Id  MGI:5913587 Doi  10.1093/hmg/ddx224
Citation  Ramani B, et al. (2017) Comparison of spinocerebellar ataxia type 3 mouse models identifies early gain-of-function, cell-autonomous transcriptional changes in oligodendrocytes. Hum Mol Genet 26(17):3362-3374
abstractText  Spinocerebellar ataxia type 3 (SCA3) is a neurodegenerative disorder caused by a polyglutamine-encoding CAG repeat expansion in the ATXN3 gene. This expansion leads to misfolding and aggregation of mutant ataxin-3 (ATXN3) and degeneration of select brain regions. A key unanswered question in SCA3 and other polyglutamine diseases is the extent to which neurodegeneration is mediated through gain-of-function versus loss-of-function. To address this question in SCA3, we performed transcriptional profiling on the brainstem, a highly vulnerable brain region in SCA3, in a series of mouse models with varying degrees of ATXN3 expression and aggregation. We include two SCA3 knock-in mouse models: our previously published model that erroneously harbors a tandem duplicate of the CAG repeat-containing exon, and a corrected model, introduced here. Both models exhibit dose-dependent neuronal accumulation and aggregation of mutant ATXN3, but do not exhibit a behavioral phenotype. We identified a molecular signature that correlates with ATXN3 neuronal aggregation yet is primarily linked to oligodendrocytes, highlighting early white matter dysfunction in SCA3. Two robustly elevated oligodendrocyte transcripts, Acy3 and Tnfrsf13c, were confirmed as elevated at the protein level in SCA3 human disease brainstem. To determine if mutant ATXN3 acts on oligodendrocytes cell-autonomously, we manipulated the repeat expansion in the variant SCA3 knock-in mouse by cell-type specific Cre/LoxP recombination. Changes in oligodendrocyte transcripts are driven cell-autonomously and occur independent of neuronal ATXN3 aggregation. Our findings support a primary toxic gain of function mechanism and highlight a previously unrecognized role for oligodendrocyte dysfunction in SCA3 disease pathogenesis.
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