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TitleCombined therapy with m-TOR-dependent and -independent autophagy inducers causes neurotoxicity in a mouse model of Machado-Joseph disease
Author(s)Silva, Sara Carina Duarte
Fernandes, Anabela Silva
Carvalho, Andreia Alexandra Neves
Cunha, Carina Isabel Soares
Castro, Andreia Cristiana Teixeira
Maciel, P.
KeywordsPolyglutamine diseases
Animal models
Issue dateJan-2016
CitationDuarte-Silva, S., Silva-Fernandes, A., Neves-Carvalho, A., Soares-Cunha, C., Teixeira-Castro, A., & Maciel, P. (2016). Combined therapy with m-TOR-dependent and -independent autophagy inducers causes neurotoxicity in a mouse model of Machado-Joseph disease. Neuroscience, 313, 162-173. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2015.11.030
Abstract(s)A major pathological hallmark in several neurodegenerative disorders, like polyglutamine disorders (polyQ), including Machado-Joseph disease (MJD), is the formation of protein aggregates. MJD is caused by a CAG repeat expansion in the ATXN3 gene, resulting in an abnormal protein, which is prone to misfolding and forms cytoplasmic and nuclear aggregates within neurons, ultimately inducing neurodegeneration. Treatment of proteinopathies with drugs that up-regulate autophagy has shown promising results in models of polyQ diseases. Temsirolimus (CCI-779) inhibits the mammalian target of rapamycin (m-TOR), while lithium chloride (LiCl) acts by inhibiting inositol monophosphatase, both being able to induce autophagy. We have previously shown that chronic treatment with LiCl (10.4 mg/kg) had limited effects in a transgenic MJD mouse model. Also, others have shown that CCI-779 had mild positive effects in a different mouse model of the disease. It has been suggested that the combination of mTOR-dependent and -independent autophagy inducers could be a more effective therapeutic approach. To further explore this avenue toward therapy, we treated CMVMJD135 transgenic mice with a conjugation of CCI-779 and LiCl, both at concentrations known to induce autophagy and not to be toxic. Surprisingly, this combined treatment proved to be deleterious to both wild-type (wt) and transgenic animals, failing to rescue their neurological symptoms and actually exerting neurotoxic effects. These results highlight the possible dangers of manipulating autophagy in the nervous system and suggest that a better understanding of the potential disruption in the autophagy pathway in MJD is required before successful long-term autophagy modulating therapies can be developed.
Publisher version
AccessOpen access
Appears in Collections:ICVS - Artigos em revistas internacionais / Papers in international journals

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