While the VGF-derived TLQP peptides have been shown to prevent neuronal apoptosis, and to act on synaptic strengthening, their involvement in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) remains unclarified. We studied human ALS patients' plasma (taken at early to late disease stages) and primary fibroblast cultures (patients vs controls), in parallel with SOD1-G93A transgenic mice (taken at pre-, early- and late symptomatic stages) and the mouse motor neuron cell line (NSC-34) treated with Sodium Arsenite (SA) to induce oxidative stress. TLQP peptides were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, in parallel with gel chromatography characterization, while their localization was studied by immunohistochemistry. In controls, TLQP peptides, including forms compatible with TLQP-21 and 62, were revealed in plasma and spinal cord motor neurons, as well as in fibroblasts and NSC-34 cells. TLQP peptides were reduced in ALS patients' plasma starting in the early disease stage (14% of controls) and remaining so at the late stage (16% of controls). In mice, a comparable pattern of reduction was shown (vs wild type), in both plasma and spinal cord already in the pre-symptomatic phase (about 26% and 70%, respectively). Similarly, the levels of TLQP peptides were reduced in ALS fibroblasts (31% of controls) and in the NSC-34 treated with Sodium Arsenite (53% of decrease), however, the exogeneous TLQP-21 improved cell viability (SA-treated cells with TLQP-21, vs SA-treated cells only: about 83% vs. 75%). Hence, TLQP peptides, reduced upon oxidative stress, are suggested as blood biomarkers, while TLQP-21 exerts a neuroprotective activity.
Pubmed ID: 29588252 RIS Download
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