Delayed functional recovery in presymptomatic mSOD1G93A mice following facial nerve crush axotomy

Nichole A. Mesnard, PhD, Melissa M. Haulcomb, PhD, Lisa Tanzer, MS, Virginia M. Sanders, PhD, Kathryn J. Jones, PhD


Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease involving progressive loss of motoneurons (MN). Axonal pathology and presynaptic deafferentation precede MN degeneration during disease progression in patients and the ALS mouse model (mSOD1). Previously, we determined that a functional adaptive immune response is required for complete functional recovery following a facial nerve crush axotomy in wild-type (WT) mice. In this study, we investigated the effects of facial nerve crush axotomy on functional recovery and facial MN survival in presymptomatic mSOD1 mice, relative to WT mice. The results indicate that functional recovery and facial MN survival levels are significantly reduced in presymptomatic mSOD1, relative to WT, and similar to what has previously been observed in immunodeficient mice. It is concluded that a potential immune system defect exists in the mSOD1 mouse that negatively impacts neuronal survival and regeneration following target disconnection associated with peripheral nerve axotomy.

Keywords: Motoneuron survival, Functional recovery, Axotomy, SOD1, ALS


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