The highly polysialylated neural cell adhesion molecule (PSA-NCAM) is recognized as a marker of neurogenesis or neural plasticity in adult nervous system. PSA-NCAM expression was examined in the spinal cord of transgenic mice harboring a mutant Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD1) gene. Immunohistochemistry showed a progressive expression of PSA-NCAM in surviving motoneurons of spinal ventral horns from an early and presymptomatic stage (25 weeks) before significant loss of ventral horn neurons, while no detectable PSA-NCAM in the ventral horn of non-transgenic littermates during the ageing process. The present data suggest that a specific expression of PSA-NCAM may be involved in the survival of spinal motoneurons under pathological conditions such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
- Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD1) gene
- Polysialylated neural cell adhesion molecule
- Transgenic mouse
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