Neurodegenerative Diseases: Hereditary and sporadic conditions which are characterized by progressive nervous system dysfunction. These disorders are often associated with atrophy of the affected central or peripheral nervous system structures.Nerve Degeneration: Loss of functional activity and trophic degeneration of nerve axons and their terminal arborizations following the destruction of their cells of origin or interruption of their continuity with these cells. The pathology is characteristic of neurodegenerative diseases. Often the process of nerve degeneration is studied in research on neuroanatomical localization and correlation of the neurophysiology of neural pathways.Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: A degenerative disorder affecting upper MOTOR NEURONS in the brain and lower motor neurons in the brain stem and SPINAL CORD. Disease onset is usually after the age of 50 and the process is usually fatal within 3 to 6 years. Clinical manifestations include progressive weakness, atrophy, FASCICULATION, hyperreflexia, DYSARTHRIA, dysphagia, and eventual paralysis of respiratory function. Pathologic features include the replacement of motor neurons with fibrous ASTROCYTES and atrophy of anterior SPINAL NERVE ROOTS and corticospinal tracts. (From Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, pp1089-94)Neurons: The basic cellular units of nervous tissue. Each neuron consists of a body, an axon, and dendrites. Their purpose is to receive, conduct, and transmit impulses in the NERVOUS SYSTEM.Alzheimer Disease: A degenerative disease of the BRAIN characterized by the insidious onset of DEMENTIA. Impairment of MEMORY, judgment, attention span, and problem solving skills are followed by severe APRAXIAS and a global loss of cognitive abilities. The condition primarily occurs after age 60, and is marked pathologically by severe cortical atrophy and the triad of SENILE PLAQUES; NEUROFIBRILLARY TANGLES; and NEUROPIL THREADS. (From Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, pp1049-57)tau Proteins: Microtubule-associated proteins that are mainly expressed in neurons. Tau proteins constitute several isoforms and play an important role in the assembly of tubulin monomers into microtubules and in maintaining the cytoskeleton and axonal transport. Aggregation of specific sets of tau proteins in filamentous inclusions is the common feature of intraneuronal and glial fibrillar lesions (NEUROFIBRILLARY TANGLES; NEUROPIL THREADS) in numerous neurodegenerative disorders (ALZHEIMER DISEASE; TAUOPATHIES).Huntington Disease: A familial disorder inherited as an autosomal dominant trait and characterized by the onset of progressive CHOREA and DEMENTIA in the fourth or fifth decade of life. Common initial manifestations include paranoia; poor impulse control; DEPRESSION; HALLUCINATIONS; and DELUSIONS. Eventually intellectual impairment; loss of fine motor control; ATHETOSIS; and diffuse chorea involving axial and limb musculature develops, leading to a vegetative state within 10-15 years of disease onset. The juvenile variant has a more fulminant course including SEIZURES; ATAXIA; dementia; and chorea. (From Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, pp1060-4)Brain: The part of CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM that is contained within the skull (CRANIUM). Arising from the NEURAL TUBE, the embryonic brain is comprised of three major parts including PROSENCEPHALON (the forebrain); MESENCEPHALON (the midbrain); and RHOMBENCEPHALON (the hindbrain). The developed brain consists of CEREBRUM; CEREBELLUM; and other structures in the BRAIN STEM.Parkinson Disease: A progressive, degenerative neurologic disease characterized by a TREMOR that is maximal at rest, retropulsion (i.e. a tendency to fall backwards), rigidity, stooped posture, slowness of voluntary movements, and a masklike facial expression. Pathologic features include loss of melanin containing neurons in the substantia nigra and other pigmented nuclei of the brainstem. LEWY BODIES are present in the substantia nigra and locus coeruleus but may also be found in a related condition (LEWY BODY DISEASE, DIFFUSE) characterized by dementia in combination with varying degrees of parkinsonism. (Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, p1059, pp1067-75)alpha-Synuclein: A synuclein that is a major component of LEWY BODIES that plays a role in neurodegeneration and neuroprotection.Nerve Tissue ProteinsTauopathies: Neurodegenerative disorders involving deposition of abnormal tau protein isoforms (TAU PROTEINS) in neurons and glial cells in the brain. Pathological aggregations of tau proteins are associated with mutation of the tau gene on chromosome 17 in patients with ALZHEIMER DISEASE; DEMENTIA; PARKINSONIAN DISORDERS; progressive supranuclear palsy (SUPRANUCLEAR PALSY, PROGRESSIVE); and corticobasal degeneration.Neuroprotective Agents: Drugs intended to prevent damage to the brain or spinal cord from ischemia, stroke, convulsions, or trauma. Some must be administered before the event, but others may be effective for some time after. They act by a variety of mechanisms, but often directly or indirectly minimize the damage produced by endogenous excitatory amino acids.Disease Models, Animal: Naturally occurring or experimentally induced animal diseases with pathological processes sufficiently similar to those of human diseases. They are used as study models for human diseases.Inclusion Bodies: A generic term for any circumscribed mass of foreign (e.g., lead or viruses) or metabolically inactive materials (e.g., ceroid or MALLORY BODIES), within the cytoplasm or nucleus of a cell. Inclusion bodies are in cells infected with certain filtrable viruses, observed especially in nerve, epithelial, or endothelial cells. (Stedman, 25th ed)Heredodegenerative Disorders, Nervous System: Inherited disorders characterized by progressive atrophy and dysfunction of anatomically or physiologically related neurologic systems.Proteostasis Deficiencies: Disorders caused by imbalances in the protein homeostasis network - synthesis, folding, and transport of proteins; post-translational modifications; and degradation or clearance of misfolded proteins.Microglia: The third type of glial cell, along with astrocytes and oligodendrocytes (which together form the macroglia). Microglia vary in appearance depending on developmental stage, functional state, and anatomical location; subtype terms include ramified, perivascular, ameboid, resting, and activated. Microglia clearly are capable of phagocytosis and play an important role in a wide spectrum of neuropathologies. They have also been suggested to act in several other roles including in secretion (e.g., of cytokines and neural growth factors), in immunological processing (e.g., antigen presentation), and in central nervous system development and remodeling.Prions: Small proteinaceous infectious particles which resist inactivation by procedures that modify NUCLEIC ACIDS and contain an abnormal isoform of a cellular protein which is a major and necessary component. The abnormal (scrapie) isoform is PrPSc (PRPSC PROTEINS) and the cellular isoform PrPC (PRPC PROTEINS). The primary amino acid sequence of the two isoforms is identical. Human diseases caused by prions include CREUTZFELDT-JAKOB SYNDROME; GERSTMANN-STRAUSSLER SYNDROME; and INSOMNIA, FATAL FAMILIAL.Prion Diseases: A group of genetic, infectious, or sporadic degenerative human and animal nervous system disorders associated with abnormal PRIONS. These diseases are characterized by conversion of the normal prion protein to an abnormal configuration via a post-translational process. In humans, these conditions generally feature DEMENTIA; ATAXIA; and a fatal outcome. Pathologic features include a spongiform encephalopathy without evidence of inflammation. The older literature occasionally refers to these as unconventional SLOW VIRUS DISEASES. (From Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 1998 Nov 10;95(23):13363-83)Mice, Transgenic: Laboratory mice that have been produced from a genetically manipulated EGG or EMBRYO, MAMMALIAN.Synucleins: A family of homologous proteins of low MOLECULAR WEIGHT that are predominately expressed in the BRAIN and that have been implicated in a variety of human diseases. They were originally isolated from CHOLINERGIC FIBERS of TORPEDO.Amyloid beta-Peptides: Peptides generated from AMYLOID BETA-PEPTIDES PRECURSOR. An amyloid fibrillar form of these peptides is the major component of amyloid plaques found in individuals with Alzheimer's disease and in aged individuals with trisomy 21 (DOWN SYNDROME). The peptide is found predominantly in the nervous system, but there have been reports of its presence in non-neural tissue.Spinocerebellar Ataxias: A group of dominantly inherited, predominately late-onset, cerebellar ataxias which have been divided into multiple subtypes based on clinical features and genetic mapping. Progressive ataxia is a central feature of these conditions, and in certain subtypes POLYNEUROPATHY; DYSARTHRIA; visual loss; and other disorders may develop. (From Joynt, Clinical Neurology, 1997, Ch65, pp 12-17; J Neuropathol Exp Neurol 1998 Jun;57(6):531-43)Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration: Heterogeneous group of neurodegenerative disorders characterized by frontal and temporal lobe atrophy associated with neuronal loss, gliosis, and dementia. Patients exhibit progressive changes in social, behavioral, and/or language function. Multiple subtypes or forms are recognized based on presence or absence of TAU PROTEIN inclusions. FTLD includes three clinical syndromes: FRONTOTEMPORAL DEMENTIA, semantic dementia, and PRIMARY PROGRESSIVE NONFLUENT APHASIA.Cell Death: The termination of the cell's ability to carry out vital functions such as metabolism, growth, reproduction, responsiveness, and adaptability.Oxidative Stress: A disturbance in the prooxidant-antioxidant balance in favor of the former, leading to potential damage. Indicators of oxidative stress include damaged DNA bases, protein oxidation products, and lipid peroxidation products (Sies, Oxidative Stress, 1991, pxv-xvi).Mutation: Any detectable and heritable change in the genetic material that causes a change in the GENOTYPE and which is transmitted to daughter cells and to succeeding generations.Trinucleotide Repeat Expansion: An increased number of contiguous trinucleotide repeats in the DNA sequence from one generation to the next. The presence of these regions is associated with diseases such as FRAGILE X SYNDROME and MYOTONIC DYSTROPHY. Some CHROMOSOME FRAGILE SITES are composed of sequences where trinucleotide repeat expansion occurs.Frontotemporal Dementia: The most common clinical form of FRONTOTEMPORAL LOBAR DEGENERATION, this dementia presents with personality and behavioral changes often associated with disinhibition, apathy, and lack of insight.Friedreich Ataxia: An autosomal recessive disease, usually of childhood onset, characterized pathologically by degeneration of the spinocerebellar tracts, posterior columns, and to a lesser extent the corticospinal tracts. Clinical manifestations include GAIT ATAXIA, pes cavus, speech impairment, lateral curvature of spine, rhythmic head tremor, kyphoscoliosis, congestive heart failure (secondary to a cardiomyopathy), and lower extremity weakness. Most forms of this condition are associated with a mutation in a gene on chromosome 9, at band q13, which codes for the mitochondrial protein frataxin. (From Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, p1081; N Engl J Med 1996 Oct 17;335(16):1169-75) The severity of Friedreich ataxia associated with expansion of GAA repeats in the first intron of the frataxin gene correlates with the number of trinucleotide repeats. (From Durr et al, N Engl J Med 1996 Oct 17;335(16):1169-75)Mitochondria: Semiautonomous, self-reproducing organelles that occur in the cytoplasm of all cells of most, but not all, eukaryotes. Each mitochondrion is surrounded by a double limiting membrane. The inner membrane is highly invaginated, and its projections are called cristae. Mitochondria are the sites of the reactions of oxidative phosphorylation, which result in the formation of ATP. They contain distinctive RIBOSOMES, transfer RNAs (RNA, TRANSFER); AMINO ACYL T RNA SYNTHETASES; and elongation and termination factors. Mitochondria depend upon genes within the nucleus of the cells in which they reside for many essential messenger RNAs (RNA, MESSENGER). Mitochondria are believed to have arisen from aerobic bacteria that established a symbiotic relationship with primitive protoeukaryotes. (King & Stansfield, A Dictionary of Genetics, 4th ed)Autophagy: The segregation and degradation of damaged or unwanted cytoplasmic constituents by autophagic vacuoles (cytolysosomes) composed of LYSOSOMES containing cellular components in the process of digestion; it plays an important role in BIOLOGICAL METAMORPHOSIS of amphibians, in the removal of bone by osteoclasts, and in the degradation of normal cell components in nutritional deficiency states.Neuronal Ceroid-Lipofuscinoses: A group of severe neurodegenerative diseases characterized by intracellular accumulation of autofluorescent wax-like lipid materials (CEROID; LIPOFUSCIN) in neurons. There are several subtypes based on mutations of the various genes, time of disease onset, and severity of the neurological defects such as progressive DEMENTIA; SEIZURES; and visual failure.Guam: An island in Micronesia, east of the Philippines, the largest and southernmost of the Marianas. Its capital is Agana. It was discovered by Magellan in 1521 and occupied by Spain in 1565. They ceded it to the United States in 1898. It is an unincorporated territory of the United States, administered by the Department of the Interior since 1950. The derivation of the name Guam is in dispute. (From Webster's New Geographical Dictionary, 1988, p471)Amyloid: A fibrous protein complex that consists of proteins folded into a specific cross beta-pleated sheet structure. This fibrillar structure has been found as an alternative folding pattern for a variety of functional proteins. Deposits of amyloid in the form of AMYLOID PLAQUES are associated with a variety of degenerative diseases. The amyloid structure has also been found in a number of functional proteins that are unrelated to disease.Aging: The gradual irreversible changes in structure and function of an organism that occur as a result of the passage of time.Dementia: An acquired organic mental disorder with loss of intellectual abilities of sufficient severity to interfere with social or occupational functioning. The dysfunction is multifaceted and involves memory, behavior, personality, judgment, attention, spatial relations, language, abstract thought, and other executive functions. The intellectual decline is usually progressive, and initially spares the level of consciousness.Protein Folding: Processes involved in the formation of TERTIARY PROTEIN STRUCTURE.Cells, Cultured: Cells propagated in vitro in special media conducive to their growth. Cultured cells are used to study developmental, morphologic, metabolic, physiologic, and genetic processes, among others.Neurofibrillary Tangles: Abnormal structures located in various parts of the brain and composed of dense arrays of paired helical filaments (neurofilaments and microtubules). These double helical stacks of transverse subunits are twisted into left-handed ribbon-like filaments that likely incorporate the following proteins: (1) the intermediate filaments: medium- and high-molecular-weight neurofilaments; (2) the microtubule-associated proteins map-2 and tau; (3) actin; and (4) UBIQUITINS. As one of the hallmarks of ALZHEIMER DISEASE, the neurofibrillary tangles eventually occupy the whole of the cytoplasm in certain classes of cell in the neocortex, hippocampus, brain stem, and diencephalon. The number of these tangles, as seen in post mortem histology, correlates with the degree of dementia during life. Some studies suggest that tangle antigens leak into the systemic circulation both in the course of normal aging and in cases of Alzheimer disease.Lewy Body Disease: A neurodegenerative disease characterized by dementia, mild parkinsonism, and fluctuations in attention and alertness. The neuropsychiatric manifestations tend to precede the onset of bradykinesia, MUSCLE RIGIDITY, and other extrapyramidal signs. DELUSIONS and visual HALLUCINATIONS are relatively frequent in this condition. Histologic examination reveals LEWY BODIES in the CEREBRAL CORTEX and BRAIN STEM. SENILE PLAQUES and other pathologic features characteristic of ALZHEIMER DISEASE may also be present. (From Neurology 1997;48:376-380; Neurology 1996;47:1113-1124)Astrocytes: A class of large neuroglial (macroglial) cells in the central nervous system - the largest and most numerous neuroglial cells in the brain and spinal cord. Astrocytes (from "star" cells) are irregularly shaped with many long processes, including those with "end feet" which form the glial (limiting) membrane and directly and indirectly contribute to the BLOOD-BRAIN BARRIER. They regulate the extracellular ionic and chemical environment, and "reactive astrocytes" (along with MICROGLIA) respond to injury.Peptides: Members of the class of compounds composed of AMINO ACIDS joined together by peptide bonds between adjacent amino acids into linear, branched or cyclical structures. OLIGOPEPTIDES are composed of approximately 2-12 amino acids. Polypeptides are composed of approximately 13 or more amino acids. PROTEINS are linear polypeptides that are normally synthesized on RIBOSOMES.Neurotoxins: Toxic substances from microorganisms, plants or animals that interfere with the functions of the nervous system. Most venoms contain neurotoxic substances. Myotoxins are included in this concept.Parkinsonian Disorders: A group of disorders which feature impaired motor control characterized by bradykinesia, MUSCLE RIGIDITY; TREMOR; and postural instability. Parkinsonian diseases are generally divided into primary parkinsonism (see PARKINSON DISEASE), secondary parkinsonism (see PARKINSON DISEASE, SECONDARY) and inherited forms. These conditions are associated with dysfunction of dopaminergic or closely related motor integration neuronal pathways in the BASAL GANGLIA.Superoxide Dismutase: An oxidoreductase that catalyzes the reaction between superoxide anions and hydrogen to yield molecular oxygen and hydrogen peroxide. The enzyme protects the cell against dangerous levels of superoxide. EC, Inbred C57BLModels, Biological: Theoretical representations that simulate the behavior or activity of biological processes or diseases. For disease models in living animals, DISEASE MODELS, ANIMAL is available. Biological models include the use of mathematical equations, computers, and other electronic equipment.Lewy Bodies: Intracytoplasmic, eosinophilic, round to elongated inclusions found in vacuoles of injured or fragmented neurons. The presence of Lewy bodies is the histological marker of the degenerative changes in LEWY BODY DISEASE and PARKINSON DISEASE but they may be seen in other neurological conditions. They are typically found in the substantia nigra and locus coeruleus but they are also seen in the basal forebrain, hypothalamic nuclei, and neocortex.Axonal Transport: The directed transport of ORGANELLES and molecules along nerve cell AXONS. Transport can be anterograde (from the cell body) or retrograde (toward the cell body). (Alberts et al., Molecular Biology of the Cell, 3d ed, pG3)Central Nervous System: The main information-processing organs of the nervous system, consisting of the brain, spinal cord, and meninges.Trinucleotide Repeats: Microsatellite repeats consisting of three nucleotides dispersed in the euchromatic arms of chromosomes.Motor Neuron Disease: Diseases characterized by a selective degeneration of the motor neurons of the spinal cord, brainstem, or motor cortex. Clinical subtypes are distinguished by the major site of degeneration. In AMYOTROPHIC LATERAL SCLEROSIS there is involvement of upper, lower, and brainstem motor neurons. In progressive muscular atrophy and related syndromes (see MUSCULAR ATROPHY, SPINAL) the motor neurons in the spinal cord are primarily affected. With progressive bulbar palsy (BULBAR PALSY, PROGRESSIVE), the initial degeneration occurs in the brainstem. In primary lateral sclerosis, the cortical neurons are affected in isolation. (Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, p1089)Supranuclear Palsy, Progressive: A degenerative disease of the central nervous system characterized by balance difficulties; OCULAR MOTILITY DISORDERS (supranuclear ophthalmoplegia); DYSARTHRIA; swallowing difficulties; and axial DYSTONIA. Onset is usually in the fifth decade and disease progression occurs over several years. Pathologic findings include neurofibrillary degeneration and neuronal loss in the dorsal MESENCEPHALON; SUBTHALAMIC NUCLEUS; RED NUCLEUS; pallidum; dentate nucleus; and vestibular nuclei. (From Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, pp1076-7)Mitochondrial Diseases: Diseases caused by abnormal function of the MITOCHONDRIA. They may be caused by mutations, acquired or inherited, in mitochondrial DNA or in nuclear genes that code for mitochondrial components. They may also be the result of acquired mitochondria dysfunction due to adverse effects of drugs, infections, or other environmental causes.Motor Neurons: Neurons which activate MUSCLE CELLS.Ubiquitin: A highly conserved 76-amino acid peptide universally found in eukaryotic cells that functions as a marker for intracellular PROTEIN TRANSPORT and degradation. Ubiquitin becomes activated through a series of complicated steps and forms an isopeptide bond to lysine residues of specific proteins within the cell. These "ubiquitinated" proteins can be recognized and degraded by proteosomes or be transported to specific compartments within the cell.Central Nervous System Diseases: Diseases of any component of the brain (including the cerebral hemispheres, diencephalon, brain stem, and cerebellum) or the spinal cord.Hippocampus: A curved elevation of GRAY MATTER extending the entire length of the floor of the TEMPORAL HORN of the LATERAL VENTRICLE (see also TEMPORAL LOBE). The hippocampus proper, subiculum, and DENTATE GYRUS constitute the hippocampal formation. Sometimes authors include the ENTORHINAL CORTEX in the hippocampal formation.Cycas: A plant genus of the family Cycadaceae, order Cycadales, class Cycadopsida, division CYCADOPHYTA of palm-like trees. It is a source of CYCASIN, the beta-D-glucoside of methylazoxymethanol.Iron-Binding Proteins: Proteins that specifically bind to IRON.Proteasome Endopeptidase Complex: A large multisubunit complex that plays an important role in the degradation of most of the cytosolic and nuclear proteins in eukaryotic cells. It contains a 700-kDa catalytic sub-complex and two 700-kDa regulatory sub-complexes. The complex digests ubiquitinated proteins and protein activated via ornithine decarboxylase antizyme.Muscular Atrophy, Spinal: A group of disorders marked by progressive degeneration of motor neurons in the spinal cord resulting in weakness and muscular atrophy, usually without evidence of injury to the corticospinal tracts. Diseases in this category include Werdnig-Hoffmann disease and later onset SPINAL MUSCULAR ATROPHIES OF CHILDHOOD, most of which are hereditary. (Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, p1089)Cerebral Cortex: The thin layer of GRAY MATTER on the surface of the CEREBRAL HEMISPHERES that develops from the TELENCEPHALON and folds into gyri and sulchi. It reaches its highest development in humans and is responsible for intellectual faculties and higher mental functions.Pick Disease of the Brain: A rare form of DEMENTIA that is sometimes familial. Clinical features include APHASIA; APRAXIA; CONFUSION; ANOMIA; memory loss; and personality deterioration. This pattern is consistent with the pathologic findings of circumscribed atrophy of the poles of the FRONTAL LOBE and TEMPORAL LOBE. Neuronal loss is maximal in the HIPPOCAMPUS, entorhinal cortex, and AMYGDALA. Some ballooned cortical neurons contain argentophylic (Pick) bodies. (From Brain Pathol 1998 Apr;8(2):339-54; Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, pp1057-9)Signal Transduction: The intracellular transfer of information (biological activation/inhibition) through a signal pathway. In each signal transduction system, an activation/inhibition signal from a biologically active molecule (hormone, neurotransmitter) is mediated via the coupling of a receptor/enzyme to a second messenger system or to an ion channel. Signal transduction plays an important role in activating cellular functions, cell differentiation, and cell proliferation. Examples of signal transduction systems are the GAMMA-AMINOBUTYRIC ACID-postsynaptic receptor-calcium ion channel system, the receptor-mediated T-cell activation pathway, and the receptor-mediated activation of phospholipases. Those coupled to membrane depolarization or intracellular release of calcium include the receptor-mediated activation of cytotoxic functions in granulocytes and the synaptic potentiation of protein kinase activation. Some signal transduction pathways may be part of larger signal transduction pathways; for example, protein kinase activation is part of the platelet activation signal pathway.Cell Survival: The span of viability of a cell characterized by the capacity to perform certain functions such as metabolism, growth, reproduction, some form of responsiveness, and adaptability.RNA-Binding Protein FUS: A multifunctional heterogeneous-nuclear ribonucleoprotein that may play a role in homologous DNA pairing and recombination. The N-terminal portion of protein is a potent transcriptional activator, while the C terminus is required for RNA binding. The name FUS refers to the fact that genetic recombination events result in fusion oncogene proteins (ONCOGENE PROTEINS, FUSION) that contain the N-terminal region of this protein. These fusion proteins have been found in myxoid liposarcoma (LIPOSARCOMA, MYXOID) and acute myeloid leukemia.Neuroglia: The non-neuronal cells of the nervous system. They not only provide physical support, but also respond to injury, regulate the ionic and chemical composition of the extracellular milieu, participate in the BLOOD-BRAIN BARRIER and BLOOD-RETINAL BARRIER, form the myelin insulation of nervous pathways, guide neuronal migration during development, and exchange metabolites with neurons. Neuroglia have high-affinity transmitter uptake systems, voltage-dependent and transmitter-gated ion channels, and can release transmitters, but their role in signaling (as in many other functions) is unclear.Gliosis: The production of a dense fibrous network of neuroglia; includes astrocytosis, which is a proliferation of astrocytes in the area of a degenerative lesion.Apoptosis: One of the mechanisms by which CELL DEATH occurs (compare with NECROSIS and AUTOPHAGOCYTOSIS). Apoptosis is the mechanism responsible for the physiological deletion of cells and appears to be intrinsically programmed. It is characterized by distinctive morphologic changes in the nucleus and cytoplasm, chromatin cleavage at regularly spaced sites, and the endonucleolytic cleavage of genomic DNA; (DNA FRAGMENTATION); at internucleosomal sites. This mode of cell death serves as a balance to mitosis in regulating the size of animal tissues and in mediating pathologic processes associated with tumor growth.Gene Expression Regulation: Any of the processes by which nuclear, cytoplasmic, or intercellular factors influence the differential control (induction or repression) of gene action at the level of transcription or translation.Nervous System Diseases: Diseases of the central and peripheral nervous system. This includes disorders of the brain, spinal cord, cranial nerves, peripheral nerves, nerve roots, autonomic nervous system, neuromuscular junction, and muscle.Plaque, Amyloid: Accumulations of extracellularly deposited AMYLOID FIBRILS within tissues.Reactive Oxygen Species: Molecules or ions formed by the incomplete one-electron reduction of oxygen. These reactive oxygen intermediates include SINGLET OXYGEN; SUPEROXIDES; PEROXIDES; HYDROXYL RADICAL; and HYPOCHLOROUS ACID. They contribute to the microbicidal activity of PHAGOCYTES, regulation of signal transduction and gene expression, and the oxidative damage to NUCLEIC ACIDS; PROTEINS; and LIPIDS.Multiple System Atrophy: A syndrome complex composed of three conditions which represent clinical variants of the same disease process: STRIATONIGRAL DEGENERATION; SHY-DRAGER SYNDROME; and the sporadic form of OLIVOPONTOCEREBELLAR ATROPHIES. Clinical features include autonomic, cerebellar, and basal ganglia dysfunction. Pathologic examination reveals atrophy of the basal ganglia, cerebellum, pons, and medulla, with prominent loss of autonomic neurons in the brain stem and spinal cord. (From Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, p1076; Baillieres Clin Neurol 1997 Apr;6(1):187-204; Med Clin North Am 1999 Mar;83(2):381-92)Nuclear Proteins: Proteins found in the nucleus of a cell. Do not confuse with NUCLEOPROTEINS which are proteins conjugated with nucleic acids, that are not necessarily present in the nucleus.Animals, Genetically Modified: ANIMALS whose GENOME has been altered by GENETIC ENGINEERING, or their offspring.Substantia Nigra: The black substance in the ventral midbrain or the nucleus of cells containing the black substance. These cells produce DOPAMINE, an important neurotransmitter in regulation of the sensorimotor system and mood. The dark colored MELANIN is a by-product of dopamine synthesis.Molecular Chaperones: A family of cellular proteins that mediate the correct assembly or disassembly of polypeptides and their associated ligands. Although they take part in the assembly process, molecular chaperones are not components of the final structures.PrPSc Proteins: Abnormal isoform of prion proteins (PRIONS) resulting from a posttranslational modification of the cellular prion protein (PRPC PROTEINS). PrPSc are disease-specific proteins seen in certain human and animal neurodegenerative diseases (PRION DISEASES).Immunohistochemistry: Histochemical localization of immunoreactive substances using labeled antibodies as reagents.beta-Synuclein: A synuclein that is closely related to ALPHA-SYNUCLEIN. It may play a neuroprotective role against some of the toxic effects of aggregated ALPHA-SYNUCLEIN.Rotarod Performance Test: A performance test based on forced MOTOR ACTIVITY on a rotating rod, usually by a rodent. Parameters include the riding time (seconds) or endurance. Test is used to evaluate balance and coordination of the subjects, particular in experimental animal models for neurological disorders and drug effects.Amino Acids, DiaminoParkinson Disease, Secondary: Conditions which feature clinical manifestations resembling primary Parkinson disease that are caused by a known or suspected condition. Examples include parkinsonism caused by vascular injury, drugs, trauma, toxin exposure, neoplasms, infections and degenerative or hereditary conditions. Clinical features may include bradykinesia, rigidity, parkinsonian gait, and masked facies. In general, tremor is less prominent in secondary parkinsonism than in the primary form. (From Joynt, Clinical Neurology, 1998, Ch38, pp39-42)Axons: Nerve fibers that are capable of rapidly conducting impulses away from the neuron cell body.Intranuclear Inclusion Bodies: Circumscribed masses of foreign or metabolically inactive materials, within the CELL NUCLEUS. Some are VIRAL INCLUSION BODIES.DNA Repeat Expansion: An increase number of repeats of a genomic, tandemly repeated DNA sequence from one generation to the next.Spinal Cord: A cylindrical column of tissue that lies within the vertebral canal. It is composed of WHITE MATTER and GRAY MATTER.Dopaminergic Neurons: Neurons whose primary neurotransmitter is DOPAMINE.Atrophy: Decrease in the size of a cell, tissue, organ, or multiple organs, associated with a variety of pathological conditions such as abnormal cellular changes, ischemia, malnutrition, or hormonal changes.Blotting, Western: Identification of proteins or peptides that have been electrophoretically separated by blot transferring from the electrophoresis gel to strips of nitrocellulose paper, followed by labeling with antibody probes.Corpus Striatum: Striped GRAY MATTER and WHITE MATTER consisting of the NEOSTRIATUM and paleostriatum (GLOBUS PALLIDUS). It is located in front of and lateral to the THALAMUS in each cerebral hemisphere. The gray substance is made up of the CAUDATE NUCLEUS and the lentiform nucleus (the latter consisting of the GLOBUS PALLIDUS and PUTAMEN). The WHITE MATTER is the INTERNAL CAPSULE.TDP-43 Proteinopathies: Diseases characterized by the presence of abnormally phosphorylated, ubiquitinated, and cleaved DNA-binding protein TDP-43 in affected brain and spinal cord. Inclusions of the pathologic protein in neurons and glia, without the presence of AMYLOID, is the major feature of these conditions, thus making these proteinopathies distinct from most other neurogenerative disorders in which protein misfolding leads to brain amyloidosis. Both frontotemporal lobar degeneration and AMYOTROPHIC LATERAL SCLEROSIS exhibit this common method of pathogenesis and thus they may represent two extremes of a continuous clinicopathological spectrum of one disease.Antioxidants: Naturally occurring or synthetic substances that inhibit or retard the oxidation of a substance to which it is added. They counteract the harmful and damaging effects of oxidation in animal tissues.Cyclin-Dependent Kinase 5: A serine-threonine kinase that plays important roles in CELL DIFFERENTIATION; CELL MIGRATION; and CELL DEATH of NERVE CELLS. It is closely related to other CYCLIN-DEPENDENT KINASES but does not seem to participate in CELL CYCLE regulation.Phenotype: The outward appearance of the individual. It is the product of interactions between genes, and between the GENOTYPE and the environment.Neurofilament Proteins: Type III intermediate filament proteins that assemble into neurofilaments, the major cytoskeletal element in nerve axons and dendrites. They consist of three distinct polypeptides, the neurofilament triplet. Types I, II, and IV intermediate filament proteins form other cytoskeletal elements such as keratins and lamins. It appears that the metabolism of neurofilaments is disturbed in Alzheimer's disease, as indicated by the presence of neurofilament epitopes in the neurofibrillary tangles, as well as by the severe reduction of the expression of the gene for the light neurofilament subunit of the neurofilament triplet in brains of Alzheimer's patients. (Can J Neurol Sci 1990 Aug;17(3):302)Amyloid beta-Protein Precursor: A single-pass type I membrane protein. It is cleaved by AMYLOID PRECURSOR PROTEIN SECRETASES to produce peptides of varying amino acid lengths. A 39-42 amino acid peptide, AMYLOID BETA-PEPTIDES is a principal component of the extracellular amyloid in SENILE PLAQUES.Neuroaxonal Dystrophies: A nonspecific term referring both to the pathologic finding of swelling of distal portions of axons in the brain and to disorders which feature this finding. Neuroaxonal dystrophy is seen in various genetic diseases, vitamin deficiencies, and aging. Infantile neuroaxonal dystrophy is an autosomal recessive disease characterized by arrested psychomotor development at 6 months to 2 years of age, ataxia, brain stem dysfunction, and quadriparesis. Juvenile and adult forms also occur. Pathologic findings include brain atrophy and widespread accumulation of axonal spheroids throughout the neuroaxis, peripheral nerves, and dental pulp. (From Davis & Robertson, Textbook of Neuropathology, 2nd ed, p927)Ataxia: Impairment of the ability to perform smoothly coordinated voluntary movements. This condition may affect the limbs, trunk, eyes, pharynx, larynx, and other structures. Ataxia may result from impaired sensory or motor function. Sensory ataxia may result from posterior column injury or PERIPHERAL NERVE DISEASES. Motor ataxia may be associated with CEREBELLAR DISEASES; CEREBRAL CORTEX diseases; THALAMIC DISEASES; BASAL GANGLIA DISEASES; injury to the RED NUCLEUS; and other conditions.Cell Line: Established cell cultures that have the potential to propagate indefinitely.Encephalitis: Inflammation of the BRAIN due to infection, autoimmune processes, toxins, and other conditions. Viral infections (see ENCEPHALITIS, VIRAL) are a relatively frequent cause of this condition.PrPC Proteins: Normal cellular isoform of prion proteins (PRIONS) encoded by a chromosomal gene and found in normal and scrapie-infected brain tissue, and other normal tissue. PrPC are protease-sensitive proteins whose function is unknown. Posttranslational modification of PrPC into PrPSC leads to infectivity.Trauma, Nervous System: Traumatic injuries to the brain, cranial nerves, spinal cord, autonomic nervous system, or neuromuscular system, including iatrogenic injuries induced by surgical procedures.Creutzfeldt-Jakob Syndrome: A rare transmissible encephalopathy most prevalent between the ages of 50 and 70 years. Affected individuals may present with sleep disturbances, personality changes, ATAXIA; APHASIA, visual loss, weakness, muscle atrophy, MYOCLONUS, progressive dementia, and death within one year of disease onset. A familial form exhibiting autosomal dominant inheritance and a new variant CJD (potentially associated with ENCEPHALOPATHY, BOVINE SPONGIFORM) have been described. Pathological features include prominent cerebellar and cerebral cortical spongiform degeneration and the presence of PRIONS. (From N Engl J Med, 1998 Dec 31;339(27))Cerebellum: The part of brain that lies behind the BRAIN STEM in the posterior base of skull (CRANIAL FOSSA, POSTERIOR). It is also known as the "little brain" with convolutions similar to those of CEREBRAL CORTEX, inner white matter, and deep cerebellar nuclei. Its function is to coordinate voluntary movements, maintain balance, and learn motor skills.Molecular Sequence Data: Descriptions of specific amino acid, carbohydrate, or nucleotide sequences which have appeared in the published literature and/or are deposited in and maintained by databanks such as GENBANK, European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), National Biomedical Research Foundation (NBRF), or other sequence repositories.Mice, Knockout: Strains of mice in which certain GENES of their GENOMES have been disrupted, or "knocked-out". To produce knockouts, using RECOMBINANT DNA technology, the normal DNA sequence of the gene being studied is altered to prevent synthesis of a normal gene product. Cloned cells in which this DNA alteration is successful are then injected into mouse EMBRYOS to produce chimeric mice. The chimeric mice are then bred to yield a strain in which all the cells of the mouse contain the disrupted gene. Knockout mice are used as EXPERIMENTAL ANIMAL MODELS for diseases (DISEASE MODELS, ANIMAL) and to clarify the functions of the genes.Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein: An intermediate filament protein found only in glial cells or cells of glial origin. MW 51,000.Machado-Joseph Disease: A dominantly-inherited ATAXIA first described in people of Azorean and Portuguese descent, and subsequently identified in Brazil, Japan, China, and Australia. This disorder is classified as one of the SPINOCEREBELLAR ATAXIAS (Type 3) and has been associated with a mutation of the MJD1 gene on chromosome 14. Clinical features include progressive ataxia, DYSARTHRIA, postural instability, nystagmus, eyelid retraction, and facial FASCICULATIONS. DYSTONIA is prominent in younger patients (referred to as Type I Machado-Joseph Disease). Type II features ataxia and ocular signs; Type III features MUSCULAR ATROPHY and a sensorimotor neuropathy; and Type IV features extrapyramidal signs combined with a sensorimotor neuropathy. (From Clin Neurosci 1995;3(1):17-22; Ann Neurol 1998 Mar;43(3):288-96)Lysosomes: A class of morphologically heterogeneous cytoplasmic particles in animal and plant tissues characterized by their content of hydrolytic enzymes and the structure-linked latency of these enzymes. The intracellular functions of lysosomes depend on their lytic potential. The single unit membrane of the lysosome acts as a barrier between the enzymes enclosed in the lysosome and the external substrate. The activity of the enzymes contained in lysosomes is limited or nil unless the vesicle in which they are enclosed is ruptured. Such rupture is supposed to be under metabolic (hormonal) control. (From Rieger et al., Glossary of Genetics: Classical and Molecular, 5th ed)Nitro Compounds: Compounds having the nitro group, -NO2, attached to carbon. When attached to nitrogen they are nitramines and attached to oxygen they are NITRATES.Amyloidogenic Proteins: Proteins that form the core of amyloid fibrils. For example, the core of amyloid A is formed from amyloid A protein, also known as serum amyloid A protein or SAA protein.Dopamine: One of the catecholamine NEUROTRANSMITTERS in the brain. It is derived from TYROSINE and is the precursor to NOREPINEPHRINE and EPINEPHRINE. Dopamine is a major transmitter in the extrapyramidal system of the brain, and important in regulating movement. A family of receptors (RECEPTORS, DOPAMINE) mediate its action.1-Methyl-4-phenylpyridinium: An active neurotoxic metabolite of 1-METHYL-4-PHENYL-1,2,3,6-TETRAHYDROPYRIDINE. The compound reduces dopamine levels, inhibits the biosynthesis of catecholamines, depletes cardiac norepinephrine and inactivates tyrosine hydroxylase. These and other toxic effects lead to cessation of oxidative phosphorylation, ATP depletion, and cell death. The compound, which is related to PARAQUAT, has also been used as an herbicide.Protein Binding: The process in which substances, either endogenous or exogenous, bind to proteins, peptides, enzymes, protein precursors, or allied compounds. Specific protein-binding measures are often used as assays in diagnostic assessments.Neurogenesis: Formation of NEURONS which involves the differentiation and division of STEM CELLS in which one or both of the daughter cells become neurons.Cognition Disorders: Disturbances in mental processes related to learning, thinking, reasoning, and judgment.Hormesis: Biphasic dose responses of cells or organisms (including microorganisms) to an exogenous or intrinsic factor, in which the factor induces stimulatory or beneficial effects at low doses and inhibitory or adverse effects at high doses.Brain Diseases: Pathologic conditions affecting the BRAIN, which is composed of the intracranial components of the CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM. This includes (but is not limited to) the CEREBRAL CORTEX; intracranial white matter; BASAL GANGLIA; THALAMUS; HYPOTHALAMUS; BRAIN STEM; and CEREBELLUM.Spinocerebellar Degenerations: A heterogenous group of degenerative syndromes marked by progressive cerebellar dysfunction either in isolation or combined with other neurologic manifestations. Sporadic and inherited subtypes occur. Inheritance patterns include autosomal dominant, autosomal recessive, and X-linked.Neurotoxicity Syndromes: Neurologic disorders caused by exposure to toxic substances through ingestion, injection, cutaneous application, or other method. This includes conditions caused by biologic, chemical, and pharmaceutical agents.Magnetic Resonance Imaging: Non-invasive method of demonstrating internal anatomy based on the principle that atomic nuclei in a strong magnetic field absorb pulses of radiofrequency energy and emit them as radiowaves which can be reconstructed into computerized images. The concept includes proton spin tomographic techniques.Scrapie: A fatal disease of the nervous system in sheep and goats, characterized by pruritus, debility, and locomotor incoordination. It is caused by proteinaceous infectious particles called PRIONS.Amino Acid Sequence: The order of amino acids as they occur in a polypeptide chain. This is referred to as the primary structure of proteins. It is of fundamental importance in determining PROTEIN CONFORMATION.Wallerian Degeneration: Degeneration of distal aspects of a nerve axon following injury to the cell body or proximal portion of the axon. The process is characterized by fragmentation of the axon and its MYELIN SHEATH.gamma-Synuclein: A homolog of ALPHA-SYNUCLEIN that plays a role in neurofilament network integrity. It is overexpressed in a variety of human NEOPLASMS and may be involved in modulating AXON architecture during EMBRYONIC DEVELOPMENT and in the adult. Gamma-Synuclein may also activate SIGNAL TRANSDUCTION PATHWAYS associated with ETS-DOMAIN PROTEIN ELK-1.1-Methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine: A dopaminergic neurotoxic compound which produces irreversible clinical, chemical, and pathological alterations that mimic those found in Parkinson disease.Brain Chemistry: Changes in the amounts of various chemicals (neurotransmitters, receptors, enzymes, and other metabolites) specific to the area of the central nervous system contained within the head. These are monitored over time, during sensory stimulation, or under different disease states.PC12 Cells: A CELL LINE derived from a PHEOCHROMOCYTOMA of the rat ADRENAL MEDULLA. PC12 cells stop dividing and undergo terminal differentiation when treated with NERVE GROWTH FACTOR, making the line a useful model system for NERVE CELL differentiation.Mutant Proteins: Proteins produced from GENES that have acquired MUTATIONS.Microtubule-Associated Proteins: High molecular weight proteins found in the MICROTUBULES of the cytoskeletal system. Under certain conditions they are required for TUBULIN assembly into the microtubules and stabilize the assembled microtubules.Mitochondrial Proteins: Proteins encoded by the mitochondrial genome or proteins encoded by the nuclear genome that are imported to and resident in the MITOCHONDRIA.Protein Transport: The process of moving proteins from one cellular compartment (including extracellular) to another by various sorting and transport mechanisms such as gated transport, protein translocation, and vesicular transport.Oxidopamine: A neurotransmitter analogue that depletes noradrenergic stores in nerve endings and induces a reduction of dopamine levels in the brain. Its mechanism of action is related to the production of cytolytic free-radicals.Inflammation: A pathological process characterized by injury or destruction of tissues caused by a variety of cytologic and chemical reactions. It is usually manifested by typical signs of pain, heat, redness, swelling, and loss of function.Niemann-Pick Disease, Type C: An autosomal recessive lipid storage disorder that is characterized by accumulation of CHOLESTEROL and SPHINGOMYELINS in cells of the VISCERA and the CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM. Type C (or C1) and type D are allelic disorders caused by mutation of gene (NPC1) encoding a protein that mediate intracellular cholesterol transport from lysosomes. Clinical signs include hepatosplenomegaly and chronic neurological symptoms. Type D is a variant in people with a Nova Scotia ancestry.Green Fluorescent Proteins: Protein analogs and derivatives of the Aequorea victoria green fluorescent protein that emit light (FLUORESCENCE) when excited with ULTRAVIOLET RAYS. They are used in REPORTER GENES in doing GENETIC TECHNIQUES. Numerous mutants have been made to emit other colors or be sensitive to pH.Rats, Sprague-Dawley: A strain of albino rat used widely for experimental purposes because of its calmness and ease of handling. It was developed by the Sprague-Dawley Animal Company.Serine Proteases: Peptide hydrolases that contain at the active site a SERINE residue involved in catalysis.Glutamic Acid: A non-essential amino acid naturally occurring in the L-form. Glutamic acid is the most common excitatory neurotransmitter in the CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM.Insomnia, Fatal Familial: An autosomal dominant disorder characterized by degeneration of the THALAMUS and progressive insomnia. It is caused by a mutation in the prion protein (PRIONS).Drosophila: A genus of small, two-winged flies containing approximately 900 described species. These organisms are the most extensively studied of all genera from the standpoint of genetics and cytology.Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor: A member of the nerve growth factor family of trophic factors. In the brain BDNF has a trophic action on retinal, cholinergic, and dopaminergic neurons, and in the peripheral nervous system it acts on both motor and sensory neurons. (From Kendrew, The Encyclopedia of Molecular Biology, 1994)Blood-Brain Barrier: Specialized non-fenestrated tightly-joined ENDOTHELIAL CELLS with TIGHT JUNCTIONS that form a transport barrier for certain substances between the cerebral capillaries and the BRAIN tissue.Peptide Fragments: Partial proteins formed by partial hydrolysis of complete proteins or generated through PROTEIN ENGINEERING techniques.Phosphorylation: The introduction of a phosphoryl group into a compound through the formation of an ester bond between the compound and a phosphorus moiety.Mitochondrial Dynamics: The continuous remodeling of MITOCHONDRIA shape by fission and fusion in response to physiological conditions.Silver Staining: The use of silver, usually silver nitrate, as a reagent for producing contrast or coloration in tissue specimens.Rotenone: A botanical insecticide that is an inhibitor of mitochondrial electron transport.Thiolester HydrolasesAnalysis of Variance: A statistical technique that isolates and assesses the contributions of categorical independent variables to variation in the mean of a continuous dependent variable.Behavior, Animal: The observable response an animal makes to any situation.Time Factors: Elements of limited time intervals, contributing to particular results or situations.Spastic Paraplegia, Hereditary: A group of inherited diseases that share similar phenotypes but are genetically diverse. Different genetic loci for autosomal recessive, autosomal dominant, and x-linked forms of hereditary spastic paraplegia have been identified. Clinically, patients present with slowly progressive distal limb weakness and lower extremity spasticity. Peripheral sensory neurons may be affected in the later stages of the disease. (J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 1998 Jan;64(1):61-6; Curr Opin Neurol 1997 Aug;10(4):313-8)Cytoprotection: The process by which chemical compounds provide protection to cells against harmful agents.Protein Multimerization: The assembly of the QUATERNARY PROTEIN STRUCTURE of multimeric proteins (MULTIPROTEIN COMPLEXES) from their composite PROTEIN SUBUNITS.RNA, Messenger: RNA sequences that serve as templates for protein synthesis. Bacterial mRNAs are generally primary transcripts in that they do not require post-transcriptional processing. Eukaryotic mRNA is synthesized in the nucleus and must be exported to the cytoplasm for translation. Most eukaryotic mRNAs have a sequence of polyadenylic acid at the 3' end, referred to as the poly(A) tail. The function of this tail is not known for certain, but it may play a role in the export of mature mRNA from the nucleus as well as in helping stabilize some mRNA molecules by retarding their degradation in the cytoplasm.Neural Stem Cells: Self-renewing cells that generate the main phenotypes of the nervous system in both the embryo and adult. Neural stem cells are precursors to both NEURONS and NEUROGLIA.Proteolysis: Cleavage of proteins into smaller peptides or amino acids either by PROTEASES or non-enzymatically (e.g., Hydrolysis). It does not include Protein Processing, Post-Translational.Microscopy, Electron, Transmission: Electron microscopy in which the ELECTRONS or their reaction products that pass down through the specimen are imaged below the plane of the specimen.Motor Activity: The physical activity of a human or an animal as a behavioral phenomenon.Purkinje Cells: The output neurons of the cerebellar cortex.MPTP Poisoning: A condition caused by the neurotoxin MPTP which causes selective destruction of nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurons. Clinical features include irreversible parkinsonian signs including rigidity and bradykinesia (PARKINSON DISEASE, SECONDARY). MPTP toxicity is also used as an animal model for the study of PARKINSON DISEASE. (Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, p1072; Neurology 1986 Feb;36(2):250-8)Disease Progression: The worsening of a disease over time. This concept is most often used for chronic and incurable diseases where the stage of the disease is an important determinant of therapy and prognosis.Introversion (Psychology): A state in which attention is largely directed inward upon one's self.Mutation, Missense: A mutation in which a codon is mutated to one directing the incorporation of a different amino acid. This substitution may result in an inactive or unstable product. (From A Dictionary of Genetics, King & Stansfield, 5th ed)Group III Histone Deacetylases: A subclass of histone deacetylases that are NAD-dependent. Several members of the SIRTUINS family are included in this subclass.Synapses: Specialized junctions at which a neuron communicates with a target cell. At classical synapses, a neuron's presynaptic terminal releases a chemical transmitter stored in synaptic vesicles which diffuses across a narrow synaptic cleft and activates receptors on the postsynaptic membrane of the target cell. The target may be a dendrite, cell body, or axon of another neuron, or a specialized region of a muscle or secretory cell. Neurons may also communicate via direct electrical coupling with ELECTRICAL SYNAPSES. Several other non-synaptic chemical or electric signal transmitting processes occur via extracellular mediated interactions.Protein Structure, Quaternary: The characteristic 3-dimensional shape and arrangement of multimeric proteins (aggregates of more than one polypeptide chain).Biological Markers: Measurable and quantifiable biological parameters (e.g., specific enzyme concentration, specific hormone concentration, specific gene phenotype distribution in a population, presence of biological substances) which serve as indices for health- and physiology-related assessments, such as disease risk, psychiatric disorders, environmental exposure and its effects, disease diagnosis, metabolic processes, substance abuse, pregnancy, cell line development, epidemiologic studies, etc.Oxidation-Reduction: A chemical reaction in which an electron is transferred from one molecule to another. The electron-donating molecule is the reducing agent or reductant; the electron-accepting molecule is the oxidizing agent or oxidant. Reducing and oxidizing agents function as conjugate reductant-oxidant pairs or redox pairs (Lehninger, Principles of Biochemistry, 1982, p471).DNA-Binding Proteins: Proteins which bind to DNA. The family includes proteins which bind to both double- and single-stranded DNA and also includes specific DNA binding proteins in serum which can be used as markers for malignant diseases.Proteins: Linear POLYPEPTIDES that are synthesized on RIBOSOMES and may be further modified, crosslinked, cleaved, or assembled into complex proteins with several subunits. The specific sequence of AMINO ACIDS determines the shape the polypeptide will take, during PROTEIN FOLDING, and the function of the protein.Drosophila melanogaster: A species of fruit fly much used in genetics because of the large size of its chromosomes.HEK293 Cells: A cell line generated from human embryonic kidney cells that were transformed with human adenovirus type 5.Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases: A diverse class of enzymes that interact with UBIQUITIN-CONJUGATING ENZYMES and ubiquitination-specific protein substrates. Each member of this enzyme group has its own distinct specificity for a substrate and ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme. Ubiquitin-protein ligases exist as both monomeric proteins multiprotein complexes.Mesencephalon: The middle of the three primitive cerebral vesicles of the embryonic brain. Without further subdivision, midbrain develops into a short, constricted portion connecting the PONS and the DIENCEPHALON. Midbrain contains two major parts, the dorsal TECTUM MESENCEPHALI and the ventral TEGMENTUM MESENCEPHALI, housing components of auditory, visual, and other sensorimoter systems.Neurites: In tissue culture, hairlike projections of neurons stimulated by growth factors and other molecules. These projections may go on to form a branched tree of dendrites or a single axon or they may be reabsorbed at a later stage of development. "Neurite" may refer to any filamentous or pointed outgrowth of an embryonal or tissue-culture neural cell.Neuropsychological Tests: Tests designed to assess neurological function associated with certain behaviors. They are used in diagnosing brain dysfunction or damage and central nervous system disorders or injury.Quinolinic Acid: A metabolite of tryptophan with a possible role in neurodegenerative disorders. Elevated CSF levels of quinolinic acid are correlated with the severity of neuropsychological deficits in patients who have AIDS.Cycadophyta: A division of GYMNOSPERMS which look like palm trees (ARECACEAE) but are more closely related to PINUS. They have large cones and large pinnate leaves and are sometimes called cycads, a term which may also refer more narrowly to cycadales or CYCAS.Caenorhabditis elegans: A species of nematode that is widely used in biological, biochemical, and genetic studies.Protein Structure, Tertiary: The level of protein structure in which combinations of secondary protein structures (alpha helices, beta sheets, loop regions, and motifs) pack together to form folded shapes called domains. Disulfide bridges between cysteines in two different parts of the polypeptide chain along with other interactions between the chains play a role in the formation and stabilization of tertiary structure. Small proteins usually consist of only one domain but larger proteins may contain a number of domains connected by segments of polypeptide chain which lack regular secondary structure.Stem Cell Transplantation: The transfer of STEM CELLS from one individual to another within the same species (TRANSPLANTATION, HOMOLOGOUS) or between species (XENOTRANSPLANTATION), or transfer within the same individual (TRANSPLANTATION, AUTOLOGOUS). The source and location of the stem cells determines their potency or pluripotency to differentiate into various cell types.Gene Expression: The phenotypic manifestation of a gene or genes by the processes of GENETIC TRANSCRIPTION and GENETIC TRANSLATION.Drosophila Proteins: Proteins that originate from insect species belonging to the genus DROSOPHILA. The proteins from the most intensely studied species of Drosophila, DROSOPHILA MELANOGASTER, are the subject of much interest in the area of MORPHOGENESIS and development.Tyrosine 3-Monooxygenase: An enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of L-tyrosine, tetrahydrobiopterin, and oxygen to 3,4-dihydroxy-L-phenylalanine, dihydrobiopterin, and water. EC A class of large neuroglial (macroglial) cells in the central nervous system. Oligodendroglia may be called interfascicular, perivascular, or perineuronal (not the same as SATELLITE CELLS, PERINEURONAL of GANGLIA) according to their location. They form the insulating MYELIN SHEATH of axons in the central nervous system.Aphasia, Primary Progressive: A progressive form of dementia characterized by the global loss of language abilities and initial preservation of other cognitive functions. Fluent and nonfluent subtypes have been described. Eventually a pattern of global cognitive dysfunction, similar to ALZHEIMER DISEASE, emerges. Pathologically, there are no Alzheimer or PICK DISEASE like changes, however, spongiform changes of cortical layers II and III are present in the TEMPORAL LOBE and FRONTAL LOBE. (From Brain 1998 Jan;121(Pt 1):115-26)Myoclonic Epilepsies, Progressive: A heterogeneous group of primarily familial disorders characterized by myoclonic seizures, tonic-clonic seizures, ataxia, progressive intellectual deterioration, and neuronal degeneration. These include LAFORA DISEASE; MERRF SYNDROME; NEURONAL CEROID-LIPOFUSCINOSIS; sialidosis (see MUCOLIPIDOSES), and UNVERRICHT-LUNDBORG SYNDROME.Iron: A metallic element with atomic symbol Fe, atomic number 26, and atomic weight 55.85. It is an essential constituent of HEMOGLOBINS; CYTOCHROMES; and IRON-BINDING PROTEINS. It plays a role in cellular redox reactions and in the transport of OXYGEN.Mice, Neurologic Mutants: Mice which carry mutant genes for neurologic defects or abnormalities.Neuroimmunomodulation: The biochemical and electrophysiological interactions between the NERVOUS SYSTEM and IMMUNE SYSTEM.Enzyme Inhibitors: Compounds or agents that combine with an enzyme in such a manner as to prevent the normal substrate-enzyme combination and the catalytic reaction.HSP70 Heat-Shock Proteins: A class of MOLECULAR CHAPERONES found in both prokaryotes and in several compartments of eukaryotic cells. These proteins can interact with polypeptides during a variety of assembly processes in such a way as to prevent the formation of nonfunctional structures.Neuritis: A general term indicating inflammation of a peripheral or cranial nerve. Clinical manifestation may include PAIN; PARESTHESIAS; PARESIS; or HYPESTHESIA.Transfection: The uptake of naked or purified DNA by CELLS, usually meaning the process as it occurs in eukaryotic cells. It is analogous to bacterial transformation (TRANSFORMATION, BACTERIAL) and both are routinely employed in GENE TRANSFER TECHNIQUES.

Activated human T cells, B cells, and monocytes produce brain-derived neurotrophic factor in vitro and in inflammatory brain lesions: a neuroprotective role of inflammation? (1/2534)

Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) has potent effects on neuronal survival and plasticity during development and after injury. In the nervous system, neurons are considered the major cellular source of BDNF. We demonstrate here that in addition, activated human T cells, B cells, and monocytes secrete bioactive BDNF in vitro. Notably, in T helper (Th)1- and Th2-type CD4(+) T cell lines specific for myelin autoantigens such as myelin basic protein or myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein, BDNF production is increased upon antigen stimulation. The BDNF secreted by immune cells is bioactive, as it supports neuronal survival in vitro. Using anti-BDNF monoclonal antibody and polyclonal antiserum, BDNF immunoreactivity is demonstrable in inflammatory infiltrates in the brain of patients with acute disseminated encephalitis and multiple sclerosis. The results raise the possibility that in the nervous system, inflammatory infiltrates have a neuroprotective effect, which may limit the success of nonselective immunotherapies.  (+info)

A new X linked neurodegenerative syndrome with mental retardation, blindness, convulsions, spasticity, mild hypomyelination, and early death maps to the pericentromeric region. (2/2534)

We report on a family with an X linked neurodegenerative disorder consisting of mental retardation, blindness, convulsions, spasticity, and early death. Neuropathological examination showed mild hypomyelination. By linkage analysis, the underlying genetic defect could be assigned to the pericentromeric region of the X chromosome with a maximum lod score of 3.30 at theta=0.0 for the DXS1204 locus with DXS337 and PGK1P1 as flanking markers.  (+info)

Increased neurodegeneration during ageing in mice lacking high-affinity nicotine receptors. (3/2534)

We have examined neuroanatomical, biochemical and endocrine parameters and spatial learning in mice lacking the beta2 subunit of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) during ageing. Aged beta2(-/-) mutant mice showed region-specific alterations in cortical regions, including neocortical hypotrophy, loss of hippocampal pyramidal neurons, astro- and microgliosis and elevation of serum corticosterone levels. Whereas adult mutant and control animals performed well in the Morris maze, 22- to 24-month-old beta2(-/-) mice were significantly impaired in spatial learning. These data show that beta2 subunit-containing nAChRs can contribute to both neuronal survival and maintenance of cognitive performance during ageing. beta2(-/-) mice may thus serve as one possible animal model for some of the cognitive deficits and degenerative processes which take place during physiological ageing and in Alzheimer's disease, particularly those associated with dysfunction of the cholinergic system.  (+info)

Mitochondria in organismal aging and degeneration. (4/2534)

Several lines of experimentation support the view that the genetic, biochemical and bioenergetic functions of somatic mitochondria deteriorate during normal aging. Deletion mutations of the mitochondrial genome accumulate exponentially with age in nerve and muscle tissue of humans and multiple other species. In muscle, a tissue that undergoes age-related fiber loss and atrophy in humans, there is an exponential rise in the number of cytochrome-oxidase-deficient fibers, which is first detectable in the fourth decile of age. Most biochemical studies of animal mitochondrial activity indicate a decline in electron transport activity with age, as well as decreased bioenergetic capacity with age, as measured by mitochondrial membrane potential. Mitochondrial mutations may be both the result of mitochondrial oxidative stress, and cells bearing pure populations of pathogenic mitochondrial mutations are sensitized to oxidant stress. Oxidant stress to mitochondria is known to induce the mitochondrial permeability transition, which has recently been implicated in the release of cytochrome c and the initiation of apoptosis. Thus several lines of evidence support a contribution of mitochondrial dysfunction to the phenotypic changes associated with aging.  (+info)

Apoptosis in neurodegenerative diseases: the role of mitochondria. (5/2534)

Nerve cell death is the central feature of the human neurodegenerative diseases. It has long been thought that nerve cell death in these disorders occurs by way of necrosis, a process characterized by massive transmembrane ion currents, compromise of mitochondrial ATP production, and the formation of high levels of reactive oxygen species combining to induce rapid disruption of organelles, cell swelling, and plasma membrane rupture with a secondary inflammatory response. Nuclear DNA is relatively preserved. Recent evidence now indicates that the process of apoptosis rather than necrosis primarily contributes to nerve cell death in neurodegeneration. This has opened up new avenues for understanding the pathogenesis of neurodegeneration and may lead to new and more effective therapeutic approaches to these diseases.  (+info)

Nitric oxide, mitochondria and neurological disease. (6/2534)

Damage to the mitochondrial electron transport chain has been suggested to be an important factor in the pathogenesis of a range of neurological disorders, such as Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis, stroke and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. There is also a growing body of evidence to implicate excessive or inappropriate generation of nitric oxide (NO) in these disorders. It is now well documented that NO and its toxic metabolite, peroxynitrite (ONOO-), can inhibit components of the mitochondrial respiratory chain leading, if damage is severe enough, to a cellular energy deficiency state. Within the brain, the susceptibility of different brain cell types to NO and ONOO- exposure may be dependent on factors such as the intracellular reduced glutathione (GSH) concentration and an ability to increase glycolytic flux in the face of mitochondrial damage. Thus neurones, in contrast to astrocytes, appear particularly vulnerable to the action of these molecules. Following cytokine exposure, astrocytes can increase NO generation, due to de novo synthesis of the inducible form of nitric oxide synthase (NOS). Whilst the NO/ONOO- so formed may not affect astrocyte survival, these molecules may diffuse out to cause mitochondrial damage, and possibly cell death, to other cells, such as neurones, in close proximity. Evidence is now available to support this scenario for neurological disorders, such as multiple sclerosis. In other conditions, such as ischaemia, increased availability of glutamate may lead to an activation of a calcium-dependent nitric oxide synthase associated with neurones. Such increased/inappropriate NO formation may contribute to energy depletion and neuronal cell death. The evidence available for NO/ONOO--mediated mitochondrial damage in various neurological disorders is considered and potential therapeutic strategies are proposed.  (+info)

Studies on the role of dopamine in the degeneration of 5-HT nerve endings in the brain of Dark Agouti rats following 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA or 'ecstasy') administration. (7/2534)

1. We investigated whether dopamine plays a role in the neurodegeneration of 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) nerve endings occurring in Dark Agouti rat brain after 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA or 'ecstasy') administration. 2. Haloperidol (2 mg kg(-1) i.p.) injected 5 min prior and 55 min post MDMA (15 mg kg(-1) i.p.) abolished the acute MDMA-induced hyperthermia and attenuated the neurotoxic loss of 5-HT 7 days later. When the rectal temperature of MDMA + haloperidol treated rats was kept elevated, this protective effect was marginal. 3. MDMA (15 mg kg(-1)) increased the dopamine concentration in the dialysate from a striatal microdialysis probe by 800%. L-DOPA (25 mg kg(-1) i.p., plus benserazide, 6.25 mg kg(-1) i.p.) injected 2 h after MDMA (15 mg kg(-1)) enhanced the increase in dopamine in the dialysate, but subsequent neurodegeneration was unaltered. L-DOPA (25 mg kg(-1)) injected before a sub-toxic dose of MDMA (5 mg kg(-1)) failed to induce neurodegeneration. 4. The MDMA-induced increase in free radical formation in the hippocampus (indicated by increased 2,3- and 2,5-dihydroxybenzoic acid in a microdialysis probe perfused with salicylic acid) was unaltered by L-DOPA. 5. The neuroprotective drug clomethiazole (50 mg kg(-1) i.p.) did not influence the MDMA-induced increase in extracellular dopamine. 6. These data suggest that previous observations on the protective effect of haloperidol and potentiating effect of L-DOPA on MDMA-induced neurodegeneration may have resulted from effects on MDMA-induced hyperthermia. 7. The increased extracellular dopamine concentration following MDMA may result from effects of MDMA on dopamine re-uptake, monoamine oxidase and 5-HT release rather than an 'amphetamine-like' action on dopamine release, thus explaining why the drug does not induce degeneration of dopamine nerve endings.  (+info)

Possible role of NF-kappaB and p53 in the glutamate-induced pro-apoptotic neuronal pathway. (8/2534)

Apoptosis is now recognized as an important component in many progressive and acute neurodegenerative diseases. Extracellular signals and intracellular mechanisms triggering and regulating apoptosis in neuronal cells are still a matter of investigation. Here we review data from our and other laboratories with the aim to elucidate the nature of some proteins which are known to be involved in cell cycle regulation as well as in promoting degeneration and apoptosis of neurons. The following molecules will be taken into consideration: NF-kappaB, p53, p21 and MSH2. These proteins are activated by neurotoxic experimental conditions which involve the stimulation of selective receptors for the excitatory aminoacid glutamate. Thus, we hypothesize their contribution to an intracellular pathway responsible for the glutamate-induced neuronal death. Identification of such mechanisms could be relevant for understanding the apoptosis associated with various neurodegenerative diseases as well as for developing novel strategies of pharmacological intervention.  (+info)

  • The identification of the etiology and additional factors contributing to the onset and progression of these diseases is of great importance in order to develop both preventive and therapeutic intervention. (
  • Collectively, these capabilities are crucial components to improve the scientific understanding of complex neurodegenerative diseases, develop the next generation of therapeutic approaches, and enhance the social care and structures for patients, their families and health care providers. (
  • Other studies have found similar results, including one conducted at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2013, which found reduction of calories can protect against the neurodegeneration linked to a wide range of progressive, age-related brain disease. (
  • We hope that these results will add another way to use information about what's happening in different parts of the body to detect the presence of disease before neurodegeneration takes hold, causing irreversible damage. (
  • Early diagnosis may refer to the timely correct differentiation of a specific disease entity from other conditions that may mimic it in early stages, or it may refer to the early detection of central nervous system dysfunction, prior to the emergence of clinical symptoms. (
  • This review focuses on compounds from macroalgae that exhibit neuroprotective effects and their potential application to treat and/or prevent neurodegenerative diseases. (
  • A new study led by Boston Medical Center researchers indicates a well-known biomarker that serves as a marker for earlier diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases is now detectable in the eye. (
  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS) which is a debilitating autoimmune disease affecting the nervous system and is most common in young people. (
  • That is, a person might have a gene that makes them more susceptible to a certain neurodegenerative disease, but whether, when, and how severely the person is affected depends on what environmental factors he or she is exposed to during life. (
  • This creates a critical need to improve our understanding of what causes neurodegenerative diseases and develop new approaches for treatment and prevention. (
  • Though researchers and clinicians are learning more and more about the diseases, there is still uncertainty in the diagnosis and treatment of these conditions. (
  • BACE1 finding reverses the formation of amyloid plaques in the mice who have Alzheimer's disease, opening a wide door for finding treatment for humans. (
  • Neurodegenerative diseases occur when nerve cells in the brain or peripheral nervous system lose function over time and ultimately die. (
  • Fasting is a challenge to your brain, and we think that your brain reacts by activating adaptive stress responses that help it cope with disease," Mattson said. (
  • Currently, Mattson is conducting a study with obese people who are at higher risk for cognitive impairment to see if intermittent fasting -- using the 5:2, which includes limiting caloric intake to 500 calories per day on two nonconsecutive days each week -- can help reduce the risk for brain diseases. (
  • To accelerate the discovery of improved therapies for these diseases, we are developing screening kits to find drug molecules that correct the malfunctioning methyltransferase proteins. (
  • Advances in basic neuroscience make it increasingly likely that disease modifying therapies will be developed but these are likely to have maximal impact if they are introduced early in the course of the illness. (
  • Early disease detection would permit the provision of such therapies to those most likely to benefit from them, at the time that they are most likely to be effective. (
  • Fatal, neurodegenerative diseases (NDs) such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson' are dramatically increasingly in our aging society. (
  • Here, we review how proteomics has been applied to neurodegenerative diseases in order to characterize the relationship existing between protein aggregation and mitochondrial alterations. (
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