Nonfunctional mutant Wrn protein leads to neurological deficits, neuronal stress, microglial alteration, and immune imbalance in a mouse model of Werner syndrome.

TitleNonfunctional mutant Wrn protein leads to neurological deficits, neuronal stress, microglial alteration, and immune imbalance in a mouse model of Werner syndrome.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsHui, CWai, St-Pierre, M-K, Detuncq, J, Aumailley, L, Dubois, M-J, Couture, V, Skuk, D, Marette, A, Tremblay, JP, Lebel, M, Tremblay, M-È
JournalBrain Behav Immun
Volume73
Pagination450-469
Date Published2018 Oct
ISSN1090-2139
Abstract

Werner syndrome (WS) is a premature aging disorder caused by mutations in a RecQ-family DNA helicase, WRN. Mice lacking part of the helicase domain of the WRN orthologue exhibit many phenotypic features of WS, including metabolic abnormalities and a shorter lifespan. Yet, little is known about the impact of WRN mutations on the central nervous system in both humans and mouse models of WS. In the current study, we have performed a longitudinal behavioral assessment on mice bearing a Wrn helicase deletion. Behavioral tests demonstrated a loss of motor activity and coordination, reduction in perception, increase in repetitive behavior, and deficits in both spatial and social novelty memories in Wrn mutant mice compared to age-matched wild type mice. These neurological deficits were associated with biochemical and histological changes in the brain of aged Wrn mutant mice. Microglia, resident immune cells that regulate neuronal plasticity and function in the brain, were hyper-ramified in multiple regions involved with the behavioral deficits of Wrn mutant mice. Furthermore, western analyses indicated that Wrn mutant mice exhibited an increase of oxidative stress markers in the prefrontal cortex. Supporting these findings, electron microscopy studies revealed increased cellular aging and oxidative stress features, among microglia and neurons respectively, in the prefrontal cortex of aged Wrn mutant mice. In addition, multiplex immunoassay of serum identified significant changes in the expression levels of several pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines. Taken together, these findings indicate that microglial dysfunction and neuronal oxidative stress, associated with peripheral immune system alterations, might be important driving forces leading to abnormal neurological symptoms in WS thus suggesting potential therapeutic targets for interventions.

DOI10.1016/j.bbi.2018.06.007
Alternate JournalBrain Behav. Immun.
PubMed ID29908963