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Publication : Dnr1 mutations cause neurodegeneration in Drosophila by activating the innate immune response in the brain.

First Author  Cao Yang Year  2013
Journal  Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. Volume  110
Pages  E1752-60 PubMed ID  23613578
Abstract Text  A growing body of evidence in humans implicates chronic activation of the innate immune response in the brain as a major cause of neuropathology in various neurodegenerative conditions, although the mechanisms remain unclear. In an unbiased genetic screen for mutants exhibiting neurodegeneration in Drosophila, we have recovered a mutation of dnr1 (defense repressor 1), a negative regulator of the Imd (immune deficiency) innate immune-response pathway. dnr1 mutants exhibit shortened lifespan and progressive, age-dependent neuropathology associated with activation of the Imd pathway and elevated expression of AMP (antimicrobial peptide) genes. To test the hypothesis that overactivation of innate immune-response pathways in the brain is responsible for neurodegeneration, we demonstrated that direct bacterial infection in the brain of wild-type flies also triggers neurodegeneration. In both cases, neurodegeneration is dependent on the NF-κB transcription factor, Relish. Moreover, we found that neural overexpression of individual AMP genes is sufficient to cause neurodegeneration. These results provide a mechanistic link between innate immune responses and neurodegeneration and may have important implications for the role of neuroinflammation in human neurodegenerative diseases as well. Doi  10.1073/pnas.1306220110
Issue  19 Month  May

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