Glycogen accumulation modulates life span in a mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

M. Kathryn Brewer, Pascual Torres, Victòria Ayala, Manuel Portero-Otin, Reinald Pamplona, Pol Andrés-Benito, Isidro Ferrer, Joan J. Guinovart, Jordi Duran

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Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a devastating neurodegenerative disease characterized by the progressive loss of motor neurons in the spinal cord. Glial cells, including astrocytes and microglia, have been shown to contribute to neurodegeneration in ALS, and metabolic dysfunction plays an important role in the progression of the disease. Glycogen is a soluble polymer of glucose found at low levels in the central nervous system that plays an important role in memory formation, synaptic plasticity, and the prevention of seizures. However, its accumulation in astrocytes and/or neurons is associated with pathological conditions and aging. Importantly, glycogen accumulation has been reported in the spinal cord of human ALS patients and mouse models. In the present work, using the SOD1G93A mouse model of ALS, we show that glycogen accumulates in the spinal cord and brainstem during symptomatic and end stages of the disease and that the accumulated glycogen is associated with reactive astrocytes. To study the contribution of glycogen to ALS progression, we generated SOD1G93A mice with reduced glycogen synthesis (SOD1G93A GShet mice). SOD1G93A GShet mice had a significantly longer life span than SOD1G93A mice and showed lower levels of the astrocytic pro-inflammatory cytokine Cxcl10, suggesting that the accumulation of glycogen is associated with an inflammatory response. Supporting this, inducing an increase in glycogen synthesis reduced life span in SOD1G93A mice. Altogether, these results suggest that glycogen in reactive astrocytes contributes to neurotoxicity and disease progression in ALS. (Figure presented.).

Idioma originalAnglès
Nombre de pàgines16
RevistaJournal of Neurochemistry
Estat de la publicacióPublicació electrònica prèvia a la impressió - 4 de jul. 2023


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