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Transgenic mice for interleukin 3 develop motor neuron degeneration associated with autoimmune reaction against spinal cord motor neurons

Authors
  • Christine Chavany
  • Carlos Vicario-Abejón
  • Georgina Miller
  • Moncef Jendoubi
Publisher
The National Academy of Sciences
Publication Date
Sep 15, 1998
Source
PMC
Keywords
Disciplines
  • Medicine
License
Unknown

Abstract

Interleukin 3 (IL-3) stimulates the proliferation and differentiation of various haematopoietic progenitor cells. Recently, IL-3 and other cytokines were reported to exert a neurotrophic activity and to be associated with neurological disorders, suggesting their complex role in the central nervous system. We now show that overexpression of IL-3 in transgenic mice causes a motor neuron disease with several features of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and progressive muscular atrophy. These animals exhibit hind limb paralysis at 7 months of age, associated with dendritic and axonal degeneration, loss of motor neurons in the spinal cord, and autoimmune reaction against these cells. We examined the effect of IL-3 on embryonic motor neurons survival in mixed spinal cord cultures. Our results suggest that motor neuronal degeneration is not directly triggered by the high level of expression of IL-3.

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