Mishra PS, et al. Acta Neuropathol Commun 2020.
To test the hypothesis that the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) could provide a spreading route for pathogenesis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), we have examined the effects of intraventricular infusion during 2 weeks of pooled CSF samples from sporadic ALS patients or control CSF samples into transgenic mice expressing human TDP43WT which do not develop pathological phenotypes. Infusion of ALS-CSF, but not of control CSF, triggered motor and cognitive dysfunction, as well as ALS-like pathological changes including TDP43 proteinopathy, neurofilament disorganization and neuroinflammation. In addition, the neuron-specific translational profiles from peptide analyses of immunoprecipitated ribosomes revealed dysregulation of multiple protein networks in response to ALS-CSF altering cytoskeletal organization, vesicle trafficking, mitochondrial function, and cell metabolism. With normal mice, similar ALS-CSF infusion induced mild motor dysfunction but without significant TDP43 pathology in spinal neurons. We conclude that the CSF from sporadic ALS contains factors that can transmit and disseminate disease including TDP43 proteinopathy into appropriate recipient animal model expressing human TDP43. These findings open new research avenues for the discovery of etiogenic factors for sporadic ALS and for the testing of drugs aiming to neutralize the ALS-CSF toxicity.