QIMR Berghofer

Cu-II(atsm) improves the neurological phenotype and survival of SOD1(G93A) mice and selectively increases enzymatically active SOD1 in the spinal cord


Ubiquitous expression of mutant Cu/Zn-superoxide dismutase (SOD1) selectively affects motor neurons in the central nervous system (CNS), causing the adult-onset degenerative disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The CNS-specific impact of ubiquitous mutant SOD1 expression is recapitulated in transgenic mouse models of the disease. Here we present outcomes for the metallo-complex Cu-II(atsm) tested for therapeutic efficacy in mice expressing SOD1(G93A) on a mixed genetic background. Oral administration of CuII(atsm) delayed the onset of neurological symptoms, improved locomotive capacity and extended overall survival. Although the ALS-like phenotype of SOD1(G93A) mice is instigated by expression of the mutant SOD1, we show the improved phenotype of the Cu-II(atsm)-treated animals involves an increase in mature mutant SOD1 protein in the disease-affected spinal cord, where concomitant increases in copper and SOD1 activity are also evident. In contrast to these effects in the spinal cord, treating with Cu-II(atsm) had no effect in liver on either mutant SOD1 protein levels or its activity, indicating a CNS-selective SOD1 response to the drug. These data provide support for Cu-II(atsm) as a treatment option for ALS as well as insight to the CNS-selective effects of mutant SOD1.

Authors Hilton, James B.; Mercer, Stephen W.; Lim, Nastasia K. H.; Faux, Noel G.; Buncic, Gojko; Beckman, Joseph S.; Roberts, Blaine R.; Donnelly, Paul S.; White, Anthony R.; Crouch, Peter J.
Volume 7
Date 1/02/2017
Grant ID 1061550
Funding Body National Health and Medical Research Council
URL http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=10.1038/srep42292
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