Yadav S, Waldeck-Weiermair M, Spyropoulos F, Bronson R, Pandey AK, Das AA, Sisti AC, Covington TA, Thulabandu V, Caplan S, Chutkow W, Steinhorn B, Michel T.
Oxidative stress is associated with cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases. Here the authors report studies of neurovascular oxidative stress in chemogenetic transgenic mouse lines expressing yeast D-amino acid oxidase (DAAO) in neurons and vascular endothelium. When these transgenic mice are fed D-amino acids, DAAO generates hydrogen peroxide in target tissues. DAAO-TGCdh5 transgenic mice express DAAO under control of the putatively endothelial-specific Cdh5 promoter. When we provide these mice with D-alanine, they rapidly develop sensory ataxia caused by oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction in neurons within dorsal root ganglia and nodose ganglia innervating the heart. DAAO-TGCdh5 mice also develop cardiac hypertrophy after chronic chemogenetic oxidative stress. This combination of ataxia, mitochondrial dysfunction, and cardiac hypertrophy is similar to findings in patients with Friedreich's ataxia. These observations indicate that neurovascular oxidative stress is sufficient to cause sensory ataxia and cardiac hypertrophy. Studies of DAAO-TGCdh5 mice could provide mechanistic insights into Friedreich's ataxia.
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