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Mutations in the gene encoding the RNA/DNA-binding protein Fused in Sarcoma (FUS) have been detected in familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients. FUS has been found to be a critical component of the oxidative damage repair complex that might explain its role in neurodegeneration. Here, we examined what impact antioxidant treatment with thiamine (vitamine B1), or its more bioavailable derivative O,S-dibenzoylthiamine (DBT), would have on the hallmarks of pathology in the FUS[1−359]‐transgenic mouse model of ALS. From 8-weeks old, in the pre-symptomatic phase of disease, animals received either thiamine, DBT (200 mg/kg/day), or vehicle for 6 weeks. We examined physiological, behavioral, molecular and histological outcomes, as well as the serum metabolome using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). The DBT-treated mice displayed improvements in physiological outcomes, motor function and muscle atrophy compared to vehicle, and the treatment normalized levels of brain glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK-3β), GSK-3β mRNA and IL-1β mRNA in the spinal cord. Analysis of the metabolome revealed an increase in the levels of choline and lactate in the vehicle-treated FUS mutants alone, which is also elevated in the cerebrospinal fluid of ALS patients, and reduced glucose and lipoprotein concentrations in the FUS[1−359]‐tg mice, which were not the case in the DBT-treated mutants. The administration of thiamine had little impact on the outcome measures, but it did normalize circulating HDL levels. Thus, our study shows that DBT therapy in FUS mutants is more effective than thiamine and highlights how metabolomics may be used to evaluate therapy in this model.

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Journal article


Biomedicine and Pharmacotherapy

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