Nuclear lamina invaginations are not a pathological feature of C9orf72 ALS/FTD

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The most common genetic cause of familial and sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a GGGGCC hexanucleotide repeat expansion (HRE) in the C9orf72 gene. While direct molecular hallmarks of the C9orf72 HRE (repeat RNA foci, dipeptide repeat protein pathology) are well characterized, the mechanisms by which the C9orf72 HRE causes ALS and the related neurodegenerative disease frontotemporal dementia (FTD) remain poorly understood. Recently, alterations to the nuclear pore complex and nucleocytoplasmic transport have been accepted as a prominent pathomechanism underlying C9orf72 ALS/FTD. However, global disruptions to nuclear morphology and the nuclear lamina itself remain controversial. Here, we use a large number of induced pluripotent stem cell derived spinal neurons and postmortem human motor cortex sections to thoroughly examine nuclear morphology and nuclear lamina disruptions with light microscopy. In contrast to previous studies in artificial overexpression model systems, endogenous levels of the C9orf72 HRE do not increase the frequency of nuclear lamina invaginations. In addition, the C9orf72 HRE has no impact on overall nuclear shape and size. Notably, the frequency of nuclear Lamin B1 invaginations increases with cellular aging, independent of the C9orf72 HRE. Together, our data suggest that nuclear morphology is unaltered in C9orf72 ALS/FTD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number45
JournalActa Neuropathologica Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
  • C9orf72
  • Frontotemporal Dementia
  • Lamin B1
  • Nuclear envelope
  • Nuclear morphology
  • Nuclear pore complex
  • Nucleocytoplasmic transport

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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