Altered calcium dynamics and glutamate receptor properties in iPSC-derived motor neurons from ALS patients with C9orf72, FUS, SOD1 or TDP43 mutations

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review


  • Franziska Bursch - , Leibniz University Hannover (LUH), University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover (Author)
  • Norman Kalmbach - , Leibniz University Hannover (LUH) (Author)
  • Maximilian Naujock - , Leibniz University Hannover (LUH) (Author)
  • Selma Staege - , Leibniz University Hannover (LUH), University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover (Author)
  • Reto Eggenschwiler - , Leibniz University Hannover (LUH) (Author)
  • Masin Abo-Rady - , Dresden University of Technology (Author)
  • Julia Japtok - , Dresden University of Technology (Author)
  • Wenting Guo - , KU Leuven, Flanders Institute for Biotechnology (VIB) (Author)
  • Niko Hensel - , Leibniz University Hannover (LUH) (Author)
  • Peter Reinhardt - , Leibniz University Hannover (LUH), Dresden University of Technology (Author)
  • Tobias M. Boeckers - , Ulm University, AbbVie, University of Rostock (Author)
  • Tobias Cantz - , Leibniz University Hannover (LUH) (Author)
  • Jared Sterneckert - , Center for Regenerative Therapies Dresden (Author)
  • Ludo Van Den Bosch - , KU Leuven, Flanders Institute for Biotechnology (VIB) (Author)
  • Andreas Hermann - , Dresden University of Technology (Author)
  • Susanne Petri - , Leibniz University Hannover (LUH), University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover (Author)
  • Florian Wegner - , Leibniz University Hannover (LUH), University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover (Author)


The fatal neurodegenerative disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is characterized by a profound loss of motor neurons (MNs). Until now only riluzole minimally extends life expectancy in ALS, presumably by inhibiting glutamatergic neurotransmission and calcium overload of MNs. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the glutamate receptor properties and key aspects of intracellular calcium dynamics in induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived MNs from ALS patients with C9orf72 (n = 4 cell lines), fused in sarcoma (FUS) (n = 9), superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) (n = 3) or transactive response DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP43) (n = 3) mutations as well as healthy (n = 7 cell lines) and isogenic controls (n = 3). Using calcium imaging, we most frequently observed spontaneous transients in mutant C9orf72 MNs. Basal intracellular calcium levels and α-Amino-3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazole-4-propionic acid (AMPA)-induced signal amplitudes were elevated in mutant TDP43 MNs. Besides, a majority of mutant TDP43 MNs responded to 3.5-dihydroxyphenylglycine as metabotropic glutamate receptor agonist. Quantitative real-Time PCR demonstrated significantly increased expression levels of AMPA and kainate receptors in mutant FUS cells compared to healthy and isogenic controls. Furthermore, the expression of kainate receptors and voltage gated calcium channels in mutant C9orf72 MNs as well as metabotropic glutamate receptors in mutant SOD1 cells was markedly elevated compared to controls. Our data of iPSC-derived MNs from familial ALS patients revealed several mutation-specific alterations in glutamate receptor properties and calcium dynamics that could play a role in ALS pathogenesis and may lead to future translational strategies with individual stratification of neuroprotective ALS treatments.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2835-2850
Number of pages16
JournalHuman molecular genetics
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2019

External IDs

PubMed 31108504
ORCID /0000-0002-7688-3124/work/142250024


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