Supplementary Material for: Progressive Degeneration and Inhibition of Peripheral Nerve Regeneration in the SOD1-G93A Mouse Model of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

<b><i>Background:</i></b> Myelination, degeneration and regeneration are implicated in crucial responses to injury in the peripheral nervous system. Considering the progression of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), we used the superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1)-G93A transgenic mouse model of ALS to investigate the effects of mutant SOD1 on the peripheral nerves. <b><i>Methods:</i></b> Changes in peripheral nerve morphology were analyzed in SOD1 mutant mice at various stages of the disease by toluidine blue staining and electron microscopy (EM). Schwann cell proliferation and recruitment of inflammatory factors were detected by immunofluorescence staining and quantitative reverse transcription PCR and were compared between SOD1 mutant mice and control mice. Furthermore, western blotting (WB) and TUNEL staining were used to investigate axonal damage and Schwann cell survival in the sciatic nerves of mice in both groups. <b><i>Results:</i></b> An analysis of the peripheral nervous system in SOD1-G93A mice revealed the following novel features: (i) Schwann cells and axons in mutant mice underwent changes that were similar to those seen in the control mice during the early development of peripheral nerves. (ii) The peripheral nerves of SOD1-G93A mice developed progressive neuropathy, which presented as defects in axons and myelin, leading to difficulty in walking and reduced locomotor capacity at a late stage of the disease. (iii) Macrophages were recruited and accumulated, and nerve injury and a deficit in the blood-nerve barrier were observed. (iv) Proliferation and the inflammatory micro-environment were inhibited, which impaired the regeneration and remyelination of axons after crush injury in the SOD1-G93A mice. <b><i>Conclusions:</i></b> The mutant human SOD1 protein induced axonal and myelin degeneration during the progression of ALS and participated in axon remyelination and regeneration in response to injury.