Literature context: romics, GT15057-100, RRID:AB_1611758), mouse anti-2H3 (1:1000, Devel
LIM-domain containing transcription factors (LIM-TFs) are conserved factors important for embryogenesis. The specificity of these factors in transcriptional regulation is conferred by the complexes that they form with other proteins such as LIM-domain-binding (Ldb) proteins and LIM-domain only (LMO) proteins. Unlike LIM-TFs, these proteins do not bind DNA directly. LMO proteins are negative regulators of LIM-TFs and function by competing with LIM-TFs for binding to Ldb's. Although the LIM-TF Lmx1a is expressed in the developing mouse hindbrain, which provides many of the extrinsic signals for inner ear formation, conditional knock-out embryos of both sexes show that the inner ear source of Lmx1a is the major contributor of ear patterning. In addition, we have found that the reciprocal interaction between Lmx1a and Lmo4 (a LMO protein within the inner ear) mediates the formation of both vestibular and auditory structures. Lmo4 negatively regulates Lmx1a to form the three sensory cristae, the anterior semicircular canal, and the shape of the utricle in the vestibule. Furthermore, this negative regulation blocks ectopic sensory formation in the cochlea. In contrast, Lmx1a negatively regulates Lmo4 in mediating epithelial resorption of the canal pouch, which gives rise to the anterior and posterior semicircular canals. We also found that Lmx1a is independently required for the formation of the endolymphatic duct and hair cells in the basal cochlear region.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The mammalian inner ear is a structurally complex organ responsible for detecting sound and maintaining balance. Failure to form the intricate 3D structure of this organ properly during development most likely will result in sensory deficits on some level. Here, we provide genetic evidence that a transcription factor, Lmx1a, interacts with its negative regulator, Lmo4, to pattern various vestibular and auditory components of the mammalian inner ear. Identifying these key molecules that mediate formation of this important sensory organ will be helpful for designing strategies and therapeutics to alleviate hearing loss and balance disorders.
Literature context: GT15057; 1:500, RRID:AB_1611758), mouse anti-CS56 (Sigma-Aldric
Following nerve injury, denervated Schwann cells (SCs) convert to repair SCs, which enable regeneration of peripheral axons. However, the repair capacity of SCs and the regenerative capacity of peripheral axons are limited. In the present studies we examined a potential therapeutic strategy to enhance the repair capacity of SCs, and tested its efficacy in enhancing regeneration of dorsal root (DR) axons, whose regenerative capacity is particularly weak. We used male and female mice of a doxycycline-inducible transgenic line to induce expression of constitutively active ErbB2 (caErbB2) selectively in SCs after DR crush or transection. Two weeks after injury, injured DRs of induced animals contained far more SCs and SC processes. These SCs had not redifferentiated and continued to proliferate. Injured DRs of induced animals also contained far more axons that regrew along SC processes past the transection or crush site. Remarkably, SCs and axons in uninjured DRs remained quiescent, indicating that caErbB2 enhanced regeneration of injured DRs, without aberrantly activating SCs and axons in intact nerves. We also found that intraspinally expressed glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF), but not the removal of chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans, greatly enhanced the intraspinal migration of caErbB2-expressing SCs, enabling robust penetration of DR axons into the spinal cord. These findings indicate that SC-selective, post-injury activation of ErbB2 provides a novel strategy to powerfully enhance the repair capacity of SCs and axon regeneration, without substantial off-target damage. They also highlight that promoting directed migration of caErbB2-expressing SCs by GDNF might be useful to enable axon regrowth in a non-permissive environment.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Repair of injured peripheral nerves remains a critical clinical problem. We currently lack a therapy that potently enhances axon regeneration in patients with traumatic nerve injury. It is extremely challenging to substantially increase the regenerative capacity of damaged nerves without deleterious off-target effects. It was therefore of great interest to discover that caErbB2 markedly enhances regeneration of damaged dorsal roots, while evoking little change in intact roots. To our knowledge, these findings are the first demonstration that repair capacity of denervated SCs can be efficaciously enhanced without altering innervated SCs. Our study also demonstrates that oncogenic ErbB2 signaling can be activated in SCs but not impede transdifferentiation of denervated SCs to regeneration-promoting repair SCs.