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Ctip2 antibody [25B6] - ChIP Grade

RRID:AB_2064130

3D Culture Method for Alzheimer's Disease Modeling Reveals Interleukin-4 Rescues Aβ42-Induced Loss of Human Neural Stem Cell Plasticity.

  • Papadimitriou C
  • Dev. Cell
  • 2018 Jul 2

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Abstract:

Neural stem cells (NSCs) constitute an endogenous reservoir for neurons that could potentially be harnessed for regenerative therapies in disease contexts such as neurodegeneration. However, in Alzheimer's disease (AD), NSCs lose plasticity and thus possible regenerative capacity. We investigate how NSCs lose their plasticity in AD by using starPEG-heparin-based hydrogels to establish a reductionist 3D cell-instructive neuro-microenvironment that promotes the proliferative and neurogenic ability of primary and induced human NSCs. We find that administration of AD-associated Amyloid-β42 causes classical neuropathology and hampers NSC plasticity by inducing kynurenic acid (KYNA) production. Interleukin-4 restores NSC proliferative and neurogenic ability by suppressing the KYNA-producing enzyme Kynurenine aminotransferase (KAT2), which is upregulated in APP/PS1dE9 mouse model of AD and in postmortem human AD brains. Thus, our culture system enables a reductionist investigation of regulation of human NSC plasticity for the identification of potential therapeutic targets for intervention in AD.

Funding information:
  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute - (United States)

hPSC Modeling Reveals that Fate Selection of Cortical Deep Projection Neurons Occurs in the Subplate.

  • Ozair MZ
  • Cell Stem Cell
  • 2018 Jul 5

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Abstract:

Cortical deep projection neurons (DPNs) are implicated in neurodevelopmental disorders. Although recent findings emphasize post-mitotic programs in projection neuron fate selection, the establishment of primate DPN identity during layer formation is not well understood. The subplate lies underneath the developing cortex and is a post-mitotic compartment that is transiently and disproportionately enlarged in primates in the second trimester. The evolutionary significance of subplate expansion, the molecular identity of its neurons, and its contribution to primate corticogenesis remain open questions. By modeling subplate formation with human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs), we show that all classes of cortical DPNs can be specified from subplate neurons (SPNs). Post-mitotic WNT signaling regulates DPN class selection, and DPNs in the caudal fetal cortex appear to exclusively derive from SPNs. Our findings indicate that SPNs have evolved in primates as an important source of DPNs that contribute to cortical lamination prior to their known role in circuit formation.

Funding information:
  • NIAID NIH HHS - AI020211(United States)

Expression and localization of CB1R, NAPE-PLD, and FAAH in the vervet monkey nucleus accumbens.

  • Kucera R
  • Sci Rep
  • 2018 Jun 6

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Abstract:

Extensive rodent literature suggests that the endocannabinoid (eCB) system present in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) modulates dopamine (DA) release in this area. However, expression patterns of the cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1R), the synthesizing enzyme N-acyl phosphatidylethanolamine phospholipase D (NAPE-PLD), and the degradation enzyme fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) in the NAc have not yet been described in non-human primates. The goal of this study is therefore to characterize the expression and localization of the eCB system within the NAc of vervet monkeys (Chlorocebus sabaeus) using Western blots and immunohistochemistry. Results show that CB1R, NAPE-PLD, and FAAH are expressed across the NAc rostrocaudal axis, both in the core and shell. CB1R, NAPE-PLD, and FAAH are localized in medium spiny neurons (MSNs) and fast-spiking GABAergic interneurons (FSIs). Dopaminergic projections and astrocytes did not express CB1R, NAPE-PLD, or FAAH. These data show that the eCB system is present in the vervet monkey NAc and supports its role in the primate brain reward circuit.

Funding information:
  • Intramural NIH HHS - ZIA BC010983-03(United States)

The Epigenetic State of PRDM16-Regulated Enhancers in Radial Glia Controls Cortical Neuron Position.

  • Baizabal JM
  • Neuron
  • 2018 Jun 6

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Abstract:

The epigenetic landscape is dynamically remodeled during neurogenesis. However, it is not understood how chromatin modifications in neural stem cells instruct the formation of complex structures in the brain. We report that the histone methyltransferase PRDM16 is required in radial glia to regulate lineage-autonomous and stage-specific gene expression programs that control number and position of upper layer cortical projection neurons. PRDM16 regulates the epigenetic state of transcriptional enhancers to activate genes involved in intermediate progenitor cell production and repress genes involved in cell migration. The histone methyltransferase domain of PRDM16 is necessary in radial glia to promote cortical neuron migration through transcriptional silencing. We show that repression of the gene encoding the E3 ubiquitin ligase PDZRN3 by PRDM16 determines the position of upper layer neurons. These findings provide insights into how epigenetic control of transcriptional enhancers in radial glial determines the organization of the mammalian cerebral cortex.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - R01 CA109038-04(United States)

Evolution of Cortical Neurogenesis in Amniotes Controlled by Robo Signaling Levels.

  • Cárdenas A
  • Cell
  • 2018 Jun 20

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Abstract:

Cerebral cortex size differs dramatically between reptiles, birds, and mammals, owing to developmental differences in neuron production. In mammals, signaling pathways regulating neurogenesis have been identified, but genetic differences behind their evolution across amniotes remain unknown. We show that direct neurogenesis from radial glia cells, with limited neuron production, dominates the avian, reptilian, and mammalian paleocortex, whereas in the evolutionarily recent mammalian neocortex, most neurogenesis is indirect via basal progenitors. Gain- and loss-of-function experiments in mouse, chick, and snake embryos and in human cerebral organoids demonstrate that high Slit/Robo and low Dll1 signaling, via Jag1 and Jag2, are necessary and sufficient to drive direct neurogenesis. Attenuating Robo signaling and enhancing Dll1 in snakes and birds recapitulates the formation of basal progenitors and promotes indirect neurogenesis. Our study identifies modulation in activity levels of conserved signaling pathways as a primary mechanism driving the expansion and increased complexity of the mammalian neocortex during amniote evolution.

Funding information:
  • Wellcome Trust - (United Kingdom)

Efficient Generation of CA3 Neurons from Human Pluripotent Stem Cells Enables Modeling of Hippocampal Connectivity In Vitro.

  • Sarkar A
  • Cell Stem Cell
  • 2018 May 3

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Abstract:

Despite widespread interest in using human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) in neurological disease modeling, a suitable model system to study human neuronal connectivity is lacking. Here, we report a comprehensive and efficient differentiation paradigm for hiPSCs that generate multiple CA3 pyramidal neuron subtypes as detected by single-cell RNA sequencing (RNA-seq). This differentiation paradigm exhibits characteristics of neuronal network maturation, and rabies virus tracing revealed synaptic connections between stem cell-derived dentate gyrus (DG) and CA3 neurons in vitro recapitulating the neuronal connectivity within the hippocampus. Because hippocampal dysfunction has been implicated in schizophrenia, we applied DG and CA3 differentiation paradigms to schizophrenia-patient-derived hiPSCs. We detected reduced activity in DG-CA3 co-culture and deficits in spontaneous and evoked activity in CA3 neurons from schizophrenia-patient-derived hiPSCs. Our approach offers critical insights into the network activity aspects of schizophrenia and may serve as a promising tool for modeling diseases with hippocampal vulnerability. VIDEO ABSTRACT.

Funding information:
  • NIAAA NIH HHS - R01-AA07112(United States)
  • NINDS NIH HHS - K08 NS093130()

Structural and molecular heterogeneity of calretinin-expressing interneurons in the rodent and primate striatum.

  • Garas FN
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2018 Apr 1

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Abstract:

Calretinin-expressing (CR+) interneurons are the most common type of striatal interneuron in primates. However, because CR+ interneurons are relatively scarce in rodent striatum, little is known about their molecular and other properties, and they are typically excluded from models of striatal circuitry. Moreover, CR+ interneurons are often treated in models as a single homogenous population, despite previous descriptions of their heterogeneous structures and spatial distributions in rodents and primates. Here, we demonstrate that, in rodents, the combinatorial expression of secretagogin (Scgn), specificity protein 8 (SP8) and/or LIM homeobox protein 7 (Lhx7) separates striatal CR+ interneurons into three structurally and topographically distinct cell populations. The CR+/Scgn+/SP8+/Lhx7- interneurons are small-sized (typically 7-11 µm in somatic diameter), possess tortuous, partially spiny dendrites, and are rostrally biased in their positioning within striatum. The CR+/Scgn-/SP8-/Lhx7- interneurons are medium-sized (typically 12-15 µm), have bipolar dendrites, and are homogenously distributed throughout striatum. The CR+/Scgn-/SP8-/Lhx7+ interneurons are relatively large-sized (typically 12-20 µm), and have thick, infrequently branching dendrites. Furthermore, we provide the first in vivo electrophysiological recordings of identified CR+ interneurons, all of which were the CR+/Scgn-/SP8-/Lhx7- cell type. In the primate striatum, Scgn co-expression also identified a topographically distinct CR+ interneuron population with a rostral bias similar to that seen in both rats and mice. Taken together, these results suggest that striatal CR+ interneurons comprise at least three molecularly, structurally, and topographically distinct cell populations in rodents. These properties are partially conserved in primates, in which the relative abundance of CR+ interneurons suggests that they play a critical role in striatal microcircuits.

Funding information:
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - R01 GM069957-05S1(United States)

Reducing Pericyte-Derived Scarring Promotes Recovery after Spinal Cord Injury.

  • Dias DO
  • Cell
  • 2018 Mar 22

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Abstract:

CNS injury often severs axons. Scar tissue that forms locally at the lesion site is thought to block axonal regeneration, resulting in permanent functional deficits. We report that inhibiting the generation of progeny by a subclass of pericytes led to decreased fibrosis and extracellular matrix deposition after spinal cord injury in mice. Regeneration of raphespinal and corticospinal tract axons was enhanced and sensorimotor function recovery improved following spinal cord injury in animals with attenuated pericyte-derived scarring. Using optogenetic stimulation, we demonstrate that regenerated corticospinal tract axons integrated into the local spinal cord circuitry below the lesion site. The number of regenerated axons correlated with improved sensorimotor function recovery. In conclusion, attenuation of pericyte-derived fibrosis represents a promising therapeutic approach to facilitate recovery following CNS injury.

Funding information:
  • Intramural NIH HHS - Z01 DE000698-10(United States)

Visual and Motor Deficits in Grown-up Mice with Congenital Zika Virus Infection.

  • Cui L
  • EBioMedicine
  • 2018 Mar 26

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Abstract:

Human infants with congenital Zika virus (ZIKV) infection exhibit a range of symptoms including microcephaly, intracranial calcifications, macular atrophy and arthrogryposis. More importantly, prognosis data have lagged far behind the recent outbreak of ZIKV in 2015. In this work, we allow congenitally ZIKV-infected mice to grow into puberty. These mice exhibited motor incoordination and visual dysfunctions, which can be accounted by anatomical defects in the retina and cerebellar cortex. In contrary, anxiety level of the ZIKV-infected mice is normal. The spectrum of anatomical and behavioral deficits is consistent across different mice. Our data provided evidence that may help predict the public health burden in terms of prognosis of ZIKV-related congenital brain malformations in an animal model. Our study provided behavioral evaluation for the prognosis of congenital ZIKV infection and provides a platform for screening and evaluation of drugs candidates and treatment aiming at improving regeneration of infected neurons to prevent sequelae caused by ZIKV infection of fetus.

Tangential migration of corridor guidepost neurons contributes to anxiety circuits.

  • Tinterri A
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2018 Feb 15

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Abstract:

In mammals, thalamic axons are guided internally toward their neocortical target by corridor (Co) neurons that act as axonal guideposts. The existence of Co-like neurons in non-mammalian species, in which thalamic axons do not grow internally, raised the possibility that Co cells might have an ancestral role. Here, we investigated the contribution of corridor (Co) cells to mature brain circuits using a combination of genetic fate-mapping and assays in mice. We unexpectedly found that Co neurons contribute to striatal-like projection neurons in the central extended amygdala. In particular, Co-like neurons participate in specific nuclei of the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, which plays essential roles in anxiety circuits. Our study shows that Co neurons possess an evolutionary conserved role in anxiety circuits independently from an acquired guidepost function. It furthermore highlights that neurons can have multiple sequential functions during brain wiring and supports a general role of tangential migration in the building of subpallial circuits.

Kv2 Ion Channels Determine the Expression and Localization of the Associated AMIGO-1 Cell Adhesion Molecule in Adult Brain Neurons.

  • Bishop HI
  • Front Mol Neurosci
  • 2018 Feb 7

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Abstract:

Voltage-gated K+ (Kv) channels play important roles in regulating neuronal excitability. Kv channels comprise four principal α subunits, and transmembrane and/or cytoplasmic auxiliary subunits that modify diverse aspects of channel function. AMIGO-1, which mediates homophilic cell adhesion underlying neurite outgrowth and fasciculation during development, has recently been shown to be an auxiliary subunit of adult brain Kv2.1-containing Kv channels. We show that AMIGO-1 is extensively colocalized with both Kv2.1 and its paralog Kv2.2 in brain neurons across diverse mammals, and that in adult brain, there is no apparent population of AMIGO-1 outside of that colocalized with these Kv2 α subunits. AMIGO-1 is coclustered with Kv2 α subunits at specific plasma membrane (PM) sites associated with hypolemmal subsurface cisternae at neuronal ER:PM junctions. This distinct PM clustering of AMIGO-1 is not observed in brain neurons of mice lacking Kv2 α subunit expression. Moreover, in heterologous cells, coexpression of either Kv2.1 or Kv2.2 is sufficient to drive clustering of the otherwise uniformly expressed AMIGO-1. Kv2 α subunit coexpression also increases biosynthetic intracellular trafficking and PM expression of AMIGO-1 in heterologous cells, and analyses of Kv2.1 and Kv2.2 knockout mice show selective loss of AMIGO-1 expression and localization in neurons lacking the respective Kv2 α subunit. Together, these data suggest that in mammalian brain neurons, AMIGO-1 is exclusively associated with Kv2 α subunits, and that Kv2 α subunits are obligatory in determining the correct pattern of AMIGO-1 expression, PM trafficking and clustering.

A Translational Repression Complex in Developing Mammalian Neural Stem Cells that Regulates Neuronal Specification.

  • Zahr SK
  • Neuron
  • 2018 Feb 7

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Abstract:

The mechanisms instructing genesis of neuronal subtypes from mammalian neural precursors are not well understood. To address this issue, we have characterized the transcriptional landscape of radial glial precursors (RPs) in the embryonic murine cortex. We show that individual RPs express mRNA, but not protein, for transcriptional specifiers of both deep and superficial layer cortical neurons. Some of these mRNAs, including the superficial versus deep layer neuron transcriptional regulators Brn1 and Tle4, are translationally repressed by their association with the RNA-binding protein Pumilio2 (Pum2) and the 4E-T protein. Disruption of these repressive complexes in RPs mid-neurogenesis by knocking down 4E-T or Pum2 causes aberrant co-expression of deep layer neuron specification proteins in newborn superficial layer neurons. Thus, cortical RPs are transcriptionally primed to generate diverse types of neurons, and a Pum2/4E-T complex represses translation of some of these neuronal identity mRNAs to ensure appropriate temporal specification of daughter neurons.

Funding information:
  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research - MOP-111003(Canada)

Abnormal Cell Sorting Underlies the Unique X-Linked Inheritance of PCDH19 Epilepsy.

  • Pederick DT
  • Neuron
  • 2018 Jan 3

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Abstract:

X-linked diseases typically exhibit more severe phenotypes in males than females. In contrast, protocadherin 19 (PCDH19) mutations cause epilepsy in heterozygous females but spare hemizygous males. The cellular mechanism responsible for this unique pattern of X-linked inheritance is unknown. We show that PCDH19 contributes to adhesion specificity in a combinatorial manner such that mosaic expression of Pcdh19 in heterozygous female mice leads to striking sorting between cells expressing wild-type (WT) PCDH19 and null PCDH19 in the developing cortex, correlating with altered network activity. Complete deletion of PCDH19 in heterozygous mice abolishes abnormal cell sorting and restores normal network activity. Furthermore, we identify variable cortical malformations in PCDH19 epilepsy patients. Our results highlight the role of PCDH19 in determining cell adhesion affinities during cortical development and the way segregation of WT and null PCDH19 cells is associated with the unique X-linked inheritance of PCDH19 epilepsy.

Caveolin1 Identifies a Specific Subpopulation of Cerebral Cortex Callosal Projection Neurons (CPN) Including Dual Projecting Cortical Callosal/Frontal Projection Neurons (CPN/FPN).

  • MacDonald JL
  • eNeuro
  • 2018 Jan 31

Literature context:


Abstract:

The neocortex is composed of many distinct subtypes of neurons that must form precise subtype-specific connections to enable the cortex to perform complex functions. Callosal projection neurons (CPN) are the broad population of commissural neurons that connect the cerebral hemispheres via the corpus callosum (CC). Currently, how the remarkable diversity of CPN subtypes and connectivity is specified, and how they differentiate to form highly precise and specific circuits, are largely unknown. We identify in mouse that the lipid-bound scaffolding domain protein Caveolin 1 (CAV1) is specifically expressed by a unique subpopulation of Layer V CPN that maintain dual ipsilateral frontal projections to premotor cortex. CAV1 is expressed by over 80% of these dual projecting callosal/frontal projection neurons (CPN/FPN), with expression peaking early postnatally as axonal and dendritic targets are being reached and refined. CAV1 is localized to the soma and dendrites of CPN/FPN, a unique population of neurons that shares information both between hemispheres and with premotor cortex, suggesting function during postmitotic development and refinement of these neurons, rather than in their specification. Consistent with this, we find that Cav1 function is not necessary for the early specification of CPN/FPN, or for projecting to their dual axonal targets. CPN subtype-specific expression of Cav1 identifies and characterizes a first molecular component that distinguishes this functionally unique projection neuron population, a population that expands in primates, and is prototypical of additional dual and higher-order projection neuron subtypes.

Funding information:
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - GM007757(United States)

Microbiome Influences Prenatal and Adult Microglia in a Sex-Specific Manner.

  • Thion MS
  • Cell
  • 2018 Jan 25

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Abstract:

Microglia are embryonically seeded macrophages that contribute to brain development, homeostasis, and pathologies. It is thus essential to decipher how microglial properties are temporally regulated by intrinsic and extrinsic factors, such as sexual identity and the microbiome. Here, we found that microglia undergo differentiation phases, discernable by transcriptomic signatures and chromatin accessibility landscapes, which can diverge in adult males and females. Remarkably, the absence of microbiome in germ-free mice had a time and sexually dimorphic impact both prenatally and postnatally: microglia were more profoundly perturbed in male embryos and female adults. Antibiotic treatment of adult mice triggered sexually biased microglial responses revealing both acute and long-term effects of microbiota depletion. Finally, human fetal microglia exhibited significant overlap with the murine transcriptomic signature. Our study shows that microglia respond to environmental challenges in a sex- and time-dependent manner from prenatal stages, with major implications for our understanding of microglial contributions to health and disease.

Funding information:
  • NIEHS NIH HHS - R01ES009949(United States)

Neuropilin-2/PlexinA3 Receptors Associate with GluA1 and Mediate Sema3F-Dependent Homeostatic Scaling in Cortical Neurons.

  • Wang Q
  • Neuron
  • 2017 Dec 6

Literature context:


Abstract:

Regulation of AMPA-type glutamate receptor (AMPAR) number at synapses is a major mechanism for controlling synaptic strength during homeostatic scaling in response to global changes in neural activity. We show that the secreted guidance cue semaphorin 3F (Sema3F) and its neuropilin-2 (Npn-2)/plexinA3 (PlexA3) holoreceptor mediate homeostatic plasticity in cortical neurons. Sema3F-Npn-2/PlexA3 signaling is essential for cell surface AMPAR homeostatic downscaling in response to an increase in neuronal activity, Npn-2 associates with AMPARs, and Sema3F regulates this interaction. Therefore, Sema3F-Npn-2/PlexA3 signaling controls both synapse development and synaptic plasticity.

Transplantation of feeder-free human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cortical neuron progenitors in adult male Wistar rats with focal brain ischemia.

  • Hermanto Y
  • J. Neurosci. Res.
  • 2017 Nov 8

Literature context:


Abstract:

The use of human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) eliminates the ethical issues associated with fetal or embryonic materials, thus allowing progress in cell therapy research for ischemic stroke. Strict regulation of cell therapy development requires the xeno-free condition to eliminate clinical complications. Maintenance of hiPSCs with feeder-free condition presents a higher degree of spontaneous differentiation in comparison with conventional cultures. Therefore, feeder-free derivation might be not ideal for developing transplantable hiPSC derivatives. We developed the feeder-free condition for differentiation of cortical neurons from hiPSCs. Then, we evaluated the cells' characteristics upon transplantation into the sham and focal brain ischemia on adult male Wistar rats. Grafts in lesioned brains demonstrated polarized reactivity toward the ischemic border, indicated by directional preferences in axonal outgrowth and cellular migration, with no influence on graft survival. Following the transplantation, forelimb asymmetry was better restored compared with controls. Herein, we provide evidence to support the use of the xeno-free condition for the development of cell therapy for ischemic stroke.

Gyrification of the cerebral cortex requires FGF signaling in the mammalian brain.

  • Matsumoto N
  • Elife
  • 2017 Nov 14

Literature context:


Abstract:

Although it has been believed that the evolution of cortical folds was a milestone, allowing for an increase in the number of neurons in the cerebral cortex, the mechanisms underlying the formation of cortical folds are largely unknown. Here we show regional differences in the expression of fibroblast growth factor receptors (FGFRs) in the developing cerebral cortex of ferrets even before cortical folds are formed. By taking the advantage of our in utero electroporation technique for ferrets, we found that cortical folding was impaired in the ferret cerebral cortex when FGF signaling was inhibited. We also found that FGF signaling was crucial for producing Pax6-positive neural progenitors in the outer subventricular zone (OSVZ) of the developing cerebral cortex. Furthermore, we found that upper layers of the cerebral cortex were preferentially reduced by inhibiting FGF signaling. Our results shed light on the mechanisms of cortical folding in gyrencephalic mammalian brains.

Combination of the clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)-associated 9 technique with the piggybac transposon system for mouse in utero electroporation to study cortical development.

  • Cheng M
  • J. Neurosci. Res.
  • 2017 Nov 30

Literature context:


Abstract:

In utero electroporation (IUE) is commonly used to study cortical development of cerebrum by downregulating or overexpressing genes of interest in neural progenitor cells (NPCs) of small mammals. However, exogenous plasmids are lost or diluted over time. Furthermore, gene knockdown based on short-hairpin RNAs may exert nonspecific effects that lead to aberrant neuronal migration. Genomic engineering by the clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/CRISPR-associated 9 (Cas9) system has great research and therapeutic potentials. Here we integrate the CRISPR/Cas9 components into the piggyBac (PB) transposon system (the CRISPR/Cas9-PB toolkit) for cortical IUEs. The mouse Sry-related HMG box-2 (Sox2) gene was selected as the target for its application. Most transduced cortical NPCs were depleted of SOX2 protein as early as 3 days post-IUE, whereas expressions of SOX1 and PAX6 remained intact. Furthermore, both the WT Cas9 and the D10A nickase mutant Cas9n showed comparable knockout efficiency. Transduced cortical cells were purified with fluorescence-activated cell sorting, and effective gene editing at the Sox2 loci was confirmed. Thus, application of the CRISPR/Cas9-PB toolkit in IUE is a promising strategy to study gene functions in cortical NPCs and their progeny. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - NS-57236(United States)

αII Spectrin Forms a Periodic Cytoskeleton at the Axon Initial Segment and Is Required for Nervous System Function.

  • Huang CY
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2017 Nov 22

Literature context:


Abstract:

Spectrins form a submembranous cytoskeleton proposed to confer strength and flexibility to neurons and to participate in ion channel clustering at axon initial segments (AIS) and nodes of Ranvier. Neuronal spectrin cytoskeletons consist of diverse β subunits and αII spectrin. Although αII spectrin is found in neurons in both axonal and somatodendritic domains, using proteomics, biochemistry, and superresolution microscopy, we show that αII and βIV spectrin interact and form a periodic AIS cytoskeleton. To determine the role of spectrins in the nervous system, we generated Sptan1f/f mice for deletion of CNS αII spectrin. We analyzed αII spectrin-deficient mice of both sexes and found that loss of αII spectrin causes profound reductions in all β spectrins. αII spectrin-deficient mice die before 1 month of age and have disrupted AIS and many other neurological impairments including seizures, disrupted cortical lamination, and widespread neurodegeneration. These results demonstrate the importance of the spectrin cytoskeleton both at the AIS and throughout the nervous system.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Spectrin cytoskeletons play diverse roles in neurons, including assembly of excitable domains such as the axon initial segment (AIS) and nodes of Ranvier. However, the molecular composition and structure of these cytoskeletons remain poorly understood. Here, we show that αII spectrin partners with βIV spectrin to form a periodic cytoskeleton at the AIS. Using a new αII spectrin conditional knock-out mouse, we show that αII spectrin is required for AIS assembly, neuronal excitability, cortical lamination, and to protect against neurodegeneration. These results demonstrate the broad importance of spectrin cytoskeletons for nervous system function and development and have important implications for nervous system injuries and diseases because disruption of the spectrin cytoskeleton is a common molecular pathology.

α2δ-1 Signaling Drives Cell Death, Synaptogenesis, Circuit Reorganization, and Gabapentin-Mediated Neuroprotection in a Model of Insult-Induced Cortical Malformation.

  • Lau LA
  • eNeuro
  • 2017 Nov 8

Literature context:


Abstract:

Developmental cortical malformations (DCMs) result from pre- and perinatal insults, as well as genetic mutations. Hypoxia, viral infection, and traumatic injury are the most common environmental causes of DCMs, and are associated with the subsyndromes focal polymicrogyria and focal cortical dysplasia (FCD) Type IIId, both of which have a high incidence of epilepsy. Understanding the molecular signals that lead to the formation of a hyperexcitable network in DCMs is critical to devising novel treatment strategies. In a previous study using the freeze-lesion (FL) murine model of DCM, we found that levels of thrombospondin (TSP) and the calcium channel auxiliary subunit α2δ-1 were elevated. TSP binds to α2δ-1 to drive the formation of excitatory synapses during development, suggesting that overactivation of this pathway may lead to exuberant excitatory synaptogenesis and network hyperexcitability seen in DCMs. In that study, antagonizing TSP/α2δ-1 signaling using the drug gabapentin (GBP) reduced many FL-induced pathologies. Here, we used mice with a genetic deletion of α2δ-1 to determine how α2δ-1 contributes to cell death, elevated excitatory synapse number, and in vitro network function after FL and to examine the molecular specificity of GBP's effects. We identified a critical role for α2δ-1 in FL-induced pathologies and in mediating the neuroprotective effects of GBP. Interestingly, genetic deletion of α2δ-1 did not eliminate GBP's effects on synaptogenesis, suggesting that GBP can have α2δ-1-independent effects. Taken together these studies suggests that inhibiting α2δ-1 signaling may have therapeutic promise to reduce cell death and network reorganization associated with insult-induced DCMs.

A Population of Indirect Pathway Striatal Projection Neurons Is Selectively Entrained to Parkinsonian Beta Oscillations.

  • Sharott A
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2017 Oct 11

Literature context:


Abstract:

Classical schemes of basal ganglia organization posit that parkinsonian movement difficulties presenting after striatal dopamine depletion stem from the disproportionate firing rates of spiny projection neurons (SPNs) therein. There remains, however, a pressing need to elucidate striatal SPN firing in the context of the synchronized network oscillations that are abnormally exaggerated in cortical-basal ganglia circuits in parkinsonism. To address this, we recorded unit activities in the dorsal striatum of dopamine-intact and dopamine-depleted rats during two brain states, respectively defined by cortical slow-wave activity (SWA) and activation. Dopamine depletion escalated striatal net output but had contrasting effects on "direct pathway" SPNs (dSPNs) and "indirect pathway" SPNs (iSPNs); their firing rates became imbalanced, and they disparately engaged in network oscillations. Disturbed striatal activity dynamics relating to the slow (∼1 Hz) oscillations prevalent during SWA partly generalized to the exaggerated beta-frequency (15-30 Hz) oscillations arising during cortical activation. In both cases, SPNs exhibited higher incidences of phase-locked firing to ongoing cortical oscillations, and SPN ensembles showed higher levels of rhythmic correlated firing, after dopamine depletion. Importantly, in dopamine-depleted striatum, a widespread population of iSPNs, which often displayed excessive firing rates and aberrant phase-locked firing to cortical beta oscillations, preferentially and excessively synchronized their firing at beta frequencies. Conversely, dSPNs were neither hyperactive nor synchronized to a large extent during cortical activation. These data collectively demonstrate a cell type-selective entrainment of SPN firing to parkinsonian beta oscillations. We conclude that a population of overactive, excessively synchronized iSPNs could orchestrate these pathological rhythms in basal ganglia circuits.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Chronic depletion of dopamine from the striatum, a part of the basal ganglia, causes some symptoms of Parkinson's disease. Here, we elucidate how dopamine depletion alters striatal neuron firing in vivo, with an emphasis on defining whether and how spiny projection neurons (SPNs) engage in the synchronized beta-frequency (15-30 Hz) oscillations that become pathologically exaggerated throughout basal ganglia circuits in parkinsonism. We discovered that a select population of so-called "indirect pathway" SPNs not only fire at abnormally high rates, but are also particularly prone to being recruited to exaggerated beta oscillations. Our results provide an important link between two complementary theories that explain the presentation of disease symptoms on the basis of changes in firing rate or firing synchronization/rhythmicity.

Generation and Characterization of Functional Human Hypothalamic Neurons.

  • Kirwan P
  • Curr Protoc Neurosci
  • 2017 Oct 24

Literature context:


Abstract:

Neurons in the hypothalamus orchestrate homeostatic physiological processes and behaviors essential for life. Defects in the function of hypothalamic neurons cause a spectrum of human diseases, including obesity, infertility, growth defects, sleep disorders, social disorders, and stress disorders. These diseases have been studied in animal models such as mice, but the rarity and relative inaccessibility of mouse hypothalamic neurons and species-specific differences between mice and humans highlight the need for human cellular models of hypothalamic diseases. We and others have developed methods to differentiate human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) into hypothalamic neurons and related cell types, such as astrocytes. This protocol builds on published studies by providing detailed step-by-step instructions for neuronal differentiation, quality control, long-term neuronal maintenance, and the functional interrogation of hypothalamic cells by calcium imaging. Together, these protocols should enable any group with appropriate facilities to generate and study human hypothalamic cells. © 2017 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Decreased Axon Caliber Underlies Loss of Fiber Tract Integrity, Disproportional Reductions in White Matter Volume, and Microcephaly in Angelman Syndrome Model Mice.

  • Judson MC
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2017 Aug 2

Literature context:


Abstract:

Angelman syndrome (AS) is a debilitating neurodevelopmental disorder caused by loss of function of the maternally inherited UBE3A allele. It is currently unclear how the consequences of this genetic insult unfold to impair neurodevelopment. We reasoned that by elucidating the basis of microcephaly in AS, a highly penetrant syndromic feature with early postnatal onset, we would gain new insights into the mechanisms by which maternal UBE3A loss derails neurotypical brain growth and function. Detailed anatomical analysis of both male and female maternal Ube3a-null mice reveals that microcephaly in the AS mouse model is primarily driven by deficits in the growth of white matter tracts, which by adulthood are characterized by densely packed axons of disproportionately small caliber. Our results implicate impaired axon growth in the pathogenesis of AS and identify noninvasive structural neuroimaging as a potentially valuable tool for gauging therapeutic efficacy in the disorder.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT People who maternally inherit a deletion or nonfunctional copy of the UBE3A gene develop Angelman syndrome (AS), a severe neurodevelopmental disorder. To better understand how loss of maternal UBE3A function derails brain development, we analyzed brain structure in a maternal Ube3a knock-out mouse model of AS. We report that the volume of white matter (WM) is disproportionately reduced in AS mice, indicating that deficits in WM development are a major factor underlying impaired brain growth and microcephaly in the disorder. Notably, we find that axons within the WM pathways of AS model mice are abnormally small in caliber. This defect is associated with slowed nerve conduction, which could contribute to behavioral deficits in AS, including motor dysfunction.

Funding information:
  • NICHD NIH HHS - P30 HD003110()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - F32 NS077686()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - P30 NS045892()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS039444()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS085093()

Molecular and Circuit-Dynamical Identification of Top-Down Neural Mechanisms for Restraint of Reward Seeking.

  • Kim CK
  • Cell
  • 2017 Aug 24

Literature context:


Abstract:

Reward-seeking behavior is fundamental to survival, but suppression of this behavior can be essential as well, even for rewards of high value. In humans and rodents, the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) has been implicated in suppressing reward seeking; however, despite vital significance in health and disease, the neural circuitry through which mPFC regulates reward seeking remains incompletely understood. Here, we show that a specific subset of superficial mPFC projections to a subfield of nucleus accumbens (NAc) neurons naturally encodes the decision to initiate or suppress reward seeking when faced with risk of punishment. A highly resolved subpopulation of these top-down projecting neurons, identified by 2-photon Ca2+ imaging and activity-dependent labeling to recruit the relevant neurons, was found capable of suppressing reward seeking. This natural activity-resolved mPFC-to-NAc projection displayed unique molecular-genetic and microcircuit-level features concordant with a conserved role in the regulation of reward-seeking behavior, providing cellular and anatomical identifiers of behavioral and possible therapeutic significance.

Satb1 Regulates Contactin 5 to Pattern Dendrites of a Mammalian Retinal Ganglion Cell.

  • Peng YR
  • Neuron
  • 2017 Aug 16

Literature context:


Abstract:

The size and shape of dendritic arbors are prime determinants of neuronal connectivity and function. We asked how ON-OFF direction-selective ganglion cells (ooDSGCs) in mouse retina acquire their bistratified dendrites, in which responses to light onset and light offset are segregated to distinct strata. We found that the transcriptional regulator Satb1 is selectively expressed by ooDSGCs. In Satb1 mutant mice, ooDSGC dendrites lack ON arbors, and the cells selectively lose ON responses. Satb1 regulates expression of a homophilic adhesion molecule, Contactin 5 (Cntn5). Both Cntn5 and its co-receptor Caspr4 are expressed not only by ooDSGCs, but also by interneurons that form a scaffold on which ooDSGC ON dendrites fasciculate. Removing Cntn5 from either ooDSGCs or interneurons partially phenocopies Satb1 mutants, demonstrating that Satb1-dependent Cntn5 expression in ooDSGCs leads to branch-specific homophilic interactions with interneurons. Thus, Satb1 directs formation of a morphologically and functionally specialized compartment within a complex dendritic arbor.

Funding information:
  • NEI NIH HHS - R01 EY022073()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R37 NS029169()

Llgl1 Connects Cell Polarity with Cell-Cell Adhesion in Embryonic Neural Stem Cells.

  • Jossin Y
  • Dev. Cell
  • 2017 Jun 5

Literature context:


Abstract:

Malformations of the cerebral cortex (MCCs) are devastating developmental disorders. We report here that mice with embryonic neural stem-cell-specific deletion of Llgl1 (Nestin-Cre/Llgl1fl/fl), a mammalian ortholog of the Drosophila cell polarity gene lgl, exhibit MCCs resembling severe periventricular heterotopia (PH). Immunohistochemical analyses and live cortical imaging of PH formation revealed that disruption of apical junctional complexes (AJCs) was responsible for PH in Nestin-Cre/Llgl1fl/fl brains. While it is well known that cell polarity proteins govern the formation of AJCs, the exact mechanisms remain unclear. We show that LLGL1 directly binds to and promotes internalization of N-cadherin, and N-cadherin/LLGL1 interaction is inhibited by atypical protein kinase C-mediated phosphorylation of LLGL1, restricting the accumulation of AJCs to the basolateral-apical boundary. Disruption of the N-cadherin-LLGL1 interaction during cortical development in vivo is sufficient for PH. These findings reveal a mechanism responsible for the physical and functional connection between cell polarity and cell-cell adhesion machineries in mammalian cells.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - R01 CA131047()
  • NCI NIH HHS - R01 CA179914()
  • NICHD NIH HHS - T32 HD007183()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS080194()

Enhanced Axonal Extension of Subcortical Projection Neurons Isolated from Murine Embryonic Cortex using Neuropilin-1.

  • Sano N
  • Front Cell Neurosci
  • 2017 May 16

Literature context:


Abstract:

The cerebral cortical tissue of murine embryo and pluripotent stem cell (PSC)-derived neurons can survive in the brain and extend axons to the spinal cord. For efficient cell integration to the corticospinal tract (CST) after transplantation, the induction or selection of cortical motor neurons is important. However, precise information about the appropriate cell population remains unclear. To address this issue, we isolated cells expressing Neuropilin-1 (NRP1), a major axon guidance molecule receptor during the early developmental stage, from E14.5 mouse embryonic frontal cortex by fluorescence-activated cell sorting. Aggregates of NRP1+ cells gradually expressed subcortical projection neuron markers, Ctip2 and VGluT1, and axon guidance molecule receptors, Robo1 and deleted in colorectal calcinoma (Dcc), in vitro, suggesting that they contained early-stage subcortical projection neurons. We transplanted NRP1+ cells into the frontal cortex of P2 neonatal mice. Compared with grafts derived from NRP1- or unsorted cells, those derived from NRP1+ cells extended a larger number of axons to the spinal cord along the CST. Our data suggest that sorting NRP1+ cells from the embryonic cerebral cortex enriches subcortical projection neurons to reconstruct the CST.

Regulation of Cerebral Cortex Folding by Controlling Neuronal Migration via FLRT Adhesion Molecules.

  • Del Toro D
  • Cell
  • 2017 May 4

Literature context:


Abstract:

The folding of the mammalian cerebral cortex into sulci and gyri is thought to be favored by the amplification of basal progenitor cells and their tangential migration. Here, we provide a molecular mechanism for the role of migration in this process by showing that changes in intercellular adhesion of migrating cortical neurons result in cortical folding. Mice with deletions of FLRT1 and FLRT3 adhesion molecules develop macroscopic sulci with preserved layered organization and radial glial morphology. Cortex folding in these mutants does not require progenitor cell amplification but is dependent on changes in neuron migration. Analyses and simulations suggest that sulcus formation in the absence of FLRT1/3 results from reduced intercellular adhesion, increased neuron migration, and clustering in the cortical plate. Notably, FLRT1/3 expression is low in the human cortex and in future sulcus areas of ferrets, suggesting that intercellular adhesion is a key regulator of cortical folding across species.

Mosaic Analysis with Double Markers Reveals Distinct Sequential Functions of Lgl1 in Neural Stem Cells.

  • Beattie R
  • Neuron
  • 2017 May 3

Literature context:


Abstract:

The concerted production of neurons and glia by neural stem cells (NSCs) is essential for neural circuit assembly. In the developing cerebral cortex, radial glia progenitors (RGPs) generate nearly all neocortical neurons and certain glia lineages. RGP proliferation behavior shows a high degree of non-stochasticity, thus a deterministic characteristic of neuron and glia production. However, the cellular and molecular mechanisms controlling RGP behavior and proliferation dynamics in neurogenesis and glia generation remain unknown. By using mosaic analysis with double markers (MADM)-based genetic paradigms enabling the sparse and global knockout with unprecedented single-cell resolution, we identified Lgl1 as a critical regulatory component. We uncover Lgl1-dependent tissue-wide community effects required for embryonic cortical neurogenesis and novel cell-autonomous Lgl1 functions controlling RGP-mediated glia genesis and postnatal NSC behavior. These results suggest that NSC-mediated neuron and glia production is tightly regulated through the concerted interplay of sequential Lgl1-dependent global and cell intrinsic mechanisms.

Skilled Movements Require Non-apoptotic Bax/Bak Pathway-Mediated Corticospinal Circuit Reorganization.

  • Gu Z
  • Neuron
  • 2017 May 3

Literature context:


Abstract:

Early postnatal mammals, including human babies, can perform only basic motor tasks. The acquisition of skilled behaviors occurs later, requiring anatomical changes in neural circuitry to support the development of coordinated activation or suppression of functionally related muscle groups. How this circuit reorganization occurs during postnatal development remains poorly understood. Here we explore the connectivity between corticospinal (CS) neurons in the motor cortex and muscles in mice. Using trans-synaptic viral and electrophysiological assays, we identify the early postnatal reorganization of CS circuitry for antagonistic muscle pairs. We further show that this synaptic rearrangement requires the activity-dependent, non-apoptotic Bax/Bak-caspase signaling cascade. Adult Bax/Bak mutant mice exhibit aberrant co-activation of antagonistic muscle pairs and skilled grasping deficits but normal reaching and retrieval behaviors. Our findings reveal key cellular and molecular mechanisms driving postnatal motor circuit reorganization and the resulting impacts on muscle activation patterns and the execution of skilled movements.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS079569()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS093002()

A Brain-Region-Specific Neural Pathway Regulating Germinal Matrix Angiogenesis.

  • Ma S
  • Dev. Cell
  • 2017 May 22

Literature context:


Abstract:

Intimate communication between neural and vascular cells is critical for normal brain development and function. Germinal matrix (GM), a key primordium for the brain reward circuitry, is unique among brain regions for its distinct pace of angiogenesis and selective vulnerability to hemorrhage during development. A major neonatal condition, GM hemorrhage can lead to cerebral palsy, hydrocephalus, and mental retardation. Here we identify a brain-region-specific neural progenitor-based signaling pathway dedicated to regulating GM vessel development. This pathway consists of cell-surface sphingosine-1-phosphate receptors, an intracellular cascade including Gα co-factor Ric8a and p38 MAPK, and target gene integrin β8, which in turn regulates vascular TGF-β signaling. These findings provide insights into region-specific specialization of neurovascular communication, with special implications for deciphering potent early-life endocrine, as well as potential gut microbiota impacts on brain reward circuitry. They also identify tissue-specific molecular targets for GM hemorrhage intervention.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS076729()

Assembly of Excitatory Synapses in the Absence of Glutamatergic Neurotransmission.

  • Sando R
  • Neuron
  • 2017 Apr 19

Literature context:


Abstract:

Synaptic excitation mediates a broad spectrum of structural changes in neural circuits across the brain. Here, we examine the morphologies, wiring, and architectures of single synapses of projection neurons in the murine hippocampus that developed in virtually complete absence of vesicular glutamate release. While these neurons had smaller dendritic trees and/or formed fewer contacts in specific hippocampal subfields, their stereotyped connectivity was largely preserved. Furthermore, loss of release did not disrupt the morphogenesis of presynaptic terminals and dendritic spines, suggesting that glutamatergic neurotransmission is unnecessary for synapse assembly and maintenance. These results underscore the instructive role of intrinsic mechanisms in synapse formation.

Funding information:
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - R01 GM117049()
  • NIMH NIH HHS - R01 MH085776()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS087026()

Tridimensional Visualization and Analysis of Early Human Development.

  • Belle M
  • Cell
  • 2017 Mar 23

Literature context:


Abstract:

Generating a precise cellular and molecular cartography of the human embryo is essential to our understanding of the mechanisms of organogenesis in normal and pathological conditions. Here, we have combined whole-mount immunostaining, 3DISCO clearing, and light-sheet imaging to start building a 3D cellular map of the human development during the first trimester of gestation. We provide high-resolution 3D images of the developing peripheral nervous, muscular, vascular, cardiopulmonary, and urogenital systems. We found that the adult-like pattern of skin innervation is established before the end of the first trimester, showing important intra- and inter-individual variations in nerve branches. We also present evidence for a differential vascularization of the male and female genital tracts concomitant with sex determination. This work paves the way for a cellular and molecular reference atlas of human cells, which will be of paramount importance to understanding human development in health and disease. PAPERCLIP.

Hallmarks of Alzheimer's Disease in Stem-Cell-Derived Human Neurons Transplanted into Mouse Brain.

  • Espuny-Camacho I
  • Neuron
  • 2017 Mar 8

Literature context:


Abstract:

Human pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) provide a unique entry to study species-specific aspects of human disorders such as Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, in vitro culture of neurons deprives them of their natural environment. Here we transplanted human PSC-derived cortical neuronal precursors into the brain of a murine AD model. Human neurons differentiate and integrate into the brain, express 3R/4R Tau splice forms, show abnormal phosphorylation and conformational Tau changes, and undergo neurodegeneration. Remarkably, cell death was dissociated from tangle formation in this natural 3D model of AD. Using genome-wide expression analysis, we observed upregulation of genes involved in myelination and downregulation of genes related to memory and cognition, synaptic transmission, and neuron projection. This novel chimeric model for AD displays human-specific pathological features and allows the analysis of different genetic backgrounds and mutations during the course of the disease.

A Quiescent Bcl11b High Stem Cell Population Is Required for Maintenance of the Mammary Gland.

  • Cai S
  • Cell Stem Cell
  • 2017 Feb 2

Literature context:


Abstract:

Stem cells in many tissues sustain themselves by entering a quiescent state to avoid genomic insults and to prevent exhaustion caused by excessive proliferation. In the mammary gland, the identity and characteristics of quiescent epithelial stem cells are not clear. Here, we identify a quiescent mammary epithelial cell population expressing high levels of Bcl11b and located at the interface between luminal and basal cells. Bcl11bhigh cells are enriched for cells that can regenerate mammary glands in secondary transplants. Loss of Bcl11b leads to a Cdkn2a-dependent exhaustion of ductal epithelium and loss of epithelial cell regenerative capacity. Gain- and loss-of-function studies show that Bcl11b induces cells to enter the G0 phase of the cell cycle and become quiescent. Taken together, these results suggest that Bcl11b acts as a central intrinsic regulator of mammary epithelial stem cell quiescence and exhaustion and is necessary for long-term maintenance of the mammary gland.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - P01 CA139490()
  • NCI NIH HHS - R01 CA100225()
  • NCI NIH HHS - U01 CA154209()

Organization of the Claustrum-to-Entorhinal Cortical Connection in Mice.

  • Kitanishi T
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2017 Jan 11

Literature context:


Abstract:

The claustrum, a subcortical structure situated between the insular cortex and striatum, is reciprocally connected with almost all neocortical regions. Based on this connectivity, the claustrum has been postulated to integrate multisensory information and, in turn, coordinate widespread cortical activity. Although studies have identified how sensory information is mapped onto the claustrum, the function of individual topographically arranged claustro-cortical pathways has been little explored. Here, we investigated the organization and function of identified claustro-cortical pathways in mice using multiple anatomical and optogenetic techniques. Retrograde and anterograde tracing demonstrated that the density of anterior claustrum-to-cortical projection differs substantially depending on the target cortical areas. One of the major targets was the medial entorhinal cortex (MEC) and the MEC-projecting claustral neurons were largely segregated from the neurons projecting to primary cortices M1, S1, or V1. Exposure to a novel environment induced c-Fos expression in a substantial number of MEC-projecting claustral neurons and some M1/S1/V1-projecting claustral neurons. Optogenetic silencing of the MEC-projecting claustral neurons during contextual fear conditioning impaired later memory retrieval without affecting basal locomotor activity or anxiety-related behavior. These results suggest that the dense, anterior claustro-MEC pathway that is largely separated from other claustro-cortical pathways is activated by novel context and modulates the MEC function in contextual memory. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT: The claustrum is a poorly understood subcortical structure reciprocally connected with widespread neocortical regions. We investigated the organization and function of identified claustro-cortical projections in mice using pathway-specific approaches. Anatomical tracing showed that the density of anterior claustrum-to-cortical projection is dependent on the target cortical areas and that the medial entorhinal cortex (MEC) is one of the major projection targets. Novel context exposure activated multiple claustro-cortical pathways and a large fraction of the activated neurons projected to the MEC. Optogenetic silencing of the claustro-MEC pathway during contextual fear learning suppressed subsequent memory retrieval. These results suggest that the dense claustro-MEC pathway is activated by novel context and modulates MEC function in contextual memory.

DNA-PKcs, ATM, and ATR Interplay Maintains Genome Integrity during Neurogenesis.

  • Enriquez-Rios V
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2017 Jan 25

Literature context:


Abstract:

The DNA damage response (DDR) orchestrates a network of cellular processes that integrates cell-cycle control and DNA repair or apoptosis, which serves to maintain genome stability. DNA-PKcs (the catalytic subunit of the DNA-dependent kinase, encoded by PRKDC), ATM (ataxia telangiectasia, mutated), and ATR (ATM and Rad3-related) are related PI3K-like protein kinases and central regulators of the DDR. Defects in these kinases have been linked to neurodegenerative or neurodevelopmental syndromes. In all cases, the key neuroprotective function of these kinases is uncertain. It also remains unclear how interactions between the three DNA damage-responsive kinases coordinate genome stability, particularly in a physiological context. Here, we used a genetic approach to identify the neural function of DNA-PKcs and the interplay between ATM and ATR during neurogenesis. We found that DNA-PKcs loss in the mouse sensitized neuronal progenitors to apoptosis after ionizing radiation because of excessive DNA damage. DNA-PKcs was also required to prevent endogenous DNA damage accumulation throughout the adult brain. In contrast, ATR coordinated the DDR during neurogenesis to direct apoptosis in cycling neural progenitors, whereas ATM regulated apoptosis in both proliferative and noncycling cells. We also found that ATR controls a DNA damage-induced G2/M checkpoint in cortical progenitors, independent of ATM and DNA-PKcs. These nonoverlapping roles were further confirmed via sustained murine embryonic or cortical development after all three kinases were simultaneously inactivated. Thus, our results illustrate how DNA-PKcs, ATM, and ATR have unique and essential roles during the DDR, collectively ensuring comprehensive genome maintenance in the nervous system. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT: The DNA damage response (DDR) is essential for prevention of a broad spectrum of different human neurologic diseases. However, a detailed understanding of the DDR at a physiological level is lacking. In contrast to many in vitro cellular studies, here we demonstrate independent biological roles for the DDR kinases DNA-PKcs, ATM, and ATR during neurogenesis. We show that DNA-PKcs is central to DNA repair in nonproliferating cells, and restricts DNA damage accumulation, whereas ATR controls damage-induced G2 checkpoint control and apoptosis in proliferating cells. Conversely, ATM is critical for controlling apoptosis in immature noncycling neural cells after DNA damage. These data demonstrate functionally distinct, but cooperative, roles for each kinase in preserving genome stability in the nervous system.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - P01 CA096832()
  • NCI NIH HHS - P30 CA021765()
  • NIA NIH HHS - R01 AG027376()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS037956()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R56 NS037956()

Impaired Amino Acid Transport at the Blood Brain Barrier Is a Cause of Autism Spectrum Disorder.

  • Tărlungeanu DC
  • Cell
  • 2016 Dec 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are a group of genetic disorders often overlapping with other neurological conditions. We previously described abnormalities in the branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) catabolic pathway as a cause of ASD. Here, we show that the solute carrier transporter 7a5 (SLC7A5), a large neutral amino acid transporter localized at the blood brain barrier (BBB), has an essential role in maintaining normal levels of brain BCAAs. In mice, deletion of Slc7a5 from the endothelial cells of the BBB leads to atypical brain amino acid profile, abnormal mRNA translation, and severe neurological abnormalities. Furthermore, we identified several patients with autistic traits and motor delay carrying deleterious homozygous mutations in the SLC7A5 gene. Finally, we demonstrate that BCAA intracerebroventricular administration ameliorates abnormal behaviors in adult mutant mice. Our data elucidate a neurological syndrome defined by SLC7A5 mutations and support an essential role for the BCAA in human brain function.

Funding information:
  • NIMH NIH HHS - R01 MH064043(United States)

Satb2 determines miRNA expression and long-term memory in the adult central nervous system.

  • Jaitner C
  • Elife
  • 2016 Nov 29

Literature context:


Abstract:

SATB2 is a risk locus for schizophrenia and encodes a DNA-binding protein that regulates higher-order chromatin configuration. In the adult brain Satb2 is almost exclusively expressed in pyramidal neurons of two brain regions important for memory formation, the cerebral cortex and the CA1-hippocampal field. Here we show that Satb2 is required for key hippocampal functions since deletion of Satb2 from the adult mouse forebrain prevents the stabilization of synaptic long-term potentiation and markedly impairs long-term fear and object discrimination memory. At the molecular level, we find that synaptic activity and BDNF up-regulate Satb2, which itself binds to the promoters of coding and non-coding genes. Satb2 controls the hippocampal levels of a large cohort of miRNAs, many of which are implicated in synaptic plasticity and memory formation. Together, our findings demonstrate that Satb2 is critically involved in long-term plasticity processes in the adult forebrain that underlie the consolidation and stabilization of context-linked memory.

Funding information:
  • NCRR NIH HHS - R24RR024790(United States)
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R15 NS087606(United States)

Developmental and adult expression patterns of the G-protein-coupled receptor GPR88 in the rat: Establishment of a dual nuclear-cytoplasmic localization.

  • Massart R
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2016 Oct 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

GPR88 is a neuronal cerebral orphan G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) that has been linked to various psychiatric disorders. However, no extensive description of its localization has been provided so far. Here, we investigate the spatiotemporal expression of the GPR88 in prenatal and postnatal rat tissues by using in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry. GPR88 protein was initially detected at embryonic day 16 (E16) in the striatal primordium. From E16-E20 to adulthood, the highest expression levels of both protein and mRNA were observed in striatum, olfactory tubercle, nucleus accumbens, amygdala, and neocortex, whereas in spinal cord, pons, and medulla GPR88 expression remains discrete. We observed an intracellular redistribution of GPR88 during cortical lamination. In the cortical plate of the developing cortex, GPR88 presents a classical GPCR plasma membrane/cytoplasmic localization that shifts, on the day of birth, to nuclei of neurons progressively settling in layers V to II. This intranuclear localization remains throughout adulthood and was also detected in monkey and human cortex as well as in the amygdala and hypothalamus of rats. Apart from the central nervous system, GPR88 was transiently expressed at high levels in peripheral tissues, including adrenal cortex (E16-E21) and cochlear ganglia (E19-P3), and also at moderate levels in retina (E18-E19) and spleen (E21-P7). The description of the GPR88 anatomical expression pattern may provide precious functional insights into this novel receptor. Furthermore, the GRP88 nuclear localization suggests nonclassical GPCR modes of action of the protein that could be relevant for cortical development and psychiatric disorders. J. Comp. Neurol. 524:2776-2802, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

In Utero Exposure to Valproic Acid Induces Neocortical Dysgenesis via Dysregulation of Neural Progenitor Cell Proliferation/Differentiation.

  • Fujimura K
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2016 Oct 19

Literature context:


Abstract:

Valproic acid (VPA), a widely used antiepileptic drug, is an inhibitor of histone deacetylases, which epigenetically modify cell proliferation/differentiation in developing tissues. A series of recent clinical studies in humans reported that VPA exposure in utero impaired histogenesis and the development of the central nervous system, leading to increased risks of congenital malformation and the impairment of higher brain functions in children. In the present study conducted in mice, we report that VPA exposure in utero (1) increases the amount of acetylated histone proteins, (2) alters the expression of G1-phase regulatory proteins, (3) inhibits the cell cycle exit of neural progenitor cells during the early stage of neocortical histogenesis, and (4) increases the production of projection neurons distributed in the superficial neocortical layers in embryonic brains. Together, our findings show that VPA exposure in utero alters proliferation/differentiation characteristics of neural progenitor cells and hence leads to the neocortical dysgenesis. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT: This study provides new insight into the mechanisms of how an altered in utero environment, such as drug exposure, affects the generation of neurons prenatally. The antiepileptic drug valproic acid (VPA) is a good target molecule as in utero exposure to VPA has been repeatedly reported to increase the risk of nervous system malformations and to impair higher brain functions in children. We show that VPA decreases the probability of differentiation of the neural progenitor cells (NPCs) in mice, resulting in an abnormally increased number of projection neurons in the superficial layers of the neocortex. Further, we suggest that histone deacetylase inhibition by VPA may be involved in the dysregulation of proliferation/differentiation characteristics of NPCs.

Corticothalamic Projection Neuron Development beyond Subtype Specification: Fog2 and Intersectional Controls Regulate Intraclass Neuronal Diversity.

  • Galazo MJ
  • Neuron
  • 2016 Jul 6

Literature context:


Abstract:

Corticothalamic projection neurons (CThPN) are a diverse set of neurons, critical for function of the neocortex. CThPN development and diversity need to be precisely regulated, but little is known about molecular controls over their differentiation and functional specialization, critically limiting understanding of cortical development and complexity. We report the identification of a set of genes that both define CThPN and likely control their differentiation, diversity, and function. We selected the CThPN-specific transcriptional coregulator Fog2 for functional analysis. We identify that Fog2 controls CThPN molecular differentiation, axonal targeting, and diversity, in part by regulating the expression level of Ctip2 by CThPN, via combinatorial interactions with other molecular controls. Loss of Fog2 specifically disrupts differentiation of subsets of CThPN specialized in motor function, indicating that Fog2 coordinates subtype and functional-area differentiation. These results confirm that we identified key controls over CThPN development and identify Fog2 as a critical control over CThPN diversity.

Selective Localization of Shanks to VGLUT1-Positive Excitatory Synapses in the Mouse Hippocampus.

  • Heise C
  • Front Cell Neurosci
  • 2016 May 20

Literature context:


Abstract:

Members of the Shank family of multidomain proteins (Shank1, Shank2, and Shank3) are core components of the postsynaptic density (PSD) of excitatory synapses. At synaptic sites Shanks serve as scaffolding molecules that cluster neurotransmitter receptors as well as cell adhesion molecules attaching them to the actin cytoskeleton. In this study we investigated the synapse specific localization of Shank1-3 and focused on well-defined synaptic contacts within the hippocampal formation. We found that all three family members are present only at VGLUT1-positive synapses, which is particularly visible at mossy fiber contacts. No costaining was found at VGLUT2-positive contacts indicating that the molecular organization of VGLUT2-associated PSDs diverges from classical VGLUT1-positive excitatory contacts in the hippocampus. In light of SHANK mutations in neuropsychiatric disorders, this study indicates which glutamatergic networks within the hippocampus will be primarily affected by shankopathies.

Funding information:
  • Intramural NIH HHS - (United States)

Fezf2 expression in layer 5 projection neurons of mature mouse motor cortex.

  • Tantirigama ML
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2016 Mar 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

The mature cerebral cortex contains a wide diversity of neuron phenotypes. This diversity is specified during development by neuron-specific expression of key transcription factors, some of which are retained for the life of the animal. One of these key developmental transcription factors that is also retained in the adult is Fezf2, but the neuron types expressing it in the mature cortex are unknown. With a validated Fezf2-Gfp reporter mouse, whole-cell electrophysiology with morphology reconstruction, cluster analysis, in vivo retrograde labeling, and immunohistochemistry, we identify a heterogeneous population of Fezf2(+) neurons in both layer 5A and layer 5B of the mature motor cortex. Functional electrophysiology identified two distinct subtypes of Fezf2(+) neurons that resembled pyramidal tract projection neurons (PT-PNs) and intratelencephalic projection neurons (IT-PNs). Retrograde labeling confirmed the former type to include corticospinal projection neurons (CSpPNs) and corticothalamic projection neurons (CThPNs), whereas the latter type included crossed corticostriatal projection neurons (cCStrPNs) and crossed-corticocortical projection neurons (cCCPNs). The two Fezf2(+) subtypes expressed either CTIP2 or SATB2 to distinguish their physiological identity and confirmed that specific expression combinations of key transcription factors persist in the mature motor cortex. Our findings indicate a wider role for Fezf2 within gene expression networks that underpin the diversity of layer 5 cortical projection neurons.

Altered proliferative ability of neuronal progenitors in PlexinA1 mutant mice.

  • Andrews WD
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2016 Feb 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

Cortical interneurons are generated predominantly in the medial ganglionic eminence (MGE) and migrate through the ventral and dorsal telencephalon before taking their final positions within the developing cortical plate. Previously we demonstrated that interneurons from Robo1 knockout (Robo1(-/-)) mice contain reduced levels of neuropilin 1 (Nrp1) and PlexinA1 receptors, rendering them less responsive to the chemorepulsive actions of semaphorin ligands expressed in the striatum and affecting their course of migration (Hernandez-Miranda et al. [2011] J. Neurosci. 31:6174-6187). Earlier studies have highlighted the importance of Nrp1 and Nrp2 in interneuron migration, and here we assess the role of PlexinA1 in this process. We observed significantly fewer cells expressing the interneuron markers Gad67 and Lhx6 in the cortex of PlexinA1(-/-) mice compared with wild-type littermates at E14.5 and E18.5. Although the level of apoptosis was similar in the mutant and control forebrain, proliferation was significantly reduced in the former. Furthermore, progenitor cells in the MGE of PlexinA1(-/-) mice appeared to be poorly anchored to the ventricular surface and showed reduced adhesive properties, which may account for the observed reduction in proliferation. Together our data uncover a novel role for PlexinA1 in forebrain development.

Dlg5 regulates dendritic spine formation and synaptogenesis by controlling subcellular N-cadherin localization.

  • Wang SH
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2014 Sep 17

Literature context:


Abstract:

Most excitatory synapses in the mammalian brain are formed on dendritic spines, and spine density has a profound impact on synaptic transmission, integration, and plasticity. Membrane-associated guanylate kinase (MAGUK) proteins are intracellular scaffolding proteins with well established roles in synapse function. However, whether MAGUK proteins are required for the formation of dendritic spines in vivo is unclear. We isolated a novel disc large-5 (Dlg5) allele in mice, Dlg5(LP), which harbors a missense mutation in the DLG5 SH3 domain, greatly attenuating its ability to interact with the DLG5 GUK domain. We show here that DLG5 is a MAGUK protein that regulates spine formation, synaptogenesis, and synaptic transmission in cortical neurons. DLG5 regulates synaptogenesis by enhancing the cell surface localization of N-cadherin, revealing a key molecular mechanism for regulating the subcellular localization of this cell adhesion molecule during synaptogenesis.

Loss of neural recognition molecule NB-3 delays the normal projection and terminal branching of developing corticospinal tract axons in the mouse.

  • Huang Z
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2012 Apr 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

Neural recognition molecule NB-3 is involved in neural development and synapse formation. However, its role in axon tract formation is unclear. In this study, we found that the temporal expression of NB-3 in the deep layers of the motor cortex in mice was coincident with the development of the corticospinal tract (CST). Clear NB-3 immunoreactivity in the CST trajectory strongly suggested that NB-3 was expressed specifically in projecting CST axons. By tracing CST axons in NB-3−/− mice at different developmental stages, we found that these axons were capable of projecting and forming a normal trajectory. However, the projection was greatly delayed in NB-3−/− mice compared with wild-type (WT) mice from the embryonic to postnatal stages, a period that is coincident with the completion of the CST projection in mice. Subsequently, although their projection was delayed, CST axons in NB-3−/− mice gradually completed a normal projection. By stage P21, the characteristics of CST projections in NB-3−/− mice were not statistically different from those in WT mice. In addition, we found that the branching of CST axons into spinal gray matter also was delayed in NB-3−/− mice. The CST innervation area in the spinal gray matter of NB-3−/− mice was greatly reduced in comparison with WT mice until P30 and gradually became normal by P45. These data suggest that NB-3 is involved in the normal projection and terminal branching of developing CST axons.

Funding information:
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - R01 GM064709(United States)

Dlx6 regulates molecular properties of the striatum and central nucleus of the amygdala.

  • Wang B
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2011 Aug 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

We describe here the prenatal telencephalic expression of Dlx6 RNA and β-galactosidase driven from a mutant Dlx6 locus. The mutant Dlx6 allele, which we believe is either a null or severe hypomorph, has an IRES-lacZ-neomycin resistance cassette inserted into the Dlx6 homeobox coding sequence (Dlx6(LacZ) ). We compared expression from the Dlx6-lacZ (Dlx6(LacZ) ) allele in heterozygotes (Dlx6(LacZ/+) ), with the expression of Dlx1, Dlx2, Dlx5 and Dlx6 RNA. Like these wild-type alleles, Dlx6(LacZ) is expressed in the developing ganglionic eminences, and their derivatives. Unlike the other Dlx genes, Dlx6 and Dlx6(LacZ) expression is not readily observed in tangentially migrating interneurons. In addition to Dlx6's expression at later stages of differentiation of many basal ganglia nuclei, it shows particularly robust expression in the central nucleus of the amygdala. Histological analysis of Dlx6 mutants (Dlx6(LacZ/LacZ) ) shows that this homeobox transcription factor is required for molecular properties of the striatum, nucleus accumbens, olfactory tubercle, and central nucleus of the amygdala. For instance, we observed reduced of Golf, RXRγ, and Tiam2 expression in the striatum, and reduced Dlx5 expression in the central nucleus of the amygdala. RNA expression array analysis of the E18.5 striatum was useful in identifying the transcription factors that are expressed in this tissue, but did not identify major changes in gene expression in the Dlx6(LacZ/LacZ) mutant.

Funding information:
  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research - (Canada)

Developmentally regulated and evolutionarily conserved expression of SLITRK1 in brain circuits implicated in Tourette syndrome.

  • Stillman AA
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2009 Mar 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Tourette syndrome (TS) is an inherited developmental neuropsychiatric disorder characterized by vocal and motor tics. Multiple lines of neurophysiological evidence implicate dysfunction in the corticostriatal-thalamocortical circuits in the etiology of TS. We recently identified rare sequence variants in the Slit and Trk-like family member 1 (SLITRK1) gene associated with TS. SLITRK1, a single-pass transmembrane protein, displays similarities to the SLIT family of secreted ligands, which have roles in axonal repulsion and dendritic patterning, but its function and developmental expression remain largely unknown. Here we provide evidence that SLITRK1 has a developmentally regulated expression pattern in projection neurons of the corticostriatal-thalamocortical circuits. SLITRK1 is further enriched in the somatodendritic compartment and cytoplasmic vesicles of cortical pyramidal neurons in mouse, monkey, and human brain, observations suggestive of an evolutionarily conserved function in mammals. SLITRK1 is transiently expressed in the striosomal/patch compartment of the mammalian striatum and moreover is associated with the direct output pathway; adult striatal expression is confined to cholinergic interneurons. These analyses demonstrate that the expression of SLITRK1 is dynamic and specifically associated with the circuits most commonly implicated in TS and related disorders, suggesting that SLITRK1 contributes to the development of corticostriatal-thalamocortical circuits.