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GFP Tag Polyclonal Antibody, Alexa Fluor 488

RRID:AB_221477

The cJUN NH2-terminal kinase (JNK) signaling pathway promotes genome stability and prevents tumor initiation.

  • Girnius N
  • Elife
  • 2018 Jun 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed malignancy in women. Analysis of breast cancer genomic DNA indicates frequent loss-of-function mutations in components of the cJUN NH2-terminal kinase (JNK) signaling pathway. Since JNK signaling can promote cell proliferation by activating the AP1 transcription factor, this apparent association of reduced JNK signaling with tumor development was unexpected. We examined the effect of JNK deficiency in the murine breast epithelium. Loss of JNK signaling caused genomic instability and the development of breast cancer. Moreover, JNK deficiency caused widespread early neoplasia and rapid tumor formation in a murine model of breast cancer. This tumor suppressive function was not mediated by a role of JNK in the growth of established tumors, but by a requirement of JNK to prevent tumor initiation. Together, these data identify JNK pathway defects as 'driver' mutations that promote genome instability and tumor initiation.

Funding information:
  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute - Investigator()
  • National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases - DK107220()
  • National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases - DK112698()
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - R01 DK092062(United States)

Extrathymically Generated Regulatory T Cells Establish a Niche for Intestinal Border-Dwelling Bacteria and Affect Physiologic Metabolite Balance.

  • Campbell C
  • Immunity
  • 2018 Jun 19

Literature context:


Abstract:

The mammalian gut microbiota provides essential metabolites to the host and promotes the differentiation and accumulation of extrathymically generated regulatory T (pTreg) cells. To explore the impact of these cells on intestinal microbial communities, we assessed the composition of the microbiota in pTreg cell-deficient and -sufficient mice. pTreg cell deficiency led to heightened type 2 immune responses triggered by microbial exposure, which disrupted the niche of border-dwelling bacteria early during colonization. Moreover, impaired pTreg cell generation led to pervasive changes in metabolite profiles, altered features of the intestinal epithelium, and reduced body weight in the presence of commensal microbes. Absence of a single species of bacteria depleted in pTreg cell-deficient animals, Mucispirillum schaedleri, partially accounted for the sequelae of pTreg cell deficiency. These observations suggest that pTreg cells modulate the metabolic function of the intestinal microbiota by restraining immune defense mechanisms that may disrupt a particular bacterial niche.

Funding information:
  • NIAID NIH HHS - R01 AI043363(United States)

Spatial Memory Engram in the Mouse Retrosplenial Cortex.

  • Milczarek MM
  • Curr. Biol.
  • 2018 Jun 18

Literature context:


Abstract:

Memory relies on lasting adaptations of neuronal properties elicited by stimulus-driven plastic changes [1]. The strengthening (and weakening) of synapses results in the establishment of functional ensembles. It is presumed that such ensembles (or engrams) are activated during memory acquisition and re-activated upon memory retrieval. The retrosplenial cortex (RSC) has emerged as a key brain area supporting memory [2], including episodic and topographical memory in humans [3-5], as well as spatial memory in rodents [6, 7]. Dysgranular RSC is densely connected with dorsal stream visual areas [8] and contains place-like and head-direction cells, making it a prime candidate for integrating navigational information [9]. While previous reports [6, 10] describe the recruitment of RSC ensembles during navigational tasks, such ensembles have never been tracked long enough to provide evidence of stable engrams and have not been related to the retention of long-term memory. Here, we used in vivo 2-photon imaging to analyze patterns of activity of over 6,000 neurons within dysgranular RSC. Eight mice were trained on a spatial memory task. Learning was accompanied by the gradual emergence of a context-specific pattern of neuronal activity over a 3-week period, which was re-instated upon retrieval more than 3 weeks later. The stability of this memory engram was predictive of the degree of forgetting; more stable engrams were associated with better performance. This provides direct evidence for the interdependence of spatial memory consolidation and RSC engram formation. Our results demonstrate the participation of RSC in spatial memory storage at the level of neuronal ensembles.

Funding information:
  • NICHD NIH HHS - P01 HD038843(United States)

A Viral Receptor Complementation Strategy to Overcome CAV-2 Tropism for Efficient Retrograde Targeting of Neurons.

  • Li SJ
  • Neuron
  • 2018 Jun 6

Literature context:


Abstract:

Retrogradely transported neurotropic viruses enable genetic access to neurons based on their long-range projections and have become indispensable tools for linking neural connectivity with function. A major limitation of viral techniques is that they rely on cell-type-specific molecules for uptake and transport. Consequently, viruses fail to infect variable subsets of neurons depending on the complement of surface receptors expressed (viral tropism). We report a receptor complementation strategy to overcome this by potentiating neurons for the infection of the virus of interest-in this case, canine adenovirus type-2 (CAV-2). We designed AAV vectors for expressing the coxsackievirus and adenovirus receptor (CAR) throughout candidate projection neurons. CAR expression greatly increased retrograde-labeling rates, which we demonstrate for several long-range projections, including some resistant to other retrograde-labeling techniques. Our results demonstrate a receptor complementation strategy to abrogate endogenous viral tropism and thereby facilitate efficient retrograde targeting for functional analysis of neural circuits.

Funding information:
  • Medical Research Council - G9810900(United Kingdom)
  • NIDA NIH HHS - R01 DA038209()

Distinct Circuits for Recovery of Eye Dominance and Acuity in Murine Amblyopia.

  • Stephany CÉ
  • Curr. Biol.
  • 2018 Jun 18

Literature context:


Abstract:

Degrading vision by one eye during a developmental critical period yields enduring deficits in both eye dominance and visual acuity. A predominant model is that "reactivating" ocular dominance (OD) plasticity after the critical period is required to improve acuity in amblyopic adults. However, here we demonstrate that plasticity of eye dominance and acuity are independent and restricted by the nogo-66 receptor (ngr1) in distinct neuronal populations. Ngr1 mutant mice display greater excitatory synaptic input onto both inhibitory and excitatory neurons with restoration of normal vision. Deleting ngr1 in excitatory cortical neurons permits recovery of eye dominance but not acuity. Reciprocally, deleting ngr1 in thalamus is insufficient to rectify eye dominance but yields improvement of acuity to normal. Abolishing ngr1 expression in adult mice also promotes recovery of acuity. Together, these findings challenge the notion that mechanisms for OD plasticity contribute to the alterations in circuitry that restore acuity in amblyopia.

Funding information:
  • NEI NIH HHS - R01 EY021580()
  • NEI NIH HHS - R01 EY027407()
  • NIMH NIH HHS - R00 MH087628()
  • Wellcome Trust - 066750(United Kingdom)

Single-Cell RNA Sequencing of Lymph Node Stromal Cells Reveals Niche-Associated Heterogeneity.

  • Rodda LB
  • Immunity
  • 2018 May 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

Stromal cells (SCs) establish the compartmentalization of lymphoid tissues critical to the immune response. However, the full diversity of lymph node (LN) SCs remains undefined. Using droplet-based single-cell RNA sequencing, we identified nine peripheral LN non-endothelial SC clusters. Included are the established subsets, Ccl19hi T-zone reticular cells (TRCs), marginal reticular cells, follicular dendritic cells (FDCs), and perivascular cells. We also identified Ccl19lo TRCs, likely including cholesterol-25-hydroxylase+ cells located at the T-zone perimeter, Cxcl9+ TRCs in the T-zone and interfollicular region, CD34+ SCs in the capsule and medullary vessel adventitia, indolethylamine N-methyltransferase+ SCs in the medullary cords, and Nr4a1+ SCs in several niches. These data help define how transcriptionally distinct LN SCs support niche-restricted immune functions and provide evidence that many SCs are in an activated state.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS025044(United States)

Immunohistochemical Procedures for Characterizing the Retinal Expression Patterns of Cre Driver Mouse Lines.

  • Lu Q
  • Methods Mol. Biol.
  • 2018 Apr 26

Literature context:


Abstract:

The retina is a thin neural tissue sitting on the backside of the eye, composed of light-sensing cells, interneurons, and output ganglion neurons. The latter send electrical signals to higher visual centers in the brain. Transgenic mouse lines are becoming one of the most valuable mammalian animal models for the study of visual signal processing within the retina. Especially, the generation of Cre recombinase transgenic mouse lines provides a powerful tool for genetic manipulation. A key step for the utilization of transgenic lines is the characterization of their transgene expression patterns in the retina. Here we describe a standard protocol for characterizing the expression pattern of the Cre recombinase or fluorescent proteins in the retina with an immunohistochemical approach.

Drosophila Full-Length Amyloid Precursor Protein Is Required for Visual Working Memory and Prevents Age-Related Memory Impairment.

  • Rieche F
  • Curr. Biol.
  • 2018 Mar 5

Literature context:


Abstract:

The β-amyloid precursor protein (APP) plays a central role in the etiology of Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, its normal physiological functions are still unclear. APP is cleaved by various secretases whereby sequential processing by the β- and γ-secretases produces the β-amyloid peptide that is accumulating in plaques that typify AD. In addition, this produces secreted N-terminal sAPPβ fragments and the APP intracellular domain (AICD). Alternative cleavage by α-secretase results in slightly longer secreted sAPPα fragments and the identical AICD. Whereas the AICD has been connected with transcriptional regulation, sAPPα fragments have been suggested to have a neurotrophic and neuroprotective role [1]. Moreover, expression of sAPPα in APP-deficient mice could rescue their deficits in learning, spatial memory, and long-term potentiation [2]. Loss of the Drosophila APP-like (APPL) protein impairs associative olfactory memory formation and middle-term memory that can be rescued with a secreted APPL fragment [3]. We now show that APPL is also essential for visual working memory. Interestingly, this short-term memory declines rapidly with age, and this is accompanied by enhanced processing of APPL in aged flies. Furthermore, reducing secretase-mediated proteolytic processing of APPL can prevent the age-related memory loss, whereas overexpression of the secretases aggravates the aging effect. Rescue experiments confirmed that this memory requires signaling of full-length APPL and that APPL negatively regulates the neuronal-adhesion molecule Fasciclin 2. Overexpression of APPL or one of its secreted N termini results in a dominant-negative interaction with the FASII receptor. Therefore, our results show that specific memory processes require distinct APPL products.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - Z01 BC010313(United States)
  • NIA NIH HHS - R01 AG045830()
  • NIA NIH HHS - R21 AG055943()
  • NIH HHS - P40 OD018537()

Movement maintains forebrain neurogenesis via peripheral neural feedback in larval zebrafish.

  • Hall ZJ
  • Elife
  • 2018 Mar 12

Literature context:


Abstract:

The postembryonic brain exhibits experience-dependent development, in which sensory experience guides normal brain growth. This neuroplasticity is thought to occur primarily through structural and functional changes in pre-existing neurons. Whether neurogenesis also mediates the effects of experience on brain growth is unclear. Here, we characterized the importance of motor experience on postembryonic neurogenesis in larval zebrafish. We found that movement maintains an expanded pool of forebrain neural precursors by promoting progenitor self-renewal over the production of neurons. Physical cues associated with swimming (bodily movement) increase neurogenesis and these cues appear to be conveyed by dorsal root ganglia (DRG) in the zebrafish body: DRG-deficient larvae exhibit attenuated neurogenic responses to movement and targeted photoactivation of DRG in immobilized larvae expands the pallial pool of proliferative cells. Our results demonstrate the importance of movement in neurogenic brain growth and reveal a fundamental sensorimotor association that may couple early motor and brain development.

Funding information:
  • Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council - (United Kingdom)
  • Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada - Discovery grant (RGPIN-2016-06325)()
  • Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada - Post-doctoral fellowship (PDF 454019-2014)()

The cJUN NH2-terminal kinase (JNK) pathway contributes to mouse mammary gland remodeling during involution.

  • Girnius N
  • Cell Death Differ.
  • 2018 Mar 6

Literature context:


Abstract:

Involution returns the lactating mammary gland to a quiescent state after weaning. The mechanism of involution involves collapse of the mammary epithelial cell compartment. To test whether the cJUN NH2-terminal kinase (JNK) signal transduction pathway contributes to involution, we established mice with JNK deficiency in the mammary epithelium. We found that JNK is required for efficient involution. JNK deficiency did not alter the STAT3/5 or SMAD2/3 signaling pathways that have been previously implicated in this process. Nevertheless, JNK promotes the expression of genes that drive involution, including matrix metalloproteases, cathepsins, and BH3-only proteins. These data demonstrate that JNK has a key role in mammary gland involution post lactation.

Funding information:
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - R01 DK107220()
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - R01 DK112698()
  • NIEHS NIH HHS - P30 ES000210(United States)

Quiescent Tissue Stem Cells Evade Immune Surveillance.

  • Agudo J
  • Immunity
  • 2018 Feb 20

Literature context:


Abstract:

Stem cells are critical for the maintenance of many tissues, but whether their integrity is maintained in the face of immunity is unclear. Here we found that cycling epithelial stem cells, including Lgr5+ intestinal stem cells, as well as ovary and mammary stem cells, were eliminated by activated T cells, but quiescent stem cells in the hair follicle and muscle were resistant to T cell killing. Immune evasion was an intrinsic property of the quiescent stem cells resulting from systemic downregulation of the antigen presentation machinery, including MHC class I and TAP proteins, and is mediated by the transactivator NLRC5. This process was reversed upon stem cell entry into the cell cycle. These studies identify a link between stem cell quiescence, antigen presentation, and immune evasion. As cancer-initiating cells can derive from stem cells, these findings may help explain how the earliest cancer cells evade immune surveillance.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - R21 CA152536-01A1(United States)
  • NIAID NIH HHS - R01 AI104848()
  • NIAID NIH HHS - R01 AI113221()
  • NIH HHS - R21 OD020185()

Interneuron-specific signaling evokes distinctive somatostatin-mediated responses in adult cortical astrocytes.

  • Mariotti L
  • Nat Commun
  • 2018 Jan 8

Literature context:


Abstract:

The signaling diversity of GABAergic interneurons to post-synaptic neurons is crucial to generate the functional heterogeneity that characterizes brain circuits. Whether this diversity applies to other brain cells, such as the glial cells astrocytes, remains unexplored. Using optogenetics and two-photon functional imaging in the adult mouse neocortex, we here reveal that parvalbumin- and somatostatin-expressing interneurons, two key interneuron classes in the brain, differentially signal to astrocytes inducing weak and robust GABAB receptor-mediated Ca2+ elevations, respectively. Furthermore, the astrocyte response depresses upon parvalbumin interneuron repetitive stimulations and potentiates upon somatostatin interneuron repetitive stimulations, revealing a distinguished astrocyte plasticity. Remarkably, the potentiated response crucially depends on the neuropeptide somatostatin, released by somatostatin interneurons, which activates somatostatin receptors at astrocytic processes. Our study unveils, in the living brain, a hitherto unidentified signaling specificity between interneuron subtypes and astrocytes opening a new perspective into the role of astrocytes as non-neuronal components of inhibitory circuits.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - R01 CA137102(United States)

CCR6 Defines Memory B Cell Precursors in Mouse and Human Germinal Centers, Revealing Light-Zone Location and Predominant Low Antigen Affinity.

  • Suan D
  • Immunity
  • 2017 Dec 19

Literature context:


Abstract:

Memory B cells (MBCs) and plasma cells (PCs) constitute the two cellular outputs of germinal center (GC) responses that together facilitate long-term humoral immunity. Although expression of the transcription factor BLIMP-1 identifies cells undergoing PC differentiation, no such marker exists for cells committed to the MBC lineage. Here, we report that the chemokine receptor CCR6 uniquely marks MBC precursors in both mouse and human GCs. CCR6+ GC B cells were highly enriched within the GC light zone (LZ), were the most quiescent of all GC B cells, exhibited a cell-surface phenotype and gene expression signature indicative of an MBC transition, and possessed the augmented response characteristics of MBCs. MBC precursors within the GC LZ predominantly possessed a low affinity for antigen but also included cells from within the high-affinity pool. These data indicate a fundamental dichotomy between the processes that drive MBC and PC differentiation during GC responses.

Funding information:
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - R01 DK058242(United States)

Age-Dependent Dopaminergic Neurodegeneration and Impairment of the Autophagy-Lysosomal Pathway in LRRK-Deficient Mice.

  • Giaime E
  • Neuron
  • 2017 Nov 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

LRRK2 mutations are the most common genetic cause of Parkinson's disease, but LRRK2's normal physiological role in the brain is unclear. Here, we show that inactivation of LRRK2 and its functional homolog LRRK1 results in earlier mortality and age-dependent, selective neurodegeneration. Loss of dopaminergic (DA) neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc) and of noradrenergic neurons in the locus coeruleus is accompanied with increases in apoptosis, whereas the cerebral cortex and cerebellum are unaffected. Furthermore, selective age-dependent neurodegeneration is only present in LRRK-/-, not LRRK1-/- or LRRK2-/- brains, and it is accompanied by increases in α-synuclein and impairment of the autophagy-lysosomal pathway. Quantitative electron microscopy (EM) analysis revealed age-dependent increases of autophagic vacuoles in the SNpc of LRRK-/- mice before the onset of DA neuron loss. These findings revealed an essential role of LRRK in the survival of DA neurons and in the regulation of the autophagy-lysosomal pathway in the aging brain.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - P50 NS094733()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS071251()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R37 NS071251()

Development and Refinement of Functional Properties of Adult-Born Neurons.

  • Wallace JL
  • Neuron
  • 2017 Nov 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

New neurons appear only in a few regions of the adult mammalian brain and become integrated into existing circuits. Little is known about the functional development of individual neurons in vivo. We examined the functional life history of adult-born granule cells (abGCs) in the olfactory bulb using multiphoton imaging in awake and anesthetized mice. We found that abGCs can become responsive to odorants soon after they arrive in the olfactory bulb. Tracking identified abGCs over weeks revealed that the robust and broadly tuned responses of most newly arrived abGCs gradually become more selective over a period of ∼3 weeks, but a small fraction achieves broader tuning with maturation. Enriching the olfactory environment of mice prolonged the period over which abGCs were strongly and broadly responsive to odorants. Our data offer direct support for rapid integration of adult-born neurons into existing circuits, followed by experience-dependent refinement of their functional connectivity.

Reactive Neutrophil Responses Dependent on the Receptor Tyrosine Kinase c-MET Limit Cancer Immunotherapy.

  • Glodde N
  • Immunity
  • 2017 Oct 17

Literature context:


Abstract:

Inhibitors of the receptor tyrosine kinase c-MET are currently used in the clinic to target oncogenic signaling in tumor cells. We found that concomitant c-MET inhibition promoted adoptive T cell transfer and checkpoint immunotherapies in murine cancer models by increasing effector T cell infiltration in tumors. This therapeutic effect was independent of tumor cell-intrinsic c-MET dependence. Mechanistically, c-MET inhibition impaired the reactive mobilization and recruitment of neutrophils into tumors and draining lymph nodes in response to cytotoxic immunotherapies. In the absence of c-MET inhibition, neutrophils recruited to T cell-inflamed microenvironments rapidly acquired immunosuppressive properties, restraining T cell expansion and effector functions. In cancer patients, high serum levels of the c-MET ligand HGF correlated with increasing neutrophil counts and poor responses to checkpoint blockade therapies. Our findings reveal a role for the HGF/c-MET pathway in neutrophil recruitment and function and suggest that c-MET inhibitor co-treatment may improve responses to cancer immunotherapy in settings beyond c-MET-dependent tumors.

Funding information:
  • NIAID NIH HHS - 2-U54-AI-057153(United States)

Pitx1 determines characteristic hindlimb morphologies in cartilage micromass culture.

  • Butterfield NC
  • PLoS ONE
  • 2017 Oct 23

Literature context:


Abstract:

The shapes of homologous skeletal elements in the vertebrate forelimb and hindlimb are distinct, with each element exquisitely adapted to their divergent functions. Many of the signals and signalling pathways responsible for patterning the developing limb bud are common to both forelimb and hindlimb. How disparate morphologies are generated from common signalling inputs during limb development remains poorly understood. We show that, similar to what has been shown in the chick, characteristic differences in mouse forelimb and hindlimb cartilage morphology are maintained when chondrogenesis proceeds in vitro away from the endogenous limb bud environment. Chondrogenic nodules that form in high-density micromass cultures derived from forelimb and hindlimb buds are consistently different in size and shape. We described analytical tools we have developed to quantify these differences in nodule morphology and demonstrate that characteristic hindlimb nodule morphology is lost in the absence of the hindlimb-restricted limb modifier gene Pitx1. Furthermore, we show that ectopic expression of Pitx1 in the forelimb is sufficient to generate nodule patterns characteristic of the hindlimb. We also demonstrate that hindlimb cells are less adhesive to the tissue culture substrate and, within the limb environment, to the extracellular matrix and to each other. These results reveal autonomously programmed differences in forelimb and hindlimb cartilage precursors of the limb skeleton are controlled, at least in part, by Pitx1 and suggest this has an important role in generating distinct limb-type morphologies. Our results demonstrate that the micromass culture system is ideally suited to study cues governing morphogenesis of limb skeletal elements in a simple and experimentally tractable in vitro system that reflects in vivo potential.

Role of the Astroglial Glutamate Exchanger xCT in Ventral Hippocampus in Resilience to Stress.

  • Nasca C
  • Neuron
  • 2017 Oct 11

Literature context:


Abstract:

We demonstrate that stress differentially regulates glutamate homeostasis in the dorsal and ventral hippocampus and identify a role for the astroglial xCT in ventral dentate gyrus (vDG) in stress and antidepressant responses. We provide an RNA-seq roadmap for the stress-sensitive vDG. The transcription factor REST binds to xCT promoter in co-occupancy with the epigenetic marker H3K27ac to regulate expression of xCT, which is also reduced in a genetic mouse model of inherent susceptibility to depressive-like behavior. Pharmacologically, modulating histone acetylation with acetyl-L-carnitine (LAC) or acetyl-N-cysteine (NAC) rapidly increases xCT and activates a network with mGlu2 receptors to prime an enhanced glutamate homeostasis that promotes both pro-resilient and antidepressant-like responses. Pharmacological xCT blockage counteracts NAC prophylactic effects. GFAP+-Cre-dependent overexpression of xCT in vDG mimics pharmacological actions in promoting resilience. This work establishes a mechanism by which vDG protection leads to stress resilience and antidepressant responses via epigenetic programming of an xCT-mGlu2 network.

Restraint of presynaptic protein levels by Wnd/DLK signaling mediates synaptic defects associated with the kinesin-3 motor Unc-104.

  • Li J
  • Elife
  • 2017 Sep 19

Literature context:


Abstract:

The kinesin-3 family member Unc-104/KIF1A is required for axonal transport of many presynaptic components to synapses, and mutation of this gene results in synaptic dysfunction in mice, flies and worms. Our studies at the Drosophila neuromuscular junction indicate that many synaptic defects in unc-104-null mutants are mediated independently of Unc-104's transport function, via the Wallenda (Wnd)/DLK MAP kinase axonal damage signaling pathway. Wnd signaling becomes activated when Unc-104's function is disrupted, and leads to impairment of synaptic structure and function by restraining the expression level of active zone (AZ) and synaptic vesicle (SV) components. This action concomitantly suppresses the buildup of synaptic proteins in neuronal cell bodies, hence may play an adaptive role to stresses that impair axonal transport. Wnd signaling also becomes activated when pre-synaptic proteins are over-expressed, suggesting the existence of a feedback circuit to match synaptic protein levels to the transport capacity of the axon.

Funding information:
  • NIMH NIH HHS - R37 MH063105(United States)
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS069844()

Renal Sodium Gradient Orchestrates a Dynamic Antibacterial Defense Zone.

  • Berry MR
  • Cell
  • 2017 Aug 24

Literature context:


Abstract:

Lower urinary tract infections are among the most common human bacterial infections, but extension to the kidneys is rare. This has been attributed to mechanical forces, such as urine flow, that prevent the ascent of bladder microbes. Here, we show that the regional hypersalinity, required for the kidney's urine-concentrating function, instructs epithelial cells to produce chemokines that localize monocyte-derived mononuclear phagocytes (MNPs) to the medulla. This hypersaline environment also increases the intrinsic bactericidal and neutrophil chemotactic activities of MNPs to generate a zone of defense. Because MNP positioning and function are dynamically regulated by the renal salt gradient, we find that patients with urinary concentrating defects are susceptible to kidney infection. Our work reveals a critical accessory role for the homeostatic function of a vital organ in optimizing tissue defense.

Reck and Gpr124 Are Essential Receptor Cofactors for Wnt7a/Wnt7b-Specific Signaling in Mammalian CNS Angiogenesis and Blood-Brain Barrier Regulation.

  • Cho C
  • Neuron
  • 2017 Aug 30

Literature context:


Abstract:

Reck, a GPI-anchored membrane protein, and Gpr124, an orphan GPCR, have been implicated in Wnt7a/Wnt7b signaling in the CNS vasculature. We show here that vascular endothelial cell (EC)-specific reduction in Reck impairs CNS angiogenesis and that EC-specific postnatal loss of Reck, combined with loss of Norrin, impairs blood-brain barrier (BBB) maintenance. The most N-terminal domain of Reck binds to the leucine-rich repeat (LRR) and immunoglobulin (Ig) domains of Gpr124, and weakening this interaction by targeted mutagenesis reduces Reck/Gpr124 stimulation of Wnt7a signaling in cell culture and impairs CNS angiogenesis. Finally, a soluble Gpr124(LRR-Ig) probe binds to cells expressing Frizzled, Wnt7a or Wnt7b, and Reck, and a soluble Reck(CC1-5) probe binds to cells expressing Frizzled, Wnt7a or Wnt7b, and Gpr124. These experiments indicate that Reck and Gpr124 are part of the cell surface protein complex that transduces Wnt7a- and Wnt7b-specific signals in mammalian CNS ECs to promote angiogenesis and regulate the BBB.

The Spatiotemporal Organization of the Striatum Encodes Action Space.

  • Klaus A
  • Neuron
  • 2017 Aug 30

Literature context:


Abstract:

Activity in striatal direct- and indirect-pathway spiny projection neurons (SPNs) is critical for proper movement. However, little is known about the spatiotemporal organization of this activity. We investigated the spatiotemporal organization of SPN ensemble activity in mice during self-paced, natural movements using microendoscopic imaging. Activity in both pathways showed predominantly local but also some long-range correlations. Using a novel approach to cluster and quantify behaviors based on continuous accelerometer and video data, we found that SPN ensembles active during specific actions were spatially closer and more correlated overall. Furthermore, similarity between different actions corresponded to the similarity between SPN ensemble patterns, irrespective of movement speed. Consistently, the accuracy of decoding behavior from SPN ensemble patterns was directly related to the dissimilarity between behavioral clusters. These results identify a predominantly local, but not spatially compact, organization of direct- and indirect-pathway SPN activity that maps action space independently of movement speed.

Funding information:
  • Wellcome Trust - WT077198(United Kingdom)

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.

Selective Silencing of Hippocampal Parvalbumin Interneurons Induces Development of Recurrent Spontaneous Limbic Seizures in Mice.

  • Drexel M
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2017 Aug 23

Literature context:


Abstract:

Temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) is the most frequent form of focal epilepsies and is generally associated with malfunctioning of the hippocampal formation. Recently, a preferential loss of parvalbumin (PV) neurons has been observed in the subiculum of TLE patients and in animal models of TLE. To demonstrate a possible causative role of defunct PV neurons in the generation of TLE, we permanently inhibited GABA release selectively from PV neurons of the ventral subiculum by injecting a viral vector expressing tetanus toxin light chain in male mice. Subsequently, mice were subjected to telemetric EEG recording and video monitoring. Eighty-eight percent of the mice presented clusters of spike-wave discharges (C-SWDs; 40.0 ± 9.07/month), and 64% showed spontaneous recurrent seizures (SRSs; 5.3 ± 0.83/month). Mice injected with a control vector presented with neither C-SWDs nor SRSs. No neurodegeneration was observed due to vector injection or SRS. Interestingly, mice that presented with only C-SWDs but no SRSs, developed SRSs upon injection of a subconvulsive dose of pentylenetetrazole after 6 weeks. The initial frequency of SRSs declined by ∼30% after 5 weeks. In contrast to permanent silencing of PV neurons, transient inhibition of GABA release from PV neurons through the designer receptor hM4Di selectively expressed in PV-containing neurons transiently reduced the seizure threshold of the mice but induced neither acute nor recurrent seizures. Our data demonstrate a critical role for perisomatic inhibition mediated by PV-containing interneurons, suggesting that their sustained silencing could be causally involved in the development of TLE.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Development of temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) generally takes years after an initial insult during which maladaptation of hippocampal circuitries takes place. In human TLE and in animal models of TLE, parvalbumin neurons are selectively lost in the subiculum, the major output area of the hippocampus. The present experiments demonstrate that specific and sustained inhibition of GABA release from parvalbumin-expressing interneurons (mostly basket cells) in sector CA1/subiculum is sufficient to induce hyperexcitability and spontaneous recurrent seizures in mice. As in patients with nonlesional TLE, these mice developed epilepsy without signs of neurodegeneration. The experiments highlight the importance of the potent inhibitory action mediated by parvalbumin cells in the hippocampus and identify a potential mechanism in the development of TLE.

Intestinal Enteroendocrine Lineage Cells Possess Homeostatic and Injury-Inducible Stem Cell Activity.

  • Yan KS
  • Cell Stem Cell
  • 2017 Jul 6

Literature context:


Abstract:

Several cell populations have been reported to possess intestinal stem cell (ISC) activity during homeostasis and injury-induced regeneration. Here, we explored inter-relationships between putative mouse ISC populations by comparative RNA-sequencing (RNA-seq). The transcriptomes of multiple cycling ISC populations closely resembled Lgr5+ ISCs, the most well-defined ISC pool, but Bmi1-GFP+ cells were distinct and enriched for enteroendocrine (EE) markers, including Prox1. Prox1-GFP+ cells exhibited sustained clonogenic growth in vitro, and lineage-tracing of Prox1+ cells revealed long-lived clones during homeostasis and after radiation-induced injury in vivo. Single-cell mRNA-seq revealed two subsets of Prox1-GFP+ cells, one of which resembled mature EE cells while the other displayed low-level EE gene expression but co-expressed tuft cell markers, Lgr5 and Ascl2, reminiscent of label-retaining secretory progenitors. Our data suggest that the EE lineage, including mature EE cells, comprises a reservoir of homeostatic and injury-inducible ISCs, extending our understanding of cellular plasticity and stemness.

Short-Term Depression of Sprouted Mossy Fiber Synapses from Adult-Born Granule Cells.

  • Hendricks WD
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2017 Jun 7

Literature context:


Abstract:

Epileptic seizures potently modulate hippocampal adult neurogenesis, and adult-born dentate granule cells contribute to the pathologic retrograde sprouting of mossy fiber axons, both hallmarks of temporal lobe epilepsy. The characteristics of these sprouted synapses, however, have been largely unexplored, and the specific contribution of adult-born granule cells to functional mossy fiber sprouting is unknown, primarily due to technical barriers in isolating sprouted mossy fiber synapses for analysis. Here, we used DcxCreERT2 transgenic mice to permanently pulse-label age-defined cohorts of granule cells born either before or after pilocarpine-induced status epilepticus (SE). Using optogenetics, we demonstrate that adult-born granule cells born before SE form functional recurrent monosynaptic excitatory connections with other granule cells. Surprisingly, however, although healthy mossy fiber synapses in CA3 are well characterized "detonator" synapses that potently drive postsynaptic cell firing through their profound frequency-dependent facilitation, sprouted mossy fiber synapses from adult-born cells exhibited profound frequency-dependent depression, despite possessing some of the morphological hallmarks of mossy fiber terminals. Mature granule cells also contributed to functional mossy fiber sprouting, but exhibited less synaptic depression. Interestingly, granule cells born shortly after SE did not form functional excitatory synapses, despite robust sprouting. Our results suggest that, although sprouted mossy fibers form recurrent excitatory circuits with some of the morphological characteristics of typical mossy fiber terminals, the functional characteristics of sprouted synapses would limit the contribution of adult-born granule cells to hippocampal hyperexcitability in the epileptic hippocampus.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT In the hippocampal dentate gyrus, seizures drive retrograde sprouting of granule cell mossy fiber axons. We directly activated sprouted mossy fiber synapses from adult-born granule cells to study their synaptic properties. We reveal that sprouted synapses from adult-born granule cells have a diminished ability to sustain recurrent excitation in the epileptic hippocampus, which raises questions about the role of sprouting and adult neurogenesis in sustaining seizure-like activity.

Funding information:
  • BLRD VA - I01 BX002949()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - F31 NS098597()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - P30 NS061800()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS080979()

Multiple cell types form the VIP amacrine cell population.

  • Pérez de Sevilla Müller L
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2017 May 4

Literature context:


Abstract:

Amacrine cells are a heterogeneous group of interneurons that form microcircuits with bipolar, amacrine and ganglion cells to process visual information in the inner retina. This study has characterized the morphology, neurochemistry and major cell types of a VIP-ires-Cre amacrine cell population. VIP-tdTomato and -Confetti (Brainbow2.1) mouse lines were generated by crossing a VIP-ires-Cre line with either a Cre-dependent tdTomato or Brainbow2.1 reporter line. Retinal sections and whole-mounts were evaluated by quantitative, immunohistochemical, and intracellular labeling approaches. The majority of tdTomato and Confetti fluorescent cell bodies were in the inner nuclear layer (INL) and a few cell bodies were in the ganglion cell layer (GCL). Fluorescent processes ramified in strata 1, 3, 4, and 5 of the inner plexiform layer (IPL). All tdTomato fluorescent cells expressed syntaxin 1A and GABA-immunoreactivity indicating they were amacrine cells. The average VIP-tdTomato fluorescent cell density in the INL and GCL was 535 and 24 cells/mm2 , respectively. TdTomato fluorescent cells in the INL and GCL contained VIP-immunoreactivity. The VIP-ires-Cre amacrine cell types were identified in VIP-Brainbow2.1 retinas or by intracellular labeling in VIP-tdTomato retinas. VIP-1 amacrine cells are bistratified, wide-field cells that ramify in strata 1, 4, and 5, VIP-2A and 2B amacrine cells are medium-field cells that mainly ramify in strata 3 and 4, and VIP-3 displaced amacrine cells are medium-field cells that ramify in strata 4 and 5 of the IPL. VIP-ires-Cre amacrine cells form a neuropeptide-expressing cell population with multiple cell types, which are likely to have distinct roles in visual processing.

Neurexin Restricts Axonal Branching in Columns by Promoting Ephrin Clustering.

  • Liu L
  • Dev. Cell
  • 2017 Apr 10

Literature context:


Abstract:

Columnar restriction of neurites is critical for forming nonoverlapping receptive fields and preserving spatial sensory information from the periphery in both vertebrate and invertebrate nervous systems, but the underlying molecular mechanisms remain largely unknown. Here, we demonstrate that Drosophila homolog of α-neurexin (DNrx) plays an essential role in columnar restriction during L4 axon branching. Depletion of DNrx from L4 neurons resulted in misprojection of L4 axonal branches into neighboring columns due to impaired ephrin clustering. The proper ephrin clustering requires its interaction with the intracellular region of DNrx. Furthermore, we find that Drosophila neuroligin 4 (DNlg4) in Tm2 neurons binds to DNrx and initiates DNrx clustering in L4 neurons, which subsequently induces ephrin clustering. Our study demonstrates that DNrx promotes ephrin clustering and reveals that ephrin/Eph signaling from adjacent L4 neurons restricts axonal branches of L4 neurons in columns.

Fat2 and Lar Define a Basally Localized Planar Signaling System Controlling Collective Cell Migration.

  • Barlan K
  • Dev. Cell
  • 2017 Mar 13

Literature context:


Abstract:

Collective migration of epithelial cells underlies diverse tissue-remodeling events, but the mechanisms that coordinate individual cell migratory behaviors for collective movement are largely unknown. Studying the Drosophila follicular epithelium, we show that the cadherin Fat2 and the receptor tyrosine phosphatase Lar function in a planar signaling system that coordinates leading and trailing edge dynamics between neighboring cells. Fat2 signals from each cell's trailing edge to induce leading edge protrusions in the cell behind, in part by stabilizing Lar's localization in these cells. Conversely, Lar signals from each cell's leading edge to stimulate trailing edge retraction in the cell ahead. Fat2/Lar signaling is similar to planar cell polarity signaling in terms of sub-cellular protein localization; however, Fat2/Lar signaling mediates short-range communication between neighboring cells instead of transmitting long-range information across a tissue. This work defines a key mechanism promoting epithelial migration and establishes a different paradigm for planar cell-cell signaling.

Funding information:
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - R01 GM094276()
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - T32 GM007183()

Neurogenic Radial Glia-like Cells in Meninges Migrate and Differentiate into Functionally Integrated Neurons in the Neonatal Cortex.

  • Bifari F
  • Cell Stem Cell
  • 2017 Mar 2

Literature context:


Abstract:

Whether new neurons are added in the postnatal cerebral cortex is still debated. Here, we report that the meninges of perinatal mice contain a population of neurogenic progenitors formed during embryonic development that migrate to the caudal cortex and differentiate into Satb2+ neurons in cortical layers II-IV. The resulting neurons are electrically functional and integrated into local microcircuits. Single-cell RNA sequencing identified meningeal cells with distinct transcriptome signatures characteristic of (1) neurogenic radial glia-like cells (resembling neural stem cells in the SVZ), (2) neuronal cells, and (3) a cell type with an intermediate phenotype, possibly representing radial glia-like meningeal cells differentiating to neuronal cells. Thus, we have identified a pool of embryonically derived radial glia-like cells present in the meninges that migrate and differentiate into functional neurons in the neonatal cerebral cortex.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS036715(United States)

Input-Specific Plasticity and Homeostasis at the Drosophila Larval Neuromuscular Junction.

  • Newman ZL
  • Neuron
  • 2017 Mar 22

Literature context:


Abstract:

Synaptic connections undergo activity-dependent plasticity during development and learning, as well as homeostatic re-adjustment to ensure stability. Little is known about the relationship between these processes, particularly in vivo. We addressed this with novel quantal resolution imaging of transmission during locomotive behavior at glutamatergic synapses of the Drosophila larval neuromuscular junction. We find that two motor input types, Ib and Is, provide distinct forms of excitatory drive during crawling and differ in key transmission properties. Although both inputs vary in transmission probability, active Is synapses are more reliable. High-frequency firing "wakes up" silent Ib synapses and depresses Is synapses. Strikingly, homeostatic compensation in presynaptic strength only occurs at Ib synapses. This specialization is associated with distinct regulation of postsynaptic CaMKII. Thus, basal synaptic strength, short-term plasticity, and homeostasis are determined input-specifically, generating a functional diversity that sculpts excitatory transmission and behavioral function.

Funding information:
  • NCRR NIH HHS - S10 RR028971()
  • NEI NIH HHS - PN2 EY018241()
  • NIMH NIH HHS - U01 MH109069()

High-resolution characterization of a PACAP-EGFP transgenic mouse model for mapping PACAP-expressing neurons.

  • Condro MC
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2016 Dec 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

Pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP, gene name Adcyap1) regulates a wide variety of neurological and physiological functions, including metabolism and cognition, and plays roles in of multiple forms of stress. Because of its preferential expression in nerve fibers, it has often been difficult to trace and identify the endogenous sources of the peptide in specific populations of neurons. Here, we introduce a transgenic mouse line that harbors in its genome a bacterial artificial chromosome containing an enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) expression cassette inserted upstream of the PACAP ATG translation initiation codon. Analysis of expression in brain sections of these mice using a GFP antibody reveals EGFP expression in distinct neuronal perikarya and dendritic arbors in several major brain regions previously reported to express PACAP from using a variety of approaches, including radioimmunoassay, in situ hybridization, and immunohistochemistry with and without colchicine. EGFP expression in neuronal perikarya was modulated in a manner similar to PACAP gene expression in motor neurons after peripheral axotomy in the ipsilateral facial motor nucleus in the brainstem, providing an example in which the transgene undergoes proper regulation in vivo. These mice and the high-resolution map obtained are expected to be useful in understanding the anatomical patterns of PACAP expression and its plasticity in the mouse. J. Comp. Neurol. 524:3827-3848, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Astrocytic glutamate transport regulates a Drosophila CNS synapse that lacks astrocyte ensheathment.

  • MacNamee SE
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2016 Jul 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Anatomical, molecular, and physiological interactions between astrocytes and neuronal synapses regulate information processing in the brain. The fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster has become a valuable experimental system for genetic manipulation of the nervous system and has enormous potential for elucidating mechanisms that mediate neuron-glia interactions. Here, we show the first electrophysiological recordings from Drosophila astrocytes and characterize their spatial and physiological relationship with particular synapses. Astrocyte intrinsic properties were found to be strongly analogous to those of vertebrate astrocytes, including a passive current-voltage relationship, low membrane resistance, high capacitance, and dye-coupling to local astrocytes. Responses to optogenetic stimulation of glutamatergic premotor neurons were correlated directly with anatomy using serial electron microscopy reconstructions of homologous identified neurons and surrounding astrocytic processes. Robust bidirectional communication was present: neuronal activation triggered astrocytic glutamate transport via excitatory amino acid transporter 1 (Eaat1), and blocking Eaat1 extended glutamatergic interneuron-evoked inhibitory postsynaptic currents in motor neurons. The neuronal synapses were always located within 1 μm of an astrocytic process, but none were ensheathed by those processes. Thus, fly astrocytes can modulate fast synaptic transmission via neurotransmitter transport within these anatomical parameters. J. Comp. Neurol. 524:1979-1998, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Morphology and connectivity of the small bistratified A8 amacrine cell in the mouse retina.

  • Lee SC
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2015 Jul 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Amacrine cells comprise ∼ 30 morphological types in the mammalian retina. The synaptic connectivity and function of a few γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)ergic wide-field amacrine cells have recently been studied; however, with the exception of the rod pathway-specific AII amacrine cell, the connectivity of glycinergic small-field amacrine cells has not been investigated in the mouse retina. Here, we studied the morphology and connectivity pattern of the small-field A8 amacrine cell. A8 cells in mouse retina are bistratified with lobular processes in the ON sublamina and arboreal dendrites in the OFF sublamina of the inner plexiform layer. The distinct bistratified morphology was first visible at postnatal day 8, reaching the adult shape at P13, around eye opening. The connectivity of A8 cells to bipolar cells and ganglion cells was studied by double and triple immunolabeling experiments by using various cell markers combined with synaptic markers. Our data suggest that A8 amacrine cells receive glutamatergic input from both OFF and ON cone bipolar cells. Furthermore, A8 cells are coupled to ON cone bipolar cells by gap junctions, and provide inhibitory input via glycine receptor (GlyR) subunit α1 to OFF cone bipolar cells and to ON A-type ganglion cells. Measurements of spontaneous glycinergic postsynaptic currents and GlyR immunolabeling revealed that A8 cells express GlyRs containing the α2 subunit. The results show that the bistratified A8 cell makes very similar synaptic contacts with cone bipolar cells as the rod pathway-specific AII amacrine cell. However, unlike AII cells, A8 amacrine cells provide glycinergic input to ON A-type ganglion cells.

Funding information:
  • NCRR NIH HHS - P20 RR021937(United States)

Miro's N-terminal GTPase domain is required for transport of mitochondria into axons and dendrites.

  • Babic M
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2015 Apr 8

Literature context:


Abstract:

Mitochondria are dynamically transported in and out of neuronal processes to maintain neuronal excitability and synaptic function. In higher eukaryotes, the mitochondrial GTPase Miro binds Milton/TRAK adaptor proteins linking microtubule motors to mitochondria. Here we show that Drosophila Miro (dMiro), which has previously been shown to be required for kinesin-driven axonal transport, is also critically required for the dynein-driven distribution of mitochondria into dendrites. In addition, we used the loss-of-function mutations dMiroT25N and dMiroT460N to determine the significance of dMiro's N-terminal and C-terminal GTPase domains, respectively. Expression of dMiroT25N in the absence of endogenous dMiro caused premature lethality and arrested development at a pupal stage. dMiroT25N accumulated mitochondria in the soma of larval motor and sensory neurons, and prevented their kinesin-dependent and dynein-dependent distribution into axons and dendrites, respectively. dMiroT25N mutant mitochondria also were severely fragmented and exhibited reduced kinesin and dynein motility in axons. In contrast, dMiroT460N did not impair viability, mitochondrial size, or the distribution of mitochondria. However, dMiroT460N reduced dynein motility during retrograde mitochondrial transport in axons. Finally, we show that substitutions analogous to the constitutively active Ras-G12V mutation in dMiro's N-terminal and C-terminal GTPase domains cause neomorphic phenotypic effects that are likely unrelated to the normal function of each GTPase domain. Overall, our analysis indicates that dMiro's N-terminal GTPase domain is critically required for viability, mitochondrial size, and the distribution of mitochondria out of the neuronal soma regardless of the employed motor, likely by promoting the transition from a stationary to a motile state.

Moniliform deformation of retinal ganglion cells by formaldehyde-based fixatives.

  • Stradleigh TW
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2015 Mar 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Protocols for characterizing cellular phenotypes commonly use chemical fixatives to preserve anatomical features, mechanically stabilize tissue, and stop physiological responses. Formaldehyde, diluted in either phosphate-buffered saline or phosphate buffer, has been widely used in studies of neurons, especially in conjunction with dyes and antibodies. However, previous studies have found that these fixatives induce the formation of bead-like varicosities in the dendrites and axons of brain and spinal cord neurons. We report here that these formaldehyde formulations can induce bead formation in the dendrites and axons of adult rat and rabbit retinal ganglion cells, and that retinal ganglion cells differ from hippocampal, cortical, cerebellar, and spinal cord neurons in that bead formation is not blocked by glutamate receptor antagonists, a voltage-gated Na(+) channel toxin, extracellular Ca(2+) ion exclusion, or temperature shifts. Moreover, we describe a modification of formaldehyde-based fixatives that prevents bead formation in retinal ganglion cells visualized by green fluorescent protein expression and by immunohistochemistry.

Funding information:
  • NEI NIH HHS - R01-EY020535(United States)

Neurons with GABAergic phenotype in the visual system of Drosophila.

  • Raghu SV
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2013 Jan 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

The visual system of Drosophila contains ~60,000 neurons per hemisphere that are organized in parallel, retinotopically arranged columns. The neuroanatomy of these neurons has been mapped in considerable detail at both the light and ultrastructural level. However, studies providing direct evidence for synaptic signaling and the neurotransmitter used by individual neurons are relatively sparse. Here we characterize those neurons in the Drosophila optic lobes that possibly release gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA), the major inhibitory neurotransmitter of the insect central nervous system. We identified 26 different types of neurons of the lamina, medulla, lobula, and lobula plate. Based on the previous Golgi-staining analysis (Fischbach and Dittrich [1989] Cell Tissue Res 258:441-475), the identified neurons are further classified into 11 major subgroups representing lamina monopolar (L), medulla intrinsic (Mi, Mt), bushy T (T), transmedullary (Tm), transmedullary Y (TmY), Y, lobula-complex intrinsic (Lccn), lobula columnar (Lcn), lobula plate intrinsic (Lpi), and lobula tangential (Lt) cell types. This detailed map of neurons with GABAergic phenotype will contribute to the future neurogenetic dissection of information processing circuits in the fly visual system.

Funding information:
  • Department of Health - (United Kingdom)

Undersized dendritic arborizations in retinal ganglion cells of the rd1 mutant mouse: a paradigm of early onset photoreceptor degeneration.

  • Damiani D
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2012 May 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is a family of inherited diseases causing progressive photoreceptor death. Retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) form the biological substrate for various therapeutic approaches designed to restore vision in RP individuals. Assessment of survival and preservation of RGCs in animal paradigms mimicking the human disease is of key importance for appropriate implementation of vision repair strategies. Here we studied the survival of RGCs in the rd1 mutant mouse, a known model of early onset, autosomic recessive RP, at various stages of photoreceptor degeneration. Furthermore, we analyzed the morphology of various types of RGCs using the newly generated transgenic mouse rd1/Thy1-GFP, in which the rd1 mutation is associated with green fluorescent protein (GFP) expression in a small population of different RGCs. We found excellent survival of cells at up to 1 year of age, a time at which the inner retina is known to have severely reorganized and partially degenerated. However, 50% of the cells analyzed within all RGC types exhibit an undersized dendritic tree, spanning about half of the normal area. Undersized cells are found both in adult and in very young (1-month-old) mice. This suggests that their aberrant phenotype is due to incomplete dendritic development, possibly as a consequence of altered visual input at the time of dendritic arbor refinement. These data show the importance of the timing of photoreceptor death in RGC dendritic development.

Funding information:
  • NICHD NIH HHS - U54 HD086984(United States)

Neurons with cholinergic phenotype in the visual system of Drosophila.

  • Varija Raghu S
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2011 Jan 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

The optic lobe of Drosophila houses about 60,000 neurons that are organized in parallel, retinotopically arranged columns. Based on the Golgi-staining method, Fischbach and Dittrich ([1989] Cell Tissue Res 258:441-475) determined that each column contains about 90 identified cells. Each of these cells is supposed to release one or two different neurotransmitters. However, for most cells the released neurotransmitter is not known. Here we characterize the vast majority of the neurons in the Drosophila optic lobe that release acetylcholine (Ach), the major excitatory neurotransmitter of the insect central nervous system. We employed a promoter specific for cholinergic neurons and restricted its activity to single or a few cells using the MARCM technique. This approach allowed us to establish an anatomical map of neurons with a cholinergic phenotype based on their branching pattern. We identified 43 different types of neurons with a cholinergic phenotype. Thirty-one of them match previously described members of nine different subgroups: Transmedullary (Tm), Transmedullary Y (TmY), Medulla intrinsic (Mi, Mt, and Pm), Bushy T (T), Translobula Plate (Tlp), and Lobula intrinsic (Lcn and Lt) neurons (Fischbach and Dittrich [1989]). Intriguingly, 12 newly identified cell types suggest that previous Golgi studies were not saturating and that the actual number of different neurons per column is higher than previously thought. This study and similar ones on other neurotransmitter systems will contribute towards a columnar wiring diagram and foster the functional dissection of the visual circuitry in Drosophila.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - NS39793(United States)
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R56 NS050792(United States)

Regulation of neonatal development of retinal ganglion cell dendrites by neurotrophin-3 overexpression.

  • Liu X
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2009 Jun 10

Literature context:


Abstract:

The morphology of dendrites constrains and reflects the nature of synaptic inputs to neurons. The visual system has served as a useful model to show how visual function is determined by the arborization patterns of neuronal processes. In retina, light ON and light OFF responding ganglion cells selectively elaborate their dendritic arbors in distinct sublamina, where they receive, respectively, inputs from ON and OFF bipolar cells. During neonatal maturation, the bilaminarly distributed dendritic arbors of ON-OFF retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) are refined to more narrowly localized monolaminar structures characteristic of ON or OFF RGCs. Recently, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) has been shown to regulate this laminar refinement, and to enhance the development of dendritic branches selectively of ON RGCs. Although other related neurotrophins are known to regulate neuronal process formation in the central nervous system, little is known about their action in maturing retina. Here, we report that overexpression of neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) in the eye accelerates RGC laminar refinement before eye opening. Furthermore, NT-3 overexpression increases dendritic branch number but reduces dendritic elongation preferentially in ON-OFF RGCs, a process that also occurs before eye opening. NT-3 overexpression does affect dendritic maturation in ON RGCs, but to a much less degree. Taken together, our results suggest that NT-3 and BDNF exhibit overlapping effects in laminar refinement but distinct RGC-cell-type specific effects in shaping dendritic arborization during postnatal development.

Glycine receptor-mediated synaptic transmission regulates the maturation of ganglion cell synaptic connectivity.

  • Xu HP
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2008 Jul 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

It is well documented that neuronal activity is required for the developmental segregation of retinal ganglion cell (RGC) synaptic connectivity with ON and OFF bipolar cells in mammalian retina. Our recent study showed that light deprivation preferentially blocked the developmental RGC dendritic redistribution from the center to sublamina a of the inner plexiform layer (IPL). To determine whether OFF signals in visual stimulation are required for OFF RGC dendritic development, the light-evoked responses and dendritic stratification patterns of RGCs in Spastic mutant mice, in which the OFF signal transmission in the rod pathway is largely blocked due to a reduction of glycine receptor (GlyR) expression, were quantitatively studied at different ages and rearing conditions. The dendritic distribution in the IPL of these mice was indistinguishable from wildtype controls at the age of postnatal day (P)12. However, the adult Spastic mutants had altered RGC light-evoked synaptic inputs from ON and OFF pathways, which could not be mimicked by pharmacologically blocking of glycinergic synaptic transmission on age-matched wildtype animals. Spastic mutation also blocked the developmental redistribution of RGC dendrites from the center to sublamina a of the IPL, which mimicked the effects induced by light deprivation on wildtype animals. Moreover, light deprivation of the Spastic mutants had no additional impact on the RGC dendritic distribution and light response patterns. We interpret these results as that visual stimulation regulates the maturation of RGC synaptic activity and connectivity primarily through GlyR-mediated synaptic transmission.

Synaptic organization of lobula plate tangential cells in Drosophila: gamma-aminobutyric acid receptors and chemical release sites.

  • Raghu SV
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2007 Jun 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

In flies, the large tangential cells of the lobula plate represent an important processing center for visual navigation based on optic flow. Although the visual response properties of these cells have been well studied in blowflies, information on their synaptic organization is mostly lacking. Here we study the distribution of presynaptic release and postsynaptic inhibitory sites in the same set of cells in Drosophila melanogaster. By making use of transgenic tools and immunohistochemistry, our results suggest that HS and VS cells of Drosophila express gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors in their dendritic region within the lobula plate, thus being postsynaptic to inhibitory input there. At their axon terminals in the protocerebrum, both cell types express synaptobrevin, suggesting the presence of presynaptic specializations there. HS- and VS-cell terminals additionally show evidence for postsynaptic GABAergic input, superimposed on this synaptic polarity. Our findings are in line with the general circuit for visual motion detection and receptive field properties as postulated from electrophysiological and optical recordings in blowflies, suggesting a similar functional organization of lobula plate tangential cells in the two species.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - 1K99NS087086(United States)

Postnatal cellular contributions of the hippocampus subventricular zone to the dentate gyrus, corpus callosum, fimbria, and cerebral cortex.

  • Navarro-Quiroga I
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2006 Aug 10

Literature context:


Abstract:

The rodent dentate gyrus (DG) is formed in the embryo when progenitor cells migrate from the dentate neuroepithelium to establish a germinal zone in the hilus and a secondary germinal matrix, near the fimbria, called the hippocampal subventricular zone (HSVZ). The developmental plasticity of progenitors within the HSVZ is not well understood. To delineate the migratory routes and fates of progenitors within this zone, we injected a replication-incompetent retrovirus, encoding the enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP), into the HSVZ of postnatal day 5 (P5) mice. Between P6 and P45, retrovirally-infected EGFP(+) of progenitors migrated into the DG, established a reservoir of progenitor cells, and differentiated into neurons and glia. By P6-7, EGFP(+) cells were observed migrating into the DG. Subsets of these EGFP(+) cells expressed Sox2 and Musashi-1, characteristic of neural stem cells. By P10, EGFP(+) cells assumed positions within the DG and expressed immature neuronal markers. By P20, many EGFP(+) cells expressed the homeobox prospero-like protein Prox1, an early and specific granule cell marker in the CNS, and extended mossy fiber projections into the CA3. A subset of non-neuronal EGFP(+) cells in the dentate gyrus acquired the morphology of astrocytes. Another subset included EGFP(+)/RIP(+) oligodendrocytes that migrated into the fimbria, corpus callosum, and cerebral cortex. Retroviral injections on P15 labeled very few cells, suggesting depletion of HSVZ progenitors by this age. These findings suggest that the early postnatal HSVZ progenitors are multipotent and migratory, and contribute to both dentate gyrus neurogenesis as well as forebrain gliogenesis.

Funding information:
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - R01 DK065806(United States)