X
Forgot Password

If you have forgotten your password you can enter your email here and get a temporary password sent to your email.

Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) Antibody

RRID:AB_10000240

Antibody ID

AB_10000240

Target Antigen

GFP

Proper Citation

(Aves Labs Cat# GFP-1020, RRID:AB_10000240)

Clonality

polyclonal antibody

Comments

Applications: Immunohistochemistry, Western Blot.

Host Organism

chicken

Vendor

Aves Labs

Cat Num

GFP-1020

Publications that use this research resource

Cell-Type-Specific Role of ΔFosB in Nucleus Accumbens In Modulating Intermale Aggression.

  • Aleyasin H
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2018 Jun 27

Literature context:


Abstract:

A growing number of studies implicate the brain's reward circuitry in aggressive behavior. However, the cellular and molecular mechanisms within brain reward regions that modulate the intensity of aggression as well as motivation for it have been underexplored. Here, we investigate the cell-type-specific influence of ΔFosB, a transcription factor known to regulate a range of reward and motivated behaviors, acting in the nucleus accumbens (NAc), a key reward region, in male aggression in mice. We show that ΔFosB is specifically increased in dopamine D1 receptor (Drd1)-expressing medium spiny neurons (D1-MSNs) in NAc after repeated aggressive encounters. Viral-mediated induction of ΔFosB selectively in D1-MSNs of NAc intensifies aggressive behavior without affecting the preference for the aggression-paired context in a conditioned place preference (CPP) assay. In contrast, ΔFosB induction selectively in D2-MSNs reduces the time spent exploring the aggression-paired context during CPP without affecting the intensity of aggression per se. These data strongly support a dissociable cell-type-specific role for ΔFosB in the NAc in modulating aggression and aggression reward.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Aggressive behavior is associated with several neuropsychiatric disorders and can be disruptive for affected individuals as well as their victims. Studies have shown a positive reinforcement mechanism underlying aggressive behavior that shares many common features with drug addiction. Here, we explore the cell-type-specific role of the addiction-associated transcription factor ΔFosB in the nucleus accumbens in aggression. We found that ΔFosB expression promotes aggressive behavior, effects that are dissociable from its effects on aggression reward. This finding is a significant first step in identifying therapeutic targets for the reduction of aggressive behavior across a range of neuropsychiatric illnesses.

Funding information:
  • NIAID NIH HHS - R21 AI079373(United States)

Developmental Upregulation of Ephrin-B1 Silences Sema3C/Neuropilin-1 Signaling during Post-crossing Navigation of Corpus Callosum Axons.

  • Mire E
  • Curr. Biol.
  • 2018 Jun 4

Literature context:


Abstract:

The corpus callosum is the largest commissure in the brain, whose main function is to ensure communication between homotopic regions of the cerebral cortex. During fetal development, corpus callosum axons (CCAs) grow toward and across the brain midline and then away on the contralateral hemisphere to their targets. A particular feature of this circuit, which raises a key developmental question, is that the outgoing trajectory of post-crossing CCAs is mirror-symmetric with the incoming trajectory of pre-crossing axons. Here, we show that post-crossing CCAs switch off their response to axon guidance cues, among which the secreted Semaphorin-3C (Sema3C), that act as attractants for pre-crossing axons on their way to the midline. This change is concomitant with an upregulation of the surface protein Ephrin-B1, which acts in CCAs to inhibit Sema3C signaling via interaction with the Neuropilin-1 (Nrp1) receptor. This silencing activity is independent of Eph receptors and involves a N-glycosylation site (N-139) in the extracellular domain of Ephrin-B1. Together, our results reveal a molecular mechanism, involving interaction between the two unrelated guidance receptors Ephrin-B1 and Nrp1, that is used to control the navigation of post-crossing axons in the corpus callosum.

Funding information:
  • NIH HHS - P40 OD010440(United States)

TU-Tagging: A Method for Identifying Layer-Enriched Neuronal Genes in Developing Mouse Visual Cortex.

  • Tomorsky J
  • eNeuro
  • 2018 Jun 14

Literature context:


Abstract:

Thiouracil (TU)-tagging is an intersectional method for covalently labeling newly transcribed RNAs within specific cell types. Cell type specificity is generated through targeted transgenic expression of the enzyme uracil phosphoribosyl transferase (UPRT); temporal specificity is generated through a pulse of the modified uracil analog 4TU. This technique has been applied in mouse using a Cre-dependent UPRT transgene, CA>GFPstop>HA-UPRT, to profile RNAs in endothelial cells, but it remained untested whether 4TU can cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB) or whether this transgene can be used to purify neuronal RNAs. Here, we crossed the CA>GFPstop>HA-UPRT transgenic mouse to a Sepw1-cre line to express UPRT in layer 2/3 of visual cortex or to an Nr5a1-cre line to express UPRT in layer 4 of visual cortex. We purified thiol-tagged mRNA from both genotypes at postnatal day (P)12, as well as from wild-type (WT) mice not expressing UPRT (background control). We found that a comparison of Sepw1-purified RNA to WT or Nr5a1-purified RNA allowed us to identify genes enriched in layer 2/3 of visual cortex. Here, we show that Cre-dependent UPRT expression can be used to purify cell type-specific mRNA from the intact mouse brain and provide the first evidence that 4TU can cross the BBB to label RNA in vivo.

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

Efferent projections of excitatory and inhibitory preBötzinger Complex neurons.

  • Yang CF
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2018 Jun 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

The preBötzinger Complex (preBötC), a compact medullary region essential for generating normal breathing rhythm and pattern, is the kernel of the breathing central pattern generator (CPG). Excitatory preBötC neurons in rats project to major breathing-related brainstem regions. Here, we provide a brainstem connectivity map in mice for both excitatory and inhibitory preBötC neurons. Using a genetic strategy to label preBötC neurons, we confirmed extensive projections of preBötC excitatory neurons within the brainstem breathing CPG including the contralateral preBötC, Bötzinger Complex (BötC), ventral respiratory group, nucleus of the solitary tract, parahypoglossal nucleus, parafacial region (RTN/pFRG or alternatively, pFL /pFV ), parabrachial and Kölliker-Füse nuclei, as well as major projections to the midbrain periaqueductal gray. Interestingly, preBötC inhibitory projections paralleled the excitatory projections. Moreover, we examined overlapping projections in the pons in detail and found that they targeted the same neurons. We further explored the direct anatomical link between the preBötC and suprapontine brain regions that may govern emotion and other complex behaviors that can affect or be affected by breathing. Forebrain efferent projections were sparse and restricted to specific nuclei within the thalamus and hypothalamus, with processes rarely observed in cortex, basal ganglia, or other limbic regions, e.g., amygdala or hippocampus. We conclude that the preBötC sends direct, presumably inspiratory-modulated, excitatory and inhibitory projections in parallel to distinct targets throughout the brain that generate and modulate breathing pattern and/or coordinate breathing with other behaviors, physiology, cognition, or emotional state.

Funding information:
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - F32 HL126522()
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - R35 HL135779()
  • NIAMS NIH HHS - AR43510-17(United States)
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS072211()

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

  • Baizabal JM
  • Neuron
  • 2018 Jun 6

Literature context:


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)

Morphometric analysis of astrocytes in brainstem respiratory regions.

  • Sheikhbahaei S
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2018 Jun 11

Literature context:


Abstract:

Astrocytes, the most abundant and structurally complex glial cells of the central nervous system, are proposed to play an important role in modulating the activities of neuronal networks, including respiratory rhythm-generating circuits of the preBötzinger complex (preBötC) located in the ventrolateral medulla of the brainstem. However, structural properties of astrocytes residing within different brainstem regions are unknown. In this study astrocytes in the preBötC, an intermediate reticular formation (IRF) region with respiratory-related function, and a region of the nucleus tractus solitarius (NTS) in adult rats were reconstructed and their morphological features were compared. Detailed morphological analysis revealed that preBötC astrocytes are structurally more complex than those residing within the functionally distinct neighboring IRF region, or the NTS, located at the dorsal aspect of the medulla oblongata. Structural analyses of the brainstem microvasculature indicated no significant regional differences in vascular properties. We hypothesize that high morphological complexity of preBötC astrocytes reflects their functional role in providing structural/metabolic support and modulation of the key neuronal circuits essential for breathing, as well as constraints imposed by arrangements of associated neurons and/or other local structural features of the brainstem parenchyma. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

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

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

  • Cárdenas A
  • Cell
  • 2018 Jun 20

Literature context:


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)

A LINE1-Nucleolin Partnership Regulates Early Development and ESC Identity.

  • Percharde M
  • Cell
  • 2018 Jun 19

Literature context:


Abstract:

Transposable elements represent nearly half of mammalian genomes and are generally described as parasites, or "junk DNA." The LINE1 retrotransposon is the most abundant class and is thought to be deleterious for cells, yet it is paradoxically highly expressed during early development. Here, we report that LINE1 plays essential roles in mouse embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and pre-implantation embryos. In ESCs, LINE1 acts as a nuclear RNA scaffold that recruits Nucleolin and Kap1/Trim28 to repress Dux, the master activator of a transcriptional program specific to the 2-cell embryo. In parallel, LINE1 RNA mediates binding of Nucleolin and Kap1 to rDNA, promoting rRNA synthesis and ESC self-renewal. In embryos, LINE1 RNA is required for Dux silencing, synthesis of rRNA, and exit from the 2-cell stage. The results reveal an essential partnership between LINE1 RNA, Nucleolin, Kap1, and peri-nucleolar chromatin in the regulation of transcription, developmental potency, and ESC self-renewal.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - P30 CA54174(United States)
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - R01 GM113014()
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - R01 GM123556()

Epithelial Sodium Channel Regulates Adult Neural Stem Cell Proliferation in a Flow-Dependent Manner.

  • Petrik D
  • Cell Stem Cell
  • 2018 Jun 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

One hallmark of adult neurogenesis is its adaptability to environmental influences. Here, we uncovered the epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) as a key regulator of adult neurogenesis as its deletion in neural stem cells (NSCs) and their progeny in the murine subependymal zone (SEZ) strongly impairs their proliferation and neurogenic output in the olfactory bulb. Importantly, alteration of fluid flow promotes proliferation of SEZ cells in an ENaC-dependent manner, eliciting sodium and calcium signals that regulate proliferation via calcium-release-activated channels and phosphorylation of ERK. Flow-induced calcium signals are restricted to NSCs in contact with the ventricular fluid, thereby providing a highly specific mechanism to regulate NSC behavior at this special interface with the cerebrospinal fluid. Thus, ENaC plays a central role in regulating adult neurogenesis, and among multiple modes of ENaC function, flow-induced changes in sodium signals are critical for NSC biology.

Funding information:
  • Intramural NIH HHS - ZIA CP005803-15(United States)

Increased Microglial Activity, Impaired Adult Hippocampal Neurogenesis, and Depressive-like Behavior in Microglial VPS35-Depleted Mice.

  • Appel JR
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2018 Jun 27

Literature context:


Abstract:

Vacuolar sorting protein 35 (VPS35) is a critical component of retromer, which is essential for selective endosome-to-Golgi retrieval of membrane proteins. VPS35 deficiency is implicated in neurodegenerative disease pathology, including Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, exactly how VPS35 loss promotes AD pathogenesis remains largely unclear. VPS35 is expressed in various types of cells in the brain, including neurons and microglia. Whereas neuronal VPS35 plays a critical role in preventing neurodegeneration, the role of microglial VPS35 is largely unknown. Here we provide evidence for microglial VPS35's function in preventing microglial activation and promoting adult hippocampal neurogenesis. VPS35 is expressed in microglia in various regions of the mouse brain, with a unique distribution pattern in a brain region-dependent manner. Conditional knocking out of VPS35 in microglia of male mice results in regionally increased microglial density and activity in the subgranular zone of the hippocampal dentate gyrus (DG), accompanied by elevated neural progenitor proliferation, but decreased neuronal differentiation. Additionally, newborn neurons in the mutant DG show impaired dendritic morphology and reduced dendritic spine density. When examining the behavioral phenotypes of these animals, microglial VPS3S-depleted mice display depression-like behavior and impairment in long-term recognition memory. At the cellular level, VPS35-depleted microglia have grossly enlarged vacuolar structures with increased phagocytic activity toward postsynaptic marker PSD95, which may underlie the loss of dendritic spines observed in the mutant DG. Together, these findings identify an important role of microglial VPS35 in suppressing microglial activation and promoting hippocampal neurogenesis, which are both processes involved in AD pathogenesis.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The findings presented here provide the first in vivo evidence that Vacuolar sorting protein 35 (VPS35)/retromer is essential for regulating microglial function and that when microglial retromer mechanics are disrupted, the surrounding brain tissue can be affected in a neurodegenerative manner. These findings present a novel, microglial-specific role of VPS35 and raise multiple questions regarding the mechanisms underlying our observations. These findings also have myriad implications for the field of retromer research and the role of retromer dysfunction in neurodegenerative pathophysiology. Furthermore, they implicate a pivotal role of microglia in the regulation of adult hippocampal neurogenesis and the survival/integration of newborn neurons in the adult hippocampus.

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

A Glial Signature and Wnt7 Signaling Regulate Glioma-Vascular Interactions and Tumor Microenvironment.

  • Griveau A
  • Cancer Cell
  • 2018 May 14

Literature context:


Abstract:

Gliomas comprise heterogeneous malignant glial and stromal cells. While blood vessel co-option is a potential mechanism to escape anti-angiogenic therapy, the relevance of glial phenotype in this process is unclear. We show that Olig2+ oligodendrocyte precursor-like glioma cells invade by single-cell vessel co-option and preserve the blood-brain barrier (BBB). Conversely, Olig2-negative glioma cells form dense perivascular collections and promote angiogenesis and BBB breakdown, leading to innate immune cell activation. Experimentally, Olig2 promotes Wnt7b expression, a finding that correlates in human glioma profiling. Targeted Wnt7a/7b deletion or pharmacologic Wnt inhibition blocks Olig2+ glioma single-cell vessel co-option and enhances responses to temozolomide. Finally, Olig2 and Wnt7 become upregulated after anti-VEGF treatment in preclinical models and patients. Thus, glial-encoded pathways regulate distinct glioma-vascular microenvironmental interactions.

Funding information:
  • Intramural NIH HHS - ES016005(United States)

A Non-canonical Feedback Circuit for Rapid Interactions between Somatosensory Cortices.

  • Minamisawa G
  • Cell Rep
  • 2018 May 29

Literature context:


Abstract:

Sensory perception depends on interactions among cortical areas. These interactions are mediated by canonical patterns of connectivity in which higher areas send feedback projections to lower areas via neurons in superficial and deep layers. Here, we probed the circuit basis of interactions among two areas critical for touch perception in mice, whisker primary (wS1) and secondary (wS2) somatosensory cortices. Neurons in layer 4 of wS2 (S2L4) formed a major feedback pathway to wS1. Feedback from wS2 to wS1 was organized somatotopically. Spikes evoked by whisker deflections occurred nearly as rapidly in wS2 as in wS1, including among putative S2L4 → S1 feedback neurons. Axons from S2L4 → S1 neurons sent stimulus orientation-specific activity to wS1. Optogenetic excitation of S2L4 neurons modulated activity across both wS2 and wS1, while inhibition of S2L4 reduced orientation tuning among wS1 neurons. Thus, a non-canonical feedback circuit, originating in layer 4 of S2, rapidly modulates early tactile processing.

Funding information:
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - R01-HL070561(United States)
  • NINDS NIH HHS - P30 NS050274()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS085121()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS089652()

Submucosal Gland Myoepithelial Cells Are Reserve Stem Cells That Can Regenerate Mouse Tracheal Epithelium.

  • Lynch TJ
  • Cell Stem Cell
  • 2018 May 3

Literature context:


Abstract:

The mouse trachea is thought to contain two distinct stem cell compartments that contribute to airway repair-basal cells in the surface airway epithelium (SAE) and an unknown submucosal gland (SMG) cell type. Whether a lineage relationship exists between these two stem cell compartments remains unclear. Using lineage tracing of glandular myoepithelial cells (MECs), we demonstrate that MECs can give rise to seven cell types of the SAE and SMGs following severe airway injury. MECs progressively adopted a basal cell phenotype on the SAE and established lasting progenitors capable of further regeneration following reinjury. MECs activate Wnt-regulated transcription factors (Lef-1/TCF7) following injury and Lef-1 induction in cultured MECs promoted transition to a basal cell phenotype. Surprisingly, dose-dependent MEC conditional activation of Lef-1 in vivo promoted self-limited airway regeneration in the absence of injury. Thus, modulating the Lef-1 transcriptional program in MEC-derived progenitors may have regenerative medicine applications for lung diseases.

Funding information:
  • Chief Scientist Office - CAF/10/15(United Kingdom)
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - P01 HL051670()
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - P30 DK054759()

TRPV4 Channel Signaling in Macrophages Promotes Gastrointestinal Motility via Direct Effects on Smooth Muscle Cells.

  • Luo J
  • Immunity
  • 2018 May 30

Literature context:


Abstract:

Intestinal macrophages are critical for gastrointestinal (GI) homeostasis, but our understanding of their role in regulating intestinal motility is incomplete. Here, we report that CX3C chemokine receptor 1-expressing muscularis macrophages (MMs) were required to maintain normal GI motility. MMs expressed the transient receptor potential vanilloid 4 (TRPV4) channel, which senses thermal, mechanical, and chemical cues. Selective pharmacologic inhibition of TRPV4 or conditional deletion of TRPV4 from macrophages decreased intestinal motility and was sufficient to reverse the GI hypermotility that is associated with chemotherapy treatment. Mechanistically, stimulation of MMs via TRPV4 promoted the release of prostaglandin E2 and elicited colon contraction in a paracrine manner via prostaglandin E receptor signaling in intestinal smooth muscle cells without input from the enteric nervous system. Collectively, our data identify TRPV4-expressing MMs as an essential component required for maintaining normal GI motility and provide potential drug targets for GI motility disorders.

Funding information:
  • NIAMS NIH HHS - K08 AR065577()
  • NIAMS NIH HHS - R01 AR070116()
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - P30 DK052574()
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - R01 DK103901()
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - R01 GM101218()
  • Wellcome Trust - HD052745(United Kingdom)

Chemical synapses without synaptic vesicles: Purinergic neurotransmission through a CALHM1 channel-mitochondrial signaling complex.

  • Romanov RA
  • Sci Signal
  • 2018 May 8

Literature context:


Abstract:

Conventional chemical synapses in the nervous system involve a presynaptic accumulation of neurotransmitter-containing vesicles, which fuse with the plasma membrane to release neurotransmitters that activate postsynaptic receptors. In taste buds, type II receptor cells do not have conventional synaptic features but nonetheless show regulated release of their afferent neurotransmitter, ATP, through a large-pore, voltage-gated channel, CALHM1. Immunohistochemistry revealed that CALHM1 was localized to points of contact between the receptor cells and sensory nerve fibers. Ultrastructural and super-resolution light microscopy showed that the CALHM1 channels were consistently associated with distinctive, large (1- to 2-μm) mitochondria spaced 20 to 40 nm from the presynaptic membrane. Pharmacological disruption of the mitochondrial respiratory chain limited the ability of taste cells to release ATP, suggesting that the immediate source of released ATP was the mitochondrion rather than a cytoplasmic pool of ATP. These large mitochondria may serve as both a reservoir of releasable ATP and the site of synthesis. The juxtaposition of the large mitochondria to areas of membrane displaying CALHM1 also defines a restricted compartment that limits the influx of Ca2+ upon opening of the nonselective CALHM1 channels. These findings reveal a distinctive organelle signature and functional organization for regulated, focal release of purinergic signals in the absence of synaptic vesicles.

Funding information:
  • Cancer Research UK - C1298/A8362(United Kingdom)
  • NIA NIH HHS - R01 AG042508()
  • NIDCD NIH HHS - P30 DC004657()
  • NIDCD NIH HHS - R01 DC014728()
  • NIDCD NIH HHS - R21 DC013186()

Drosophila TNF Modulates Tissue Tension in the Embryo to Facilitate Macrophage Invasive Migration.

  • Ratheesh A
  • Dev. Cell
  • 2018 May 7

Literature context:


Abstract:

Migrating cells penetrate tissue barriers during development, inflammatory responses, and tumor metastasis. We study if migration in vivo in such three-dimensionally confined environments requires changes in the mechanical properties of the surrounding cells using embryonic Drosophila melanogaster hemocytes, also called macrophages, as a model. We find that macrophage invasion into the germband through transient separation of the apposing ectoderm and mesoderm requires cell deformations and reductions in apical tension in the ectoderm. Interestingly, the genetic pathway governing these mechanical shifts acts downstream of the only known tumor necrosis factor superfamily member in Drosophila, Eiger, and its receptor, Grindelwald. Eiger-Grindelwald signaling reduces levels of active Myosin in the germband ectodermal cortex through the localization of a Crumbs complex component, Patj (Pals-1-associated tight junction protein). We therefore elucidate a distinct molecular pathway that controls tissue tension and demonstrate the importance of such regulation for invasive migration in vivo.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - P50 CA130805(United States)

iPSCs from a Hibernator Provide a Platform for Studying Cold Adaptation and Its Potential Medical Applications.

  • Ou J
  • Cell
  • 2018 May 3

Literature context:


Abstract:

Hibernating mammals survive hypothermia (<10°C) without injury, a remarkable feat of cellular preservation that bears significance for potential medical applications. However, mechanisms imparting cold resistance, such as cytoskeleton stability, remain elusive. Using the first iPSC line from a hibernating mammal (13-lined ground squirrel), we uncovered cellular pathways critical for cold tolerance. Comparison between human and ground squirrel iPSC-derived neurons revealed differential mitochondrial and protein quality control responses to cold. In human iPSC-neurons, cold triggered mitochondrial stress, resulting in reactive oxygen species overproduction and lysosomal membrane permeabilization, contributing to microtubule destruction. Manipulations of these pathways endowed microtubule cold stability upon human iPSC-neurons and rat (a non-hibernator) retina, preserving its light responsiveness after prolonged cold exposure. Furthermore, these treatments significantly improved microtubule integrity in cold-stored kidneys, demonstrating the potential for prolonging shelf-life of organ transplants. Thus, ground squirrel iPSCs offer a unique platform for bringing cold-adaptive strategies from hibernators to humans in clinical applications. VIDEO ABSTRACT.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - CA035299(United States)

Genetic Ablation of All Cerebellins Reveals Synapse Organizer Functions in Multiple Regions Throughout the Brain.

  • Seigneur E
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2018 May 16

Literature context:


Abstract:

Cerebellins are synaptic organizer molecules that bind to presynaptic neurexins and postsynaptic receptors. They are well studied in the cerebellum, but three of the four cerebellins (Cbln1, Cbln2, and Cbln4) are also broadly expressed outside of the cerebellum, suggesting that they perform general functions throughout the brain. Here, we generated male and female constitutive single (KO), double KO (dKO), and triple KO (tKO) mice of Cbln1, Cbln2, and Cbln4. We found that all constitutive cerebellin-deficient mice were viable and fertile, suggesting that cerebellins are not essential for survival. Cbln1/2 dKO mice exhibited salience-induced seizures that were aggravated in Cbln1/2/4 tKO mice, suggesting that all cerebellins contribute to brain function. As described previously, Cbln1 KO mice displayed major motor impairments that were aggravated by additional KO of Cbln2. Strikingly, the Cbln1/2 dKO did not cause alterations in synapse density in the hippocampus of young adult (1- and 2-month-old) mice, but produced a selective ∼50% decrease in hippocampal synapse density in the stratum lacunosum moleculare of the CA1 region and in the dentate gyrus of aging, 6-month-old mice. A similar decrease in excitatory synapse density was observed in the striatum and retrosplenial cortex. Behaviorally, the Cbln1 KO produced dramatic changes in motor behaviors that were partly aggravated by additional deletion of Cbln2 and/or Cbln4. Our results show that cerebellins are not essential for survival and do not contribute to initial synapse formation, but perform multiple functions throughout the brain; as a consequence, their ablation results in a delayed loss of synapses and in behavioral impairments.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Cerebellins (Cbln1-4) are trans-synaptic cell adhesion molecules. In the cerebellum, Cbln1 functions as a bidirectional organizer of parallel fiber-Purkinje cell synapses by binding to presynaptic neurexins and postsynaptic GluRδ2. Little is known about the function of cerebellins outside of the cerebellum; therefore, the present study used single, double, and triple constitutive KO mice of Cbln1, Cbln2, and Cbln4 to analyze the overall function of cerebellins. We show that cerebellins act as important synaptic organizers in specific subsets of neurons and likely contribute to many different brain functions. We also show that cerebellins are not initially required for synapse formation, but rather for specification and long-term synapse maintenance and demonstrate that all cerebellins, not just Cbln1, contribute to brain function.

Funding information:
  • NICHD NIH HHS - T32 HD07190(United States)
  • NIMH NIH HHS - R37 MH052804()

Shared rhythmic subcortical GABAergic input to the entorhinal cortex and presubiculum.

  • Viney TJ
  • Elife
  • 2018 Apr 5

Literature context:


Abstract:

Rhythmic theta frequency (~5-12 Hz) oscillations coordinate neuronal synchrony and higher frequency oscillations across the cortex. Spatial navigation and context-dependent episodic memories are represented in several interconnected regions including the hippocampal and entorhinal cortices, but the cellular mechanisms for their dynamic coupling remain to be defined. Using monosynaptically-restricted retrograde viral tracing in mice, we identified a subcortical GABAergic input from the medial septum that terminated in the entorhinal cortex, with collaterals innervating the dorsal presubiculum. Extracellularly recording and labeling GABAergic entorhinal-projecting neurons in awake behaving mice show that these subcortical neurons, named orchid cells, fire in long rhythmic bursts during immobility and locomotion. Orchid cells discharge near the peak of hippocampal and entorhinal theta oscillations, couple to entorhinal gamma oscillations, and target subpopulations of extra-hippocampal GABAergic interneurons. Thus, orchid cells are a specialized source of rhythmic subcortical GABAergic modulation of 'upstream' and 'downstream' cortico-cortical circuits involved in mnemonic functions.

Funding information:
  • Medical Research Council - MC_UU_12024/4()
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - R01 HL083473(United States)
  • Wellcome - 108726/Z/15/Z()

Competition between microtubule-associated proteins directs motor transport.

  • Monroy BY
  • Nat Commun
  • 2018 Apr 16

Literature context:


Abstract:

Within cells, motor and non-motor microtubule-associated proteins (MAPs) simultaneously converge on the microtubule. How the binding activities of non-motor MAPs are coordinated and how they contribute to the balance and distribution of motor transport is unknown. Here, we examine the relationship between MAP7 and tau owing to their antagonistic roles in vivo. We find that MAP7 and tau compete for binding to microtubules, and determine a mechanism by which MAP7 displaces tau from the lattice. MAP7 promotes kinesin-based transport in vivo and strongly recruits kinesin-1 to the microtubule in vitro, providing evidence for direct enhancement of motor motility by a MAP. Both MAP7 and tau strongly inhibit kinesin-3 and have no effect on cytoplasmic dynein, demonstrating that MAPs differentially control distinct classes of motors. Overall, these results reveal a general principle for how MAP competition dictates access to the microtubule to determine the correct distribution and balance of motor activity.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - U10 CA032102(United States)

Nav1.1-Overexpressing Interneuron Transplants Restore Brain Rhythms and Cognition in a Mouse Model of Alzheimer's Disease.

  • Martinez-Losa M
  • Neuron
  • 2018 Apr 4

Literature context:


Abstract:

Inhibitory interneurons regulate the oscillatory rhythms and network synchrony that are required for cognitive functions and disrupted in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Network dysrhythmias in AD and multiple neuropsychiatric disorders are associated with hypofunction of Nav1.1, a voltage-gated sodium channel subunit predominantly expressed in interneurons. We show that Nav1.1-overexpressing, but not wild-type, interneuron transplants derived from the embryonic medial ganglionic eminence (MGE) enhance behavior-dependent gamma oscillatory activity, reduce network hypersynchrony, and improve cognitive functions in human amyloid precursor protein (hAPP)-transgenic mice, which simulate key aspects of AD. Increased Nav1.1 levels accelerated action potential kinetics of transplanted fast-spiking and non-fast-spiking interneurons. Nav1.1-deficient interneuron transplants were sufficient to cause behavioral abnormalities in wild-type mice. We conclude that the efficacy of interneuron transplantation and the function of transplanted cells in an AD-relevant context depend on their Nav1.1 levels. Disease-specific molecular optimization of cell transplants may be required to ensure therapeutic benefits in different conditions.

Funding information:
  • NCRR NIH HHS - C06 RR018928()
  • NIA NIH HHS - F32 AG043301()
  • NIA NIH HHS - R01 AG030207()
  • NIA NIH HHS - R01 AG036884()
  • NIA NIH HHS - R01 AG047313()
  • NIA NIH HHS - R01 AG051390()
  • NIA NIH HHS - R01 AG054214()
  • NIAID NIH HHS - R01 AI059738-05(United States)
  • NINDS NIH HHS - P30 NS065780()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS041787()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - U54 NS100717()

Essential Role for Hypothalamic Calcitonin Receptor‒Expressing Neurons in the Control of Food Intake by Leptin.

  • Pan W
  • Endocrinology
  • 2018 Apr 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

The adipocyte-derived hormone leptin acts via its receptor (LepRb) on central nervous system neurons to communicate the repletion of long-term energy stores, to decrease food intake, and to promote energy expenditure. We generated mice that express Cre recombinase from the calcitonin receptor (Calcr) locus (Calcrcre mice) to study Calcr-expressing LepRb (LepRbCalcr) neurons, which reside predominantly in the arcuate nucleus (ARC). Calcrcre-mediated ablation of LepRb in LepRbCalcrknockout (KO) mice caused hyperphagic obesity. Because LepRb-mediated transcriptional control plays a crucial role in leptin action, we used translating ribosome affinity purification followed by RNA sequencing to define the transcriptome of hypothalamic Calcr neurons, along with its alteration in LepRbCalcrKO mice. We found that ARC LepRbCalcr cells include neuropeptide Y (NPY)/agouti-related peptide (AgRP)/γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) ("NAG") cells as well as non-NAG cells that are distinct from pro-opiomelanocortin cells. Furthermore, although LepRbCalcrKO mice exhibited dysregulated expression of several genes involved in energy balance, neither the expression of Agrp and Npy nor the activity of NAG cells was altered in vivo. Thus, although direct leptin action via LepRbCalcr cells plays an important role in leptin action, our data also suggest that leptin indirectly, as well as directly, regulates these cells.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - HHSN261200800001E(United States)

Kir4.1-Dependent Astrocyte-Fast Motor Neuron Interactions Are Required for Peak Strength.

  • Kelley KW
  • Neuron
  • 2018 Apr 18

Literature context:


Abstract:

Diversified neurons are essential for sensorimotor function, but whether astrocytes become specialized to optimize circuit performance remains unclear. Large fast α-motor neurons (FαMNs) of spinal cord innervate fast-twitch muscles that generate peak strength. We report that ventral horn astrocytes express the inward-rectifying K+ channel Kir4.1 (a.k.a. Kcnj10) around MNs in a VGLUT1-dependent manner. Loss of astrocyte-encoded Kir4.1 selectively altered FαMN size and function and led to reduced peak strength. Overexpression of Kir4.1 in astrocytes was sufficient to increase MN size through activation of the PI3K/mTOR/pS6 pathway. Kir4.1 was downregulated cell autonomously in astrocytes derived from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients with SOD1 mutation. However, astrocyte Kir4.1 was dispensable for FαMN survival even in the mutant SOD1 background. These findings show that astrocyte Kir4.1 is essential for maintenance of peak strength and suggest that Kir4.1 downregulation might uncouple symptoms of muscle weakness from MN cell death in diseases like ALS.

Funding information:
  • FIC NIH HHS - K01 TW000001(United States)

Insm1 Induces Neural Progenitor Delamination in Developing Neocortex via Downregulation of the Adherens Junction Belt-Specific Protein Plekha7.

  • Tavano S
  • Neuron
  • 2018 Mar 21

Literature context:


Abstract:

Delamination of neural progenitor cells (NPCs) from the ventricular surface is a crucial prerequisite to form the subventricular zone, the germinal layer linked to the expansion of the mammalian neocortex in development and evolution. Here, we dissect the molecular mechanism by which the transcription factor Insm1 promotes the generation of basal progenitors (BPs). Insm1 protein is most highly expressed in newborn BPs in mouse and human developing neocortex. Forced Insm1 expression in embryonic mouse neocortex causes NPC delamination, converting apical to basal radial glia. Insm1 represses the expression of the apical adherens junction belt-specific protein Plekha7. CRISPR/Cas9-mediated disruption of Plekha7 expression suffices to cause NPC delamination. Plekha7 overexpression impedes the intrinsic and counteracts the Insm1-induced, NPC delamination. Our findings uncover a novel molecular mechanism underlying NPC delamination in which a BP-genic transcription factor specifically targets the integrity of the apical adherens junction belt, rather than adherens junction components as such.

Funding information:
  • Intramural NIH HHS - ZIA BC010763-05(United States)

The cannabinoid-1 receptor is abundantly expressed in striatal striosomes and striosome-dendron bouquets of the substantia nigra.

  • Davis MI
  • PLoS ONE
  • 2018 Mar 13

Literature context:


Abstract:

Presynaptic cannabinoid-1 receptors (CB1-R) bind endogenous and exogenous cannabinoids to modulate neurotransmitter release. CB1-Rs are expressed throughout the basal ganglia, including striatum and substantia nigra, where they play a role in learning and control of motivated actions. However, the pattern of CB1-R expression across different striatal compartments, microcircuits and efferent targets, and the contribution of different CB1-R-expressing neurons to this pattern, are unclear. We use a combination of conventional techniques and novel genetic models to evaluate CB1-R expression in striosome (patch) and matrix compartments of the striatum, and in nigral targets of striatal medium spiny projection neurons (MSNs). CB1-R protein and mRNA follow a descending dorsolateral-to-ventromedial intensity gradient in the caudal striatum, with elevated expression in striosomes relative to the surrounding matrix. The lateral predominance of striosome CB1-Rs contrasts with that of the classical striosomal marker, the mu opioid receptor (MOR), which is expressed most prominently in rostromedial striosomes. The dorsolateral-to-ventromedial CB1-R gradient is similar to Drd2 dopamine receptor immunoreactivity and opposite to Substance P. This topology of CB1-R expression is maintained downstream in the globus pallidus and substantia nigra. Dense CB1-R-expressing striatonigral fibers extend dorsally within the substantia nigra pars reticulata, and colocalize with bundles of ventrally extending, striosome-targeted, dendrites of dopamine-containing neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta (striosome-dendron bouquets). Within striatum, CB1-Rs colocalize with fluorescently labeled MSN collaterals within the striosomes. Cre recombinase-mediated deletion of CB1-Rs from cortical projection neurons or MSNs, and MSN-selective reintroduction of CB1-Rs in knockout mice, demonstrate that the principal source of CB1-Rs in dorsolateral striosomes is local MSN collaterals. These data suggest a role for CB1-Rs in caudal dorsolateral striosome collaterals and striosome-dendron bouquet projections to lateral substantia nigra, where they are anatomically poised to mediate presynaptic disinhibition of both striosomal MSNs and midbrain dopamine neurons in response to endocannabinoids and cannabinomimetics.

Funding information:
  • NIAMS NIH HHS - R01-AR04239(United States)

Rescue of Learning and Memory Deficits in the Human Nonsyndromic Intellectual Disability Cereblon Knock-Out Mouse Model by Targeting the AMP-Activated Protein Kinase-mTORC1 Translational Pathway.

  • Bavley CC
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2018 Mar 14

Literature context:


Abstract:

A homozygous nonsense mutation in the cereblon (CRBN) gene results in autosomal recessive, nonsyndromic intellectual disability that is devoid of other phenotypic features, suggesting a critical role of CRBN in mediating learning and memory. In this study, we demonstrate that adult male Crbn knock-out (CrbnKO) mice exhibit deficits in hippocampal-dependent learning and memory tasks that are recapitulated by focal knock-out of Crbn in the adult dorsal hippocampus, with no changes in social or repetitive behavior. Cellular studies identify deficits in long-term potentiation at Schaffer collateral CA1 synapses. We further show that Crbn is robustly expressed in the mouse hippocampus and CrbnKO mice exhibit hyperphosphorylated levels of AMPKα (Thr172). Examination of processes downstream of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) finds that CrbnKO mice have a selective impairment in mediators of the mTORC1 translation initiation pathway in parallel with lower protein levels of postsynaptic density glutamatergic proteins and higher levels of excitatory presynaptic markers in the hippocampus with no change in markers of the unfolded protein response or autophagy pathways. Acute pharmacological inhibition of AMPK activity in adult CrbnKO mice rescues learning and memory deficits and normalizes hippocampal mTORC1 activity and postsynaptic glutamatergic proteins without altering excitatory presynaptic markers. Thus, this study identifies that loss of Crbn results in learning, memory, and synaptic defects as a consequence of exaggerated AMPK activity, inhibition of mTORC1 signaling, and decreased glutamatergic synaptic proteins. Thus, CrbnKO mice serve as an ideal model of intellectual disability to further explore molecular mechanisms of learning and memory.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Intellectual disability (ID) is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders. The cereblon (CRBN) gene has been linked to autosomal recessive, nonsyndromic ID, characterized by an intelligence quotient between 50 and 70 but devoid of other phenotypic features, making cereblon an ideal protein for the study of the fundamental aspects of learning and memory. Here, using the cereblon knock-out mouse model, we show that cereblon deficiency disrupts learning, memory, and synaptic function via AMP-activated protein kinase hyperactivity, downregulation of mTORC1, and dysregulation of excitatory synapses, with no changes in social or repetitive behaviors, consistent with findings in the human population. This establishes the cereblon knock-out mouse as a model of pure ID without the confounding behavioral phenotypes associated with other current models of ID.

Funding information:
  • Medical Research Council - MC_U137761446(United Kingdom)
  • NIDA NIH HHS - R01 DA029122()

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

  • Dias DO
  • Cell
  • 2018 Mar 22

Literature context:


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)

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()

Developmental History Provides a Roadmap for the Emergence of Tumor Plasticity.

  • Tata PR
  • Dev. Cell
  • 2018 Mar 26

Literature context:


Abstract:

We show that the loss or gain of transcription factor programs that govern embryonic cell-fate specification is associated with a form of tumor plasticity characterized by the acquisition of alternative cell fates normally characteristic of adjacent organs. In human non-small cell lung cancers, downregulation of the lung lineage-specifying TF NKX2-1 is associated with tumors bearing features of various gut tissues. Loss of Nkx2-1 from murine alveolar, but not airway, epithelium results in conversion of lung cells to gastric-like cells. Superimposing oncogenic Kras activation enables further plasticity in both alveolar and airway epithelium, producing tumors that adopt midgut and hindgut fates. Conversely, coupling Nkx2-1 loss with foregut lineage-specifying SOX2 overexpression drives the formation of squamous cancers with features of esophageal differentiation. These findings demonstrate that elements of pathologic tumor plasticity mirror the normal developmental history of organs in that cancer cells acquire cell fates associated with developmentally related neighboring organs.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - R01CA172025(United States)
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - K99 HL127181()
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - P30 HL101287()
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - R00 HL127181()
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - R01 HL118185()
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - T32 GM007205()

Oligodendrocytes control potassium accumulation in white matter and seizure susceptibility.

  • Larson VA
  • Elife
  • 2018 Mar 29

Literature context:


Abstract:

The inwardly rectifying K+ channel Kir4.1 is broadly expressed by CNS glia and deficits in Kir4.1 lead to seizures and myelin vacuolization. However, the role of oligodendrocyte Kir4.1 channels in controlling myelination and K+ clearance in white matter has not been defined. Here, we show that selective deletion of Kir4.1 from oligodendrocyte progenitors (OPCs) or mature oligodendrocytes did not impair their development or disrupt the structure of myelin. However, mice lacking oligodendrocyte Kir4.1 channels exhibited profound functional impairments, including slower clearance of extracellular K+ and delayed recovery of axons from repetitive stimulation in white matter, as well as spontaneous seizures, a lower seizure threshold, and activity-dependent motor deficits. These results indicate that Kir4.1 channels in oligodendrocytes play an important role in extracellular K+ homeostasis in white matter, and that selective loss of this channel from oligodendrocytes is sufficient to impair K+ clearance and promote seizures.

Funding information:
  • National Institutes of Health - NS050274()
  • National Institutes of Health - NS051509()
  • National Institutes of Health - NS080153()
  • NCATS NIH HHS - UL1 TR000457(United States)

A Hypothalamic Switch for REM and Non-REM Sleep.

  • Chen KS
  • Neuron
  • 2018 Mar 7

Literature context:


Abstract:

Rapid eye movement (REM) and non-REM (NREM) sleep are controlled by specific neuronal circuits. Here we show that galanin-expressing GABAergic neurons in the dorsomedial hypothalamus (DMH) comprise separate subpopulations with opposing effects on REM versus NREM sleep. Microendoscopic calcium imaging revealed diverse sleep-wake activity of DMH GABAergic neurons, but the galanin-expressing subset falls into two distinct groups, either selectively activated (REM-on) or suppressed (REM-off) during REM sleep. Retrogradely labeled, preoptic area (POA)-projecting galaninergic neurons are REM-off, whereas the raphe pallidus (RPA)-projecting neurons are primarily REM-on. Bidirectional optogenetic manipulations showed that the POA-projecting neurons promote NREM sleep and suppress REM sleep, while the RPA-projecting neurons have the opposite effects. Thus, REM/NREM switch is regulated antagonistically by DMH galaninergic neurons with intermingled cell bodies but distinct axon projections.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - T32 CA009657(United States)

Fear extinction requires infralimbic cortex projections to the basolateral amygdala.

  • Bloodgood DW
  • Transl Psychiatry
  • 2018 Mar 6

Literature context:


Abstract:

Fear extinction involves the formation of a new memory trace that attenuates fear responses to a conditioned aversive memory, and extinction impairments are implicated in trauma- and stress-related disorders. Previous studies in rodents have found that the infralimbic prefrontal cortex (IL) and its glutamatergic projections to the basolateral amygdala (BLA) and basomedial amygdala (BMA) instruct the formation of fear extinction memories. However, it is unclear whether these pathways are exclusively involved in extinction, or whether other major targets of the IL, such as the nucleus accumbens (NAc) also play a role. To address this outstanding issue, the current study employed a combination of electrophysiological and chemogenetic approaches in mice to interrogate the role of IL-BLA and IL-NAc pathways in extinction. Specifically, we used patch-clamp electrophysiology coupled with retrograde tracing to examine changes in neuronal activity of the IL and prelimbic cortex (PL) projections to both the BLA and NAc following fear extinction. We found that extinction produced a significant increase in the intrinsic excitability of IL-BLA projection neurons, while extinction appeared to reverse fear-induced changes in IL-NAc projection neurons. To establish a causal counterpart to these observations, we then used a pathway-specific Designer Receptors Exclusively Activated by Designer Drugs (DREADD) strategy to selectively inhibit PFC-BLA projection neurons during extinction acquisition. Using this approach, we found that DREADD-mediated inhibition of PFC-BLA neurons during extinction acquisition impaired subsequent extinction retrieval. Taken together, our findings provide further evidence for a critical contribution of the IL-BLA neural circuit to fear extinction.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - 5R01CA101870(United States)

Deficient Surveillance and Phagocytic Activity of Myeloid Cells Within Demyelinated Lesions in Aging Mice Visualized by Ex Vivo Live Multiphoton Imaging.

  • Rawji KS
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2018 Feb 21

Literature context:


Abstract:

Aging impairs regenerative processes including remyelination, the synthesis of a new myelin sheath. Microglia and other infiltrating myeloid cells such as macrophages are essential for remyelination through mechanisms that include the clearance of inhibitory molecules within the lesion. Prior studies have shown that the quantity of myeloid cells and the clearance of inhibitory myelin debris are deficient in aging, contributing to the decline in remyelination efficiency with senescence. It is unknown, however, whether the impaired clearance of debris is simply the result of the reduced number of phagocytes or if the dynamic activity of myeloid cells within the demyelinating plaque also declines with aging and this question is relevant to the proper design of therapeutics to mobilize myeloid cells for repair. Herein, we describe a high-resolution multiphoton ex vivo live imaging protocol that visualizes individual myelinated/demyelinated axons and lipid-containing myeloid cells to investigate the demyelinated lesion of aging female mice. We found that aging lesions have fewer myeloid cells and that these have reduced phagocytosis of myelin. Although the myeloid cells are actively migratory within the lesion of young mice and have protrusions that seem to survey the environment, this motility and surveillance is significantly reduced in aging mice. Our results emphasize the necessity of not only increasing the number of phagocytes, but also enhancing their activity once they are within demyelinated lesions. The high-resolution live imaging of demyelinated lesions can serve as a platform with which to discover pharmacological agents that rejuvenate intralesional remodeling that promotes the repair of plaques.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The repair of myelin after injury depends on myeloid cells that clear debris and release growth factors. As organisms age, remyelination becomes less efficient correspondent with fewer myeloid cells that populate the lesions. It is unknown whether the dynamic activity of cells within lesions is also altered with age. Herein, using high-resolution multiphoton ex vivo live imaging with several novel features, we report that myeloid cells within demyelinated lesions of aging mice have reduced motility, surveillance, and phagocytic activity, suggesting an intralesional impairment that may contribute to the age-related decline in remyelination efficiency. Medications to stimulate deficient aging myeloid cells should not only increase their representation, but also enter into lesions to stimulate their activity.

Funding information:
  • NIAMS NIH HHS - R01 AR057759(United States)

Tangential migration of corridor guidepost neurons contributes to anxiety circuits.

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

Literature context:


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.

Suppressor of Cytokine Signalling 2 (SOCS2) Regulates Numbers of Mature Newborn Adult Hippocampal Neurons and Their Dendritic Spine Maturation.

  • Basrai HS
  • Cell. Mol. Neurobiol.
  • 2018 Feb 23

Literature context:


Abstract:

Overexpression of suppressor of cytokine signalling 2 (SOCS2) has been shown to promote hippocampal neurogenesis in vivo and promote neurite outgrowth of neurons in vitro. In the adult mouse brain, SOCS2 is most highly expressed in the hippocampal CA3 region and at lower levels in the dentate gyrus, an expression pattern that suggests a role in adult neurogenesis. Herein we examine generation of neuroblasts and their maturation into more mature neurons in SOCS2 null (SOCS2KO) mice. EdU was administered for 7 days to label proliferative neural precursor cells. The number of EdU-labelled doublecortin+ neuroblasts and NeuN+ mature neurons they generated was examined at day 8 and day 35, respectively. While no effect of SOCS2 deletion was observed in neuroblast generation, it reduced the numbers of EdU-labelled mature newborn neurons at 35 days. As SOCS2 regulates neurite outgrowth and dentate granule neurons project to the CA3 region, alterations in dendritic arborisation or spine formation may have correlated with the decreased numbers of EdU-labelled newborn neurons. SOCS2KO mice were crossed with Nes-CreERT2/mTmG mice, in which membrane eGFP is inducibly expressed in neural precursor cells and their progeny, and the dendrite and dendritic spine morphology of newborn neurons were examined at 35 days. SOCS2 deletion had no effect on total dendrite length, number of dendritic segments, number of branch points or total dendritic spine density but increased the number of mature "mushroom" spines. Our results suggest that endogenous SOCS2 regulates numbers of EdU-labelled mature newborn adult hippocampal neurons, possibly by mediating their survival and that this may be via a mechanism regulating dendritic spine maturation.

Funding information:
  • NIMH NIH HHS - MH48866(United States)

Micropattern differentiation of mouse pluripotent stem cells recapitulates embryo regionalized cell fate patterning.

  • Morgani SM
  • Elife
  • 2018 Feb 7

Literature context:


Abstract:

During gastrulation epiblast cells exit pluripotency as they specify and spatially arrange the three germ layers of the embryo. Similarly, human pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) undergo spatially organized fate specification on micropatterned surfaces. Since in vivo validation is not possible for the human, we developed a mouse PSC micropattern system and, with direct comparisons to mouse embryos, reveal the robust specification of distinct regional identities. BMP, WNT, ACTIVIN and FGF directed mouse epiblast-like cells to undergo an epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition and radially pattern posterior mesoderm fates. Conversely, WNT, ACTIVIN and FGF patterned anterior identities, including definitive endoderm. By contrast, epiblast stem cells, a developmentally advanced state, only specified anterior identities, but without patterning. The mouse micropattern system offers a robust scalable method to generate regionalized cell types present in vivo, resolve how signals promote distinct identities and generate patterns, and compare mechanisms operating in vivo and in vitro and across species.

Funding information:
  • Cancer Research UK - 06-914/915(United Kingdom)
  • Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development - R01HD080699()
  • National Cancer Institute - P30CA008748()
  • National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases - R01DK084391()
  • National Science Foundation - PHY1502151()
  • NYSTEM - C029568()

Age-Dependent Decline in Fate Switch from NG2 Cells to Astrocytes After Olig2 Deletion.

  • Zuo H
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2018 Feb 28

Literature context:


Abstract:

NG2 cells are a resident glial progenitor cell population that is uniformly distributed throughout the developing and mature mammalian CNS. Those in the postnatal CNS generate exclusively myelinating and non-myelinating oligodendrocytes and are thus equated with oligodendrocyte precursor cells. Prenatally, NG2 cells in the ventral gray matter of the forebrain generate protoplasmic astrocytes as well as oligodendrocytes. The fate conversion from NG2 cells into protoplasmic astrocytes is dependent on downregulation of the key oligodendrocyte transcription factor Olig2. We showed previously that constitutive deletion of Olig2 in NG2 cells converts NG2 cells in the neocortex into protoplasmic astrocytes at the expense of oligodendrocytes. In this study, we show that postnatal deletion of Olig2 caused NG2 cells in the neocortex but not in other gray matter regions to become protoplasmic astrocytes. However, NG2 cells in the neocortex became more resistant to astrocyte fate switch over the first 3 postnatal weeks. Fewer NG2 cells differentiated into astrocytes and did so with longer latency after Olig2 deletion at postnatal day 18 (P18) compared with deletion at P2. The high-mobility group transcription factor Sox10 was not downregulated for at least 1 month after Olig2 deletion at P18 despite an early transient upregulation of the astrocyte transcription factor NFIA. Furthermore, inhibiting cell proliferation in slice culture reduced astrocyte differentiation from Olig2-deleted perinatal NG2 cells, suggesting that cell division might facilitate nuclear reorganization needed for astrocyte transformation.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT NG2 cells are glial progenitor cells that retain a certain degree of lineage plasticity. In the normal postnatal neocortex, they generate mostly oligodendrocyte lineage cells. When the oligodendrocyte transcription factor Olig2 is deleted in NG2 cells in the neocortex, they switch their fate to protoplasmic astrocytes. However, the efficiency of the fate switch decreases with age over the first 3 postnatal weeks and is reduced when cell proliferation is inhibited. As the neocortex matures, sustained expression of the oligodendrocyte lineage-specific key transcription factor Sox10 becomes less dependent on Olig2. Together, our findings suggest a gradual stabilization of the oligodendrocyte lineage genes and loss of lineage plasticity during the first 3 weeks after birth, possibly due to nuclear reorganization.

Funding information:
  • NIH HHS - 1DP2OD007188(United States)

Adult Neurogenesis Is Sustained by Symmetric Self-Renewal and Differentiation.

  • Obernier K
  • Cell Stem Cell
  • 2018 Feb 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Somatic stem cells have been identified in multiple adult tissues. Whether self-renewal occurs symmetrically or asymmetrically is key to understanding long-term stem cell maintenance and generation of progeny for cell replacement. In the adult mouse brain, neural stem cells (NSCs) (B1 cells) are retained in the walls of the lateral ventricles (ventricular-subventricular zone [V-SVZ]). The mechanism of B1 cell retention into adulthood for lifelong neurogenesis is unknown. Using multiple clonal labeling techniques, we show that the vast majority of B1 cells divide symmetrically. Whereas 20%-30% symmetrically self-renew and can remain in the niche for several months before generating neurons, 70%-80% undergo consuming divisions generating progeny, resulting in the depletion of B1 cells over time. This cellular mechanism decouples self-renewal from the generation of progeny. Limited rounds of symmetric self-renewal and consuming symmetric differentiation divisions can explain the levels of neurogenesis observed throughout life.

Funding information:
  • NICHD NIH HHS - R01 HD032116()
  • NICHD NIH HHS - R37 HD032116()
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - P50 GM081879()
  • NIH HHS - DP5 OD012194()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS028478()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01NS058529(United States)
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R37 NS028478()

Overexpression of the Histone Dimethyltransferase G9a in Nucleus Accumbens Shell Increases Cocaine Self-Administration, Stress-Induced Reinstatement, and Anxiety.

  • Anderson EM
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2018 Jan 24

Literature context:


Abstract:

Repeated exposure to cocaine induces lasting epigenetic changes in neurons that promote the development and persistence of addiction. One epigenetic alteration involves reductions in levels of the histone dimethyltransferase G9a in nucleus accumbens (NAc) after chronic cocaine administration. This reduction in G9a may enhance cocaine reward because overexpressing G9a in the NAc decreases cocaine-conditioned place preference. Therefore, we hypothesized that HSV-mediated G9a overexpression in the NAc shell (NAcSh) would attenuate cocaine self-administration (SA) and cocaine-seeking behavior. Instead, we found that G9a overexpression, and the resulting increase in histone 3 lysine 9 dimethylation (H3K9me2), increases sensitivity to cocaine reinforcement and enhances motivation for cocaine in self-administering male rats. Moreover, when G9a overexpression is limited to the initial 15 d of cocaine SA training, it produces an enduring postexpression enhancement in cocaine SA and prolonged (over 5 weeks) increases in reinstatement of cocaine seeking induced by foot-shock stress, but in the absence of continued global elevations in H3K9me2. The increase in stress-induced reinstatement is paralleled by heightened anxiety measures, suggesting that countering the cocaine-induced decreases in endogenous G9a with ectopic G9a overexpression leads to lasting anxiogenic effects. Finally, we found an enduring reduction in phosphorylated cAMP-response element binding protein levels in the NAcSh that could account for the increased anxiety. These data demonstrate a novel role for G9a in promoting comorbid cocaine addiction and anxiety and suggest that increased epigenetic repression of transcription through H3K9 during cocaine use can have long-lasting and unexpected negative consequences on behavior.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Cocaine addiction is a neuropsychiatric disorder that is detrimental to society and currently has no effective treatments. The difficulty in treating drug addiction is compounded by the high comorbidity with other psychiatric illnesses, including anxiety disorders. Here, we demonstrate that G9a, an epigenetic repressor of gene expression, acting in the nucleus accumbens, a brain reward region, is capable of increasing both addiction- and anxiety-like behaviors in rats. These findings are intriguing because repeated cocaine exposure decreases G9a in this region and thereby enhances expression of certain addiction-promoting genes. However, our results suggest that countering this cocaine-induced decrease in G9a activity actually exacerbates addiction and sensitivity to relapse under stressful situations.

Funding information:
  • NIAID NIH HHS - AI51622(United States)
  • NIDA NIH HHS - P01 DA008227()
  • NIDA NIH HHS - T32 DA007290()

Cre-expressing neurons in visual cortex of Ntsr1-Cre GN220 mice are corticothalamic and are depolarized by acetylcholine.

  • Sundberg SC
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2018 Jan 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

The Ntsr1-Cre GN220 mouse expresses Cre-recombinase in corticothalamic (CT) neurons in neocortical layer 6. It is not known if the other major types of pyramidal neurons in this layer also express this enzyme. By electrophysiological recordings in slices and histological analysis of the uptake of retrogradely transported beads we show that Cre-positive neurons are CT and not corticocortical or corticoclaustral types. Furthermore, we show that Ntsr1-Cre-positive cells are immuno-positive for the nuclear transcription factor Forkhead box protein P2 (FoxP2). We conclude that Cre-expression is limited to a specific type of pyramidal neuron: CT. However, it appears as not all CT neurons are Cre-expressing; there are indications that the penetrance of the gene is about 90%. We demonstrate the utility of assigning a specific identity to individual neurons by determining that the CT neurons are potently modulated by acetylcholine acting on both nicotinic and muscarinic acetylcholine receptors. These results corroborate the suggested function of these neurons in regulating the gain of thalamocortical transfer of sensory information depending on attentional demand and state of arousal.

Loss of Intercalated Cells (ITCs) in the Mouse Amygdala of Tshz1 Mutants Correlates with Fear, Depression, and Social Interaction Phenotypes.

  • Kuerbitz J
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2018 Jan 31

Literature context:


Abstract:

The intercalated cells (ITCs) of the amygdala have been shown to be critical regulatory components of amygdalar circuits, which control appropriate fear responses. Despite this, the molecular processes guiding ITC development remain poorly understood. Here we establish the zinc finger transcription factor Tshz1 as a marker of ITCs during their migration from the dorsal lateral ganglionic eminence through maturity. Using germline and conditional knock-out (cKO) mouse models, we show that Tshz1 is required for the proper migration and differentiation of ITCs. In the absence of Tshz1, migrating ITC precursors fail to settle in their stereotypical locations encapsulating the lateral amygdala and BLA. Furthermore, they display reductions in the ITC marker Foxp2 and ectopic persistence of the dorsal lateral ganglionic eminence marker Sp8. Tshz1 mutant ITCs show increased cell death at postnatal time points, leading to a dramatic reduction by 3 weeks of age. In line with this, Foxp2-null mutants also show a loss of ITCs at postnatal time points, suggesting that Foxp2 may function downstream of Tshz1 in the maintenance of ITCs. Behavioral analysis of male Tshz1 cKOs revealed defects in fear extinction as well as an increase in floating during the forced swim test, indicative of a depression-like phenotype. Moreover, Tshz1 cKOs display significantly impaired social interaction (i.e., increased passivity) regardless of partner genetics. Together, these results suggest that Tshz1 plays a critical role in the development of ITCs and that fear, depression-like and social behavioral deficits arise in their absence.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT We show here that the zinc finger transcription factor Tshz1 is expressed during development of the intercalated cells (ITCs) within the mouse amygdala. These neurons have previously been shown to play a crucial role in fear extinction. Tshz1 mouse mutants exhibit severely reduced numbers of ITCs as a result of abnormal migration, differentiation, and survival of these neurons. Furthermore, the loss of ITCs in mouse Tshz1 mutants correlates well with defects in fear extinction as well as the appearance of depression-like and abnormal social interaction behaviors reminiscent of depressive disorders observed in human patients with distal 18q deletions, including the Tshz1 locus.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - P30-CA051008-18(United States)
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - T32 GM063483()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS044080()

Brain-Computer Interface with Inhibitory Neurons Reveals Subtype-Specific Strategies.

  • Mitani A
  • Curr. Biol.
  • 2018 Jan 8

Literature context:


Abstract:

Brain-computer interfaces have seen an increase in popularity due to their potential for direct neuroprosthetic applications for amputees and disabled individuals. Supporting this promise, animals-including humans-can learn even arbitrary mapping between the activity of cortical neurons and movement of prosthetic devices [1-4]. However, the performance of neuroprosthetic device control has been nowhere near that of limb control in healthy individuals, presenting a dire need to improve the performance. One potential limitation is the fact that previous work has not distinguished diverse cell types in the neocortex, even though different cell types possess distinct functions in cortical computations [5-7] and likely distinct capacities to control brain-computer interfaces. Here, we made a first step in addressing this issue by tracking the plastic changes of three major types of cortical inhibitory neurons (INs) during a neuron-pair operant conditioning task using two-photon imaging of IN subtypes expressing GCaMP6f. Mice were rewarded when the activity of the positive target neuron (N+) exceeded that of the negative target neuron (N-) beyond a set threshold. Mice improved performance with all subtypes, but the strategies were subtype specific. When parvalbumin (PV)-expressing INs were targeted, the activity of N- decreased. However, targeting of somatostatin (SOM)- and vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP)-expressing INs led to an increase of the N+ activity. These results demonstrate that INs can be individually modulated in a subtype-specific manner and highlight the versatility of neural circuits in adapting to new demands by using cell-type-specific strategies.

Funding information:
  • Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council - P18044(United Kingdom)
  • NEI NIH HHS - P30 EY022589()
  • NEI NIH HHS - R01 EY025349()
  • NIDCD NIH HHS - R01 DC014690()
  • NIDCD NIH HHS - R21 DC012641()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS091010()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - U01 NS094342()

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.

Distribution and chemical composition of estrogen receptor β neurons in the paraventricular nucleus of the female and male mouse hypothalamus.

  • Oyola MG
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2017 Dec 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Activation of estrogen receptor beta (ERβ)-expressing neurons regulates the mammalian stress response via the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. These neurons densely populate the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus (PVN). Recent research has revealed striking differences between rat and mouse PVN cytochemistry, but careful exploration of PVN ERβ neurons in mice has been hindered by a lack of specific ERβ antisera. Therefore, we used male and female transgenic mice expressing EGFP under the control of the mouse ERβ promoter (ERβ-EGFP) to examine the chemical architecture of PVN ERβ cells. Using immunohistochemistry, we found that 90% of ERβ-immunoreactivity (-ir) colocalized with EGFP. Cellular colocalization of EGFP with neuropeptides, transcription modulators, and neuronal tracers was examined throughout the PVN. ERβ-EGFP cells expressed oxytocin more abundantly in the rostral (71 ± 3%) than caudal (33 ± 8%) PVN. Arginine vasopressin colocalized with EGFP more often in females (18 ± 3%) than males (4 ± 1%). Moreover, estrogen receptor α-ir colocalized with ERβ-EGFP at low levels (15 ± 3%). Using a corticotropin releasing hormone-cre driver X tdTomato reporter mouse, we found a moderate colocalization with ERβ-ir (48 ± 16%) in the middle PVN. Peripheral injection of fluorogold revealed that the rostral PVN ERβ-EGFP cells are neuroendocrine neurons whereas non-neuroendocrine (presumably pre-autonomic) ERβ-EGFP neurons predominated in the posterior PVN. These data demonstrate chemoarchitectural differences in ERβ neurons of the mouse PVN that are different from that previously described for the rat, thus, elucidating potential neuronal pathways involved in the regulation of the HPA axis in mice.

Impaired AMPA receptor trafficking by a double knockout of zebrafish olfactomedin1a/b.

  • Nakaya N
  • J. Neurochem.
  • 2017 Dec 20

Literature context:


Abstract:

The olfm1a and olfm1b genes in zebrafish encode conserved secreted glycoproteins. These genes are preferentially expressed in the brain and retina starting from 16 h post-fertilization until adulthood. Functions of the Olfm1 gene is still unclear. Here, we produced and analyzed a null zebrafish mutant of both olfm1a and olfm1b genes (olfm1 null). olfm1 null fish were born at a normal Mendelian ratio and showed normal body shape and fertility as well as no visible defects from larval stages to adult. Olfm1 proteins were preferentially localized in the synaptosomes of the adult brain. Olfm1 co-immunoprecipitated with GluR2 and soluble NSF attachment protein receptor complexes indicating participation of Olfm1 in both pre- and post-synaptic events. Phosphorylation of GluR2 was not changed while palmitoylation of GluR2 was decreased in the brain synaptosomal membrane fraction of olfm1 null compared with wt fish. The levels of GluR2, SNAP25, flotillin1, and VAMP2 were markedly reduced in the synaptic microdomain of olfm1 null brain compared with wt. The internalization of GluR2 in retinal cells and the localization of VAMP2 in brain synaptosome were modified by olfm1 null mutation. This indicates that Olfm1 may regulate receptor trafficking from the intracellular compartments to the synaptic membrane microdomain, partly through the alteration of post-translational GluR2 modifications such as palmitoylation. Olfm1 may be considered a novel regulator of the composition and function of the α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazole-4-propionate receptor complex.

Distinct projection targets define subpopulations of mouse brainstem vagal neurons that express the autism-associated MET receptor tyrosine kinase.

  • Kamitakahara A
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2017 Dec 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

Detailed anatomical tracing and mapping of the viscerotopic organization of the vagal motor nuclei has provided insight into autonomic function in health and disease. To further define specific cellular identities, we paired information based on visceral connectivity with a cell-type specific marker of a subpopulation of neurons in the dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus (DMV) and nucleus ambiguus (nAmb) that express the autism-associated MET receptor tyrosine kinase. As gastrointestinal disturbances are common in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), we sought to define the relationship between MET-expressing (MET+) neurons in the DMV and nAmb, and the gastrointestinal tract. Using wholemount tissue staining and clearing, or retrograde tracing in a METEGFP transgenic mouse, we identify three novel subpopulations of EGFP+ vagal brainstem neurons: (a) EGFP+ neurons in the nAmb projecting to the esophagus or laryngeal muscles, (b) EGFP+ neurons in the medial DMV projecting to the stomach, and (b) EGFP+ neurons in the lateral DMV projecting to the cecum and/or proximal colon. Expression of the MET ligand, hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), by tissues innervated by vagal motor neurons during fetal development reveal potential sites of HGF-MET interaction. Furthermore, similar cellular expression patterns of MET in the brainstem of both the mouse and nonhuman primate suggests that MET expression at these sites is evolutionarily conserved. Together, the data suggest that MET+ neurons in the brainstem vagal motor nuclei are anatomically positioned to regulate distinct portions of the gastrointestinal tract, with implications for the pathophysiology of gastrointestinal comorbidities of ASD.

Drp1 Mitochondrial Fission in D1 Neurons Mediates Behavioral and Cellular Plasticity during Early Cocaine Abstinence.

  • Chandra R
  • Neuron
  • 2017 Dec 20

Literature context:


Abstract:

Altered brain energy homeostasis is a key adaptation occurring in the cocaine-addicted brain, but the effect of cocaine on the fundamental source of energy, mitochondria, is unknown. We demonstrate an increase of dynamin-related protein-1 (Drp1), the mitochondrial fission mediator, in nucleus accumbens (NAc) after repeated cocaine exposure and in cocaine-dependent individuals. Mdivi-1, a demonstrated fission inhibitor, blunts cocaine seeking and locomotor sensitization, while blocking c-Fos induction and excitatory input onto dopamine receptor-1 (D1) containing NAc medium spiny neurons (MSNs). Drp1 and fission promoting Drp1 are increased in D1-MSNs, consistent with increased smaller mitochondria in D1-MSN dendrites after repeated cocaine. Knockdown of Drp1 in D1-MSNs blocks drug seeking after cocaine self-administration, while enhancing the fission promoting Drp1 enhances seeking after long-term abstinence from cocaine. We demonstrate a role for altered mitochondrial fission in the NAc, during early cocaine abstinence, suggesting potential therapeutic treatment of disrupting mitochondrial fission in cocaine addiction.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - R01 CA140198(United States)
  • NIAAA NIH HHS - R01 AA024845()
  • NIDA NIH HHS - R01 DA037257()
  • NIDA NIH HHS - R01 DA038613()
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - R25 GM055036()
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - SC2 GM109811()

Neuropeptide Y Regulates Sleep by Modulating Noradrenergic Signaling.

  • Singh C
  • Curr. Biol.
  • 2017 Dec 18

Literature context:


Abstract:

Sleep is an essential and evolutionarily conserved behavioral state whose regulation remains poorly understood. To identify genes that regulate vertebrate sleep, we recently performed a genetic screen in zebrafish, and here we report the identification of neuropeptide Y (NPY) as both necessary for normal daytime sleep duration and sufficient to promote sleep. We show that overexpression of NPY increases sleep, whereas mutation of npy or ablation of npy-expressing neurons decreases sleep. By analyzing sleep architecture, we show that NPY regulates sleep primarily by modulating the length of wake bouts. To determine how NPY regulates sleep, we tested for interactions with several systems known to regulate sleep, and provide anatomical, molecular, genetic, and pharmacological evidence that NPY promotes sleep by inhibiting noradrenergic signaling. These data establish NPY as an important vertebrate sleep/wake regulator and link NPY signaling to an established arousal-promoting system.

Funding information:
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - GM 080571(United States)
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS070911()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS095824()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS101158()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS101665()

The Forebrain Thirst Circuit Drives Drinking through Negative Reinforcement.

  • Leib DE
  • Neuron
  • 2017 Dec 20

Literature context:


Abstract:

The brain transforms the need for water into the desire to drink, but how this transformation is performed remains unknown. Here we describe the motivational mechanism by which the forebrain thirst circuit drives drinking. We show that thirst-promoting subfornical organ neurons are negatively reinforcing and that this negative-valence signal is transmitted along projections to the organum vasculosum of the lamina terminalis (OVLT) and median preoptic nucleus (MnPO). We then identify molecularly defined cell types within the OVLT and MnPO that are activated by fluid imbalance and show that stimulation of these neurons is sufficient to drive drinking, cardiovascular responses, and negative reinforcement. Finally, we demonstrate that the thirst signal exits these regions through at least three parallel pathways and show that these projections dissociate the cardiovascular and behavioral responses to fluid imbalance. These findings reveal a distributed thirst circuit that motivates drinking by the common mechanism of drive reduction.

Eye opening differentially modulates inhibitory synaptic transmission in the developing visual cortex.

  • Guan W
  • Elife
  • 2017 Dec 11

Literature context:


Abstract:

Eye opening, a natural and timed event during animal development, influences cortical circuit assembly and maturation; yet, little is known about its precise effect on inhibitory synaptic connections. Here, we show that coinciding with eye opening, the strength of unitary inhibitory postsynaptic currents (uIPSCs) from somatostatin-expressing interneurons (Sst-INs) to nearby excitatory neurons, but not interneurons, sharply decreases in layer 2/3 of the mouse visual cortex. In contrast, the strength of uIPSCs from fast-spiking interneurons (FS-INs) to excitatory neurons significantly increases during eye opening. More importantly, these developmental changes can be prevented by dark rearing or binocular lid suture, and reproduced by the artificial opening of sutured lids. Mechanistically, this differential maturation of synaptic transmission is accompanied by a significant change in the postsynaptic quantal size. Together, our study reveals a differential regulation in GABAergic circuits in the cortex driven by eye opening may be crucial for cortical maturation and function.

Funding information:
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - U01 HL069348-05(United States)

RORβ Spinal Interneurons Gate Sensory Transmission during Locomotion to Secure a Fluid Walking Gait.

  • Koch SC
  • Neuron
  • 2017 Dec 20

Literature context:


Abstract:

Animals depend on sensory feedback from mechanosensory afferents for the dynamic control of movement. This sensory feedback needs to be selectively modulated in a task- and context-dependent manner. Here, we show that inhibitory interneurons (INs) expressing the RORβ orphan nuclear receptor gate sensory feedback to the spinal motor system during walking and are required for the production of a fluid locomotor rhythm. Genetic manipulations that abrogate inhibitory RORβ IN function result in an ataxic gait characterized by exaggerated flexion movements and marked alterations to the step cycle. Inactivation of RORβ in inhibitory neurons leads to reduced presynaptic inhibition and changes to sensory-evoked reflexes, arguing that the RORβ inhibitory INs function to suppress the sensory transmission pathways that activate flexor motor reflexes and interfere with the ongoing locomotor program. VIDEO ABSTRACT.

Funding information:
  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research - AG021495(Canada)
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS080586()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS086372()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS090919()

Intestinal Epithelial and Intraepithelial T Cell Crosstalk Mediates a Dynamic Response to Infection.

  • Hoytema van Konijnenburg DP
  • Cell
  • 2017 Nov 2

Literature context:


Abstract:

Intestinal intraepithelial lymphocytes (IELs) are located at the critical interface between the intestinal lumen, which is chronically exposed to food and microbes, and the core of the body. Using high-resolution microscopy techniques and intersectional genetic tools, we investigated the nature of IEL responses to luminal microbes. We observed that TCRγδ IELs exhibit unique microbiota-dependent location and movement patterns in the epithelial compartment. This behavioral pattern quickly changes upon exposure to different enteric pathogens, resulting in increased interepithelial cell (EC) scanning, expression of antimicrobial genes, and glycolysis. Both dynamic and metabolic changes to γδ IEL depend on pathogen sensing by ECs. Direct modulation of glycolysis is sufficient to change γδ IEL behavior and susceptibility to early pathogen invasion. Our results uncover a coordinated EC-IEL response to enteric infections that modulates lymphocyte energy utilization and dynamics and supports maintenance of the intestinal epithelial barrier. VIDEO ABSTRACT.

Funding information:
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - R01 DK093674()
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - R01 DK113375()

CaMKIIα Expression Defines Two Functionally Distinct Populations of Granule Cells Involved in Different Types of Odor Behavior.

  • Malvaut S
  • Curr. Biol.
  • 2017 Nov 6

Literature context:


Abstract:

Granule cells (GCs) in the olfactory bulb (OB) play an important role in odor information processing. Although they have been classified into various neurochemical subtypes, the functional roles of these subtypes remain unknown. We used in vivo two-photon Ca2+ imaging combined with cell-type-specific identification of GCs in the mouse OB to examine whether functionally distinct GC subtypes exist in the bulbar network. We showed that half of GCs express Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase IIα (CaMKIIα+) and that these neurons are preferentially activated by olfactory stimulation. The higher activity of CaMKIIα+ neurons is due to the weaker inhibitory input that they receive compared to their CaMKIIα-immunonegative (CaMKIIα-) counterparts. In line with these functional data, immunohistochemical analyses showed that 75%-90% of GCs expressing the immediate early gene cFos are CaMKIIα+ in naive animals and in mice that have been exposed to a novel odor and go/no-go operant conditioning, or that have been subjected to long-term associative memory and spontaneous habituation/dishabituation odor discrimination tasks. On the other hand, a perceptual learning task resulted in increased activation of CaMKIIα- cells. Pharmacogenetic inhibition of CaMKIIα+ GCs revealed that this subtype is involved in habituation/dishabituation and go/no-go odor discrimination, but not in perceptual learning. In contrast, pharmacogenetic inhibition of GCs in a subtype-independent manner affected perceptual learning. Our results indicate that functionally distinct populations of GCs exist in the OB and that they play distinct roles during different odor tasks.

Funding information:
  • NIAMS NIH HHS - R21-AR-063846(United States)

Life-Long Neurogenic Activity of Individual Neural Stem Cells and Continuous Growth Establish an Outside-In Architecture in the Teleost Pallium.

  • Furlan G
  • Curr. Biol.
  • 2017 Nov 6

Literature context:


Abstract:

Spatiotemporal variations of neurogenesis are thought to account for the evolution of brain shape. In the dorsal telencephalon (pallium) of vertebrates, it remains unresolved which ancestral neurogenesis mode prefigures the highly divergent cytoarchitectures that are seen in extant species. To gain insight into this question, we developed genetic tools to generate here the first 4-dimensional (3D + birthdating time) map of pallium construction in the adult teleost zebrafish. Using a Tet-On-based genetic birthdating strategy, we identify a "sequential stacking" construction mode where neurons derived from the zebrafish pallial germinal zone arrange in outside-in, age-related layers from a central core generated during embryogenesis. We obtained no evidence for overt radial or tangential neuronal migrations. Cre-lox-mediated tracing, which included following Brainbow clones, further demonstrates that this process is sustained by the persistent neurogenic activity of individual pallial neural stem cells (NSCs) from embryo to adult. Together, these data demonstrate that the spatiotemporal control of NSC activity is an important driver of the macroarchitecture of the zebrafish adult pallium. This simple mode of pallium construction shares distinct traits with pallial genesis in mammals and non-mammalian amniotes such as birds or reptiles, suggesting that it may exemplify the basal layout from which vertebrate pallial architectures were elaborated.

Double-Nanodomain Coupling of Calcium Channels, Ryanodine Receptors, and BK Channels Controls the Generation of Burst Firing.

  • Irie T
  • Neuron
  • 2017 Nov 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

Action potentials clustered into high-frequency bursts play distinct roles in neural computations. However, little is known about ionic currents that control the duration and probability of these bursts. We found that, in cartwheel inhibitory interneurons of the dorsal cochlear nucleus, the likelihood of bursts and the interval between their spikelets were controlled by Ca2+ acting across two nanodomains, one between plasma membrane P/Q Ca2+ channels and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) ryanodine receptors and another between ryanodine receptors and large-conductance, voltage- and Ca2+-activated K+ (BK) channels. Each spike triggered Ca2+-induced Ca2+ release (CICR) from the ER immediately beneath somatic, but not axonal or dendritic, plasma membrane. Moreover, immunolabeling demonstrated close apposition of ryanodine receptors and BK channels. Double-nanodomain coupling between somatic plasma membrane and hypolemmal ER cisterns provides a unique mechanism for rapid control of action potentials on the millisecond timescale.

Funding information:
  • NEI NIH HHS - R01 EY014126(United States)

Cortical Regulation of Nociception of the Trigeminal Nucleus Caudalis.

  • Castro A
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2017 Nov 22

Literature context:


Abstract:

Pain perception is strongly influenced by descending pathways from "higher" brain centers that regulate the activity of spinal circuits. In addition to the extensively studied descending system originating from the medulla, the neocortex provides dense anatomical projections that directly target neurons in the spinal cord and the spinal trigeminal nucleus caudalis (SpVc). Evidence exists that these corticotrigeminal pathways may modulate the processing of nociceptive inputs by SpVc, and regulate pain perception. We demonstrate here, with anatomical and optogenetic methods, and using both rats and mice (of both sexes), that corticotrigeminal axons densely innervate SpVc, where they target and directly activate inhibitory and excitatory neurons. Electrophysiological recordings reveal that stimulation of primary somatosensory cortex potently suppresses SpVc responses to noxious stimuli and produces behavioral hypoalgesia. These findings demonstrate that the corticotrigeminal pathway is a potent modulator of nociception and a potential target for interventions to alleviate chronic pain.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Many chronic pain conditions are resistant to conventional therapy. Promising new approaches to pain management capitalize on the brain's own mechanisms for controlling pain perception. Here we demonstrate that cortical neurons directly innervate the brainstem to drive feedforward inhibition of nociceptive neurons. This corticotrigeminal pathway suppresses the activity of these neurons and produces analgesia. This corticotrigeminal pathway may constitute a therapeutic target for chronic pain.

Neuromedin B Expression Defines the Mouse Retrotrapezoid Nucleus.

  • Shi Y
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2017 Nov 29

Literature context:


Abstract:

The retrotrapezoid nucleus (RTN) consists, by definition, of Phox2b-expressing, glutamatergic, non-catecholaminergic, noncholinergic neurons located in the parafacial region of the medulla oblongata. An unknown proportion of RTN neurons are central respiratory chemoreceptors and there is mounting evidence for biochemical diversity among these cells. Here, we used multiplexed in situ hybridization and single-cell RNA-Seq in male and female mice to provide a more comprehensive view of the phenotypic diversity of RTN neurons. We now demonstrate that the RTN of mice can be identified with a single and specific marker, Neuromedin B mRNA (Nmb). Most (∼75%) RTN neurons express low-to-moderate levels of Nmb and display chemoreceptor properties. Namely they are activated by hypercapnia, but not by hypoxia, and express proton sensors, TASK-2 and Gpr4. These Nmb-low RTN neurons also express varying levels of transcripts for Gal, Penk, and Adcyap1, and receptors for substance P, orexin, serotonin, and ATP. A subset of RTN neurons (∼20-25%), typically larger than average, express very high levels of Nmb mRNA. These Nmb-high RTN neurons do not express Fos after hypercapnia and have low-to-undetectable levels of Kcnk5 or Gpr4 transcripts; they also express Adcyap1, but are essentially devoid of Penk and Gal transcripts. In male rats, Nmb is also a marker of the RTN but, unlike in mice, this gene is expressed by other types of nearby neurons located within the ventromedial medulla. In sum, Nmb is a selective marker of the RTN in rodents; Nmb-low neurons, the vast majority, are central respiratory chemoreceptors, whereas Nmb-high neurons likely have other functions.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Central respiratory chemoreceptors regulate arterial PCO2 by adjusting lung ventilation. Such cells have recently been identified within the retrotrapezoid nucleus (RTN), a brainstem nucleus defined by genetic lineage and a cumbersome combination of markers. Using single-cell RNA-Seq and multiplexed in situ hybridization, we show here that a single marker, Neuromedin B mRNA (Nmb), identifies RTN neurons in rodents. We also suggest that >75% of these Nmb neurons are chemoreceptors because they are strongly activated by hypercapnia and express high levels of proton sensors (Kcnk5 and Gpr4). The other RTN neurons express very high levels of Nmb, but low levels of Kcnk5/Gpr4/pre-pro-galanin/pre-pro-enkephalin, and do not respond to hypercapnia. Their function is unknown.

Classifying Drosophila Olfactory Projection Neuron Subtypes by Single-Cell RNA Sequencing.

  • Li H
  • Cell
  • 2017 Nov 16

Literature context:


Abstract:

The definition of neuronal type and how it relates to the transcriptome are open questions. Drosophila olfactory projection neurons (PNs) are among the best-characterized neuronal types: different PN classes target dendrites to distinct olfactory glomeruli, while PNs of the same class exhibit indistinguishable anatomical and physiological properties. Using single-cell RNA sequencing, we comprehensively characterized the transcriptomes of most PN classes and unequivocally mapped transcriptomes to specific olfactory function for six classes. Transcriptomes of closely related PN classes exhibit the largest differences during circuit assembly but become indistinguishable in adults, suggesting that neuronal subtype diversity peaks during development. Transcription factors and cell-surface molecules are the most differentially expressed genes between classes and are highly informative in encoding cell identity, enabling us to identify a new lineage-specific transcription factor that instructs PN dendrite targeting. These findings establish that neuronal transcriptomic identity corresponds with anatomical and physiological identity defined by connectivity and function.

Funding information:
  • NIMH NIH HHS - R37 MH049428(United States)

Genetic and neuronal regulation of sleep by neuropeptide VF.

  • Lee DA
  • Elife
  • 2017 Nov 6

Literature context:


Abstract:

Sleep is an essential and phylogenetically conserved behavioral state, but it remains unclear to what extent genes identified in invertebrates also regulate vertebrate sleep. RFamide-related neuropeptides have been shown to promote invertebrate sleep, and here we report that the vertebrate hypothalamic RFamide neuropeptide VF (NPVF) regulates sleep in the zebrafish, a diurnal vertebrate. We found that NPVF signaling and npvf-expressing neurons are both necessary and sufficient to promote sleep, that mature peptides derived from the NPVF preproprotein promote sleep in a synergistic manner, and that stimulation of npvf-expressing neurons induces neuronal activity levels consistent with normal sleep. These results identify NPVF signaling and npvf-expressing neurons as a novel vertebrate sleep-promoting system and suggest that RFamide neuropeptides participate in an ancient and central aspect of sleep control.

Funding information:
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - R01 DK090029(United States)

Type III Cells in Anterior Taste Fields Are More Immunohistochemically Diverse Than Those of Posterior Taste Fields in Mice.

  • Wilson CE
  • Chem. Senses
  • 2017 Oct 31

Literature context:


Abstract:

Activation of Type III cells in mammalian taste buds is implicated in the transduction of acids (sour) and salty stimuli. Several lines of evidence suggest that function of Type III cells in the anterior taste fields may differ from that of Type III cells in posterior taste fields. Underlying anatomy to support this observation is, however, scant. Most existing immunohistochemical data characterizing this cell type focus on circumvallate taste buds in the posterior tongue. Equivalent data from anterior taste fields-fungiform papillae and soft palate-are lacking. Here, we compare Type III cells in four taste fields: fungiform, soft palate, circumvallate, and foliate in terms of reactivity to four canonical markers of Type III cells: polycystic kidney disease 2-like 1 (PKD2L1), synaptosomal associated protein 25 (SNAP25), serotonin (5-HT), and glutamate decarboxylase 67 (GAD67). Our findings indicate that while PKD2L1, 5-HT, and SNAP25 are highly coincident in posterior taste fields, they diverge in anterior taste fields. In particular, a subset of taste cells expresses PKD2L1 without the synaptic markers, and a subset of SNAP25 cells lacks expression of PKD2L1. In posterior taste fields, GAD67-positive cells are a subset of PKD2L1 expressing taste cells, but anterior taste fields also contain a significant population of GAD67-only expressing cells. These differences in expression patterns may underlie the observed functional differences between anterior and posterior taste fields.

Conditional Deletion of the L-Type Calcium Channel Cav1.2 in NG2-Positive Cells Impairs Remyelination in Mice.

  • Santiago González DA
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2017 Oct 18

Literature context:


Abstract:

Exploring the molecular mechanisms that drive the maturation of oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs) during the remyelination process is essential to developing new therapeutic tools to intervene in demyelinating diseases such as multiple sclerosis. To determine whether L-type voltage-gated calcium channels (L-VGCCs) are required for OPC development during remyelination, we generated an inducible conditional knock-out mouse in which the L-VGCC isoform Cav1.2 was deleted in NG2-positive OPCs (Cav1.2KO). Using the cuprizone (CPZ) model of demyelination and mice of either sex, we establish that Cav1.2 deletion in OPCs leads to less efficient remyelination of the adult brain. Specifically, Cav1.2KO OPCs mature slower and produce less myelin than control oligodendrocytes during the recovery period after CPZ intoxication. This reduced remyelination was accompanied by an important decline in the number of myelinating oligodendrocytes and in the rate of OPC proliferation. Furthermore, during the remyelination phase of the CPZ model, the corpus callosum of Cav1.2KO animals presented a significant decrease in the percentage of myelinated axons and a substantial increase in the mean g-ratio of myelinated axons compared with controls. In addition, in a mouse line in which the Cav1.2KO OPCs were identified by a Cre reporter, we establish that Cav1.2KO OPCs display a reduced maturational rate through the entire remyelination process. These results suggest that Ca2+ influx mediated by L-VGCCs in oligodendroglial cells is necessary for normal remyelination and is an essential Ca2+ channel for OPC maturation during the remyelination of the adult brain.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Ion channels implicated in oligodendrocyte differentiation and maturation may induce positive signals for myelin recovery. Voltage-gated Ca2+ channels (VGCCs) are important for normal myelination by acting at several critical steps during oligodendrocyte progenitor cell (OPC) development. To determine whether voltage Ca2+ entry is involved in oligodendrocyte differentiation and remyelination, we used a conditional knockout mouse for VGCCs in OPCs. Our results indicate that VGCCs can modulate oligodendrocyte maturation in the demyelinated brain and suggest that voltage-gated Ca2+ influx in OPCs is critical for remyelination. These findings could lead to novel approaches for obtaining a better understanding of the factors that control OPC maturation in order to stimulate this pool of progenitors to replace myelin in demyelinating diseases.

Funding information:
  • NCATS NIH HHS - UL1 TR001412()
  • NIA NIH HHS - R01 AG052934()
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - GM62116(United States)
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - R25 GM095459()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS078041()

Cell migration, intercalation and growth regulate mammalian cochlear extension.

  • Driver EC
  • Development
  • 2017 Oct 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

Developmental remodeling of the sensory epithelium of the cochlea is required for the formation of an elongated, tonotopically organized auditory organ, but the cellular processes that mediate these events are largely unknown. We used both morphological assessments of cellular rearrangements and time-lapse imaging to visualize cochlear remodeling in mouse. Analysis of cell redistribution showed that the cochlea extends through a combination of radial intercalation and cell growth. Live imaging demonstrated that concomitant cellular intercalation results in a brief period of epithelial convergence, although subsequent changes in cell size lead to medial-lateral spreading. Supporting cells, which retain contact with the basement membrane, exhibit biased protrusive activity and directed movement along the axis of extension. By contrast, hair cells lose contact with the basement membrane, but contribute to continued outgrowth through increased cell size. Regulation of cellular protrusions, movement and intercalation within the cochlea all require myosin II. These results establish, for the first time, many of the cellular processes that drive the distribution of sensory cells along the tonotopic axis of the cochlea.

Funding information:
  • NIH HHS - U42 OD011140(United States)

Cerebellins are differentially expressed in selective subsets of neurons throughout the brain.

  • Seigneur E
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2017 Oct 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

Cerebellins are secreted hexameric proteins that form tripartite complexes with the presynaptic cell-adhesion molecules neurexins or 'deleted-in-colorectal-cancer', and the postsynaptic glutamate-receptor-related proteins GluD1 and GluD2. These tripartite complexes are thought to regulate synapses. However, cerebellins are expressed in multiple isoforms whose relative distributions and overall functions are not understood. Three of the four cerebellins, Cbln1, Cbln2, and Cbln4, autonomously assemble into homohexamers, whereas the Cbln3 requires Cbln1 for assembly and secretion. Here, we show that Cbln1, Cbln2, and Cbln4 are abundantly expressed in nearly all brain regions, but exhibit strikingly different expression patterns and developmental dynamics. Using newly generated knockin reporter mice for Cbln2 and Cbln4, we find that Cbln2 and Cbln4 are not universally expressed in all neurons, but only in specific subsets of neurons. For example, Cbln2 and Cbln4 are broadly expressed in largely non-overlapping subpopulations of excitatory cortical neurons, but only sparse expression was observed in excitatory hippocampal neurons of the CA1- or CA3-region. Similarly, Cbln2 and Cbln4 are selectively expressed, respectively, in inhibitory interneurons and excitatory mitral projection neurons of the main olfactory bulb; here, these two classes of neurons form dendrodendritic reciprocal synapses with each other. A few brain regions, such as the nucleus of the lateral olfactory tract, exhibit astoundingly high Cbln2 expression levels. Viewed together, our data show that cerebellins are abundantly expressed in relatively small subsets of neurons, suggesting specific roles restricted to subsets of synapses.

Sparse genetic tracing reveals regionally specific functional organization of mammalian nociceptors.

  • Olson W
  • Elife
  • 2017 Oct 12

Literature context:


Abstract:

The human distal limbs have a high spatial acuity for noxious stimuli but a low density of pain-sensing neurites. To elucidate mechanisms underlying regional differences in processing nociception, we sparsely traced non-peptidergic nociceptors across the body using a newly generated MrgprdCreERT2 mouse line. We found that mouse plantar paw skin is also innervated by a low density of Mrgprd+ nociceptors, while individual arbors in different locations are comparable in size. Surprisingly, the central arbors of plantar paw and trunk innervating nociceptors have distinct morphologies in the spinal cord. This regional difference is well correlated with a heightened signal transmission for plantar paw circuits, as revealed by both spinal cord slice recordings and behavior assays. Taken together, our results elucidate a novel somatotopic functional organization of the mammalian pain system and suggest that regional central arbor structure could facilitate the "enlarged representation" of plantar paw regions in the CNS.

Funding information:
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - K12 GM081259()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - F31 NS092297()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS083702()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS094224()

Amyloid Beta Peptides Block New Synapse Assembly by Nogo Receptor-Mediated Inhibition of T-Type Calcium Channels.

  • Zhao Y
  • Neuron
  • 2017 Oct 11

Literature context:


Abstract:

Compelling evidence links amyloid beta (Aβ) peptide accumulation in the brains of Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients with the emergence of learning and memory deficits, yet a clear understanding of the events that drive this synaptic pathology are lacking. We present evidence that neurons exposed to Aβ are unable to form new synapses, resulting in learning deficits in vivo. We demonstrate the Nogo receptor family (NgR1-3) acts as Aβ receptors mediating an inhibition of synapse assembly, plasticity, and learning. Live imaging studies reveal Aβ activates NgRs on the dendritic shaft of neurons, triggering an inhibition of calcium signaling. We define T-type calcium channels as a target of Aβ-NgR signaling, mediating Aβ's inhibitory effects on calcium, synapse assembly, plasticity, and learning. These studies highlight deficits in new synapse assembly as a potential initiator of cognitive pathology in AD, and pinpoint calcium dysregulation mediated by NgRs and T-type channels as key components. VIDEO ABSTRACT.

Funding information:
  • NIMH NIH HHS - R21 MH107966()

Functional Convergence at the Retinogeniculate Synapse.

  • Litvina EY
  • Neuron
  • 2017 Oct 11

Literature context:


Abstract:

Precise connectivity between retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) and thalamocortical (TC) relay neurons is thought to be essential for the transmission of visual information. Consistent with this view, electrophysiological measurements have previously estimated that 1-3 RGCs converge onto a mouse geniculate TC neuron. Recent advances in connectomics and rabies tracing have yielded much higher estimates of retinogeniculate convergence, although not all identified contacts may be functional. Here we use optogenetics and a computational simulation to determine the number of functionally relevant retinogeniculate inputs onto TC neurons in mice. We find an average of ten RGCs converging onto a mature TC neuron, in contrast to >30 inputs before developmental refinement. However, only 30% of retinogeniculate inputs exceed the threshold for dominating postsynaptic activity. These results signify a greater role for the thalamus in visual processing and provide a functional perspective of anatomical connectivity data.

Fgf10-Hippo Epithelial-Mesenchymal Crosstalk Maintains and Recruits Lung Basal Stem Cells.

  • Volckaert T
  • Dev. Cell
  • 2017 Oct 9

Literature context:


Abstract:

The lung harbors its basal stem/progenitor cells (BSCs) in the protected environment of the cartilaginous airways. After major lung injuries, BSCs are activated and recruited to sites of injury. Here, we show that during homeostasis, BSCs in cartilaginous airways maintain their stem cell state by downregulating the Hippo pathway (resulting in increased nuclear Yap), which generates a localized Fgf10-expressing stromal niche; in contrast, differentiated epithelial cells in non-cartilaginous airways maintain quiescence by activating the Hippo pathway and inhibiting Fgf10 expression in airway smooth muscle cells (ASMCs). However, upon injury, surviving differentiated epithelial cells spread to maintain barrier function and recruit integrin-linked kinase to adhesion sites, which leads to Merlin degradation, downregulation of the Hippo pathway, nuclear Yap translocation, and expression and secretion of Wnt7b. Epithelial-derived Wnt7b, then in turn, induces Fgf10 expression in ASMCs, which extends the BSC niche to promote regeneration.

Funding information:
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - R01 HL092967()
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - R01 HL126732()
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - R01 HL132156()

Sonic hedgehog from both nerves and epithelium is a key trophic factor for taste bud maintenance.

  • Castillo-Azofeifa D
  • Development
  • 2017 Sep 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

The integrity of taste buds is intimately dependent on an intact gustatory innervation, yet the molecular nature of this dependency is unknown. Here, we show that differentiation of new taste bud cells, but not progenitor proliferation, is interrupted in mice treated with a hedgehog (Hh) pathway inhibitor (HPI), and that gustatory nerves are a source of sonic hedgehog (Shh) for taste bud renewal. Additionally, epithelial taste precursor cells express Shh transiently, and provide a local supply of Hh ligand that supports taste cell renewal. Taste buds are minimally affected when Shh is lost from either tissue source. However, when both the epithelial and neural supply of Shh are removed, taste buds largely disappear. We conclude Shh supplied by taste nerves and local taste epithelium act in concert to support continued taste bud differentiation. However, although neurally derived Shh is in part responsible for the dependence of taste cell renewal on gustatory innervation, neurotrophic support of taste buds likely involves a complex set of factors.

Funding information:
  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research - (Canada)
  • NIDCD NIH HHS - P30 DC004657()
  • NIDCD NIH HHS - R01 DC000566()
  • NIDCD NIH HHS - R01 DC012383()
  • NIDCD NIH HHS - R01 DC012675()

H2Av facilitates H3S10 phosphorylation but is not required for heat shock-induced chromatin decondensation or transcriptional elongation.

  • Li Y
  • Development
  • 2017 Sep 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

A model has been proposed in which JIL-1 kinase-mediated H3S10 and H2Av phosphorylation is required for transcriptional elongation and heat shock-induced chromatin decondensation. However, here we show that although H3S10 phosphorylation is indeed compromised in the H2Av null mutant, chromatin decondensation at heat shock loci is unaffected in the absence of JIL-1 as well as of H2Av and that there is no discernable decrease in the elongating form of RNA polymerase II in either mutant. Furthermore, mRNA for the major heat shock protein Hsp70 is transcribed at robust levels in both H2Av and JIL-1 null mutants. Using a different chromatin remodeling paradigm that is JIL-1 dependent, we provide evidence that ectopic tethering of JIL-1 and subsequent H3S10 phosphorylation recruits PARP-1 to the remodeling site independently of H2Av phosphorylation. These data strongly suggest that H2Av or H3S10 phosphorylation by JIL-1 is not required for chromatin decondensation or transcriptional elongation in Drosophila.

Selective neuronal expression of the SoxE factor, Sox8, in direct pathway striatal projection neurons of the developing mouse brain.

  • Merchan-Sala P
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2017 Sep 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

The striatum is the major component of the basal ganglia and is well known to play a key role in the control of motor function via balanced output from the indirect (iSPNs) and direct pathway striatal projection neurons (dSPNs). Little is known, however, about the molecular genetic mechanisms that control the formation of the iSPNs versus dSPNs. We show here that the SoxE family member, Sox8, is co-expressed with the dSPN markers, Isl1 and Ebf1, in the developing striatum. Moreover, dSPNs, as marked by Isl1-cre fate map, express Sox8 in the embryonic striatum and Sox8-EGFP BAC transgenic mice specifically reveal the direct pathway axons during development. These EGFP+ axons are first observed to reach their midbrain target, the substantia nigra pars reticulata (SNr), at E14 in the mouse with a robust connection observed already at birth. The selective expression of EGFP in dSPNs of Sox8-EGFP BAC mice is maintained at postnatal timepoints. Sox8 is known to be expressed in oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPCs) together with other SoxE factors and we show here that the EGFP signal co-localizes with the OPC markers throughout the brain. Finally, we show that Sox8-EGFP BAC mice can be used to interrogate the altered dSPN development in Isl1 conditional mutants including aberrant axonal projections detected already at embryonic timepoints. Thus, Sox8 represents an early and specific marker of embryonic dSPNs and the Sox8-EGFP BAC transgenic mice are an excellent tool to study the development of basal ganglia circuitry.

Funding information:
  • NIMH NIH HHS - R01 MH090740()

Zika-Virus-Encoded NS2A Disrupts Mammalian Cortical Neurogenesis by Degrading Adherens Junction Proteins.

  • Yoon KJ
  • Cell Stem Cell
  • 2017 Sep 7

Literature context:


Abstract:

Zika virus (ZIKV) directly infects neural progenitors and impairs their proliferation. How ZIKV interacts with the host molecular machinery to impact neurogenesis in vivo is not well understood. Here, by systematically introducing individual proteins encoded by ZIKV into the embryonic mouse cortex, we show that expression of ZIKV-NS2A, but not Dengue virus (DENV)-NS2A, leads to reduced proliferation and premature differentiation of radial glial cells and aberrant positioning of newborn neurons. Mechanistically, in vitro mapping of protein-interactomes and biochemical analysis suggest interactions between ZIKA-NS2A and multiple adherens junction complex (AJ) components. Functionally, ZIKV-NS2A, but not DENV-NS2A, destabilizes the AJ complex, resulting in impaired AJ formation and aberrant radial glial fiber scaffolding in the embryonic mouse cortex. Similarly, ZIKA-NS2A, but not DENV-NS2A, reduces radial glial cell proliferation and causes AJ deficits in human forebrain organoids. Together, our results reveal pathogenic mechanisms underlying ZIKV infection in the developing mammalian brain.

Memory Erasure Experiments Indicate a Critical Role of CaMKII in Memory Storage.

  • Rossetti T
  • Neuron
  • 2017 Sep 27

Literature context:


Abstract:

The abundant synaptic protein CaMKII is necessary for long-term potentiation (LTP) and memory. However, whether CaMKII is required only during initial processes or whether it also mediates memory storage remains unclear. The most direct test of a storage role is the erasure test. In this test, a putative memory molecule is inhibited after learning. The key prediction is that this should produce persistent memory erasure even after the inhibitory agent is removed. We conducted this test using transient viral (HSV) expression of dominant-negative CaMKII-alpha (K42M) in the hippocampus. This produced persistent erasure of conditioned place avoidance. As an additional test, we found that expression of activated CaMKII (T286D/T305A/T306A) impaired place avoidance, a result not expected if a process other than CaMKII stores memory. Our behavioral results, taken together with prior experiments on LTP, strongly support a critical role of CaMKII in LTP maintenance and memory storage.

Funding information:
  • NIDA NIH HHS - R01 DA043195()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS103168()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R56 NS096710()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - U01 NS090583()

Slow AMPAR Synaptic Transmission Is Determined by Stargazin and Glutamate Transporters.

  • Lu HW
  • Neuron
  • 2017 Sep 27

Literature context:


Abstract:

AMPARs mediate the briefest synaptic currents in the brain by virtue of their rapid gating kinetics. However, at the mossy fiber-to-unipolar brush cell synapse in the cerebellum, AMPAR-mediated EPSCs last for hundreds of milliseconds, and it has been proposed that this time course reflects slow diffusion from a complex synaptic space. We show that upon release of glutamate, synaptic AMPARs were desensitized by transmitter by >90%. As glutamate levels subsequently fell, recovery of transmission occurred due to the presence of the AMPAR accessory protein stargazin that enhances the AMPAR response to low levels of transmitter. This gradual increase in receptor activity following desensitization accounted for the majority of synaptic transmission at this synapse. Moreover, the amplitude, duration, and shape of the synaptic response was tightly controlled by plasma membrane glutamate transporters, indicating that clearance of synaptic glutamate during the slow EPSC is dictated by an uptake process.

Funding information:
  • NIDCD NIH HHS - F32 DC014878()
  • NIDCD NIH HHS - R01 DC004450()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS028901()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R37 NS028901()

HDAC5 and Its Target Gene, Npas4, Function in the Nucleus Accumbens to Regulate Cocaine-Conditioned Behaviors.

  • Taniguchi M
  • Neuron
  • 2017 Sep 27

Literature context:


Abstract:

Individuals suffering from substance-use disorders develop strong associations between the drug's rewarding effects and environmental cues, creating powerful, enduring triggers for relapse. We found that dephosphorylated, nuclear histone deacetylase 5 (HDAC5) in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) reduced cocaine reward-context associations and relapse-like behaviors in a cocaine self-administration model. We also discovered that HDAC5 associates with an activity-sensitive enhancer of the Npas4 gene and negatively regulates NPAS4 expression. Exposure to cocaine and the test chamber induced rapid and transient NPAS4 expression in a small subpopulation of FOS-positive neurons in the NAc. Conditional deletion of Npas4 in the NAc significantly reduced cocaine conditioned place preference and delayed learning of the drug-reinforced action during cocaine self-administration, without affecting cue-induced reinstatement of drug seeking. These data suggest that HDAC5 and NPAS4 in the NAc are critically involved in reward-relevant learning and memory processes and that nuclear HDAC5 limits reinstatement of drug seeking independent of NPAS4.

Funding information:
  • NIDA NIH HHS - P01 DA008227()
  • NIDA NIH HHS - R01 DA027664()
  • NIDA NIH HHS - R01 DA032708()

Distinct Mesenchymal Lineages and Niches Promote Epithelial Self-Renewal and Myofibrogenesis in the Lung.

  • Zepp JA
  • Cell
  • 2017 Sep 7

Literature context:


Abstract:

The lung is an architecturally complex organ comprising a heterogeneous mixture of various epithelial and mesenchymal lineages. We use single-cell RNA sequencing and signaling lineage reporters to generate a spatial and transcriptional map of the lung mesenchyme. We find that each mesenchymal lineage has a distinct spatial address and transcriptional profile leading to unique niche regulatory functions. The mesenchymal alveolar niche cell is Wnt responsive, expresses Pdgfrα, and is critical for alveolar epithelial cell growth and self-renewal. In contrast, the Axin2+ myofibrogenic progenitor cell preferentially generates pathologically deleterious myofibroblasts after injury. Analysis of the secretome and receptome of the alveolar niche reveals functional pathways that mediate growth and self-renewal of alveolar type 2 progenitor cells, including IL-6/Stat3, Bmp, and Fgf signaling. These studies define the cellular and molecular framework of lung mesenchymal niches and reveal the functional importance of developmental pathways in promoting self-renewal versus a pathological response to tissue injury.

Input-Timing-Dependent Plasticity in the Hippocampal CA2 Region and Its Potential Role in Social Memory.

  • Leroy F
  • Neuron
  • 2017 Aug 30

Literature context:


Abstract:

Input-timing-dependent plasticity (ITDP) is a circuit-based synaptic learning rule by which paired activation of entorhinal cortical (EC) and Schaffer collateral (SC) inputs to hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons (PNs) produces a long-term enhancement of SC excitation. We now find that paired stimulation of EC and SC inputs also induces ITDP of SC excitation of CA2 PNs. However, whereas CA1 ITDP results from long-term depression of feedforward inhibition (iLTD) as a result of activation of CB1 endocannabinoid receptors on cholecystokinin-expressing interneurons, CA2 ITDP results from iLTD through activation of δ-opioid receptors on parvalbumin-expressing interneurons. Furthermore, whereas CA1 ITDP has been previously linked to enhanced specificity of contextual memory, we find that CA2 ITDP is associated with enhanced social memory. Thus, ITDP may provide a general synaptic learning rule for distinct forms of hippocampal-dependent memory mediated by distinct hippocampal regions.

Loss of Tuberous Sclerosis Complex1 in Adult Oligodendrocyte Progenitor Cells Enhances Axon Remyelination and Increases Myelin Thickness after a Focal Demyelination.

  • McLane LE
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2017 Aug 2

Literature context:


Abstract:

Although the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) is an essential regulator of developmental oligodendrocyte differentiation and myelination, oligodendrocyte-specific deletion of tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC), a major upstream inhibitor of mTOR, surprisingly also leads to hypomyelination during CNS development. However, the function of TSC has not been studied in the context of remyelination. Here, we used the inducible Cre-lox system to study the function of TSC in the remyelination of a focal, lysolecithin-demyelinated lesion in adult male mice. Using two different mouse models in which Tsc1 is deleted by Cre expression in oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs) or in premyelinating oligodendrocytes, we reveal that deletion of Tsc1 affects oligodendroglia differently depending on the stage of the oligodendrocyte lineage. Tsc1 deletion from NG2+ OPCs accelerated remyelination. Conversely, Tsc1 deletion from proteolipid protein (PLP)-positive oligodendrocytes slowed remyelination. Contrary to developmental myelination, there were no changes in OPC or oligodendrocyte numbers in either model. Our findings reveal a complex role for TSC in oligodendrocytes during remyelination in which the timing of Tsc1 deletion is a critical determinant of its effect on remyelination. Moreover, our findings suggest that TSC has different functions in developmental myelination and remyelination.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Myelin loss in demyelinating disorders such as multiple sclerosis results in disability due to loss of axon conductance and axon damage. Encouragingly, the nervous system is capable of spontaneous remyelination, but this regenerative process often fails. Many chronically demyelinated lesions have oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs) within their borders. It is thus of great interest to elucidate mechanisms by which we might enhance endogenous remyelination. Here, we provide evidence that deletion of Tsc1 from OPCs, but not differentiating oligodendrocytes, is beneficial to remyelination. This finding contrasts with the loss of oligodendroglia and hypomyelination seen with Tsc1 or Tsc2 deletion in the oligodendrocyte lineage during CNS development and points to important differences in the regulation of developmental myelination and remyelination.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS082203()

Activity-Dependent Gating of Parvalbumin Interneuron Function by the Perineuronal Net Protein Brevican.

  • Favuzzi E
  • Neuron
  • 2017 Aug 2

Literature context:


Abstract:

Activity-dependent neuronal plasticity is a fundamental mechanism through which the nervous system adapts to sensory experience. Several lines of evidence suggest that parvalbumin (PV+) interneurons are essential in this process, but the molecular mechanisms underlying the influence of experience on interneuron plasticity remain poorly understood. Perineuronal nets (PNNs) enwrapping PV+ cells are long-standing candidates for playing such a role, yet their precise contribution has remained elusive. We show that the PNN protein Brevican is a critical regulator of interneuron plasticity. We find that Brevican simultaneously controls cellular and synaptic forms of plasticity in PV+ cells by regulating the localization of potassium channels and AMPA receptors, respectively. By modulating Brevican levels, experience introduces precise molecular and cellular modifications in PV+ cells that are required for learning and memory. These findings uncover a molecular program through which a PNN protein facilitates appropriate behavioral responses to experience by dynamically gating PV+ interneuron function.

Local Cues Establish and Maintain Region-Specific Phenotypes of Basal Ganglia Microglia.

  • De Biase LM
  • Neuron
  • 2017 Jul 19

Literature context:


Abstract:

Microglia play critical roles in tissue homeostasis and can also modulate neuronal function and synaptic connectivity. In contrast to astrocytes and oligodendrocytes, which arise from multiple progenitor pools, microglia arise from yolk sac progenitors and are widely considered to be equivalent throughout the CNS. However, little is known about basic properties of deep brain microglia, such as those within the basal ganglia (BG). Here, we show that microglial anatomical features, lysosome content, membrane properties, and transcriptomes differ significantly across BG nuclei. Region-specific phenotypes of BG microglia emerged during the second postnatal week and were re-established following genetic or pharmacological microglial ablation and repopulation in the adult, indicating that local cues play an ongoing role in shaping microglial diversity. These findings demonstrate that microglia in the healthy brain exhibit a spectrum of distinct functional states and provide a critical foundation for defining microglial contributions to BG circuit function.

A Splice Variant of Centrosomin Converts Mitochondria to Microtubule-Organizing Centers.

  • Chen JV
  • Curr. Biol.
  • 2017 Jul 10

Literature context:


Abstract:

Non-centrosomal microtubule organizing centers (MTOCs) direct microtubule (MT) organization to exert diverse cell-type-specific functions. In Drosophila spermatids, the giant mitochondria provide structural platforms for MT reorganization to support elongation of the extremely long sperm. However, the molecular basis for this mitochondrial MTOC and other non-centrosomal MTOCs has not been discerned. Here we report that Drosophila centrosomin (cnn) expresses two major protein variants: the centrosomal form (CnnC) and a non-centrosomal form in testes (CnnT). CnnC is established as essential for functional centrosomes, the major MTOCs in animal cells. We show that CnnT is expressed exclusively in testes by alternative splicing and localizes to giant mitochondria in spermatids. In cell culture, CnnT targets to the mitochondrial surface, recruits the MT nucleator γ-tubulin ring complex (γ-TuRC), and is sufficient to convert mitochondria to MTOCs independent of core pericentriolar proteins that regulate MT assembly at centrosomes. We mapped two separate domains in CnnT: one that is necessary and sufficient to target it to mitochondria and another that is necessary and sufficient to recruit γ-TuRCs and nucleate MTs. In elongating spermatids, CnnT forms speckles on the giant mitochondria that are required to recruit γ-TuRCs to organize MTs and support spermiogenesis. This molecular characterization of the mitochondrial MTOC defines a minimal molecular requirement for MTOC generation and implicates the potent role of Cnn (or its related) proteins in the direct regulation of MT assembly and organization of non-centrosomal MTOCs.

Ciliary Hedgehog Signaling Restricts Injury-Induced Adipogenesis.

  • Kopinke D
  • Cell
  • 2017 Jul 13

Literature context:


Abstract:

Injured skeletal muscle regenerates, but with age or in muscular dystrophies, muscle is replaced by fat. Upon injury, muscle-resident fibro/adipogenic progenitors (FAPs) proliferated and gave rise to adipocytes. These FAPs dynamically produced primary cilia, structures that transduce intercellular cues such as Hedgehog (Hh) signals. Genetically removing cilia from FAPs inhibited intramuscular adipogenesis, both after injury and in a mouse model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Blocking FAP ciliation also enhanced myofiber regeneration after injury and reduced myofiber size decline in the muscular dystrophy model. Hh signaling through FAP cilia regulated the expression of TIMP3, a secreted metalloproteinase inhibitor, that inhibited MMP14 to block adipogenesis. A pharmacological mimetic of TIMP3 blocked the conversion of FAPs into adipocytes, pointing to a strategy to combat fatty degeneration of skeletal muscle. We conclude that ciliary Hh signaling by FAPs orchestrates the regenerative response to skeletal muscle injury.

Funding information:
  • NIAMS NIH HHS - R01 AR054396()
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - R01 GM095941()

Reduced Slc6a15 in Nucleus Accumbens D2-Neurons Underlies Stress Susceptibility.

  • Chandra R
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2017 Jul 5

Literature context:


Abstract:

Previous research demonstrates that Slc6a15, a neutral amino acid transporter, is associated with depression susceptibility. However, no study examined Slc6a15 in the ventral striatum [nucleus accumbens (NAc)] in depression. Given our previous characterization of Slc6a15 as a striatal dopamine receptor 2 (D2)-neuron-enriched gene, we examined the role of Slc6a15 in NAc D2-neurons in mediating susceptibility to stress in male mice. First, we showed that Slc6a15 mRNA was reduced in NAc of mice susceptible to chronic social defeat stress (CSDS), a paradigm that produces behavioral and molecular adaptations that resemble clinical depression. Consistent with our preclinical data, we observed Slc6a15 mRNA reduction in NAc of individuals with major depressive disorder (MDD). The Slc6a15 reduction in NAc occurred selectively in D2-neurons. Next, we used Cre-inducible viruses combined with D2-Cre mice to reduce or overexpress Slc6a15 in NAc D2-neurons. Slc6a15 reduction in D2-neurons caused enhanced susceptibility to a subthreshold social defeat stress (SSDS) as observed by reduced social interaction, while a reduction in social interaction following CSDS was not observed when Slc6a15 expression in D2-neurons was restored. Finally, since both D2-medium spiny neurons (MSNs) and D2-expressing choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) interneurons express Slc6a15, we examined Slc6a15 protein in these interneurons after CSDS. Slc6a15 protein was unaltered in ChAT interneurons. Consistent with this, reducing Slc5a15 selectively in NAc D2-MSNs, using A2A-Cre mice that express Cre selectively in D2-MSNs, caused enhanced susceptibility to SSDS. Collectively, our data demonstrate that reduced Slc6a15 in NAc occurs in MDD individuals and that Slc6a15 reduction in NAc D2-neurons underlies stress susceptibility.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Our study demonstrates a role for reduced Slc6a15, a neutral amino acid transporter, in nucleus accumbens (NAc) in depression and stress susceptibility. The reduction of Slc6a15 occurs selectively in the NAc D2-neurons. Genetic reduction of Slc6a15 induces susceptibility to a subthreshold stress, while genetic overexpression in D2-neurons prevents social avoidance after chronic social defeat stress.

Funding information:
  • NIMH NIH HHS - R01 MH106500()

Microglial Inflammatory Signaling Orchestrates the Hypothalamic Immune Response to Dietary Excess and Mediates Obesity Susceptibility.

  • Valdearcos M
  • Cell Metab.
  • 2017 Jul 5

Literature context:


Abstract:

Dietary excess triggers accumulation of pro-inflammatory microglia in the mediobasal hypothalamus (MBH), but the components of this microgliosis and its metabolic consequences remain uncertain. Here, we show that microglial inflammatory signaling determines the immunologic response of the MBH to dietary excess and regulates hypothalamic control of energy homeostasis in mice. Either pharmacologically depleting microglia or selectively restraining microglial NF-κB-dependent signaling sharply reduced microgliosis, an effect that includes prevention of MBH entry by bone-marrow-derived myeloid cells, and greatly limited diet-induced hyperphagia and weight gain. Conversely, forcing microglial activation through cell-specific deletion of the negative NF-κB regulator A20 induced spontaneous MBH microgliosis and cellular infiltration, reduced energy expenditure, and increased both food intake and weight gain even in absence of a dietary challenge. Thus, microglial inflammatory activation, stimulated by dietary excess, orchestrates a multicellular hypothalamic response that mediates obesity susceptibility, providing a mechanistic rationale for non-neuronal approaches to treat metabolic diseases.

Funding information:
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - F32 DK108473()
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - K08 DK088872()
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - P30 DK017047()
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - P30 DK035816()
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - P30 DK098722()
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - R01 DK103175()
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - T32 DK007247()

Unique versus Redundant Functions of Neuroligin Genes in Shaping Excitatory and Inhibitory Synapse Properties.

  • Chanda S
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2017 Jul 19

Literature context:


Abstract:

Neuroligins are evolutionarily conserved postsynaptic cell adhesion molecules that interact with presynaptic neurexins. Neurons express multiple neuroligin isoforms that are targeted to specific synapses, but their synaptic functions and mechanistic redundancy are not completely understood. Overexpression or RNAi-mediated knockdown of neuroligins, respectively, causes a dramatic increase or decrease in synapse density, whereas genetic deletions of neuroligins impair synapse function with only minor effects on synapse numbers, raising fundamental questions about the overall physiological role of neuroligins. Here, we have systematically analyzed the effects of conditional genetic deletions of all major neuroligin isoforms (i.e., NL1, NL2, and NL3), either individually or in combinations, in cultured mouse hippocampal and cortical neurons. We found that conditional genetic deletions of neuroligins caused no change or only a small change in synapses numbers, but strongly impaired synapse function. This impairment was isoform specific, suggesting that neuroligins are not functionally redundant. Sparse neuroligin deletions produced phenotypes comparable to those of global deletions, indicating that neuroligins function in a cell-autonomous manner. Mechanistically, neuroligin deletions decreased the synaptic levels of neurotransmitter receptors and had no effect on presynaptic release probabilities. Overexpression of neuroligin-1 in control or neuroligin-deficient neurons increased synaptic transmission and synapse density but not spine numbers, suggesting that these effects reflect a gain-of-function mechanism; whereas overexpression of neuroligin-3, which, like neuroligin-1 is also targeted to excitatory synapses, had no comparable effect. Our data demonstrate that neuroligins are required for the physiological organization of neurotransmitter receptors in postsynaptic specializations and suggest that they do not play a major role in synapse formation.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Human neuroligin genes have been associated with autism, but the cellular functions of different neuroligins and their molecular mechanisms remain incompletely understood. Here, we performed comparative analyses in cultured mouse neurons of all major neuroligin isoforms, either individually or in combinations, using conditional knockouts. We found that neuroligin deletions did not affect synapse numbers but differentially impaired excitatory or inhibitory synaptic functions in an isoform-specific manner. These impairments were due, at least in part, to a decrease in synaptic distribution of neurotransmitter receptors upon deletion of neuroligins. Conversely, the overexpression of neuroligin-1 increased synapse numbers but not spine numbers. Our results suggest that various neuroligin isoforms perform unique postsynaptic functions in organizing synapses but are not essential for synapse formation or maintenance.

Barrington's nucleus: Neuroanatomic landscape of the mouse "pontine micturition center".

  • Verstegen AMJ
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2017 Jul 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Barrington's nucleus (Bar) is thought to contain neurons that trigger voiding and thereby function as the "pontine micturition center." Lacking detailed information on this region in mice, we examined gene and protein markers to characterize Bar and the neurons surrounding it. Like rats and cats, mice have an ovoid core of medium-sized Bar neurons located medial to the locus coeruleus (LC). Bar neurons express a GFP reporter for Vglut2, develop from a Math1/Atoh1 lineage, and exhibit immunoreactivity for NeuN. Many neurons in and around this core cluster express a reporter for corticotrophin-releasing hormone (BarCRH ). Axons from BarCRH neurons project to the lumbosacral spinal cord and ramify extensively in two regions: the dorsal gray commissural and intermediolateral nuclei. BarCRH neurons have unexpectedly long dendrites, which may receive synaptic input from the cerebral cortex and other brain regions beyond the core afferents identified previously. Finally, at least five populations of neurons surround Bar: rostral-dorsomedial cholinergic neurons in the laterodorsal tegmental nucleus; lateral noradrenergic neurons in the LC; medial GABAergic neurons in the pontine central gray; ventromedial, small GABAergic neurons that express FoxP2; and dorsolateral glutamatergic neurons that express FoxP2 in the pLC and form a wedge dividing Bar from the dorsal LC. We discuss the implications of this new information for interpreting existing data and future experiments targeting BarCRH neurons and their synaptic afferents to study micturition and other pelvic functions.

Funding information:
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - T32 HL007901()
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - P20 DK103086()
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - R01 DK113030()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R25 NS070682()

Recruited Monocytes and Type 2 Immunity Promote Lung Regeneration following Pneumonectomy.

  • Lechner AJ
  • Cell Stem Cell
  • 2017 Jul 6

Literature context:


Abstract:

To investigate the role of immune cells in lung regeneration, we used a unilateral pneumonectomy model that promotes the formation of new alveoli in the remaining lobes. Immunofluorescence and single-cell RNA sequencing found CD115+ and CCR2+ monocytes and M2-like macrophages accumulating in the lung during the peak of type 2 alveolar epithelial stem cell (AEC2) proliferation. Genetic loss of function in mice and adoptive transfer studies revealed that bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMDMs) traffic to the lung through a CCL2-CCR2 chemokine axis and are required for optimal lung regeneration, along with Il4ra-expressing leukocytes. Our data suggest that these cells modulate AEC2 proliferation and differentiation. Finally, we provide evidence that group 2 innate lymphoid cells are a source of IL-13, which promotes lung regeneration. Together, our data highlight the potential for immunomodulatory therapies to stimulate alveologenesis in adults.

Funding information:
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - F30 HL131198()
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - R01 HL127002()
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - U01 HL134766()
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - T32 GM007618()

The role of ghrelin-responsive mediobasal hypothalamic neurons in mediating feeding responses to fasting.

  • Mani BK
  • Mol Metab
  • 2017 Jul 29

Literature context:


Abstract:

OBJECTIVE: Ghrelin is a stomach-derived hormone that affects food intake and regulates blood glucose. The best-characterized actions of ghrelin are mediated by its binding to and activation of the growth hormone secretagogue receptor (GHSR; ghrelin receptor). Adequate examination of the identity, function, and relevance of specific subsets of GHSR-expressing neurons has been hampered by the absence of a suitable Cre recombinase (Cre)-expressing mouse line with which to manipulate gene expression in a targeted fashion within GHSR-expressing neurons. The present study aims to characterize the functional significance and neurocircuitry of GHSR-expressing neurons in the mediobasal hypothalamus (MBH), as they relate to ghrelin-induced food intake and fasting-associated rebound hyperphagia, using a novel mouse line in which Cre expression is controlled by the Ghsr promoter. METHODS: A Ghsr-IRES-Cre mouse line that expresses Cre directed by the Ghsr promoter was generated. The line was validated by comparing Cre activity in reporter mice to the known brain distribution pattern of GHSR. Next, the requirement of MBH GHSR-expressing neuronal activity in mediating food intake in response to administered ghrelin and in response to fasting was assessed after stereotaxic delivery of inhibitory designer receptor exclusively activated by designer drugs (DREADD) virus to the MBH. In a separate cohort of Ghsr-IRES-Cre mice, stereotaxic delivery of stimulatory DREADD virus to the MBH was performed to assess the sufficiency of MBH GHSR-expressing neuronal activity on food intake. Finally, the distribution of MBH GHSR-expressing neuronal axonal projections was assessed in the DREADD virus-injected animals. RESULTS: The pattern of Cre activity in the Ghsr-IRES-Cre mouse line mostly faithfully reproduced the known GHSR expression pattern. DREADD-assisted inhibition of MBH GHSR neuronal activity robustly suppressed the normal orexigenic response to ghrelin and fasting-associated rebound food intake. DREADD-assisted stimulation of MBH GHSR neuronal activity was sufficient to induce food intake. Axonal projections of GHSR-expressing MBH neurons were observed in a subset of hypothalamic and extra-hypothalamic regions. CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that 1) activation of GHSR-expressing neurons in the MBH is required for the normal feeding responses following both peripheral administration of ghrelin and fasting, 2) activation of MBH GHSR-expressing neurons is sufficient to induce feeding, and 3) axonal projections to a subset of hypothalamic and/or extra-hypothalamic regions likely mediate these responses. The Ghsr-IRES-Cre line should serve as a valuable tool to further our understanding of the functional significance of ghrelin-responsive/GHSR-expressing neurons and the neuronal circuitry within which they act.

Lunatic fringe-mediated Notch signaling regulates adult hippocampal neural stem cell maintenance.

  • Semerci F
  • Elife
  • 2017 Jul 12

Literature context:


Abstract:

Hippocampal neural stem cells (NSCs) integrate inputs from multiple sources to balance quiescence and activation. Notch signaling plays a key role during this process. Here, we report that Lunatic fringe (Lfng), a key modifier of the Notch receptor, is selectively expressed in NSCs. Further, Lfng in NSCs and Notch ligands Delta1 and Jagged1, expressed by their progeny, together influence NSC recruitment, cell cycle duration, and terminal fate. We propose a new model in which Lfng-mediated Notch signaling enables direct communication between a NSC and its descendants, so that progeny can send feedback signals to the 'mother' cell to modify its cell cycle status. Lfng-mediated Notch signaling appears to be a key factor governing NSC quiescence, division, and fate.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - P30 CA125123()
  • NCRR NIH HHS - S10 RR024574()
  • NIAID NIH HHS - P30 AI036211()
  • NICHD NIH HHS - U54 HD083092()
  • NIDCD NIH HHS - R01 DC006185()
  • NIDCD NIH HHS - R01 DC014832()
  • NIH HHS - S10 OD016167()

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.

The laminar organization of the Drosophila ellipsoid body is semaphorin-dependent and prevents the formation of ectopic synaptic connections.

  • Xie X
  • Elife
  • 2017 Jun 20

Literature context:


Abstract:

The ellipsoid body (EB) in the Drosophila brain is a central complex (CX) substructure that harbors circumferentially laminated ring (R) neuron axons and mediates multifaceted sensory integration and motor coordination functions. However, what regulates R axon lamination and how lamination affects R neuron function remain unknown. We show here that the EB is sequentially innervated by small-field and large-field neurons and that early developing EB neurons play an important regulatory role in EB laminae formation. The transmembrane proteins semaphorin-1a (Sema-1a) and plexin A function together to regulate R axon lamination. R neurons recruit both GABA and GABA-A receptors to their axon terminals in the EB, and optogenetic stimulation coupled with electrophysiological recordings show that Sema-1a-dependent R axon lamination is required for preventing the spread of synaptic inhibition between adjacent EB lamina. These results provide direct evidence that EB lamination is critical for local pre-synaptic inhibitory circuit organization.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - P30 NS050274()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS079584()

Lineage commitment of embryonic cells involves MEK1-dependent clearance of pluripotency regulator Ventx2.

  • Scerbo P
  • Elife
  • 2017 Jun 27

Literature context:


Abstract:

During early embryogenesis, cells must exit pluripotency and commit to multiple lineages in all germ-layers. How this transition is operated in vivo is poorly understood. Here, we report that MEK1 and the Nanog-related transcription factor Ventx2 coordinate this transition. MEK1 was required to make Xenopus pluripotent cells competent to respond to all cell fate inducers tested. Importantly, MEK1 activity was necessary to clear the pluripotency protein Ventx2 at the onset of gastrulation. Thus, concomitant MEK1 and Ventx2 knockdown restored the competence of embryonic cells to differentiate. Strikingly, MEK1 appeared to control the asymmetric inheritance of Ventx2 protein following cell division. Consistently, when Ventx2 lacked a functional PEST-destruction motif, it was stabilized, displayed symmetric distribution during cell division and could efficiently maintain pluripotency gene expression over time. We suggest that asymmetric clearance of pluripotency regulators may represent an important mechanism to ensure the progressive assembly of primitive embryonic tissues.

Dorsal Raphe Dopamine Neurons Modulate Arousal and Promote Wakefulness by Salient Stimuli.

  • Cho JR
  • Neuron
  • 2017 Jun 21

Literature context:


Abstract:

Ventral midbrain dopamine (DA) is unambiguously involved in motivation and behavioral arousal, yet the contributions of other DA populations to these processes are poorly understood. Here, we demonstrate that the dorsal raphe nucleus DA neurons are critical modulators of behavioral arousal and sleep-wake patterning. Using simultaneous fiber photometry and polysomnography, we observed time-delineated dorsal raphe nucleus dopaminergic (DRNDA) activity upon exposure to arousal-evoking salient cues, irrespective of their hedonic valence. We also observed broader fluctuations of DRNDA activity across sleep-wake cycles with highest activity during wakefulness. Both endogenous DRNDA activity and optogenetically driven DRNDA activity were associated with waking from sleep, with DA signal strength predictive of wake duration. Conversely, chemogenetic inhibition opposed wakefulness and promoted NREM sleep, even in the face of salient stimuli. Therefore, the DRNDA population is a critical contributor to wake-promoting pathways and is capable of modulating sleep-wake states according to the outside environment, wherein the perception of salient stimuli prompts vigilance and arousal.

SOX2 regulates acinar cell development in the salivary gland.

  • Emmerson E
  • Elife
  • 2017 Jun 17

Literature context:


Abstract:

Acinar cells play an essential role in the secretory function of exocrine organs. Despite this requirement, how acinar cells are generated during organogenesis is unclear. Using the acini-ductal network of the developing human and murine salivary gland, we demonstrate an unexpected role for SOX2 and parasympathetic nerves in generating the acinar lineage that has broad implications for epithelial morphogenesis. Despite SOX2 being expressed by progenitors that give rise to both acinar and duct cells, genetic ablation of SOX2 results in a failure to establish acini but not ducts. Furthermore, we show that SOX2 targets acinar-specific genes and is essential for the survival of acinar but not ductal cells. Finally, we illustrate an unexpected and novel role for peripheral nerves in the creation of acini throughout development via regulation of SOX2. Thus, SOX2 is a master regulator of the acinar cell lineage essential to the establishment of a functional organ.

Funding information:
  • NIDCR NIH HHS - R01 DE024188()

Comparative analysis of monoaminergic cerebrospinal fluid-contacting cells in Osteichthyes (bony vertebrates).

  • Xavier AL
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2017 Jun 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

Cerebrospinal fluid-contacting (CSF-c) cells containing monoamines such as dopamine (DA) and serotonin (5-HT) occur in the periventricular zones of the hypothalamic region of most vertebrates except for placental mammals. Here we compare the organization of the CSF-c cells in chicken, Xenopus, and zebrafish, by analyzing the expression of synthetic enzymes of DA and 5-HT, respectively, tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) and tryptophan hydroxylase (TPH), and draw an evolutionary scenario for this cell population. Due to the lack of TH immunoreactivity in this region, the hypothalamic CSF-c cells have been thought to take up DA from the ventricle instead of synthesizing it. We demonstrate that a second TH gene (TH2) is expressed in the CSF-c cells of all the three species, suggesting that these cells do indeed synthetize DA. Furthermore, we found that many CSF-c cells coexpress TH2 and TPH1 and contain both DA and 5-HT, a dual neurotransmitter phenotype hitherto undescribed in the brain of any vertebrate. The similarities of CSF-c cells in chicken, Xenopus, and zebrafish suggest that these characteristics are inherited from the common ancestor of the Osteichthyes. A significant difference between tetrapods and teleosts is that teleosts possess an additional CSF-c cell population around the posterior recess (PR) that has emerged in specific groups of Actinopterygii. Our comparative analysis reveals that the hypothalamus in mammals and teleosts has evolved in a divergent manner: placental mammals have lost the monoaminergic CSF-c cells, while teleosts have increased their relative number.

The Role of Hypothalamic NF-κB Signaling in the Response of the HPT-Axis to Acute Inflammation in Female Mice.

  • de Vries EM
  • Endocrinology
  • 2017 Jun 5

Literature context:


Abstract:

A large proportion of critically ill patients have alterations in the hypothalamus-pituitary-thyroid (HPT) axis, collectively known as the nonthyroidal illness syndrome. Nonthyroidal illness syndrome is characterized by low serum thyroid hormone (TH) concentrations accompanied by a suppressed central component of the HPT axis and persistent low serum TSH. In hypothalamic tanycytes, the expression of type 2 deiodinase (D2) is increased in several animal models of inflammation. Because D2 is a major source of T3 in the brain, this response is thought to suppress TRH expression in the paraventricular nucleus via increased local bioavailability of T3. The inflammatory pathway component RelA (the p65 subunit of nuclear factor-κB) can bind the Dio2 promoter and increases D2 expression after lipopolysaccharide (LPS) stimulation in vitro. We aimed to determine whether RelA signaling in tanycytes is essential for the LPS-induced D2 increase in vivo by conditional elimination of RelA in tanycytes of mice (RelA(ASTKO)). Dio2 and Trh mRNA expression were assessed by quantitative in situ hybridization 8 or 24 hours after saline or LPS injection. At the same time points, we measured pituitary Tshβ mRNA expression and serum T3 and T4 concentrations. In RelA(ASTKO) mice the LPS-induced increase in Dio2 and decrease in Trh mRNA levels in the hypothalamus were reduced compared with the wild-type littermates, whereas the drop in pituitary Tshβ expression and in serum TH concentrations persisted. In conclusion, RelA is essential for the LPS-induced hypothalamic D2 increase and TRH decrease. The central changes in the HPT axis are, however, not required for the down-regulation of Tshβ expression and serum TH concentrations.

Funding information:
  • NIAMS NIH HHS - R01 AR041464(United States)
  • NICHD NIH HHS - U54-HD28934(United States)

Lipopolysacharide Rapidly and Completely Suppresses AgRP Neuron-Mediated Food Intake in Male Mice.

  • Liu Y
  • Endocrinology
  • 2017 Jun 5

Literature context:


Abstract:

Although Agouti-related peptide (AgRP) neurons play a key role in the regulation of food intake, their contribution to the anorexia caused by proinflammatory insults has yet to be identified. Using a combination of neuroanatomical and pharmacogenetics experiments, this study sought to investigate the importance of AgRP neurons and downstream targets in the anorexia caused by the peripheral administration of a moderate dose of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) (100 μg/kg, ip). First, in the C57/Bl6 mouse, we demonstrated that LPS induced c-fos in select AgRP-innervated brain sites involved in feeding but not in any arcuate proopiomelanocortin neurons. Double immunohistochemistry further showed that LPS selectively induced c-Fos in a large subset of melanocortin 4 receptor-expressing neurons in the lateral parabrachial nucleus. Secondly, we used pharmacogenetics to stimulate the activity of AgRP neurons during the course of LPS-induced anorexia. In AgRP-Cre mice expressing the designer receptor hM3Dq-Gq only in AgRP neurons, the administration of the designer drug clozapine-N-oxide (CNO) induced robust food intake. Strikingly, CNO-mediated food intake was rapidly and completely blunted by the coadministration of LPS. Neuroanatomical experiments further indicated that LPS did not interfere with the ability of CNO to stimulate c-Fos in AgRP neurons. In summary, our findings combined together support the view that the stimulation of select AgRP-innervated brain sites and target neurons, rather than the inhibition of AgRP neurons themselves, is likely to contribute to the rapid suppression of food intake observed during acute bacterial endotoxemia.

Funding information:
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - R01 DK089113(United States)

Temporal Cohorts of Lineage-Related Neurons Perform Analogous Functions in Distinct Sensorimotor Circuits.

  • Wreden CC
  • Curr. Biol.
  • 2017 May 22

Literature context:


Abstract:

Neuronal stem cell lineages are the fundamental developmental units of the brain, and neuronal circuits are the fundamental functional units of the brain. Determining lineage-circuitry relationships is essential for deciphering the developmental logic of circuit assembly. While the spatial distribution of lineage-related neurons has been investigated in a few brain regions [1-9], an important, but unaddressed question is whether temporal information that diversifies neuronal progeny within a single lineage also impacts circuit assembly. Circuits in the sensorimotor system (e.g., spinal cord) are thought to be assembled sequentially [10-14], making this an ideal brain region for investigating the circuit-level impact of temporal patterning within a lineage. Here, we use intersectional genetics, optogenetics, high-throughput behavioral analysis, single-neuron labeling, connectomics, and calcium imaging to determine how a set of bona fide lineage-related interneurons contribute to sensorimotor circuitry in the Drosophila larva. We show that Even-skipped lateral interneurons (ELs) are sensory processing interneurons. Late-born ELs contribute to a proprioceptive body posture circuit, whereas early-born ELs contribute to a mechanosensitive escape circuit. These data support a model in which a single neuronal stem cell can produce a large number of interneurons with similar functional capacity that are distributed into different circuits based on birth timing. In summary, these data establish a link between temporal specification of neuronal identity and circuit assembly at the single-cell level.

The murine catecholamine methyltransferase mTOMT is essential for mechanotransduction by cochlear hair cells.

  • Cunningham CL
  • Elife
  • 2017 May 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

Hair cells of the cochlea are mechanosensors for the perception of sound. Mutations in the LRTOMT gene, which encodes a protein with homology to the catecholamine methyltransferase COMT that is linked to schizophrenia, cause deafness. Here, we show that Tomt/Comt2, the murine ortholog of LRTOMT, has an unexpected function in the regulation of mechanotransduction by hair cells. The role of mTOMT in hair cells is independent of mTOMT methyltransferase function and mCOMT cannot substitute for mTOMT function. Instead, mTOMT binds to putative components of the mechanotransduction channel in hair cells and is essential for the transport of some of these components into the mechanically sensitive stereocilia of hair cells. Our studies thus suggest functional diversification between mCOMT and mTOMT, where mTOMT is critical for the assembly of the mechanotransduction machinery of hair cells. Defects in this process are likely mechanistically linked to deafness caused by mutations in LRTOMT/Tomt.

Transformation of Cortex-wide Emergent Properties during Motor Learning.

  • Makino H
  • Neuron
  • 2017 May 17

Literature context:


Abstract:

Learning involves a transformation of brain-wide operation dynamics. However, our understanding of learning-related changes in macroscopic dynamics is limited. Here, we monitored cortex-wide activity of the mouse brain using wide-field calcium imaging while the mouse learned a motor task over weeks. Over learning, the sequential activity across cortical modules became temporally more compressed, and its trial-by-trial variability decreased. Moreover, a new flow of activity emerged during learning, originating from premotor cortex (M2), and M2 became predictive of the activity of many other modules. Inactivation experiments showed that M2 is critical for the post-learning dynamics in the cortex-wide activity. Furthermore, two-photon calcium imaging revealed that M2 ensemble activity also showed earlier activity onset and reduced variability with learning, which was accompanied by changes in the activity-movement relationship. These results reveal newly emergent properties of macroscopic cortical dynamics during motor learning and highlight the importance of M2 in controlling learned movements.

Funding information:
  • NEI NIH HHS - R01 EY025349()
  • NIDCD NIH HHS - R01 DC014690()
  • NIDCD NIH HHS - R21 DC012641()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS091010()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - U01 NS094342()

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.

Representations of Novelty and Familiarity in a Mushroom Body Compartment.

  • Hattori D
  • Cell
  • 2017 May 18

Literature context:


Abstract:

Animals exhibit a behavioral response to novel sensory stimuli about which they have no prior knowledge. We have examined the neural and behavioral correlates of novelty and familiarity in the olfactory system of Drosophila. Novel odors elicit strong activity in output neurons (MBONs) of the α'3 compartment of the mushroom body that is rapidly suppressed upon repeated exposure to the same odor. This transition in neural activity upon familiarization requires odor-evoked activity in the dopaminergic neuron innervating this compartment. Moreover, exposure of a fly to novel odors evokes an alerting response that can also be elicited by optogenetic activation of α'3 MBONs. Silencing these MBONs eliminates the alerting behavior. These data suggest that the α'3 compartment plays a causal role in the behavioral response to novel and familiar stimuli as a consequence of dopamine-mediated plasticity at the Kenyon cell-MBONα'3 synapse.

Redistribution of NMDA Receptors in Estrogen-Receptor-β-Containing Paraventricular Hypothalamic Neurons following Slow-Pressor Angiotensin II Hypertension in Female Mice with Accelerated Ovarian Failure.

  • Marques-Lopes J
  • Neuroendocrinology
  • 2017 May 8

Literature context:


Abstract:

Hypertension in male and aging female rodents is associated with glutamate-dependent plasticity in the hypothalamus, but existing models have failed to capture distinct transitional menopausal phases that could have a significant impact on the synaptic plasticity and emergent hypertension. In rodents, accelerated ovarian failure (AOF) induced by systemic injection of 4-vinylcyclohexane diepoxide mimics the estrogen fluctuations seen in human menopause including the perimenopause transition (peri-AOF) and postmenopause (post-AOF). Thus, we used the mouse AOF model to determine the impact of slow-pressor angiotensin II (AngII) administration on blood pressure and on the subcellular distribution of obligatory N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor GluN1 subunits in the paraventricular hypothalamic nucleus (PVN), a key estrogen-responsive cardiovascular regulatory area. Estrogen-sensitive neuronal profiles were identified in mice expressing enhanced green fluorescent protein under the promoter for estrogen receptor (ER) β, a major ER in the PVN. Slow-pressor AngII increased arterial blood pressure in mice at peri- and post-AOF time points. In control oil-injected (nonhypertensive) mice, AngII decreased the total number of GluN1 in ERβ-containing PVN dendrites. In contrast, AngII resulted in a reapportionment of GluN1 from the cytoplasm to the plasma membrane of ERβ-containing PVN dendrites in peri-AOF mice. Moreover, in post-AOF mice, AngII increased total GluN1, dendritic size and radical production in ERβ-containing neurons. These results indicate that unique patterns of hypothalamic glutamate receptor plasticity and dendritic structure accompany the elevated blood pressure in peri- and post-AOF time points. Our findings suggest the possibility that distinct neurobiological processes are associated with the increased blood pressure during perimenopausal and postmenopausal periods.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R21 NS072588(United States)

Repression of Interstitial Identity in Nephron Progenitor Cells by Pax2 Establishes the Nephron-Interstitium Boundary during Kidney Development.

  • Naiman N
  • Dev. Cell
  • 2017 May 22

Literature context:


Abstract:

The kidney contains the functional units, the nephrons, surrounded by the renal interstitium. Previously we discovered that, once Six2-expressing nephron progenitor cells and Foxd1-expressing renal interstitial progenitor cells form at the onset of kidney development, descendant cells from these populations contribute exclusively to the main body of nephrons and renal interstitial tissues, respectively, indicating a lineage boundary between the nephron and renal interstitial compartments. Currently it is unclear how lineages are regulated during kidney organogenesis. We demonstrate that nephron progenitor cells lacking Pax2 fail to differentiate into nephron cells but can switch fates into renal interstitium-like cell types. These data suggest that Pax2 function maintains nephron progenitor cells by repressing a renal interstitial cell program. Thus, the lineage boundary between the nephron and renal interstitial compartments is maintained by the Pax2 activity in nephron progenitor cells during kidney organogenesis.

Funding information:
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - R01 DK094933()
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - R37 DK054364()
  • NIH HHS - R21 OD021437()

Global Representations of Goal-Directed Behavior in Distinct Cell Types of Mouse Neocortex.

  • Allen WE
  • Neuron
  • 2017 May 17

Literature context:


Abstract:

The successful planning and execution of adaptive behaviors in mammals may require long-range coordination of neural networks throughout cerebral cortex. The neuronal implementation of signals that could orchestrate cortex-wide activity remains unclear. Here, we develop and apply methods for cortex-wide Ca2+ imaging in mice performing decision-making behavior and identify a global cortical representation of task engagement encoded in the activity dynamics of both single cells and superficial neuropil distributed across the majority of dorsal cortex. The activity of multiple molecularly defined cell types was found to reflect this representation with type-specific dynamics. Focal optogenetic inhibition tiled across cortex revealed a crucial role for frontal cortex in triggering this cortex-wide phenomenon; local inhibition of this region blocked both the cortex-wide response to task-initiating cues and the voluntary behavior. These findings reveal cell-type-specific processes in cortex for globally representing goal-directed behavior and identify a major cortical node that gates the global broadcast of task-related information.

The dendritic spine morphogenic effects of repeated cocaine use occur through the regulation of serum response factor signaling.

  • Cahill ME
  • Mol. Psychiatry
  • 2017 May 31

Literature context:


Abstract:

The nucleus accumbens (NAc) is a primary brain reward region composed predominantly of medium spiny neurons (MSNs). In response to early withdrawal from repeated cocaine administration, de novo dendritic spine formation occurs in NAc MSNs. Much evidence indicates that this new spine formation facilitates the rewarding properties of cocaine. Early withdrawal from repeated cocaine also produces dramatic alterations in the transcriptome of NAc MSNs, but how such alterations influence cocaine's effects on dendritic spine formation remain unclear. Studies in non-neuronal cells indicate that actin cytoskeletal regulatory pathways in nuclei have a direct role in the regulation of gene transcription in part by controlling the access of co-activators to their transcription factor partners. In particular, actin state dictates the interaction between the serum response factor (SRF) transcription factor and one of its principal co-activators, MAL. Here we show that cocaine induces alterations in nuclear F-actin signaling pathways in the NAc with associated changes in the nuclear subcellular localization of SRF and MAL. Using in vivo optogenetics, the brain region-specific inputs to the NAc that mediate these nuclear changes are investigated. Finally, we demonstrate that regulated SRF expression, in turn, is critical for the effects of cocaine on dendritic spine formation and for cocaine-mediated behavioral sensitization. Collectively, these findings reveal a mechanism by which nuclear-based changes influence the structure of NAc MSNs in response to cocaine.

Funding information:
  • NIDA NIH HHS - P01 DA008227()
  • NIDA NIH HHS - R01 DA014133()

Netrin1 Produced by Neural Progenitors, Not Floor Plate Cells, Is Required for Axon Guidance in the Spinal Cord.

  • Varadarajan SG
  • Neuron
  • 2017 May 17

Literature context:


Abstract:

Netrin1 has been proposed to act from the floor plate (FP) as a long-range diffusible chemoattractant for commissural axons in the embryonic spinal cord. However, netrin1 mRNA and protein are also present in neural progenitors within the ventricular zone (VZ), raising the question of which source of netrin1 promotes ventrally directed axon growth. Here, we use genetic approaches in mice to selectively remove netrin from different regions of the spinal cord. Our analyses show that the FP is not the source of netrin1 directing axons to the ventral midline, while local VZ-supplied netrin1 is required for this step. Furthermore, rather than being present in a gradient, netrin1 protein accumulates on the pial surface adjacent to the path of commissural axon extension. Thus, netrin1 does not act as a long-range secreted chemoattractant for commissural spinal axons but instead promotes ventrally directed axon outgrowth by haptotaxis, i.e., directed growth along an adhesive surface.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS063999()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS085097()

MicroRNA Profiling Reveals Marker of Motor Neuron Disease in ALS Models.

  • Hoye ML
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2017 May 31

Literature context:


Abstract:

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder marked by the loss of motor neurons (MNs) in the brain and spinal cord, leading to fatally debilitating weakness. Because this disease predominantly affects MNs, we aimed to characterize the distinct expression profile of that cell type to elucidate underlying disease mechanisms and to identify novel targets that inform on MN health during ALS disease time course. microRNAs (miRNAs) are short, noncoding RNAs that can shape the expression profile of a cell and thus often exhibit cell-type-enriched expression. To determine MN-enriched miRNA expression, we used Cre recombinase-dependent miRNA tagging and affinity purification in mice. By defining the in vivo miRNA expression of MNs, all neurons, astrocytes, and microglia, we then focused on MN-enriched miRNAs via a comparative analysis and found that they may functionally distinguish MNs postnatally from other spinal neurons. Characterizing the levels of the MN-enriched miRNAs in CSF harvested from ALS models of MN disease demonstrated that one miRNA (miR-218) tracked with MN loss and was responsive to an ALS therapy in rodent models. Therefore, we have used cellular expression profiling tools to define the distinct miRNA expression of MNs, which is likely to enrich future studies of MN disease. This approach enabled the development of a novel, drug-responsive marker of MN disease in ALS rodents.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disease in which motor neurons (MNs) in the brain and spinal cord are selectively lost. To develop tools to aid in our understanding of the distinct expression profiles of MNs and, ultimately, to monitor MN disease progression, we identified small regulatory microRNAs (miRNAs) that were highly enriched or exclusive in MNs. The signal for one of these MN-enriched miRNAs is detectable in spinal tap biofluid from an ALS rat model, where its levels change as disease progresses, suggesting that it may be a clinically useful marker of disease status. Furthermore, rats treated with ALS therapy have restored expression of this MN RNA marker, making it an MN-specific and drug-responsive marker for ALS rodents.

GRASP1 Regulates Synaptic Plasticity and Learning through Endosomal Recycling of AMPA Receptors.

  • Chiu SL
  • Neuron
  • 2017 Mar 22

Literature context:


Abstract:

Learning depends on experience-dependent modification of synaptic efficacy and neuronal connectivity in the brain. We provide direct evidence for physiological roles of the recycling endosome protein GRASP1 in glutamatergic synapse function and animal behavior. Mice lacking GRASP1 showed abnormal excitatory synapse number, synaptic plasticity, and hippocampal-dependent learning and memory due to a failure in learning-induced synaptic AMPAR incorporation. We identified two GRASP1 point mutations from intellectual disability (ID) patients that showed convergent disruptive effects on AMPAR recycling and glutamate uncaging-induced structural and functional plasticity. Wild-type GRASP1, but not ID mutants, rescued spine loss in hippocampal CA1 neurons in Grasp1 knockout mice. Together, these results demonstrate a requirement for normal recycling endosome function in AMPAR-dependent synaptic function and neuronal connectivity in vivo, and suggest a potential role for GRASP1 in the pathophysiology of human cognitive disorders.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS036715()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS073854()

Cell- and region-specific expression of depression-related protein p11 (S100a10) in the brain.

  • Milosevic A
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2017 Mar 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

P11 (S100a10), a member of the S100 family of proteins, has widespread distribution in the vertebrate body, including in the brain, where it has a key role in membrane trafficking, vesicle secretion, and endocytosis. Recently, our laboratory has shown that a constitutive knockout of p11 (p11-KO) in mice results in a depressive-like phenotype. Furthermore, p11 has been implicated in major depressive disorder (MDD) and in the actions of antidepressants. Since depression affects multiple brain regions, and the role of p11 has only been determined in a few of these areas, a detailed analysis of p11 expression in the brain is warranted. Here we demonstrate that, although widespread in the brain, p11 expression is restricted to distinct regions, and specific neuronal and nonneuronal cell types. Furthermore, we provide comprehensive mapping of p11 expression using in situ hybridization, immunocytochemistry, and whole-tissue volume imaging. Overall, expression spans multiple brain regions, structures, and cell types, suggesting a complex role of p11 in depression. J. Comp. Neurol. 525:955-975, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS085232(United States)

Complement Component 3 Adapts the Cerebrospinal Fluid for Leptomeningeal Metastasis.

  • Boire A
  • Cell
  • 2017 Mar 9

Literature context:


Abstract:

We molecularly dissected leptomeningeal metastasis, or spread of cancer to the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), which is a frequent and fatal condition mediated by unknown mechanisms. We selected lung and breast cancer cell lines for the ability to infiltrate and grow in CSF, a remarkably acellular, mitogen-poor metastasis microenvironment. Complement component 3 (C3) was upregulated in four leptomeningeal metastatic models and proved necessary for cancer growth within the leptomeningeal space. In human disease, cancer cells within the CSF produced C3 in correlation with clinical course. C3 expression in primary tumors was predictive of leptomeningeal relapse. Mechanistically, we found that cancer-cell-derived C3 activates the C3a receptor in the choroid plexus epithelium to disrupt the blood-CSF barrier. This effect allows plasma components, including amphiregulin, and other mitogens to enter the CSF and promote cancer cell growth. Pharmacologic interference with C3 signaling proved therapeutically beneficial in suppressing leptomeningeal metastasis in these preclinical models.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - P01 CA129243()
  • NCI NIH HHS - P30 CA008748()
  • NCI NIH HHS - U54 CA163167()

Transient Opening of the Mitochondrial Permeability Transition Pore Induces Microdomain Calcium Transients in Astrocyte Processes.

  • Agarwal A
  • Neuron
  • 2017 Feb 8

Literature context:


Abstract:

Astrocytes extend highly branched processes that form functionally isolated microdomains, facilitating local homeostasis by redistributing ions, removing neurotransmitters, and releasing factors to influence blood flow and neuronal activity. Microdomains exhibit spontaneous increases in calcium (Ca2+), but the mechanisms and functional significance of this localized signaling are unknown. By developing conditional, membrane-anchored GCaMP3 mice, we found that microdomain activity that occurs in the absence of inositol triphosphate (IP3)-dependent release from endoplasmic reticulum arises through Ca2+ efflux from mitochondria during brief openings of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore. These microdomain Ca2+ transients were facilitated by the production of reactive oxygen species during oxidative phosphorylation and were enhanced by expression of a mutant form of superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1 G93A) that causes astrocyte dysfunction and neurodegeneration in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). By localizing mitochondria to microdomains, astrocytes ensure local metabolic support for energetically demanding processes and enable coupling between metabolic demand and Ca2+ signaling events.

Funding information:
  • NIMH NIH HHS - P50 MH084020()
  • NIMH NIH HHS - P50 MH100024()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - P30 NS050274()

Time-Specific Effects of Spindle Positioning on Embryonic Progenitor Pool Composition and Adult Neural Stem Cell Seeding.

  • Falk S
  • Neuron
  • 2017 Feb 22

Literature context:


Abstract:

The developmental mechanisms regulating the number of adult neural stem cells (aNSCs) are largely unknown. Here we show that the cleavage plane orientation in murine embryonic radial glia cells (RGCs) regulates the number of aNSCs in the lateral ganglionic eminence (LGE). Randomizing spindle orientation in RGCs by overexpression of Insc or a dominant-negative form of Lgn (dnLgn) reduces the frequency of self-renewing asymmetric divisions while favoring symmetric divisions generating two SNPs. Importantly, these changes during embryonic development result in reduced seeding of aNSCs. Interestingly, no effects on aNSC numbers were observed when Insc was overexpressed in postnatal RGCs or aNSCs. These data suggest a new mechanism for controlling aNSC numbers and show that the role of spindle orientation during brain development is highly time and region dependent.

Transient oxytocin signaling primes the development and function of excitatory hippocampal neurons.

  • Ripamonti S
  • Elife
  • 2017 Feb 23

Literature context:


Abstract:

Beyond its role in parturition and lactation, oxytocin influences higher brain processes that control social behavior of mammals, and perturbed oxytocin signaling has been linked to the pathogenesis of several psychiatric disorders. However, it is still largely unknown how oxytocin exactly regulates neuronal function. We show that early, transient oxytocin exposure in vitro inhibits the development of hippocampal glutamatergic neurons, leading to reduced dendrite complexity, synapse density, and excitatory transmission, while sparing GABAergic neurons. Conversely, genetic elimination of oxytocin receptors increases the expression of protein components of excitatory synapses and excitatory synaptic transmission in vitro. In vivo, oxytocin-receptor-deficient hippocampal pyramidal neurons develop more complex dendrites, which leads to increased spine number and reduced γ-oscillations. These results indicate that oxytocin controls the development of hippocampal excitatory neurons and contributes to the maintenance of a physiological excitation/inhibition balance, whose disruption can cause neurobehavioral disturbances.

Role of Mitochondrial Metabolism in the Control of Early Lineage Progression and Aging Phenotypes in Adult Hippocampal Neurogenesis.

  • Beckervordersandforth R
  • Neuron
  • 2017 Feb 8

Literature context:


Abstract:

Precise regulation of cellular metabolism is hypothesized to constitute a vital component of the developmental sequence underlying the life-long generation of hippocampal neurons from quiescent neural stem cells (NSCs). The identity of stage-specific metabolic programs and their impact on adult neurogenesis are largely unknown. We show that the adult hippocampal neurogenic lineage is critically dependent on the mitochondrial electron transport chain and oxidative phosphorylation machinery at the stage of the fast proliferating intermediate progenitor cell. Perturbation of mitochondrial complex function by ablation of the mitochondrial transcription factor A (Tfam) reproduces multiple hallmarks of aging in hippocampal neurogenesis, whereas pharmacological enhancement of mitochondrial function ameliorates age-associated neurogenesis defects. Together with the finding of age-associated alterations in mitochondrial function and morphology in NSCs, these data link mitochondrial complex function to efficient lineage progression of adult NSCs and identify mitochondrial function as a potential target to ameliorate neurogenesis-defects in the aging hippocampus.

Funding information:
  • NIMH NIH HHS - R01 MH105128()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - P01 NS097206()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R35 NS097370()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R37 NS047344()

A Brainstem-Spinal Cord Inhibitory Circuit for Mechanical Pain Modulation by GABA and Enkephalins.

  • François A
  • Neuron
  • 2017 Feb 22

Literature context:


Abstract:

Pain thresholds are, in part, set as a function of emotional and internal states by descending modulation of nociceptive transmission in the spinal cord. Neurons of the rostral ventromedial medulla (RVM) are thought to critically contribute to this process; however, the neural circuits and synaptic mechanisms by which distinct populations of RVM neurons facilitate or diminish pain remain elusive. Here we used in vivo opto/chemogenetic manipulations and trans-synaptic tracing of genetically identified dorsal horn and RVM neurons to uncover an RVM-spinal cord-primary afferent circuit controlling pain thresholds. Unexpectedly, we found that RVM GABAergic neurons facilitate mechanical pain by inhibiting dorsal horn enkephalinergic/GABAergic interneurons. We further demonstrate that these interneurons gate sensory inputs and control pain through temporally coordinated enkephalin- and GABA-mediated presynaptic inhibition of somatosensory neurons. Our results uncover a descending disynaptic inhibitory circuit that facilitates mechanical pain, is engaged during stress, and could be targeted to establish higher pain thresholds. VIDEO ABSTRACT.

An Hdac1/Rpd3-Poised Circuit Balances Continual Self-Renewal and Rapid Restriction of Developmental Potential during Asymmetric Stem Cell Division.

  • Janssens DH
  • Dev. Cell
  • 2017 Feb 27

Literature context:


Abstract:

How the developmental potential of differentiating stem cell progeny becomes rapidly and stably restricted following asymmetric stem cell division is unclear. In the fly larval brain, earmuff (erm) uniquely functions to restrict the developmental potential of intermediate neural progenitors (INPs) generated by asymmetrically dividing neural stem cells (neuroblasts). Here we demonstrate that the histone deacetylase Hdac1/Rpd3 functions together with self-renewal transcriptional repressors to maintain the erm immature INP enhancer in an inactive but poised state in neuroblasts. Within 2 hr of immature INP birth, downregulation of repressor activities alleviates Rpd3-mediated repression on the erm enhancer, enabling acetylation of multiple histone proteins and activating Erm expression. Erm restricts the developmental potential in immature INPs by repressing genes encoding neuroblast transcriptional activators. We propose that poising the fast-activating enhancers of master regulators of differentiation through continual histone deacetylation in stem cells enables self-renewal and rapid restriction of developmental potential following asymmetric division.

Funding information:
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - R01 GM092818()
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - R01 GM111694()
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - T32 GM007315()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS077914()

Local Circuits of V1 Layer 4B Neurons Projecting to V2 Thick Stripes Define Distinct Cell Classes and Avoid Cytochrome Oxidase Blobs.

  • Yarch J
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2017 Jan 11

Literature context:


Abstract:

Decades of anatomical studies on the primate primary visual cortex (V1) have led to a detailed diagram of V1 intrinsic circuitry, but this diagram lacks information about the output targets of V1 cells. Understanding how V1 local processing relates to downstream processing requires identification of neuronal populations defined by their output targets. In primates, V1 layers (L)2/3 and 4B send segregated projections to distinct cytochrome oxidase (CO) stripes in area V2: neurons in CO blob columns project to thin stripes while neurons outside blob columns project to thick and pale stripes, suggesting functional specialization of V1-to-V2 CO streams. However, the conventional diagram of V1 shows all L4B neurons, regardless of their soma location in blob or interblob columns, as projecting selectively to CO blobs in L2/3, suggesting convergence of blob/interblob information in L2/3 blobs and, possibly, some V2 stripes. However, it is unclear whether all L4B projection neurons show similar local circuitries. Using viral-mediated circuit tracing, we have identified the local circuits of L4B neurons projecting to V2 thick stripes in macaque. Consistent with previous studies, we found the somata of this L4B subpopulation to reside predominantly outside blob columns; however, unlike previous descriptions of local L4B circuits, these cells consistently projected outside CO blob columns in all layers. Thus, the local circuits of these L4B output neurons, just like their extrinsic projections to V2, preserve CO streams. Moreover, the intra-V1 laminar patterns of axonal projections identify two distinct neuron classes within this L4B subpopulation, including a rare novel neuron type, suggestive of two functionally specialized output channels. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT: Conventional diagrams of primate primary visual cortex (V1) depict neuronal connections within and between different V1 layers, but lack information about the cells' downstream targets. This information is critical to understanding how local processing in V1 relates to downstream processing. We have identified the local circuits of a population of cells in V1 layer (L)4B that project to area V2. These cells' local circuits differ from classical descriptions of L4B circuits in both the laminar and functional compartments targeted by their axons, and identify two neuron classes. Our results demonstrate that both local intra-V1 and extrinsic V1-to-V2 connections of L4B neurons preserve CO-stream segregation, suggesting that across-stream integration occurs downstream of V1, and that output targets dictate local V1 circuitry.

Funding information:
  • NEI NIH HHS - P30 EY014800()
  • NEI NIH HHS - R01 EY019743()
  • NEI NIH HHS - R01 EY026812()
  • NEI NIH HHS - R21 EY022757()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - U01 NS099702()

The Cellular and Synaptic Architecture of the Mechanosensory Dorsal Horn.

  • Abraira VE
  • Cell
  • 2017 Jan 12

Literature context:


Abstract:

The deep dorsal horn is a poorly characterized spinal cord region implicated in processing low-threshold mechanoreceptor (LTMR) information. We report an array of mouse genetic tools for defining neuronal components and functions of the dorsal horn LTMR-recipient zone (LTMR-RZ), a role for LTMR-RZ processing in tactile perception, and the basic logic of LTMR-RZ organization. We found an unexpectedly high degree of neuronal diversity in the LTMR-RZ: seven excitatory and four inhibitory subtypes of interneurons exhibiting unique morphological, physiological, and synaptic properties. Remarkably, LTMRs form synapses on between four and 11 LTMR-RZ interneuron subtypes, while each LTMR-RZ interneuron subtype samples inputs from at least one to three LTMR classes, as well as spinal cord interneurons and corticospinal neurons. Thus, the LTMR-RZ is a somatosensory processing region endowed with a neuronal complexity that rivals the retina and functions to pattern the activity of ascending touch pathways that underlie tactile perception.

Funding information:
  • NCRR NIH HHS - S10 RR028832()
  • NIDA NIH HHS - P30 DA035756()
  • NIDA NIH HHS - R01 DA034022()
  • NIDA NIH HHS - R21 DA023643()
  • NIDCR NIH HHS - R01 DE022750()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - F32 NS077836()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - P01 NS079419()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - P30 NS072030()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R35 NS097344()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - T32 NS007292()

Embryonic origin and lineage hierarchies of the neural progenitor subtypes building the zebrafish adult midbrain.

  • Galant S
  • Dev. Biol.
  • 2016 Dec 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Neurogenesis in the post-embryonic vertebrate brain varies in extent and efficiency between species and brain territories. Distinct neurogenesis modes may account for this diversity, and several neural progenitor subtypes, radial glial cells (RG) and neuroepithelial progenitors (NE), have been identified in the adult zebrafish brain. The neurogenic sequences issued from these progenitors, and their contribution to brain construction, remain incompletely understood. Here we use genetic tracing techniques based on conditional Cre recombination and Tet-On neuronal birthdating to unravel the neurogenic sequence operating from NE progenitors in the zebrafish post-embryonic optic tectum. We reveal that a subpopulation of her5-positive NE cells of the posterior midbrain layer stands at the top of a neurogenic hierarchy involving, in order, the amplification pool of the tectal proliferation zone (TPZ), followed by her4-positive RG cells with transient neurogenic activity. We further demonstrate that the adult her5-positive NE pool is issued in lineage from an identically located NE pool expressing the same gene in the embryonic neural tube. Finally, we show that these features are reminiscent of the neurogenic sequence and embryonic origin of the her9-positive progenitor NE pool involved in the construction of the lateral pallium at post-embryonic stages. Together, our results highlight the shared recruitment of an identical neurogenic strategy by two remote brain territories, where long-lasting NE pools serve both as a growth zone and as the life-long source of young neurogenic RG cells.

Funding information:
  • Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council - BBD5231861(United Kingdom)

Neonatal disease environment limits the efficacy of retinal transplantation in the LCA8 mouse model.

  • Cho SH
  • BMC Ophthalmol
  • 2016 Nov 4

Literature context:


Abstract:

BACKGROUND: Mutations of Crb1 gene cause irreversible and incurable visual impairment in humans. This study aims to use an LCA8-like mouse model to identify host-mediated responses that might interfere with survival, retinal integration and differentiation of grafted cells during neonatal cell therapy. METHODS: Mixed retinal donor cells (1 ~ 2 × 104) isolated from neural retinas of neonatal eGFP transgenic mice were injected into the subretinal space of LCA8-like model neonatal mice. Markers of specific cell types were used to analyze microglial attraction, CSPG induction and retinal cell differentiation. The positions of host retinal cells were traced according to their laminar location during disease progression to look for host cell rearrangements that might inhibit retinal integration of the transplanted cells. RESULTS: Transplanted retinal cells showed poor survival and attracted microglial cells, but CSPG was not greatly induced. Retinas of the LCA8 model hosts underwent significant cellular rearrangement, including rosette formation and apical displacement of inner retinal cells. CONCLUSIONS: Local disease environment, particularly host immune responses to injected cells and formation of a physical barrier caused by apical migration of host retinal cells upon disruption of outer limiting membrane, may impose two major barriers in LCAs cell transplantation therapy.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS083726(United States)

Conditional Deletion of the L-Type Calcium Channel Cav1.2 in Oligodendrocyte Progenitor Cells Affects Postnatal Myelination in Mice.

  • Cheli VT
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2016 Oct 19

Literature context:


Abstract:

To determine whether L-type voltage-operated Ca2+ channels (L-VOCCs) are required for oligodendrocyte progenitor cell (OPC) development, we generated an inducible conditional knock-out mouse in which the L-VOCC isoform Cav1.2 was postnatally deleted in NG2-positive OPCs. A significant hypomyelination was found in the brains of the Cav1.2 conditional knock-out (Cav1.2KO) mice specifically when the Cav1.2 deletion was induced in OPCs during the first 2 postnatal weeks. A decrease in myelin proteins expression was visible in several brain structures, including the corpus callosum, cortex, and striatum, and the corpus callosum of Cav1.2KO animals showed an important decrease in the percentage of myelinated axons and a substantial increase in the mean g-ratio of myelinated axons. The reduced myelination was accompanied by an important decline in the number of myelinating oligodendrocytes and in the rate of OPC proliferation. Furthermore, using a triple transgenic mouse in which all of the Cav1.2KO OPCs were tracked by a Cre reporter, we found that Cav1.2KO OPCs produce less mature oligodendrocytes than control cells. Finally, live-cell imaging in early postnatal brain slices revealed that the migration and proliferation of subventricular zone OPCs is decreased in the Cav1.2KO mice. These results indicate that the L-VOCC isoform Cav1.2 modulates oligodendrocyte development and suggest that Ca2+ influx mediated by L-VOCCs in OPCs is necessary for normal myelination. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT: Overall, it is clear that cells in the oligodendrocyte lineage exhibit remarkable plasticity with regard to the expression of Ca2+ channels and that perturbation of Ca2+ homeostasis likely plays an important role in the pathogenesis underlying demyelinating diseases. To determine whether voltage-gated Ca2+ entry is involved in oligodendrocyte maturation and myelination, we used a conditional knock-out mouse for voltage-operated Ca2+ channels in oligodendrocyte progenitor cells. Our results indicate that voltage-operated Ca2+ channels can modulate oligodendrocyte development in the postnatal brain and suggest that voltage-gated Ca2+ influx in oligodendroglial cells is critical for normal myelination. These findings could lead to novel approaches to intervene in neurodegenerative diseases in which myelin is lost or damaged.

A RET-ER81-NRG1 Signaling Pathway Drives the Development of Pacinian Corpuscles.

  • Fleming MS
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2016 Oct 5

Literature context:


Abstract:

Axon-Schwann cell interactions are crucial for the development, function, and repair of the peripheral nervous system, but mechanisms underlying communication between axons and nonmyelinating Schwann cells are unclear. Here, we show that ER81 is functionally required in a subset of mouse RET+ mechanosensory neurons for formation of Pacinian corpuscles, which are composed of a single myelinated axon and multiple layers of nonmyelinating Schwann cells, and Ret is required for the maintenance of Er81 expression. Interestingly, Er81 mutants have normal myelination but exhibit deficient interactions between axons and corpuscle-forming nonmyelinating Schwann cells. Finally, ablating Neuregulin-1 (Nrg1) in mechanosensory neurons results in no Pacinian corpuscles, and an Nrg1 isoform not required for communication with myelinating Schwann cells is specifically decreased in Er81-null somatosensory neurons. Collectively, our results suggest that a RET-ER81-NRG1 signaling pathway promotes axon communication with nonmyelinating Schwann cells, and that neurons use distinct mechanisms to interact with different types of Schwann cells. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT: Communication between neurons and Schwann cells is critical for development, normal function, and regeneration of the peripheral nervous system. Despite many studies about axonal communication with myelinating Schwann cells, mostly via a specific isoform of Neuregulin1, the molecular nature of axonal communication with nonmyelinating Schwann cells is poorly understood. Here, we described a RET-ER81-Neuregulin1 signaling pathway in neurons innervating Pacinian corpuscle somatosensory end organs, which is essential for communication between the innervating axon and the end organ nonmyelinating Schwann cells. We also showed that this signaling pathway uses isoforms of Neuregulin1 that are not involved in myelination, providing evidence that neurons use different isoforms of Neuregulin1 to interact with different types of Schwann cells.

Asymmetric effects of activating and inactivating cortical interneurons.

  • Phillips EA
  • Elife
  • 2016 Oct 10

Literature context:


Abstract:

Bidirectional manipulations - activation and inactivation - are widely used to identify the functions supported by specific cortical interneuron types. Implicit in much of this work is the notion that tonic activation and inactivation will both produce valid, internally consistent insights into interneurons' computational roles. Here, using single-unit recordings in auditory cortex of awake mice, we show that this may not generally hold true. Optogenetically manipulating somatostatin-positive (Sst+) or parvalbumin-positive (Pvalb+) interneurons while recording tone-responses showed that Sst+ inactivation increased response gain, while Pvalb+ inactivation weakened tuning and decreased information transfer, implying that these neurons support delineable computational functions. But activating Sst+ and Pvalb+ interneurons revealed no such differences. We used a simple network model to understand this asymmetry, and showed how relatively small changes in key parameters, such as spontaneous activity or strength of the light manipulation, determined whether activation and inactivation would produce consistent or paradoxical conclusions regarding interneurons' computational functions.

Strategies and Tools for Combinatorial Targeting of GABAergic Neurons in Mouse Cerebral Cortex.

  • He M
  • Neuron
  • 2016 Sep 21

Literature context:


Abstract:

Systematic genetic access to GABAergic cell types will facilitate studying the function and development of inhibitory circuitry. However, single gene-driven recombinase lines mark relatively broad and heterogeneous cell populations. Although intersectional approaches improve precision, it remains unclear whether they can capture cell types defined by multiple features. Here we demonstrate that combinatorial genetic and viral approaches target restricted GABAergic subpopulations and cell types characterized by distinct laminar location, morphology, axonal projection, and electrophysiological properties. Intersectional embryonic transcription factor drivers allow finer fate mapping of progenitor pools that give rise to distinct GABAergic populations, including laminar cohorts. Conversion of progenitor fate restriction signals to constitutive recombinase expression enables viral targeting of cell types based on their lineage and birth time. Properly designed intersection, subtraction, conversion, and multi-color reporters enhance the precision and versatility of drivers and viral vectors. These strategies and tools will facilitate studying GABAergic neurons throughout the mouse brain.

Editing DNA Methylation in the Mammalian Genome.

  • Liu XS
  • Cell
  • 2016 Sep 22

Literature context:


Abstract:

Mammalian DNA methylation is a critical epigenetic mechanism orchestrating gene expression networks in many biological processes. However, investigation of the functions of specific methylation events remains challenging. Here, we demonstrate that fusion of Tet1 or Dnmt3a with a catalytically inactive Cas9 (dCas9) enables targeted DNA methylation editing. Targeting of the dCas9-Tet1 or -Dnmt3a fusion protein to methylated or unmethylated promoter sequences caused activation or silencing, respectively, of an endogenous reporter. Targeted demethylation of the BDNF promoter IV or the MyoD distal enhancer by dCas9-Tet1 induced BDNF expression in post-mitotic neurons or activated MyoD facilitating reprogramming of fibroblasts into myoblasts, respectively. Targeted de novo methylation of a CTCF loop anchor site by dCas9-Dnmt3a blocked CTCF binding and interfered with DNA looping, causing altered gene expression in the neighboring loop. Finally, we show that these tools can edit DNA methylation in mice, demonstrating their wide utility for functional studies of epigenetic regulation.

A Cortical Circuit for Sexually Dimorphic Oxytocin-Dependent Anxiety Behaviors.

  • Li K
  • Cell
  • 2016 Sep 22

Literature context:


Abstract:

The frequency of human social and emotional disorders varies significantly between males and females. We have recently reported that oxytocin receptor interneurons (OxtrINs) modulate female sociosexual behavior. Here, we show that, in male mice, OxtrINs regulate anxiety-related behaviors. We demonstrate that corticotropin-releasing-hormone-binding protein (CRHBP), an antagonist of the stress hormone CRH, is specifically expressed in OxtrINs. Production of CRHBP blocks the CRH-induced potentiation of postsynaptic layer 2/3 pyramidal cell activity of male, but not female, mice, thus producing an anxiolytic effect. Our data identify OxtrINs as critical for modulation of social and emotional behaviors in both females and males and reveal a molecular mechanism that acts on local medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) circuits to coordinate responses to OXT and CRH. They suggest that additional studies of the impact of the OXT/OXTR and CRHBP/CRH pathways in males and females will be important in development of gender-specific therapies.

Funding information:
  • NIDCD NIH HHS - R01 DC005590(United States)

Molecular features distinguish ten neuronal types in the mouse superficial superior colliculus.

  • Byun H
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2016 Aug 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

The superior colliculus (SC) is a midbrain center involved in controlling head and eye movements in response to inputs from multiple sensory modalities. Visual inputs arise from both the retina and visual cortex and converge onto the superficial layer of the SC (sSC). Neurons in the sSC send information to deeper layers of the SC and to thalamic nuclei that modulate visually guided behaviors. Presently, our understanding of sSC neurons is impeded by a lack of molecular markers that define specific cell types. To better understand the identity and organization of sSC neurons, we took a systematic approach to investigate gene expression within four molecular families: transcription factors, cell adhesion molecules, neuropeptides, and calcium binding proteins. Our analysis revealed 12 molecules with distinct expression patterns in mouse sSC: cadherin 7, contactin 3, netrin G2, cadherin 6, protocadherin 20, retinoid-related orphan receptor β, brain-specific homeobox/POU domain protein 3b, Ets variant gene 1, substance P, somatostatin, vasoactive intestinal polypeptide, and parvalbumin. Double labeling experiments, by either in situ hybridization or immunostaining, demonstrated that the 12 molecular markers collectively define 10 different sSC neuronal types. The characteristic positions of these cell types divide the sSC into four distinct layers. The 12 markers identified here will serve as valuable tools to examine molecular mechanisms that regulate development of sSC neuronal types. These markers could also be used to examine the connections between specific cell types that form retinocollicular, corticocollicular, or colliculothalamic pathways. J. Comp. Neurol. 524:2300-2321, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS073857(United States)

Development of early-born γ-Aminobutyric acid hub neurons in mouse hippocampus from embryogenesis to adulthood.

  • Villette V
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2016 Aug 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

Early-born γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) neurons (EBGNs) are major components of the hippocampal circuit because at early postnatal stages they form a subpopulation of "hub cells" transiently supporting CA3 network synchronization (Picardo et al. [2011] Neuron 71:695-709). It is therefore essential to determine when these cells acquire the remarkable morphofunctional attributes supporting their network function and whether they develop into a specific subtype of interneuron into adulthood. Inducible genetic fate mapping conveniently allows for the labeling of EBGNs throughout their life. EBGNs were first analyzed during the perinatal week. We observed that EBGNs acquired mature characteristics at the time when the first synapse-driven synchronous activities appeared in the form of giant depolarizing potentials. The fate of EBGNs was next analyzed in the adult hippocampus by using anatomical characterization. Adult EBGNs included a significant proportion of cells projecting selectively to the septum; in turn, EBGNs were targeted by septal and entorhinal inputs. In addition, most EBGNs were strongly targeted by cholinergic and monoaminergic terminals, suggesting significant subcortical innervation. Finally, we found that some EBGNs located in the septum or the entorhinal cortex also displayed a long-range projection that we traced to the hippocampus. Therefore, this study shows that the maturation of the morphophysiological properties of EBGNs mirrors the evolution of early network dynamics, suggesting that both phenomena may be causally linked. We propose that a subpopulation of EBGNs forms into adulthood a scaffold of GABAergic projection neurons linking the hippocampus to distant structures. J. Comp. Neurol. 524:2440-2461, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - F31 CA189437(United States)

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.

Phosphorylation of β-Tubulin by the Down Syndrome Kinase, Minibrain/DYRK1a, Regulates Microtubule Dynamics and Dendrite Morphogenesis.

  • Ori-McKenney KM
  • Neuron
  • 2016 May 4

Literature context:


Abstract:

Dendritic arborization patterns are consistent anatomical correlates of genetic disorders such as Down syndrome (DS) and autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). In a screen for abnormal dendrite development, we identified Minibrain (MNB)/DYRK1a, a kinase implicated in DS and ASDs, as a regulator of the microtubule cytoskeleton. We show that MNB is necessary to establish the length and cytoskeletal composition of terminal dendrites by controlling microtubule growth. Altering MNB levels disrupts dendrite morphology and perturbs neuronal electrophysiological activity, resulting in larval mechanosensation defects. Using in vivo and in vitro approaches, we uncover a molecular pathway whereby direct phosphorylation of β-tubulin by MNB inhibits tubulin polymerization, a function that is conserved for mammalian DYRK1a. Our results demonstrate that phosphoregulation of microtubule dynamics by MNB/DYRK1a is critical for dendritic patterning and neuronal function, revealing a previously unidentified mode of posttranslational microtubule regulation in neurons and uncovering a conserved pathway for a DS- and ASD-associated kinase.

Area postrema undergoes dynamic postnatal changes in mice and humans.

  • Gokozan HN
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2016 Apr 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

The postnatal period in mammals represents a developmental epoch of significant change in the autonomic nervous system (ANS). This study focuses on postnatal development of the area postrema, a crucial ANS structure that regulates temperature, breathing, and satiety, among other activities. We find that the human area postrema undergoes significant developmental changes during postnatal development. To characterize these changes further, we used transgenic mouse reagents to delineate neuronal circuitry. We discovered that, although a well-formed ANS scaffold exists early in embryonic development, the area postrema shows a delayed maturation. Specifically, postnatal days 0-7 in mice show no significant change in area postrema volume or synaptic input from PHOX2B-derived neurons. In contrast, postnatal days 7-20 show a significant increase in volume and synaptic input from PHOX2B-derived neurons. We conclude that key ANS structures show unexpected dynamic developmental changes during postnatal development. These data provide a basis for understanding ANS dysfunction and disease predisposition in premature and postnatal humans.

Funding information:
  • Intramural NIH HHS - P30 8P30-GM-103507(United States)

The ERα-PI3K Cascade in Proopiomelanocortin Progenitor Neurons Regulates Feeding and Glucose Balance in Female Mice.

  • Zhu L
  • Endocrinology
  • 2016 Mar 7

Literature context:


Abstract:

Estrogens act upon estrogen receptor (ER)α to inhibit feeding and improve glucose homeostasis in female animals. However, the intracellular signals that mediate these estrogenic actions remain unknown. Here, we report that anorexigenic effects of estrogens are blunted in female mice that lack ERα specifically in proopiomelanocortin (POMC) progenitor neurons. These mutant mice also develop insulin resistance and are insensitive to the glucose-regulatory effects of estrogens. Moreover, we showed that propyl pyrazole triol (an ERα agonist) stimulates the phosphatidyl inositol 3-kinase (PI3K) pathway specifically in POMC progenitor neurons, and that blockade of PI3K attenuates propyl pyrazole triol-induced activation of POMC neurons. Finally, we show that effects of estrogens to inhibit food intake and to improve insulin sensitivity are significantly attenuated in female mice with PI3K genetically inhibited in POMC progenitor neurons. Together, our results indicate that an ERα-PI3K cascade in POMC progenitor neurons mediates estrogenic actions to suppress food intake and improve insulin sensitivity.

Funding information:
  • NIDA NIH HHS - R01 DA033150(United States)

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.

Neural crest requires Impdh2 for development of the enteric nervous system, great vessels, and craniofacial skeleton.

  • Lake JI
  • Dev. Biol.
  • 2016 Jan 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Mutations that impair the proliferation of enteric neural crest-derived cells (ENCDC) cause Hirschsprung disease, a potentially lethal birth defect where the enteric nervous system (ENS) is absent from distal bowel. Inosine 5' monophosphate dehydrogenase (IMPDH) activity is essential for de novo GMP synthesis, and chemical inhibition of IMPDH induces Hirschsprung disease-like pathology in mouse models by reducing ENCDC proliferation. Two IMPDH isoforms are ubiquitously expressed in the embryo, but only IMPDH2 is required for life. To further understand the role of IMPDH2 in ENS and neural crest development, we characterized a conditional Impdh2 mutant mouse. Deletion of Impdh2 in the early neural crest using the Wnt1-Cre transgene produced defects in multiple neural crest derivatives including highly penetrant intestinal aganglionosis, agenesis of the craniofacial skeleton, and cardiac outflow tract and great vessel malformations. Analysis using a Rosa26 reporter mouse suggested that some or all of the remaining ENS in Impdh2 conditional-knockout animals was derived from cells that escaped Wnt1-Cre mediated DNA recombination. These data suggest that IMPDH2 mediated guanine nucleotide synthesis is essential for normal development of the ENS and other neural crest derivatives.

Anxiogenic and Stressor Effects of the Hypothalamic Neuropeptide RFRP-3 Are Overcome by the NPFFR Antagonist GJ14.

  • Kim JS
  • Endocrinology
  • 2015 Nov 17

Literature context:


Abstract:

RFamide-related peptide-3 (RFRP-3) is a recently discovered neuropeptide that has been proposed to play a role in the stress response. We aimed to elucidate the role of RFRP-3 and its receptor, neuropeptide FF (NPFF1R), in modulation of stress and anxiety responses. To achieve this, we characterized a new NPFF1R antagonist because our results showed that the only commercially available putative antagonist, RF9, is in fact an agonist at both NPFF1R and the kisspeptin receptor (KISS1R). We report here the identification and pharmacological characterization of GJ14, a true NPFFR antagonist. In in vivo tests of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis function, GJ14 completely blocked RFRP-3-induced corticosterone release and neuronal activation in CRH neurons. Furthermore, chronic infusion of GJ14 led to anxiolytic-like behavior, whereas RFRP-3 infusion had anxiogenic effects. Mice receiving chronic RFRP-3 infusion also had higher basal circulating corticosterone levels. These results indicate a stimulatory action of RFRP-3 on the HPA axis, consistent with the dense expression of NPFF1R in the vicinity of CRH neurons. Importantly, coinfusion of RFRP-3 and GJ14 completely reversed the anxiogenic and HPA axis-stimulatory effects of RFRP-3. Here we have established the role of RFRP-3 as a regulator of stress and anxiety. We also show that GJ14 can reverse the effects of RFRP-3 both in vitro and in vivo. Infusion of GJ14 causes anxiolysis, revealing a novel potential target for treating anxiety disorders.

Funding information:
  • HHMI - R00 GM098600(United States)
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - R01DK101379(United States)

Differential expression of id genes and their potential regulator znf238 in zebrafish adult neural progenitor cells and neurons suggests distinct functions in adult neurogenesis.

  • Diotel N
  • Gene Expr. Patterns
  • 2015 Nov 26

Literature context:


Abstract:

Teleost fish display a remarkable ability to generate new neurons and to repair brain lesions during adulthood. They are, therefore, a very popular model to investigate the molecular mechanisms of constitutive and induced neurogenesis in adult vertebrates. In this study, we investigated the expression patterns of inhibitor of DNA binding (id) genes and of their potential transcriptional repressor, znf238, in the whole brain of adult zebrafish. We show that while id1 is exclusively expressed in ventricular cells in the whole brain, id2a, id3 and id4 genes are expressed in broader areas. Interestingly, znf238 was also detected in these regions, its expression overlapping with id2a, id3 and id4 expression. Further detailed characterization of the id-expressing cells demonstrated that (a) id1 is expressed in type 1 and type 2 neural progenitors as previously published, (b) id2a in type 1, 2 and 3 neural progenitors, (c) id3 in type 3 neural progenitors and (d) id4 in postmitotic neurons. Our data provide a detailed map of id and znf238 expression in the brain of adult zebrafish, supplying a framework for studies of id genes function during adult neurogenesis and brain regeneration in the zebrafish.

Funding information:
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - R37 DK050107(United States)
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R03 NS071442(United States)

Synaptic localization of α5 GABA (A) receptors via gephyrin interaction regulates dendritic outgrowth and spine maturation.

  • Brady ML
  • Dev Neurobiol
  • 2015 Nov 11

Literature context:


Abstract:

GABAA receptor subunit composition is a critical determinant of receptor localization and physiology, with synaptic receptors generating phasic inhibition and extrasynaptic receptors producing tonic inhibition. Extrasynaptically localized α5 GABAA receptors are largely responsible for tonic inhibition in hippocampal neurons. However, we show here that inhibitory synapses also contain a constant level of α5 GABAA receptors throughout neuronal development, as measured by its colocalization with gephyrin, the inhibitory postsynaptic scaffolding protein. Immunoprecipitation of the α5 subunit from both cultured neurons and adult rat brain coimmunoprecipitated gephyrin, confirming this interaction in vivo. Furthermore, the α5 subunit can interact with gephyrin independent of other synaptically localized alpha subunits, as shown by immunoprecipitation experiments in HEK cells. By replacing the α5 predicted gephyrin binding domain (Residues 370-385) with either the high affinity gephyrin binding domain of the α2 subunit or homologous residues from the extrasynaptic α4 subunit that does not interact with gephyrin, α5 GABAA receptor localization shifted into or out of the synapse, respectively. These shifts in the ratio of synaptic/extrasynaptic α5 localization disrupted dendritic outgrowth and spine maturation. In contrast to the predominant view of α5 GABAA receptors being extrasynaptic and modulating tonic inhibition, we identify an intimate association of the α5 subunit with gephyrin, resulting in constant synaptic levels of α5 GABAA R throughout circuit formation that regulates neuronal development.

P16INK4a Upregulation Mediated by SIX6 Defines Retinal Ganglion Cell Pathogenesis in Glaucoma.

  • Skowronska-Krawczyk D
  • Mol. Cell
  • 2015 Sep 17

Literature context:


Abstract:

Glaucoma, a blinding neurodegenerative disease, whose risk factors include elevated intraocular pressure (IOP), age, and genetics, is characterized by accelerated and progressive retinal ganglion cell (RGC) death. Despite decades of research, the mechanism of RGC death in glaucoma is still unknown. Here, we demonstrate that the genetic effect of the SIX6 risk variant (rs33912345, His141Asn) is enhanced by another major POAG risk gene, p16INK4a (cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 2A, isoform INK4a). We further show that the upregulation of homozygous SIX6 risk alleles (CC) leads to an increase in p16INK4a expression, with subsequent cellular senescence, as evidenced in a mouse model of elevated IOP and in human POAG eyes. Our data indicate that SIX6 and/or IOP promotes POAG by directly increasing p16INK4a expression, leading to RGC senescence in adult human retinas. Our study provides important insights linking genetic susceptibility to the underlying mechanism of RGC death and provides a unified theory of glaucoma pathogenesis.

Postsynaptic gephyrin clustering controls the development of adult-born granule cells in the olfactory bulb.

  • Deprez F
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2015 Sep 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

In adult rodent olfactory bulb, GABAergic signaling regulates migration, differentiation, and synaptic integration of newborn granule cells (GCs), migrating from the subventricular zone. Here we show that these effects depend on the formation of a postsynaptic scaffold organized by gephyrin-the main scaffolding protein of GABAergic synapses, which anchors receptors and signaling molecules to the postsynaptic density-and are regulated by the phosphorylation status of gephyrin. Using lentiviral vectors to selectively transfect adult-born GCs, we observed that overexpression of the phospho-deficient gephyrin mutant eGFP-gephyrin(S270A), which facilitates the formation of supernumerary GABAergic synapses in vitro, favors dendritic branching and the formation of transient GABAergic synapses on spines, identified by the presence of α2-GABAA Rs. In contrast, overexpression of the dominant-negative eGFP-gephyrin(L2B) (a chimera that is enzymatically active but clustering defective), curtailed dendritic growth, spine formation, and long-term survival of GCs, pointing to the essential role of gephyrin cluster formation for its function. We could exclude any gephyrin overexpression artifacts, as GCs infected with eGFP-gephyrin were comparable to those infected with eGFP alone. The opposite effects induced by the two gephyrin mutant constructs indicate that the gephyrin scaffold at GABAergic synapses orchestrates signaling cascades acting on the cytoskeleton to regulate neuronal growth and synapse formation. Specifically, gephyrin phosphorylation emerges as a novel mechanism regulating morphological differentiation and long-term survival of adult-born olfactory bulb neurons.

Total protein is an effective loading control for cerebrospinal fluid western blots.

  • Collins MA
  • J. Neurosci. Methods
  • 2015 Aug 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

BACKGROUND: Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) has been used to identify biomarkers of neurological disease. CSF protein biomarkers identified by high-throughput methods, however, require further validation. While Western blotting (WB) is well-suited to this task, the lack of a validated loading control for CSF WB limits the method's accuracy. NEW METHOD: We investigated the use of total protein (TP) as a CSF WB loading control. Using iodine-based reversible membrane staining, we determined the linear range and consistency of the CSF TP signal. We then spiked green fluorescent protein (GFP) into CSF to create defined sample-to-sample differences in GFP levels that were measured by WB before and after TP loading correction. Levels of CSF complement C3 and cystatin C measured by WB with TP loading correction and ELISA in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and healthy control CSF samples were then compared. RESULTS: CSF WB with the TP loading control accurately detected defined differences in GFP levels and corrected for simulated loading errors. Individual CSF sample Western blot and ELISA measurements of complement C3 and cystatin C were significantly correlated and the methods showed a comparable ability to detect between-groups differences. COMPARISON WITH EXISTING METHOD: CSF TP staining has a greater linear dynamic range and sample-to-sample consistency than albumin, a commonly used CSF loading control. The method accurately corrects for simulated errors in loading and improves the sensitivity of CSF WB compared to using no loading control. CONCLUSIONS: The TP staining loading control improves the sensitivity and accuracy of CSF WB results.

Conditional Viral Tract Tracing Delineates the Projections of the Distinct Kisspeptin Neuron Populations to Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone (GnRH) Neurons in the Mouse.

  • Yip SH
  • Endocrinology
  • 2015 Jul 20

Literature context:


Abstract:

Kisspeptin neurons play an essential role in the regulation of fertility through direct regulation of the GnRH neurons. However, the relative contributions of the two functionally distinct kisspeptin neuron subpopulations to this critical regulation are not fully understood. Here we analyzed the specific projection patterns of kisspeptin neurons originating from either the rostral periventricular nucleus of the third ventricle (RP3V) or the arcuate nucleus (ARN) using a cell-specific, viral-mediated tract-tracing approach. We stereotaxically injected a Cre-dependent recombinant adenovirus encoding farnesylated enhanced green fluorescent protein into the ARN or RP3V of adult male and female mice expressing Cre recombinase in kisspeptin neurons. Fibers from ARN kisspeptin neurons projected widely; however, we did not find any evidence for direct contact with GnRH neuron somata or proximal dendrites in either sex. In contrast, we identified RP3V kisspeptin fibers in close contact with GnRH neuron somata and dendrites in both sexes. Fibers originating from both the RP3V and ARN were observed in close contact with distal GnRH neuron processes in the ARN and in the lateral and internal aspects of the median eminence. Furthermore, GnRH nerve terminals were found in close contact with the proximal dendrites of ARN kisspeptin neurons in the ARN, and ARN kisspeptin fibers were found contacting RP3V kisspeptin neurons in both sexes. Together these data delineate selective zones of kisspeptin neuron inputs to GnRH neurons and demonstrate complex interconnections between the distinct kisspeptin populations and GnRH neurons.

Funding information:
  • NCATS NIH HHS - UL1 TR000004(United States)

Comprehensive expression map of transcription regulators in the adult zebrafish telencephalon reveals distinct neurogenic niches.

  • Diotel N
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2015 Jun 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

The zebrafish has become a model to study adult vertebrate neurogenesis. In particular, the adult telencephalon has been an intensely studied structure in the zebrafish brain. Differential expression of transcriptional regulators (TRs) is a key feature of development and tissue homeostasis. Here we report an expression map of 1,202 TR genes in the telencephalon of adult zebrafish. Our results are summarized in a database with search and clustering functions to identify genes expressed in particular regions of the telencephalon. We classified 562 genes into 13 distinct patterns, including genes expressed in the proliferative zone. The remaining 640 genes displayed unique and complex patterns of expression and could thus not be grouped into distinct classes. The neurogenic ventricular regions express overlapping but distinct sets of TR genes, suggesting regional differences in the neurogenic niches in the telencephalon. In summary, the small telencephalon of the zebrafish shows a remarkable complexity in TR gene expression. The adult zebrafish telencephalon has become a model to study neurogenesis. We established the expression pattern of more than 1200 transcription regulators (TR) in the adult telencephalon. The neurogenic regions express overlapping but distinct sets of TR genes suggesting regional differences in the neurogenic potential.

Funding information:
  • European Research Council - 310829(International)

Neuroanatomical characterization of a growth hormone secretagogue receptor-green fluorescent protein reporter mouse.

  • Mani BK
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2014 Nov 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Growth hormone secretagogue receptor (GHSR) 1a is the only molecularly identified receptor for ghrelin, mediating ghrelin-related effects on eating, body weight, and blood glucose control, among others. The expression pattern of GHSR within the brain has been assessed previously by several neuroanatomical techniques. However, inherent limitations to these techniques and the lack of reliable anti-GHSR antibodies and reporter rodent models that identify GHSR-containing neurons have prevented a more comprehensive functional characterization of ghrelin-responsive neurons. Here we have systematically characterized the brain expression of an enhanced green fluorescence protein (eGFP) transgene controlled by the Ghsr promoter in a recently reported GHSR reporter mouse. Expression of eGFP in coronal brain sections was compared with GHSR mRNA expression detected in the same sections by in situ hybridization histochemistry. eGFP immunoreactivity was detected in several areas, including the prefrontal cortex, insular cortex, olfactory bulb, amygdala, and hippocampus, which showed no or low GHSR mRNA expression. In contrast, eGFP expression was low in several midbrain regions and in several hypothalamic nuclei, particularly the arcuate nucleus, where robust GHSR mRNA expression has been well-characterized. eGFP expression in several brainstem nuclei showed high to moderate degrees of colocalization with GHSR mRNA labeling. Further quantitative PCR and electrophysiological analyses of eGFP-labeled hippocampal cells confirmed faithful expression of eGFP within GHSR-containing, ghrelin-responsive neurons. In summary, the GHSR-eGFP reporter mouse model may be a useful tool for studying GHSR function, particularly within the brainstem and hippocampus; however, it underrepresents GHSR expression in nuclei within the hypothalamus and midbrain.

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.

Impact of diet-induced obesity on intestinal stem cells: hyperproliferation but impaired intrinsic function that requires insulin/IGF1.

  • Mah AT
  • Endocrinology
  • 2014 Sep 25

Literature context:


Abstract:

Nutrient intake regulates intestinal epithelial mass and crypt proliferation. Recent findings in model organisms and rodents indicate nutrient restriction impacts intestinal stem cells (ISC). Little is known about the impact of diet-induced obesity (DIO), a model of excess nutrient intake on ISC. We used a Sox9-EGFP reporter mouse to test the hypothesis that an adaptive response to DIO or associated hyperinsulinemia involves expansion and hyperproliferation of ISC. The Sox9-EGFP reporter mouse allows study and isolation of ISC, progenitors, and differentiated lineages based on different Sox9-EGFP expression levels. Sox9-EGFP mice were fed a high-fat diet for 20 weeks to induce DIO and compared with littermates fed low-fat rodent chow. Histology, fluorescence activated cell sorting, and mRNA analyses measured impact of DIO on jejunal crypt-villus morphometry, numbers, and proliferation of different Sox9-EGFP cell populations and gene expression. An in vitro culture assay directly assessed functional capacity of isolated ISC. DIO mice exhibited significant increases in body weight, plasma glucose, insulin, and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1) levels and intestinal Igf1 mRNA. DIO mice had increased villus height and crypt density but decreased intestinal length and decreased numbers of Paneth and goblet cells. In vivo, DIO resulted in a selective expansion of Sox9-EGFP(Low) ISC and percentage of ISC in S-phase. ISC expansion significantly correlated with plasma insulin levels. In vitro, isolated ISC from DIO mice formed fewer enteroids in standard 3D Matrigel culture compared to controls, indicating impaired ISC function. This decreased enteroid formation in isolated ISC from DIO mice was rescued by exogenous insulin, IGF1, or both. We conclude that DIO induces specific increases in ISC and ISC hyperproliferation in vivo. However, isolated ISC from DIO mice have impaired intrinsic survival and growth in vitro that can be rescued by exogenous insulin or IGF1.

Funding information:
  • PHS HHS - HHSN268201100037C(United States)

Electrophysiology of arcuate neurokinin B neurons in female Tac2-EGFP transgenic mice.

  • Cholanian M
  • Endocrinology
  • 2014 Jul 21

Literature context:


Abstract:

Neurons in the arcuate nucleus that coexpress kisspeptin, neurokinin B (NKB), and dynorphin (KNDy neurons) play an important role in the modulation of reproduction by estrogens. Here, we study the anatomical and electrophysiological properties of arcuate NKB neurons in heterozygous female transgenic mice with enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) under the control of the Tac2 (NKB) promoter (Tac2-EGFP mice). The onset of puberty, estrous cyclicity, and serum LH were comparable between Tac2-EGFP and wild-type mice. The location of EGFP-immunoreactive neurons was consistent with previous descriptions of Tac2 mRNA-expressing neurons in the rodent. In the arcuate nucleus, nearly 80% of EGFP neurons expressed pro-NKB-immunoreactivity. Moreover, EGFP fluorescent intensity in arcuate neurons was increased by ovariectomy and reduced by 17β-estradiol (E2) treatment. Electrophysiology of single cells in tissue slices was used to examine the effects of chronic E2 treatment on Tac2-EGFP neurons in the arcuate nucleus of ovariectomized mice. Whole-cell recordings revealed arcuate NKB neurons to be either spontaneously active or silent in both groups. E2 had no significant effect on the basic electrophysiological properties or spontaneous firing frequencies. Arcuate NKB neurons exhibited either tonic or phasic firing patterns in response to a series of square-pulse current injections. Notably, E2 reduced the number of action potentials evoked by depolarizing current injections. This study demonstrates the utility of the Tac2-EGFP mouse for electrophysiological and morphological studies of KNDy neurons in tissue slices. In parallel to E2 negative feedback on LH secretion, E2 decreased the intensity of the EGFP signal and reduced the excitability of NKB neurons in the arcuate nucleus of ovariectomized Tac2-EGFP mice.

Funding information:
  • NIDCD NIH HHS - R01 DC009405(United States)

Layer 6 corticothalamic neurons activate a cortical output layer, layer 5a.

  • Kim J
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2014 Jul 16

Literature context:


Abstract:

Layer 6 corticothalamic neurons are thought to modulate incoming sensory information via their intracortical axons targeting the major thalamorecipient layer of the neocortex, layer 4, and via their long-range feedback projections to primary sensory thalamic nuclei. However, anatomical reconstructions of individual layer 6 corticothalamic (L6 CT) neurons include examples with axonal processes ramifying within layer 5, and the relative input of the overall population of L6 CT neurons to layers 4 and 5 is not well understood. We compared the synaptic impact of L6 CT cells on neurons in layers 4 and 5. We found that the axons of L6 CT neurons densely ramified within layer 5a in both visual and somatosensory cortices of the mouse. Optogenetic activation of corticothalamic neurons generated large EPSPs in pyramidal neurons in layer 5a. In contrast, excitatory neurons in layer 4 exhibited weak excitation or disynaptic inhibition. Fast-spiking parvalbumin-positive cells in both layer 5a and layer 4 were also strongly activated by L6 CT neurons. The overall effect of L6 CT activation was to suppress layer 4 while eliciting action potentials in layer 5a pyramidal neurons. Together, our data indicate that L6 CT neurons strongly activate an output layer of the cortex.

Lgr5 Marks Post-Mitotic, Lineage Restricted Cerebellar Granule Neurons during Postnatal Development.

  • Miller TE
  • PLoS ONE
  • 2014 May 25

Literature context:


Abstract:

Wnt signaling regulates self-renewal and fate commitment of stem and progenitor cells in development and homeostasis. Leucine-rich repeat-containing G-protein coupled receptor 5 (Lgr5) is a co-receptor for Wnt signaling that marks highly proliferative stem and progenitor cells in many epithelial tissue types. Wnt signaling instructs neural developmental and homeostatic processes; however, Lgr5 expression in the developing and adult brain has not been characterized. Here we report that Lgr5 is expressed in the postnatal cerebellum during the maturation and synaptogenesis of cerebellar granule neurons (CGNs), processes controlled by Wnt signaling. Using a transgenic reporter mouse for in vivo Lgr5 expression analysis and lineage tracing, we reveal that Lgr5 specifically identified CGNs and was restricted temporally to the CGN maturation phase within the internal granule layer, but absent in the adult brain. Cells marked by Lgr5 were lineage restricted, post-mitotic and long-lived. The ligand for Lgr5, R-spondin, was secreted in a paracrine fashion that evolved during the maturation of CGNs, which coincided with the Lgr5 expression pattern. Our findings provide potential new insight into the critical regulation of Wnt signaling in the developing cerebellum and support a novel role for Lgr5 in the regulation of post-mitotic cells.

PTEN knockdown alters dendritic spine/protrusion morphology, not density.

  • Haws ME
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2014 Apr 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Mutations in phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted on chromosome 10 (PTEN) are implicated in neuropsychiatric disorders including autism. Previous studies report that PTEN knockdown in neurons in vivo leads to increased spine density and synaptic activity. To better characterize synaptic changes in neurons lacking PTEN, we examined the effects of shRNA knockdown of PTEN in basolateral amygdala neurons on synaptic spine density and morphology by using fluorescent dye confocal imaging. Contrary to previous studies in the dentate gyrus, we find that knockdown of PTEN in basolateral amygdala leads to a significant decrease in total spine density in distal dendrites. Curiously, this decreased spine density is associated with increased miniature excitatory postsynaptic current frequency and amplitude, suggesting an increase in number and function of mature spines. These seemingly contradictory findings were reconciled by spine morphology analysis demonstrating increased mushroom spine density and size with correspondingly decreased thin protrusion density at more distal segments. The same analysis of PTEN conditional deletion in the dentate gyrus demonstrated that loss of PTEN does not significantly alter total density of dendritic protrusions in the dentate gyrus, but does decrease thin protrusion density and increases density of more mature mushroom spines. These findings suggest that, contrary to previous reports, PTEN knockdown may not induce de novo spinogenesis, but instead may increase synaptic activity by inducing morphological and functional maturation of spines. Furthermore, behavioral analysis of basolateral amygdala PTEN knockdown suggests that these changes limited only to the basolateral amygdala complex may not be sufficient to induce increased anxiety-related behaviors.

Increased radial glia quiescence, decreased reactivation upon injury and unaltered neuroblast behavior underlie decreased neurogenesis in the aging zebrafish telencephalon.

  • Edelmann K
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2013 Sep 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

The zebrafish has recently become a source of new data on the mechanisms of neural stem cell (NSC) maintenance and ongoing neurogenesis in adult brains. In this vertebrate, neurogenesis occurs at high levels in all ventricular regions of the brain, and brain injuries recover successfully, owing to the recruitment of radial glia, which function as NSCs. This new vertebrate model of adult neurogenesis is thus advancing our knowledge of the molecular cues in use for the activation of NSCs and fate of their progeny. Because the regenerative potential of somatic stem cells generally weakens with increasing age, it is important to assess the extent to which zebrafish NSC potential decreases or remains unaltered with age. We found that neurogenesis in the ventricular zone, in the olfactory bulb, and in a newly identified parenchymal zone of the telencephalon indeed declines as the fish ages and that oligodendrogenesis also declines. In the ventricular zone, the radial glial cell population remains largely unaltered morphologically but enters less frequently into the cell cycle and hence produces fewer neuroblasts. The neuroblasts themselves do not change their behavior with age and produce the same number of postmitotic neurons. Thus, decreased neurogenesis in the physiologically aging zebrafish brain is correlated with an increasing quiescence of radial glia. After injuries, radial glia in aged brains are reactivated, and the percentage of cell cycle entry is increased in the radial glia population. However, this reaction is far less pronounced than in younger animals, pointing to irreversible changes in aging zebrafish radial glia.

Funding information:
  • NICHD NIH HHS - 5P30HD024064(United States)

Genetic labeling of steroidogenic factor-1 (SF-1) neurons in mice reveals ventromedial nucleus of the hypothalamus (VMH) circuitry beginning at neurogenesis and development of a separate non-SF-1 neuronal cluster in the ventrolateral VMH.

  • Cheung CC
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2013 Apr 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

The ventromedial nucleus of the hypothalamus (VMH) influences a wide variety of physiological responses. Here, using two distinct but complementary genetic tracing approaches in mice, we describe the development of VMH efferent projections, as marked by steroidogenic factor-1 (SF-1; NR5A1). SF-1 neurons were visualized by Tau-green fluorescent protein (GFP) expressed from the endogenous Sf-1 locus (Sf-1(TauGFP)) or by crossing the transgenic Sf1:Cre driver to a GFP reporter strain (Z/EG(Sf1:Cre)). Strikingly, VMH projections were visible early, at embryonic (E) 10.5, when few postmitotic SF1 neurons have been born, suggesting that formation of VMH circuitry begins at the onset of neurogenesis. At E14.5, comparison of these two reporter lines revealed that SF1-positive neurons in the ventrolateral VMH (VMH(vl)) persist in Z/EG(Sf1:Cre) embryos but are virtually absent in Sf-1(TauGFP). Therefore, although the entire VMH including the VMH(vl) shares a common lineage, the VMH(vl) further differentiates into a neuronal cluster devoid of SF-1. At birth, extensive VMH projections to broad regions of the brain were observed in both mouse reporter lines, matching well with those previously discovered by injection of axonal anterograde tracers in adult rats. In summary, our genetic tracing studies show that VMH efferent projections are highly conserved in rodents and are established far earlier than previously appreciated. Moreover, our results imply that neurons in the VMH(vl) adopt a distinct fate early in development, which might underlie the unique physiological functions associated with this VMH subregion.

Funding information:
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - U01 DK062467(United States)

Nuclear receptor COUP-TFII-expressing neocortical interneurons are derived from the medial and lateral/caudal ganglionic eminence and define specific subsets of mature interneurons.

  • Cai Y
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2013 Feb 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Neocortical GABAergic interneurons in rodents originate from subpallial progenitor zones. The majority of mouse neocortical interneurons are derived from the medial and caudal ganglionic eminences (MGE and CGE, respectively) and the preoptic area (POA). It is controversial whether the lateral ganglionic eminence (LGE) also generates neocortical interneurons. Previously it was shown that the transcription factor COUP-TFII is expressed in the CGE; here we show that COUP-TFII is also expressed in the dorsal MGE, dorsal LGE (dMGE and dLGE, respectively), and POA. In the adult neocortex, COUP-TFII+/somatostatin (SOM)+ interneurons are mainly located in layer V. Using a genetic fate-mapping approach (Shh-Cre and Nkx2.1-Cre), we demonstrate that the POA and ventral MGE do not give rise to COUP-TFII+ neocortical interneurons, suggesting that the dMGE is the source of COUP-TFII+/SOM+ neocortical interneurons. We also observed a migratory stream of COUP-TFII+/Sp8+ cells emanating from the dLGE and CGE to the neocortex mainly through the subventricular zone at later embryonic stages. Slice culture experiments in which dLGE progenitors were labeled with BrdU provided additional evidence that the dLGE generates neocortical interneurons. While earlier-born dMGE-derived COUP-TFII+ interneurons occupy cortical layer V, later-born dLGE- and CGE-derived COUP-TFII+ ones preferentially occupy superficial cortical layers. A similar laminar distribution was observed following neonatal transplantation of embryonic day (E)14.5 dMGE and E15.5 dLGE. These results provide novel information about interneuron fate and position from spatially and temporally distinct origins in the ganglionic eminences.

Funding information:
  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute - R01 GM060124(United States)
  • NINDS NIH HHS - 5R01NS037070(United States)

Melanocortin-4 receptor expression in different classes of spinal and vagal primary afferent neurons in the mouse.

  • Gautron L
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2012 Dec 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Melanocortin-4 receptor (MC4R) ligands are known to modulate nociception, but the site of action of MC4R signaling on nociception remains to be elucidated. The current study investigated MC4R expression in dorsal root ganglia (DRG) of the MC4R-GFP reporter mouse. Because MC4R is known to be expressed in vagal afferent neurons in the nodose ganglion (NG), we also systematically compared MC4R-expressing vagal and spinal afferent neurons. Abundant green fluorescent protein (GFP) immunoreactivity was found in about 45% of DRG neuronal profiles (at the mid-thoracic level), the majority being small-sized profiles. Immunohistochemistry combined with in situ hybridization confirmed that GFP was genuinely produced in MC4R-expressing neurons in the DRG. While a large number of GFP profiles in the DRG coexpressed Nav1.8 mRNA (84%) and bound isolectin B4 (72%), relatively few GFP profiles were positive for NF200 (16%) or CGRP (13%), suggesting preferential MC4R expression in C-fiber nonpeptidergic neurons. By contrast, GFP in the NG frequently colocalized with Nav1.8 mRNA (64%) and NF200 (29%), but only to a moderate extent with isolectin B4 (16%). Lastly, very few GFP profiles in the NG expressed CGRP (5%) or CART (4%). Together, our findings demonstrate variegated MC4R expression in different classes of vagal and spinal primary afferent neurons, and underscore the role of the melanocortin system in modulating nociceptive and nonnociceptive peripheral sensory modalities.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - RC2 NS069350(United States)

Forebrain GABAergic projections from the dorsal raphe nucleus identified by using GAD67-GFP knock-in mice.

  • Bang SJ
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2012 Dec 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

The dorsal raphe nucleus (DR) contains serotonergic (5-HT) neurons that project widely throughout the forebrain. These forebrain regions also receive innervation from non-5-HT neurons in the DR. One of the main groups of non-5-HT neurons in the DR is γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)ergic, but their projections are poorly understood due to the difficulty of labeling these neurons immunohistochemically. To identify GABAergic projection neurons within the DR in the current study, we used a knock-in mouse line in which expression of green fluorescent protein (GFP) is controlled by the glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD)67 promotor. Projections of GAD67-GFP neurons to the prefrontal cortex (PFC), nucleus accumbens (NAC), and lateral hypothalamus (LH) were evaluated by using retrograde tract tracing. The location of GAD67-GFP neurons projecting to each of these areas was mapped by rostrocaudal and dorsoventral location within the DR. Overall, 16% of DR neurons projecting to either the PFC or NAC were identified as GAD67-GFP neurons. GAD67-GFP neurons projecting to the PFC were most commonly found ventrally, in the rostral two-thirds of the DR. NAC-projecting GAD67-GFP neurons had an overlapping distribution that extended dorsally. GAD67-GFP neurons made a larger contribution to the projection of the DR to the LH, accounting for 36% of retrogradely labeled neurons, and were widespread throughout the DR. The current data indicate that DR GABAergic neurons not only may have the capacity to influence local network activity, but also make a notable contribution to DR output to multiple forebrain targets. J. Comp. Neurol. 520:4157-4167, 2012. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Funding information:
  • NIMH NIH HHS - R21-MH099812(United States)

Neuroanatomy of melanocortin-4 receptor pathway in the lateral hypothalamic area.

  • Cui H
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2012 Dec 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

The central melanocortin system regulates body energy homeostasis including the melanocortin-4 receptor (MC4R). The lateral hypothalamic area (LHA) receives dense melanocortinergic inputs from the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus and regulates multiple processes including food intake, reward behaviors, and autonomic function. By using a mouse line in which green fluorescent protein (GFP) is expressed under control of the MC4R gene promoter, we systemically investigated MC4R signaling in the LHA by combining double immunohistochemistry, electrophysiology, and retrograde tracing techniques. We found that LHA MC4R-GFP neurons coexpress neurotensin as well as the leptin receptor but do not coexpress other peptide neurotransmitters found in the LHA including orexin, melanin-concentrating hormone, and nesfatin-1. Furthermore, electrophysiological recording demonstrated that leptin, but not the MC4R agonist melanotan II, hyperpolarizes the majority of LHA MC4R-GFP neurons in an ATP- sensitive potassium channel-dependent manner. Retrograde tracing revealed that LHA MC4R-GFP neurons do not project to the ventral tegmental area, dorsal raphe nucleus, nucleus accumbens, and spinal cord, and only limited number of neurons project to the nucleus of the solitary tract and parabrachial nucleus. Our findings provide new insights into MC4R signaling in the LHA and its potential implications in homeostatic regulation of body energy balance.

Funding information:
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - P50 GM052585(United States)

Selective distribution of GABA(A) receptor subtypes in mouse spinal dorsal horn neurons and primary afferents.

  • Paul J
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2012 Dec 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

In the spinal cord dorsal horn, presynaptic GABA(A) receptors (GABA(A)Rs) in the terminals of nociceptors as well as postsynaptic receptors in spinal neurons regulate the transmission of nociceptive and somatosensory signals from the periphery. GABA(A)Rs are heterogeneous and distinguished functionally and pharmacologically by the type of α subunit variant they contain. This heterogeneity raises the possibility that GABA(A)R subtypes differentially regulate specific pain modalities. Here, we characterized the subcellular distribution of GABA(A)R subtypes in nociceptive circuits by using immunohistochemistry with subunit-specific antibodies combined with markers of primary afferents and dorsal horn neurons. Confocal laser scanning microscopy analysis revealed a distinct, partially overlapping laminar distribution of α1-3 and α5 subunit immunoreactivity in laminae I-V. Likewise, a layer-specific pattern was evident for their distribution among glutamatergic, γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)ergic, and glycinergic neurons (detected in transgenic mice expressing vesicular glutamate transporter 2-enhanced green fluorescent protein [vGluT2-eGFP], glutamic acid decarboxylase [GAD]67-eGFP, and glycine transporter 2 (GlyT2)-eGFP, respectively). Finally, all four subunits could be detected within primary afferent terminals. C-fibers predominantly contained either α2 or α3 subunit immunoreactivity; terminals from myelinated (Aβ/Aδ) fibers were colabeled in roughly equal proportion with each subunit. The presence of axoaxonic GABAergic synapses was determined by costaining with gephyrin and vesicular inhibitory amino acid transporter to label GABAergic postsynaptic densities and terminals, respectively. Colocalization of the α2 or α3 subunit with these markers was observed in a subset of C-fiber synapses. Furthermore, gephyrin mRNA and protein expression was detected in dorsal root ganglia. Collectively, these results show that differential GABA(A)R distribution in primary afferent terminals and dorsal horn neurons allows for multiple, circuit-specific modes of regulation of nociceptive circuits.

Funding information:
  • NIMH NIH HHS - R01 MH057014(United States)

Phox2b expression in the taste centers of fish.

  • Coppola E
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2012 Nov 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

The homeodomain transcription factor Phox2b controls the formation of the sensory-motor reflex circuits of the viscera in vertebrates. Among Phox2b-dependent structures characterized in rodents is the nucleus of the solitary tract, the first relay for visceral sensory input, including taste. Here we show that Phox2b is expressed throughout the primary taste centers of two cyprinid fish, Danio rerio and Carassius auratus, i.e., in their vagal, glossopharyngeal, and facial lobes, providing the first molecular evidence for their homology with the nucleus of the solitary tract of mammals and suggesting that a single ancestral Phox2b-positive neuronal type evolved to give rise to both fish and mammalian structures. In zebrafish larvae, the distribution of Phox2b²⁺ neurons, combined with the expression pattern of Olig4 (a homologue of Olig3, determinant of the nucleus of the solitary tract in mice), reveals that the superficial position and sheet-like architecture of the viscerosensory column in cyprinid fish, ideally suited for the somatotopic representation of oropharyngeal and bodily surfaces, arise by radial migration from a dorsal progenitor domain, in contrast to the tangential migration observed in amniotes.

Funding information:
  • NIH HHS - U42 OD010924(United States)

Biciliated ependymal cell proliferation contributes to spinal cord growth.

  • Alfaro-Cervello C
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2012 Oct 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

Two neurogenic regions have been described in the adult brain, the lateral ventricle subventricular zone and the dentate gyrus subgranular zone. It has been suggested that neural stem cells also line the central canal of the adult spinal cord. Using transmission and scanning electron microscopy and immunostaining, we describe here the organization and cell types of the central canal epithelium in adult mice. The identity of dividing cells was determined by 3D ultrastructural reconstructions of [(3) H]thymidine-labeled cells and confocal analysis of bromodeoxyuridine labeling. The most common cell type lining the central canal had two long motile (9+2) cilia and was vimentin+, CD24+, FoxJ1+, Sox2+, and CD133+, but nestin- and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP)-. These biciliated ependymal cells of the central canal (Ecc) resembled E2 cells of the lateral ventricles, but their basal bodies were different from those of E2 or E1 cells. Interestingly, we frequently found Ecc cells with two nuclei and four cilia, suggesting they are formed by incomplete cytokinesis or cell fusion. GFAP+ astrocytes with a single cilium and an orthogonally oriented centriole were also observed. The majority of dividing cells corresponded to biciliated Ecc cells. Central canal proliferation was most common during the active period of spinal cord growth. Pairs of labeled Ecc cells were observed within the central canal in adult mice 2.5 weeks post labeling. Our work suggests that the vast majority of postnatal dividing cells in the central canal are Ecc cells and their proliferation is associated with the growth of the spinal cord.

Funding information:
  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research - FRN15686(Canada)

Glial responses after chorda tympani nerve injury.

  • Bartel DL
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2012 Aug 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

The chorda tympani (CT) nerve innervates lingual taste buds and is susceptible to damage during dental and inner ear procedures. Interruption of the CT results in a disappearance of taste buds, which can be accompanied by taste disturbances. Because the CT usually regenerates to reinnervate taste buds successfully within a few weeks, a persistence of taste disturbances may indicate alterations in central nervous function. Peripheral injury to other sensory nerves leads to glial responses at central terminals, which actively contribute to abnormal sensations arising from nerve damage. Therefore, the current study examined microglial and astrocytic responses in the first central gustatory relay, the nucleus of the solitary tract (nTS), after transection of the CT. Damage to the CT resulted in significant microglial responses in terms of morphological reactivity and an increased density of microglial cells from 2 to 20 days after injury. This increased microglial population resulted primarily from microglial proliferation from 1.5 to 3 days, which was supplemented by microglial migration within subdivisions of the nTS between days 2 and 3. Unlike other nerve injuries, CT injury did not result in recruitment of bone marrow-derived precursors. Astrocytes also reacted in the nTS with increased levels of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) by 3 days, although none showed evidence of cell division. GFAP levels remained increased at 30 days, by which time microglial responses had resolved. These results show that nerve damage to the CT results in central glial responses, which may participate in long-lasting taste alterations following CT lesion.

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

Second-order input to the medial amygdala from olfactory sensory neurons expressing the transduction channel TRPM5.

  • Thompson JA
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2012 Jun 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Recent anatomical tracing experiments in rodents have established that a subset of mitral cells in the main olfactory bulb (MOB) projects directly to the medial amygdala (MeA), traditionally considered a target of the accessory olfactory bulb. Neurons that project from the MOB to the MeA also show activation in response to conspecific (opposite sex) volatile urine exposure, establishing a direct role of the MOB in semiochemical processing. In addition, olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs) that express the transient receptor potential M5 (TRPM5) channel innervate a subset of glomeruli that respond to putative semiochemical stimuli. In this study, we examined whether the subset of glomeruli targeted by TRPM5-expressing OSNs is innervated by the population of mitral cells that projects to the MeA. We injected the retrograde tracer cholera toxin B (CTB) into the MeA of mice in which the TRPM5 promoter drives green fluorescent protein (GFP). We found overlapping clusters of CTB-labeled mitral cell dendritic branches (CTB(+) ) in TRPM5-GFP(+) glomeruli at significantly greater frequency than expected by chance. Despite the significant degree of colocalization, some amygdalopetal mitral cells extended dendrites to non-TRPM5-GFP glomeruli and vice versa, suggesting that, although significant overlapping glomerular innervation is observed between these two features, it is not absolute.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01NS040701(United States)

Sacral neural crest-derived cells enter the aganglionic colon of Ednrb-/- mice along extrinsic nerve fibers.

  • Erickson CS
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2012 Feb 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

Both vagal and sacral neural crest cells contribute to the enteric nervous system in the hindgut. Because it is difficult to visualize sacral crest cells independently of vagal crest, the nature and extent of the sacral crest contribution to the enteric nervous system are not well established in rodents. To overcome this problem we generated mice in which only the fluorescent protein-labeled sacral crest are present in the terminal colon. We found that sacral crest cells were associated with extrinsic nerve fibers. We investigated the source, time of appearance, and characteristics of the extrinsic nerve fibers found in the aganglionic colon. We observed that the pelvic ganglion neurons contributed a number of extrinsic fibers that travel within the hindgut between circular and longitudinal muscles and within the submucosa and serosa. Sacral crest-derived cells along these fibers diminished in number from fetal to postnatal stages. A small number of sacral crest-derived cells were found between the muscle layers and expressed the neuronal marker Hu. We conclude that sacral crest cells enter the hindgut by advancing on extrinsic fibers and, in aganglionic preparations, they form a small number of neurons at sites normally occupied by myenteric ganglia. We also examined the colons of ganglionated preparations and found sacral crest-derived cells associated with both extrinsic nerve fibers and nascent ganglia. Extrinsic nerve fibers serve as a route of entry for both rodent and avian sacral crest into the hindgut.

Funding information:
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - R37 DK33165(United States)

Morphology of superior colliculus- and middle temporal area-projecting neurons in primate primary visual cortex.

  • Nhan HL
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2012 Jan 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Layers 5 and 6 of primate primary visual cortex (V1) harbor morphologically diverse cell groups that have corticocortical and corticosubcortical projections. Layer 6 middle temporal area (MT)-projecting neurons are particularly interesting, as they are the only deep-layer cortical neurons that provide both corticocortical feedforward inputs (to area MT) and corticosubcortical feedback projections (to superior colliculus [SC]) (Fries et al. [1985] Exp Brain Res 58:613-616). However, due to limitations in anatomical tracing techniques, little is known about the detailed morphologies of these cells. We therefore applied a genetically modified rabies virus as a retrograde tracer to fill the dendrites of projection neurons with green fluorescent protein (GFP) (Wickersham et al. [2007] Nat Methods 4:47-49). We injected virus into SC or area MT of macaque monkeys and examined labeled cells in V1. Two-thirds of labeled neurons following SC injections were found in layer 5, consisting of "tall-tufted" and "nontufted" cells; the remaining cells were layer 6 "nontufted." Area MT injections labeled neurons in layers 4B and 6, as previously described (Shipp and Zeki [1989] Eur J Neurosci 1:309-332). The layer 6 neurons projecting to MT were remarkably similar to the layer 6 SC-projecting neurons. In contrast to the dense and focused dendritic arbors of layer 5 "tall-tufted" pyramids, all "nontufted" cells had sparse, but unusually long basal dendrites. The nontufted cells closely resemble Meynert cells (le Gros Clark [1942] J Anat 76:369-376; Winfield et al. [1983] Proc R Soc Lond B Biol Sci 217:129-139), but the full in vivo reconstructions presented here show that their basal dendrites can extend much further (up to 1.2 mm) and are less asymmetric than inferred from Golgi reconstructions.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - R24CA095841(United States)

Fezf1 and Fezf2 are required for olfactory development and sensory neuron identity.

  • Eckler MJ
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2011 Jul 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

The murine olfactory system consists of main and accessory systems that perform distinct and overlapping functions. The main olfactory epithelium (MOE) is primarily involved in the detection of volatile odorants, while neurons in the vomeronasal organ (VNO), part of the accessory olfactory system, are important for pheromone detection. During development, the MOE and VNO both originate from the olfactory pit; however, the mechanisms regulating development of these anatomically distinct organs from a common olfactory primordium are unknown. Here we report that two closely related zinc-finger transcription factors, FEZF1 and FEZF2, regulate the identity of MOE sensory neurons and are essential for the survival of VNO neurons respectively. Fezf1 is predominantly expressed in the MOE while Fezf2 expression is restricted to the VNO. In Fezf1-deficient mice, olfactory neurons fail to mature and also express markers of functional VNO neurons. In Fezf2-deficient mice, VNO neurons degenerate prior to birth. These results identify Fezf1 and Fezf2 as important regulators of olfactory system development and sensory neuron identity.

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

Spatiotemporal fate map of neurogenin1 (Neurog1) lineages in the mouse central nervous system.

  • Kim EJ
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2011 May 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Neurog1 (Ngn1, Neurod3, neurogenin1) is a basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcription factor essential for neuronal differentiation and subtype specification during embryogenesis. Due to the transient expression of Neurog1 and extensive migration of neuronal precursors, it has been challenging to understand the full complement of Neurog1 lineage cells throughout the central nervous system (CNS). Here we labeled and followed Neurog1 lineages using inducible Cre-flox recombination systems with Neurog1-Cre and Neurog1-CreER(T2) BAC (bacterial artificial chromosome) transgenic mice. Neurog1 lineage cells are restricted to neuronal fates and contribute to diverse but discrete populations in each brain region. In the forebrain, Neurog1 lineages include mitral cells and glutamatergic interneurons in the olfactory bulb, pyramidal and granule neurons in the hippocampus, and pyramidal cells in the cortex. In addition, most of the thalamus, but not the hypothalamus, arises from Neurog1 progenitors. Although Neurog1 lineages are largely restricted to glutamatergic neurons, there are multiple exceptions including Purkinje cells and other GABAergic neurons in the cerebellum. This study provides the first overview of the spatiotemporal fate map of Neurog1 lineages in the CNS.

Funding information:
  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research - 202452(Canada)

Neurogenic hippocampal targets of deep brain stimulation.

  • Encinas JM
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2011 Jan 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is being used to treat movement, neurological, and psychiatric disorders; recently it has been successfully applied to patients with treatment-resistant depression or in minimally conscious state. In addition to its clinical importance, DBS presents a powerful approach to target specific neural circuits and determine the functional relationship between the components of these circuits. We examined the effect of high-frequency stimulation of a crucial component of the limbic circuitry, the anterior thalamic nuclei (ATN), on the generation of new neurons in the dentate gyrus (DG) of the hippocampus, another component of the same circuitry. Adult hippocampal neurogenesis emerges as a strong correlate of antidepressant treatments; however, in most cases, the progenitor cell population targeted by a specific treatment is not known. Using reporter mouse lines designed to quantify changes in selected classes of neural progenitors, we found that high-frequency stimulation of the ATN increases symmetric divisions of a defined class of neural progenitors in the DG; this effect is later manifested as an increased number of new neurons. The affected class of neural progenitors is also affected by the antidepressant fluoxetine (Prozac) and physical exercise (running). This indicates that neurogenic stimuli of different natures can converge on the same neurogenic target in the DG. Our results also suggest that hippocampal neurogenesis may be used as a sensitive indicator of the limbic circuitry activation induced by DBS.

Funding information:
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - R01GM086888(United States)

Projections of preBötzinger complex neurons in adult rats.

  • Tan W
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2010 May 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

The preBötzinger Complex (preBötC) contains neural microcircuitry essential for normal respiratory rhythm generation in rodents. A subpopulation of preBötC neurons expresses somatostatin, a neuropeptide with a modulatory action on breathing. Acute silencing of a subpopulation of preBötC neurons transfected by a virus driving protein expression under the somatostatin promoter results in persistent apnea in awake adult rats. Given the profound effect of silencing these neurons, their projections are of interest. We used an adeno-associated virus to overexpress enhanced green fluorescent protein driven by the somatostatin promoter in preBötC neurons to label their axons and terminal fields. These neurons send brainstem projections to: 1) contralateral preBötC; 2) ipsi- and contralateral Bötzinger Complex; 3) ventral respiratory column caudal to preBötC; 4) parafacial respiratory group/retrotrapezoid nucleus; 5) parahypoglossal nucleus/nucleus of the solitary tract; 6) parabrachial/Kölliker-Fuse nuclei; and 7) periaqueductal gray. We did not find major projections to either cerebellum or spinal cord. We conclude that there are widespread projections from preBötC somatostatin-expressing neurons specifically targeted to brainstem regions implicated in control of breathing, and provide a network basis for the profound effects and the essential role of the preBötC in breathing.

Immunochemical characterization of inhibitory mouse cortical neurons: three chemically distinct classes of inhibitory cells.

  • Xu X
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2010 Feb 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

The cerebral cortex has diverse types of inhibitory neurons. In rat cortex, past research has shown that parvalbumin (PV), somatostatin (SOM), calretinin (CR), and cholecystokinin (CCK) label four distinct chemical classes of GABAergic interneurons. However, in contrast to rat cortex, previous studies indicate that there is significant colocalization of SOM and CR in mouse cortical inhibitory neurons. In the present study we further characterized immunochemical distinctions among mouse inhibitory cortical neurons by double immunochemical labeling with chemical markers. We found that, PV, SOM, and vasointenstinal peptide (VIP) reliably identify three nonoverlapping distinct subpopulations, as there was no overlap of immunoreactivity between PV and all the other chemical markers tested, and SOM and VIP did not show any overlap in labeled neurons in all the cortical areas. In comparison, there was significant overlap in combinations of other chemical markers. With some laminar and regional variations, the average overlap of SOM/CR (percentage of SOM+ cells expressing CR) and SOM/neuropeptide tyrosine (NPY) across all examined layers and cortical regions was 21.6% and 7.1%, respectively. The average overlap of VIP/CR, VIP/NPY, and CR/NPY was 34.2%, 9.5%, and 10%, respectively. We quantified and assessed the percentages of marker-positive GABAergic cells, and showed that the nonoverlapping subpopulations (i.e., PV+, SOM+ and VIP+ cells) accounted for about 60% of the GABAergic cell population. Taken together, our data reveal important chemical distinctions between mouse inhibitory cortical neurons and indicate that PV, SOM, and VIP can differentially label a majority of mouse inhibitory cortical neurons.

Melanocortin-4 receptor expression in a vago-vagal circuitry involved in postprandial functions.

  • Gautron L
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2010 Jan 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Vagal afferents regulate energy balance by providing a link between the brain and postprandial signals originating from the gut. In the current study, we investigated melanocortin-4 receptor (MC4R) expression in the nodose ganglion, where the cell bodies of vagal sensory afferents reside. By using a line of mice expressing green fluorescent protein (GFP) under the control of the MC4R promoter, we found GFP expression in approximately one-third of nodose ganglion neurons. By using immunohistochemistry combined with in situ hybridization, we also demonstrated that approximately 20% of GFP-positive neurons coexpressed cholecystokinin receptor A. In addition, we found that the GFP is transported to peripheral tissues by both vagal sensory afferents and motor efferents, which allowed us to assess the sites innervated by MC4R-GFP neurons. GFP-positive efferents that co-expressed choline acetyltransferase specifically terminated in the hepatic artery and the myenteric plexus of the stomach and duodenum. In contrast, GFP-positive afferents that did not express cholinergic or sympathetic markers terminated in the submucosal plexus and mucosa of the duodenum. Retrograde tracing experiments confirmed the innervation of the duodenum by GFP-positive neurons located in the nodose ganglion. Our findings support the hypothesis that MC4R signaling in vagal afferents may modulate the activity of fibers sensitive to satiety signals such as cholecystokinin, and that MC4R signaling in vagal efferents may contribute to the control of the liver and gastrointestinal tract.

Expression and localization of the calmodulin-binding protein neurogranin in the adult mouse olfactory bulb.

  • Gribaudo S
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2009 Dec 10

Literature context:


Abstract:

Neurogranin (Ng) is a brain-specific postsynaptic protein involved in activity-dependent synaptic plasticity through modulation of Ca(2+)/calmodulin (CaM)-dependent signal transduction in neurons. In this study, using biochemical and immunohistochemical approaches, we demonstrate Ng expression in the adult mouse olfactory bulb (OB), the first relay station in odor information processing. We show that Ng is principally associated with the granule cell layer (GCL), which is composed of granule cell inhibitory interneurons. This cell type is continuously renewed during adult life and plays a key role in OB circuits, integrating and modulating the activity of mitral/tufted cells. Our results indicate that Ng localizes in the soma and dendrites of a defined subpopulation of mature GABAergic granule cells, enriched in the deep portion of the GCL. Ng-immunopositive cells largely coexpress the Ca(+)/CaM-dependent kinase IV (CaMKIV), a downstream protein of CaM signaling cascade, whereas no colocalization was observed between Ng and the calcium-binding protein calretinin. Finally, we demonstrate that adult neurogenesis contributes to the Ng-expressing population, with more newly generated Ng-positive cells integrated in the deep GCL. Together, these results provide a new specific neurochemical marker to identify a subpopulation of olfactory granule cells and suggest possible functional implications for Ng in OB plasticity mechanisms.

Funding information:
  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute - R01 NS062798-03(United States)

Axonal projections originating from raphe serotonergic neurons in the developing and adult zebrafish, Danio rerio, using transgenics to visualize raphe-specific pet1 expression.

  • Lillesaar C
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2009 Jan 10

Literature context:


Abstract:

Serotonin is a major central nervous modulator of physiology and behavior and plays fundamental roles during development and plasticity of the vertebrate central nervous system (CNS). Understanding the developmental control and functions of serotonergic neurons is therefore an important task. In all vertebrates, prominent serotonergic neurons are found in the superior and inferior raphe nuclei in the hindbrain innervating most CNS regions. In addition, all vertebrates except for mammals harbor other serotonergic centers, including several populations in the diencephalon. This, in combination with the intricate and wide distribution of serotonergic fibers, makes it difficult to sort out serotonergic innervation originating from the raphe from that of other serotonergic cell populations. To resolve this issue, we isolated the regulatory elements of the zebrafish raphe-specific gene pet1 and used them to drive expression of an eGFP transgene in the raphe population of serotonergic neurons. With this approach together with retrograde tracing we 1) describe in detail the development, anatomical organization, and projection pattern of zebrafish pet1-positive neurons compared with their mammalian counterparts, 2) identify a new serotonergic population in the ventrolateral zebrafish hindbrain, and 3) reveal some extent of functional subdivisions within the zebrafish superior raphe complex. Together, our results reveal for the first time the specific innervation pattern of the zebrafish raphe and, thus, provide a new model and various tools to investigate further the role of raphe serotonergic neurons in vertebrates.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS015547-28(United States)

Prokineticin receptor 2 expression identifies migrating neuroblasts and their subventricular zone transient-amplifying progenitors in adult mice.

  • Puverel S
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2009 Jan 10

Literature context:


Abstract:

The adult subventricular zone (SVZ) contains progenitors cells, which continually give rise to new neurons that migrate along the rostral migratory stream (RMS) to the olfactory bulbs (OB). Prokineticin receptor 2 (ProKR2) is a G-protein-coupled receptor that plays an essential role in this migration process. However, the identity of the prokr2-expressing cells has not yet been clearly established. Here, we have characterized in detail the identity of the prokr2-expressing cells in the SVZ/RMS/OB pathway in adult mice. In the SVZ, accumulation of prokr2 transcripts was detected in almost all migrating neuroblasts or type A cells as well as in a large population of their precursors, the rapidly dividing type C cells. Moreover, we observed that, in dissociated SVZ cells from Mash1::GFP postnatal mice, ProKR2 protein is also present in type C and type A cells. We found that, along the RMS and in the OB, prokr2 expression was restricted to migrating type A cells and was absent in astrocytes. Finally, we observed a highly marked decrease of prokr2 expression in Mash1-/- mutant mice, suggesting that this transcription factor directly or indirectly regulates prokr2 expression. Although the expression of ProKR2 in migrating type A cells is in good agreement with the essential role played by this receptor during this migration process, its expression in a large population of their progenitors suggests an additional function for ProKR2, providing novel insights into the role of ProKR2/ProK2 signalling in adult neurogenesis.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS045734(United States)

CD11c/EYFP transgene illuminates a discrete network of dendritic cells within the embryonic, neonatal, adult, and injured mouse brain.

  • Bulloch K
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2008 Jun 10

Literature context:


Abstract:

The CD11c enhanced yellow fluorescent protein (EYFP) transgenic mouse was constructed to identify dendritic cells in the periphery (Lindquist et al. [2004] Nat. Immunol. 5:1243-1250). In this study, we used this mouse to characterize dendritic cells within the CNS. Our anatomic results showed discrete populations of EYFP(+) brain dendritic cells (EYFP(+) bDC) that colocalized with a small fraction of microglia immunoreactive for Mac-1, Iba-1, CD45, and F4/80 but not for NeuN, Dcx, NG2 proteoglycan, or GFAP. EYFP(+) bDC, isolated by fluorescent activated cell sorting (FACS), expressed mRNA for the Itgax (CD11c) gene, whereas FACS anlaysis of EYFP(+) bDC cultures revealed the presence of CD11c protein. Light microscopy studies revealed that EYFP(+) bDC were present in the embryonic CNS when the blood-brain barrier is formed and postnatally when brain cells are amenable to culturing. In adult male mice, EYFP(+) bDC distribution was prominent within regions of the CNS that 1) are subject to structural plasticity and neurogenesis, 2) receive sensory and humoral input from the external environment, and 3) lack a blood-brain barrier. Ultrastructural analysis of EYFP(+) bDC in adult neurogenic niches showed their proximity to developing neurons and a morphology characteristic of immune/microglia cells. Kainic acid-induced seizures revealed that EYFP(+) bDC responded to damage of the hippocampus and displayed morphologies similar to those described for seizure-activated EGFP(+) microglia in the hippocampus of cfms (CSF-1R) EGFP mice. Collectively, these findings suggest a new member of the dendritic cell family residing among the heterogeneous microglia population.

Funding information:
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - GM 074746(United States)

Mouse cortical inhibitory neuron type that coexpresses somatostatin and calretinin.

  • Xu X
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2006 Nov 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Mammalian cortex contains a diversity of inhibitory neuron types, each with distinct morphological, immunochemical, and/or physiological properties. In rat cortex, chemical markers distinguish at least four distinct and nonoverlapping neuron classes based on expression of parvalbumin (PV), somatostatin (SST), calretinin (CR), and cholecystokinin (CCK). It has generally been assumed that these classifications should also apply to other rodent species. In mouse cortex, however, we found significant colocalization of SST and CR in inhibitory neurons; about 30% of SST-positive cells contained CR, and about 33% of CR-positive cells contained SST across frontal, somatosensory (S1), and visual cortex (V1). The SST and CR colocalized cells were concentrated in layer 2/3. We further characterized morphological and physiological properties of the mouse cortical inhibitory neuron types that express SST by using "GIN" transgenic mice, in which GFP is expressed in a subset of SST inhibitory neurons (see Oliva et al. [2000] J Neurosci 20:3354-3368). Generally, both SST/CR+ cells and SST/CR- cells exhibited morphological features of Martinotti cells as described in rat cortex, and they also had similar accommodating spike-firing patterns. However, they differed significantly in quantitative comparisons of morphology and spike shapes. SST/CR+ cells had more horizontally extended dendritic fields and more primary process than did SST/CR- cells; and SST/CR- cells had narrower action potential widths and faster afterhyperpolarization than did SST/CR+ cells. Thus, our data show an important species difference in the chemical distinction of inhibitory neuron subtypes, and indicate that colocalization of CR in SST cells correlates with different morphological and physiological features.

Funding information:
  • Cancer Research UK - C14303/A10825(United Kingdom)