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TBR1 antibody

RRID:AB_2200219

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

  • Ozair MZ
  • Cell Stem Cell
  • 2018 Jul 5

Literature context:


Abstract:

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

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

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)

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)

Brain Somatic Mutations in MTOR Disrupt Neuronal Ciliogenesis, Leading to Focal Cortical Dyslamination.

  • Park SM
  • Neuron
  • 2018 Jun 9

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Abstract:

Focal malformations of cortical development (FMCDs), including focal cortical dysplasia (FCD) and hemimegalencephaly (HME), are major etiologies of pediatric intractable epilepsies exhibiting cortical dyslamination. Brain somatic mutations in MTOR have recently been identified as a major genetic cause of FMCDs. However, the molecular mechanism by which these mutations lead to cortical dyslamination remains poorly understood. Here, using patient tissue, genome-edited cells, and mouse models with brain somatic mutations in MTOR, we discovered that disruption of neuronal ciliogenesis by the mutations underlies cortical dyslamination in FMCDs. We found that abnormal accumulation of OFD1 at centriolar satellites due to perturbed autophagy was responsible for the defective neuronal ciliogenesis. Additionally, we found that disrupted neuronal ciliogenesis accounted for cortical dyslamination in FMCDs by compromising Wnt signals essential for neuronal polarization. Altogether, this study describes a molecular mechanism by which brain somatic mutations in MTOR contribute to the pathogenesis of cortical dyslamination in FMCDs.

Funding information:
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - HL073284(United States)

Defects in the Alternative Splicing-Dependent Regulation of REST Cause Deafness.

  • Nakano Y
  • Cell
  • 2018 Jun 25

Literature context:


Abstract:

The DNA-binding protein REST forms complexes with histone deacetylases (HDACs) to repress neuronal genes in non-neuronal cells. In differentiating neurons, REST is downregulated predominantly by transcriptional silencing. Here we report that post-transcriptional inactivation of REST by alternative splicing is required for hearing in humans and mice. We show that, in the mechanosensory hair cells of the mouse ear, regulated alternative splicing of a frameshift-causing exon into the Rest mRNA is essential for the derepression of many neuronal genes. Heterozygous deletion of this alternative exon of mouse Rest causes hair cell degeneration and deafness, and the HDAC inhibitor SAHA (Vorinostat) rescues the hearing of these mice. In humans, inhibition of the frameshifting splicing event by a novel REST variant is associated with dominantly inherited deafness. Our data reveal the necessity for alternative splicing-dependent regulation of REST in hair cells, and they identify a potential treatment for a group of hereditary deafness cases.

Funding information:
  • NIMH NIH HHS - 5 F32 MH064339-03(United States)

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

  • Baizabal JM
  • Neuron
  • 2018 Jun 6

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Abstract:

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

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

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

  • Zahr SK
  • Neuron
  • 2018 Feb 7

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Abstract:

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

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

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

  • Thion MS
  • Cell
  • 2018 Jan 25

Literature context:


Abstract:

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

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

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

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

Literature context:


Abstract:

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

Generation and Characterization of Functional Human Hypothalamic Neurons.

  • Kirwan P
  • Curr Protoc Neurosci
  • 2017 Oct 24

Literature context:


Abstract:

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

Arid1b haploinsufficient mice reveal neuropsychiatric phenotypes and reversible causes of growth impairment.

  • Celen C
  • Elife
  • 2017 Jul 11

Literature context:


Abstract:

Sequencing studies have implicated haploinsufficiency of ARID1B, a SWI/SNF chromatin-remodeling subunit, in short stature (Yu et al., 2015), autism spectrum disorder (O'Roak et al., 2012), intellectual disability (Deciphering Developmental Disorders Study, 2015), and corpus callosum agenesis (Halgren et al., 2012). In addition, ARID1B is the most common cause of Coffin-Siris syndrome, a developmental delay syndrome characterized by some of the above abnormalities (Santen et al., 2012; Tsurusaki et al., 2012; Wieczorek et al., 2013). We generated Arid1b heterozygous mice, which showed social behavior impairment, altered vocalization, anxiety-like behavior, neuroanatomical abnormalities, and growth impairment. In the brain, Arid1b haploinsufficiency resulted in changes in the expression of SWI/SNF-regulated genes implicated in neuropsychiatric disorders. A focus on reversible mechanisms identified Insulin-like growth factor (IGF1) deficiency with inadequate compensation by Growth hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH) and Growth hormone (GH), underappreciated findings in ARID1B patients. Therapeutically, GH supplementation was able to correct growth retardation and muscle weakness. This model functionally validates the involvement of ARID1B in human disorders, and allows mechanistic dissection of neurodevelopmental diseases linked to chromatin-remodeling.

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

  • Sano N
  • Front Cell Neurosci
  • 2017 May 16

Literature context:


Abstract:

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

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.

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

  • Del Toro D
  • Cell
  • 2017 May 4

Literature context:


Abstract:

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

Assembly of Excitatory Synapses in the Absence of Glutamatergic Neurotransmission.

  • Sando R
  • Neuron
  • 2017 Apr 19

Literature context:


Abstract:

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

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

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

  • Espuny-Camacho I
  • Neuron
  • 2017 Mar 8

Literature context:


Abstract:

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

Tridimensional Visualization and Analysis of Early Human Development.

  • Belle M
  • Cell
  • 2017 Mar 23

Literature context:


Abstract:

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

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

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

Literature context:


Abstract:

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

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

Sam68 promotes self-renewal and glycolytic metabolism in mouse neural progenitor cells by modulating Aldh1a3 pre-mRNA 3'-end processing.

  • La Rosa P
  • Elife
  • 2016 Nov 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

The balance between self-renewal and differentiation of neural progenitor cells (NPCs) dictates neurogenesis and proper brain development. We found that the RNA- binding protein Sam68 (Khdrbs1) is strongly expressed in neurogenic areas of the neocortex and supports the self-renewing potential of mouse NPCs. Knockout of Khdrbs1 constricted the pool of proliferating NPCs by accelerating their cell cycle exit and differentiation into post-mitotic neurons. Sam68 function was linked to regulation of Aldh1a3 pre-mRNA 3'-end processing. Binding of Sam68 to an intronic polyadenylation site prevents its recognition and premature transcript termination, favoring expression of a functional enzyme. The lower ALDH1A3 expression and activity in Khdrbs1-/- NPCs results in reduced glycolysis and clonogenicity, thus depleting the embryonic NPC pool and limiting cortical expansion. Our study identifies Sam68 as a key regulator of NPC self-renewal and establishes a novel link between modulation of ALDH1A3 expression and maintenance of high glycolytic metabolism in the developing cortex.

Funding information:
  • NCRR NIH HHS - C06 RR018928(United States)

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

  • Jaitner C
  • Elife
  • 2016 Nov 29

Literature context:


Abstract:

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

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

TBR1 regulates autism risk genes in the developing neocortex.

  • Notwell JH
  • Genome Res.
  • 2016 Aug 2

Literature context:


Abstract:

Exome sequencing studies have identified multiple genes harboring de novo loss-of-function (LoF) variants in individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), including TBR1, a master regulator of cortical development. We performed ChIP-seq for TBR1 during mouse cortical neurogenesis and show that TBR1-bound regions are enriched adjacent to ASD genes. ASD genes were also enriched among genes that are differentially expressed in Tbr1 knockouts, which together with the ChIP-seq data, suggests direct transcriptional regulation. Of the nine ASD genes examined, seven were misexpressed in the cortices of Tbr1 knockout mice, including six with increased expression in the deep cortical layers. ASD genes with adjacent cortical TBR1 ChIP-seq peaks also showed unusually low levels of LoF mutations in a reference human population and among Icelanders. We then leveraged TBR1 binding to identify an appealing subset of candidate ASD genes. Our findings highlight a TBR1-regulated network of ASD genes in the developing neocortex that are relatively intolerant to LoF mutations, indicating that these genes may play critical roles in normal cortical development.

A Novel and Multivalent Role of Pax6 in Cerebellar Development.

  • Yeung J
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2016 Aug 31

Literature context:


Abstract:

Pax6 is a prominent gene in brain development. The deletion of Pax6 results in devastated development of eye, olfactory bulb, and cortex. However, it has been reported that the Pax6-null Sey cerebellum only has minor defects involving granule cells despite Pax6 being expressed throughout cerebellar development. The present work has uncovered a requirement of Pax6 in the development of all rhombic lip (RL) lineages. A significant downregulation of Tbr1 and Tbr2 expression is found in the Sey cerebellum, these are cell-specific markers of cerebellar nuclear (CN) neurons and unipolar brush cells (UBCs), respectively. The examination of Tbr1 and Lmx1a immunolabeling and Nissl staining confirmed the loss of CN neurons from the Sey cerebellum. CN neuron progenitors are produced in the mutant but there is an enhanced death of these neurons as shown by increased presence of caspase-3-positive cells. These data indicate that Pax6 regulates the survival of CN neuron progenitors. Furthermore, the analysis of experimental mouse chimeras suggests a cell-extrinsic role of Pax6 in CN neuron survival. For UBCs, using Tbr2 immunolabeling, these cells are significantly reduced in the Sey cerebellum. The loss of UBCs in the mutant is due partly to cell death in the RL and also to the reduced production of progenitors from the RL. These results demonstrate a critical role for Pax6 in regulating the generation and survival of UBCs. This and previous work from our laboratory demonstrate a seminal role of Pax6 in the development of all cerebellar glutamatergic neurons. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT: Pax6 is a key molecule in development. Pax6 is best known as the master control gene in eye development with mutations causing aniridia in humans. Pax6 also plays important developmental roles in the cortex and olfactory bulb. During cerebellar development, Pax6 is robustly expressed in the germinal zone of all glutamatergic neurons [cerebellar nuclear (CN) neurons, granule cells, and unipolar brush cells (UBCs)]. Past work has not found abnormalities in the CN and UBC populations. Our study reveals that the Pax6-null mutation dramatically affects these cells and identifies Pax6 as a key regulator of cell survival in CN neurons and of cell production in UBCs. The present study shows how Pax6 is key to the development of glutamatergic cells in the cerebellum.

Funding information:
  • Wellcome Trust - 101253/Z/13/Z(United Kingdom)

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.

Mutation of the BiP/GRP78 gene causes axon outgrowth and fasciculation defects in the thalamocortical connections of the mammalian forebrain.

  • Favero CB
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2013 Feb 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

Proper development of axonal connections is essential for brain function. A forward genetic screen for mice with defects in thalamocortical development previously isolated a mutant called baffled. Here we describe the axonal defects of baffled in further detail and identify a point mutation in the Hspa5 gene, encoding the endoplasmic reticulum chaperone BiP/GRP78. This hypomorphic mutation of BiP disrupts proper development of the thalamocortical axon projection and other forebrain axon tracts, as well as cortical lamination. In baffled mutant brains, a reduced number of thalamic axons innervate the cortex by the time of birth. Thalamocortical and corticothalamic axons are delayed, overfasciculated, and disorganized along their pathway through the ventral telencephalon. Furthermore, dissociated mutant neurons show reduced axon extension in vitro. Together, these findings demonstrate a sensitive requirement for the endoplasmic reticulum chaperone BiP/GRP78 during axon outgrowth and pathfinding in the developing mammalian brain.

Funding information:
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - R21-GM084008(United States)

SPARC-like 1 (SC1) is a diversely expressed and developmentally regulated matricellular protein that does not compensate for the absence of SPARC in the CNS.

  • Lloyd-Burton S
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2012 Aug 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

SPARC-like 1 (SC1) is a member of the SPARC family of matricellular proteins that has been implicated in the regulation of processes such as cell migration, proliferation, and differentiation. Here we show that SC1 exhibits remarkably diverse and dynamic expression in the developing and adult nervous system. During development, SC1 localizes to radial glia and pial-derived structures, including the vasculature, choroid plexus, and pial membranes. SC1 is not downregulated in postnatal development, but its expression shifts to distinct time windows in subtypes of glia and neurons, including astrocytes, large projection neurons, Bergmann glia, Schwann cells, and ganglionic satellite cells. In addition, SC1 expression levels and patterns are not altered in the SPARC null mouse, suggesting that SC1 does not compensate for the absence of SPARC. We conclude that SC1 and SPARC may share significant homology, but are likely to have distinct but complementary roles in nervous system development.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS085387(United States)