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GFAP antibody - Astrocyte Marker

RRID:AB_304558

Antibody ID

AB_304558

Target Antigen

GFAP antibody - Astrocyte Marker human, mouse, rat, apteronotus leptorhynchus, cat, chicken, cow, rhesus monkey, bovine, feline, zebrafish/fish, mouse, chicken/bird, human, non-human primate, rat

Proper Citation

(Abcam Cat# ab4674, RRID:AB_304558)

Clonality

polyclonal antibody

Comments

validation status unknown, seller recommendations provided in 2012: IgY; IgY Flow Cyt, ICC/IF, IHC-FoFr, IHC-Fr, IHC-P, WB; Flow Cytometry; Western Blot; Immunohistochemistry - frozen; Immunofluorescence; Immunohistochemistry; Immunocytochemistry; Immunohistochemistry - fixed

Host Organism

chicken, bird

Vendor

Abcam

The Striatum Organizes 3D Behavior via Moment-to-Moment Action Selection.

  • Markowitz JE
  • Cell
  • 2018 Jun 28

Literature context:


Abstract:

Many naturalistic behaviors are built from modular components that are expressed sequentially. Although striatal circuits have been implicated in action selection and implementation, the neural mechanisms that compose behavior in unrestrained animals are not well understood. Here, we record bulk and cellular neural activity in the direct and indirect pathways of dorsolateral striatum (DLS) as mice spontaneously express action sequences. These experiments reveal that DLS neurons systematically encode information about the identity and ordering of sub-second 3D behavioral motifs; this encoding is facilitated by fast-timescale decorrelations between the direct and indirect pathways. Furthermore, lesioning the DLS prevents appropriate sequence assembly during exploratory or odor-evoked behaviors. By characterizing naturalistic behavior at neural timescales, these experiments identify a code for elemental 3D pose dynamics built from complementary pathway dynamics, support a role for DLS in constructing meaningful behavioral sequences, and suggest models for how actions are sculpted over time.

Funding information:
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - HL24415(United States)
  • NICHD NIH HHS - P30 HD018655()
  • NIDCD NIH HHS - R01 DC011558()
  • NIDCD NIH HHS - R01 DC016222()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - U01 NS094190()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - U01 NS094191()

Identification of a critical sulfation in chondroitin that inhibits axonal regeneration.

  • Pearson CS
  • Elife
  • 2018 May 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

The failure of mammalian CNS neurons to regenerate their axons derives from a combination of intrinsic deficits and extrinsic factors. Following injury, chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans (CSPGs) within the glial scar inhibit axonal regeneration, an action mediated by the sulfated glycosaminoglycan (GAG) chains of CSPGs, especially those with 4-sulfated (4S) sugars. Arylsulfatase B (ARSB) selectively cleaves 4S groups from the non-reducing ends of GAG chains without disrupting other, growth-permissive motifs. We demonstrate that ARSB is effective in reducing the inhibitory actions of CSPGs both in in vitro models of the glial scar and after optic nerve crush (ONC) in adult mice. ARSB is clinically approved for replacement therapy in patients with mucopolysaccharidosis VI and therefore represents an attractive candidate for translation to the human CNS.

Funding information:
  • National Institutes of Health - 1ZIAHL006135()
  • NIEHS NIH HHS - 2T32ES007329-10(United States)

An Optical Neuron-Astrocyte Proximity Assay at Synaptic Distance Scales.

  • Octeau JC
  • Neuron
  • 2018 Apr 4

Literature context:


Abstract:

Astrocytes are complex bushy cells that serve important functions through close contacts between their processes and synapses. However, the spatial interactions and dynamics of astrocyte processes relative to synapses have proven problematic to study in adult living brain tissue. Here, we report a genetically targeted neuron-astrocyte proximity assay (NAPA) to measure astrocyte-synapse spatial interactions within intact brain preparations and at synaptic distance scales. The method exploits resonance energy transfer between extracellularly displayed fluorescent proteins targeted to synapses and astrocyte processes. We validated the method in the striatal microcircuitry following in vivo expression. We determined the proximity of striatal astrocyte processes to distinct neuronal input pathways, to D1 and D2 medium spiny neuron synapses, and we evaluated how astrocyte-to-excitatory synapse proximity changed following cortical afferent stimulation, during ischemia and in a model of Huntington's disease. NAPA provides a simple approach to measure astrocyte-synapse spatial interactions in a variety of experimental scenarios. VIDEO ABSTRACT.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - R01 CA104926(United States)

Neurochemical Characterization of PSA-NCAM+ Cells in the Human Brain and Phenotypic Quantification in Alzheimer's Disease Entorhinal Cortex.

  • Murray HC
  • Neuroscience
  • 2018 Feb 21

Literature context:


Abstract:

Polysialylated neural cell adhesion molecule (PSA-NCAM) is widely expressed in the adult human brain and facilitates structural remodeling of cells through steric inhibition of intercellular NCAM adhesion. We previously showed that PSA-NCAM immunoreactivity is decreased in the entorhinal cortex in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Based on available evidence, we hypothesized that a loss of PSA-NCAM+ interneurons may underlie this reduction. PSA-NCAM expression by interneurons has previously been described in the human medial prefrontal cortex. Here we used postmortem human brain tissue to provide further evidence of PSA-NCAM+ interneurons throughout the human hippocampal formation and additional cortical regions. Furthermore, PSA-NCAM+ cell populations were assessed in the entorhinal cortex of normal and AD cases using fluorescent double labeling and manual cell counting. We found a significant decrease in the number of PSA-NCAM+ cells per mm2 in layer II and V of the entorhinal cortex, supporting our previous description of reduced PSA-NCAM immunoreactivity. Additionally, we found a significant decrease in the proportion of PSA-NCAM+ cells that co-labeled with NeuN and parvalbumin, but no change in the proportion that co-labeled with calbindin or calretinin. These results demonstrate that PSA-NCAM is expressed by a variety of interneuron populations throughout the brain. Furthermore, that loss of PSA-NCAM expression by NeuN+ cells predominantly contributes to the reduced PSA-NCAM immunoreactivity in the AD entorhinal cortex.

Funding information:
  • NIMH NIH HHS - U01 MH094421(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()

Progression of histopathological and behavioral abnormalities following mild traumatic brain injury in the male ferret.

  • Schwerin SC
  • J. Neurosci. Res.
  • 2018 Jan 24

Literature context:


Abstract:

White matter damage is an important consequence of traumatic brain injury (TBI) in humans. Unlike rodents, ferrets have a substantial amount of white matter and a gyrencephalic brain; therefore, they may represent an ideal small mammal model to study human-pertinent consequences of TBI. Here we report immunohistochemical and behavioral results after a controlled cortical impact (CCI) injury to the sensorimotor cortex of adult male ferrets. We assessed inflammation in the neocortex and white matter, and behavior at 1 day post injury and 1, 4, and 16 weeks post injury (WPI). CCI in the ferret produced inflammation that originated in the neocortex near the site of the injury and progressed deep into the white matter with time. The density of microglia and astrocytes increased in the neocortex near the injury, peaking at 4WPI and remaining elevated at 16WPI. Microglial morphology in the neocortex was significantly altered in the first 4 weeks, but showed a return toward normal at 16 weeks. Clusters of microglial cells in the white matter persisted until 16WPI. We assessed motor and cognitive behavior using the open field, novel object recognition, T-maze, and gait tests. A transient deficit in memory occurred at 4WPI, with a reduction of rearing and motor ability at 12 and 16WPI. Behavioral impairments coincide with features of the inflammatory changes in the neocortex revealed by immunohistochemistry. The ferret represents an important animal model to explore ongoing damage in the white matter and cerebral cortex after TBI.

Effects of spinal non-viral interleukin-10 gene therapy formulated with d-mannose in neuropathic interleukin-10 deficient mice: Behavioral characterization, mRNA and protein analysis in pain relevant tissues.

  • Vanderwall AG
  • Brain Behav. Immun.
  • 2017 Nov 9

Literature context:


Abstract:

Studies show that spinal (intrathecal; i.t.) interleukin-10 (IL-10) gene therapy reverses neuropathic pain in animal models, and co-administration with the mannose receptor (MR; CD206) ligand d-mannose (DM) greatly improves therapeutic efficacy. However, the actions of endogenous IL-10 may be required for enduring pain control observed following i.t. IL-10 gene therapy, potentially narrowing the application of this non-viral transgene delivery approach. Here, we show that i.t. application of naked plasmid DNA expressing the IL-10 transgene co-injected with DM (DM/pDNA-IL-10) for the treatment of peripheral neuropathic pain in IL-10 deficient (IL-10 KO) mice results in a profound and prolonged bilateral pain suppression. Neuropathic pain is induced by unilateral sciatic chronic constriction injury (CCI), and while enduring relief of light touch sensitivity (mechanical allodynia) in both wild type (WT) and IL-10 KO mice was observed following DM/pDNA-IL-10 co-therapy, transient reversal from allodynia was observed following i.t. DM alone. In stably pain-relieved IL-10 KO mice given DM/pDNA-IL-10, mRNA for the IL-10 transgene is detected in the cauda equina and ipsilateral dorsal root ganglia (DRG), but not the lumbar spinal cord. Further, DM/pDNA-IL-10 application increases anti-inflammatory TGF-β1 and decreases pro-inflammatory TNF mRNA in the ipsilateral DRG compared to allodynic controls. Additionally, DM/pDNA-IL-10 treated mice exhibit decreased spinal pro-inflammatory mRNA expression for TNF, CCL2 (MCP-1), and for the microglial-specific marker TMEM119. Similarly, DM/pDNA-IL-10 treatment decreases immunoreactivity for the astrocyte activation marker GFAP in lumbar spinal cord dorsal horn. Despite transient reversal and early return to allodynia in DM-treated mice, lumbar spinal cord revealed elevated TNF, CCL2 and TMEM119 mRNA levels. Both MR (CD206) and IL-10 receptor mRNAs are increased in the DRG following CCI manipulation independent of injection treatment, suggesting that pathological conditions stimulate upregulation and availability of relevant receptors in critical anatomical regions required for the therapeutic actions of the DM/pDNA-IL-10 co-therapy. Taken together, the current report demonstrates that non-viral DM/pDNA-IL-10 gene therapy does not require endogenous IL-10 for enduring relief of peripheral neuropathic pain and does not require direct contact with the spinal cord dorsal horn for robust and enduring relief of neuropathic pain. Spinal non-viral DM/pDNA-IL-10 co-therapy may offer a framework for the development of non-viral gene therapeutic approaches for other diseases of the central nervous system.

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

  • Nasca C
  • Neuron
  • 2017 Oct 11

Literature context:


Abstract:

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

Developmental regulation and localization of carnitine palmitoyltransferases (CPTs) in rat brain.

  • Jernberg JN
  • J. Neurochem.
  • 2017 Sep 21

Literature context:


Abstract:

While the brain's high energy demands are largely met by glucose, brain is also equipped with the ability to oxidize fatty acids for energy and metabolism. The brain expresses the carnitine palmitoyltransferases (CPTs) that mediate carnitine-dependent entry of long-chain acyl-CoAs into the mitochondrial matrix for β-oxidation - CPT1a and CPT2 located on the outer and inner mitochondrial membranes, respectively. Their developmental profile, regional distribution and activity as well as cell type expression remain unknown. We determined that brain CPT1a RNA and total protein expression were unchanged throughout post-natal development (PND0, PND7, PND14, PND21 and PND50); however, CPT2 RNA peaked at PND 21 and remained unchanged through PND50 in all regions studied (cortex, hippocampus, midbrain, and cerebellum). Both long-chain acyl CoA dehydrogenase and medium acyl-CoA dehydrogenase showed a similar developmental profile to CPT2. Acylcarnitines, generated as a result of CPT1a activity, significantly increased with age and peaked at PND21 in all brain regions, concurrent with the increased expression of enzymes involved in mitochondrial β-oxidation. The CPT system is highly enriched in vivo in hippocampus and cerebellum, relative to cortex and midbrain, and is exclusively present in astrocytes and neural progenitor cells, while absent in neurons, microglia, and oligodendrocytes. Using radiolabeled oleate, we demonstrate regional differences in brain fatty acid oxidation that may be blocked by the irreversible CPT1a inhibitor etomoxir. This study contributes to the field of knowledge in brain cell-specific metabolic pathways, which are important for understanding normal brain development and aging, as well as pathophysiology of neurological diseases. Read the Editorial Comment for this article on page 347.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - K08 NS069815()

Connexin 43-Mediated Astroglial Metabolic Networks Contribute to the Regulation of the Sleep-Wake Cycle.

  • Clasadonte J
  • Neuron
  • 2017 Sep 13

Literature context:


Abstract:

Astrocytes produce and supply metabolic substrates to neurons through gap junction-mediated astroglial networks. However, the role of astroglial metabolic networks in behavior is unclear. Here, we demonstrate that perturbation of astroglial networks impairs the sleep-wake cycle. Using a conditional Cre-Lox system in mice, we show that knockout of the gap junction subunit connexin 43 in astrocytes throughout the brain causes excessive sleepiness and fragmented wakefulness during the nocturnal active phase. This astrocyte-specific genetic manipulation silenced the wake-promoting orexin neurons located in the lateral hypothalamic area (LHA) by impairing glucose and lactate trafficking through astrocytic networks. This global wakefulness instability was mimicked with viral delivery of Cre recombinase to astrocytes in the LHA and rescued by in vivo injections of lactate. Our findings propose a novel regulatory mechanism critical for maintaining normal daily cycle of wakefulness and involving astrocyte-neuron metabolic interactions.

Differential neuronal and glial expression of nuclear factor I proteins in the cerebral cortex of adult mice.

  • Chen KS
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2017 Aug 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

The nuclear factor I (NFI) family of transcription factors plays an important role in the development of the cerebral cortex in humans and mice. Disruption of nuclear factor IA (NFIA), nuclear factor IB (NFIB), or nuclear factor IX (NFIX) results in abnormal development of the corpus callosum, lateral ventricles, and hippocampus. However, the expression or function of these genes has not been examined in detail in the adult brain, and the cell type-specific expression of NFIA, NFIB, and NFIX is currently unknown. Here, we demonstrate that the expression of each NFI protein shows a distinct laminar pattern in the adult mouse neocortex and that their cell type-specific expression differs depending on the family member. NFIA expression was more frequently observed in astrocytes and oligodendroglia, whereas NFIB expression was predominantly localized to astrocytes and neurons. NFIX expression was most commonly observed in neurons. The NFI proteins were equally distributed within microglia, and the ependymal cells lining the ventricles of the brain expressed all three proteins. In the hippocampus, the NFI proteins were expressed during all stages of neural stem cell differentiation in the dentate gyrus, with higher expression intensity in neuroblast cells as compared to quiescent stem cells and mature granule neurons. These findings suggest that the NFI proteins may play distinct roles in cell lineage specification or maintenance, and establish the basis for further investigation of their function in the adult brain and their emerging role in disease.

Neural Circuit-Specialized Astrocytes: Transcriptomic, Proteomic, Morphological, and Functional Evidence.

  • Chai H
  • Neuron
  • 2017 Aug 2

Literature context:


Abstract:

Astrocytes are ubiquitous in the brain and are widely held to be largely identical. However, this view has not been fully tested, and the possibility that astrocytes are neural circuit specialized remains largely unexplored. Here, we used multiple integrated approaches, including RNA sequencing (RNA-seq), mass spectrometry, electrophysiology, immunohistochemistry, serial block-face-scanning electron microscopy, morphological reconstructions, pharmacogenetics, and diffusible dye, calcium, and glutamate imaging, to directly compare adult striatal and hippocampal astrocytes under identical conditions. We found significant differences in electrophysiological properties, Ca2+ signaling, morphology, and astrocyte-synapse proximity between striatal and hippocampal astrocytes. Unbiased evaluation of actively translated RNA and proteomic data confirmed significant astrocyte diversity between hippocampal and striatal circuits. We thus report core astrocyte properties, reveal evidence for specialized astrocytes within neural circuits, and provide new, integrated database resources and approaches to explore astrocyte diversity and function throughout the adult brain. VIDEO ABSTRACT.

Establishing the ferret as a gyrencephalic animal model of traumatic brain injury: Optimization of controlled cortical impact procedures.

  • Schwerin SC
  • J. Neurosci. Methods
  • 2017 Jun 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

BACKGROUND: Although rodent TBI studies provide valuable information regarding the effects of injury and recovery, an animal model with neuroanatomical characteristics closer to humans may provide a more meaningful basis for clinical translation. The ferret has a high white/gray matter ratio, gyrencephalic neocortex, and ventral hippocampal location. Furthermore, ferrets are amenable to behavioral training, have a body size compatible with pre-clinical MRI, and are cost-effective. NEW METHODS: We optimized the surgical procedure for controlled cortical impact (CCI) using 9 adult male ferrets. We used subject-specific brain/skull morphometric data from anatomical MRIs to overcome across-subject variability for lesion placement. We also reflected the temporalis muscle, closed the craniotomy, and used antibiotics. We then gathered MRI, behavioral, and immunohistochemical data from 6 additional animals using the optimized surgical protocol: 1 control, 3 mild, and 1 severely injured animals (surviving one week) and 1 moderately injured animal surviving sixteen weeks. RESULTS: The optimized surgical protocol resulted in consistent injury placement. Astrocytic reactivity increased with injury severity showing progressively greater numbers of astrocytes within the white matter. The density and morphological changes of microglia amplified with injury severity or time after injury. Motor and cognitive impairments scaled with injury severity. COMPARISON WITH EXISTING METHOD(S): The optimized surgical methods differ from those used in the rodent, and are integral to success using a ferret model. CONCLUSIONS: We optimized ferret CCI surgery for consistent injury placement. The ferret is an excellent animal model to investigate pathophysiological and behavioral changes associated with TBI.

Development of a systems-based in situ multiplex biomarker screening approach for the assessment of immunopathology and neural tissue plasticity in male rats after traumatic brain injury.

  • Bogoslovsky T
  • J. Neurosci. Res.
  • 2017 May 4

Literature context:


Abstract:

Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) pose a massive burden of disease and continue to be a leading cause of morbidity and mortality throughout the world. A major obstacle in developing effective treatments is the lack of comprehensive understanding of the underlying mechanisms that mediate tissue damage and recovery after TBI. As such, our work aims to highlight the development of a novel experimental platform capable of fully characterizing the underlying pathobiology that unfolds after TBI. This platform encompasses an empirically optimized multiplex immunohistochemistry staining and imaging system customized to screen for a myriad of biomarkers required to comprehensively evaluate the extent of neuroinflammation, neural tissue damage, and repair in response to TBI. Herein, we demonstrate that our multiplex biomarker screening platform is capable of evaluating changes in both the topographical location and functional states of resident and infiltrating cell types that play a role in neuropathology after controlled cortical impact injury to the brain in male Sprague-Dawley rats. Our results demonstrate that our multiplex biomarker screening platform lays the groundwork for the comprehensive characterization of changes that occur within the brain after TBI. Such work may ultimately lead to the understanding of the governing pathobiology of TBI, thereby fostering the development of novel therapeutic interventions tailored to produce optimal tissue protection, repair, and/or regeneration with minimal side effects, and may ultimately find utility in a wide variety of other neurological injuries, diseases, and disorders that share components of TBI pathobiology.

Septal Cholinergic Neuromodulation Tunes the Astrocyte-Dependent Gating of Hippocampal NMDA Receptors to Wakefulness.

  • Papouin T
  • Neuron
  • 2017 May 17

Literature context:


Abstract:

The activation of the N-methyl D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) is controlled by a glutamate-binding site and a distinct, independently regulated, co-agonist-binding site. In most brain regions, the NMDAR co-agonist is the astrocyte-derived gliotransmitter D-serine. We found that D-serine levels oscillate in mouse hippocampus as a function of wakefulness, in vitro and in vivo. This causes a full saturation of the NMDAR co-agonist site in the dark (active) phase that dissipates to sub-saturating levels during the light (sleep) phase, and influences learning performance throughout the day. We demonstrate that hippocampal astrocytes sense the wakefulness-dependent activity of septal cholinergic fibers through the α7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (α7nAChR), whose activation drives D-serine release. We conclude that astrocytes tune the gating of synaptic NMDARs to the vigilance state and demonstrate that this is directly relevant to schizophrenia, a disorder characterized by NMDAR and cholinergic hypofunctions. Indeed, bypassing cholinergic activity with a clinically tested α7nAChR agonist successfully enhances NMDAR activation. VIDEO ABSTRACT.

Funding information:
  • NIAAA NIH HHS - R01 AA020183()
  • NIMH NIH HHS - F31 MH106208()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - P30 NS047243()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS037585()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R37 NS037585()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - T32 NS061764()

Astrocytes Control Circadian Timekeeping in the Suprachiasmatic Nucleus via Glutamatergic Signaling.

  • Brancaccio M
  • Neuron
  • 2017 Mar 22

Literature context:


Abstract:

The suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) of the hypothalamus orchestrates daily rhythms of physiology and behavior in mammals. Its circadian (∼24 hr) oscillations of gene expression and electrical activity are generated intrinsically and can persist indefinitely in temporal isolation. This robust and resilient timekeeping is generally regarded as a product of the intrinsic connectivity of its neurons. Here we show that neurons constitute only one "half" of the SCN clock, the one metabolically active during circadian daytime. In contrast, SCN astrocytes are active during circadian nighttime, when they suppress the activity of SCN neurons by regulating extracellular glutamate levels. This glutamatergic gliotransmission is sensed by neurons of the dorsal SCN via specific pre-synaptic NMDA receptor assemblies containing NR2C subunits. Remarkably, somatic genetic re-programming of intracellular clocks in SCN astrocytes was capable of remodeling circadian behavioral rhythms in adult mice. Thus, SCN circuit-level timekeeping arises from interdependent and mutually supportive astrocytic-neuronal signaling.

Loss of Frataxin activates the iron/sphingolipid/PDK1/Mef2 pathway in mammals.

  • Chen K
  • Elife
  • 2016 Nov 30

Literature context:


Abstract:

Friedreich's ataxia (FRDA) is an autosomal recessive neurodegenerative disease caused by mutations in Frataxin (FXN). Loss of FXN causes impaired mitochondrial function and iron homeostasis. An elevated production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) was previously proposed to contribute to the pathogenesis of FRDA. We recently showed that loss of frataxin homolog (fh), a Drosophila homolog of FXN, causes a ROS independent neurodegeneration in flies (Chen et al., 2016). In fh mutants, iron accumulation in the nervous system enhances the synthesis of sphingolipids, which in turn activates 3-phosphoinositide dependent protein kinase-1 (Pdk1) and myocyte enhancer factor-2 (Mef2) to trigger neurodegeneration of adult photoreceptors. Here, we show that loss of Fxn in the nervous system in mice also activates an iron/sphingolipid/PDK1/Mef2 pathway, indicating that the mechanism is evolutionarily conserved. Furthermore, sphingolipid levels and PDK1 activity are also increased in hearts of FRDA patients, suggesting that a similar pathway is affected in FRDA.

Funding information:
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - U24 DK059637(United States)

Enteric glia mediate neuron death in colitis through purinergic pathways that require connexin-43 and nitric oxide.

  • Brown IA
  • Cell Mol Gastroenterol Hepatol
  • 2016 Jan 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: The concept of enteric glia as regulators of intestinal homeostasis is slowly gaining acceptance as a central concept in neurogastroenterology. Yet how glia contribute to intestinal disease is still poorly understood. Purines generated during inflammation drive enteric neuron death by activating neuronal P2X7 purine receptors (P2X7R), triggering ATP release via neuronal pannexin-1 channels that subsequently recruits intracellular calcium ([Ca2+]i) responses in the surrounding enteric glia. We tested the hypothesis that the activation of enteric glia contributes to neuron death during inflammation. METHODS: We studied neuroinflammation in vivo using the 2,4-dinitrobenzenesulfonic acid model of colitis and in situ using whole-mount preparations of human and mouse intestine. Transgenic mice with a targeted deletion of glial connexin-43 (Cx43) [GFAP∷CreERT2+/-/Cx43f/f ] were used to specifically disrupt glial signaling pathways. Mice deficient in inducible nitric oxide (NO) synthase (iNOS-/-) were used to study NO production. Protein expression and oxidative stress were measured using immunohistochemistry and in situ Ca2+ and NO imaging were used to monitor glial [Ca2+]i and [NO]i. RESULTS: Purinergic activation of enteric glia drove [Ca2+]i responses and enteric neuron death through a Cx43-dependent mechanism. Neurotoxic Cx43 activity, driven by NO production from glial iNOS, was required for neuron death. Glial Cx43 opening liberated ATP and Cx43-dependent ATP release was potentiated by NO. CONCLUSIONS: Our results show that the activation of glial cells in the context of neuroinflammation kills enteric neurons. Mediators of inflammation that include ATP and NO activate neurotoxic pathways that converge on glial Cx43 hemichannels. The glial response to inflammatory mediators might contribute to the development of motility disorders.

Agonist-evoked Ca2+ signaling in enteric glia drives neural programs that regulate intestinal motility in mice.

  • McClain JL
  • Cell Mol Gastroenterol Hepatol
  • 2015 Nov 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

BACKGROUND & AIMS: Gastrointestinal motility is regulated by enteric neural circuitry that includes enteric neurons and glia. Enteric glia monitor synaptic activity and exhibit responses to neurotransmitters that are encoded by intracellular calcium (Ca2+) signaling. What role evoked glial responses play in the neural regulation of gut motility is unknown. We tested how evoking Ca2+ signaling in enteric glia affects the neural control of intestinal motility. METHODS: We used a novel chemogenetic mouse model that expresses the designer receptor hM3Dq under the transcriptional control of the glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) promoter (GFAP::hM3Dq mice) to selectively trigger glial Ca2+ signaling. We used in situ Ca2+ imaging and immunohistochemistry to validate this model and assessed gut motility by measuring pellet output and composition, colonic bead expulsion time, small intestinal transit time, total gut transit time, colonic migrating motor complex (CMMC) recordings and muscle tension recordings. RESULTS: hM3Dq receptor expression is confined to GFAP-positive enteric glia in the intestines of GFAP::hM3Dq mice. In these mice, application of the hM3Dq agonist clozapine-N-oxide (CNO) selectively triggers intracellular Ca2+ responses in enteric glia. Glial activation drove neurogenic contractions in the ileum and colon but had no effect on neurogenic relaxations. CNO enhanced the amplitude and frequency of CMMCs in ex vivo preparations of the colon and CNO increased colonic motility in vivo. CNO had no effect on the composition of fecal matter, small intestinal transit or whole gut transit. CONCLUSIONS: Glial excitability encoded by intracellular Ca2+ signaling functions to modulate excitatory enteric circuits. Selectively triggering glial Ca2+ signaling might be a novel strategy to improve gut function in motility disorders.

Postnatal growth of the human pons: a morphometric and immunohistochemical analysis.

  • Tate MC
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2015 Feb 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

Despite its critical importance to global brain function, the postnatal development of the human pons remains poorly understood. In the present study, we first performed magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-based morphometric analyses of the postnatal human pons (0-18 years; n = 6-14/timepoint). Pons volume increased 6-fold from birth to 5 years, followed by continued slower growth throughout childhood. The observed growth was primarily due to expansion of the basis pontis. T2-based MRI analysis suggests that this growth is linked to increased myelination, and histological analysis of myelin basic protein in human postmortem specimens confirmed a dramatic increase in myelination during infancy. Analysis of cellular proliferation revealed many Ki67(+) cells during the first 7 months of life, particularly during the first month, where proliferation was increased in the basis relative to tegmentum. The majority of proliferative cells in the postnatal pons expressed the transcription factor Olig2, suggesting an oligodendrocyte lineage. The proportion of proliferating cells that were Olig2(+) was similar through the first 7 months of life and between basis and tegmentum. The number of Ki67(+) cells declined dramatically from birth to 7 months and further decreased by 3 years, with a small number of Ki67(+) cells observed throughout childhood. In addition, two populations of vimentin/nestin-expressing cells were identified: a dorsal group near the ventricular surface, which persists throughout childhood, and a parenchymal population that diminishes by 7 months and was not evident later in childhood. Together, our data reveal remarkable postnatal growth in the ventral pons, particularly during infancy when cells are most proliferative and myelination increases.