A novel mouse model reveals that polycystin-1 deficiency in ependyma and choroid plexus results in dysfunctional cilia and hydrocephalus.
ABSTRACT: Polycystin-1 (PC-1), the product of the PKD1 gene, mutated in the majority of cases of Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease (ADPKD), is a very large (approximately 520 kDa) plasma membrane receptor localized in several subcellular compartments including cell-cell/matrix junctions as well as cilia. While heterologous over-expression systems have allowed identification of several of the potential biological roles of this receptor, its precise function remains largely elusive. Studying PC-1 in vivo has been a challenging task due to its complexity and low expression levels. To overcome these limitations and facilitate the study of endogenous PC-1, we have inserted HA- or Myc-tag sequences into the Pkd1 locus by homologous recombination. Here, we show that our approach was successful in generating a fully functional and easily detectable endogenous PC-1. Characterization of PC-1 distribution in vivo showed that it is expressed ubiquitously and is developmentally-regulated in most tissues. Furthermore, our novel tool allowed us to investigate the role of PC-1 in brain, where the protein is abundantly expressed. Subcellular localization of PC-1 revealed strong and specific staining in ciliated ependymal and choroid plexus cells. Consistent with this distribution, we observed hydrocephalus formation both in the ubiquitous knock-out embryos and in newborn mice with conditional inactivation of the Pkd1 gene in the brain. Both choroid plexus and ependymal cilia were morphologically normal in these mice, suggesting a role for PC-1 in ciliary function or signalling in this compartment, rather than in ciliogenesis. We propose that the role of PC-1 in the brain cilia might be to prevent hydrocephalus, a previously unrecognized role for this receptor and one that might have important implications for other genetic or sporadic diseases.
Project description:Pediatric hydrocephalus is characterized by an abnormal accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and is one of the most common congenital brain abnormalities. However, little is known about the molecular and cellular mechanisms regulating CSF flow in the developing brain. Through whole-genome sequencing analysis, we report that a homozygous splice site mutation in coiled-coil domain containing 39 (Ccdc39) is responsible for early postnatal hydrocephalus in the progressive hydrocephalus (prh) mouse mutant. Ccdc39 is selectively expressed in embryonic choroid plexus and ependymal cells on the medial wall of the forebrain ventricle, and the protein is localized to the axoneme of motile cilia. The Ccdc39prh/prh ependymal cells develop shorter cilia with disorganized microtubules lacking the axonemal inner arm dynein. Using high-speed video microscopy, we show that an orchestrated ependymal ciliary beating pattern controls unidirectional CSF flow on the ventricular surface, which generates bulk CSF flow in the developing brain. Collectively, our data provide the first evidence for involvement of Ccdc39 in hydrocephalus and suggest that the proper development of medial wall ependymal cilia is crucial for normal mouse brain development.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Circulation of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) through the ventricular system is driven by motile cilia on ependymal cells of the brain. Disturbed ciliary motility induces the formation of hydrocephalus, a pathological accumulation of CSF resulting in ventricle dilatation and increased intracranial pressure. The mechanism by which loss of motile cilia causes hydrocephalus has not been elucidated. The aim of this study was: (1) to provide a detailed account of the development of ciliation in the brain of the African clawed frog Xenopus laevis; and (2) to analyze the relevance of ependymal cilia motility for CSF circulation and brain ventricle morphogenesis in Xenopus. METHODS: Gene expression analysis of foxj1, the bona fide marker for motile cilia, was used to identify potentially ciliated regions in the developing central nervous system (CNS) of the tadpole. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) was used to reveal the distribution of mono- and multiciliated cells during successive stages of brain morphogenesis, which was functionally assessed by bead injection and video microscopy of ventricular CSF flow. An antisense morpholino oligonucleotide (MO)-mediated gene knock-down that targeted foxj1 in the CNS was applied to assess the role of motile cilia in the ventricles. RESULTS: RNA transcripts of foxj1 in the CNS were found from neurula stages onwards. Following neural tube closure, foxj1 expression was seen in distinct ventricular regions such as the zona limitans intrathalamica (ZLI), subcommissural organ (SCO), floor plate, choroid plexus (CP), and rhombomere boundaries. In all areas, expression of foxj1 preceded the outgrowth of monocilia and the subsequent switch to multiciliated ependymal cells. Cilia were absent in foxj1 morphants, causing impaired CSF flow and fourth ventricle hydrocephalus in tadpole-stage embryos. CONCLUSIONS: Motile ependymal cilia are important organelles in the Xenopus CNS, as they are essential for the circulation of CSF and maintenance of homeostatic fluid pressure. The Xenopus CNS ventricles might serve as a novel model system for the analysis of human ciliary genes whose deficiency cause hydrocephalus.
Project description:Directional beating of ependymal (E) cells' cilia in the walls of the ventricles in the brain is essential for proper CSF flow. E cells display two forms of planar cell polarity (PCP): rotational polarity of individual cilium and translational polarity (asymmetric positioning of cilia in the apical area). The orientation of individual E cells varies according to their location in the ventricular wall (location-specific PCP). It has been hypothesized that hydrodynamic forces on the apical surface of radial glia cells (RGCs), the embryonic precursors of E cells, could guide location-specific PCP in the ventricular epithelium. However, the detection mechanisms for these hydrodynamic forces have not been identified. Here, we show that the mechanosensory proteins polycystic kidney disease 1 (Pkd1) and Pkd2 are present in primary cilia of RGCs. Ablation of Pkd1 or Pkd2 in Nestin-Cre;Pkd1(flox/flox) or Nestin-Cre;Pkd2(flox/flox) mice, affected PCP development in RGCs and E cells. Early shear forces on the ventricular epithelium may activate Pkd1 and Pkd2 in primary cilia of RGCs to properly polarize RGCs and E cells. Consistently, Pkd1, Pkd2, or primary cilia on RGCs were required for the proper asymmetric localization of the PCP protein Vangl2 in E cells' apical area. Analyses of single- and double-heterozygous mutants for Pkd1 and/or Vangl2 suggest that these genes function in the same pathway to establish E cells' PCP. We conclude that Pkd1 and Pkd2 mechanosensory proteins contribute to the development of brain PCP and prevention of hydrocephalus.This study identifies key molecules in the development of planar cell polarity (PCP) in the brain and prevention of hydrocephalus. Multiciliated ependymal (E) cells within the brain ventricular epithelium generate CSF flow through ciliary beating. E cells display location-specific PCP in the orientation and asymmetric positioning of their cilia. Defects in this PCP can result in hydrocephalus. Hydrodynamic forces on radial glial cells (RGCs), the embryonic progenitors of E cells, have been suggested to guide PCP. We show that the mechanosensory proteins Pkd1 and Pkd2 localize to primary cilia in RGCs, and their ablation disrupts the development of PCP in E cells. Early shear forces on RGCs may activate Pkd1 and Pkd2 in RGCs' primary cilia to properly orient E cells. This study identifies key molecules in the development of brain PCP and prevention of hydrocephalus.
Project description:Hydrocephalus is a common congenital anomaly. LCAM1 and MPDZ (MUPP1) are the only known human gene loci associated with non-syndromic hydrocephalus. To investigate functions of the tight junction-associated protein Mpdz, we generated mouse models. Global Mpdz gene deletion or conditional inactivation in Nestin-positive cells led to formation of supratentorial hydrocephalus in the early postnatal period. Blood vessels, epithelial cells of the choroid plexus, and cilia on ependymal cells, which line the ventricular system, remained morphologically intact in Mpdz-deficient brains. However, flow of cerebrospinal fluid through the cerebral aqueduct was blocked from postnatal day 3 onward. Silencing of Mpdz expression in cultured epithelial cells impaired barrier integrity, and loss of Mpdz in astrocytes increased RhoA activity. In Mpdz-deficient mice, ependymal cells had morphologically normal tight junctions, but expression of the interacting planar cell polarity protein Pals1 was diminished and barrier integrity got progressively lost. Ependymal denudation was accompanied by reactive astrogliosis leading to aqueductal stenosis. This work provides a relevant hydrocephalus mouse model and demonstrates that Mpdz is essential to maintain integrity of the ependyma.
Project description:Pathogenic autoantibodies associated with neuromyelitis optica (NMO) induce disease by targeting aquaporin-4 (AQP4) water channels enriched on astrocytic endfeet at blood-brain interfaces. AQP4 is also expressed at cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)-brain interfaces, such as the pial glia limitans and the ependyma and at the choroid plexus blood-CSF barrier. However, little is known regarding pathology at these sites in NMO. Therefore, we evaluated AQP4 expression, microglial reactivity, and complement deposition at pial and ependymal surfaces and in the fourth ventricle choroid plexus in 23 autopsy cases with clinically and/or pathologically confirmed NMO or NMO spectrum disorder. These findings were compared to five cases with multiple sclerosis, five cases of choroid plexus papilloma, and five control cases without central nervous system disease. In the NMO cases, AQP4 immunoreactivity was reduced relative to control levels in the pia (91%; 21/23), ependyma (56%; 9/16), and choroid plexus epithelium (100%; 12/12). AQP4 immunoreactivity was normal in MS cases in these regions. Compared to MS, NMO cases also showed a focal pattern of pial and ependymal complement deposition and more pronounced microglial reactivity. In addition, AQP4 loss, microglial reactivity, and complement deposition colocalized along the pia and ependyma only in NMO cases. Within the choroid plexus, AQP4 loss was coincident with C9neo immunoreactivity on epithelial cell membranes only in NMO cases. These observations demonstrate that NMO immunopathology extends beyond perivascular astrocytic foot processes to include the pia, ependyma, and choroid plexus, suggesting that NMO IgG-induced pathological alterations at CSF-brain and blood-CSF interfaces may contribute to the occurrence of ventriculitis, leptomeningitis, and hydrocephalus observed among NMO patients. Moreover, disruption of the blood-CSF barrier induced by binding of NMO IgG to AQP4 on the basolateral surface of choroid plexus epithelial cells may provide a unique portal for entry of the pathogenic antibody into the central nervous system.
Project description:Ependymal cilia protrude into the central canal of the brain ventricles and spinal cord to circulate the cerebral spinal fluid (CSF). Ependymal cilia dysfunction can hinder the movement of CSF leading to an abnormal accumulation of CSF within the brain known as hydrocephalus. Although the etiology of hydrocephalus was studied before, the effects of ethanol ingestion on ependymal cilia function have not been investigated in vivo. Here, we report three distinct types of ependymal cilia, type-I, type-II and type-III classified based upon their beating frequency, their beating angle, and their distinct localization within the mouse brain-lateral ventricle. Our studies show for the first time that oral gavage of ethanol decreased the beating frequency of all three types of ependymal cilia in both the third and the lateral rat brain ventricles in vivo. Furthermore, we show for the first time that hydin, a hydrocephalus-inducing gene product whose mutation impairs ciliary motility, and polycystin-2, whose ablation is associated with hydrocephalus are colocalized to the ependymal cilia. Thus, our studies reinforce the presence of three types of ependymal cilia in the brain ventricles and demonstrate the involvement of ethanol as a risk factor for the impairment of ependymal cilia motility in the brain.
Project description:The brain ventricular system (BVS) consists of brain ventricles and channels connecting ventricles filled with cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). The disturbance of CSF flow has been linked to neurodegenerative disease including hydrocephalus, which manifests itself as an abnormal expansion of BVS. This relatively common developmental disorder has been observed in human and domesticated animals and linked to functional deficiency of various cells lineages facing BVS, including the choroid plexus or ependymal cells that generate CSF or the ciliated cells that cilia beating generates CSF flow. To understand the underlying causes of hydrocephalus, several animal models were developed, including rodents (mice, rat, and hamster) and zebrafish. At another side of a spectrum of BVS anomalies there is the "slit-ventricle" syndrome, which develops due to insufficient inflation of BVS. Recent advances in functional genetics of zebrafish brought to light novel genetic elements involved in development of BVS and circulation of CSF. This review aims to reveal common elements of morphologically different BVS of zebrafish as a typical representative of teleosts and other vertebrates and illustrate useful features of the zebrafish model for studies of BVS. Along this line, recent analyses of the two novel zebrafish mutants affecting different subunits of the potassium voltage-gated channels allowed to emphasize an important functional convergence of the evolutionarily conserved elements of protein transport essential for BVS development, which were revealed by the zebrafish and mouse studies.
Project description:During the first postnatal week of mouse development, radial glial cells lining the ventricles of the brain differentiate into ependymal cells, undergoing a morphological change from pseudostratified cuboidal cells to a flattened monolayer. Concomitant with this change, multiple motile cilia are generated and aligned on each nascent ependymal cell. Proper ependymal cell development is crucial to forming the brain tissue:CSF barrier, and to the establishment of ciliary CSF flow, but the mechanisms that regulate this differentiation event are poorly understood. The JhylacZ mouse line carries an insertional mutation in the Jhy gene (formerly 4931429I11Rik), and homozygous JhylacZ/lacZ mice develop a rapidly progressive juvenile hydrocephalus, with defects in ependymal cilia morphology and ultrastructure. Here we show that beyond just defective motile cilia, JhylacZ/lacZ mice display abnormal ependymal cell differentiation. Ventricular ependyma in JhylacZ/lacZ mice retain an unorganized and multi-layered morphology, representative of undifferentiated ependymal (radial glial) cells, and they show altered expression of differentiation markers. Most JhylacZ/lacZ ependymal cells do eventually acquire some differentiated ependymal characteristics, suggesting a delay, rather than a block, in the differentiation process, but ciliogenesis remains perturbed. JhylacZ/lacZ ependymal cells also manifest disruptions in adherens junction formation, with altered N-cadherin localization, and have defects in the polarized organization of the apical motile cilia that do form. Functional studies showed that cilia of JhylacZ/lacZ mice have severely reduced motility, a potential cause for the development of hydrocephalus. This work shows that JHY does not only control ciliogenesis, but is a crucial component of the ependymal differentiation process, with ciliary defects likely a consequence of altered ependymal differentiation.
Project description:Hydrocephalus is a brain disorder triggered by cerebrospinal fluid accumulation in brain cavities. Even though cerebrospinal fluid flow is known to be driven by the orchestrated beating of the bundled motile cilia of ependymal cells, little is known about the mechanism of ciliary motility. RSPH9 is increasingly becoming recognized as a vital component of radial spokes in ciliary "9?+?2" ultrastructure organization. Here, we show that deletion of the Rsph9 gene leads to the development of hydrocephalus in the early postnatal period. However, the neurodevelopment and astrocyte development are normal in embryonic Rsph9-/- mice. The tubular structure of the central aqueduct was comparable in Rsph9-/- mice. Using high-speed video microscopy, we visualized lower beating amplitude and irregular rotation beating pattern of cilia bundles in Rsph9-/- mice compared with that of wild-type mice. And the centriolar patch size was significantly increased in Rsph9-/- cells. TEM results showed that deletion of Rsph9 causes little impact in ciliary axonemal organization but the Rsph9-/- cilia frequently had abnormal ectopic ciliary membrane inclusions. In addition, hydrocephalus in Rsph9-/- mice results in the development of astrogliosis, microgliosis and cerebrovascular abnormalities. Eventually, the ependymal cells sloughed off of the lateral wall. Our results collectively suggested that RSPH9 is essential for ciliary structure and motility of mouse ependymal cilia, and its deletion causes the pathogenesis of hydrocephalus.