Adult neurogenesis in the short-lived teleost Nothobranchius furzeri: localization of neurogenic niches, molecular characterization and effects of aging.
ABSTRACT: We studied adult neurogenesis in the short-lived annual fish Nothobranchius furzeri and quantified the effects of aging on the mitotic activity of the neuronal progenitors and the expression of glial fibrillary acid protein (GFAP) in the radial glia. The distribution of neurogenic niches is substantially similar to that of zebrafish and adult stem cells generate neurons, which persist in the adult brain. As opposed to zebrafish, however, the N. furzeri genome contains a doublecortin (DCX) gene. Doublecortin is transiently expressed by newly generated neurons in the telencephalon and optic tectum (OT). We also analyzed the expression of the microRNA miR-9 and miR-124 and found that they have complementary expression domains: miR-9 is expressed in the neurogenic niches of the telencephalon and the radial glia of the OT, while miR-124 is expressed in differentiated neurons. The main finding of this paper is the demonstration of an age-dependent decay in adult neurogenesis. Using unbiased stereological estimates of cell numbers, we detected an almost fivefold decrease in the number of mitotically active cells in the OT between young and old age. This reduced mitotic activity is paralleled by a reduction in DCX labeling. Finally, we detected a dramatic up-regulation of GFAP in the radial glia of the aged brain. This up-regulation is not paralleled by a similar up-regulation of S100B and Musashi-1, two other markers of the radial glia. In summary, the brain of N. furzeri replicates two typical hallmarks of mammalian aging: gliosis and reduced adult neurogenesis.
Project description:Postmortem studies have confirmed the occurrence of adult hippocampal neurogenesis in humans and implicated this process in antidepressant response, yet neurogenesis in other regions remains to be examined in the context of depression. Here we assess the extent of subventricular zone-olfactory bulb (SVZ-OB) neurogenesis in adult humans having died by suicide. Protein expression of proliferative and neurogenic markers Sox2, proliferating cell nuclear antigen, and doublecortin (DCX) were examined in postmortem SVZ and OB samples from depressed suicides and matched sudden-death controls. In the SVZ, DCX-immunoreactive (IR) cells displayed phenotypes typical of progenitors, whereas in the olfactory tract (OT), they were multipolar with variable size and morphologies suggestive of differentiating cells. DCX expression was significantly increased in the OB of suicides, whereas SVZ DCX expression was higher among unmedicated, but not antidepressant-treated, suicides. Although very few DCX-IR cells were present in the control OT, they were considerably more common in suicides and correlated with OB DCX levels. Suicides also displayed higher DCX-IR process volumes. These results support the notion that OB neurogenesis is minimal in adult humans. They further raise the possibility that the differentiation and migration of SVZ-derived neuroblasts may be altered in unmedicated suicides, leading to an accumulation of ectopically differentiating cells in the OT. Normal SVZ DCX expression among suicides receiving antidepressants suggests a potentially novel mode of action of antidepressant medication. Given the modest group sizes and rarity of DCX-IR cells assessed here, a larger-scale characterization will be required before firm conclusions can be made regarding the identity of these cells.
Project description:The protein doublecortin (DCX) is expressed in post-mitotic migrating and differentiating neurons in the developing vertebrate brain and, as a part of the microtubule machinery, is required for neuronal migration. DCX expression is generally maximal during embryonic and early post-natal life but decreases markedly and almost disappears in older animals in parallel with the major decrease or cessation of neurogenesis. In several seasonally breeding songbird species such as canaries, the volume of several song control nuclei in the brain varies seasonally such that the largest nuclei are observed in the late spring and early summer. This variation is based on changes in cell size, dendritic branching, and, in nucleus HVC, on the incorporation of neurons newly born in adulthood. Because songbirds maintain an active neurogenesis and neuronal incorporation in their telencephalon throughout their lives, we investigated here the distribution of DCX-immunoreactive (ir) structures in the brain of adult male canaries. Densely stained DCX-ir cells were found exclusively in parts of the telencephalon that are known to incorporate new neurons in adulthood, in particular the nidopallium. Within this brain region, the boundaries of the song control nucleus HVC could be clearly distinguished from surrounding structures by a higher density of DCX-ir structures. In most telencephalic areas, about two thirds of these cells displayed a uni- or bipolar fusiform morphology suggesting they were migrating neurons. The rest of the DCX-ir cells in the telencephalon were larger and had a round multipolar morphology. No such staining was found in the rest of the brain. The broad expression of DCX specifically in adult brain structures that exhibit the characteristic of active incorporation of new neurons suggests that DCX plays a key role in the migration of new neurons in the brain of adult songbirds as it presumably does during ontogeny.
Project description:AIM:cAMP signal transduction cascade activation is important in regulating neurogenesis in adult rodents by increasing the proliferation of newborn cells. Although the ventricular-subventricular zone (V-SVZ) and subgranular zone (SGZ) both contain large populations of neural stem/precursor cells; it remains unclear whether an alternative target of cAMP, the exchange protein directly activated by cAMP (Epac2), is involved in adult neurogenesis in the V-SVZ and SGZ. Here, we investigated the cell-specific expression of Epac2 protein in the V-SVZ and SGZ of the adult mouse brain. METHODS:Immunohistochemical analyses were performed using antibodies against Epac2, glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), doublecortin (DCX), and beta-catenin, to examine the co-localization of Epac2 protein and neural stem/precursor cells in the V-SVZ and SGZ in three 8-week-old male mice. RESULTS:In the V-SVZ of the lateral ventricle, most GFAP-positive adult neural stem cells (NSC, defined as type B cells) and 75% of DCX-positive migrating neuroblasts (type A cells) expressed Epac2 proteins. Ninety-three percent of beta-catenin-positive ependymal cells (type E cells), which are in direct contact with NSCs and the ventricles, also expressed Epac2 protein. Similarly, in the SGZ of the hippocampus, Epac2-immunopositive signals were shown by 83% of GFAP-positive radial-glia-like NSCs (type 1 cells), 86% of DCX-positive transiently amplifying cells (type 2 and type 3 cells), and 71% of DCX-positive immature neurons. The present data suggest that a PKA-independent cAMP signaling pathway via Epac2 may be party to adult neurogenesis in the V-SVZ and the SGZ.
Project description:Little is known about environmental influences on radial glia-like (RGL) ? cells (radial astrocytes) and their relation to neurogenesis. Because radial glia is involved in adult neurogenesis and astrogenesis, we investigated this association in two migratory shorebird species that complete their autumnal migration using contrasting strategies. Before their flights to South America, the birds stop over at the Bay of Fundy in Canada. From there, the semipalmated sandpiper (Calidris pusilla) crosses the Atlantic Ocean in a non-stop 5-day flight, whereas the semipalmated plover (Charadrius semipalmatus) flies primarily overland with stopovers for rest and feeding. From the hierarchical cluster analysis of multimodal morphometric features, followed by the discriminant analysis, the radial astrocytes were classified into two main morphotypes, Type I and Type II. After migration, we detected differential changes in the morphology of these cells that were more intense in Type I than in Type II in both species. We also compared the number of doublecortin (DCX)-immunolabeled neurons with morphometric features of radial glial-like ? cells in the hippocampal V region between C. pusilla and C. semipalmatus before and after autumn migration. Compared to migrating birds, the convex hull surface area of radial astrocytes increased significantly in wintering individuals in both C. semipalmatus and C. pusilla. Although to a different extent we found a strong correlation between the increase in the convex hull surface area and the increase in the total number of DCX immunostained neurons in both species. Despite phylogenetic differences, it is of interest to note that the increased morphological complexity of radial astrocytes in C. semipalmatus coincides with the fact that during the migratory process over the continent, the visuospatial environment changes more intensely than that associated with migration over Atlantic. The migratory flight of the semipalmated plover, with stopovers for feeding and rest, vs. the non-stop flight of the semipalmated sandpiper may differentially affect radial astrocyte morphology and neurogenesis.
Project description:In the last decade, our group has intensively studied the annual fish Nothobranchius furzeri as a new experimental model in Biology specifically applied to aging research. We previously studied adult neuronal stem cells of N. furzeri in vivo and we demonstrated an age-dependent decay in adult neurogenesis. More recently we identified and quantified the expression of miRNAs in the brain of N. furzeri and we detected 165 conserved miRNAs and found that brain aging in this fish is associated with coherent up-regulation of well-known tumor suppressor miRNAs, as well as down-regulation of well-known onco miRNAs~- In the present work we characterized the expression of miR-15a, miR-20a, and microRNA cluster 17-92 in the principal neurogenic niches of the brain of young and old subjects of N. furzeri, by using in situ hybridization techniques, together with proliferating-cell nuclear antigen immuno-staining for a simultaneous visualization of the neuronal progenitors. We found that: (1) the expression of miR-15a is higher in the brain of old subjects and concentrates mainly in the principal neurogenic niches of telencephalon and optic tectum, (2) the expression of miR-20a is higher in the brain of young subjects, but more widespread to the areas surrounding the neurogenic niches, (3) finally, the expression of the microRNA cluster 17-92 is higher in the brain of young subjects, concentrated mainly in the principal neurogenic niches of telencephalon and cerebellum, and with reduced intensity in the optic tectum. Taken together, our data show that these microRNAs, originally identified in whole-brain analysis, are specifically regulated in the stem cell niche during aging.
Project description:Zebrafish display widespread and pronounced adult neurogenesis, which is fundamental for their regeneration capability after central nervous system injury. However, the cellular identity and the biological properties of adult newborn neurons are elusive for most brain areas. Here, we have used short-term lineage tracing of radial glia progeny to prospectively isolate newborn neurons from the her4.1+ radial glia lineage in the homeostatic adult forebrain. Transcriptome analysis of radial glia, newborn neurons and mature neurons using single cell sequencing identified distinct transcriptional profiles, including novel markers for each population. Specifically, we detected two separate newborn neuron types, which showed diversity of cell fate commitment and location. Further analyses showed that these cell types are homologous to neurogenic cells in the mammalian brain, identified neurogenic commitment in proliferating radial glia and indicated that glutamatergic projection neurons are generated in the adult zebrafish telencephalon. Thus, we prospectively isolated adult newborn neurons from the adult zebrafish forebrain, identified markers for newborn and mature neurons in the adult brain, and revealed intrinsic heterogeneity among adult newborn neurons and their homology with mammalian adult neurogenic cell types.
Project description:Systematic analyses of spatiotemporal gene expression trajectories during organogenesis have been challenging because diverse cell types at different stages of maturation and differentiation coexist in the emerging tissues. We identified discrete cell types as well as temporally and spatially restricted trajectories of radial glia maturation and neurogenesis in developing human telencephalon. These lineage-specific trajectories reveal the expression of neurogenic transcription factors in early radial glia and enriched activation of mammalian target of rapamycin signaling in outer radial glia. Across cortical areas, modest transcriptional differences among radial glia cascade into robust typological distinctions among maturing neurons. Together, our results support a mixed model of topographical, typological, and temporal hierarchies governing cell-type diversity in the developing human telencephalon, including distinct excitatory lineages emerging in rostral and caudal cerebral cortex.
Project description:In the adult brain, expression of the microtubule-associated protein Doublecortin (DCX) is associated with neural progenitor cells (NPCs) that give rise to new neurons in the dentate gyrus. Many studies quantify the number of DCX-expressing cells as a proxy for the level of adult neurogenesis, yet no study has determined the effect of removing DCX from adult hippocampal NPCs. Here, we use a retroviral and inducible mouse transgenic approach to either knockdown or knockout DCX from adult NPCs in the dentate gyrus and examine how this affects cell survival and neuronal maturation. Our results demonstrate that shRNA-mediated knockdown of DCX or Cre-mediated recombination in floxed DCX mice does not alter hippocampal neurogenesis and does not change the neuronal fate of the NPCs. Together these findings show that the survival and maturation of adult-generated hippocampal neurons does not require DCX.
Project description:In the adult dentate gyrus (DG) and in the proliferative zone lining the lateral ventricle (LV-PZ), radial glia-like (RGL) cells are neural stem cells (NSCs) that generate granule neurons. A number of molecular markers including glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), Sox2 and nestin, can identify quiescent NSCs in these two niches. However, to date, there is no marker that distinguishes NSC origin of DG versus LV-PZ. Hopx, an atypical homeodomain only protein, is expressed by adult stem cell populations including those in the intestine and hair follicle. Here, we show that Hopx is specifically expressed in RGL cells in the adult DG, and these cells give rise to granule neurons. Assessed by non-stereological quantitation, Hopx-null NSCs exhibit enhanced neurogenesis evident by an increased number of BrdU-positive cells and doublecortin (DCX)-positive neuroblasts. In contrast, Sox2-positive, quiescent NSCs are reduced in the DG of Hopx-null animals and Notch signaling is reduced, as evidenced by reduced expression of Notch targets Hes1 and Hey2, and a reduction of the number of cells expressing the cleaved, activated form of the Notch1 receptor, the Notch intracellular domain (NICD) in Hopx-null DG. Surprisingly, Hopx is not expressed in RGL cells of the adult LV-PZ, and Hopx-expressing cells do not give rise to interneurons of the olfactory bulb (OB). These findings establish that Hopx expression distinguishes NSCs of the DG from those of the LV-PZ, and suggest that Hopx potentially regulates hippocampal neurogenesis by modulating Notch signaling.
Project description:Whereas thousands of new neurons are generated daily during adult life, only a fraction of them survive and become part of neural circuits; the rest die, and their corpses are presumably cleared by resident phagocytes. How the dying neurons are removed and how such clearance influences neurogenesis are not well understood. Here, we identify an unexpected phagocytic role for the doublecortin (DCX)-positive neuronal progenitor cells during adult neurogenesis. Our in vivo and ex vivo studies demonstrate that DCX(+) cells comprise a significant phagocytic population within the neurogenic zones. Intracellular engulfment protein ELMO1, which promotes Rac activation downstream of phagocytic receptors, was required for phagocytosis by DCX(+) cells. Disruption of engulfment in vivo genetically (in Elmo1-null mice) or pharmacologically (in wild-type mice) led to reduced uptake by DCX(+) cells, accumulation of apoptotic nuclei in the neurogenic niches and impaired neurogenesis. Collectively, these findings indicate a paradigm wherein DCX(+) neuronal precursors also serve as phagocytes, and that their phagocytic activity critically contributes to neurogenesis in the adult brain.