Noggin expands neural stem cells in the adult hippocampus.
ABSTRACT: New neurons are added to the adult hippocampus throughout life and contribute to cognitive functions, including learning and memory. It remains unclear whether ongoing neurogenesis arises from self-renewing neural stem cells (NSCs) or from multipotential progenitor cells that cannot self-renew in the hippocampus. This is primarily based on observations that neural precursors derived from the subventricular zone (SVZ) can be passaged long term, whereas hippocampal subgranular zone (SGZ) precursors are rapidly depleted by passaging. We demonstrate here that high levels of bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling occur in hippocampal but not SVZ precursors in vitro, and blocking BMP signaling with Noggin is sufficient to foster hippocampal cell self-renewal, proliferation, and multipotentiality using single-cell clonal analysis. Moreover, NSC maintenance requires continual Noggin exposure, which implicates BMPs as crucial regulators of NSC aging. In vivo, Noggin is expressed in the adult dentate gyrus and limits BMP signaling in proliferative cells of the SGZ. Transgenic Noggin overexpression in the SGZ increases multiple precursor cell populations but proportionally increases the glial fibrillary acidic protein-positive cell population at the expense of other precursors, suggesting that Noggin acts on NSCs in vivo. To confirm this, we used a dual thymidine analog paradigm to repeatedly label slowly dividing cells over a long duration. We find that small populations of label-retaining cells exist in the SGZ and that Noggin overexpression increases their numbers. Thus, we propose that the adult hippocampus contains a population of NSCs, which can be expanded both in vitro and in vivo by blocking BMP signaling.
Project description:In the adult rodent brain, neural stem cells (NSCs) persist in the ventricular-subventricular zone (V-SVZ) and the subgranular zone (SGZ), which are specialized niches in which young neurons for the olfactory bulb (OB) and hippocampus, respectively, are generated. Recent studies have significantly modified earlier views on the mechanisms of NSC self-renewal and neurogenesis in the adult brain. Here, we discuss the molecular control, heterogeneity, regional specification and cell division modes of V-SVZ NSCs, and draw comparisons with NSCs in the SGZ. We highlight how V-SVZ NSCs are regulated by local signals from their immediate neighbors, as well as by neurotransmitters and factors that are secreted by distant neurons, the choroid plexus and vasculature. We also review recent advances in single cell RNA analyses that reveal the complexity of adult neurogenesis. These findings set the stage for a better understanding of adult neurogenesis, a process that one day may inspire new approaches to brain repair.
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:Increasing age is the greatest known risk factor for the sporadic late-onset forms of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease (AD). One of the brain regions most severely affected in AD is the hippocampus, a privileged structure that contains adult neural stem cells (NSCs) with neurogenic capacity. Hippocampal neurogenesis decreases during aging and the decrease is exacerbated in AD, but the mechanistic causes underlying this progressive decline remain largely unexplored. We here investigated the effect of age on NSCs and neurogenesis by analyzing the senescence accelerated mouse prone 8 (SAMP8) strain, a nontransgenic short-lived strain that spontaneously develops a pathological profile similar to that of AD and that has been employed as a model system to study the transition from healthy aging to neurodegeneration. We show that SAMP8 mice display an accelerated loss of the NSC pool that coincides with an aberrant rise in BMP6 protein, enhanced canonical BMP signaling, and increased astroglial differentiation. In vitro assays demonstrate that BMP6 severely impairs NSC expansion and promotes NSC differentiation into postmitotic astrocytes. Blocking the dysregulation of the BMP pathway and its progliogenic effect in vivo by intracranial delivery of the antagonist Noggin restores hippocampal NSC numbers, neurogenesis, and behavior in SAMP8 mice. Thus, manipulating the local microenvironment of the NSC pool counteracts hippocampal dysfunction in pathological aging. Our results shed light on interventions that may allow taking advantage of the brain's natural plastic capacity to enhance cognitive function in late adulthood and in chronic neurodegenerative diseases such as AD.
Project description:Genomic imprinting is implicated in the control of gene dosage in neurogenic niches. Here we address the importance of Igf2 imprinting for murine adult neurogenesis in the subventricular zone (SVZ) and in the subgranular zone (SGZ) of the hippocampus in vivo. In the SVZ, paracrine IGF2 is a cerebrospinal fluid and endothelial-derived neurogenic factor requiring biallelic expression, with mutants having reduced activation of the stem cell pool and impaired olfactory bulb neurogenesis. In contrast, Igf2 is imprinted in the hippocampus acting as an autocrine factor expressed in neural stem cells (NSCs) solely from the paternal allele. Conditional mutagenesis of Igf2 in blood vessels confirms that endothelial-derived IGF2 contributes to NSC maintenance in SVZ but not in the SGZ, and that this is regulated by the biallelic expression of IGF2 in the vascular compartment. Our findings indicate that a regulatory decision to imprint or not is a functionally important mechanism of transcriptional dosage control in adult neurogenesis.
Project description:HIF-1? is a hypoxia-inducible protein that regulates many cellular processes, including neural stem cell maintenance. Previous work demonstrated constitutive stabilization of HIF-1? in neural stem cells (NSCs) of the adult mouse subventricular zone (SVZ) and hippocampal subgranular zone (SGZ). Genetic inactivation of NSC-encoded HIF-1? in the adult SVZ results in gradual loss of NSCs, but whether HIF-1? is required for the maintenance of SGZ hippocampal progenitors and adult hippocampal neurogenesis has not been determined. Here we tested the hypothesis that HIF-1? plays an essential role in the maintenance of adult hippocampal neurogenesis using Nestin-CreERT2/R26R-YFP/Hif1afl/fl triple transgenic mice, in which HIF-1? was genetically inactivated in nestin+ hippocampal progenitors and their downstream progeny following tamoxifen exposure. We found that disruption of HIF-1? gene expression resulted in a marked 50% reduction of adult-generated dentate granule cells (DGCs) that was highly correlated with impaired hippocampal function, as assessed using two behavioral assays of pattern discrimination. These behavioral tests included the A-B contextual fear-conditioning task and the trial-unique, delayed nonmatching-to-location (TUNL) touch-screen operant chamber task. Our findings identify HIF-1? as a novel regulator of adult hippocampal neurogenesis under non-pathological conditions, and underscore the importance of neurogenesis for pattern discrimination learning.
Project description:: As clinical application of neural stem cell (NSC) grafting into the brain would also encompass aged people, critical evaluation of engraftment of NSC graft-derived cells in the aged hippocampus has significance. We examined the engraftment and differentiation of alkaline phosphatase-positive NSCs expanded from the postnatal subventricular zone (SVZ), 3 months after grafting into the intact young or aged rat hippocampus. Graft-derived cells engrafted robustly into both young and aged hippocampi. Although most graft-derived cells pervasively migrated into different hippocampal layers, the graft cores endured and contained graft-derived neurons expressing neuron-specific nuclear antigen (NeuN) and ?-amino butyric acid in both groups. A fraction of migrated graft-derived cells in the neurogenic subgranular zone-granule cell layer also expressed NeuN. Neuronal differentiation was, however, occasionally seen amid graft-derived cells that had migrated into non-neurogenic regions, where substantial fractions differentiated into S-100?+ astrocytes, NG2+ oligodendrocyte progenitors, or Olig2+ putative oligodendrocytes. In both age groups, graft cores located in non-neurogenic regions displayed many doublecortin-positive (DCX+) immature neurons at 3 months after grafting. Analyses of cells within graft cores using birth dating and putative NSC markers revealed that DCX+ neurons were newly born neurons derived from engrafted cells and that putative NSCs persisted within the graft cores. Thus, both young and aged hippocampi support robust engraftment and similar differentiation of SVZ-NSC graft-derived cells. Furthermore, some grafted NSCs retain the "stemness" feature and produce new neurons even at 3 months after grafting, implying that grafting of SVZ-NSCs into the young or aged hippocampus leads to establishment of new neurogenic niches in non-neurogenic regions.The results demonstrate that advanced age of the host at the time of grafting has no major adverse effects on engraftment, migration, and differentiation of grafted subventricular zone-neural stem cells (SVZ-NSCs) in the intact hippocampus, as both young and aged hippocampi promoted excellent engraftment, migration, and differentiation of SVZ-NSC graft-derived cells in the present study. Furthermore, SVZ-NSC grafts showed ability for establishing neurogenic niches in non-neurogenic regions, generating new neurons for extended periods after grafting. This phenomenon will be beneficial if these niches can continuously generate new neurons and glia in the grafted hippocampus, as newly generated neurons and glia are expected to improve, not only the microenvironment, but also the plasticity and function of the aged hippocampus. Overall, these results have significance because the potential application of NSC grafting for treatment of neurodegenerative disorders at early stages of disease progression and age-related impairments would mostly involve aged persons as recipients.
Project description:The hippocampus is vital for functions such as mood and memory. Hippocampal injury typically leads to mood and memory impairments associated with reduced and aberrant neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus. We examined whether neural stem cell (NSC) grafting after hippocampal injury would counteract impairments in mood, memory, and neurogenesis. We expanded NSCs from the anterior subventricular zone (SVZ) of postnatal F344 rat pups expressing the human placental alkaline phosphatase and grafted them into the hippocampus of young adult F344 rats at 5 days after an injury inflicted through a unilateral intracerebroventricular administration of kainic acid. Analyses through forced swim, water maze, and novel object recognition tests revealed significant impairments in mood and memory function in animals that underwent injury and sham-grafting surgery. In contrast, animals that received SVZ-NSC grafts after injury exhibited mood and memory function comparable to those of naïve control animals. Graft-derived cells exhibited excellent survival and pervasive migration, and they differentiated into neurons, subtypes of inhibitory GABAergic interneurons, astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, and oligodendrocyte progenitors. Significant fractions of graft-derived cells also expressed beneficial neurotrophic factors such as the glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor, brain-derived neurotrophic factor, fibroblast growth factor, and vascular endothelial growth factor. Furthermore, SVZ-NSC grafting counteracted the injury-induced reductions and abnormalities in neurogenesis by both maintaining a normal level of NSC activity in the subgranular zone and providing protection to reelin+ interneurons in the dentate gyrus. These results underscore that early SVZ-NSC grafting intervention after hippocampal injury is efficacious for thwarting mood and memory dysfunction and abnormal neurogenesis.
Project description:Notch1 regulates neural stem cell (NSC) number during development, but its role in adult neurogenesis is unclear. We generated nestin-CreER(T2)/R26R-YFP/Notch1(loxP/loxP) [Notch1inducible knock-out (iKO)] mice to allow tamoxifen (TAM)-inducible elimination of Notch1 and concomitant expression of yellow fluorescent protein (YFP) in nestin-expressing Type-1 NSCs and their progeny in the adult hippocampal subgranular zone (SGZ). Consistent with previous research, YFP+ cells in all stages of neurogenesis were evident in the subgranular zone (SGZ) of wild-type (WT) mice (nestin-CreER(T2)/R26R-YFP/Notch1(w/w)) after tamoxifen (post-TAM), producing adult-generated YFP+ dentate gyrus neurons. Compared with WT littermates, Notch1 iKO mice had similar numbers of total SGZ YFP+ cells 13 and 30 d post-TAM but had significantly fewer SGZ YFP+ cells 60 and 90 d post-TAM. Significantly fewer YFP+ Type-1 NSCs and transiently amplifying progenitors (TAPs) resulted in generation of fewer YFP+ granule neurons in Notch1 iKO mice. Strikingly, 30 d of running rescued this deficit, as the total YFP+ cell number in Notch iKO mice was equivalent to WT levels. This was even more notable given the persistent deficits in the Type-1 NSC and TAP reservoirs. Our data show that Notch1 signaling is required to maintain a reservoir of undifferentiated cells and ensure continuity of adult hippocampal neurogenesis, but that alternative Notch- and Type-1 NSC-independent pathways compensate in response to physical activity. These data shed light on the complex relationship between Type-1 NSCs, adult neurogenesis, the neurogenic niche, and environmental stimuli.
Project description:Neurogenesis-the generation of new neurons-is an ongoing process that persists in the adult mammalian brain of several species, including humans. In this work we analyze two discrete brain regions: the subventricular zone (SVZ) lining the walls of the lateral ventricles; and the subgranular zone (SGZ) of the dentate gyrus (DG) of the hippocampus in mice and shed light on the SVZ and SGZ specific neurogenesis. We propose a computational model that relies on the construction and analysis of region specific gene regulatory networks (GRNs) from the publicly available data on these two regions. Using this model a number of putative factors involved in neuronal stem cell (NSC) identity and maintenance were identified. We also demonstrate potential gender and niche-derived differences based on cell surface and nuclear receptors via Ar, Hif1a, and Nr3c1. We have also conducted cell fate determinant analysis for SVZ NSC populations to Olfactory Bulb interneurons and SGZ NSC populations to the granule cells of the Granular Cell Layer. We report 31 candidate cell fate determinant gene pairs, ready to be validated. We focus on Ar-Pax6 in SVZ and Sox2-Ncor1 in SGZ. Both pairs are expressed and localized in the suggested anatomical structures as shown by in situ hybridization and found to physically interact. Finally, we conclude that there are fundamental differences between SGZ and SVZ neurogenesis. We argue that these regulatory mechanisms are linked to the observed differential neurogenic potential of these regions. The presence of nuclear and cell surface receptors in the region specific regulatory circuits indicate the significance of niche derived extracellular factors, hormones and region specific factors such as the oxygen sensitivity, dictating SGZ and SVZ specific neurogenesis.
Project description:Many antidepressants stimulate adult hippocampal neurogenesis, but the mechanisms by which they increase neurogenesis and modulate behavior are incompletely understood. Here we show that hippocampal bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling is modulated by antidepressant treatment, and that the changes in BMP signaling mediate effects of antidepressant treatment on neural progenitor cell proliferation and behavior. Treatment with the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor fluoxetine suppressed BMP signaling in the adult mouse hippocampus both by decreasing levels of BMP4 ligand and increasing production of the BMP inhibitor noggin. Increasing BMP signaling in the hippocampus via viral overexpression of BMP4 blocked the effects of fluoxetine on proliferation in the dentate gyrus and on depressive behavior. Conversely, inhibiting BMP signaling via viral overexpression of noggin in the hippocampus or infusion of noggin into the ventricles exerted antidepressant and anxiolytic activity along with an increase in hippocampal neurogenesis. Similarly, conditional genetic deletion of the type II BMP receptor in Ascl1-expressing cells promoted neurogenesis and reduced anxiety- and depression-like behaviors, suggesting that neural progenitor cells contribute to the effects of BMP signaling on affective behavior. These observations indicate that BMP signaling in the hippocampus regulates depressive behavior, and that decreasing BMP signaling may be required for the effects of some antidepressants. Thus BMP signaling is a new and powerful potential target for the treatment of depression.