Heterozygosity for nuclear factor one x affects hippocampal-dependent behaviour in mice.
ABSTRACT: Identification of the genes that regulate the development and subsequent functioning of the hippocampus is pivotal to understanding the role of this cortical structure in learning and memory. One group of genes that has been shown to be critical for the early development of the hippocampus is the Nuclear factor one (Nfi) family, which encodes four site-specific transcription factors, NFIA, NFIB, NFIC and NFIX. In mice lacking Nfia, Nfib or Nfix, aspects of early hippocampal development, including neurogenesis within the dentate gyrus, are delayed. However, due to the perinatal lethality of these mice, it is not clear whether this hippocampal phenotype persists to adulthood and affects hippocampal-dependent behaviour. To address this we examined the hippocampal phenotype of mice heterozygous for Nfix (Nfix (+/-)), which survive to adulthood. We found that Nfix (+/-) mice had reduced expression of NFIX throughout the brain, including the hippocampus, and that early hippocampal development in these mice was disrupted, producing a phenotype intermediate to that of wild-type mice and Nfix(-/-) mice. The abnormal hippocampal morphology of Nfix (+/-) mice persisted to adulthood, and these mice displayed a specific performance deficit in the Morris water maze learning and memory task. These findings demonstrate that the level of Nfix expression during development and within the adult is essential for the function of the hippocampus during learning and memory.
Project description:Transcriptional regulation plays a central role in controlling neural stem and progenitor cell proliferation and differentiation during neurogenesis. For instance, transcription factors from the nuclear factor I (NFI) family have been shown to co-ordinate neural stem and progenitor cell differentiation within multiple regions of the embryonic nervous system, including the neocortex, hippocampus, spinal cord and cerebellum. Knockout of individual Nfi genes culminates in similar phenotypes, suggestive of common target genes for these transcription factors. However, whether or not the NFI family regulates common suites of genes remains poorly defined. Here, we use granule neuron precursors (GNPs) of the postnatal murine cerebellum as a model system to analyse regulatory targets of three members of the NFI family: NFIA, NFIB and NFIX. By integrating transcriptomic profiling (RNA-seq) of Nfia- and Nfix-deficient GNPs with epigenomic profiling (ChIP-seq against NFIA, NFIB and NFIX, and DNase I hypersensitivity assays), we reveal that these transcription factors share a large set of potential transcriptional targets, suggestive of complementary roles for these NFI family members in promoting neural development.
Project description:Transcriptional regulation plays a central role in controlling neural stem and progenitor cell proliferation and differentiation during neurogenesis. For instance, transcription factors from the nuclear factor I (NFI) family have been shown to co-ordinate neural stem and progenitor cell differentiation within multiple regions of the embryonic nervous system, including the neocortex, hippocampus, spinal cord and cerebellum. Knockout of individual Nfi genes culminates in similar phenotypes, suggestive of common target genes for these transcription factors. However, whether or not the NFI family regulates common suites of genes remains poorly defined. Here, we use granule neuron precursors (GNPs) of the postnatal murine cerebellum as a model system to analyse regulatory targets of three members of the NFI family: NFIA, NFIB and NFIX. By integrating transcriptomic profiling (RNA-seq) of Nfia- and Nfix-deficient GNPs with epigenomic profiling (ChIP-seq against NFIA, NFIB and NFIX, and DNase I hypersensitivity assays), we reveal that these transcription factors share a large set of potential transcriptional targets, suggestive of complementary roles for these NFI family members in promoting neural development. Overall design: Genome-wide ChIP-seq analysis of the binding of NfiX (Sigma Aldrich, SAB1401263), NfiA (Abcam, ab41851) and NfiB (Novus Biologicals, NBP1-81000) on the genome in granule neuron progenitor cells isolated from the cerebellum of postnatal day 7 CD1 mice.
Project description:The Nuclear factor I (NFI) transcription factor family consists of four genes (Nfia, Nfib, Nfic and Nfix) that regulate the development of multiple organ systems in mice and humans. Nfib is expressed in both lung mesenchyme and epithelium and mice lacking Nfib have severe lung maturation defects and die at birth. Here we continue our analysis of the phenotype of Nfib?/? lungs and show that Nfib specifically in lung mesenchyme controls late epithelial and mesenchymal cell proliferation and differentiation. There are more PCNA, BrdU, PHH3 and Ki67 positive cells in Nfib?/? lungs than in wild type lungs at E18.5 and this increase in proliferation marker expression is seen in both epithelial and mesenchymal cells. The loss of Nfib in all lung cells decreases the expression of markers for alveolar epithelial cells (Aqp5 and Sftpc), Clara cells (Scgb1a1) and ciliated cells (Foxj1) in E18.5 lungs. To test for a specific role of Nfib in lung mesenchyme we generated and analyzed Nfib(flox/flox), Dermo1-Cre mice. Loss of Nfib only in mesenchyme results in decreased Aqp5, Sftpc and Foxj1 expression, increased cell proliferation, and a defect in sacculation similar to that seen in Nfib?/? mice. In contrast, mesenchyme specific loss of Nfib had no effect on the expression of Scgb1a1 in the airway. Microarray and QPCR analyses indicate that the loss of Nfib in lung mesenchyme affects the expression of genes associated with extracellular matrix, cell adhesion and FGF signaling which could affect distal lung maturation. Our data indicate that mesenchymal Nfib regulates both mesenchymal and epithelial cell proliferation through multiple pathways and that mesenchymal NFI-B-mediated signals are essential for the maturation of distal lung epithelium.
Project description:Background:The nuclear factor I (NFI) is a family of transcription factors consisting of four distinct but closely related genes, NFIA, NFIB, NFIC and NFIX, which are important in the development of various tissues and organs in mammals. Recent study results have shown that NFI family may play a critical role in the progression of various human tumors and have been identified as key tumor suppressors and oncogenes for many cancers. However, the expression levels and distinctive prognostic values of the NFI family remain poorly explored in most cancers. Materials and Methods:In the present study, the differences in mRNA expression of the NFI family in various cancers were investigated using the Oncomine and TCGA databases, and the mRNA expression, genetic alteration and DNA methylation of the NFI family members in various cancers were examined using cBioPortal for Cancer Genomics. In addition, the prognostic significance of the NFI family was assessed in multiple cancers using the Kaplan-Meier plotter (KM plotter) and SurvExpress databases. Results:The mRNA expression levels in the NFI family were significantly downregulated in most cancers compared with normal tissues and DNA hypermethylation might downregulate the NFI family expression. Although NFIX expression was not downregulated in kidney, colorectal and prostate cancers. Furthermore, NFIB expression was upregulated in gastric cancer. Further survival analyses based on the KM plotter and SurvExpress databases showed dysregulations of the NFI genes were significantly correlated with survival outcomes in breast, lung, and head and neck cancers. Decreased expression levels of NFIA, NFIB and NFIC were associated with poor overall survival (OS) in head and neck cancer. Low mRNA expression of NFIA and NFIB was significantly associated with OS and first progression in lung adenocarcinoma, but not in lung squamous cell carcinoma. In addition, potential correlations between NFI family members and survival outcomes were also observed in liver, esophageal, kidney and cervical cancer. Conclusion:The results from the present study indicated certain members of the NFI family could be promising therapeutic targets and novel prognostic biomarkers for human cancers.
Project description:Fibroblast growth factor (FGF) signaling controls self-renewal of neural stem cells during embryonic telencephalic development. FGF receptor 2 (FGFR2) has a significant role in the production of cortical neurons during embryogenesis, but its role in the hippocampus during development and in adulthood has not been described.Here we dissociate the role of FGFR2 in the hippocampus during development and during adulthood with the use of embryonic knockout and inducible knockout mice.Embryonic knockout of FGFR2 causes a reduction of hippocampal volume and impairment in adult spatial memory in mice. Spatial reference memory, as assessed by performance on the water maze probe trial, was correlated with reduced hippocampal parvalbumin+ cells, whereas short-term learning was correlated with reduction in immature neurons in the dentate gyrus. Furthermore, short-term learning and newly generated neurons in the dentate gyrus were deficient even when FGFR2 was lacking only in adulthood.Taken together, these findings support a dual role for FGFR2 in hippocampal short-term learning and long-term reference memory, which appear to depend on the abundance of two separate cellular components, parvalbumin interneurons and newly generated granule cells in the hippocampus.
Project description:The nuclear factor I (NFI) family of transcription factors play an important role in normal development of multiple organs. Three NFI family members are highly expressed in the brain, and deletions or sequence variants in two of these, NFIA and NFIX, have been associated with intellectual disability (ID) and brain malformations. NFIB, however, has not previously been implicated in human disease. Here, we present a cohort of 18 individuals with mild ID and behavioral issues who are haploinsufficient for NFIB. Ten individuals harbored overlapping microdeletions of the chromosomal 9p23-p22.2 region, ranging in size from 225 kb to 4.3 Mb. Five additional subjects had point sequence variations creating a premature termination codon, and three subjects harbored single-nucleotide variations resulting in an inactive protein as determined using an in vitro reporter assay. All individuals presented with additional variable neurodevelopmental phenotypes, including muscular hypotonia, motor and speech delay, attention deficit disorder, autism spectrum disorder, and behavioral abnormalities. While structural brain anomalies, including dysgenesis of corpus callosum, were variable, individuals most frequently presented with macrocephaly. To determine whether macrocephaly could be a functional consequence of NFIB disruption, we analyzed a cortex-specific Nfib conditional knockout mouse model, which is postnatally viable. Utilizing magnetic resonance imaging and histology, we demonstrate that Nfib conditional knockout mice have enlargement of the cerebral cortex but preservation of overall brain structure and interhemispheric connectivity. Based on our findings, we propose that haploinsufficiency of NFIB causes ID with macrocephaly.
Project description:<h4>Objective</h4>The active place avoidance task (APA) is a behavioural task used to assess learning and memory in rodents. This task relies on the hippocampus, a region of the cerebral cortex capable of generating new neurons from neural stem cells. In this study, to gain further insight into the behavioural phenotype of mice deficient in the transcription factor Nfix, a gene expressed by adult neural stem cells, we examined learning and memory parameters from the APA task that were not published in our original investigation. We analysed time to first and second shock, maximum path and time of shock avoidance, number of entries into the shock zone and time spent in the shock zone. We also assessed performance in the APA task based on sex.<h4>Results</h4>We found mice deficient in Nfix displayed decreased latency to second shock compared to the control mice. Nfix deficient mice entered the shock zone more frequently and also spent more time in the shock zone. Our data provides further insights into the memory deficits evident in Nfix mutant mice, indicating these mice have a memory retrieval problem and may employ a different navigation strategy in the APA task.
Project description:Astrocytes play essential roles in brain function by supporting synaptic connectivity and associated circuits. How these roles are regulated by transcription factors is unknown. Moreover, there is emerging evidence that astrocytes exhibit regional heterogeneity, and the mechanisms controlling this diversity remain nascent. Here, we show that conditional deletion of the transcription factor nuclear factor I-A (NFIA) in astrocytes in the adult brain results in region-specific alterations in morphology and physiology that are mediated by selective DNA binding. Disruptions in astrocyte function following loss of NFIA are most pronounced in the hippocampus, manifested by impaired interactions with neurons, coupled with diminution of learning and memory behaviors. These changes in hippocampal astrocytes did not affect basal neuronal properties but specifically inhibited synaptic plasticity, which is regulated by NFIA in astrocytes through calcium-dependent mechanisms. Together, our studies reveal region-specific transcriptional dependencies for astrocytes and identify astrocytic NFIA as a key transcriptional regulator of hippocampal circuits.
Project description:Lung maturation is a late fetal developmental event in both mice and humans. Because of this, lung immaturity is a serious problem in premature infants. Disruption of genes for either the glucocorticoid receptor (Nr3c1) or the NFIB transcription factors results in perinatal lethality due to lung immaturity. In both knockouts, the phenotype includes excess cell proliferation, failure of saccularization and reduced expression of markers of epithelial differentiation. This similarity suggests that the two genes may co-regulate a specific set of genes essential for lung maturation.We analyzed the roles of these two transcription factors in regulating transcription using ChIP-seq data for NFIB, and RNA expression data and motif analysis for both. Our new ChIP-seq data for NFIB in lung at E16.5 shows that NFIB binds to a NFI motif. This motif is over-represented in the promoters of genes that are under-expressed in Nfib-KO mice at E18.5, suggesting an activator role for NFIB. Using available microarray data from Nr3c1-KO mice, we further identified 52 genes that are under-expressed in both Nfib and Nr3c1 knockouts, an overlap which is 13.1 times larger than what would be expected by chance. Finally, we looked for enrichment of 738 recently published transcription factor motifs in the promoters of these putative target genes and found that the NFIB and glucocorticoid receptor motifs were among the most enriched, suggesting that a subset of these genes may be directly activated by Nfib and Nr3c1.Our data provide the first evidence for Nfib and Nr3c1 co-regulating genes related to lung maturation. They also establish that the in vivo DNA-binding specificity of NFIB is the same as previously seen in vitro, and highly similar to that of the other NFI-family members NFIA, NFIC and NFIX.
Project description:The goal of this study is to profile NFIA DNA-binding properties in the adult mouse brain. We performed chromatin immunoprecipitation of NFIA in the hippocampus and olfactory bulb of wildtype mice, and samples were subjected to sequencing. We find that NFIA preferentially binds DNA in the hippocampus but not in the olfactory bulb as evidenced by the distinct lack of NFIA binding peaks in the olfactory bulb. Mass spectrometry results suggested that NFIA has a significantly higher binding affinity for NFIB in the olfactory bulb, potentially blocking NFIA’s ability to bind DNA. Virally induced siRNAs against NFIB or scramble were injected into the olfactory bulb of adult wildtype mice to knock down NFIB. We performed chromatin immunoprecipitation of NFIA in the olfactory bulb injected with siRNA-NFIB or siRNA-scramble. Subsequent sequencing revealed an increase of NFIA binding in the olfactory bulb upon the depletion of NFIB as compared to the siRNA-scramble and wildtype controls. Overall design: Equal starting concentrations of NFIA chromatin immunoprecipitated DNA from the hippocampus, olfactory bulb, siRNA-NFIB olfactory bulb, and siRNA-scramble olfactory bulb was used for ChIP-sequencing.