Dynamic contribution of nestin-expressing stem cells to adult neurogenesis.
ABSTRACT: Understanding the fate of adult-generated neurons and the mechanisms that influence them requires consistent labeling and tracking of large numbers of stem cells. We generated a nestin-CreER(T2)/R26R-yellow fluorescent protein (YFP) mouse to inducibly label nestin-expressing stem cells and their progeny in the adult subventricular zone (SVZ) and subgranular zone (SGZ). Several findings show that the estrogen ligand tamoxifen (TAM) specifically induced recombination in stem cells and their progeny in nestin-CreER(T2)/R26R-YFP mice: 97% of SGZ stem-like cells (GFAP/Sox2 with radial glial morphology) expressed YFP; YFP+ neurospheres could be generated in vitro after recombination in vivo, and maturing YFP+ progeny were increasingly evident in the olfactory bulb (OB) and dentate gyrus (DG) granule cell layer. Revealing an unexpected regional dissimilarity in adult neurogenesis, YFP+ cells accumulated up to 100 d after TAM in the OB, but in the SGZ, YFP+ cells reached a plateau 30 d after TAM. In addition, most SVZ and SGZ YFP+ cells became neurons, underscoring a link between nestin and neuronal fate. Finally, quantification of YFP+ cells in nestin-CreER(T2)/R26R-YFP mice allowed us to estimate, for example, that stem cells and their progeny contribute to no more than 1% of the adult DG granule cell layer. In addition to revealing the dynamic contribution of nestin-expressing stem cells to adult neurogenesis, this work highlights the utility of the nestin-CreER(T2)/R26R-YFP mouse for inducible gene ablation in stem cells and their progeny in vivo in the two major regions of adult 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:The purpose of this study was to ascertain the relative contribution of neural stem/progenitor cells (NSPCs) of the subventricular zone (SVZ) to lineages that repopulate the injured striatum following focal ischemia. We utilized a tamoxifen-inducible Cre/loxP system under control of the nestin promoter, which provides permanent YFP labeling of multipotent nestin(+) SVZ-NSPCs prior to ischemic injury and continued YFP expression in all subsequent progeny following stroke. YFP reporter expression was induced in adult male nestin-CreER(T2):R26R-YFP mice by tamoxifen administration (180 mg kg(-1), daily for 5 days). Fourteen days later, mice were subjected to 60-min transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) and sacrificed at 2 days, 2 weeks, or 6 weeks post-MCAO for phenotypic fate mapping of YFP(+) cells using lineage-specific markers. Migration of YFP(+) cells from SVZ into the injured striatal parenchyma was apparent at 2 and 6 weeks, but not 2 days, post-MCAO. At 2 weeks post-MCAO, the average percent distribution of YFP(+) cells within the injured striatal parenchyma was as follows: 10% Dcx(+) neuroblasts, 15-20% oligodendrocyte progenitors, 59% GFAP(+) astrocytes, and only rare NeuN(+) postmitotic neurons. A similar phenotypic distribution was observed at 6 weeks, except for an increased average percentage of YFP(+) cells that expressed Dcx(+) (20%) or NeuN (5%). YFP(+) cells did not express endothelial markers, but displayed unique anatomical relationships with striatal vasculature. These results indicate that nestin(+) NSPCs within the SVZ mount a multilineage response to stroke that includes a gliogenic component more predominant than previously appreciated.
Project description:From the subventricular zone (SVZ), neuronal precursor cells (NPCs), called neuroblasts, migrate through the rostral migratory stream (RMS) to become interneurons in the olfactory bulb (OB). Ion channels regulate neuronal migration during development, yet their role in migration through the adult RMS is unknown. To address this question, we utilized Nestin-CreER(T2)/R26R-YFP mice to fluorescently label neuroblasts in the adult. Patch-clamp recordings from neuroblasts reveal K(+) currents that are sensitive to intracellular Ca(2+) levels and blocked by clotrimazole and TRAM-34, inhibitors of intermediate conductance Ca(2+)-activated K(+) (KCa3.1) channels. Immunolabeling and electrophysiology show KCa3.1 expression restricted to neuroblasts in the SVZ and RMS, but absent in OB neurons. Time-lapse confocal microscopy in situ showed inhibiting KCa3.1 prolonged the stationary phase of neuroblasts' saltatory migration, reducing migration speed by over 50%. Both migration and KCa3.1 currents could also be inhibited by blocking Ca(2+) influx via transient receptor potential (TRP) channels, which, together with positive immunostaining for transient receptor potential canonical 1 (TRPC1), suggest that TRP channels are an important Ca(2+) source modulating KCa3.1 activity. Finally, injecting TRAM-34 into Nestin-CreER(T2)/R26R-YFP mice significantly reduced the number of neuroblasts that reached the OB, suggesting an important role for KCa3.1 in vivo. These studies describe a previously unrecognized protein in migration of adult NPCs.
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:The early postnatal period is a unique time of brain development, as diminishing amounts of neurogenesis coexist with waves of gliogenesis. Understanding the molecular regulation of early postnatal gliogenesis may provide clues to normal and pathological embryonic brain ontogeny, particularly in regards to the development of astrocytes and oligodendrocytes. Cyclin dependent kinase 5 (Cdk5) contributes to neuronal migration and cell cycle control during embryogenesis, and to the differentiation of neurons and oligodendrocytes during adulthood. However, Cdk5's function in the postnatal period and within discrete progenitor lineages is unknown. Therefore, we selectively removed Cdk5 from nestin-expressing cells and their progeny by giving transgenic mice (nestin-CreERT2/R26R-YFP/CDK5(flox/flox) [iCdk5] and nestin-CreERT2/R26R-YFP/CDK5(wt/wt) [WT]) tamoxifen during postnatal (P) days P2-P 4 or P7-P 9, and quantified and phenotyped recombined (YFP+) cells at P14 and P21. When Cdk5 gene deletion was induced in nestin-expressing cells and their progeny during the wave of cortical and hippocampal gliogenesis (P2-P4), significantly fewer YFP+ cells were evident in the cortex, corpus callosum, and hippocampus. Phenotypic analysis revealed the cortical decrease was due to fewer YFP+ astrocytes and oligodendrocytes, with a slightly earlier influence seen in oligodendrocytes vs. astrocytes. This effect on cortical gliogenesis was accompanied by a decrease in YFP+ proliferative cells, but not increased cell death. The role of Cdk5 in gliogenesis appeared specific to the early postnatal period, as induction of recombination at a later postnatal period (P7-P9) resulted in no change YFP+ cell number in the cortex or hippocampus. Thus, glial cells that originate from nestin-expressing cells and their progeny require Cdk5 for proper development during the early postnatal period.
Project description:Infusion of transforming growth factor alpha (TGFalpha) into the adult dopamine (DA)-depleted striatum generates a local population of nestin(+)/proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA)(+) newborn cells. The precise origin and fate of these new striatal cells are unknown, making it difficult to direct them for neural repair in Parkinson's disease. Experiments in rats using 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine (BrdU) to label neural progenitor cells showed that during TGFalpha infusion in the DA-depleted striatum, newborn striatal cells formed a homogeneous population of precursors, with the majority coexpressing nestin, Mash1, Olig2, and epidermal growth factor receptor, consistent with the phenotype of multipotent C cells. Upon TGFalpha pump withdrawal, the subventricular zone (SVZ) was repopulated by neuroblasts. Strikingly, during this period, numerous clusters of doublecortin(+)/polysialylated neuronal cell adhesion molecule(+) neuroblasts were also produced in the ipsilateral medial striatum. In parallel, striatal BrdU(+)/glial fibrillary acidic protein(+) astrocytes were generated, but no BrdU(+)/O4(+)/CNPase(+) oligodendrocytes were generated. Infusion of the neuralizing bone morphogenetic protein antagonist noggin after TGFalpha pump withdrawal increased the neuroblast-to-astrocyte ratio among new striatal cells by blocking glial differentiation but did not alter striatal neurogenesis. At no time or treatment condition were differentiated neurons generated, including DA neurons. Using 6-hydroxydopamine-lesioned nestin-CreER(T2)/R26R-YFP mice that allow genetic fate-mapping of SVZ nestin(+) cells, we show that TGFalpha-generated striatal cells originate from SVZ nestin(+) precursors that confirmed data from the rats on the phenotype and fate of striatal nestin(+)/PCNA(+) cells upon TGFalpha withdrawal. This work demonstrates that a large population of multipotent striatal C-like cells can be generated in the DA-depleted striatum that do not spontaneously differentiate into DA neurons.
Project description:To establish a genetic tool for manipulating the neural stem/progenitor cell (NSC) lineage in a temporally controlled manner, we generated a transgenic mouse line carrying an NSC-specific nestin promoter/enhancer expressing a fusion protein encoding Cre recombinase coupled to modified estrogen receptor ligand-binding domain (ER(T2)). In the background of the Cre reporter mouse strain Rosa26(lacZ), we show that the fusion CreER(T2) recombinase is normally silent but can be activated by the estrogen analog tamoxifen both in utero, in infancy, and in adulthood. As assayed by beta-galactosidase activity in embryonic stages, tamoxifen activates Cre recombinase exclusively in neurogenic cells and their progeny. This property persists in adult mice, but Cre activity can also be detected in granule neurons and Bergmann glia at the anterior of the cerebellum, in piriform cortex, optic nerve, and some peripheral ganglia. No obvious Cre activity was observed outside of the nervous system. Thus, the nestin regulated inducible Cre mouse line provides a powerful tool for studying the physiology and lineage of NSCs.
Project description:Whether or not oocyte regeneration occurs in adult life has been the subject of much debate. In this study, we have traced germ-cell lineages over the life spans of three genetically modified mouse models and provide direct evidence that oogenesis does not originate from any germline stem cells (GSCs) in adult mice. By selective ablation of all existing oocytes in a Gdf9-Cre;iDTR mouse model, we have demonstrated that no new germ cells were ever regenerated under pathological conditions. By in vivo tracing of oocytes and follicles in the Sohlh1-CreER(T2);R26R and Foxl2-CreER(T2);mT/mG mouse models, respectively, we have shown that the initial pool of oocytes is the only source of germ cells throughout the life span of the mice and that no adult oogenesis ever occurs under physiological conditions. Our findings clearly show that there are no GSCs that contribute to adult oogenesis in mice and that the initial pool of oocytes formed in early life is the only source of germ cells throughout the entire reproductive life span.
Project description:Previous studies showed that Tctex-1 immunoreactivity is selectively enriched in the germinal zones of adult brain. In this report we identify a regulatory region of the Tctex-1 gene that is capable of directing transgenic expression of green fluorescent protein (GFP) reporter that recapitulates the spatial and temporal expression pattern of endogenous Tctex-1. This construct specifically targeted expression to the nestin(+)/Pax6(+)/GLAST(+) radial glial cells and Tbr2(+) intermediate progenitors when the reporter construct was delivered to developing mouse neocortex via in utero electroporation. Characterization of mice transgenically expressing GFP under the same regulatory element showed that the GFP expression is faithful to endogenous Tctex-1 at the subgranular zone (SGZ) of dentate gyrus, ventricular/subventricular zone of lateral ventricles, and ependymal layer of 3rd ventricle of adult brains. Immunolocalization and bromodeoxyuridine incorporation studies of adult SGZ in four independent mouse lines showed that Tctex-1:GFP reporter selectively marks nestin(+)/GFAP(+)/Sox2(+) neural stem-like cells in two mouse lines (4 and 13). In two other mouse lines (17 and 18), Tctex-1:GFP is selectively expressed in Type-2 and Type-3 transient amplifying progenitors and a small subset of young neuronal progeny. The P/E-Tctex-1 reporter mouse studies independently confirmed the specific enrichment of Tctex-1 at adult SGZ stem/progenitor cells. Furthermore, these studies supported the notion that an analogous transcriptional program may be used to regulate neurogenesis in embryonic cerebral cortex and adult hippocampus. Finally, the genomic sequences and the reporter mouse lines described here provide useful experimental tools to advance adult neural stem cell research.
Project description:The molecular identification of adult hepatic stem/progenitor cells has been hampered by the lack of truly specific markers. To isolate putative adult liver progenitor cells, we used cell surface-marking antibodies, including MIC1-1C3, to isolate subpopulations of liver cells from normal adult mice or those undergoing an oval cell response and tested their capacity to form bilineage colonies in vitro. Robust clonogenic activity was found to be restricted to a subset of biliary duct cells antigenically defined as CD45(-)/CD11b(-)/CD31(-)/MIC1-1C3(+)/CD133(+)/CD26(-), at a frequency of one of 34 or one of 25 in normal or oval cell injury livers, respectively. Gene expression analyses revealed that Sox9 was expressed exclusively in this subpopulation of normal liver cells and was highly enriched relative to other cell fractions in injured livers. In vivo lineage tracing using Sox9creER(T2)-R26R(YFP) mice revealed that the cells that proliferate during progenitor-driven liver regeneration are progeny of Sox9-expressing precursors. A comprehensive array-based comparison of gene expression in progenitor-enriched and progenitor-depleted cells from both normal and DDC (3,5-diethoxycarbonyl-1,4-dihydrocollidine or diethyl1,4-dihydro-2,4,6-trimethyl-3,5-pyridinedicarboxylate)-treated livers revealed new potential regulators of liver progenitors.