Human neural stem cells induce functional myelination in mice with severe dysmyelination.
ABSTRACT: Shiverer-immunodeficient (Shi-id) mice demonstrate defective myelination in the central nervous system (CNS) and significant ataxia by 2 to 3 weeks of life. Expanded, banked human neural stem cells (HuCNS-SCs) were transplanted into three sites in the brains of neonatal or juvenile Shi-id mice, which were asymptomatic or showed advanced hypomyelination, respectively. In both groups of mice, HuCNS-SCs engrafted and underwent preferential differentiation into oligodendrocytes. These oligodendrocytes generated compact myelin with normalized nodal organization, ultrastructure, and axon conduction velocities. Myelination was equivalent in neonatal and juvenile mice by quantitative histopathology and high-field ex vivo magnetic resonance imaging, which, through fractional anisotropy, revealed CNS myelination 5 to 7 weeks after HuCNS-SC transplantation. Transplanted HuCNS-SCs generated functional myelin in the CNS, even in animals with severe symptomatic hypomyelination, suggesting that this strategy may be useful for treating dysmyelinating diseases.
Project description:The transcriptional program that controls oligodendrocyte maturation and central nervous system (CNS) myelination has not been fully characterized. In this study, we use high-throughput RNA sequencing to analyze how the loss of a key transcription factor, zinc finger protein 191 (ZFP191), results in oligodendrocyte development abnormalities and CNS hypomyelination. Using a previously described mutant mouse that is deficient in ZFP191 protein expression (Zfp191(null)), we demonstrate that key transcripts are reduced in the whole brain as well as within oligodendrocyte lineage cells cultured in vitro To determine whether the loss of myelin seen in Zfp191(null) mice contributes indirectly to these perturbations, we also examined the transcriptome of a well-characterized mouse model of hypomyelination, in which the myelin structural protein myelin basic protein (MBP) is deficient. Interestingly, Mbp(shi) (shiverer) mice had far fewer transcripts perturbed with the loss of myelin alone. This study demonstrates that the loss of ZFP191 disrupts expression of genes involved in oligodendrocyte maturation and myelination, largely independent from the loss of myelin. Nevertheless, hypomyelination in both mouse mutants results in the perturbation of lipid synthesis pathways, suggesting that oligodendrocytes have a feedback system that allows them to regulate myelin lipid synthesis depending on their myelinating state. The data presented are of potential clinical relevance as the human orthologs of the Zfp191 and MBP genes reside on a region of Chromosome 18 that is deleted in childhood leukodystrophies.
Project description:Pelizaeus-Merzbacher disease (PMD) is a rare leukodystrophy caused by mutation of the proteolipid protein 1 gene. Defective oligodendrocytes in PMD fail to myelinate axons, causing global neurological dysfunction. Human central nervous system stem cells (HuCNS-SCs) can develop into oligodendrocytes and confer structurally normal myelin when transplanted into a hypomyelinating mouse model. A 1-year, open-label phase-1 study was undertaken to evaluate safety and to detect evidence of myelin formation after HuCNS-SC transplantation. Allogeneic HuCNS-SCs were surgically implanted into the frontal lobe white matter in four male subjects with an early-onset severe form of PMD. Immunosuppression was administered for 9 months. Serial neurological evaluations, developmental assessments, and cranial magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and MR spectroscopy, including high-angular resolution diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), were performed at baseline and after transplantation. The neurosurgical procedure, immunosuppression regimen, and HuCNS-SC transplantation were well tolerated. Modest gains in neurological function were observed in three of the four subjects. No clinical or radiological adverse effects were directly attributed to the donor cells. Reduced T1 and T2 relaxation times were observed in the regions of transplantation 9 months after the procedure in the three subjects. Normalized DTI showed increasing fractional anisotropy and reduced radial diffusivity, consistent with myelination, in the region of transplantation compared to control white matter regions remote to the transplant sites. These phase 1 findings indicate a favorable safety profile for HuCNS-SCs in subjects with PMD. The MRI results suggest durable cell engraftment and donor-derived myelin in the transplanted host white matter.
Project description:In the vertebrate nervous system, myelination of axons for rapid impulse propagation requires the synthesis of large amounts of lipids and proteins by oligodendrocytes and Schwann cells. Myelin membranes are thought to be cell-autonomously assembled by these axon-associated glial cells. Here, we report the surprising finding that in normal brain development, a substantial fraction of the lipids incorporated into central nervous system (CNS) myelin are contributed by astrocytes. The oligodendrocyte-specific inactivation of sterol regulatory element-binding protein (SREBP) cleavage-activating protein (SCAP), an essential coactivator of the transcription factor SREBP and thus of lipid biosynthesis, resulted in significantly retarded CNS myelination; however, myelin appeared normal at 3 months of age. Importantly, embryonic deletion of the same gene in astrocytes, or in astrocytes and oligodendrocytes, caused a persistent hypomyelination, as did deletion from astrocytes during postnatal development. Moreover, when astroglial lipid synthesis was inhibited, oligodendrocytes began incorporating circulating lipids into myelin membranes. Indeed, a lipid-enriched diet was sufficient to rescue hypomyelination in these conditional mouse mutants. We conclude that lipid synthesis by oligodendrocytes is heavily supplemented by astrocytes in vivo and that horizontal lipid flux is a major feature of normal brain development and myelination.
Project description:Myelin formation involves the outgrowth of an oligodendrocyte cell process that can be regarded as a giant lamellipodium because it is an actively growing structure with extruded cytoplasm. The actin cytoskeleton is critical to morphogenesis, but little is known about regulation of actin dynamics in oligodendrocytes. Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein family verprolin homologous (WAVE) proteins mediate lamellipodia formation; thus, we asked whether these proteins function in oligodendrocyte process formation and myelination. Here, we show that WAVE1 is expressed by oligodendrocytes and localizes to the lamella leading edge where actin polymerization is actively regulated. CNS WAVE1 expression increases at the onset of myelination. Expression of dominant-negative WAVE1 impaired process outgrowth and lamellipodia formation in cultured oligodendrocytes. Similarly, oligodendrocytes isolated from mice lacking WAVE1 had fewer processes compared with controls, whereas neurons and astrocytes exhibited normal morphology. In white matter of WAVE1-/- mice, we found regional hypomyelination in the corpus callosum and to a lesser extent in the optic nerve. In optic nerve from WAVE1-/- mice, there were fewer nodes of Ranvier but nodal morphology was normal, implicating a defect in myelin formation. Our in vitro findings support a developmentally dynamic and cell-autonomous role for WAVE1 in regulating process formation in oligodendrocytes. Additionally, WAVE1 function during CNS myelination appears to be linked to regional cues. Although its loss can be compensated for in many CNS regions, WAVE1 is clearly required for normal amounts of myelin to form in corpus callosum and optic nerve. Together, these data demonstrate a role for WAVE1 in oligodendrocyte morphogenesis and myelination.
Project description:Hypomyelination in the central nerves system (CNS) is one of the most obviously pathological features in Niemann-Pick Type C disease (NPC), which is a rare neurodegenerative disorder caused by mutations in the NPC intracellular cholesterol transporter 1 or 2 (Npc1 or Npc2). Npc1 plays key roles in both neurons and oligodendrocytes during myelination, however, the linkage between the disturbed cholesterol transport and inhibited myelination is unrevealed. In this study, mass spectrometry (MS)-based differential quantitative proteomics was applied to compare protein composition in the corpus callosum between wild type (WT) and NPC mice. In total, 3009 proteins from both samples were identified, including myelin structural proteins, neuronal proteins, and astrocyte-specific proteins. In line to hypomyelination, our data revealed downregulation of myelin structural and indispensable proteins in Npc1 mutant mice. Notably, the reduced ceramide synthase 2 (Cers2), UDP glycosyltransferase 8 (Ugt8), and glycolipid transfer protein (Gltp) indicate the altered sphingolipid metabolism in the disease and the involvement of Gltp in myelination. The identification of most reported myelin structural proteins and proteins from other cell types advocates the use of the corpus callosum to investigate proteins in different cell types that regulate myelination.
Project description:In the central nervous system (CNS), oligodendrocytes myelinate multiple axons; in the peripheral nervous system (PNS), Schwann cells (SCs) myelinate a single axon. Why are the myelinating potentials of these glia so fundamentally different? Here, we find that loss of Fbxw7, an E3 ubiquitin ligase component, enhances the myelinating potential of SCs. Fbxw7 mutant SCs make thicker myelin sheaths and sometimes appear to myelinate multiple axons in a fashion reminiscent of oligodendrocytes. Several Fbxw7 mutant phenotypes are due to dysregulation of mTOR; however, the remarkable ability of mutant SCs to ensheathe multiple axons is independent of mTOR signaling. This indicates distinct roles for Fbxw7 in SC biology including modes of axon interactions previously thought to fundamentally distinguish myelinating SCs from oligodendrocytes. Our data reveal unexpected plasticity in the myelinating potential of SCs, which may have important implications for our understanding of both PNS and CNS myelination and myelin repair.
Project description:Myelination is essential for proper functioning of the CNS. In this study, we have identified a mouse mutation, designated furue, which causes tremors and hypomyelination in the CNS, particularly in the spinal cord, but not in the sciatic nerve of the PNS. In the spinal cord of the furue mice, myelination of small-diameter axons was dramatically reduced, and differentiation of oligodendrocytes, the myelin-forming cells in the CNS, was inhibited. We subsequently found that the furue mutation was associated with a transgene insertion into the teneurin-4 (Ten-4, Ten-m4/Odz4) gene, encoding a transmembrane protein of unknown function. Ten-4 was strongly expressed in the spinal cord of wild-type mice and was induced during normal oligodendrocyte differentiation. In contrast, in the furue mice, the expression of Ten-4 was absent. Differentiation and cellular process formation of oligodendrocytes were inhibited in primary cell culture from the furue mice. Cell differentiation and process formation were also inhibited in the oligodendrocyte progenitor cell line CG-4 after suppression of Ten-4 expression by shRNA. Furthermore, Ten-4 positively regulated focal adhesion kinase, an essential signaling molecule for oligodendrocyte process formation and myelination of small-diameter axons. These findings suggest that Ten-4 is a novel regulator of oligodendrocyte differentiation and that it plays a critical role in the myelination of small-diameter axons in the CNS.
Project description:Myelination, the process by which oligodendrocytes form the myelin sheath around axons, is key to axonal signal transduction and related motor function in the central nervous system (CNS). Aging is characterized by degenerative changes in the myelin sheath, although the molecular underpinnings of normal and aberrant myelination remain incompletely understood. Here we report that axon myelination and related motor function are dependent on BubR1, a mitotic checkpoint protein that has been linked to progeroid phenotypes when expressed at low levels and healthy lifespan when overabundant. We found that oligodendrocyte progenitor cell proliferation and oligodendrocyte density is markedly reduced in mutant mice with low amounts of BubR1 (BubR1H/H mice), causing axonal hypomyelination in both brain and spinal cord. Expression of essential myelin-related genes such as MBP and PLP1 was significantly reduced in these tissues. Consistent with defective myelination, BubR1H/H mice exhibited various motor deficits, including impaired motor strength, coordination, and balance, irregular gait patterns and reduced locomotor activity. Collectively, these data suggest that BubR1 is a key determinant of oligodendrocyte production and function and provide a molecular entry point to understand age-related degenerative changes in axon myelination.
Project description:Salla disease and infantile sialic acid storage disease are autosomal recessive lysosomal storage disorders caused by mutations in the gene encoding sialin, a membrane protein that transports free sialic acid out of the lysosome after it is cleaved from sialoglycoconjugates undergoing degradation. Accumulation of sialic acid in lysosomes defines these disorders, and the clinical phenotype is characterized by neurodevelopmental defects, including severe CNS hypomyelination. In this study, we used a sialin-deficient mouse to address how loss of sialin leads to the defect in myelination. Behavioral analysis of the sialin(-/-) mouse demonstrates poor coordination, seizures, and premature death. Analysis by histology, electron microscopy, and Western blotting reveals a decrease in myelination of the CNS but normal neuronal cytoarchitecture and normal myelination of the PNS. To investigate potential mechanisms underlying CNS hypomyelination, we studied myelination and oligodendrocyte development in optic nerves. We found reduced numbers of myelinated axons in optic nerves from sialin(-/-) mice, but the myelin that was present appeared grossly normal. Migration and density of oligodendrocyte precursor cells were normal; however, a marked decrease in the number of postmitotic oligodendrocytes and an associated increase in the number of apoptotic cells during the later stages of myelinogenesis were observed. These findings suggest that a defect in maturation of cells in the oligodendrocyte lineage leads to increased apoptosis and underlies the myelination defect associated with sialin loss.
Project description:Oligodendrocytes in the central nervous system (CNS) produce myelin sheaths that insulate axons to ensure fast propagation of action potentials. beta1 integrins regulate the myelination of peripheral nerves, but their function during the myelination of axonal tracts in the CNS is unclear. Here we show that genetically modified mice lacking beta1 integrins in the CNS present a deficit in myelination but no defects in the development of the oligodendroglial lineage. Instead, in vitro data show that beta1 integrins regulate the outgrowth of myelin sheaths. Oligodendrocytes derived from mutant mice are unable to efficiently extend myelin sheets and fail to activate AKT (also known as AKT1), a kinase that is crucial for axonal ensheathment. The inhibition of PTEN, a negative regulator of AKT, or the expression of a constitutively active form of AKT restores myelin outgrowth in cultured beta1-deficient oligodendrocytes. Our data suggest that beta1 integrins play an instructive role in CNS myelination by promoting myelin wrapping in a process that depends on AKT.