Gene regulatory network analysis reveals differences in site-specific cell fate determination in mammalian brain.
ABSTRACT: 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: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: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: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:Postnatal and adult subventricular zone (SVZ) neurogenesis is believed to be primarily controlled by neural stem cell (NSC)-intrinsic mechanisms, interacting with extracellular and niche-driven cues. Although behavioral experiments and disease states have suggested possibilities for higher level inputs, it is unknown whether neural activity patterns from discrete circuits can directly regulate SVZ neurogenesis. We identified a previously unknown population of choline acetyltransferase (ChAT)(+) neurons residing in the rodent SVZ neurogenic niche. These neurons showed morphological and functional differences from neighboring striatal counterparts and released acetylcholine locally in an activity-dependent fashion. Optogenetic inhibition and stimulation of subependymal ChAT(+) neurons in vivo indicated that they were necessary and sufficient to control neurogenic proliferation. Furthermore, whole-cell recordings and biochemical experiments revealed direct SVZ NSC responses to local acetylcholine release, synergizing with fibroblast growth factor receptor activation to increase neuroblast production. These results reveal an unknown gateway connecting SVZ neurogenesis to neuronal activity-dependent control and suggest possibilities for modulating neuroregenerative capacities in health and disease.
Project description:In the central nervous system (CNS) of adult mammals, neurogenesis occurs in only two restricted areas, the subgranular zone (SGZ) of the hippocampus and the subventricular zone (SVZ). Isolation of multipotent progenitor cells from other CNS regions suggests that their neurogenic potential is dictated by local environmental cues. Here, we report that astrocytes in areas outside of the SGZ and SVZ of adult mice express high levels of ephrin-A2 and -A3, which present an inhibitory niche, negatively regulating neural progenitor cell growth. Adult mice lacking both ephrin-A2 and -A3 display active ongoing neurogenesis throughout the CNS. These findings suggest that neural cell replacement therapies for neurodegeneration or injury in the adult CNS may be achieved by manipulating ephrin signaling pathways.
Project description:Hypoxic ischemia (HI) is an acute brain threat across all age groups. Therapeutic hypothermia ameliorates resulting injury in neonates but its side effects prevent routine use in adults. Hypothermia up-regulates a small protein subset that includes RNA-binding motif protein 3 (RBM3), which is neuroprotective under stressful conditions. Here we show how RBM3 stimulates neuronal differentiation and inhibits HI-induced apoptosis in the two areas of persistent adult neurogenesis, the subventricular zone (SVZ) and the subgranular zone (SGZ), while promoting neural stem/progenitor cell (NSPC) proliferation after HI injury only in the SGZ. RBM3 interacts with IGF2 mRNA binding protein 2 (IMP2), elevates its expression and thereby stimulates IGF2 release in SGZ but not SVZ-NSPCs. In summary, we describe niche-dependent regulation of neurogenesis after adult HI injury via the novel RBM3-IMP2-IGF2 signaling pathway.
Project description:Adult neural stem cells (NSCs) reside in specialized niches, which hold a balanced number of NSCs, their progeny, and other cells. How niche capacity is regulated to contain a specific number of NSCs remains unclear. Here, we show that ependyma-derived matricellular protein CCN1 (cellular communication network factor 1) negatively regulates niche capacity and NSC number in the adult ventricular-subventricular zone (V-SVZ). Adult ependyma-specific deletion of Ccn1 transiently enhanced NSC proliferation and reduced neuronal differentiation in mice, increasing the numbers of NSCs and NSC units. Although proliferation of NSCs and neurogenesis seen in Ccn1 knock-out mice eventually returned to normal, the expanded NSC pool was maintained in the V-SVZ until old age. Inhibition of EGFR signaling prevented expansion of the NSC population observed in Ccn1 KO mice. Thus, ependyma-derived CCN1 restricts NSC expansion in the adult brain to maintain the proper niche capacity of the V-SVZ.
Project description:Adult neurogenesis is important for the development of regenerative therapies for human diseases of the central nervous system (CNS) through the recruitment of adult neural stem cells (NSCs). NSCs are characterized by the capacity to generate neurons, astrocytes, and oligodendrocytes. To identify key factors involved in manipulating the adult NSC neurogenic fate thus has crucial implications for the clinical application. Here, we report that BAF45D is expressed in the subgranular zone (SGZ) of the dentate gyrus, the subventricular zone (SVZ) of the lateral ventricle, and the central canal (CC) of the adult spinal cord. Coexpression of BAF45D with glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), a radial glial like cell marker protein, was identified in the SGZ, the SVZ and the adult spinal cord CC. Quantitative analysis data indicate that BAF45D is preferentially expressed in the neurogenic zone of the LV and the neurons of the adult CNS. Furthermore, during the neuroectoderm differentiation of H9 cells, BAF45D is required for the expression of PAX6, a neuroectoderm determinant that is also known to regulate the self-renewal and neuronal fate specification of adult neural stem/progenitor cells. Together, our results may shed new light on the expression of BAF45D in the adult neurogenic zones and the contribution of BAF45D to early neural development.
Project description:AIMS:Neurogenesis in the postnatal human brain occurs in two neurogenic niches; the subventricular zone (SVZ) in the wall of the lateral ventricles and the subgranular zone (SGZ) of the hippocampus. The extent to which this physiological process continues into adulthood is an area of ongoing research. This study aimed to characterize markers of cell proliferation and assess the efficacy of antibodies used to identify neurogenesis in both neurogenic niches of the human brain. METHODS:Cell proliferation and neurogenesis were simultaneously examined in the SVZ and SGZ of 23 individuals aged 0.2-59 years, using immunohistochemistry and immunofluorescence in combination with unbiased stereology. RESULTS:There was a marked decline in proliferating cells in both neurogenic niches in early infancy with levels reaching those seen in the adjacent parenchyma by 4 and 1 year of age, in the SVZ and SGZ, respectively. Furthermore, the phenotype of these proliferating cells in both niches changed with age. In infants, proliferating cells co-expressed neural progenitor (epidermal growth factor receptor), immature neuronal (doublecortin and beta III tubulin) and oligodendrocytic (Olig2) markers. However, after 3 years of age, microglia were the only proliferating cells found in either niche or in the adjacent parenchyma. CONCLUSIONS:This study demonstrates a marked decline in neurogenesis in both neurogenic niches in early childhood, and that the sparse proliferating cells in the adult brain are largely microglia.
Project description: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.