Evidence for newly generated interneurons in the basolateral amygdala of adult mice.
ABSTRACT: New neurons are continually generated from the resident populations of precursor cells in selective niches of the adult mammalian brain such as the hippocampal dentate gyrus and the olfactory bulb. However, whether such cells are present in the adult amygdala, and their neurogenic capacity, is not known. Using the neurosphere assay, we demonstrate that a small number of precursor cells, the majority of which express Achaete-scute complex homolog 1 (Ascl1), are present in the basolateral amygdala (BLA) of the adult mouse. Using neuron-specific Thy1-YFP transgenic mice, we show that YFP+ cells in BLA-derived neurospheres have a neuronal morphology, co-express the neuronal marker ?III-tubulin, and generate action potentials, confirming their neuronal phenotype. In vivo, we demonstrate the presence of newly generated BrdU-labeled cells in the adult BLA, and show that a proportion of these cells co-express the immature neuronal marker doublecortin (DCX). Furthermore, we reveal that a significant proportion of GFP+ neurons (~23%) in the BLA are newly generated (BrdU+) in DCX-GFP mice, and using whole-cell recordings in acute slices we demonstrate that the GFP+ cells display electrophysiological properties that are characteristic of interneurons. Using retrovirus-GFP labeling as well as the Ascl1CreERT2 mouse line, we further confirm that the precursor cells within the BLA give rise to mature and functional interneurons that persist in the BLA for at least 8 weeks after their birth. Contextual fear conditioning has no effect on the number of neurospheres or BrdU-labeled cells in the BLA, but produces an increase in hippocampal cell proliferation. These results demonstrate that neurogenic precursor cells are present in the adult BLA, and generate functional interneurons, but also show that their activity is not regulated by an amygdala-dependent learning paradigm.
Project description:Neurogenesis persists in the adult hippocampus, where several thousand neurons are born every day. Most of the newly generated cells are eliminated by apoptosis, possibly because of their failure to integrate properly into neural networks. The BH3-only proteins Bim and Puma have been shown to mediate trophic factor withdrawal- and anoikis-induced apoptosis in various systems. We therefore determined their impact on proliferation, survival, and differentiation of adult-generated cells in the mouse hippocampus using gene-deficient mice. Wild-type, bim-, and puma-deficient mice showed similar rates of precursor cell proliferation, as evidenced by 5-bromo-2-deoxyuridine (BrdU)-incorporation. Deficiency in either bim or puma significantly increased the survival of adult-born cells in the dentate gyrus (DG) after 7 days. Consistently, we detected increased numbers of doublecortin (DCX)-positive and fewer terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick end-labelled-positive cells in the DG of bim- and puma-deficient mice. Bim and puma deficiency did not change early markers of neuronal differentiation, as evidenced by BrdU/DCX double-labelling. However, BrdU/NeuN double-labelling revealed that deficiency of bim, but not puma, accelerated the differentiation of newly generated cells into a neuronal phenotype. Our data show that Bim and Puma are prominently involved in the regulation of neuronal progenitor cell survival in the adult DG, but also suggest that Bim has an additional role in neuronal differentiation of adult-born neural precursor cells.
Project description:Doublecortin (DCX)-like (DCL) is a microtubule (MT)-associated protein (MAP) that is highly homologous to DCX and is crucially involved in embryonic neurogenesis. Here, we have investigated the in vivo role of DCL in adult hippocampal neurogenesis by generating transgenic mice producing inducible shRNA molecules that specifically target DCL but no other splice variants produced by the DCLK gene. DCL knock-down (DCL-KD) resulted in a significant increase in the number of proliferating BrdU+ cells in the subgranular zone (SGZ) 1 d after BrdU administration. However, the number of surviving newborn adult NeuN+/BrdU+ neurons are significantly decreased when inspected four?weeks after BrdU administration suggesting a blockade of neuronal differentiation after DCL-KD. In line with this, we observed an increase in the number of proliferating cells, but a significant decrease in postmitotic DCX+ cells that are characterized by long dendrites spanning all dentate gyrus layers. Behavioral analysis showed that DCL-KD strongly extended the escape latency of mice on the circular hole board (CHB) but did not affect other aspects of this behavioral task. Together, our results indicate a function for DCL in adult neurogenesis and in the motivation to escape from an aversive environment. In contrast to DCX, its pivotal role in the maturation of postmitotic neuronal progenitor cells (NPCs) marks DCL as a genuine adult neurogenesis indicator in the hippocampus.
Project description:A considerable number of cells expressing typical immature neuronal markers including doublecortin (DCX+) are present around layer II in the cerebral cortex of young and adult guinea pigs and other larger mammals, and their origin and biological implication await further characterization. We show here in young adult guinea pigs that these DCX+ cells are accompanied by in situ cell division around the superficial cortical layers mostly in layer I, but they co-express proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) and an early neuronal fate determining factor, PAX6. A small number of these DCX+ cells also colocalize with BrdU following administration of this mitotic indicator. Cranial X-ray irradiation causes a decline of DCX+ cells around layer II, and novel environmental exploration induces c-Fos expression among these cells in several neocortical areas. Together, these data are compatible with a notion that DCX+ cortical neurons around layer II might derive from proliferable neuronal precursors around layer I in young adult guinea pig cerebrum, and that these cells might be modulated by experience under physiological conditions.
Project description:Neurogenesis in the adult brain is largely restricted to the subependymal zone (SVZ) of the lateral ventricle, olfactory bulb (OB) and the dentate subgranular zone, and survival of adult-born cells in the OB is influenced by factors including sensory experience. We examined, in mice, whether survival of adult-born cells is also regulated by the rate of precursor proliferation in the SVZ. Precursor proliferation was decreased by depleting the SVZ of dopamine after lesioning dopamine neurons in the substantia nigra compacta with 6-hydroxydopamine. Subsequently, we examined the effect of reduced SVZ proliferation on the generation, migration and survival of neuroblasts and mature adult-born cells in the SVZ, rostral migratory stream (RMS) and OB. Proliferating cells in the SVZ, measured by 5-bromo-2-deoxyuridine (BrdU) injected 2 hours prior to death or by immunoreactivity against Ki67, were reduced by 47% or 36%, respectively, 7 days after dopamine depletion, and by 29% or 31% 42 days after dopamine depletion, compared to sham-treated animals. Neuroblast generation in the SVZ and their migration along the RMS were not affected, neither 7 nor 42 days after the 6-hydroxydopamine injection, since the number of doublecortin-immunoreactive neuroblasts in the SVZ and RMS, as well as the number of neuronal nuclei-immunoreactive cells in the OB, were stable compared to control. However, survival analysis 15 days after 6-hydroxydopamine and 6 days after BrdU injections showed that the number of BrdU+ cells in the SVZ was 70% higher. Also, 42 days after 6-hydroxydopamine and 30 days after BrdU injections, we found an 82% increase in co-labeled BrdU+/?-aminobutyric acid-immunoreactive cell bodies in the granular cell layer, while double-labeled BrdU+/tyrosine hydroxylase-immunoreactive cell bodies in the glomerular layer increased by 148%. We conclude that the number of OB interneurons following reduced SVZ proliferation is maintained through an increased survival of adult-born precursor cells, neuroblasts and interneurons.
Project description:Neurogenesis in the adult hippocampus plays a major role in cognitive ability of animals including learning and memory. Korean red ginseng (KRG) has long been known as a medicinal herb with the potential to improve learning and memory; however, the mechanisms are still elusive. Therefore, we evaluated whether KRG can promote cognitive function and enhance neurogenesis in the hippocampus. Eight-week-old male C57BL/6 mice received 50 mg/kg of 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine (BrdU) intraperitoneally and 100 mg/kg of KRG or vehicle orally once a day for 14 days. Pole, Rotarod and Morris water maze tests were performed and the brains were collected after the last behavioral test. Changes in the numbers of BrdU- and BrdU/doublecortin (DCX; a marker for neuronal precursor cells and immature neurons)-positive cells in the dentate gyrus and the gene expression of proliferating cell nuclear antigen (a marker for cell differentiation), cerebral dopamine neurotrophic factor and ciliary neurotrophic factor in the hippocampus were then investigated. KRG-treated mice came down the pole significantly faster and stood on the rotarod longer than vehicle-treated mice. The Morris water maze test showed that KRG administration enhanced the learning and memory abilities significantly. KRG also significantly increased BrdU- and BrdU/DCX-positive cells in the dentate gyrus as well as the proliferating cell nuclear antigen, cerebral dopamine neurotrophic factor and ciliary neurotrophic factor mRNA expression levels in the hippocampus compared to vehicle. Administration of KRG promotes learning and memory abilities, possibly by enhancing hippocampal neurogenesis. This study was approved by the Pusan National University Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (approval No. PNU-2016-1071) on January 19, 2016.
Project description:Cell lineage in the adult hippocampus comprises multipotent and neuron-committed progenitors. In the present work, we fate-mapped neuronal progenitors using Dcx-CreERT2 and CAG-CAT-EGFP double-transgenic mice (cDCX/EGFP). We show that 3 days after tamoxifen-mediated recombination in cDCX/EGFP adult mice, GFP+ cells in the dentate gyrus (DG) co-expresses DCX and about 6% of these cells are proliferative neuronal progenitors. After 30 days, 20% of GFP+ generated from these progenitors differentiate into GFAP+ astrocytes. Unilateral intrahippocampal administration of the chemoconvulsants kainic acid (KA) or pilocarpine (PL) triggered epileptiform discharges and led to a significant increase in the number of GFP+ cells in both ipsi and contralateral DG. However, while PL favored the differentiation of neurons in both ipsi- and contralateral sides, KA stimulated neurogenesis only in the contralateral side. In the ipsilateral side, KA injection led to an unexpected increase of astrogliogenesis in the Dcx-lineage. We also observed a small number of GFP+/GFAP+ cells displaying radial-glia morphology ipsilaterally 3 days after KA administration, suggesting that some Dcx-progenitors could regress to a multipotent stage. The boosted neurogenesis and astrogliogenesis observed in the Dcx-lineage following chemoconvulsants administration correlated, respectively, with preservation or degeneration of the parvalbuminergic plexus in the DG. Increased inflammatory response, by contrast, was observed both in the DG showing increased neurogenesis or astrogliogenesis. Altogether, our data support the view that cell lineage progression in the adult hippocampus is not unidirectional and could be modulated by local network activity and GABA-mediated signaling.
Project description:Neuronal synchrony in the basolateral amygdala (BLA) is critical for emotional behavior. Coordinated theta-frequency oscillations between the BLA and the hippocampus and precisely timed integration of salient sensory stimuli in the BLA are involved in fear conditioning. We characterized GABAergic interneuron types of the BLA and determined their contribution to shaping these network activities. Using in vivo recordings in rats combined with the anatomical identification of neurons, we found that the firing of BLA interneurons associated with network activities was cell type specific. The firing of calbindin-positive interneurons targeting dendrites was precisely theta-modulated, but other cell types were heterogeneously modulated, including parvalbumin-positive basket cells. Salient sensory stimuli selectively triggered axo-axonic cells firing and inhibited firing of a disctinct projecting interneuron type. Thus, GABA is released onto BLA principal neurons in a time-, domain-, and sensory-specific manner. These specific synaptic actions likely cooperate to promote amygdalo-hippocampal synchrony involved in emotional memory formation.
Project description:Background:Cranial irradiation is a common therapy for the treatment of brain tumors, but unfortunately patients suffer from side effects, particularly cognitive impairment, caused by neurodegenerative and neuroinflammatory mechanisms. Finding a therapeutic agent protecting hippocampal neurons would be beneficial. Fingolimod (FTY720), a sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor modulator approved for multiple sclerosis, is an immunosuppressant and known to enhance proliferation and differentiation of neuronal precursor cells (NPCs). Objectives:To investigate whether pre-treatment with FTY720 protects NPCs in vitro and in vivo from irradiation-induced damage. Methods:Neuronal precursor cells were isolated from E13 C57BL/6 wildtype mice, treated at day 0 of differentiation with FTY720 and irradiated on day 6 with 1 Gy. NPCs were analyzed for markers of cell death (PI, caspase-3), proliferation (Ki67), and differentiation (DCX, ?III-tubulin). Adult C57BL/6 wildtype mice were treated with FTY720 (1 mg/kg) and received a single dose of 6 Gy cranial irradiation at day 7. Using immunohistochemistry, we analyzed DCX and BrdU as markers of neurogenesis and Iba1, GFAP, and CD3 to visualize inflammation in the dentate gyrus (DG) and the subventricular zone (SVZ). B6(Cg)-Tyrc-2J/J DCX-luc reporter mice were used for bioluminescence imaging to evaluate the effect of FTY720 on neurogenesis in the DG and the spinal cord of naïve mice. Results:FTY720 protected NPCs against irradiation induced cell death in vitro. Treatment with FTY720 dose-dependently reduced the number of PI+ cells 24 and 96 h after irradiation without effecting proliferation or neuronal differentiation. In vivo treatment resulted in a significant survival of DCX+ neurons in the DG and the SVZ 4 weeks after irradiation as well as a slight increase of proliferating cells. FTY720 inhibited microglia activation 24 h after X-ray exposure in the DG, while astrocyte activation was unaffected and no lymphocyte infiltrations were found. In naïve mice, FTY720 treatment for 4 weeks had no effect on neurogenesis. Conclusion:FTY720 treatment of NPCs prior to X-ray exposure and of mice prior to cranial irradiation is neuroprotective. No effects on neurogenesis were found.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Lack of appropriate tools and techniques to study fate and functional integration of newly generated neurons has so far hindered understanding of neurogenesis' relevance under physiological and pathological conditions. Current analyses are either dependent on mitotic labeling, for example BrdU-incorporation or retroviral infection, or on the detection of transient immature neuronal markers. Here, we report a transgenic mouse model (DCX-CreERT2) for time-resolved fate analysis of newly generated neurons. This model is based on the expression of a tamoxifen-inducible Cre recombinase under the control of a doublecortin (DCX) promoter, which is specific for immature neuronal cells in the CNS. RESULTS: In the DCX-CreERT2 transgenic mice, expression of CreERT2 was restricted to DCX+ cells. In the CNS of transgenic embryos and adult DCX-CreERT2 mice, tamoxifen administration caused the transient translocation of CreERT2 to the nucleus, allowing for the recombination of loxP-flanked sequences. In our system, tamoxifen administration at E14.5 resulted in reporter gene activation throughout the developing CNS of transgenic embryos. In the adult CNS, neurogenic regions were the primary sites of tamoxifen-induced reporter gene activation. In addition, reporter expression could also be detected outside of neurogenic regions in cells physiologically expressing DCX (e.g. piriform cortex, corpus callosum, hypothalamus). Four weeks after recombination, the vast majority of reporter-expressing cells were found to co-express NeuN, revealing the neuronal fate of DCX+ cells upon maturation. CONCLUSIONS: This first validation demonstrates that our new DCX-CreERT2 transgenic mouse model constitutes a powerful tool to investigate neurogenesis, migration and their long-term fate of neuronal precursors. Moreover, it allows for a targeted activation or deletion of specific genes in neuronal precursors and will thereby contribute to unravel the molecular mechanisms controlling neurogenesis.
Project description:Stroke increases neurogenesis in the adult dentate gyrus in the short term, however, long-term effects at the cellular and functional level are poorly understood. Here we evaluated the impact of an early stroke lesion on neurogenesis and cognitive function of the aging brain. We hypothesized that a stroke disturbs dentate neurogenesis during aging correlate with impaired flexible learning. To address this issue a stroke was induced in 3-month-old C57Bl/6 mice by a middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO). To verify long-term changes of adult neurogenesis the thymidine analogue BrdU (5-Bromo-2'-deoxyuridine) was administrated at different time points during aging. One and half months after BrdU injections learning and memory performance were assessed with a modified version of the Morris water maze (MWM) that includes the re-learning paradigm, as well as hippocampus-dependent and -independent search strategies. After MWM performance mice were transcardially perfused. To further evaluate in detail the stroke-mediated changes on stem- and progenitor cells as well as endogenous proliferation nestin-green-fluorescent protein (GFP) mice were used. Adult nestin-GFP mice received a retroviral vector injection in the hippocampus to evaluate changes in the neuronal morphology. At an age of 20 month the nestin-GFP mice were transcardially perfused after MWM performance and BrdU application 1.5 months later. The early stroke lesion significantly decreased neurogenesis in 7.5- and 9-month-old animals and also endogenous proliferation in the latter group. Furthermore, immature doublecortin (DCX)-positive neurons were reduced in 20-month-old nestin-GFP mice after lesion. All MCAO groups showed an impaired performance in the MWM and mostly relied on hippocampal-independent search strategies. These findings indicate that an early ischemic insult leads to a dramatical decline of neurogenesis during aging that correlates with a premature development of hippocampal-dependent deficits. Our study supports the notion that an early stroke might lead to long-term cognitive deficits as observed in human patients after lesion.