Luteolin induces hippocampal neurogenesis in the Ts65Dn mouse model of Down syndrome.
ABSTRACT: Studies have shown that the natural flavonoid luteolin has neurotrophic activity. In this study, we investigated the effect of luteolin in a mouse model of Down syndrome. Ts65Dn mice, which are frequently used as a model of Down syndrome, were intraperitoneally injected with 10 mg/kg luteolin for 4 consecutive weeks starting at 12 weeks of age. The Morris water maze test was used to evaluate learning and memory abilities, and the novel object recognition test was used to assess recognition memory. Immunohistochemistry was performed for the neural stem cell marker nestin, the astrocyte marker glial fibrillary acidic protein, the immature neuron marker DCX, the mature neuron marker NeuN, and the cell proliferation marker Ki67 in the hippocampal dentate gyrus. Nissl staining was used to observe changes in morphology and to quantify cells in the dentate gyrus. Western blot assay was used to analyze the protein levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and phospho-extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (p-ERK1/2) in the hippocampus. Luteolin improved learning and memory abilities as well as novel object recognition ability, and enhanced the proliferation of neurons in the hippocampal dentate gyrus. Furthermore, luteolin increased expression of nestin and glial fibrillary acidic protein, increased the number of DCX+ neurons in the granular layer and NeuN+ neurons in the subgranular region of the dentate gyrus, and increased the protein levels of BDNF and p-ERK1/2 in the hippocampus. Our findings show that luteolin improves behavioral performance and promotes hippocampal neurogenesis in Ts65Dn mice. Moreover, these effects might be associated with the activation of the BDNF/ERK1/2 pathway.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:We examined the effects of exogenous protein disulfide isomerase A3 (PDIA3) on hippocampal neurogenesis in gerbils under control and ischemic damage. METHODS:To facilitate the delivery of PDIA3 to the brain, we constructed Tat-PDIA3 protein and administered vehicle (10% glycerol) or Tat-PDIA3 protein once a day for 28 days. On day 24 of vehicle or Tat-PDIA3 treatment, ischemia was transiently induced by occlusion of both common carotid arteries for 5 min. RESULTS:Administration of Tat-PDIA3 significantly reduced ischemia-induced spontaneous motor activity, and the number of NeuN-positive nuclei in the Tat-PDIA3-treated ischemic group was significantly increased in the CA1 region compared to that in the vehicle-treated ischemic group. Ki67- and DCX-immunoreactive cells were significantly higher in the Tat-PDIA3-treated group compared to the vehicle-treated control group. In vehicle- and Tat-PDIA3-treated ischemic groups, the number of Ki67- and DCX-immunoreactive cells was significantly higher as compared to those in the vehicle- and Tat-PDIA3-treated control groups, respectively. In the dentate gyrus, the numbers of Ki67-immunoreactive cells were comparable between vehicle- and Tat-PDIA3-treated ischemic groups, while more DCX-immunoreactive cells were observed in the Tat-PDIA3-treated group. Transient forebrain ischemia increased the expression of phosphorylated cAMP-response element-binding protein (pCREB) in the dentate gyrus, but the administration of Tat-PDIA3 robustly increased pCREB-positive nuclei in the normal gerbils, but not in the ischemic gerbils. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) mRNA expression was significantly increased in the Tat-PDIA3-treated group compared to that in the vehicle-treated group. Transient forebrain ischemic increased BDNF mRNA levels in both vehicle- and Tat-PDIA3-treated groups, and there were no significant differences between groups. CONCLUSIONS:These results suggest that Tat-PDIA3 enhances cell proliferation and neuroblast numbers in the dentate gyrus in normal, but not in ischemic gerbils, by increasing BDNF mRNA and phosphorylation of pCREB.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Essentially all knowledge about adult hippocampal neurogenesis in humans still comes from one seminal study by Eriksson et al. in 1998, although several others have provided suggestive findings. But only little information has been available in how far the situation in animal models would reflect the conditions in the adult and aging human brain. We therefore here mapped numerous features associated with adult neurogenesis in rodents in samples from human hippocampus across the entire lifespan. Such data would not offer proof of adult neurogenesis in humans, because it is based on the assumption that humans and rodents share marker expression patterns in adult neurogenesis. Nevertheless, together the data provide valuable information at least about the presence of markers, for which a link to adult neurogenesis might more reasonably be assumed than for others, in the adult human brain and their change with increasing age. METHODS AND FINDINGS: In rodents, doublecortin (DCX) is transiently expressed during adult neurogenesis and within the neurogenic niche of the dentate gyrus can serve as a valuable marker. We validated DCX as marker of granule cell development in fetal human tissue and used DCX expression as seed to examine the dentate gyrus for additional neurogenesis-associated features across the lifespan. We studied 54 individuals and detected DCX expression between birth and 100 years of age. Caveats for post-mortem analyses of human tissues apply but all samples were free of signs of ischemia and activated caspase-3. Fourteen markers related to adult hippocampal neurogenesis in rodents were assessed in DCX-positive cells. Total numbers of DCX expressing cells declined exponentially with increasing age, and co-expression of DCX with the other markers decreased. This argued against a non-specific re-appearance of immature markers in specimen from old brains. Early postnatally all 14 markers were co-expressed in DCX-positive cells. Until 30 to 40 years of age, for example, an overlap of DCX with Ki67, Mcm2, Sox2, Nestin, Prox1, PSA-NCAM, Calretinin, NeuN, and others was detected, and some key markers (Nestin, Sox2, Prox1) remained co-expressed into oldest age. CONCLUSIONS: Our data suggest that in the adult human hippocampus neurogenesis-associated features that have been identified in rodents show patterns, as well as qualitative and quantitative age-related changes, that are similar to the course of adult hippocampal neurogenesis in rodents. Consequently, although further validation as well as the application of independent methodology (e.g. electron microscopy and cell culture work) is desirable, our data will help to devise the framework for specific research on cellular plasticity in the aging human hippocampus.
Project description:Down syndrome (DS) is a genetic pathology characterized by intellectual disability and brain hypotrophy. Widespread neurogenesis impairment characterizes the fetal and neonatal DS brain, strongly suggesting that this defect may be a major determinant of mental retardation. Our goal was to establish, in a mouse model for DS, whether early pharmacotherapy improves neurogenesis and cognitive behavior. Neonate Ts65Dn mice were treated from postnatal day (P) 3 to P15 with fluoxetine, an antidepressant that inhibits serotonin (5-HT) reuptake and increases proliferation in the adult Ts65Dn mouse (Clark et al., 2006). On P15, they received a BrdU injection and were killed after either 2 h or 1 month. Results showed that P15 Ts65Dn mice had notably defective proliferation in the hippocampal dentate gyrus, subventricular zone, striatum, and neocortex and that proliferation was completely rescued by fluoxetine. In the hippocampus of untreated P15 Ts65Dn mice, we found normal 5-HT levels but a lower expression of 5-HT1A receptors and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). In Ts65Dn mice, fluoxetine treatment restored the expression of 5-HT1A receptors and BDNF. One month after cessation of treatment, there were more surviving cells in the dentate gyrus of Ts65Dn mice, more cells with a neuronal phenotype, more proliferating precursors, and more granule cells. These animals were tested for contextual fear conditioning, a hippocampus-dependent memory task, and exhibited a complete recovery of memory performance. Results show that early pharmacotherapy with a drug usable by humans can correct neurogenesis and behavioral impairment in a model for DS.
Project description:In animal studies, impaired adult hippocampal neurogenesis is associated with behavioral pathologies including addiction to alcohol. We hypothesize that alcohol abuse may have a detrimental effect on the neurogenic pool of the dentate gyrus in the human hippocampus. In this study we investigate whether alcohol abuse affects the number of proliferating cells, stem/progenitor cells, and immature neurons in samples from postmortem human hippocampus. The specimens were isolated from deceased donors with an on-going alcohol abuse, and from controls with no alcohol overconsumption. Mid-hippocampal sections were immunostained for Ki67, a marker for cell proliferation, Sox2, a stem/progenitor cell marker, and DCX, a marker for immature neurons. Immunoreactivity was counted in alcoholic subjects and compared with controls. Counting was performed in the three layers of dentate gyrus: the subgranular zone, the granular cell layer, and the molecular layer. Our data showed reduced numbers of all three markers in the dentate gyrus in subjects with an on-going alcohol abuse. This reduction was most prominent in the subgranular zone, and uniformly distributed across the distances from the granular cell layer. Furthermore, alcohol abusers showed a more pronounced reduction of Sox2-IR cells than DCX-IR cells, suggesting that alcohol primarily causes a depletion of the stem/progenitor cell pool and that immature neurons are secondarily affected. These results are in agreement with observations of impaired adult hippocampal neurogenesis in animal studies and lend further support for the association between hippocampal dysfunction and alcohol abuse.
Project description:The depression-like behavior phenotype, neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus and miR-124 expression in the hippocampus are the focus of current research on the pathogenesis of depression and antidepressant therapy. The present study aimed to clarify the dynamic changes of depression-like behavior, dentate gyrus neurogenesis and hippocampal miR-124 expression during depression induced by chronic stress to reveal pathological features at different stages of depression and to further provide insight into depression treatment. Chronic unpredictable mild stress depression models were established by exposing Sprague-Dawley rats to various mild stressors, including white noise, thermal swimming, stroboscopic illumination, soiled cages, pairing with three other stressed animals, cold swimming, tail pinch, restraint and water and food deprivation. Chronic unpredictable mild stress model rats underwent dynamic observation from 1 to 8 weeks and were compared with a control group (normal feeding without any stressors). To observe changes in the depression-like behavior phenotype during chronic unpredictable mild stress-induced depression, a sucrose preference test was used to evaluate the degree of anhedonia. An open-field test was used to evaluate locomotor activity and anxiety status. Compared with the control group, chronic unpredictable mild stress rats lost weight but did not have a depression-like behavioral phenotype at 1-4 weeks. Chronic unpredictable mild stress rats presented decreased sucrose preference and locomotor activity at 5-8 weeks. In addition, chronic unpredictable mild stress rats did not have significant anxiety-like behavior during 1-8 weeks of modeling. To observe neurogenesis dysfunctions and changes in neuronal number in the dentate gyrus during chronic unpredictable mild stress-induced depression, markers (DCX and DCX/BrdU) of neural proliferation and differentiation and the neuronal marker NeuN were assessed by immunofluorescence. Compared with the control group, neurogenesis and the neuronal number in the dentate gyrus did not change from 2 to 6 weeks; however, neural proliferation and differentiation in the dentate gyrus decreased, and the number of neurons decreased until the eighth week in the chronic unpredictable mild stress group. Real-time quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction assays and fluorescence in situ hybridization were used to measure the expression of hippocampal miR-124 during chronic unpredictable mild stress-induced depression. The results showed that the expression of hippocampal miR-124 was unchanged during the first 4 weeks but increased from 5 to 6 weeks and decreased from 7 to 8 weeks compared with the control group. These findings indicate that during chronic unpredictable mild stress-induced depression, the behavioral phenotype, miR-124 expression in the hippocampus, neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus and neuronal numbers showed dynamic changes, which suggested that various pathological changes occur at different stages of depression. All experimental procedures and protocols were approved by the Experimental Animal Ethics Committee of Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine of China in March 2015.
Project description:Adult hippocampal neurogenesis (AHN) in the dentate gyrus is known to respond to environmental enrichment, chronic stress, and many other factors. The function of AHN may vary across the septo-temporal axis of the hippocampus, as different subdivisions are responsible for different functions. The dorsal pole regulates cognitive-related behaviors, while the ventral pole mediates mood-related responses through the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. In this study, we investigate different methods of quantifying the effect of environmental enrichment on AHN in the dorsal and ventral parts of the dentate gyrus (dDG and vDG). To this purpose, 11-week-old female CD-1 mice were assigned for 8 days to one of two conditions: the Environmental Enrichment (E) group received (i) running wheels, (ii) larger cages, (iii) plastic tunnels, and (iv) bedding with male urine, while the Control (C) group received standard housing. Dorsal CA (Cornu Ammonis) and DG regions were larger in the E than the C animals. Distance run linearly predicted the volume of the dorsal hippocampus, as well as of the intermediate and ventral CA regions. In the dDG, the amount of Doublecortin (DCX) immunoreactivity was significantly higher in E than in C mice. Surprisingly, this pattern was the opposite in the vDG (C > E). Real-time PCR measurement of Dcx mRNA and DCX protein analysis using ELISA showed the same pattern. Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) immunoreactivity and mRNA displayed no difference between E and C, suggesting that upregulation of DCX was not caused by changes in BDNF levels. BDNF levels were higher in vDG than in dDG, as measured by both methods. Bdnf expression in vDG correlated positively with the distance run by individual E mice. The similarity in the patterns of immunoreactivity, mRNA and protein for differential DCX expression and for BDNF distribution suggests that the latter two methods might be effective tools for more rapid quantification of AHN.
Project description:In the adult brain, expression of the microtubule-associated protein Doublecortin (DCX) is associated with neural progenitor cells (NPCs) that give rise to new neurons in the dentate gyrus. Many studies quantify the number of DCX-expressing cells as a proxy for the level of adult neurogenesis, yet no study has determined the effect of removing DCX from adult hippocampal NPCs. Here, we use a retroviral and inducible mouse transgenic approach to either knockdown or knockout DCX from adult NPCs in the dentate gyrus and examine how this affects cell survival and neuronal maturation. Our results demonstrate that shRNA-mediated knockdown of DCX or Cre-mediated recombination in floxed DCX mice does not alter hippocampal neurogenesis and does not change the neuronal fate of the NPCs. Together these findings show that the survival and maturation of adult-generated hippocampal neurons does not require DCX.
Project description:Doublecortin (DCX) is widely regarded as a marker of immature and migrating neurons during development. While DCX expression persists in adults, particularly in the temporal lobe and neurogenic regions, it is unknown how seizures influence its expression. The aim of the present study was to explore the distribution and characteristics of DCX-expressing cells in surgical and postmortem samples from 40 adult and paediatric patients, with epilepsy and with or without hippocampal sclerosis (HS), compared to post mortem controls. The hippocampus (pes and body), parahippocampal gyrus, amygdala, temporal pole and temporal cortex were examined with DCX immunohistochemistry using four commercially-available DCX antibodies, labelled cells were quantified in different regions of interest as well as their co-expression with cell type specific markers (CD68, Iba1, GFAP, GFAP?, nestin, SOX2, CD34, OLIG2, PDGFR?, NeuN) and cell cycle marker (MCM2). Histological findings were compared with clinical data, as well as gene expression data obtained from the temporal cortex of 83 temporal lobe epilepsy cases with HS. DCX immunohistochemistry identified immature (Nestin-/NeuN-) neurons in layer II of the temporal neocortex in patients with and without epilepsy. Their number declined significantly with age but was not associated with the presence of hippocampal sclerosis, seizure semiology or memory dysfunction. DCX+ cells were prominent in the paralaminar nuclei and periamygdalar cortex and these declined with age but were not significantly associated with epilepsy history. DCX expressing cells with ramified processes were prominent in all regions, particularly in the hippocampal subgranular zone, where significantly increased numbers were observed in epilepsy samples compared to controls. DCX ramified cells co-expressed Iba1, CD68 and PDGFR?, and less frequently MCM2, OLIG2 and SOX2, but no co-localization was observed with CD34, nestin or GFAP/GFAP ?. Gene expression data from neocortical samples in patients with TLE and HS supported ongoing DCX expression in adults. We conclude that DCX identifies a range of morphological cell types in temporal lobe epilepsy, including immature populations, glial and microglial cell types. Their clinical relevance and biological function requires further study but we show some evidence for alteration with age and in epilepsy.
Project description:The role of the nuclear receptor TLX in hippocampal neurogenesis and cognition has just begun to be explored. In this study, we generated a transgenic mouse model that expresses TLX under the control of the promoter of nestin, a neural precursor marker. Transgenic TLX expression led to mice with enlarged brains with an elongated hippocampal dentate gyrus and increased numbers of newborn neurons. Specific expression of TLX in adult hippocampal dentate gyrus via lentiviral transduction increased the numbers of BrdU(+) cells and BrdU(+)NeuN(+) neurons. Furthermore, the neural precursor-specific expression of the TLX transgene substantially rescued the neurogenic defects of TLX-null mice. Consistent with increased neurogenesis in the hippocampus, the TLX transgenic mice exhibited enhanced cognition with increased learning and memory. These results suggest a strong association between hippocampal neurogenesis and cognition, as well as significant contributions of TLX to hippocampal neurogenesis, learning, and memory.
Project description:It has been recognized that the risk of cognitive decline during aging can be reduced if one maintains strong social connections, yet the neural events underlying this beneficial effect have not been rigorously studied. Here, we show that amyloid precursor protein (APP) and presenilin 1 (PS1) double-transgenic (APP/PS1) mice demonstrate improvement in memory after they are cohoused with wild-type mice. The improvement was associated with increased protein and mRNA levels of BDNF in the hippocampus. Concomitantly, the number of BrdU(+)/NeuN(+) cells in the hippocampal dentate gyrus was significantly elevated after cohousing. Methylazoxymethanol acetate, a cell proliferation blocker, markedly reduced BrdU(+) and BrdU/NeuN(+) cells and abolished the effect of social interaction. Selective ablation of mitotic neurons using diphtheria toxin (DT) and a retrovirus vector encoding DT receptor abolished the beneficial effect of cohousing. Knockdown of BDNF by shRNA transfection blocked, whereas overexpression of BDNF mimicked the memory-improving effect. A tropomyosin-related kinase B agonist, 7,8-dihydroxyflavone, occluded the effect of social interaction. These results demonstrate that increased BDNF expression and neurogenesis in the hippocampus after cohousing underlie the reversal of memory deficit in APP/PS1 mice.