Prenatal alcohol exposure is a leading cause of interneuronopathy in humans.
ABSTRACT: Alcohol affects multiple neurotransmitter systems, notably the GABAergic system and has been recognised for a long time as particularly damaging during critical stages of brain development. Nevertheless, data from the literature are most often derived from animal or in vitro models. In order to study the production, migration and cortical density disturbances of GABAergic interneurons upon prenatal alcohol exposure, we performed immunohistochemical studies by means of the proliferation marker Ki67, GABA and calretinin antibodies in the frontal cortical plate of 17 foetal and infant brains antenatally exposed to alcohol, aged 15 weeks' gestation to 22 postnatal months and in the ganglionic eminences and the subventricular zone of the dorsal telencephalon until their regression, i.e., 34 weeks' gestation. Results were compared with those obtained in 17 control brains aged 14 weeks of gestation to 35 postnatal months. We also focused on interneuron vascular migration along the cortical microvessels by confocal microscopy with double immunolabellings using Glut1, GABA and calretinin. Semi-quantitative and quantitative analyses of GABAergic and calretininergic interneuron density allowed us to identify an insufficient and delayed production of GABAergic interneurons in the ganglionic eminences during the two first trimesters of the pregnancy and a delayed incorporation into the laminar structures of the frontal cortex. Moreover, a mispositioning of GABAergic and calretininergic interneurons persisted throughout the foetal life, these cells being located in the deep layers instead of the superficial layers II and III. Moreover, vascular migration of calretininergic interneurons within the cortical plate was impaired, as reflected by low numbers of interneurons observed close to the cortical perforating vessel walls that may in part explain their abnormal intracortical distribution. Our results are globally concordant with those previously obtained in mouse models, in which alcohol has been shown to induce an interneuronopathy by affecting interneuron density and positioning within the cortical plate, and which could account for the neurological disabilities observed in children with foetal alcohol disorder spectrum.
Project description:GABAergic interneurons are crucial to controlling the excitability and responsiveness of cortical circuitry. Their developmental origin may differ between rodents and human. We have demonstrated the expression of 12 GABAergic interneuron-associated genes in samples from human neocortex by quantitative rtPCR from 8 to 12 postconceptional weeks (PCW) and shown a significant anterior to posterior expression gradient, confirmed by in situ hybridization or immunohistochemistry for GAD1 and 2, DLX1, 2, and 5, ASCL1, OLIG2, and CALB2. Following cortical plate (CP) formation from 8 to 9 PCW, a proportion of cells were strongly stained for all these markers in the CP and presubplate. ASCL1 and DLX2 maintained high expression in the proliferative zones and showed extensive immunofluorescent double-labeling with the cell division marker Ki-67. CALB2-positive cells increased steadily in the SVZ/VZ from 10 PCW but were not double-labeled with Ki-67. Expression of GABAergic genes was generally higher in the dorsal pallium than in the ganglionic eminences, with lower expression in the intervening ventral pallium. It is widely accepted that the cortical proliferative zones may generate CALB2-positive interneurons from mid-gestation; we now show that the anterior neocortical proliferative layers especially may be a rich source of interneurons in the early neocortex.
Project description:Cortical GABAergic interneurons, most of which originate in the ganglionic eminences, take distinct tangential migratory trajectories into the developing cerebral cortex. However, the ligand-receptor systems that modulate the tangential migration of distinct groups of interneurons into the emerging cerebral wall remain unclear. Here, we show that netrin-1, a diffusible guidance cue expressed along the migratory routes traversed by GABAergic interneurons, interacts with alpha3beta1 integrin to promote interneuronal migration. In vivo analysis of interneuron-specific alpha3beta1 integrin, netrin-1-deficient mice (alpha3(lox/-)Dlx5/6-CIE, netrin-1(-/-)) reveals specific deficits in the patterns of interneuronal migration along the top of the developing cortical plate, resulting in aberrant interneuronal positioning throughout the cerebral cortex and hippocampus of conditional alpha3(lox/-)Dlx5/6-CIE, netrin-1(-/-) mice. These results indicate that specific guidance mechanisms, such as netrin-1-alpha3beta1 integrin interactions, modulate distinct routes of interneuronal migration and the consequent positioning of groups of cortical interneurons in the developing cerebral cortex.
Project description:GABAergic cortical interneurons underlie the complexity of neural circuits and are particularly numerous and diverse in humans. In rodents, cortical interneurons originate in the subpallial ganglionic eminences, but their developmental origins in humans are controversial. We characterized the developing human ganglionic eminences and found that the subventricular zone (SVZ) expanded massively during the early second trimester, becoming densely populated with neural stem cells and intermediate progenitor cells. In contrast with the cortex, most stem cells in the ganglionic eminence SVZ did not maintain radial fibers or orientation. The medial ganglionic eminence exhibited unique patterns of progenitor cell organization and clustering, and markers revealed that the caudal ganglionic eminence generated a greater proportion of cortical interneurons in humans than in rodents. On the basis of labeling of newborn neurons in slice culture and mapping of proliferating interneuron progenitors, we conclude that the vast majority of human cortical interneurons are produced in the ganglionic eminences, including an enormous contribution from non-epithelial SVZ stem cells.
Project description:During embryogenesis, neural progenitors in the ganglionic eminences give rise to diverse GABAergic interneuron subtypes that populate all forebrain regions. The extent to which these cells are genetically predefined or determined by postmigratory environmental cues remains unknown. To address this question, we performed homo- and heterotopic transplantation of early postnatal MGE-derived cortical and hippocampal interneurons. Grafted cells migrated, and displayed neurochemical, electrophysiological, morphological, and neurochemical profiles similar to endogenous interneurons. Our results indicate that the host environment regulates the proportion of interneuron classes in the brain region. However, some specific interneuron subtypes retain characteristics representative of their donor brain regions.
Project description:Abnormal GABAergic interneuron density, and imbalance of excitatory versus inhibitory tone, is thought to result in epilepsy, neurodevelopmental disorders, and psychiatric disease. Recent studies indicate that interneuron cortical density is determined primarily by the size of the precursor pool in the embryonic telencephalon. However, factors essential for regulating interneuron allocation from telencephalic multipotent precursors are poorly understood. Here we report that Olig1 represses production of GABAergic interneurons throughout the mouse brain. Olig1 deletion in mutant mice results in ectopic expression and upregulation of Dlx1/2 genes in the ventral medial ganglionic eminences and adjacent regions of the septum, resulting in an ?30% increase in adult cortical interneuron numbers. We show that Olig1 directly represses the Dlx1/2 I12b intergenic enhancer and that Dlx1/2 functions genetically downstream of Olig1. These findings establish Olig1 as an essential repressor of Dlx1/2 and interneuron production in developing mammalian brain.
Project description:GABAergic interneurons develop in the ganglionic eminence in the ventral telencephalon and tangentially migrate into the cortical plate during development. However, key molecules controlling interneuron migration remain poorly identified. Here, we show that microtubule-actin cross-linking factor 1 (MACF1) regulates GABAergic interneuron migration and positioning in the developing mouse brain. To investigate the role of MACF1 in developing interneurons, we conditionally deleted the MACF1 gene in mouse interneuron progenitors and their progeny using Dlx5/6-Cre-IRES-EGFP and Nkx2.1-Cre drivers. We found that MACF1 deletion results in a marked reduction and defective positioning of interneurons in the mouse cerebral cortex and hippocampus, suggesting abnormal interneuron migration. Indeed, the speed and mode of interneuron migration were abnormal in the MACF1-mutant brain, compared with controls. Additionally, MACF1-deleted interneurons showed a significant reduction in the length of their leading processes and dendrites in the mouse brain. Finally, loss of MACF1 decreased microtubule stability in cortical interneurons. Our findings suggest that MACF1 plays a critical role in cortical interneuron migration and positioning in the developing mouse brain.
Project description:The cognitive phenotype of autism has been correlated with an altered balance of excitation to inhibition in the cerebral cortex, which could result from a change in the number, function, or morphology of GABA-expressing interneurons. The number of GABAergic interneuron subtypes has not been quantified in the autistic cerebral cortex. We classified interneurons into 3 subpopulations based on expression of the calcium-binding proteins parvalbumin, calbindin, or calretinin. We quantified the number of each interneuron subtype in postmortem neocortical tissue from 11 autistic cases and 10 control cases. Prefrontal Brodmann Areas (BA) BA46, BA47, and BA9 in autism and age-matched controls were analyzed by blinded researchers. We show that the number of parvalbumin+ interneurons in these 3 cortical areas-BA46, BA47, and BA9-is significantly reduced in autism compared with controls. The number of calbindin+ and calretinin+ interneurons did not differ in the cortical areas examined. Parvalbumin+ interneurons are fast-spiking cells that synchronize the activity of pyramidal cells through perisomatic and axo-axonic inhibition. The reduced number of parvalbumin+ interneurons could disrupt the balance of excitation/inhibition and alter gamma wave oscillations in the cerebral cortex of autistic subjects. These data will allow development of novel treatments specifically targeting parvalbumin interneurons.
Project description:Cortical excitatory glutamatergic projection neurons and inhibitory GABAergic interneurons follow substantially different developmental programs. In rodents, projection neurons originate from progenitors within the dorsal forebrain, whereas interneurons arise from progenitors in the ventral forebrain. In contrast, it has been proposed that in humans, the majority of cortical interneurons arise from progenitors within the dorsal forebrain, suggesting that their origin and migration is complex and evolutionarily divergent. However, whether molecularly defined human cortical interneuron subtypes originate from distinct progenitors, including those in the ventral forebrain, remains unknown. Furthermore, abnormalities in cortical interneurons have been linked to human disorders, yet no distinct cell population selective loss has been reported. Here we show that cortical interneurons expressing nitric oxide synthase 1, neuropeptide Y, and somatostatin, are either absent or substantially reduced in fetal and infant cases of human holoprosencephaly (HPE) with severe ventral forebrain hypoplasia. Notably, another interneuron subtype normally abundant from the early fetal period, marked by calretinin expression, and different subtypes of projection neuron were present in the cortex of control and HPE brains. These findings have important implications for the understanding of neuronal pathogenesis underlying the clinical manifestations associated with HPE and the developmental origins of human cortical interneuron diversity.
Project description:Several different populations of interneurons in the murine cortex, including somatostatin (SST)- or parvalbumin (PV)-expressing cells, are born in the ventral ganglionic eminences during mid-gestation and then migrate tangentially to the cortex. SST is expressed by some interneuron progenitors in the cerebral cortex and in migrating populations in the ventrolateral cortex at birth. However, PV (also known as PVALB) is not expressed by interneurons until the second postnatal week after reaching the cortex, suggesting that molecular cues in the cerebral cortex might be involved in the differentiation process. BMP4 is expressed at high levels in the somatosensory cortex at the time when the PV(+) interneurons differentiate. Treatment of cortical cultures containing interneuron precursors is sufficient to generate PV(+) interneurons prematurely and inhibit SST differentiation. Furthermore, overexpression of BMP4 in vivo increases the number of interneurons expressing PV, with a reduction in the number of SST(+) interneurons. PV(+) interneurons in the cortex express BMP type I receptors and a subpopulation displays activated BMP signaling, assessed by downstream molecules including phosphorylated SMAD1/5/8. Conditional mutation of BMP type I receptors in interneuron precursors significantly reduces the number of cortical PV(+) interneurons in the adult brain. Thus, BMP4 signaling through type I receptors regulates the differentiation of two major medial ganglionic eminence-derived interneuron populations and defines their relative numbers in the cortex.
Project description:Understanding the mechanisms guiding interneuron development is a central aspect of the current research on cortical/hippocampal interneurons, which is highly relevant to brain function and pathology. In this methodological study we have addressed the setup of protocols for the reproducible culture of dissociated cells from murine medial ganglionic eminences (MGEs), to provide a culture system for the analysis of interneurons in vitro. This study includes the detailed protocols for the preparation of the dissociated cells, and for their culture on optimal substrates for cell migration or differentiation. These cultures enriched in interneurons may allow the investigation of the migratory behavior of interneuron precursors and their differentiation in vitro, up to the formation of morphologically identifiable GABAergic synapses. Live imaging of MGE-derived cells plated on proper substrates shows that they are useful to study the migratory behavior of the precursors, as well as the behavior of growth cones during the development of neurites. Most MGE-derived precursors develop into polarized GABAergic interneurons as determined by axonal, dendritic, and GABAergic markers. We present also a comparison of cells from WT and mutant mice as a proof of principle for the use of these cultures for the analysis of the migration and differentiation of GABAergic cells with different genetic backgrounds. The culture enriched in interneurons described here represents a useful experimental system to examine in a relatively easy and fast way the morpho-functional properties of these cells under physiological or pathological conditions, providing a powerful tool to complement the studies in vivo.