Project description:Neuronal synapse formation and remodeling is essential to central nervous system (CNS) development and is dysfunctional in neurodevelopmental diseases. Innate immune signals regulate tissue remodeling in the periphery, but how this impacts CNS synapses is largely unknown. Here we show that the IL-1 family cytokine Interleukin-33 (IL-33) is produced by developing astrocytes and is developmentally required for normal synapse numbers and neural circuit function in the spinal cord and thalamus. We find that IL-33 signals primarily to microglia under physiologic conditions, that it promotes microglial synapse engulfment, and that it can drive microglial-dependent synapse depletion in vivo. These data reveal a cytokine-mediated mechanism required to maintain synapse homeostasis during CNS development. Overall design: 16 samples total consisting of 4 biological replicates per group of flow sorted IL-33pos and neg astrocytes from thalamus or spinal cord at P15 (IL-33mCherry reporter from M. Colonna lab)
Project description:Neuronal synapse formation and remodeling is essential to central nervous system (CNS) development and is dysfunctional in neurodevelopmental diseases. Innate immune signals regulate tissue remodeling in the periphery, but how this impacts CNS synapses is largely unknown. Here we show that the IL-1 family cytokine Interleukin-33 (IL-33) is produced by developing astrocytes and is developmentally required for normal synapse numbers and neural circuit function in the spinal cord and thalamus. We find that IL-33 signals primarily to microglia under physiologic conditions, that it promotes microglial synapse engulfment, and that it can drive microglial-dependent synapse depletion in vivo. These data reveal a cytokine-mediated mechanism required to maintain synapse homeostasis during CNS development. Overall design: 13 samples consisting of 3-4 biological replicates each of flow sorted astrocytes (Aldh1l1-GFP+) and microglia (CD11b+) from spinal cord P9-P12 Il33 KO and littermates control mice (Pichery et al., 2012; J Immunology)
Project description:Astrocytes, the most abundant cells in the central nervous system, promote synapse formation and help refine neural connectivity. Although they are allocated to spatially distinct regional domains during development, it is unknown whether region-restricted astrocytes are functionally heterogeneous. Here we show that postnatal spinal cord astrocytes express several region-specific genes, and that ventral astrocyte-encoded Semaphorin3a (Sema3a) is required for proper motor neuron and sensory neuron circuit organization. Loss of astrocyte-encoded Sema3a led to dysregulated α−motor neuron axon initial segment orientation, markedly abnormal synaptic inputs, and selective death of α−but not of adjacent γ−motor neurons. Additionally, a subset of TrkA+ sensory afferents projected to ectopic ventral positions. These findings demonstrate that stable maintenance of a positional cue by developing astrocytes influences multiple aspects of sensorimotor circuit formation. More generally, they suggest that regional astrocyte heterogeneity may help to coordinate postnatal neural circuit refinement. 12 total samples consisting of three biological replicates each of flow sorted postnatal day 7 dorsal spinal cord astrocytes, ventral spinal cord astrocytes, dorsal SC non astrocytes, and ventral SC non astrocytes
Project description:The Khakh laboratory used Aldh1l1-Cre/ERT2 transgenic mouse line crossed with RiboTag mice to sequence actively translated mRNAs and compare striatal and hippocampal astrocyte transcriptomes from adults. Overall design: Whole striata and hippocampii were extracted from 4 adult (P63) male and female Aldh1l1-Cre/ERT2 x Ribotag mice. After homogenization, RNA was purified from (i) cleared lysate as the input and control, and (ii) astrocyte-specific ribosome-associated RNA precipitated via a hemagglutinin (HA) tag.
Project description:Diversified neurons are essential for sensorimotor function, but whether astrocytes become specialized to optimize circuit performance remains unclear. Large fast α-motor neurons (FαMNs) of spinal cord innervate fast-twitch muscles that generate peak strength. We report that ventral horn astrocytes express the inward rectifying K+ channel Kir4.1 (aka, Kcnj10) around MNs in a VGLUT1-dependent manner. Loss-of astrocyte-encoded Kir4.1 selectively altered FαMN size, function and led to reduced peak strength. Overexpression of Kir4.1 in astrocytes was sufficient to increase MN size through activation of the PI3K/mTOR/pS6 pathway. Kir4.1 was downregulated cell-autonomously in astrocytes derived from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients with SOD1 mutation. However, astrocyte Kir4.1 was dispensable for FαMN survival even in the mutant SOD1 background. These findings show that astrocyte Kir4.1 is essential for maintenance of peak strength and suggest that Kir4.1 downregulation uncouples symptoms of muscle weakness from MN cell death in ALS. Overall design: 8 samples total consisting of 4 biological replicates per group (Aldh1l1-cre:Kir4.1-floxed/floxed vs cre-negative) of flow sorted Aldh1l1-GFP+ astrocytes from spinal cord at P12-P14
Project description:During development of the mammalian central nervous system (CNS), neurons and glial cells (astrocytes and oligodendrocytes) are generated from common neural precursor cells (NPCs). However, neurogenesis precedes gliogenesis, which normally commences at later stages of fetal telencephalic development. Astrocyte differentiation of mouse NPCs at embryonic day (E) 14.5 (relatively late gestation) is induced by activation of the transcription factor STAT3, whereas at E11.5 (mid-gestation) NPCs do not differentiate into astrocytes even when stimulated by STAT3-activating cytokines such as leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF). This can be explained in part by the fact that astrocyte-specific gene promoters are highly methylated in NPCs at E11.5, but other mechanisms are also likely to play a role. We therefore sought to identify genes involved in the inhibition of astrocyte differentiation of NPCs at midgestation. We first examined gene expression profiles in E11.5 and E14.5 NPCs, using Affymetrix GeneChip analysis, applying the Percellome method to normalize gene expression level. We then conducted in situ hybridization analysis for selected genes found to be highly expressed in NPCs at midgestation. Among these genes, we found that N-myc and high mobility group AT-hook 2 (Hmga2) were highly expressed in the E11.5 but not the E14.5 ventricular zone of mouse brain, where NPCs reside. Transduction of N-myc and Hmga2 by retroviruses into E14.5 NPCs, which normally differentiate into astrocytes in response to LIF, resulted in suppression of astrocyte differentiation. However, sustained expression of N-myc and Hmga2 in E11.5 NPCs failed to maintain the hypermethylated status of an astrocyte-specific gene promoter. Taken together, our data suggest that astrocyte differentiation of NPCs is regulated not only by DNA methylation but also by genes whose expression is controlled spatio-temporally during brain development. Keywords: Cell type comparison Overall design: Neuroepithelial cells(NPCs) were prepared from telencephalons of E11.5 and E14.5 mice and cultured in N2-supplemented Dulbecco's Modified Eagle's Medium with F12 (GIBCO) containing 10 ng/ml basic FGF (R&D Systems) (N2/DMEM/F12/bFGF) on culture dishes (Nunc) or chamber slide (Nunc) which had been precoated with poly-L-ornithine (Sigma) and fibronectin (Sigma). E11.5 NPCs were cultured for one day and E14.5 NPCs were for four days.
Project description:During normal neurodevelopment, microglia perform a range of different functions that are crucial for the proper development, circuit integration, and function of neurons. These functions include certain types of synaptic pruning during critical stages of neurodevelopment (Schafer et al., 2012), and the production of cytokines and chemokines during normal physiological tasks, proteins which are important for homeostasis in addition to immune defense (Avital et al., 2003; Goshen et al., 2007). Microglia and the inflammatory cytokines they produce (e.g., in response to injury or infection) are also increasingly implicated in neural dysfunction during development and the risk of neuropsychiatric disorders. Increasing evidence suggests many neurological disorders emerge because of disrupted neuronal developmental trajectory (Marin, 2016). Considering the critical role of microglia for integration of neurons into their proper circuitry as well in proper synapse formation, there is a pressing need to understand the mechanisms underlying normal and abnormal microglia development, their interactions with specific neuronal subsets, and to understand the utility of these same analyses for human tissue. Moreover, as there are pronounced sex differences in the presentation of many neurological disorders, it is critical to understand these mechanisms in both males and females. Here we study developmental gene expression changes in male and female mice from E18 to P60. We isolated microglia from male and female hippocampi of mice from different developmental ages ranging from embryonic day 18 (E18) to postnatal day 60 (P60). Hippocampus was selected based on its importance to mental health, its marked vulnerability relative to other brain regions in response to diverse threats to homeostasis (epilepsy, stroke, and cardiac arrest (Fujioka et al., 2000; Petito, Feldmann, Pulsinelli, & Plum, 1987; Salmenpera, Kalviainen, Partanen, & Pitkanen, 1998; Sapolsky, Uno, Rebert, & Finch, 1990)), and due to evidence of morphological sex differences in microglial development in this region (Schwarz, Sholar, & Bilbo, 2012). It was found that developmental gene expression changes were more advanced in females at P60 and that treatment with LPS, a potent immune activator, could normalize developmental gene expression differences in males. Overall design: developmental timecourse in males and females; LPS vs. Saline at P60 in males and females