Browsing by Subject "NEUROGENESIS"

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  • Jacob, Laurent; Boisserand, Ligia Simoes Braga; Geraldo, Luiz Henrique Medeiros; Neto, Jose de Brito; Mathivet, Thomas; Antila, Salli; Barka, Besma; Xu, Yunling; Thomas, Jean-Mickael; Pestel, Juliette; Aigrot, Marie-Stephane; Song, Eric; Nurmi, Harri; Lee, Seyoung; Alitalo, Kari; Renier, Nicolas; Eichmann, Anne; Thomas, Jean-Leon (2019)
    Cranial lymphatic vessels (LVs) are involved in the transport of fluids, macromolecules and central nervous system (CNS) immune responses. Little information about spinal LVs is available, because these delicate structures are embedded within vertebral tissues and difficult to visualize using traditional histology. Here we show an extended vertebral column LV network using three-dimensional imaging of decalcified iDISCO(+)-clarified spine segments. Vertebral LVs connect to peripheral sensory and sympathetic ganglia and form metameric vertebral circuits connecting to lymph nodes and the thoracic duct. They drain the epidural space and the dura mater around the spinal cord and associate with leukocytes. Vertebral LVs remodel extensively after spinal cord injury and VEGF-C-induced vertebral lymphangiogenesis exacerbates the inflammatory responses, T cell infiltration and demyelination following focal spinal cord lesion. Therefore, vertebral LVs add to skull meningeal LVs as gatekeepers of CNS immunity and may be potential targets to improve the maintenance and repair of spinal tissues.
  • Peltopuro, Paula; Kala, Kaia; Partanen, Juha (2010)
  • Balasubramanian, Vimalkumar; Domanskyi, Andrii; Renko, Juho-Matti; Sarparanta, Mirkka; Wang, Chang-Fang; Rebelo Correia, Alexandra Maria; Mäkilä, Ermei; Alanen, Osku; Salonen, Jarno; Airaksinen, Anu; Tuominen, Raimo K.; Hirvonen, Jouni; Airavaara, Mikko; Santos, Hélder A. (2020)
    Generation of new neurons by utilizing the regenerative potential of adult neural stem cells (NSCs) and neuroblasts is an emerging therapeutic strategy to treat various neurodegenerative diseases, including neuronal loss after stroke. Committed to neuronal lineages, neuroblasts are differentiated from NSCs and have a lower proliferation rate. In stroke the proliferation of the neuroblasts in the neurogenic areas is increased, but the limiting factor for regeneration is the poor survival of migrating neuroblasts. Survival of neuroblasts can be promoted by small molecules; however, new drug delivery methods are needed to specifically target these cells. Herein, to achieve specific targeting, we have engineered biofunctionalized porous silicon nanoparticles (PSi NPs) conjugated with a specific antibody against polysialylated neural cell adhesion molecule (PSA-NCAM). The PSi NPs loaded with a small molecule drug, SC-79, were able to increase the activity of the Akt signaling pathway in doublecortin positive neuroblasts both in cultured cells and in vivo in the rat brain. This study opens up new possibilities to target drug effects to migrating neuroblasts and facilitate differentiation, maturation and survival of developing neurons. The conjugated PSi NPs are a novel tool for future studies to develop new therapeutic strategies aiming at regenerating functional neurocircuitry after stoke.
  • Herczeg, Gabor; Gonda, Maria Abigel; Balazs, Gergely; Noreikiene, Kristina; Merila, Juha (2015)
    Background: Plasticity in brain size and the size of different brain regions during early ontogeny is known from many vertebrate taxa, but less is known about plasticity in the brains of adults. In contrast to mammals and birds, most parts of a fish's brain continue to undergo neurogenesis throughout adulthood, making lifelong plasticity in brain size possible. We tested whether maturing adult three-spined sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus) reared in a stimulus-poor environment exhibited brain plasticity in response to environmental enrichment, and whether these responses were sex-specific, thus altering the degree of sexual size dimorphism in the brain. Results: Relative sizes of total brain and bulbus olfactorius showed sex-specific responses to treatment: males developed larger brains but smaller bulbi olfactorii than females in the enriched treatment. Hence, the degree of sexual size dimorphism (SSD) in relative brain size and the relative size of the bulbus olfactorius was found to be environment-dependent. Furthermore, the enriched treatment induced development of smaller tecta optica in both sexes. Conclusions: These results demonstrate that adult fish can alter the size of their brain (or brain regions) in response to environmental stimuli, and these responses can be sex-specific. Hence, the degree of SSD in brain size can be environment-dependent, and our results hint at the possibility of a large plastic component to SSD in stickleback brains. Apart from contributing to our understanding of the processes shaping and explaining variation in brain size and the size of different brain regions in the wild, the results show that provision of structural complexity in captive environments can influence brain development. Assuming that the observed plasticity influences fish behaviour, these findings may also have relevance for fish stocking, both for economical and conservational purposes.
  • Steinzeig, Anna; Cannarozzo, Cecilia; Castren, Eero (2019)
    Heightened neuronal plasticity expressed during early postnatal life has been thought to permanently decline once critical periods have ended. For example, monocular deprivation is able to shift ocular dominance in the mouse visual cortex during the first months of life, but this effect is lost later in life. However, various treatments, such as the antidepressant fluoxetine, can reactivate a critical period-like plasticity in the adult brain. When monocular deprivation is supplemented with chronic fluoxetine administration, a major shift in ocular dominance is produced after the critical period has ended. In the current study, we characterized the temporal patterns of fluoxetine-induced plasticity in the adult mouse visual cortex, using in vivo optical imaging. We found that artificially induced plasticity in ocular dominance extended beyond the duration of the naturally occurring critical period and continued as long as fluoxetine was administered. However, this fluoxetine-induced plasticity period ended as soon as the drug was not given. These features of antidepressant-induced plasticity may be useful when designing treatment strategies involving long-term antidepressant treatment in humans.
  • Mohammadnejad, Afsaneh; Li, Weilong; Beltoft Lund, Jesper; Li, Shuxia; Larsen, Martin Jakob; Mengel-From, Jonas; Sheldrick-Michel, Tanja Maria; Christiansen, Lene; Christensen, Kaare; Hjelmborg, Jacob; Baumbach, Jan; Tan, Qihua (2021)
    Cognitive aging is one of the major problems worldwide, especially as people get older. This study aimed to perform global gene expression profiling of cognitive function to identify associated genes and pathways and a novel transcriptional regulatory network analysis to identify important regulons. We performed single transcript analysis on 400 monozygotic twins using an assumption-free generalized correlation coefficient (GCC), linear mixed-effect model (LME) and kinship model and identified six probes (one significant at the standard FDR < 0.05 while the other results were suggestive with 0.18 ≤ FDR ≤ 0.28). We combined the GCC and linear model results to cover diverse patterns of relationships, and meaningful and novel genes like APOBEC3G, H6PD, SLC45A1, GRIN3B, and PDE4D were detected. Our exploratory study showed the downregulation of all these genes with increasing cognitive function or vice versa except the SLC45A1 gene, which was upregulated with increasing cognitive function. Linear models found only H6PD and SLC45A1, the other genes were captured by GCC. Significant functional pathways (FDR < 3.95e-10) such as focal adhesion, ribosome, cysteine and methionine metabolism, Huntington's disease, eukaryotic translation elongation, nervous system development, influenza infection, metabolism of RNA, and cell cycle were identified. A total of five regulons (FDR< 1.3e-4) were enriched in a transcriptional regulatory analysis in which CTCF and REST were activated and SP3, SRF, and XBP1 were repressed regulons. The genome-wide transcription analysis using both assumption-free GCC and linear models identified important genes and biological pathways implicated in cognitive performance, cognitive aging, and neurological diseases. Also, the regulatory network analysis revealed significant activated and repressed regulons on cognitive function.
  • Schormair, Barbara; Zhao, Chen; Bell, Steven; Tilch, Erik; Salminen, Aaro V.; Puetz, Benno; Dauvilliers, Yves; Stefani, Ambra; Hoegl, Birgit; Poewe, Werner; Kemlink, David; Sonka, Karel; Bachmann, Cornelius G.; Paulus, Walter; Trenkwalder, Claudia; Oertel, Wolfgang H.; Hornyak, Magdolna; Teder-Laving, Maris; Metspalu, Andres; Hadjigeorgiou, Georgios M.; Polo, Olli; Fietze, Ingo; Ross, Owen A.; Wszolek, Zbigniew; Butterworth, Adam S.; Soranzo, Nicole; Ouwehand, Willem H.; Roberts, David J.; Danesh, John; Allen, Richard P.; Earley, Christopher J.; Ondo, William G.; Xiong, Lan; Montplaisir, Jacques; Gan-Or, Ziv; Perola, Markus; Vodicka, Pavel; Dina, Christian; Franke, Andre; Tittmann, Lukas; Stewart, Alexandre F. R.; Shah, Svati H.; Gieger, Christian; Peters, Annette; Rouleau, Guy A.; Berger, Klaus; Oexle, Konrad; Di Angelantonio, Emanuele; Hinds, David A.; Mueller-Myhsok, Bertram; Collaboration 23andMe Res Team; DESIR Study Grp (2017)
    Background Restless legs syndrome is a prevalent chronic neurological disorder with potentially severe mental and physical health consequences. Clearer understanding of the underlying pathophysiology is needed to improve treatment options. We did a meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies (GWASs) to identify potential molecular targets. Methods In the discovery stage, we combined three GWAS datasets (EU-RLS GENE, INTERVAL, and 23andMe) with diagnosis data collected from 2003 to 2017, in face-to-face interviews or via questionnaires, and involving 15126 cases and 95 725 controls of European ancestry. We identified common variants by fixed-effect inverse-variance meta-analysis. Significant genome-wide signals (p Findings We identified and replicated 13 new risk loci for restless legs syndrome and confirmed the previously identified six risk loci. MEIS1 was confirmed as the strongest genetic risk factor for restless legs syndrome (odds ratio 1.92, 95% CI 1 85-1.99). Gene prioritisation, enrichment, and genetic correlation analyses showed that identified pathways were related to neurodevelopment and highlighted genes linked to axon guidance (associated with SEMA6D), synapse formation (NTNG1), and neuronal specification (HOXB cluster family and MYT1). Interpretation Identification of new candidate genes and associated pathways will inform future functional research. Advances in understanding of the molecular mechanisms that underlie restless legs syndrome could lead to new treatment options. We focused on common variants; thus, additional studies are needed to dissect the roles of rare and structural variations.
  • Yu, Seong-Jin; Tseng, Kuan-Yin; Shen, Hui; Harvey, Brandon K.; Airavaara, Mikko; Wang, Yun (2013)
  • De Gregorio, Roberto; Pulcrano, Salvatore; De Sanctis, Claudia; Volpicelli, Floriana; Guatteo, Ezia; von Oerthel, Lars; Latagliata, Emanuele Claudio; Esposito, Roberta; Piscitelli, Rosa Maria; Perrone-Capano, Carla; Costa, Valerio; Greco, Dario; Puglisi-Allegra, Stefano; Smidt, Marten P.; di Porzio, Umberto; Caiazzo, Massimiliano; Mercuri, Nicola Biagio; Li, Meng; Bellenchi, Gian Carlo (2018)
    The differentiation of dopaminergic neurons requires concerted action of morphogens and transcription factors acting in a precise and well-defined time window. Very little is known about the potential role of microRNA in these events. By performing a microRNA-mRNA paired microarray screening, we identified miR-34b/c among the most upregulated microRNAs during dopaminergic differentiation. Interestingly, miR-34b/c modulates Wnt1 expression, promotes cell cycle exit, and induces dopaminergic differentiation. When combined with transcription factors ASCL1 and NURR1, miR-34b/c doubled the yield of transdifferentiated fibroblasts into dopaminergic neurons. Induced dopaminergic (iDA) cells synthesize dopamine and show spontaneous electrical activity, reversibly blocked by tetrodotoxin, consistent with the electrophysiological properties featured by brain dopaminergic neurons. Our findings point to a role for miR-34b/c in neuronal commitment and highlight the potential of exploiting its synergy with key transcription factors in enhancing in vitro generation of dopaminergic neurons.
  • Virtanen, Heikki; Garton, Daniel R.; Andressoo, Jaan-Olle (2022)
    BACKGROUND & AIMS: The enteric nervous system (ENS) is the largest part of the peripheral nervous system; moreover, abnormal ENS development and function are associated with multiple human pathologies. Data from several groups suggest that under normal physiological conditions in adult animals, enteric nerve cells do not replicate. A study by Kulkarni et al in 2017 challenged this view and proposed that nearly 70% of enteric neurons in the myenteric ganglia are born in 1 week The authors of this study suggested that differences in DNA labelling times and DNA denaturation conditions might explain discrepancies with previous reports. Previous studies were carried out using different conditions and labelling techniques in various regions of the gastrointestinal tract; thus, conclusions have remained elusive. METHODS: Here, we have eliminated those variables by analyzing the whole small intestine using the reagents and conditions that Kulkarni et al used. To exclude variables related to immunohistochemistry, we carried out parallel experiments with "click chemistry"-based detection of DNA replication. RESULTS: Although proliferation was readily detected in the epithelium, we found no evidence of neuronal replication in the myenteric ganglia. CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that within 1 week under normal physiological conditions, myenteric neurons in the small intestine do not replicate.
  • Gabriel, Elke; Ramani, Anand; Karow, Ulrike; Gottardo, Marco; Natarajan, Karthick; Gooi, Li Ming; Goranci-Buzhala, Gladiola; Krut, Oleg; Peters, Franziska; Nikolic, Milos; Kuivanen, Suvi; Hasu, Essi; Smura, Teemu; Vapalahti, Olli; Papantonis, Argyris; Schmidt-Chanasit, Jonas; Riparbelli, Maria; Callaini, Giuliano; Kroenke, Martin; Utermoehlen, Olaf; Gopalakrishnan, Jay (2017)
    The recent Zika virus (ZIKV) epidemic is associated with microcephaly in newborns. Although the connection between ZIKV and neurodevelopmental defects is widely recognized, the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. Here we show that two recently isolated strains of ZIKV, an American strain from an infected fetal brain (FB-GWUH-2016) and a closely-related Asian strain (H/PF/2013), productively infect human iPSC-derived brain organoids. Both of these strains readily target to and replicate in proliferating ventricular zone (VZ) apical progenitors. The main phenotypic effect was premature differentiation of neural progenitors associated with centrosome perturbation, even during early stages of infection, leading to progenitor depletion, disruption of the VZ, impaired neurogenesis, and cortical thinning. The infection pattern and cellular outcome differ from those seen with the extensively passaged ZIKV strain MR766. The structural changes we see after infection with these more recently isolated viral strains closely resemble those seen in ZIKV-associated microcephaly.
  • Nordström, Tommy; Andersson, Leif C.; Åkerman, Karl E. O. (2019)
    A stroke causes a hypoxic brain microenvironment that alters neural cell metabolism resulting in cell membrane hyperpolarization and intracellular acidosis. We studied how intracellular pH (pH(i)) is regulated in differentiated mouse neural progenitor cells during hyperpolarizing conditions, induced by prompt reduction of the extra cellular K+ concentration. We found that the radial glia-like population in differentiating embryonic neural progenitor cells, but not neuronal cells, was rapidly acidified under these conditions. However, when extra cellular calcium was removed, an instant depolarization and recovery of the pH(i), back to normal levels, took place. The rapid recovery phase seen in the absence of calcium, was dependent on extracellular bicarbonate and could be inhibited by 50859, a potent Na/HCO3 cotransporter inhibitor. Immunostaining and PCR data, showed that NBCe1 (SLC4A4) and NBCn1 (SLC4A7) were expressed in the cell population and that the pH(i) recovery in the radial glial-like cells after calcium removal was mediated mainly by the electrogenic sodium bicarbonate transporter NBCe1 (SLC4A4). Our results indicate that extracellular calcium might hamper pH(i) regulation and Na/HCO3 cotransporter activity in a brain injury microenvironment. Our findings show that the NBC-type transporters are the main pH(i) regulating systems prevailing in glia-like progenitor cells and that these calcium sensitive transporters are important for neuronal progenitor cell proliferation, survival and neural stem cell differentiation.
  • Tegelberg, Saara; Tomasic, Nikica; Kallijärvi, Jukka; Purhonen, Janne; Elmer, Eskil; Lindberg, Eva; Nord, David Gisselsson; Soller, Maria; Lesko, Nicole; Wedell, Anna; Bruhn, Helene; Freyer, Christoph; Stranneheim, Henrik; Wibom, Rolf; Nennesmo, Inger; Wredenberg, Anna; Eklund, Erik A.; Fellman, Vineta (2017)
    Background: Mitochondrial diseases due to defective respiratory chain complex III (CIII) are relatively uncommon. The assembly of the eleven-subunit CIII is completed by the insertion of the Rieske iron-sulfur protein, a process for which BCS1L protein is indispensable. Mutations in the BCS1L gene constitute the most common diagnosed cause of CIII deficiency, and the phenotypic spectrum arising from mutations in this gene is wide. Results: A case of CIII deficiency was investigated in depth to assess respiratory chain function and assembly, and brain, skeletal muscle and liver histology. Exome sequencing was performed to search for the causative mutation(s). The patient's platelets and muscle mitochondria showed respiration defects and defective assembly of CIII was detected in fibroblast mitochondria. The patient was compound heterozygous for two novel mutations in BCS1L, c.306A > T and c.399delA. In the cerebral cortex a specific pattern of astrogliosis and widespread loss of microglia was observed. Further analysis showed loss of Kupffer cells in the liver. These changes were not found in infants suffering from GRACILE syndrome, the most severe BCS1L-related disorder causing early postnatal mortality, but were partially corroborated in a knock-in mouse model of BCS1L deficiency. Conclusions: We describe two novel compound heterozygous mutations in BCS1L causing CIII deficiency. The pathogenicity of one of the mutations was unexpected and points to the importance of combining next generation sequencing with a biochemical approach when investigating these patients. We further show novel manifestations in brain, skeletal muscle and liver, including abnormality in specialized resident macrophages (microglia and Kupffer cells). These novel phenotypes forward our understanding of CIII deficiencies caused by BCS1L mutations.
  • de Groot, Claire; Floriou-Servou, Amalia; Tsai, Yuan-Chen; Fruh, Simon; Kohler, Manuela; Parkin, Georgia; Schwerdel, Cornelia; Bosshard, Giovanna; Kaila, Kai; Fritschy, Jean-Marc; Tyagarajan, Shiva K. (2017)
    In developing brain neuronal migration, dendrite outgrowth and dendritic spine outgrowth are controlled by Cdc42, a small GTPase of the Rho family, and its activators. Cdc42 function in promoting actin polymerization is crucial for glutamatergic synapse regulation. Here, we focus on GABAergic synapse-specific activator of Cdc42, collybistin ( CB) and examine functional differences between its splice isoforms CB1 and CB2. We report that CB1 and CB2 differentially regulate GABAergic synapse formation in vitro along proximal-distal axis and adult-born neuron maturation in vivo. The functional specialization between CB1 and CB2 isoforms arises from their differential protein half-life, in turn regulated by ubiquitin conjugation of the unique CB1 C-terminus. We report that CB1 and CB2 negatively regulate Cdc42; however, Cdc42 activation is dependent on CB interaction with gephyrin. During hippocampal adult neurogenesis CB1 regulates neuronal migration, while CB2 is essential for dendrite outgrowth. Finally, using mice lacking Gabra2 subunit, we show that CB1 function is downstream of GABA(A)Rs, and we can rescue adult neurogenesis deficit observed in Gabra2 KO. Overall, our results uncover previously unexpected role for CB isoforms downstream of alpha 2-containing GABA(A)Rs during neuron maturation in a Cdc42 dependent mechanism.
  • Lampinen, Riikka; Fazaludeen, Mohammad Feroze; Avesani, Simone; Ord, Tiit; Penttila, Elina; Lehtola, Juha-Matti; Saari, Toni; Hannonen, Sanna; Saveleva, Liudmila; Kaartinen, Emma; Fernandez Acosta, Francisco; Cruz-Haces, Marcela; Lopponen, Heikki; Mackay-Sim, Alan; Kaikkonen, Minna U.; Koivisto, Anne M.; Malm, Tarja; White, Anthony R.; Giugno, Rosalba; Chew, Sweelin; Kanninen, Katja M. (2022)
    Olfaction is orchestrated by olfactory mucosal cells located in the upper nasal cavity. Olfactory dysfunction manifests early in several neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer's disease, however, disease-related alterations to the olfactory mucosal cells remain poorly described. The aim of this study was to evaluate the olfactory mucosa differences between cognitively healthy individuals and Alzheimer's disease patients. We report increased amyloid-beta secretion in Alzheimer's disease olfactory mucosal cells and detail cell-type-specific gene expression patterns, unveiling 240 differentially expressed disease-associated genes compared to the cognitively healthy controls, and five distinct cell populations. Overall, alterations of RNA and protein metabolism, inflammatory processes, and signal transduction were observed in multiple cell populations, suggesting their role in Alzheimer's disease-related olfactory mucosa pathophysiology. Furthermore, the single-cell RNA-sequencing proposed alterations in gene expression of mitochondrially located genes in AD OM cells, which were verified by functional assays, demonstrating altered mitochondrial respiration and a reduction of ATP production. Our results reveal disease-related changes of olfactory mucosal cells in Alzheimer's disease and demonstrate the utility of single-cell RNA sequencing data for investigating molecular and cellular mechanisms associated with the disease.
  • FinnDiane Study Grp; Ahola, Aila J.; Tikkanen-Dolenc, Heidi; Forsblom, Carol; Harjutsalo, Valma; Groop, Per-Henrik (2021)
    Aims Here, we investigated the association between depressive symptoms and leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) in type 1 diabetes. Methods Data from adult individuals with type 1 diabetes without evidence of diabetic kidney disease or macrovascular complications, participating in the Finnish Diabetic Nephropathy Study, were included. Based on a questionnaire, weekly LTPA as metabolic equivalent of task hour was calculated. Activity levels (inactive, moderately active, active), weekly frequencies (< 1, 1-2, > 2), intensities (low, moderate, high), and single session durations (< 30, 31-60, > 60 min) were assessed. Depressive symptomatology was evaluated using the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI). We calculated a continuous BDI score and divided participants into those with (BDI score >= 16) and without (BDI score < 16) symptoms of depression. For sensitivity analyses, we additionally defined symptoms of depression with antidepressant agent purchases within a year from the study visit. Results Of the 1339 participants (41.7% men, median age 41 years), 150 (11.2%) reported symptoms of depression. After adjustments, both higher BDI scores and depressive symptomatology were associated with more inactive lifestyle, and lower frequency and intensity of the LTPA. The BDI score was additionally associated with shorter single session duration. For antidepressant purchases, lower odds were observed in those with higher intensity and longer single session duration of LTPA. Conclusions Depressive mood is harmfully related to LTPA in type 1 diabetes. In order to improve the long-term health of individuals with type 1 diabetes, efforts to increase both mental well-being and physical activity should be taken.
  • Garcia-Corzo, Laura; Calatayud-Baselga, Isabel; Casares-Crespo, Lucia; Mora-Martinez, Carlos; Julian Escribano-Saiz, Juan; Hortigueela, Rafael; Asenjo-Martinez, Andrea; Jordan-Pla, Antonio; Ercoli, Stefano; Flames, Nuria; Lopez-Alonso, Victoria; Vilar, Marcal; Mira, Helena (2022)
    Stem cells in adult mammalian tissues are held in a reversible resting state, known as quiescence, for prolonged periods of time. Recent studies have greatly increased our understanding of the epigenetic and transcriptional landscapes that underlie stem cell quiescence. However, the transcription factor code that actively maintains the quiescence program remains poorly defined. Similarly, alternative splicing events affecting transcription factors in stem cell quiescence have been overlooked. Here we show that the transcription factor T-cell factor/lymphoid enhancer factor LEF1, a central player in canonical beta-catenin-dependent Wnt signalling, undergoes alternative splicing and switches isoforms in quiescent neural stem cells. We found that active beta-catenin and its partner LEF1 accumulated in quiescent hippocampal neural stem and progenitor cell (Q-NSPC) cultures. Accordingly, Q-NSPCs showed enhanced TCF/LEF1-driven transcription and a basal Wnt activity that conferred a functional advantage to the cultured cells in a Wnt-dependent assay. At a mechanistic level, we found a fine regulation of Lef1 gene expression. The coordinate upregulation of Lef1 transcription and retention of alternative spliced exon 6 (E6) led to the accumulation of a full-length protein isoform (LEF1-FL) that displayed increased stability in the quiescent state. Prospectively isolated GLAST + cells from the postnatal hippocampus also underwent E6 retention at the time quiescence is established in vivo. Interestingly, LEF1 motif was enriched in quiescence-associated enhancers of genes upregulated in Q-NSPCs and quiescence-related NFIX transcription factor motifs flanked the LEF1 binding sites. We further show that LEF1 interacts with NFIX and identify putative LEF1/NFIX targets. Together, our results uncover an unexpected role for LEF1 in gene regulation in quiescent NSPCs, and highlight alternative splicing as a post-transcriptional regulatory mechanism in the transition from stem cell activation to quiescence.
  • Buechel, Severine D.; Noreikiene, Kristina; DeFaveri, Jacquelin; Toli, Elisavet; Kolm, Niclas; Merila, Juha (2019)
    Snapshot analyses have demonstrated dramatic intraspecific variation in the degree of brain sexual size dimorphism (SSD). Although brain SSDis believed to be generated by the sex-specific cognitive demands of reproduction, the relative roles of developmental and population-specific contributions to variation in brain SSD remain little studied. Using a common garden experiment, we tested for sex-specific changes in brain anatomy over the breeding cycle in three-spined stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) sampled from four locations in northern Europe. We found that the male brain increased in size (ca. 24%) significantly more than the female brain towards breeding, and that the resulting brain SSD was similar (ca. 20%) for all populations over the breeding cycle. Our findings support the notion that the stickleback brain is highly plastic and changes over the breeding cycle, especially in males, likely as an adaptive response to the cognitive demands of reproduction (e.g. nest construction and parental care). The results also provide evidence to suggest that breeding-related changes in brain size may be the reason for the widely varying estimates of brain SSD across studies of this species, cautioning against interpreting brain size measurements from a single time point as fixed/static.
  • Eymann, Julia; Salomies, Lotta; Macrì, Simone; Di-Poï, Nicolas (2019)
    Abstract The retina is a complex, multilayered tissue responsible for the perception of visual stimuli from the environment. Contrary to mammals, the capacity for postnatal eye growth in fish and amphibians, and to a lower extent in birds, is coordinated with a progenitor population residing in the ciliary marginal zone (CMZ) at the retinal peripheral margin. However, little is known about embryonic retinogenesis and postnatal retinal growth in squamates (lizards, snakes), despite their exceptional array of ecologies and ocular morphologies. Here we address this gap by performing the first large-scale study assessing both ontogenetic and adult changes in the stem/progenitor activity of the squamate peripheral retina. Our study reveals for the first time that squamates exhibit a source of proliferating progenitors persisting post embryogenesis in a newly identified retinociliary junction anteriorly adjacent to the retina. This region is strikingly similar to the vertebrate CMZ by its peripheral location and pseudostratified nature, and shares a common pattern of slow-cycling cells, spatial differentiation gradient, and response to postnatal ocular growth. Additionally, its proliferative activity varies considerably among squamate species, in correlation with embryonic and postnatal differences in eye size and growth. Together our data indicate that squamates possess a proliferative peripheral retina that acts as a source of progenitors to compensate, at least in part, for postnatal ocular growth. Our findings also highlight the remarkable variation in activity and location of vertebrate retinal progenitors, indicating that the currently accepted scenario of reduced CMZ activity over the course of evolution is too simplistic. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.