The Role of eNSCs in Neurodegenerative Disease

Wellcome Trust Centre for Stem Cell Research, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.
Molecular Neurobiology (Impact Factor: 5.29). 07/2012; 46(3). DOI: 10.1007/s12035-012-8303-8
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Recent progress in biology has shown that many if not all adult tissues contain a population of stem cells. It is believed that these cells are involved in the regeneration of the tissue or organ in which they reside as a response to the natural turnover of differentiated cells or to injury. In the adult mammalian brain, stem cells in the subventricular zone and the dentate gyrus may also play a role in the replacement of neurons. A positive beneficial response to injury does not necessarily require cell replacement. New findings suggest that some populations of endogenous neural stem cells in the central nervous system may have adopted a function different from cell replacement and are involved in the protection of neurons in diverse paradigms of disease and injury. In this article, we will focus on the immature cell populations of the central nervous system and the signal transduction pathways that regulate them which suggest new possibilities for their manipulation in injury and disease.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Stem cells, by definition, are able to both self-renew (give rise to more cells of their own kind) and demonstrate multipotential (the ability to differentiate into multiple cell types). To accommodate this unique dual ability, stem cells interpret signal transduction pathways in specialized ways. Notable examples include canonical and non-canonical branches of the Notch signaling pathway, with each controlling different downstream targets (e.g., Hes1 vs. Hes3) and promoting either differentiation or self-renewal. Similarly, stem cells utilize STAT3 signaling uniquely. Most mature cells studied thus far rely on tyrosine phosphorylation (STAT3-Tyr) to promote survival and growth; in contrast, STAT3-Tyr induces the differentiation of neural stem cells (NSCs). NSCs use an alternative phosphorylation site, STAT3-Ser, to regulate survival and growth, a site that is largely redundant for this function in most other cell types. STAT3-Ser regulates Hes3, and together they form a convergence point for several signals, including Notch, Tie2, and insulin receptor activation. Disregulation and manipulation of the STAT3-Ser/Hes3 signaling pathway is important in both tumorigenesis and regenerative medicine, and worthy of extensive study.
    Frontiers in Physiology 10/2013; 4:273. DOI:10.3389/fphys.2013.00273
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM) plays a role in neurite outgrowth, synaptogenesis, and neuronal differentiation. The NCAM mimetic peptide FG Loop (FGL) promotes neuronal survival in vitro and enhances spatial learning and memory in rats. We here investigated the effects of FGL on neural stem cells (NSC) in vitro and in vivo. In vitro, cell proliferation of primary NSC was assessed after exposure to various concentrations of NCAM or FGL. The differentiation potential of NCAM- or FGL-treated cells was assessed immunocytochemically. To investigate its influence on endogenous NSC in vivo, FGL was injected subcutaneously into adult rats. The effects on NSC mobilization were studied both via non-invasive positron emission tomography (PET) imaging using the tracer [(18)F]-fluoro-L-thymidine ([(18)F]FLT), as well as with immunohistochemistry. Only FGL significantly enhanced NSC proliferation in vitro, with a maximal effect at 10 μg/ml. During differentiation, NCAM promoted neurogenesis, while FGL induced an oligodendroglial phenotype; astrocytic differentiation was neither affected by NCAM or FGL. Those differential effects of NCAM and FGL on differentiation were mediated through different receptors. After FGL-injection in vivo, proliferative activity of NSC in the subventricular zone (SVZ) was increased (compared to placebo-treated animals). Moreover, non-invasive imaging of cell proliferation using [(18)F]FLT-PET supported an FGL-induced mobilization of NSC from both the SVZ and the hippocampus. We conclude that FGL robustly induces NSC mobilization in vitro and in vivo, and supports oligodendroglial differentiation. This capacity renders FGL a promising agent to facilitate remyelinization, which may eventually make FGL a drug candidate for demyelinating neurological disorders.
    Stem cell reviews 05/2014; 10(4). DOI:10.1007/s12015-014-9512-5 · 3.21 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Neural stem cells (NSCs) are pluripotent precursors with the ability to proliferate and differentiate into 3 neural cell lineages, neurons, astrocytes and oligodendrocytes. Elucidation of the mechanisms underlying these biologic processes is essential for understanding both physiologic and pathologic neural development and regeneration after injury. Nuclear hormone receptors (NRs) and their transcriptional coregulators also play crucial roles in neural development, functions and fate. To identify key NRs and their transcriptional regulators in NSC differentiation, we examined mRNA expression of 49 NRs and many of their coregulators during differentiation (0-5 days) of mouse embryonic NSCs induced by withdrawal of fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF2). 37 out of 49 NRs were expressed in NSCs before induction of differentiation, while receptors known to play major roles in neural development, such as THRα, RXRs, RORs, TRs, and COUP-TFs, were highly expressed. CAR, which plays important roles in xenobiotic metabolism, was also highly expressed. FGF2 withdrawal induced mRNA expression of RORγ, RXRγ, and MR by over 20-fold. Most of the transcriptional coregulators examined were expressed basally and throughout differentiation without major changes, while FGF2 withdrawal strongly induced mRNA expression of several histone deacetylases (HDACs), including HDAC11. Dexamethasone and aldosterone, respectively a synthetic glucocorticoid and natural mineralocorticoid, increased NSC numbers and induced differentiation into neurons and astrocytes. These results indicate that the NRs and their coregulators are present and/or change their expression during NSC differentiation, suggesting that they may influence development of the central nervous system in the absence or presence of their ligands.
    Hormone and Metabolic Research 09/2012; 45(2). DOI:10.1055/s-0032-1321789 · 2.04 Impact Factor