Wnt signaling and its downstream target N-myc regulate basal progenitors in the developing neocortex.
ABSTRACT Basal progenitors (also called non-surface dividing or intermediate progenitors) have been proposed to regulate the number of neurons during neocortical development through expanding cells committed to a neuronal fate, although the signals that govern this population have remained largely unknown. Here, we show that N-myc mediates the functions of Wnt signaling in promoting neuronal fate commitment and proliferation of neural precursor cells in vitro. Wnt signaling and N-myc also contribute to the production of basal progenitors in vivo. Expression of a stabilized form of beta-catenin, a component of the Wnt signaling pathway, or of N-myc increased the numbers of neocortical basal progenitors, whereas conditional deletion of the N-myc gene reduced these and, as a likely consequence, the number of neocortical neurons. These results reveal that Wnt signaling via N-myc is crucial for the control of neuron number in the developing neocortex.
Article: Beta-catenin signaling negatively regulates intermediate progenitor population numbers in the developing cortex.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Intermediate progenitor cells constitute a second proliferative cell type in the developing mammalian cerebral cortex. Little is known about the factors that govern the production of intermediate progenitors. Although persistent expression of stabilized beta-catenin was found to delay the maturation of radial glial progenitors into intermediate progenitors, the relationship between beta-catenin signaling and intermediate progenitors remains poorly understood. Using a transgenic reporter mouse for Axin2, a direct target of Wnt/beta-catenin signaling, we observed that beta-catenin signaling is decreased in intermediate progenitor cells relative to radial glial progenitors. Conditional deletion of beta-catenin from mouse cortical neural progenitors increased intermediate progenitor numbers, while conditional expression of stabilized beta-catenin reduced the intermediate progenitor population. Together, these findings provide evidence that beta-catenin signaling in radial progenitors negatively regulates intermediate progenitor cell number during cortical development.PLoS ONE 01/2010; 5(8):e12376. · 4.09 Impact Factor
Article: Modulation of COUP-TF expression in a cnidarian by ectopic Wnt signalling and allorecognition.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: COUP transcription factors are required for the regulation of gene expression underlying development, differentiation, and homeostasis. They have an evolutionarily conserved function, being a known marker for neurogenesis from cnidarians to vertebrates. A homologue of this gene was shown previously to be a neuronal and nematocyte differentiation marker in Hydra. However, COUP-TFs had not previously been studied in a colonial cnidarian. We cloned a COUP-TF homologue from the colonial marine cnidarian Hydractinia echinata. Expression of the gene was analysed during normal development, allorecognition events and ectopic Wnt activation, using in situ hybridisation and quantitative PCR. During normal Hydractinia development, the gene was first expressed in post-gastrula stages. It was undetectable in larvae, and its mRNA was present again in putative differentiating neurons and nematocytes in post-metamorphic stages. Global activation of canonical Wnt signalling in adult animals resulted in the upregulation of COUP-TF. We also monitored a strong COUP-TF upregulation in stolons undergoing allogeneic interactions. COUP-TF mRNA was most concentrated in the tissues that contacted allogeneic, non-self tissues, and decreased in a gradient away from the contact area. Interestingly, the gene was transiently upregulated during initial contact of self stolons, but dissipated rapidly following self recognition, while in non-self contacts high expression levels were maintained. We conclude that COUP-TF is likely involved in neuronal/nematocyte differentiation in a variety of contexts. This has now been shown to include allorecognition, where COUP-TF is thought to have been co-opted to mediate allorejection by recruiting stinging cells that are the effectors of cytotoxic rejection of allogeneic tissue. Our findings that Wnt activation upregulates COUP-TF expression suggests that Wnts' role in neuronal differentiation could be mediated through COUP-TF.PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(4):e19443. · 4.09 Impact Factor