Inactivation of Dicer1 in Steroidogenic factor 1-positive cells reveals tissue-specific requirement for Dicer1 in adrenal, testis, and ovary

Department of Veterinary Biosciences, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL, USA.
BMC Developmental Biology (Impact Factor: 2.67). 06/2010; 10(1):66. DOI: 10.1186/1471-213X-10-66
Source: PubMed


The synthesis of microRNA (miRNA) is a multi-step process that requires the action of the ribonuclease Dicer1. Dicer1 is responsible for the final processing of miRNA and has been implicated in cellular processes such as proliferation, apoptosis, and differentiation. Mouse embryos lacking Dicer1 die in early embryogenesis. In this study, we investigated whether Dicer1 is required for development of adrenal, testis, and ovary in mouse embryos.
To target Dicer1 deletion specifically in developing adrenals and gonads, we used Steroidogenic factor 1-cre (Sf1/Cre) line in which Cre recombinase is active in the progenitor cells of adrenals and gonads. Lack of Dicer1 in the SF1-positive cells did not affect formation and early differentiation of the adrenals and gonads. However, increasing numbers of apoptotic cells were first detected in the Dicer1 knockout adrenal cortex at 18.5 days post coitum (dpc), followed by apoptosis of somatic cells and germ cells in the testis at postnatal day 0. Affected adrenal and testes underwent complete degeneration 48 hrs after the onset of apoptosis. However, ovaries were not affected at least until postnatal day 5, when the animals died due to adrenal insufficiency.
Dicer1 is dispensable for formation and differentiation of fetal tissues derived from the SF1-positive adrenogonadal primordium. Dicer1 is essential for maintaining cell survival in adrenal and testis; however, development of the ovary from fetal stages to postnatal day 5 does not require the presence of Dicer1. Our results reveal a tissue-specific requirement of Dicer1 and microRNAs. Future research is needed to understand how the tissue-specific role of Dicer1 is established.

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Available from: Humphrey Hung-Chang Yao, Mar 17, 2014
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