Cadherin expression in the somatosensory cortex: evidence for a combinatorial molecular code at the single-cell level

University of Jena School of Medicine, Teichgraben 7, D-07743 Jena, Germany.
Neuroscience (Impact Factor: 3.33). 02/2011; 175:37-48. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2010.11.056
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Cadherin superfamily genes play a role in a wide variety of developmental processes and mature functions of the vertebrate brain. In the present study, we mapped in situ the expression pattern of five classic cadherins (Cdh4, Cdh6, Cdh7, Cdh8, Cdh11) and eight δ-protocadherins (Pcdh1, Pcdh7, Pcdh8, Pcdh9, Pcdh10, Pcdh11, Pcdh17 and Pcdh19) in the primary somatosensory cortex of the adult mouse. All of these cadherins show layer-specific expression profiles in primary somatosensory cortex. Some cadherins (for example, Cdh4, Cdh7, Pcdh8) mark subsets of cells within a given lamina, while other cadherins (Cdh11 and Pcdh10) are expressed more widely in multiple layers. Results from tyramide-based double-fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) provide evidence that most single neurons express more than one cadherin in a combinatorial fashion in all layers of cerebral cortex. This combinatorial code is rather comprehensive because pairwise expression of cadherins can assume any type of combination (complementarity, partial or complete overlap, subset-specific expression, cell-size specific expression, etc.). We propose that the combinatorial expression of multiple cadherin genes contributes to the molecular specification of the vast complexity of neurons in cerebral cortex.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Protocadherins are a group of transmembrane proteins belonging to the cadherin superfamily that are subgrouped into 'clustered' and 'non-clustered' protocadherins. Although cadherin superfamily members are known to regulate various forms of cell-cell interactions, including cell-cell adhesion, the functions of protocadherins have long been elusive. Recent studies are, however, uncovering their unique roles. The clustered protocadherins regulate neuronal survival, as well as dendrite self-avoidance. Combinatorial expression of clustered protocadherin isoforms creates a great diversity of adhesive specificity for cells, and this process is likely to underlie the dendritic self-avoidance. Non-clustered protocadherins promote cell motility rather than the stabilization of cell adhesion, unlike the classic cadherins, and mediate dynamic cellular processes, such as growth cone migration. Protocadherin dysfunction in humans is implicated in neurological disorders, such as epilepsy and mental retardation. This Commentary provides an overview of recent findings regarding protocadherin functions, as well as a discussion of the molecular basis underlying these functions.
    Journal of Cell Science 03/2015; 128(8). DOI:10.1242/jcs.166306 · 5.33 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Expression of intricate combinations of cadherins (a family of adhesive membrane proteins) is common in the developing central nervous system. On this basis, a combinatorial cadherin code has long been proposed to underlie neuronal sorting and to be ultimately responsible for the layers, columns and nuclei of the brain. However, experimental proof of this particular function of cadherins has proven difficult to obtain and the question is still not clear. Alternatively, non-specific, non-combinatorial, purely quantitative adhesive differentials have been proposed to explain neuronal sorting in the brain. Do cadherin combinations underlie brain cytoarchitecture? We approached this question using as model a well-defined forebrain nucleus, the mammillary body (MBO), which shows strong, homogeneous expression of one single cadherin (Cdh11) and patterned, combinatorial expression of Cdh6, -8 and -10. We found that, besides the known combinatorial Cdh pattern, MBO cells are organized into a second, non-overlapping pattern grouping neurons with the same date of neurogenesis. Abolition of Cdh11 expression in the entire MBO during development disrupted the combination-based as well as the birthdate-based sorting. In utero RNAi experiments knocking down Cdh11 in MBO-fated migrating neurons at one specific age showed that Cdh11 expression is required for chronological entrance in the MBO. Our results suggest that neuronal sorting in the developing MBO is caused by adhesion-based, non-combinatorial mechanisms that keep neurons sorted according to birthdate information (possibly matching them to target neurons chronologically sorted in the same manner). Non-specific adhesion mechanisms would also prevent cadherin combinations from altering the birthdate-based sorting. Cadherin combinations would presumably act later to support specific synaptogenesis through specific axonal fasciculation and final target recognition.
    Frontiers in Neuroanatomy 03/2015; 9:29. DOI:10.3389/fnana.2015.00029 · 4.18 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Cell adhesion molecule cadherins play important roles in both development and maintenance of adult structures. Most studies on cadherin expression have been carried out in developing organisms, but information on cadherin distribution in adult vertebrate brains is limited. In this study, we used in situ hybridization to examine mRNA expression of three cadherins, protocadherin-19, protocadherin-17 and cadherin-6 in adult zebrafish brain. Each cadherin exhibits a distinct expression pattern in the fish brain, with protocadherin-19 and protocadherin-17 showing much wider and stronger expression than that of cadherin-6. Both protocadherin-19 and protocadherin-17 expressing cells occur throughout the brain with strong expression in the ventromedial telencephalon, periventricular regions of the thalamus and anterior hypothalamus, stratum periventriculare of the optic tectum, dorsal tegmental nucleus, granular regions of the cerebellar body and valvula, and superficial layers of the facial and vagal lobes. Numerous sensory structures (e.g. auditory, gustatory, lateral line, olfactory and visual nuclei) and motor nuclei (e.g. oculomotor, trochlear, trigeminal motor, abducens and vagal motor nuclei) contain protocadherin-19 and/or protocadherin-17 expressing cell. Expression of these two protocadherins is similar in the ventromedial telencephalon, thalamus, hypothalamus, facial and vagal lobes, but substantially different in the dorsolateral telencephalon, intermediate layers of the optic tectum, and cerebellar valvula. In contrast to the two protocadherins, cadherin-6 expression is much weaker and limited in the adult fish brain. This article is protected bycopyright. All rights reserved.
    The Journal of Comparative Neurology 01/2015; 523(9). DOI:10.1002/cne.23746 · 3.51 Impact Factor

Nicole Schmid-Hertel