Local origin and activity-dependent generation of nestin-expressing protoplasmic astrocytes in CA1.
ABSTRACT Since reports that precursor cells in the adult subventricular zone (SVZ) contribute to regenerative neuro- and gliogenesis in CA1, we wondered whether a similar route of migration might also exist under physiological conditions. Permanent labeling of SVZ precursor cells with a lentiviral vector for green fluorescent protein did not reveal any migration from the SVZ into CA1 in the intact murine brain. However, in a nestin-GFP reporter mouse we found proliferating cells within the corpus callosum/alveus region expressing nestin and glial fibrillary acidic protein similar to precursor cells in the neighboring neurogenic region of the adult dentate gyrus. Within 3 weeks of BrdU administration, BrdU-positive nestin-GFP-expressing protoplasmic astrocytes emerged in CA1. Similar to precursor cells isolated from the dentate gyrus and the SVZ, nestin-GFP-expressing cells from corpus callosum/alveus were self-renewing and multipotent in vitro, whereas cells isolated from CA1 were not. Nestin-GFP-expressing cells in CA1 differentiated into postmitotic astrocytes characterized by S100beta expression. No new neurons were found in CA1. The number of nestin-GFP-expressing astrocytes in CA1 was increased by environmental enrichment. We conclude that astrogenesis in CA1 is influenced by environmental conditions. However, SVZ precursor cells do not contribute to physiological cellular plasticity in CA1.
- SourceAvailable from: Olavo B Amaral[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Environmental enrichment is known to induce plastic changes in the brain, including morphological changes in hippocampal neurons, with increases in synaptic and spine densities. In recent years, the evidence for a role of astrocytes in regulating synaptic transmission and plasticity has increased, and it is likely that morphological and functional changes in astrocytes play an important role in brain plasticity. Our study was designed to evaluate changes in astrocytes induced by environmental enrichment in the CA1 region of the hippocampus, focusing on astrocytic density and on morphological changes in astrocytic processes. After 8 weeks of environmental enrichment starting at weaning, male CF-1 mice presented no significant changes in astrocyte number or in the density of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) immunoreactivity in the stratum radiatum. However, they did present changes in astrocytic morphology in the same region, as expressed by a significant increase in the ramification of astrocytic processes measured by the Sholl concentric circles method, as well as by an increase in the number and length of primary processes extending in a parallel orientation to CA1 nerve fibers. This led astrocytes to acquire a more stellate morphology, a fact which could be related to the increase in hippocampal synaptic density observed in previous studies. These findings corroborate the idea that structural changes in astrocytic networks are an integral part of plasticity processes occurring in the brain.Brain research 05/2009; 1274:47-54. · 2.46 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The piriform cortex receives input from the olfactory bulb and (via the entorhinal cortex) sends efferents to the hippocampus, thereby connecting the two canonical neurogenic regions of the adult rodent brain. Doublecortin (DCX) is a cytoskeleton-associated protein that is expressed transiently in the course of adult neurogenesis. Interestingly, the adult piriform cortex, which is usually considered non-neurogenic (even though some reports exist that state otherwise), also contains an abundant population of DCX-positive cells. We asked how similar these cells would be to DCX-positive cells in the course of adult hippocampal neurogenesis. Using BAC-generated transgenic mice that express GFP under the DCX promoter, we studied DCX-expression and electrophysiological properties of DCX-positive cells in the mouse piriform cortex in comparison with the dentate gyrus. While one class of cells in the piriform cortex indeed showed features similar to newly generated immature granule neurons, the majority of DCX cells in the piriform cortex was mature and revealed large Na+ currents and multiple action potentials. Furthermore, when proliferative activity was assessed, we found that all DCX-expressing cells in the piriform cortex were strictly postmitotic, suggesting that no DCX-positive "neuroblasts" exist here as they do in the dentate gyrus. We conclude that DCX in the piriform cortex marks a unique population of postmitotic neurons with a subpopulation that retains immature characteristics associated with synaptic plasticity. DCX is thus, per se, no marker of neurogenesis but might be associated more broadly with plasticity.PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(10):e25760. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Proliferative cells expressing proteoglycan neuron-glia 2 (NG2) are considered to represent parenchymal precursor cells in the adult brain and are thought to differentiate primarily into oligodendrocytes. We have studied cell genesis in the adult amygdala and found that, up to 1 year after the labeling of proliferating cells with bromodeoxyuridine, most proliferating NG2 cells remain NG2 cells, and only a few slowly differentiate into mature oligodendrocytes, as assessed by the expression of 2',3'-cyclic nucleotide 3'-phosphodiesterase. We have detected no signs of neurogenesis but have confirmed the expression of "neuronal" markers such as Doublecortin in NG2 cells. Nestin-expressing NG2 cells in the amygdala show electrophysiological properties known for oligodendrocyte precursor cells in the corpus callosum. Application of the glutamate agonist kainate elicits a "complex" response consisting of a rapid and long-lasting blockade of the resting K(+) conductance, a transient cationic current, and a transient increase of an outwardly directed K(+) conductance, suggesting the responsiveness of NG2 cells to excitation. Proliferation of NG2 cells increases in response to behavioral stimuli of activity, voluntary wheel running, and environmental enrichment. In addition to reducing the number of newborn microglia, behavioral activity results in a decrease in S100β-expressing newborn NG2 cells in the amygdala. Because S100β expression in NG2 cells ceases with oligodendrocyte maturation, this finding suggests that NG2 cells in the amygdala undergo activity-dependent functional alterations, without resulting in a measurable increase in new mature oligodendrocytes over the time period covered by the present study. The adult amygdala thus shows signs of mixed activity-dependent plasticity: reduced numbers of microglia and, presumably, an altered fate of NG2 cells.Cell and Tissue Research 06/2011; 345(1):69-86. · 3.68 Impact Factor