Sarah-Jane Bull

McGill University, Montréal, Quebec, Canada

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Publications (5)10.44 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Paranodal axoglial junctions are critical for maintaining the segregation of axonal domains along myelinated axons; however, the proteins required to organize and maintain this structure are not fully understood. Netrin-1 and its receptor Deleted in Colorectal Cancer (DCC) are proteins enriched at paranodes that are expressed by neurons and oligodendrocytes. To identify the specific function of DCC expressed by oligodendrocytes in vivo, we selectively eliminated DCC from mature myelinating oligodendrocytes using an inducible cre regulated by the proteolipid protein promoter. We demonstrate that DCC deletion results in progressive disruption of the organization of axonal domains, myelin ultrastructure, and myelin protein composition. Conditional DCC knock-out mice develop balance and coordination deficits and exhibit decreased conduction velocity. We conclude that DCC expression by oligodendrocytes is required for the maintenance and stability of myelin in vivo, which is essential for proper signal conduction in the CNS.
    The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience. 07/2014; 34(29):9768-78.
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    ABSTRACT: The transmembrane protein deleted in colorectal cancer (DCC) and its ligand, netrin-1, regulate synap-togenesis during development, but their function in the mature central nervous system is unknown. Given that DCC promotes cell-cell adhesion, is expressed by neurons, and activates proteins that signal at synapses, we hypothesized that DCC expression by neurons regulates synaptic func-tion and plasticity in the adult brain. We report that DCC is enriched in dendritic spines of pyramidal neurons in wild-type mice, and we demonstrate that selective deletion of DCC from neurons in the adult forebrain results in the loss of long-term poten-tiation (LTP), intact long-term depression, shorter dendritic spines, and impaired spatial and recogni-tion memory. LTP induction requires Src activation of NMDA receptor (NMDAR) function. DCC deletion severely reduced Src activation. We demonstrate that enhancing NMDAR function or activating Src rescues LTP in the absence of DCC. We conclude that DCC activation of Src is required for NMDAR-dependent LTP and certain forms of learning and memory.
    Cell Reports. 01/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: Current in vitro models to investigate the consequence of oligodendrocyte-specific loss-of-function mutations on myelination are primarily limited to co-culture experiments, which do not accurately recapitulate the complex in vivo environment. Here, we describe the development of an in vitro model of myelination and myelin maintenance in which oligodendrocyte precursor cells are transplanted into organotypic cerebellar slice cultures derived from dysmyelinated shiverer mice. Compared to neuron-oligodendrocyte co-cultures, organotypic slices more closely mimic the environment in vivo, while utilizing a genetic background that allows for straight-forward identification of myelin generated by transplanted cells. We show at the ultrastructural level that the myelin generated by wild-type transplanted oligodendrocytes is compact and terminates in cytoplasmic loops that form paranodal junctions with the axon. This myelination results in the appropriate sequestering of axonal proteins into specialized domains surrounding the nodes of Ranvier. We also demonstrate the applicability of this approach for xenograft transplantation of oligodendrocyte precursor cells derived from rat or human sources. This method provides a time-efficient and cost-effective adjunct to conditional knockout mouse lines or in vivo transplantation models to study oligodendrocyte-specific loss-of-function mutations. Furthermore, the approach can be readily used to assess the effect of pharmacological manipulations on myelin, providing a tool to better understand myelination and develop effective therapeutic strategies to treat myelin-related diseases.
    PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(7):e41237. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: MicroRNAs (miRs) regulate diverse molecular and cellular processes including oligodendrocyte (OL) precursor cell (OPC) proliferation and differentiation in rodents. However, the role of miRs in human OPCs is poorly understood. To identify miRs that may regulate these processes in humans, we isolated OL lineage cells from human white matter and analyzed their miR profile. Using endpoint RT-PCR assays and quantitative real-time PCR, we demonstrate that miR-219, miR-338, and miR-17-92 are enriched in human white matter and expressed in acutely isolated human OLs. In addition, we report the expression of closely related miRs (miR-219-1-3p, miR-219-2-3p, miR-1250, miR-657, miR-3065-5p, miR-3065-3p) in both rodent and human OLs. Our findings demonstrate that miRs implicated in rodent OPC proliferation and differentiation are regulated in human OLs and may regulate myelination program in humans. Thus, these miRs should be recognized as potential therapeutic targets in demyelinating disorders.
    Frontiers in Genetics 01/2012; 3:46.
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    ABSTRACT: Paranodal axoglial junctions are essential for the segregation of myelinated axons into distinct domains and efficient conduction of action potentials. Here, we show that netrin-1 and deleted in colorectal cancer (DCC) are enriched at the paranode in CNS myelin. We then address whether netrin-1 signaling influences paranodal adhesion between oligodendrocytes and axons. In the absence of netrin-1 or DCC function, oligodendroglial paranodes initially develop and mature normally but later become disorganized. Lack of DCC or netrin-1 resulted in detachment of paranodal loops from the axonal surface and the disappearance of transverse bands. Furthermore, the domain organization of myelin is compromised in the absence of netrin-1 signaling: K+ channels inappropriately invade the paranodal region, and the normally restricted paranodal distribution of Caspr expands longitudinally along the axon. Our findings identify an essential role for netrin-1 and DCC regulating the maintenance of axoglial junctions.
    Journal of Neuroscience 11/2008; 28(43):11003-14. · 6.91 Impact Factor