[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recovery from stroke engages mechanisms of neural plasticity. Here we examine a role for MHC class I (MHCI) H2-Kb and H2-Db, as well as PirB receptor. These molecules restrict synaptic plasticity and motor learning in the healthy brain. Stroke elevates neuronal expression not only of H2-Kb and H2-Db, but also of PirB and downstream signaling. KbDb knockout (KO) or PirB KO mice have smaller infarcts and enhanced motor recovery. KO hippocampal organotypic slices, which lack an intact peripheral immune response, have less cell death after in vitro ischemia. In PirB KO mice, corticospinal projections from the motor cortex are enhanced, and the reactive astrocytic response is dampened after MCAO. Thus, molecules that function in the immune system act not only to limit synaptic plasticity in healthy neurons, but also to exacerbate brain injury after ischemia. These results suggest therapies for stroke by targeting MHCI and PirB.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Fibroblast growth factors (FGFs) secreted from the midbrain-rhombomere 1 (r1) boundary instruct cell behavior in the surrounding neuroectoderm. For example, a combination of FGF and sonic hedgehog (SHH) can induce the development of the midbrain dopaminergic neurons, but the mechanisms behind the action and integration of these signals are unclear. We studied how FGF receptors (FGFRs) regulate cellular responses by analyzing midbrain-r1 development in mouse embryos, which carry different combinations of mutant Fgfr1, Fgfr2, and Fgfr3 alleles. Our results show that the FGFRs act redundantly to support cell survival in the dorsal neuroectoderm, promote r1 tissue identity, and regulate the production of ventral neuronal populations, including midbrain dopaminergic neurons. The compound Fgfr mutants have apparently normal WNT/SHH signaling and neurogenic gene expression in the ventral midbrain, but the number of proliferative neural progenitors is reduced as a result of precocious neuronal differentiation. Our results suggest a SoxB1 family member, Sox3, as a potential FGF-induced transcription factor promoting progenitor renewal. We propose a model for regulation of progenitor cell self-renewal and neuronal differentiation by combinatorial intercellular signals in the ventral midbrain.
Journal of Neuroscience 09/2007; 27(32):8581-92. · 6.91 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The mid-/hindbrain organizer (MHO) is characterized by the expression of a network of genes, which controls the patterning and development of the prospective midbrain and anterior hindbrain. One key molecule acting at the MHO is the fibroblast growth factor (Fgf) 8. Ectopic expression of Fgf8 induces genes that are normally expressed at the mid-/hindbrain boundary followed by the induction of midbrain and anterior hindbrain structures. Inactivation of the Fgf receptor (Fgfr) 1 gene, which was thought to be the primary transducer of the Fgf8 signal at the MHO, in the mid-/hindbrain region, leads to a deletion of dorsal structures of the mid-/hindbrain region, whereas ventral tissues are less severely affected. This suggests that other Fgfrs might be responsible for ventral mid-/hindbrain region development. Here we report the analysis of Fgfr2 conditional knockout mice, lacking the Fgfr2 in the mid-/hindbrain region and of Fgfr3 knockout mice with respect to the mid-/hindbrain region. In both homozygous mouse mutants, patterning of the mid-/hindbrain region is not altered, neuronal populations develop normal and are maintained into adulthood. This analysis shows that the Fgfr2 and the Fgfr3 on their own are dispensable for the development of the mid-/hindbrain region. We suggest functional redundancy of Fgf receptors in the mid-/hindbrain region.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The neuroectodermal tissue close to the midbrain-hindbrain boundary (MHB) is an important secondary organizer in the developing neural tube. This so-called isthmic organizer (IsO) secretes signaling molecules, such as fibroblast growth factors (FGFs), which regulate cellular survival, patterning and proliferation in the midbrain and rhombomere 1 (R1) of the hindbrain. We have previously shown that FGF-receptor 1 (FGFR1) is required for the normal development of this brain region in the mouse embryo. Here, we have compared the gene expression profiles of midbrain-R1 tissues from wild-type embryos and conditional Fgfr1 mutants, in which FGFR1 is inactivated in the midbrain and R1. Loss of Fgfr1 results in the downregulation of several genes expressed close to the midbrain-hindbrain boundary and in the disappearance of gene expression gradients in the midbrain and anterior hindbrain. Our screen identified several previously uncharacterized genes which may participate in the development of midbrain-R1 region. Our results also show altered neurogenesis in the midbrain and R1 of the Fgfr1 mutants. Interestingly, the neuronal progenitors in midbrain and R1 show different responses to the loss of signaling through FGFR1.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Midbrain neurons synthesizing the neurotransmitter dopamine play a central role in the modulation of different brain functions and are associated with major neurological and psychiatric disorders. Despite the importance of these cells, the molecular mechanisms controlling their development are still poorly understood. The secreted glycoprotein Wnt1 is expressed in close vicinity to developing midbrain dopaminergic neurons. Here, we show that Wnt1 regulates the genetic network, including Otx2 and Nkx2-2, that is required for the establishment of the midbrain dopaminergic progenitor domain during embryonic development. In addition, Wnt1 is required for the terminal differentiation of midbrain dopaminergic neurons at later stages of embryogenesis. These results identify Wnt1 as a key molecule in the development of midbrain dopaminergic neurons in vivo. They also suggest the Wnt1-controlled signaling pathway as a promising target for new therapeutic strategies in the treatment of Parkinson's disease.
Development 02/2006; 133(1):89-98. · 6.21 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Fibroblast growth factor 8 (FGF8) mediates the function of the midbrain-hindbrain organizer (MHO). FGF signals are transmitted by means of four known FGF receptors (FGFRs). Studies of Fgfr expression in early vertebrate development have shown that Fgfr1 is expressed along the entire neural tube, whereas Fgfr2 and Fgfr3 expression has been shown to spare the tissue adjacent to the MHO. The FGF8 signal from the MHO, therefore, was believed to be transmitted by FGFR1 exclusively. However, incongruent results from conditional mutants of Fgf8 and Fgfr1 in the midbrain-hindbrain (MHB) region contradict this hypothesis. Therefore, we reexamined the expression of the Fgfrs in this region. Fgfr1 is expressed all over the neural tube. Strikingly, Fgfr2 is expressed throughout the floor plate of the MHB region. In the basal plate, Fgfr2 directly abuts the Fgf8 expression domain at the MHO, anteriorly and posteriorly. Fgfr3 expression is in contact with the Fgf8 expression domain only in the rostroventral hindbrain. Based on these findings, we postulate a role for FGFR2 and FGFR3 in FGF signaling in the ventral midbrain and hindbrain.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Signaling molecules regulating development of the midbrain and anterior hindbrain are expressed in distinct bands of cells around the midbrain-hindbrain boundary. Very little is known about the mechanisms responsible for the coherence of this signaling center. One of the fibroblast growth factor (FGF) receptors, Fgfr1, is required for establishment of a straight border between developing mid- and hindbrain. Here we show that the cells close to the border have unique features. Unlike the cells further away, these cells express Fgfr1 but not the other FGF receptors. The cells next to the midbrain-hindbrain boundary express distinct cell cycle regulators and proliferate less rapidly than the surrounding cells. In Fgfr1 mutants, these cells fail to form a coherent band at the boundary. The slowly proliferating boundary cells are necessary for development of the characteristic isthmic constriction. They may also contribute to compartmentalization of this brain region.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Fibroblasten Wachstumsfaktoren (Fgfs) haben wichtige Aufgaben in der Entwicklung der Mittel-/Hinterhirnregion (MHR). So führt die Inaktivierung von Fgf8 in der MHR zu einem vollständigen Verlust von Gewebe in dieser Region. Eine konditionale Mausmutante für das Gen des Fibroblasten Wachstumsfaktor Rezeptors 1 (Fgfr1) in der MHR weist aber nur begrenzte Gewebeverluste auf. Die Untersuchung des verbleibenden ventralen Gewebes in der MHR der Fgfr1 Mutanten deckte auf, daß Fgfr1 speziell für die normale Entwicklung von dopaminergen und serotonergen Neuronen benötigt wird. Eine Reihe von unterschiedlichen Kreuzungen zwischen der konditionalen Fgfr1 Maus und einer konditionalen Fgfr2 Mauslinie zeigten, daß Fgfr1 und Fgfr2 in unterschiedlichem Maße zur Entwicklung der MHR beitragen, wobei Fgfr1 für die Entwicklung der MHR wichtiger ist als Fgfr2. Dies ist abhängig von den Expressionsmustern von Fgfr1 und Fgfr2, deutet aber auch auf einen differentiellen Gendosiseffekt hin.