Setting the conditions for efficient, robust and reproducible generation of functionally active neurons from adult subventricular zone-derived neural stem cells

Department of Pharmacological Sciences, University of Milan, Milan, Italy.
Cell death and differentiation (Impact Factor: 8.18). 01/2009; 15(12):1847-56. DOI: 10.1038/cdd.2008.118
Source: PubMed


Although new culture conditions enable homogeneous and long-term propagation of radial glia-like neural stem (NS) cells in monolayer and serum-free conditions, the efficiency of the conversion of NS cells into terminally differentiated, functionally mature neurons is relatively limited and poorly characterized. We demonstrate that NS cells derived from adult mouse subventricular zone robustly develop properties of mature neurons when exposed to an optimized neuronal differentiation protocol. A high degree of cell viability was preserved. At 22 days in vitro, most cells (65%) were microtubule-associated protein 2(+) and coexpressed gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), GAD67, calbindin and parvalbumin. Nearly all neurons exhibited sodium, potassium and calcium currents, and 70% of them fired action potentials. These neurons expressed functional GABA(A) receptors, whereas activable kainate, alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid and N-methyl-D-aspartic acid receptors were present in approximately 80, 30 and 2% of cells, respectively. Antigenic and functional properties were efficiently and reliably reproduced across experiments and cell passages (up to 68). This is the first report showing a consistent and reproducible generation of large amounts of neurons from long-term passaged adult neural stem cells. Remarkably, the neuronal progeny carries a defined set of antigenic, biochemical and functional characteristics that make this system suitable for studies of NS cell biology as well as for genetic and chemical screenings.

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Available from: Gerardo Biella, Mar 13, 2014
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    • "GluA1 was found to be mainly expressed in neuroblasts and MAP2-positive neurons. Our findings of AMPA-type glutamate receptor subunits on SVZ-derived neuroblasts are in accordance with other data showing the expression of functional AMPA ⁄ kainate receptors in migrating neuroblasts in the SVZ and rostral migratory stream (Carleton et al., 2003; Platel et al., 2007; Goffredo et al., 2008). Using SCCI, we determined that SVZderived neurons (identified according to the increase in [Ca 2+ ] i levels following KCl but not Hist stimulation) expressed functional AMPAtype glutamate receptors. "
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    ABSTRACT: Ampakines are chemical compounds known to modulate the properties of ionotropic α-amino-3-hydroxyl-5-methyl-4-isoxazole-propionate (AMPA)-subtype glutamate receptors. The functional effects attributed to ampakines involve plasticity and the increase in synaptic efficiency of neuronal circuits, a process that may be intimately associated with differentiation of newborn neurons. The subventricular zone (SVZ) is the main neurogenic niche of the brain, containing neural stem cells with brain repair potential. Accordingly, the identification of new pharmaceutical compounds with neurogenesis-enhancing properties is important as a tool to promote neuronal replacement based on the use of SVZ cells. The purpose of the present paper is to examine the possible proneurogenic effects of ampakine CX546 in cell cultures derived from the SVZ of early postnatal mice. We observed that CX546 (50 μm) treatment triggered an increase in proliferation, evaluated by BrdU incorporation assay, in the neuroblast lineage. Moreover, by using a cell viability assay (TUNEL) we found that, in contrast to AMPA, CX546 did not cause cell death. Also, both AMPA and CX546 stimulated neuronal differentiation as evaluated morphologically through neuronal nuclear protein (NeuN) immunocytochemistry and functionally by single-cell calcium imaging. Accordingly, short exposure to CX546 increased axonogenesis, as determined by the number and length of tau-positive axons co-labelled for the phosphorylated form of SAPK/JNK (P-JNK), and dendritogenesis (MAP2-positive neurites). Altogether, this study shows that ampakine CX546 promotes neurogenesis in SVZ cell cultures and thereby may have potential for future stem cell-based therapies.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2012 · European Journal of Neuroscience
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    • "We also conducted neuronal differentiation experiments with hCNS- SCns and examined the neurotransmitter identity that the neuronal progeny acquired and found adoption of GABAergic, cholinergic and dopaminergic neuronal cell fates (unpublished results). As far as physiological maturation is concerned, this was studied in greater detail in mouse NS cells (Biella et al., 2007; Goffredo et al., 2008). hNS were also shown to mature in ion channel composition by their ability to fire overshooting action potentials in response to current injection (Sun et al., 2008), similar to hCNS-SCns co-cultured on an astrocyte feeder layer (Guzman et al., 2007). "
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    ABSTRACT: The utilization of neural stem cells and their progeny in applications such as disease modelling, drug screening or safety assessment will require the development of robust methods for consistent, high quality uniform cell production. Previously, we described the generation of adherent, homogeneous, non-immortalized mouse and human neural stem cells derived from both brain tissue and pluripotent embryonic stem cells (Conti et al., 2005; Sun et al., 2008). In this study, we report the isolation or derivation of stable neurogenic human NS (hNS) lines from different regions of the 8-9 gestational week fetal human central nervous system (CNS) using new serum-free media formulations including animal component-free conditions. We generated more than 20 adherent hNS lines from whole brain, cortex, lobe, midbrain, hindbrain and spinal cord. We also compared the adherent hNS to some aspects of the human CNS-stem cells grown as neurospheres (hCNS-SCns), which were derived from prospectively isolated CD133(+)CD24(-/lo) cells from 16 to 20 gestational week fetal brain. We found, by RT-PCR and Taqman low-density array, that some of the regionally isolated lines maintained their regional identity along the anteroposterior axis. These NS cells exhibit the signature marker profile of neurogenic radial glia and maintain neurogenic and multipotential differentiation ability after extensive long-term expansion. Similarly, hCNS-SC can be expanded either as neurospheres or in extended adherent monolayer with a morphology and marker expression profile consistent with radial glia NS cells. We demonstrate that these lines can be efficiently genetically modified with standard nucleofection protocols for both protein overexpression and siRNA knockdown of exogenously expressed and endogenous genes exemplified with GFP and Nestin. To investigate the functional maturation of neuronal progeny derived from hNS we (a) performed Agilent whole genome microarray gene expression analysis from cultures undergoing neuronal differentiation for up to 32 days and found increased expression over time for a number of drugable target genes including neurotransmitter receptors and ion channels and (b) conducted a neuropharmacology study utilizing Fura-2 Ca(2+) imaging which revealed a clear shift from an initial glial reaction to carbachol to mature neuron-specific responses to glutamate and potassium after prolonged neuronal differentiation. Fully automated culture and scale-up of select hNS was achieved; cells supplied by the robot maintained the molecular profile of multipotent NS cells and performed faithfully in neuronal differentiation experiments. Here, we present validation and utility of a human neural lineage-restricted stem cell-based assay platform, including scale-up and automation, genetic engineering and functional characterization of differentiated progeny.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2011 · Neurochemistry International
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    • "Mouse NS cells are regularly grown in 25 cm2 flasks and tested for their proliferation rate and differentiation capability in 24-well dishes. In these conditions, cells grow stably and homogenously while maintaining their pluripotency and neurogenic capacity [15,19]. In order to adapt their growth and differentiation potential to plate formats compatible with high-throughput screening, we have performed experiments in which seeding density and medium volume per well have been optimized to 96- and 384-well formats. "
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    ABSTRACT: There is an urgent need of neuronal cell models to be applied to high-throughput screening settings while recapitulating physiological and/or pathological events occurring in the Central Nervous System (CNS). Stem cells offer a great opportunity in this direction since their self renewal capacity allows for large scale expansion. Protocols for directed differentiation also promise to generate populations of biochemically homogenous neuronal progenies. NS (Neural Stem) cells are a novel population of stem cells that undergo symmetric cell division in monolayer and chemically defined media, while remaining highly neurogenic. We report the full adaptation of the NS cell systems for their growth and neuronal differentiation to 96- and 384-well microplates. This optimized system has also been exploited in homogeneous and high-content assays. Our results show that these mouse NS cells may be suitable for a series of applications in high-throughput format.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2010 · BMC Neuroscience
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