Growth Factor Treatment and Genetic Manipulation Stimulate Neurogenesis and Oligodendrogenesis by Endogenous Neural Progenitors in the Injured Adult Spinal Cord

Division of Developmental Biology, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Research Foundation, Cincinnati, Ohio 45229-3039, USA.
The Journal of Neuroscience : The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience (Impact Factor: 6.34). 12/2006; 26(46):11948-60. DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3127-06.2006
Source: PubMed
Neurons and oligodendrocytes are highly vulnerable to various insults, and their spontaneous replacement occurs to only a limited extent after damage in the adult spinal cord. The environment of injured tissue is thus thought to restrict the regenerative capacity of endogenous neural stem/progenitor cells; strategies for overcoming such restrictions remain to be developed. Here, we combined growth factor treatment and genetic manipulation to stimulate neurogenesis and oligodendrogenesis by endogenous progenitors in vivo. The recombinant retrovirus pMXIG, which was designed to coexpress green fluorescent proteins (GFPs) and a neurogenic/gliogenic transcription factor, was directly injected into the injured spinal cord parenchyma to manipulate proliferative cells in situ. We found that cells expressing Olig2, Nkx2.2, and NG2 were enriched among virus-infected, GFP-positive (GFP+) cells. Moreover, a fraction of GFP+ cells formed neurospheres and differentiated into neurons, astrocytes, and oligodendrocytes in vitro, demonstrating that GFP retroviruses indeed infected endogenous neural progenitors in vivo. Neuronal differentiation of control virus-infected cells did not occur at a detectable level in the injured spinal cord. We found, however, that direct administration of fibroblast growth factor 2 and epidermal growth factor into lesioned tissue could induce a significant fraction of GFP-labeled cells to express immature neuronal markers. Moreover, retrovirus-mediated overexpression of the basic helix-loop-helix transcription factors Neurogenin2 and Mash1, together with growth factor treatment, enhanced the production and maturation of new neurons and oligodendrocytes, respectively. These results demonstrate that endogenous neural progenitors can be manipulated to replace neurons and oligodendrocytes lost to insults in the injured spinal cord.

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    • "The neurogenic potential of the adult spinal cord was identified by characterizing neurosphereforming cells isolated from the adult spinal cord [64, 88]. The number of putative NSCs from the adult spinal cord is greatly increased by spinal cord injuries [89, 90]. The nature of these neurosphere-forming cells in terms of whether they possess ependymal or glial characteristics is still under debate [91][92][93][94]. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The presence of neural stem cells (NSCs) and the production of new neurons in the adult brain have received great attention from scientists and the public because of implications to brain plasticity and their potential use for treating currently incurable brain diseases. Adult neurogenesis is controlled at multiple levels, including proliferation, differentiation, migration, and programmed cell death (PCD). Among these, PCD is the last and most prominent process for regulating the final number of mature neurons integrated into neural circuits. PCD can be classified into apoptosis, necrosis, and autophagic cell death and emerging evidence suggests that all three may be important modes of cell death in neural stem/progenitor cells. However, the molecular mechanisms that regulate PCD and thereby impact the intricate balance between self-renewal, proliferation, and differentiation during adult neurogenesis are not well understood. In this comprehensive review, we focus on the extent, mechanism, and biological significance of PCD for the control of adult neurogenesis in the mammalian brain. The role of intrinsic and extrinsic factors in the regulation of PCD at the molecular and systems levels is also discussed. Adult neurogenesis is a dynamic process, and the signals for differentiation, proliferation, and death of neural progenitor/stem cells are closely interrelated. A better understanding of how adult neurogenesis is influenced by PCD will help lead to important insights relevant to brain health and diseases.
    Preview · Article · Apr 2016
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    • "In mammals, ependymal cells, which are related to ERGs in fish, proliferate and contribute cells to the glial scar after spinal cord injury, but no new neurons are generated (Meletis et al., 2008). Viral overexpression of transcription factors drives newly generated spinal cells toward neuronal identity (Ohori et al., 2006; Su et al., 2014), but motor neurons are not induced. We show here that, in an adult vertebrate, serotonin significantly increases the number of newly generated motor neurons after a spinal lesion and that exogenous serotonin can replace the endogenous signal. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In contrast to mammals, zebrafish regenerate spinal motor neurons. During regeneration, developmental signals are re-deployed. Here, we show that, during development, diffuse serotonin promotes spinal motor neuron generation from pMN progenitor cells, leaving interneuron numbers unchanged. Pharmacological manipulations and receptor knockdown indicate that serotonin acts at least in part via 5-HT1A receptors. In adults, serotonin is supplied to the spinal cord mainly (90%) by descending axons from the brain. After a spinal lesion, serotonergic axons degenerate caudal to the lesion but sprout rostral to it. Toxin-mediated ablation of serotonergic axons also rostral to the lesion impaired regeneration of motor neurons only there. Conversely, intraperitoneal serotonin injections doubled numbers of new motor neurons and proliferating pMN-like progenitors caudal to the lesion. Regeneration of spinal-intrinsic serotonergic interneurons was unaltered by these manipulations. Hence, serotonin selectively promotes the development and adult regeneration of motor neurons in zebrafish.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2015 · Cell Reports
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    • "Retroviral induction of Mash1 expression in endogenous spinal cord NPCs following SCI resulted in increased oligodendrocyte differentiation and formation of new oligodendrocyte progenitor cells following a complete transection rat model of SCI. Although a small number of new Mash1 expressing oligodendrocytes expressed markers of mature oligodendrocytes, the majority of these cells remained NG2+ expressing progenitor cells and did not fully mature into myelinating oligodendrocytes even weeks after injury (Ohori et al., 2006). Neuregulin-1 (Nrg-1) is another growth factor known to promote OPCs survival, migration, and differentiation into mature myelinating oligodendrocytes (Vartanian et al., 1999; Miller, 2002). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Injury to the central nervous system (CNS) results in oligodendrocyte cell death and progressive demyelination. Demyelinated axons undergo considerable physiological changes and molecular reorganizations that collectively result in axonal dysfunction, degeneration and loss of sensory and motor functions. Endogenous adult oligodendrocyte precursor cells and neural stem/progenitor cells contribute to the replacement of oligodendrocytes, however, the extent and quality of endogenous remyelination is suboptimal. Emerging evidence indicates that optimal remyelination is restricted by multiple factors including (i) low levels of factors that promote oligodendrogenesis; (ii) cell death among newly generated oligodendrocytes, (iii) inhibitory factors in the post-injury milieu that impede remyelination, and (iv) deficient expression of key growth factors essential for proper reconstruction of a highly organized myelin sheath. Considering these challenges, over the past several years, a number of cell-based strategies have been developed to optimize remyelination therapeutically. Outcomes of these basic and preclinical discoveries are promising and signify the importance of remyelination as a mechanism for improving functions in CNS injuries. In this review, we provide an overview on: (1) the precise organization of myelinated axons and the reciprocal axo-myelin interactions that warrant properly balanced physiological activities within the CNS; (2) underlying cause of demyelination and the structural and functional consequences of demyelination in axons following injury and disease; (3) the endogenous mechanisms of oligodendrocyte replacement; (4) the modulatory role of reactive astrocytes and inflammatory cells in remyelination; and (5) the current status of cell-based therapies for promoting remyelination. Careful elucidation of the cellular and molecular mechanisms of demyelination in the pathologic CNS is a key to better understanding the impact of remyelination for CNS repair.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2015 · Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience
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