[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Reactive astrogliosis is characterized by a profound change in astrocyte phenotype in response to all CNS injuries and diseases. To better understand the reactive astrocyte state, we used Affymetrix GeneChip arrays to profile gene expression in populations of reactive astrocytes isolated at various time points after induction using two mouse injury models, ischemic stroke and neuroinflammation. We find reactive gliosis consists of a rapid, but quickly attenuated, induction of gene expression after insult and identify induced Lcn2 and Serpina3n as strong markers of reactive astrocytes. Strikingly, reactive astrocyte phenotype strongly depended on the type of inducing injury. Although there is a core set of genes that is upregulated in reactive astrocytes from both injury models, at least 50% of the altered gene expression is specific to a given injury type. Reactive astrocytes in ischemia exhibited a molecular phenotype that suggests that they may be beneficial or protective, whereas reactive astrocytes induced by LPS exhibited a phenotype that suggests that they may be detrimental. These findings demonstrate that, despite well established commonalities, astrocyte reactive gliosis is a highly heterogeneous state in which astrocyte activities are altered to respond to the specific injury. This raises the question of how many subtypes of reactive astrocytes exist. Our findings provide transcriptome databases for two subtypes of reactive astrocytes that will be highly useful in generating new and testable hypotheses of their function, as well as for providing new markers to detect different types of reactive astrocytes in human neurological diseases.
Full-text · Article · May 2012 · The Journal of Neuroscience : The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Down syndrome (DS) is a developmental disorder caused by a third chromosome 21 in humans (Trisomy 21), leading to neurological deficits and cognitive impairment. Studies in mouse models of DS suggest that cognitive deficits in the adult are associated with deficits in synaptic learning and memory mechanisms, but it is unclear whether alterations in the early wiring and refinement of neuronal circuits contribute to these deficits. Here, we show that early developmental refinement of visual circuits is perturbed in mouse models of Down syndrome. Specifically, we find excessive eye-specific segregation of retinal axons in the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus. Indeed, the degree of refinement scales with defects in the "Down syndrome critical region" (DSCR) in a dose-dependent manner. We further identify Dscam (Down syndrome cell adhesion molecule), a gene within the DSCR, as a regulator of eye-specific segregation of retinogeniculate projections. Although Dscam is not the sole gene in the DSCR contributing to enhanced refinement in trisomy, Dscam dosage clearly regulates cell spacing and dendritic fasciculation in a specific class of retinal ganglion cells. Thus, altered developmental refinement of visual circuits that occurs before sensory experience is likely to contribute to visual impairment in individuals with Down syndrome.
Full-text · Article · Apr 2011 · The Journal of Neuroscience : The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: During development, the formation of mature neural circuits requires the selective elimination of inappropriate synaptic connections. Here we show that C1q, the initiating protein in the classical complement cascade, is expressed by postnatal neurons in response to immature astrocytes and is localized to synapses throughout the postnatal CNS and retina. Mice deficient in complement protein C1q or the downstream complement protein C3 exhibit large sustained defects in CNS synapse elimination, as shown by the failure of anatomical refinement of retinogeniculate connections and the retention of excess retinal innervation by lateral geniculate neurons. Neuronal C1q is normally downregulated in the adult CNS; however, in a mouse model of glaucoma, C1q becomes upregulated and synaptically relocalized in the adult retina early in the disease. These findings support a model in which unwanted synapses are tagged by complement for elimination and suggest that complement-mediated synapse elimination may become aberrantly reactivated in neurodegenerative disease.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: While lymph node metastasis is among the strongest predictors of disease-free and overall survival for patients with breast cancer, the immunological nature of tumor-draining lymph nodes is often ignored, and may provide additional prognostic information on clinical outcome.
We performed immunohistochemical analysis of 47 sentinel and 104 axillary (nonsentinel) nodes from 77 breast cancer patients with 5 y of follow-up to determine if alterations in CD4, CD8, and CD1a cell populations predict nodal metastasis or disease-free survival. Sentinel and axillary node CD4 and CD8 T cells were decreased in breast cancer patients compared to control nodes. CD1a dendritic cells were also diminished in sentinel and tumor-involved axillary nodes, but increased in tumor-free axillary nodes. Axillary node, but not sentinel node, CD4 T cell and dendritic cell populations were highly correlated with disease-free survival, independent of axillary metastasis. Immune profiling of ALN from a test set of 48 patients, applying CD4 T cell and CD1a dendritic cell population thresholds of CD4 > or = 7.0% and CD1a > or = 0.6%, determined from analysis of a learning set of 29 patients, provided significant risk stratification into favorable and unfavorable prognostic groups superior to clinicopathologic characteristics including tumor size, extent or size of nodal metastasis (CD4, p < 0.001 and CD1a, p < 0.001). Moreover, axillary node CD4 T cell and CD1a dendritic cell populations allowed more significant stratification of disease-free survival of patients with T1 (primary tumor size 2 cm or less) and T2 (5 cm or larger) tumors than all other patient characteristics. Finally, sentinel node immune profiles correlated primarily with the presence of infiltrating tumor cells, while axillary node immune profiles appeared largely independent of nodal metastases, raising the possibility that, within axillary lymph nodes, immune profile changes and nodal metastases represent independent processes.
These findings demonstrate that the immune profile of tumor-draining lymph nodes is of novel biologic and clinical importance for patients with early stage breast cancer.