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Neuronal-glial relationships play a critical role in the maintenance of central nervous system architecture and neuronal specification. A deeper understanding of these relationships can elucidate cellular cross-talk capable of sustaining proper development of neural tissues. In the cerebellum, cerebellar granule neuron precursors (CGNPs) proliferate in response to Purkinje neuron-derived Sonic hedgehog (Shh) before ultimately exiting the cell cycle and migrating radially along Bergmann glial fibers. However, the function of Bergmann glia in CGNP proliferation remains not well defined. Interestingly, the Hh pathway is also activated in Bergmann glia, but the role of Shh signaling in these cells is unknown. In this study, we show that specific ablation of Shh signaling using the tamoxifen-inducible TNC line to eliminate Shh pathway activator Smoothened in Bergmann glia is sufficient to cause severe cerebellar hypoplasia and a significant reduction in CGNP proliferation. TNC; Smo (Smo) mice demonstrate an obvious reduction in cerebellar size within two days of ablation of Shh signaling. Mutant cerebella have severely reduced proliferation and increased differentiation of CGNPs due to a significant decrease in Shh activity and concomitant activation of Wnt signaling in Smo CGNPs, suggesting that this pathway is involved in cross-talk with the Shh pathway in regulating CGNP proliferation. In addition, Purkinje cells are ectopically located, their dendrites stunted, and the Bergmann glial network disorganized. Collectively, these data demonstrate a previously unappreciated role for Bergmann glial Shh signaling activity in the proliferation of CGNPs and proper maintenance of cerebellar architecture.
Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Mutations in the gene are responsible for the neurodevelopmental disorder Rett syndrome (RTT). MeCP2 is a DNA-binding protein whose abundance and ability to complex with histone deacetylase 3 is linked to the regulation of chromatin structure. Consequently, loss-of-function mutations in MeCP2 are predicted to have broad effects on gene expression. However, to date, studies in mouse models of RTT have identified a limited number of gene or pathway-level disruptions, and even fewer genes have been identified that could be considered amenable to classic drug discovery approaches. Here, we performed RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) on nine motor cortex and six cerebellar autopsy samples from RTT patients and controls. This approach identified 1887 significantly affected genes in the motor cortex and 2110 genes in the cerebellum, with a global trend toward increased expression. Pathway-level analysis identified enrichment in genes associated with mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling, long-term potentiation, and axon guidance. A survey of our RNA-seq results also identified a significant decrease in expression of the gene, which encodes a receptor [muscarinic acetylcholine receptor 4 (M)] that is the subject of multiple large drug discovery efforts for schizophrenia and Alzheimer's disease. We confirmed that expression was decreased in RTT patients, and, excitingly, we demonstrated that M potentiation normalizes social and cognitive phenotypes in mice. This work provides an experimental paradigm in which translationally relevant targets can be identified using transcriptomics in RTT autopsy samples, back-modeled in mice, and assessed for preclinical efficacy using existing pharmacological tool compounds.
Copyright © 2018 by The American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.
The identification of proteins from tissue specimens is a challenging area of biological research. Many current techniques for identification forfeit some level of spatial information during the sample preparation process. Recently, hydrogel technologies have been developed that perform spatially localized protein extraction and digestion prior to downstream proteomic analysis. Regiospecific protein identifications acquired using this approach have thus far been limited to 1-2 mm diameter areas. The need to target smaller populations of cells with this technology necessitates the production of smaller diameter hydrogels. Herein, we demonstrate hydrogel fabrication processes that allow hydrogel applications down to a diameter of ∼260 μm, approximately 1/15 of the area of previous approaches. Parameters such as the percent polyacrylamide used in hydrogel construction as well as the concentration of trypsin with which the hydrogel is loaded are investigated to maximize the number of protein identifications from subsequent liquid chromatography tandem MS (LC-MS/MS) analysis of hydrogel extracts. An 18% polyacrylamide concentration is shown to provide for a more rigid polymer network than the conventional 7.5% polyacrylamide concentration and supports the fabrication of individual hydrogels using the small punch biopsies. Over 600 protein identifications are still achieved at the smallest hydrogel diameters of 260 μm. The utility of these small hydrogels is demonstrated through the analysis of sub regions of a rat cerebellum tissue section. While over 900 protein identifications are made from each hydrogel, approximately 20% of the proteins identified are unique to each of the two regions, highlighting the importance of targeting tissue subtypes to accurately characterize tissue biology. These newly improved methods to the hydrogel process will allow researchers to target smaller biological features for robust spatially localized proteomic analyses.
Postnatal proliferation of cerebellar granule neuron precursors (CGNPs), proposed cells of origin for the SHH-associated subgroup of medulloblastoma, is driven by Sonic hedgehog (Shh) and insulin-like growth factor (IGF) in the developing cerebellum. Shh induces the oncogene Yes-associated protein (YAP), which drives IGF2 expression in CGNPs and mouse Shh-associated medulloblastomas. To determine how IGF2 expression is regulated downstream of YAP, we carried out an unbiased screen for transcriptional regulators bound to IGF2 promoters. We report that Y-box binding protein-1 (YB-1), an onco-protein regulating transcription and translation, binds to IGF2 promoter P3. We observed that YB-1 is upregulated across human medulloblastoma subclasses as well as in other varieties of pediatric brain tumors. Utilizing the cerebellar progenitor model for the Shh subgroup of medulloblastoma in mice, we show for the first time that YB-1 is induced by Shh in CGNPs. Its expression is YAP-dependent and it is required for IGF2 expression in CGNPs. Finally, both gain-of function and loss-of-function experiments reveal that YB-1 activity is required for sustaining CGNP and medulloblastoma cell (MBC) proliferation. Collectively, our findings describe a novel role for YB-1 in driving proliferation in the developing cerebellum and MBCs and they identify the SHH:YAP:YB1:IGF2 axis as a powerful target for therapeutic intervention in medulloblastomas.
The development of the mammalian cerebellum is orchestrated by both cell-autonomous programs and inductive environmental influences. Here, we describe the main processes of cerebellar ontogenesis, highlighting the neurogenic strategies used by developing progenitors, the genetic programs involved in cell fate specification, the progressive changes of structural organization, and some of the better-known abnormalities associated with developmental disorders of the cerebellum.
BACKGROUND - There is considerable evidence that the thalamus is abnormal in psychotic disorders. Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging has revealed an intriguing pattern of thalamic dysconnectivity in psychosis characterized by reduced prefrontal cortex (PFC) connectivity and increased somatomotor-thalamic connectivity. However, critical knowledge gaps remain with respect to the onset, anatomical specificity, and clinical correlates of thalamic dysconnectivity in psychosis.
METHODS - Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging was collected on 105 healthy subjects and 148 individuals with psychosis, including 53 early-stage psychosis patients. Using all 253 subjects, the thalamus was parceled into functional regions of interest (ROIs) on the basis of connectivity with six a priori defined cortical ROIs covering most of the cortical mantle. Functional connectivity between each cortical ROI and its corresponding thalamic ROI was quantified and compared across groups. Significant differences in the ROI-to-ROI analysis were followed up with voxelwise seed-based analyses to further localize thalamic dysconnectivity.
RESULTS - ROI analysis revealed reduced PFC-thalamic connectivity and increased somatomotor-thalamic connectivity in both chronic and early-stage psychosis patients. PFC hypoconnectivity and motor cortex hyperconnectivity correlated in patients, suggesting that they result from a common pathophysiological mechanism. Seed-based analyses revealed thalamic hypoconnectivity in psychosis localized to dorsolateral PFC, medial PFC, and cerebellar areas of the well-described executive control network. Across all subjects, thalamic connectivity with areas of the fronto-parietal network correlated with cognitive functioning, including verbal learning and memory.
CONCLUSIONS - Thalamocortical dysconnectivity is present in both chronic and early stages of psychosis, includes reduced thalamic connectivity with the executive control network, and is related to cognitive impairment.
Copyright © 2016 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
According to recent research, brain injury after premature birth often includes impaired growth of the cerebellum. However, causes of cerebellar injury in this population are poorly understood. In this study, we analyzed whether postnatal hyperoxia perturbs white matter development of the cerebellum, and whether cerebellar glial damage can be prevented by minocycline. We used a hyperoxia model in neonatal rats providing 24 h exposure to fourfold increased oxygen concentration (80% O2) from P6 to P7, followed by recovery in room air until P9, P11, P15, P30. Injections with minocycline were performed at the beginning and 12 h into hyperoxia exposure. Hyperoxia induced oxidative stress in the cerebellum at P7 as evidenced by increased nitrotyrosine concentrations. Numbers of proliferating, NG2+Ki67+ oligodendroglial precursor cells were decreased at P7 after hyperoxia and at P11 following recovery in room air. Numbers of mature, CC1+ oligodendrocytes were diminished in recovering hyperoxia rats, and myelin basic protein expression was still decreased at P30. Electron microscopy analysis of myelinated fibers at P30 revealed thinner myelin sheath after hyperoxia. Long-term injury of the cerebellum by neonatal hyperoxia was confirmed by reduced volumes in MRI measurements at P30. In response to 80% O2, expression of platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF)-A was largely reduced in cerebellar tissue and also in cultured cerebellar astrocytes. Treatment with minocycline during hyperoxia prevented oxidative stress, attenuated oligodendroglial injury, and improved astroglial PDGF-A levels. In conclusion, early hyperoxia causes white matter damage in the cerebellum with astroglial dysfunction being involved, and both can be prevented by treatment with minocycline. Neonatal exposure to hyperoxia causes hypomyelination of the cerebellum. Reduced astroglial growth factor production but not microglial inflammation seems to contribute to oligodendroglial damage, and minocycline rescues oligodendroglia development in the cerebellum after hyperoxia.
© 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
We have achieved protein imaging mass spectrometry capabilities at sub-cellular spatial resolution and at high acquisition speed by integrating a transmission geometry ion source with time of flight mass spectrometry. The transmission geometry principle allowed us to achieve a 1-μm laser spot diameter on target. A minimal raster step size of the instrument was 2.5 μm. Use of 2,5-dihydroxyacetophenone robotically sprayed on top of a tissue sample as a matrix together with additional sample preparation steps resulted in single pixel mass spectra from mouse cerebellum tissue sections having more than 20 peaks in a range 3-22 kDa. Mass spectrometry images were acquired in a standard step raster microprobe mode at 5 pixels/s and in a continuous raster mode at 40 pixels/s.
Allosteric modulators of the metabotropic glutamate receptor subtype 5 (mGlu5) have exciting potential as therapeutic agents for multiple brain disorders. Translational studies with mGlu5 modulators have relied on mGlu5 allosteric site positron emission tomography (PET) radioligands to assess receptor occupancy in the brain. However, recent structural and modeling studies suggest that closely related mGlu5 allosteric modulators can bind to overlapping but not identical sites, which could complicate interpretation of in vivo occupancy data, even when PET ligands and drug leads are developed from the same chemical scaffold. We now report that systemic administration of the novel mGlu5 positive allosteric modulator VU0092273 displaced the structurally related mGlu5 PET ligand, [(18)F]FPEB, with measures of in vivo occupancy that closely aligned with its in vivo efficacy. In contrast, a close analog of VU0092273 and [(18)F]FPEB, VU0360172, provided robust efficacy in rodent models in the absence of detectable occupancy. Furthermore, a structurally unrelated mGlu5 negative allosteric modulator, VU0409106, displayed measures of in vivo occupancy that correlated well with behavioral effects, despite the fact that VU0409106 is structurally unrelated to [(18)F]FPEB. Interestingly, all three compounds inhibit radioligand binding to the prototypical MPEP/FPEB allosteric site in vitro. However, VU0092273 and VU0409106 bind to this site in a fully competitive manner, whereas the interaction of VU0360172 is noncompetitive. Thus, while close structural similarity between PET ligands and drug leads does not circumvent issues associated with differential binding to a given target, detailed molecular pharmacology analysis accurately predicts utility of ligand pairs for in vivo occupancy studies.
In this report, the authors describe the case of a teenage boy who presented with hypertensive emergency, posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome, and hydrocephalus due to fourth ventricle outlet obstruction. Posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome is a well-characterized but uncommon syndrome in children that is generally triggered by severe hypertension. The unusual clinical picture of this patient, who had isolated cerebellar edema leading to obstructive hydrocephalus, has been rarely described in children.