Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

The dorsal neural tube: A dynamic setting for cell fate decisions

Shlomo Krispin
Abstract The dorsal neural tube first generates neural crest cells that exit the neural primordium following an epithelial-to-mesenchymal conversion to become sympathetic ganglia, Schwann cells, dorsal root sensory ganglia, and melanocytes of the skin. Following the end of crest emigration, the dorsal midline of the neural tube becomes the roof plate, a signaling center for the organization of dorsal neuronal cell types. Recent lineage analysis performed before the onset of crest delamination revealed that the dorsal tube is a highly dynamic region sequentially traversed by fate-restricted crest progenitors. Furthermore, prospective roof plate cells were shown to originate ventral to presumptive crest and to progressively relocate dorsalward to occupy their definitive midline position following crest delamination. These data raise important questions regarding the mechanisms of cell emigration in relation to fate acquisition, and suggest the possibility that spatial and/or temporal information in the dorsal neural tube determines initial segregation of neural crest cells into their derivatives. In addition, they emphasize the need to address what controls the end of neural crest production and consequent roof plate formation, a fundamental issue for understanding the separation between central and peripheral lineages during development of the nervous system. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Develop Neurobiol 70: 796,812, 2010. [source]

Characterization of the plasticity-related gene, Arc, in the frog brain

Lisa A. Mangiamele
Abstract In mammals, expression of the immediate early gene Arc/Arg3.1 in the brain is induced by exposure to novel environments, reception of sensory stimuli, and production of learned behaviors, suggesting a potentially important role in neural and behavioral plasticity. To date, Arc has only been characterized in a few species of mammals and birds, which limits our ability to understand its role in modifying behavior. To begin to address this gap, we identified Arc in two frog species, Xenopus tropicalis and Physalaemus pustulosus, and characterized its expression in the brain of P. pustulosus. We found that the predicted protein for frog Arc shared 60% sequence similarity with Arc in other vertebrates, and we observed high Arc expression in the forebrain, but not the midbrain or hindbrain, of female túngara frogs sacrificed at breeding ponds. We also examined the time-course of Arc induction in the medial pallium, the homologue of the mammalian hippocampus, in response to a recording of a P. pustulosus mating chorus and found that accumulation of Arc mRNA peaked 0.75 h following stimulus onset. We found that the mating chorus also induced Arc expression in the lateral and ventral pallia and the medial septum, but not in the striatum, hypothalamus, or auditory midbrain. Finally, we examined acoustically induced Arc expression in response to different types of mating calls and found that Arc expression levels in the pallium and septum did not vary with the biological relevance or acoustic complexity of the signal. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Develop Neurobiol 70: 813,825, 2010 [source]

Photoperiodic differences in a forebrain nucleus involved in vocal plasticity: Enkephalin immunoreactivity reveals volumetric variation in song nucleus lMAN but not NIf in male European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris)

Tyler J. Stevenson
Abstract Seasonal variation in the volume of various song control nuclei in many passerine species remains one of the best examples of naturally occurring adult neuroplasticity among vertebrates. The lateral portion of the magnocellular nucleus of the anterior nidopallium (lMAN) is a song nucleus that is important for song learning and seems to be critical for inducing variability in the song structure that is later pruned via a feedback process to produce adult crystallized song. To date, lMAN has not been shown to exhibit seasonal changes in volume, probably because it is difficult to resolve the boundaries of lMAN when employing histological methods based on Nissl staining. Here, lMANcore volumes were examined in intact photostimulated (i.e., breeding), castrated photostimulated and photorefractory (i.e., nonbreeding) male starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) to investigate the degree of seasonal variation in brain morphology. We present data demonstrating that the volumes of the total MAN and lMANcore delineated by enkephalin immunoreactivity are greater in photostimulated male starlings as compared to photorefractory males. Moreover, two other regions associated with the song system that have not been investigated previously in the context of seasonal plasticity namely (i) the medial portion of MAN (mMAN), and (ii) the nucleus interfacialis (NIf) did not display significant volumetric variation. We propose that greater lMANcore volumes are associated with the increase in vocal plasticity that is generally observed prior to production of stereotyped song. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Develop Neurobiol 70: 751,763, 2010 [source]

Retinal patterning by Pax6-dependent cell adhesion molecules

Elisabeth Rungger-Brändle
Abstract Long-standing evidence gained from Pax6 mutant embryos pointed to an involvement of Pax6-dependent cell adhesion molecules in patterning the central nervous system and, in particular, the retina. However, direct evidence for such pathways remained elusive. We here present direct evidence that knockdown of Pax6 expression by morpholino antisense molecules in Xenopus embryos and knockdown of maternal N-cadherin (mNcad), N-cadherin (Ncad) and neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM) produce similar phenotypes. Eye formation is reduced and retinal lamination is heavily disorganized. In Pax6 knockdown embryos, the levels of mRNAs coding for these cell adhesion molecules are markedly reduced. Overexpression of Pax6 efficiently rescues the phenotype of Pax6 knockdown embryos and restores expression of these putative target genes. Rescue of Pax6-deficiency by the putative target gene mNcad moderately rescues eye formation. The promoters of the genes coding for cell adhesion molecules contain several putative Pax6 binding sites, as determined by computer analysis. Chromatin immunoprecipitation shows that, in embryonic heads, Pax6 binds to promoter regions containing such predicted binding sites. Thus, several cell adhesion molecules are direct target genes of Pax6 and cooperate in retinal patterning. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Develop Neurobiol 70: 764,780, 2010 [source]

Evidence for neural stem cells in the medaka optic tectum proliferation zones,

Alessandro Alunni
Abstract Few adult neural stem cells have been characterized in vertebrates. Although teleosts continually generate new neurons in many regions of the brain after embryogenesis, only two types of neural stem cells (NSCs) have been reported in zebrafish: glial cells in the forebrain resembling mammalian NSCs, and neuroepithelial cells in the cerebellum. Here, following our previous studies on dividing progenitors (Nguyen et al. [1999]: J Comp Neurol 413:385,404.), we further evidenced NSCs in the optic tectum (OT) of juvenile and adult in the medaka, Oryzias latipes. To detect very slowly cycling progenitors, we did not use the commonly used BrdU/PCNA protocol, in which PCNA may not be present during a transiently quiescent state. Instead, we report the optimizations of several protocols involving long subsequent incubations with two thymidine analogs (IdU and CldU) interspaced with long chase times between incubations. These protocols allowed us to discriminate and localize fast and slow cycling cells in OT of juvenile and adult in the medaka. Furthermore, we showed that adult OT progenitors are not glia, as they express neither brain lipid-binding protein (BLBP) nor glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP). We also showed that expression of pluripotency-associated markers (Sox2, Musashi1 and Bmi1) colocalized with OT progenitors. Finally, we described the spatio-temporally ordered population of NSCs and progenitors in the medaka OT. Hence, the medaka appears as an invaluable model for studying neural progenitors that will open the way to further exciting comparative studies of neural stem cells in vertebrates. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Develop Neurobiol 70: 693,713, 2010 [source]

Elevated corticosterone levels in stomach milk, serum, and brain of male and female offspring after maternal corticosterone treatment in the rat

Susanne Brummelte
Abstract Early influences such as maternal stress affect the developmental outcome of the offspring. We created an animal model of postpartum depression/stress based on giving high levels of corticosterone (CORT) to the rat dam, which resulted in behavioral and neural changes in the offspring. This study investigated whether highly elevated levels of maternal CORT during pregnancy or the postpartum result in higher levels of CORT in the stomach milk, serum, and brain of offspring. Dams received daily injections of CORT (40 mg/kg) or oil (control) either during pregnancy (gestational days 10,20) or the postpartum (Days 2,21). Pups that were exposed to high gestational maternal CORT had higher CORT levels in serum, but not in stomach milk or brain, on postnatal day (PND) 1. However, on PND7, pups that were exposed to high postpartum maternal CORT had higher CORT levels in stomach milk and brain, but not in serum. Conversely on PND18, pups that were exposed to high postpartum maternal CORT had higher CORT levels in serum, but not in brain (prefrontal cortex, hypothalamus, or hippocampus). Moreover, 24 h after weaning, there were no significant differences in serum CORT levels between the groups. Thus, CORT given to the dam during pregnancy or the postpartum results in elevated levels of CORT in the offspring, but in an age- and tissue-dependent manner. Developmental exposure to high CORT could reprogram the HPA axis and contribute to the behavioral and neural changes seen in adult offspring. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Develop Neurobiol 70: 714,725, 2010 [source]

Prolonged maturation of auditory perception and learning in gerbils

Emma C. Sarro
Abstract In humans, auditory perception reaches maturity over a broad age range, extending through adolescence. Despite this slow maturation, children are considered to be outstanding learners, suggesting that immature perceptual skills might actually be advantageous to improvement on an acoustic task as a result of training (perceptual learning). Previous non-human studies have not employed an identical task when comparing perceptual performance of young and mature subjects, making it difficult to assess learning. Here, we used an identical procedure on juvenile and adult gerbils to examine the perception of amplitude modulation (AM), a stimulus feature that is an important component of most natural sounds. On average, Adult animals could detect smaller fluctuations in amplitude (i.e., smaller modulation depths) than Juveniles, indicating immature perceptual skills in Juveniles. However, the population variance was much greater for Juveniles, a few animals displaying adult-like AM detection. To determine whether immature perceptual skills facilitated learning, we compared naïve performance on the AM detection task with the amount of improvement following additional training. The amount of improvement in Adults correlated with naïve performance: those with the poorest naïve performance improved the most. In contrast, the naïve performance of Juveniles did not predict the amount of learning. Those Juveniles with immature AM detection thresholds did not display greater learning than Adults. Furthermore, for several of the Juveniles with adult-like thresholds, AM detection deteriorated with repeated testing. Thus, immature perceptual skills in young animals were not associated with greater learning. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Develop Neurobiol 70: 636,648, 2010 [source]

Ontogeny of energy homeostatic pathways via neuroendocrine signaling in Atlantic salmon

Anne-Grethe Gamst Moen
Abstract Leptin and ghrelin are known to regulate energy homeostasis via hypothalamic neuropeptide signaling in mammals. Recent studies have discovered that these hormones exist in teleosts, however, very little is known concerning their role during teleost ontogeny. Here, we have examined the steady state levels of leptins, ghrelins, their target neuropetides and several growth factors during Atlantic salmon development. Initial experiments revealed differential expression of leptin genes and ghrelin isoforms during embryogenesis. In larvae, equal upregulation of ghrl1 and ghrl2 was observed just prior to exogenous feeding while a surge of lepa1 occurred one week after first-feeding. Subsequent dissection of the embryos and larvae showed that lepa1, cart, pomca1, and agrp are supplied as maternal transcripts. The earliest zygotic expression was observed for lepa1 and cart at 320 day degrees. By 400 day degrees, this expression was localized to the head and coincided with upregulation of ghrl2 and npy. Over the hatching period growth factor signaling predominated. The ghrelin surge prior to first-feeding was exclusively localized in the internal organs and coincided with upregulation of npy and agrp in the head and agrp in the trunk. One week after exogenous feeding was established major peaks were detected in the head for lepa1 and pomca1 with increasing levels of cart, while lepa1 was also significantly expressed in the trunk. By integrating theses data into an ontogenetic model, we suggest that the mediation of Atlantic salmon energy homeostatic pathways via endocrine and neuropeptide signaling retains putative features of the mammalian system. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Develop Neurobiol 70: 649,658, 2010 [source]

The rho GTPase Rac1 is required for proliferation and survival of progenitors in the developing forebrain

Dino P. Leone
Abstract Progenitor cells in the ventricular zone (VZ) and subventricular zone (SVZ) of the developing forebrain give rise to neurons and glial cells, and are characterized by distinct morphologies and proliferative behaviors. The mechanisms that distinguish VZ and SVZ progenitors are not well understood, although the homeodomain transcription factor Cux2 and Cyclin D2, a core component of the cell cycle machinery, are specifically involved in controlling SVZ cell proliferation. Rho GTPases have been implicated in regulating the proliferation, differentiation, and migration of many cell types, and one family member, Cdc42, affects the polarity and proliferation of radial glial cells in the VZ. Here, we show that another family member, Rac1, is required for the normal proliferation and differentiation of SVZ progenitors and for survival of both VZ and SVZ progenitors. A forebrain-specific loss of Rac1 leads to an SVZ-specific reduction in proliferation, a concomitant increase in cell cycle exit, and premature differentiation. In Rac1 mutants, the SVZ and VZ can no longer be delineated, but rather fuse to become a single compact zone of intermingled cells. Cyclin D2 expression, which is normally expressed by both VZ and SVZ progenitors, is reduced in Rac1 mutants, suggesting that the mutant cells differentiate precociously. Rac1-deficient mice can still generate SVZ-derived upper layer neurons, indicating that Rac1 is not required for the acquisition of upper layer neuronal fates, but instead is needed for the normal regulation of proliferation by progenitor cells in the SVZ. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Develop Neurobiol 70: 659,678, 2010 [source]

Activation of ADF/cofilin mediates attractive growth cone turning toward nerve growth factor and netrin-1

Bonnie M. Marsick
Abstract Proper neural circuitry requires that growth cones, motile tips of extending axons, respond to molecular guidance cues expressed in the developing organism. However, it is unclear how guidance cues modify the cytoskeleton to guide growth cone pathfinding. Here, we show acute treatment with two attractive guidance cues, nerve growth factor (NGF) and netrin-1, for embryonic dorsal root ganglion and temporal retinal neurons, respectively, results in increased growth cone membrane protrusion, actin polymerization, and filamentous actin (F-actin). ADF/cofilin (AC) family proteins facilitate F-actin dynamics, and we found the inactive phosphorylated form of AC is decreased in NGF- or netrin-1-treated growth cones. Directly increasing AC activity mimics addition of NGF or netrin-1 to increase growth cone protrusion and F-actin levels. Extracellular gradients of NGF, netrin-1, and a cell-permeable AC elicit attractive growth cone turning and increased F-actin barbed ends, F-actin accumulation, and active AC in growth cone regions proximal to the gradient source. Reducing AC activity blunts turning responses to NGF and netrin. Our results suggest that gradients of NGF and netrin-1 locally activate AC to promote actin polymerization and subsequent growth cone turning toward the side containing higher AC activity. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Develop Neurobiol 70: 565,588, 2010 [source]

Accelerated neuritogenesis and maturation of primary spinal motor neurons in response to nanofibers

Caitlyn C. Gertz
Abstract Neuritogenesis, neuronal polarity formation, and maturation of axons and dendrites are strongly influenced by both biochemical and topographical extracellular components. The aim of this study was to elucidate the effects of polylactic acid electrospun fiber topography on primary motor neuron development, because regeneration of motor axons is extremely limited in the central nervous system and could potentially benefit from the implementation of a synthetic scaffold to encourage regrowth. In this analysis, we found that both aligned and randomly oriented submicron fibers significantly accelerated the processes of neuritogenesis and polarity formation of individual cultured motor neurons compared to flat polymer films and glass controls, likely due to restricted lamellipodia formation observed on fibers. In contrast, dendritic maturation and soma spreading were inhibited on fiber substrates after 2 days in vitro. This study is the first to examine the effects of electrospun fiber topography on motor neuron neuritogenesis and polarity formation. Aligned nanofibers were shown to affect the directionality and timing of motor neuron development, providing further evidence for the effective use of electrospun scaffolds in neural regeneration applications. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Develop Neurobiol 70: 589,603, 2010 [source]

MafA transcription factor identifies the early ret-expressing sensory neurons

Laure Lecoin
Abstract Dorsal root ganglia proceed from the coalescence of cell bodies of sensory neurons, which have migrated dorsoventrally from the delaminating neural crest. They are composed of different neuronal subtypes with specific sensory functions, including nociception, thermal sensation, proprioception, and mechanosensation. In contrast to proprioceptors and thermonociceptors, little is known about the molecular mechanisms governing the early commitment and later differentiation into mechanosensitive neurons. This is mainly due to the absence of specific molecular markers for this particular cell type. Using knockout mice, we identified the bZIP transcription factor MafA as the first specific marker of a subpopulation of "early c-ret" positive neurons characterized by medium-to-large diameters. This marker will allow further functional characterization of these neurons. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Develop Neurobiol 70:485,497, 2010 [source]

,-Dystroglycan is essential for the induction of Egr3, a transcription factor important in muscle spindle formation

Stacey Williams
Abstract Muscle spindle fibers are specialized stretch receptors that allow the perception and coordination of limb movement. The differentiation of these specialized structures is initiated by signals derived from the in growing Ia sensory neurons during development. While the direct molecular signaling mechanisms between sensory neurons and developing muscle at nascent spindle fibers have been well documented in past studies the roles of muscle basal lamina components on this process have not previously been described. As such, our initial experiments addressed potential roles for agrin (AGRN) and laminin (LN) in the expression of the transcription factor Egr3. Levels of Egr3 were monitored using immunoblot analysis and both basal lamina molecules proved effective in inducing Erg3 expression. Previous work had established neuregulin (NRG) as a critical signaling component in spindle fiber development so blocking experiments with NRG and ErbB inhibitors were then used to determine if LN-induced Egr3 expression was occurring as a result of NRG-ErbB signaling and not via other, novel pathway. Inhibiting signaling through this pathway did indeed reduce the expression of Egr3. Finally, we looked at ,-dystrogylcan, a shared receptor for AGRN and LN at neuromuscular junctions. Using a ,-dystroglycan (,-DG) silenced muscle cell line and an anti-,-DG antibody we attempted to block basal lamina/,-DG interactions. Again, and in both instances, Egr3 expression was significantly decreased. Taken together, analysis of the results from these experiments revealed that indeed AGRN, LN, and ,-DG influence Egr3 levels and therefore may play an important role in spindle fiber differentiation. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Develop Neurobiol 70:498,507, 2010 [source]

NaV1.6a is required for normal activation of motor circuits normally excited by tactile stimulation

Sean E. Low
Abstract A screen for zebrafish motor mutants identified two noncomplementing alleles of a recessive mutation that were named non-active (navmi89 and navmi130). nav embryos displayed diminished spontaneous and touch-evoked escape behaviors during the first 3 days of development. Genetic mapping identified the gene encoding NaV1.6a (scn8aa) as a potential candidate for nav. Subsequent cloning of scn8aa from the two alleles of nav uncovered two missense mutations in NaV1.6a that eliminated channel activity when assayed heterologously. Furthermore, the injection of RNA encoding wild-type scn8aa rescued the nav mutant phenotype indicating that scn8aa was the causative gene of nav. In-vivo electrophysiological analysis of the touch-evoked escape circuit indicated that voltage-dependent inward current was decreased in mechanosensory neurons in mutants, but they were able to fire action potentials. Furthermore, tactile stimulation of mutants activated some neurons downstream of mechanosensory neurons but failed to activate the swim locomotor circuit in accord with the behavioral response of initial escape contractions but no swimming. Thus, mutant mechanosensory neurons appeared to respond to tactile stimulation but failed to initiate swimming. Interestingly fictive swimming could be initiated pharmacologically suggesting that a swim circuit was present in mutants. These results suggested that NaV1.6a was required for touch-induced activation of the swim locomotor network. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Develop Neurobiol 70:508,522, 2010 [source]

Visual experience and age affect synaptic organization in the mushroom bodies of the desert ant Cataglyphis fortis

Sara Mae Stieb
Abstract Desert ants of the genus Cataglyphis undergo an age-related polyethism from interior workers involved in brood care and food processing to short-lived outdoor foragers with remarkable visual navigation capabilities. The quick transition from dark to light suggests that visual centers in the ant's brain express a high degree of plasticity. To investigate structural synaptic plasticity in the mushroom bodies (MBs),sensory integration centers supposed to be involved in learning and memory,we immunolabeled and quantified pre- and postsynaptic profiles of synaptic complexes (microglomeruli, MG) in the visual (collar) and olfactory (lip) input regions of the MB calyx. The results show that a volume increase of the MB calyx during behavioral transition is associated with a decrease in MG numbers in the collar and, less pronounced, in the lip. Analysis of tubulin-positive profiles indicates that presynaptic pruning of projection neurons and dendritic expansion in intrinsic Kenyon cells are involved. Light-exposure of dark-reared ants of different age classes revealed similar effects. The results indicate that this structural synaptic plasticity in the MB calyx is primarily driven by visual experience rather than by an internal program. This is supported by the fact that dark-reared ants age-matched to foragers had MG numbers comparable to those of interior workers. Ants aged artificially for up to 1 year expressed a similar plasticity. These results suggest that the high degree of neuronal plasticity in visual input regions of the MB calyx may be an important factor related to behavior transitions associated with division of labor. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Develop Neurobiol 70: 408,423, 2010 [source]

The proto-oncogene BCL6 promotes survival of olfactory sensory neurons

Joji M. Otaki
Abstract For the mammalian olfactory epithelium to continually detect odorant, neuronal survival, apoptosis, and regeneration must be coordinated. Here, we showed that the proto-oncogene BCL6, which encodes a transcriptional repressor required for lymphocyte terminal differentiation, contributes to the survival of olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs). In the olfactory epithelia of the BCL6 null mutant mice, many OSNs were positive for both OMP and GAP43. The epithelium was relatively thinner, showing many apoptotic signals. These characters were phenotypically similar to those of the wild-type mice treated with nasal lectin irrigation, which acutely induces apoptosis of OSNs. Odorant receptors were expressed normally in the epithelia of the mutant mice, and their overall expression profile based on DNA microarray analyses was roughly similar to that of the apoptosis-induced olfactory epithelia of the wild-type mice. Experimental increase of BCL6 together with green fluorescent protein in OSNs using adenovirus-mediated gene transfer made the epifluorescence last longer than the control fluorescence without exogenous BCL6 after the nasal lectin irrigation, indicating that BCL6 made the infected neurons survive longer. We conclude that BCL6 plays an active role in the survival of OSNs as an anti-apoptotic factor and confers immature OSNs enough time to fully differentiate into mature ones. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Develop Neurobiol 70: 424-435, 2010 [source]

Development of otolith receptors in Japanese quail

David Huss
Abstract This study examined the morphological development of the otolith vestibular receptors in quail. Here, we describe epithelial growth, hair cell density, stereocilia polarization, and afferent nerve innervation during development. The otolith maculae epithelial areas increased exponentially throughout embryonic development reaching asymptotic values near posthatch day P7. Increases in hair cell density were dependent upon macular location; striolar hair cells developed first followed by hair cells in extrastriola regions. Stereocilia polarization was initiated early, with defining reversal zones forming at E8. Less than half of all immature hair cells observed had nonpolarized internal kinocilia with the remaining exhibiting planar polarity. Immunohistochemistry and neural tracing techniques were employed to examine the shape and location of the striolar regions. Initial innervation of the maculae was by small fibers with terminal growth cones at E6, followed by collateral branches with apparent bouton terminals at E8. Calyceal terminal formation began at E10; however, no mature calyces were observed until E12, when all fibers appeared to be dimorphs. Calyx afferents innervating only Type I hair cells did not develop until E14. Finally, the topographic organization of afferent macular innervation in the adult quail utricle was quantified. Calyx and dimorph afferents were primarily confined to the striolar regions, while bouton fibers were located in the extrastriola and Type II band. Calyx fibers were the least complex, followed by dimorph units. Bouton fibers had large innervation fields, with arborous branches and many terminal boutons. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Develop Neurobiol 70: 436,455, 2010 [source]

Brain-derived neurotrophic factor and the development of structural neuronal connectivity

Susana Cohen-Cory
Abstract During development, neural networks are established in a highly organized manner, which persists throughout life. Neurotrophins play crucial roles in the developing nervous system. Among the neurotrophins, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is highly conserved in gene structure and function during vertebrate evolution, and serves an important role during brain development and in synaptic plasticity. BDNF participates in the formation of appropriate synaptic connections in the brain, and disruptions in this process contribute to disorders of cognitive function. In this review, we first briefly highlight current knowledge on the expression, regulation, and secretion of BDNF. Further, we provide an overview of the possible actions of BDNF in the development of neural circuits, with an emphasis on presynaptic actions of BDNF during the structural development of central neurons. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Develop Neurobiol 2010 [source]

The role of BDNF and its receptors in depression and antidepressant drug action: Reactivation of developmental plasticity

Eero Castrén
Abstract Recent evidence suggests that neuronal plasticity plays an important role in the recovery from depression. Antidepressant drugs and electroconvulsive shock treatment increase the expression of several molecules, which are associated with neuronal plasticity, in particular the neurotrophin BDNF and its receptor TrkB. Furthermore, these treatments increase neurogenesis and synaptic numbers in several brain areas. Conversely, depression, at least in its severe form, is associated with reduced volumes of the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex and in at least some cases these neurodegenerative signs can be attenuated by successful treatment. Such observations suggest a central role for neuronal plasticity in depression and the antidepressant effect, and also implicate BDNF signaling as a mediator of this plasticity. The antidepressant fluoxetine can reactivate developmental-like neuronal plasticity in the adult visual cortex, which, under appropriate environmental guidance, leads to the rewiring of a developmentally dysfunctional neural network. These observations suggest that the simple form of the neurotrophic hypothesis of depression, namely, that deficient levels of neurotrophic support underlies mood disorders and increases in these neurotrophic factors to normal levels brings about mood recovery, may not sufficiently explain the complex process of recovery from depression. This review discusses recent data on the role of BDNF and its receptors in depression and the antidepressant response and suggests a model whereby the effects of antidepressant treatments could be explained by a reactivation of activity-dependent and BDNF-mediated cortical plasticity, which in turn leads to the adjustment of neuronal networks to better adapt to environmental challenges. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Develop Neurobiol 2010 [source]

Testosterone metabolites differentially maintain adult morphology in a sexually dimorphic neuromuscular system

Tom Verhovshek
Abstract The lumbar spinal cord of rats contains the sexually dimorphic, steroid-sensitive spinal nucleus of the bulbocavernosus (SNB). Androgens are necessary for the development of the SNB neuromuscular system, and in adulthood, continue to influence the morphology and function of the motoneurons and their target musculature. However, estrogens are also involved in the development of the SNB system, and are capable of maintaining function in adulthood. In this experiment, we assessed the ability of testosterone metabolites, estrogens and nonaromatizable androgens, to maintain neuromuscular morphology in adulthood. Motoneuron and muscle morphology was assessed in adult normal males, sham-castrated males, castrated males treated with testosterone, dihydrotestosterone, estradiol, or left untreated, and gonadally intact males treated with the 5,-reductase inhibitor finasteride or the aromatase inhibitor fadrozole. After 6 weeks of treatment, SNB motoneurons were retrogradely labeled with cholera toxin-HRP and reconstructed in three dimensions. Castration resulted in reductions in SNB target muscle size, soma size, and dendritic morphology. Testosterone treatment after castration maintained SNB soma size, dendritic morphology, and elevated target muscle size; dihydrotestosterone treatment also maintained SNB dendritic length, but was less effective than testosterone in maintaining both SNB soma size and target muscle weight. Treatment of intact males with finasteride or fadrozole did not alter the morphology of SNB motoneurons or their target muscles. In contrast, estradiol treatment was completely ineffective in preventing castration-induced atrophy of the SNB neuromuscular system. Together, these results suggest that the maintenance of adult motoneuron or muscle morphology is strictly mediated by androgens. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Develop Neurobiol 70: 206,221, 2010. [source]

Phenotypic plasticity in number of glomeruli and sensory innervation of the antennal lobe in leaf-cutting ant workers (A. vollenweideri)

Christina Kelber
Abstract In the leaf-cutting ant Atta vollenweideri, the worker caste exhibits a pronounced size-polymorphism, and division of labor is dependent on worker size (alloethism). Behavior is largely guided by olfaction, and the olfactory system is highly developed. In a recent study, two different phenotypes of the antennal lobe of Atta vollenweideri workers were found: MG- and RG-phenotype (with/without a macroglomerulus). Here we ask whether the glomerular numbers are related to worker size. We found that the antennal lobes of small workers contain ,390 glomeruli (low-number; LN-phenotype), and in large workers we found a substantially higher number of ,440 glomeruli (high-number; HN-phenotype). All LN-phenotype workers and some small HN-phenotype workers do not possess an MG (LN-RG-phenotype and HN-RG-phenotype), and the remaining majority of HN-phenotype workers do possess an MG (HN-MG-phenotype). Using mass-staining of antennal olfactory receptor neurons we found that the sensory tracts divide the antennal lobe into six clusters of glomeruli (T1,T6). In LN-phenotype workers, ,50 glomeruli are missing in the T4-cluster. Selective staining of single sensilla and their associated receptor neurons revealed that T4-glomeruli are innervated by receptor neurons from the main type of olfactory sensilla, the Sensilla trichodea curvata. The other type of olfactory sensilla (Sensilla basiconica) exclusively innervates T6-glomeruli. Quantitative analyses of differently sized workers revealed that the volume of T6 glomeruli scales with the power of 2.54 to the number of Sensilla basiconica. The results suggest that developmental plasticity leading to antennal-lobe phenotypes promotes differences in olfactory-guided behavior and may underlie task specialization within ant colonies. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Develop Neurobiol 70: 222,234, 2010. [source]

Developmental experience alters information coding in auditory midbrain and forebrain neurons

Sarah M.N. Woolley
Abstract In songbirds, species identity and developmental experience shape vocal behavior and behavioral responses to vocalizations. The interaction of species identity and developmental experience may also shape the coding properties of sensory neurons. We tested whether responses of auditory midbrain and forebrain neurons to songs differed between species and between groups of conspecific birds with different developmental exposure to song. We also compared responses of individual neurons to conspecific and heterospecific songs. Zebra and Bengalese finches that were raised and tutored by conspecific birds, and zebra finches that were cross-tutored by Bengalese finches were studied. Single-unit responses to zebra and Bengalese finch songs were recorded and analyzed by calculating mutual information (MI), response reliability, mean spike rate, fluctuations in time-varying spike rate, distributions of time-varying spike rates, and neural discrimination of individual songs. MI quantifies a response's capacity to encode information about a stimulus. In midbrain and forebrain neurons, MI was significantly higher in normal zebra finch neurons than in Bengalese finch and cross-tutored zebra finch neurons, but not between Bengalese finch and cross-tutored zebra finch neurons. Information rate differences were largely due to spike rate differences. MI did not differ between responses to conspecific and heterospecific songs. Therefore, neurons from normal zebra finches encoded more information about songs than did neurons from other birds, but conspecific and heterospecific songs were encoded equally. Neural discrimination of songs and MI were highly correlated. Results demonstrate that developmental exposure to vocalizations shapes the information coding properties of songbird auditory neurons. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Develop Neurobiol 70: 235,252, 2010. [source]

An agonistic mAb directed to the TrkC receptor juxtamembrane region defines a trophic hot spot and interactions with p75 coreceptors

Veronique Guillemard
Abstract The D5 domain of TrkC receptors is a docking site for Neurotrophin-3 (NT-3), but other domains may be relevant for function or harmonizing signals with p75NTR coreceptors. We report a monoclonal antibody (mAb) 2B7 targeting the juxtamembrane domain of TrkC. mAb 2B7 binds to murine and human TrkC receptors and is a functional agonist that affords activation of TrkC, AKT, and MAPK. These signals result in cell survival but not in cellular differentiation. Monomeric 2B7 Fabs also affords cell survival. Binding of 2B7 mAb and 2B7 Fabs to TrkC are blocked by NT-3 in a dose-dependent manner but not by pro-NT-3. Expression of p75NTR coreceptors on the cell surface block the binding and function of mAb 2B7, whereas NT-3 binding and function are enhanced. mAb 2B7 defines a previously unknown neurotrophin receptor functional hot spot; that exclusively generates survival signals; that can be activated by non-dimeric ligands; and potentially unmasks a site for p75-TrkC interactions. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Develop Neurobiol, 2010. [source]

Transient expression of serotonin 5-HT4 receptors in the mouse developing thalamocortical projections

Erin R. Slaten
Abstract The serotonin 5-HT4 receptor (5-HT4 -R) is an unusually complex G-protein coupled receptor that is likely to play important roles in brain development and that may underlie the comorbidity of central and peripheral abnormalities in some developmental disorders. We studied the expression of 5-HT4 -Rs in the developing mouse forebrain at embryonic days 13, 15, 17, and at postnatal days 3 and 14 by using immunohistochemistry, tract tracing, and quantitative RT-PCR. The developing thalamocortical projections transiently expressed 5-HT4 -Rs in the embryonic brain and the 5-HT4 -R expression in the forebrain changed from axonal to somatic around birth. From embryonic days 13,17, the forebrain mRNA levels of the 5-HT4(a) -R and 5-HT4(b) -R splice variants increased nine- and fivefold, respectively, whereas the levels of the 5-HT4(e) -R and 5-HT4(f) -R variants remained relatively low throughout the studied period of embryonic development. These results suggest that during development 5-HT4 -R expression undergoes a dynamic regulation and that this regulation may be important for the normal development of sensory and limbic processing. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Develop Neurobiol, 2010. [source]

Maternal hypoxia increases the activity of MMPs and decreases the expression of TIMPs in the brain of neonatal rats

Wenni Tong
Abstract A recent study has shown that increased activity of matrix metalloproteinases-2 and metalloproteinases-9 (MMP-2 and MMP-9) has detrimental effect on the brain after neonatal hypoxia. The present study determined the effect of maternal hypoxia on neuronal survivability and the activity of MMP-2 and MMP-9, as well as the expression of tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinase 1 and 2 (TIMP-1 and TIMP-2) in the brain of neonatal rats. Pregnant rats were exposed to 10.5% oxygen for 6 days from the gestation day 15 to day 21. Pups were sacrificed at day 0, 4, 7, 14, and 21 after birth. Body weight and brain weight of the pups were measured at each time point. The activity of MMP-2 and MMP-9 and the protein abundance of TIMP-1 and TIMP-2 were determined by zymography and Western blotting, respectively. The tissue distribution of MMPs was examined by immunofluorescence staining. The neuronal death was detected by Nissl staining. Maternal hypoxia caused significant decreases in body and brain size, increased activity of MMP-2 at day 0, and increased MMP-9 at day 0 and 4. The increased activity of the MMPs was accompanied by an overall tendency towards a reduced expression of TIMPs at all ages with the significance observed for TIMPs at day 0, 4, and 7. Immunofluorescence analysis showed an increased expression of MMP-2, MMP-9 in the hippocampus at day 0 and 4. Nissl staining revealed significant cell death in the hippocampus at day 0, 4, and 7. Functional tests showed worse neurobehavioral outcomes in the hypoxic animals. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Develop Neurobiol 2010 [source]

Multiple mechanisms mediate motor neuron migration in the zebrafish hindbrain

Stephanie M. Bingham
Abstract The transmembrane protein Van gogh-like 2 (Vangl2) is a component of the noncanonical Wnt/Planar Cell Polarity (PCP) signaling pathway, and is required for tangential migration of facial branchiomotor neurons (FBMNs) from rhombomere 4 (r4) to r5-r7 in the vertebrate hindbrain. Since vangl2 is expressed throughout the zebrafish hindbrain, it might also regulate motor neuron migration in other rhombomeres. We tested this hypothesis by examining whether migration of motor neurons out of r2 following ectopic hoxb1b expression was affected in vangl2, (trilobite) mutants. Hoxb1b specifies r4 identity, and when ectopically expressed transforms r2 to an "r4-like" compartment. Using time-lapse imaging, we show that GFP-expressing motor neurons in the r2/r3 region of a hoxb1b -overexpressing wild-type embryo migrate along the anterior-posterior (AP) axis. Furthermore, these cells express prickle1b (pk1b), a Wnt/PCP gene that is specifically expressed in FBMNs and is essential for their migration. Importantly, GFP-expressing motor neurons in the r2/r3 region of hoxb1b -overexpressing trilobite mutants and pk1b morphants often migrate, even though FBMNs in r4 of the same embryos fail to migrate longitudinally (tangentially) into r6 and r7. These observations suggest that tangentially migrating motor neurons in the anterior hindbrain (r1-r3) can use mechanisms that are independent of vangl2 and pk1b functions. Interestingly, analysis of tri; val double mutants also suggests a role for vangl2 -independent factors in neuronal migration, since the valentino mutation partially suppresses the trilobite mutant migration defect. Together, the hoxb1b and val experiments suggest that multiple mechanisms regulate motor neuron migration along the AP axis of the zebrafish hindbrain. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Develop Neurobiol, 2010 [source]

Epigenetic control of translation regulation: Alterations in histone H3 lysine 9 post-translation modifications are correlated with the expression of the translation initiation factor 2B (Eif2b5) during thermal control establishment

Tatiana Kisliouk
Abstract Thermal control set point is regulated by thermosensitive neurons of the preoptic anterior hypothalamus (PO/AH) and completes its development during postnatal critical sensory period. External stimuli, like increase in environmental temperature, influence the neuronal protein repertoire and, ultimately, cell properties via activation or silencing of gene transcription, both of which are regulated by the "histone code."" Here, we demonstrated an increase in global histone H3 lysine 9 (H3K9) acetylation as well as H3K9 dimethylation in chick PO/AH during heat conditioning at the critical period of sensory development. In contrast to the global profile of H3K9 modifications, acetylation and dimethylation patterns of H3K9 at the promoter of the catalytic subunit of eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2B (Eif2b5) were opposite to each other. During heat conditioning, there was an increase in H3K9 acetylation at the Eif2b5 promoter, simultaneously with decrease in H3K9 dimethylation. These alterations coincided with Eif2b5 mRNA induction. Moreover, exposure to excessive heat during the critical period resulted in long-term effect on both H3K9 tagging at the Eif2b5 promoter and Eif2b5 mRNA expression. These data suggest a role for dynamic H3K9 post-translational modifications in global translation regulation during the thermal control establishment. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Develop Neurobiol, 2010 [source]

Prenatal stress causes dendritic atrophy of pyramidal neurons in hippocampal CA3 region by glutamate in offspring rats

Ning Jia
Abstract A substantial number of human epidemiological data, as well as experimental studies, suggest that adverse maternal stress during gestation is involved in abnormal behavior, mental, and cognition disorder in offspring. To explore the effect of prenatal stress (PS) on hippocampal neurons, in this study, we observed the dendritic field of pyramidal neurons in hippocampal CA3, examined the concentration of glutamate (Glu), and detected the expression of synaptotagmin-1 (Syt-1) and N -methyl- D -aspartate receptor 1 (NR1) in hippocampus of juvenile female offspring rats. Pregnant rats were divided into two groups: control group (CON) and PS group. Female offspring rats used were 30-day old. The total length of the apical dendrites of pyramidal neurons in hippocampal CA3 of offspring was significantly shorter in PS than that in CON (p < 0.01). The number of branch points of the apical dendrites of pyramidal neurons in hippocampal CA3 of offspring was significantly less in PS (p < 0.01). PS offspring had a higher concentration of hippocampal Glu compared with CON (p < 0.05). PS offspring displayed increased expression of Syt-1 and decreased NR1 in hippocampus compared with CON (p < 0.001 and p < 0.01, respectively). The expression of NR1 in different hippocampus subfields of offspring was significantly decreased in PS than that in CON (p < 0.05-0.01). This study shows that PS increases the Glu in hippocampus and causes apical dendritic atrophy of pyramidal neurons of hippocampal CA3 in offspring rats. The decline of NR1 in hippocampus may be an adaptive response to the increased Glu. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Develop Neurobiol, 2010 [source]

Species-specific injury-induced cell proliferation in the hippocampus and subventricular zone of food-storing and nonstoring wild birds

L.M. Law
Abstract Cells are continuously born and incorporated into the adult hippocampus (HP). Adult neurogenesis might act to increase the total number of cells or replace dead cells. Thus, neurogenesis might be a primary factor in augmenting, maintaining, or even recovering functions. In zebra finches, HP injury increases cell proliferation in the HP and stem cell rich subventricular zone (SVZ). It is unknown what effect injury has on a species dependent upon the HP for survival in the wild. In food-storing birds, recovery of caches is seasonal, necessary for survival, dependent upon the HP and is concomitant with a peak in HP neurogenesis. During the fall, food-storing black-capped chickadees (BCCs) and nonstoring dark-eyed juncos (DEJs) were captured and given a unilateral penetrating lesion to the HP one day later. On day 3, birds were injected with the mitotic marker 5-bromo-2,-deoxyuridine (BrdU) and perfused on day 10. If unlesioned, more BrdU-labeled cells were observed in the HP and SVZ of BCCs compared to DEJs, indicating higher innate cell proliferation or incorporation in BCCs. If lesioned, BrdU-labeled cells increased in the injured HP of both species; however, lesions caused larger increases in DEJs. DEJs also showed increases in BrdU-labeled cells in the SVZ and contralateral HP. BCCs showed no such increases on day 10. Thus, during the fall food-storing season, storers showed suppressed injury-induced cell proliferation and/or reduced survival rates of these new cells compared to nonstorers. These species differences may provide a useful model for isolating factors involved in cellular responses following injury. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Develop Neurobiol, 2010 [source]

The development of stimulus-specific auditory responses requires song exposure in male but not female zebra finches

Kristen K. Maul
Abstract Juvenile male zebra finches develop their song by imitation. Females do not sing but are attracted to males' songs. With functional magnetic resonance imaging and event-related potentials we tested how early auditory experience shapes responses in the auditory forebrain of the adult bird. Adult male birds kept in isolation over the sensitive period for song learning showed no consistency in auditory responses to conspecific songs, calls, and syllables. Thirty seconds of song playback each day over development, which is sufficient to induce song imitation, was also sufficient to shape stimulus-specific responses. Strikingly, adult females kept in isolation over development showed responses similar to those of males that were exposed to songs. We suggest that early auditory experience with songs may be required to tune perception toward conspecific songs in males, whereas in females song selectivity develops even without prior exposure to song. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Develop Neurobiol 2010 [source]