Age-related memory loss is considered to commence at middle-age and coincides with reduced adult hippocampal neurogenesis and neurotrophin levels. Consistent physical activity at midlife may preserve brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels, new cell genesis and learning. In the present study, 9-month-old female C57Bl/6J mice were housed with or without a running wheel and injected with bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) to label newborn cells. Morris water maze learning, open field activity and rotarod behavior were tested 1 and 6 months after exercise onset. Here we show that long-term running improved retention of spatial memory and modestly enhanced rotarod performance at 15 months of age. Both hippocampal neurogenesis and mature BDNF peptide levels were elevated after long-term running. Thus, regular exercise from the onset and during middle-age may maintain brain function.
mammalian neural stem cells generate transit amplifying progenitors that expand the neuronal population, but these type of progenitors have not been studied in Drosophila. The Drosophila larval brain contains similar to 100 neural stem cells (neuroblasts) per brain lobe, which are thought to bud off smaller ganglion mother cells (GMCs) that each produce two post-mitotic neurons. Here, we use molecular markers and clonal analysis to identify a novel neuroblast cell lineage containing "transit amplifying GMCs" (TA-GMCs). TA-GMCs differ from canonical GMCs in several ways: each TA-GMC has nuclear Deadpan, cytoplasmic Prospero, forms Prospero crescents at mitosis, and generates up to 10 neurons; canonical GMCs lack Deadpan, have nuclear Prospero, lack Prospero crescents at mitosis, and generate two neurons. We conclude that there are at least two types of neuroblast lineages: a Type I lineage where GMCs generate two neurons, and a type II lineage where TA-GMCs have longer lineages. Type II lineages allow more neurons to be produced faster than Type I lineages, which may be advantageous in a rapidly developing organism like Drosophila. (C) 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
The phosphoinositide 3-OH kinase (PI3K)/Akt pathway has been implicated in regulating several important cellular processes, including apoptosis, survival, proliferation, and metabolism. Using both pharmacological and genetic means, we demonstrate here that PI3K/Akt plays a crucial role in the proliferation of adult hippocampal neural progenitor cells. PI3K/ Akt transduces intracellular signals from multiple mitogens, including basic fibroblast growth factor (FGF-2), Sonic hedgehog (Shh), and insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-1). In addition, retroviral vector-mediated overexpression of wild type Akt increased cell proliferation, while a dominant negative Akt inhibited proliferation. Furthermore, wild type Akt over-expression reduced glial (GFAP) and neuronal (beta-tubulin III) marker expression during differentiation, indicating that it inhibits cell differentiation. We also show that activation of the cAMP response element binding protein (CREB), which occurs in cells stimulated by FGF-2, is limited when Akt signaling is inhibited, demonstrating a link between Akt and CREB. Over-expression of wild type CREB increases progenitor proliferation, whereas dominant negative CREB only slightly decreases proliferation. These results indicate that PI3K/Akt signaling integrates extracellular signaling information to promote cellular proliferation and inhibit differentiation in adult neural progenitors. (C) 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Nematostella vectensis, an anthozoan cnidarian, whose genome has been sequenced and is suitable for developmental and ecological studies, has a complex neural morphology that is modified during development from the larval to adult form. N. vectensis' nervous system is a diffuse nerve net with both ectodermal sensory and effector cells and endodermal multipolar ganglion cells. This nerve net consists of several distinct neural territories along the oral-aboral axis including the pharyngeal and oral nerve rings, and the larval apical tuft. These neuralized regions correspond to expression of conserved bilaterian neural developmental regulatory genes including homeodomain transcription factors and NCAMs. Early neurons and stem cell populations identified with NvMsi, NvELAV, and NvGCM, indicate that neural differentiation occurs throughout the animal and initiates prior to the conclusion of gastrulation. Neural specification in N. vectensis appears to occur through an independent mechanism from that in the classical cnidarian model Hydra. (C) 2009 Wiley Periodicals. Inc. Develop Neurobiol 69: 235-254, 2009
The concept of adaptive myelinationmyelin plasticity regulated by activityis an important advance for the field. What signals set up the adaptable pattern in the first place? Here we review work that demonstrates an intrinsic pathway within oligodendrocytes requiring only an axon-shaped substrate to generate multilayered and compacted myelin sheaths of a physiological length. Based on this, we discuss a model we proposed in 2015 which argues that myelination has two phasesintrinsic and then adaptivewhich together generate smart wiring, in which active axons become more myelinated. This model explains why prior studies have failed to identify a signal necessary for central nervous system myelination and argues that myelination, like synapses, might contribute to learning by the activity-dependent modification of an initially hard-wired pattern. (c) 2017 The Authors. Developmental Neurobiology Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Develop Neurobiol 78: 68-79, 2018
Past research suggested that androgens may play a role in the regulation of adult neurogenesis within the dentate gyrus. We tested this hypothesis by manipulating androgen levels in male rats. Castrated or sham castrated male rats were injected with 5-Bromo2'deoxyuridine (BrdU). BrdU-labeled cells in the dentate gryus were visualized and phenotyped (neural or glial) using immunohistochemistry. Castrated males showed a significant decrease in 30-day cell survival within the dentate gyrus but there was no significant change in cell proliferation relative to control males, indicating that androgens positively affect cell survival, but not cell proliferation. To examine the role of testosterone on hippocampal cell survival, males were injected with testosterone s.c. for 30 days starting the day after BrdU injection. Higher doses (0.5 and 1.0 mg/ kg) but not a lower dose (0.25 mg/kg) of testosterone resulted in a significant increase in neurogenesis relative to controls. We next tested the role of testosterone's two major metabolites, dihydrotestosterone (DHT), and estradiol, upon neurogenesis. Thirty days of injections of DHT (0.25 and 0.50 mg/kg) but not estradiol (0.010 and 0.020 mg/kg) resulted in a significant increase in hippocampal neurogenesis. These results suggest that testosterone enhances hippocampal neurogenesis via increased cell survival in the dentate gyrus through an androgen-dependent mechanism. (C) 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Extracellular matrix molecules-including chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans, hyaluronan, and tenascin-R-are enriched in perineuronal nets (PNs) associated with subsets of neurons in the brain and spinal cord. In the present study, we show that similar cell type-dependent extracellular matrix aggregates are formed in dissociated cell cultures prepared from early postnatal mouse hippocampus. Starting from the 5th day in culture, accumulations of lattice-like extracellular structures labeled with Wisteria floribunda agglutinin were detected at the cell surface of parvalbumin expressing interneurons, which developed after 2-3 weeks into conspicuous PNs localized around synaptic contacts at somata and proximal dendrites, as well as around axon initial segments. Physiological recording and intracellular labeling of PN-expressing neurons revealed that these are large fast-spiking interneurons with morphological characteristics of basket cells. To study mechanisms of activity-dependent formation of PNs, we performed pharmacological analysis and found that blockade of action potentials, transmitter release, Ca2+, permeable AMPA subtype of glutamate receptors or L-type Ca2+, voltage gated channels strongly decreased the extracellular accumulation of PN components in cultured neurons. Thus, we suggest that Ca2+, influx via AMPA receptors and L-type channels is necessary for activity-dependent formation of PNs. To study functions of chondroitin sulfate-rich PNs, we treated cultures with chondroitinase ABC that resulted in a prominent reduction of several major PN components. Removal of PNs did not affect the number and distribution of perisomatic GABAergic contacts but increased the excitability of interneurons in cultures, implicating the extracellular matrix of PNs in regulation of interneuronal activity. (c) 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.