Most olfactory bulb (OB) interneurons are derived from neural stem cells in the subventricular zone (SVZ) and migrate to the OB via the rostral migratory stream (RMS). Mature dopaminergic interneurons in the OB glomerular layer are readily identified by their synaptic activity-dependent expression of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH). Paradoxically, TH is not expressed in neural progenitors migrating in the RMS, even though ambient GABA and glutamate depolarize these progenitors. In forebrain slice cultures prepared from transgenic mice containing a GFP reporter gene under the control of the Th 9kb upstream regulatory region, treatment with histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors (either sodium butyrate, Trichostatin A or Scriptaid) induced Th-GFP expression specifically in the RMS independently of depolarizing conditions in the culture media. Th-GFP expression in the glomerular layer was also increased in slices treated with Trichostatin A, but this increased expression was dependent on depolarizing concentrations of KCl in the culture media. Th-GFP expression was also induced in the RMS in vivo by intra-peritoneal injections with either sodium butyrate or valproic acid. Quantitative RT-PCR analysis of neurosphere cultures confirmed that HDAC inhibitors de-repressed Th expression in SVZ-derived neural progenitors. Together, these findings suggest that HDAC function is critical for regulating Th expression levels in both neural progenitors and mature OB dopaminergic neurons. However, the differential responses to the combinatorial exposure of HDAC inhibitors and depolarizing culture conditions indicate that Th expression in mature OB neurons and neural progenitors in the RMS are regulated by distinct HDAC-mediated mechanisms.
Keywords: histone deacetylase inhibition, neurogenesis, differentiation, rostral migratory stream, epigenetics