The influence that the expression of the human (glial-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF)) neurotrophic factor has on the morphology and proliferative activity of embryonic stem cells (SC) of a mouse with R1 lineage, as well as their ability to form embroid bodies (EB), has been studied. Before that, using a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) coupled with reverse transcription, it was shown that, in this very lineage of the embryonic SC, the expression of the receptors' genes is being fulfilled for the neurotropfic RET and GFRα1 glia factor. The mouse's embryonic SC lineage has been obtained, transfected by the human GDNF gene, and has been fused with the "green" fluorescent protein (GFP) gene. The presence of the expression of the human GDNF gene in the cells was shown by northern hybridization and the synthesis of its albuminous product by immunocitochemical coloration with the use of specific antibodies. The reliable slowing-down of the embriod-body formation by the embryonic SC transfected by the GDNF gene has been shown. No significant influence of the expression of the GDNF gene on the morphology and the proliferative activity of the transfected embryonic SCs has been found when compared with the control ones.
The influence that the expression of the human (glial-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF)) neurotrophic factor has on the morphology and proliferative activity of embryonic stem cells (SC) of a mouse with R1 lineage, as well as their ability to form embroid bodies (EB), has been studied. Before that, using a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) coupled with reverse transcription, it was shown that, in this very lineage of the embryonic SC, the expression of the receptors' genes is being fulfilled for the neurotropfic RET and GFRα1 glia factor. The mouse′s embryonic SC lineage has been obtained, transfected by the human GDNF gene, and has been fused with the "green" fluorescent protein (GFP) gene. The presence of the expression of the human GDNF gene in the cells was shown by northern hybridization and the synthesis of its albuminous product by immunocitochemical coloration with the use of specific antibodies. The reliable slowing-down of the embriod-body formation by the embryonic SC transfected by the GDNF gene has been shown. No significant influence of the expression of the GDNF gene on the morphology and the proliferative activity of the transfected embryonic SCs has been found when compared with the control ones.
Glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) plays a crucial role in regulating the proliferation of spermatogonial stem cells (SSC). The signaling pathways mediating the function of GDNF in SSC remain unclear. This study was designed to determine whether GDNF signals via the Ras/ERK1/2 pathway in the C18-4 cells, a mouse SSC line. The identity of this cell line was confirmed by the expression of various markers for germ cells, proliferating spermatogonia, and SSC, including GCNA1, PCNA, Oct-4, GFRα 1, and Ret. Western blot analysis revealed that GDNF activated Ret tyrosine phosphorylation. All three isoforms of Shc were phosphorylated upon GDNF stimulation, and GDNF induced the binding of Shc and Grb2 to the phosphorylated Ret as indicated by immunoprecipitation and Western blotting. The active Ras was induced by GDNF, which further activated ERK1/2 phosphorylation. GDNF stimulated the phosphorylation of CREB-1, ATF-1, and CREM-1, and c-fos transcription. Notably, the increase in ERK1/2 phosphorylation, c-fos transcription, bromodeoxyuridine incorporation, and metaphase counts induced by GDNF, was completely blocked by pretreatment with PD98059, a specific inhibitor for MEK1, the upstream regulator of ERK1/2. GDNF stimulation eventually up-regulated cyclin A and CDK2 expression. Together, these data suggest that GDNF induces CREB/ATF-1 family member phosphorylation and c-fos transcription via the Ras/ERK1/2 pathway to promote the proliferation of SSC. Unveiling GDNF signaling cascades in SSC has important implications in providing attractive treatment targets for male infertility and testicular cancers as well as for the potential de-differentiation of these cells to cells that mimic embryonic stem cells.
GDNF; spermatogonial stem cells; Ret; Ras/ERK pathway; CREB/ATF-1 family; c-fos
Spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs) provide the foundation for spermatogenesis throughout the life of a male. Because SSCs of many species can colonize the mouse testis, and glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) is responsible for stimulating SSC self-renewal in rodents, we reasoned that molecular mechanisms of SSC self-renewal are similar across species. GDNF-regulated genes have been identified in mouse SSCs; however, downstream targets of GDNF are unknown in other species. The objective of this work was to identify GDNF-regulated genes in rat SSCs and to define the biological significance of these genes for rat SSC self-renewal. We conducted microarray analysis on cultured rat germ cells enriched for SSCs in the presence and absence of GDNF. Many GDNF-regulated genes were identified, most notably, Bcl6b and Etv5, which are important for mouse SSC self-renewal. Bcl6b was the most highly regulated gene in both the rat and mouse. Additionally, we identified three novel GDNF-regulated genes in rat SSCs: Bhlhe40, Hoxc4, and Tec. Small interfering RNA treatment for Bcl6b, Etv5, Bhlhe40, Hoxc4, and Tec resulted in a decrease in SSC number, as determined by transplantation, without a change in total cell number within the culture. These data indicate that, like in the mouse SSC, Bcl6b and Etv5 are important for rat SSC self-renewal, suggesting that these genes may be important for SSCs in all mammals. Furthermore, identification of three novel GDNF-regulated genes in the rat SSC extends our knowledge of SSC activity and broadens the foundation for understanding this process in higher species, including humans.
Bcl6b, Etv5, Bhlhb2, Hoxc4, and Tec are regulated by glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor and important for spermatogonial stem cell self-renewal in the rat.
adult stem cells; germline; growth factors; microarray; rat; self-renewal
Glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) is a potent factor for the ventral mesencephalic dopamine neurons. However, studies on the Gdnf gene deleted (Gdnf −/−) mouse have been limited to fetal tissue since these mice die prematurely. To evaluate long-term effects of Gdnf gene deletion, this study involves co-grafts of ventral mesencephalon (VM) and lateral ganglionic eminence (LGE) derived from different Gdnf genotypes. The VM/LGE co-grafts were evaluated at 3, 6, and 12 months for tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) -positive cell survival and nerve fiber formation in the LGE co-transplant, visualized by dopamine- and cyclic AMP-regulated phosphoprotein relative molecular mass 32,000 (DARPP-32) -immunoreactivity. Cell counts revealed no difference in TH-positive neurons between Gdnf genotypes at 3 months postgrafting. At 6 months, a significant reduction in cell number was observed in the Gdnf−/− grafts. In fact, in the majority of the Gdnf −/− VM/LGE transplant had degenerated. At 12 months, a reduction in cell number was seen in both Gdnf−/− and Gdnf+/− compared to wildtype transplants. In the Gdnf −/− grafts, TH-negative inclusion-like structures were present in the cytoplasm of the TH-positive neurons at 3 months. These structures were also found in the Gdnf+/− transplants at 12 months, but not in Gdnf +/+ controls at any time point. In Gdnf +/+ grafts, TH-positive nerve fiber innervation of the striatal co-grafts was dense and patchy and overlapped with clusters of DARPP-32-positive neurons. This overlap did mismatch in the Gdnf+/− grafts, while the TH-positive innervation was sparse in the Gdnf−/− transplants and the DARPP-32-positive neurons were widespread distributed. In conclusion, GDNF is essential for long-term maintenance of both the VM TH-positive neurons and for the striatal tissue, and appears crucial for generation of a proper organization of the striatum.
GDNF; transplant; substantia nigra; striatum; DARPP-32; Gdnf knockout
Glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) is a neuronal growth factor critical for the development and maintenance of central and peripheral neurons. GDNF is expressed in targets of innervation and provides support to several populations of large, projection neurons. To determine whether GDNF promotes retrograde survival over long axonal distances to cell bodies, we employed a compartmentalized culture system. GDNF supported only modest and transient survival of postnatal sympathetic neurons when applied to their distal axons, in contrast to DRG sensory neurons in which GDNF promoted survival equally well from either distal axons or cell bodies. Ret, the receptor tyrosine kinase for GDNF, underwent rapid proteasomal degradation in the axons of sympathetic neurons. Interestingly, the level of activated Ret in DRG neurons was sustained in the axons and also appeared in the cell bodies, suggesting that Ret was not degraded in sensory axons and was retrogradely transported. Pharmacologic inhibition of proteasomes only in the distal axons of sympathetic neurons caused an accumulation of activated Ret in both the axons and cell bodies upon GDNF stimulation. Furthermore, exposure of the distal axons of sympathetic neurons to both GDNF and proteasome inhibitors, but neither one alone, promoted robust survival, identical to GDNF applied directly to the cell bodies. This differential responsiveness of sympathetic and sensory neurons to target-derived GDNF was due to the differential expression and degradation of the Ret9 and Ret51 isoforms. Therefore, the local degradation of Ret in axons dictates whether GFLs act as retrograde survival factors.
sympathetic neuron; sensory neuron; GDNF; Ret; proteasome; retrograde
There is increasing evidence that glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) plays a role as a limiting, striatal target-derived neurotrophic factor for dopamine neurons of the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc) by regulating the magnitude of the first phase of postnatal natural cell death which occurs in these neurons. While it has been shown that GDNF mRNA is relatively abundant in postnatal striatum, the cellular basis of its expression has been unknown. We therefore used nonradioactive in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry to examine the cellular basis of GDNF mRNA and protein expression, respectively, in postnatal striatum and related structures. We found that GDNF mRNA is expressed within medium-sized striatal neurons. Expression in glia was not observed. At the protein level, regionally, GDNF expression in striatum was observed in striosomal patches, as previously described. At a cellular level a few neurons were observed, but they do not account for the striosomal pattern. This pattern is predominantly due to GDNF-positive neuropil. Some of this neuropil arises from tyrosine hydroxylase-positive nigro-striatal dopaminergic afferents. Astrocytic processes do not appear to contribute to the striosomal pattern. GDNF-positive fibers are identified not only within intrinsic striatal neuropil, but also in fibers within the major striatal efferent targets: the globus pallidus, the entopeduncular nucleus, and the SN pars reticulata. We conclude that during normal postnatal development, medium-sized neurons are the principal source of GDNF within the striatum.
natural cell death; dopamine; substantia nigra; striosome; globus pallidus; GDNF
Glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) is an essential growth factor for the survival and maintenance of the midbrain dopaminergic (DA-ergic) neurons. Activation of the GDNF pathway in the ventral tegmental area (VTA), where the GDNF receptors are expressed, produces a long-lasting suppression of excessive alcohol consumption in rats. Previous studies conducted in the DA-ergic-like cells, SHSY5Y, revealed that GDNF positively regulates its own expression, leading to a long-lasting activation of the GDNF signaling pathway. Here we determined whether GDNF activates a positive autoregulatory feedback loop in vivo within the VTA, and if so, whether this mechanism underlies the long-lasting suppressive effects of the growth factor on excessive alcohol consumption. We found that a single infusion of recombinant GDNF (rGDNF; 10 μg) into the VTA induces a long-lasting local increase in GDNF mRNA and protein levels, which depends upon de novo transcription and translation of the polypeptide. Importantly, we report that the GDNF-mediated positive autoregulatory feedback loop accounts for the long-lasting inhibitory actions of GDNF in the VTA on excessive alcohol consumption. Specifically, the long-lasting suppressive effects of a single rGDNF infusion into the VTA on excessive alcohol consumption were prevented when protein synthesis was inhibited, as well as when the upregulation of GDNF expression was prevented using short hairpin RNA to focally knock down GDNF mRNA in the VTA. Our results could have implications for the development of long-lasting treatments for disorders in which GDNF has a beneficial role, including drug addiction, chronic stress and Parkinson’s disease.
addiction; alcohol; GDNF; growth factors; ventral tegmental area
Glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) is an essential growth factor for the survival and maintenance of the midbrain dopaminergic (DA-ergic) neurons. Activation of the GDNF pathway in the ventral tegmental area (VTA), where the GDNF receptors are expressed, produces a long-lasting suppression of excessive alcohol consumption in rats. Previous studies conducted in the DA-ergic-like cells, SHSY5Y, revealed that GDNF positively regulates its own expression, leading to a long-lasting activation of the GDNF signaling pathway. Here we determined whether GDNF activates a positive autoregulatory feedback loop in vivo within the VTA, and if so, whether this mechanism underlies the long-lasting suppressive effects of the growth factor on excessive alcohol consumption. We found that a single infusion of recombinant GDNF (rGDNF; 10 μg) into the VTA induces a long-lasting local increase in GDNF mRNA and protein levels, which depends upon de novo transcription and translation of the polypeptide. Importantly, we report that the GDNF-mediated positive autoregulatory feedback loop accounts for the long-lasting inhibitory actions of GDNF in the VTA on excessive alcohol consumption. Specifically, the long-lasting suppressive effects of a single rGDNF infusion into the VTA on excessive alcohol consumption were prevented when protein synthesis was inhibited, as well as when the upregulation of GDNF expression was prevented using short hairpin RNA to focally knock down GDNF mRNA in the VTA. Our results could have implications for the development of long-lasting treatments for disorders in which GDNF has a beneficial role, including drug addiction, chronic stress and Parkinson's disease.
addiction; alcohol; GDNF; growth factors; ventral tegmental area
Glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) is a heparan sulfate (HS)-binding factor. GDNF is produced by somatic Sertoli cells, where it signals to maintain spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs) and reproduction. Here, we investigate the roles of extracellular HS 6-O-endosulfatases (Sulfs), Sulf1 and Sulf2, in the matrix transmission of GDNF from Sertoli cells to SSCs. Although Sulfs are not required for testis formation, Sulf deficiency leads to the accelerated depletion of SSCs, a testis phenotype similar to that of GDNF+/− mice. Mechanistically, we show that Sulfs are expressed in GDNF-producing Sertoli cells. In addition, reduced Sulf activity profoundly worsens haplo-deficient GDNF phenotypes in our genetic studies. These findings establish a critical role of Sulfs in promoting GDNF signaling and support a model in which Sulfs regulate the bioavailability of GDNF by enzymatically remodeling HS 6-O-desulfation to release GDNF from matrix sequestration. Further, Sertoli cell-specific transcriptional factor Wilm's tumor 1 (WT1) directly activates the transcription of both Sulf1 and Sulf2 genes. Together, our studies not only identify Sulfs as essential regulators of GDNF signaling in the SSC niche, but also as direct downstream targets of WT1, thus establishing a physiological role of WT1 in Sertoli cells.
glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor; heparan sulfate; sertoli cell; spermatogonial stem cell, Sulfs
Enteric glia cells (EGC) play an important role in the maintenance of intestinal mucosa integrity. During the course of acute Crohn's disease (CD), mucosal EGC progressively undergo apoptosis, though the mechanisms are largely unknown. We investigated the role of Glial-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) in the regulation of EGC apoptosis.
GDNF expression and EGC apoptosis were determined by immunofluorescence using specimen from CD patients. In primary rat EGC cultures, GDNF receptors were assessed by western blot and indirect immunofluorescence microscopy. Apoptosis in cultured EGC was induced by TNF-α and IFN-γ, and the influence of GDNF on apoptosis was measured upon addition of GDNF or neutralizing anti-GDNF antibody.
Increased GDNF expression and Caspase 3/7 activities were detected in in specimen of CD patients but not in healthy controls. Moreover, inactivation of GDNF sensitized in EGC cell to IFN-γ/TNF-α induced apoptosis.
This study proposes the existence of an autocrine anti-apoptotic loop in EGC cells which is operative in Crohn's disease and dependent of GDNF. Alterations in this novel EGC self-protecting mechanism could lead to a higher susceptibility towards apoptosis and thus contribute to disruption of the mucosal integrity and severity of inflammation in CD.
enteric glia; GDNF; Crohn's disease; IBD; apoptosis
During development neural crest derived Schwann Cell (SC) precursors migrate to nerve trunks and populate nascent nerves. Axonal ensheathment by SC is a prerequisite for normal nerve function and the integrity of myelinated as well as nonmyelinated axons. To provide adequate support functions, SC colonize entire nerves. One important prerequisite for this is their migration into distal axonal regions.
Here, we studied the role of Glial cell line derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF), a TGF-beta related growth factor, for SC migration. To this end we used a superior cervical ganglion (SCG) explant-SC migration assay, GDNF null mutant mouse embryos and a chemical inhibitor for GDNF signaling in combination with time-lapse imaging. We found that GDNF signaling is dispensable for SC migration along murine embryonic sympathetic axons. Furthermore, in vivo analyzes revealed that SC migration along the sciatic nerve is also not dependent on GDNF.
In contrast to previous in vitro findings in the sciatic nerve and a SC precursor cell line, our results clearly indicate that GDNF is dispensable for embryonic SC migration. This is demonstrated for the sympathetic nervous system and also for the sciatic nerve in mouse.
Schwann cell development; Migration; Proliferation; GDNF; PP2
Human milk contains a wide variety of nutrients that contribute to the fulfillment of its functions, which include the regulation of newborn development. However, few studies have investigated the concentrations of S100B protein, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), and glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) in human milk. The associations of the concentrations of S100B protein, BDNF, and GDNF with maternal factors are not well explored.
To investigate the concentrations of S100B protein, BDNF, and GDNF in human milk and characterize the maternal factors associated with their levels in human milk, human milk samples were collected at days 3, 10, 30, and 90 after parturition. Levels of S100B protein, BDNF, and GDNF, and their mRNAs in the samples were detected. Then, these concentrations were compared with lactation and other maternal factors. S100B protein levels in human milk samples collected at 3, 10, 30, and 90 d after parturition were 1249.79±398.10, 1345.05±539.16, 1481.83±573.30, and 1414.39±621.31 ng/L, respectively. On the other hand, the BDNF concentrations in human milk samples were 10.99±4.55, 13.01±5.88, 13.35±6.43, and 2.83±5.47 µg/L, while those of GDNF were 10.90±1.65, 11.38±1., 11.29±3.10, and 11.40±2.21 g/L for the same time periods. Maternal post-pregnancy body mass index was positively associated with S100B levels in human milk (r = 0.335, P = 0.030<0.05). In addition, there was a significant correlation between the levels of S100B protein and BDNF (z = 2.09, P = 0.037<0.05). Delivery modes were negatively associated with the concentration of GDNF in human milk.
S100B protein, BDNF, and GDNF are present in all samples of human milk, and they may be responsible for the long term effects of breast feeding.
BACKGROUND & AIMS
Pancreatic β-cell mass increases in response to increased demand for insulin, but the factors involved are largely unknown. Glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) is a growth factor that plays a role in the development and survival of the enteric nervous system. We investigated the role of GDNF in regulating β-cell survival.
Studies were performed using the β-TC-6 pancreatic β-cell line, isolated mouse pancreatic β-cells, and in vivo in transgenic mice that overexpress GDNF in pancreatic glia. GDNF receptor family αl and c-Ret receptor expression were assessed by RT-PCR and immunofluorescence microscopy. Apoptosis was evaluated by assessing caspase-3 cleavage. Phosphoinositol-3-kinase signaling pathway was analyzed by Akt phosphorylation. Glucose homeostasis was assessed by performing intraperitoneal glucose tolerance tests. Insulin sensitivity was assessed using intraperitoneal injection of insulin.
We demonstrate the presence of receptors for GDNF, GFR-α1 and c-Ret on β-cells. GDNF promoted β-cell survival, proliferation and protected them from thapsigargin-induced apoptosis (P<0.0001). GDNF resulted in phosphorylation of Akt and GSK3β. Transgenic mice that overexpress GDNF in glia exhibit increased β-cell mass, proliferation and insulin content. No differences in insulin sensitivity and c-peptide levels were noted. Compared to wild-type mice GDNF-transgenic mice have significantly lower blood glucose levels and improved glucose tolerance (P<0.01). GDNF-transgenic mice are resistant to streptozotocin-induced β-cell loss (P<0.001) and subsequent hyperglycemia.
We demonstrate that overexpression of GDNF in pancreatic glia improves glucose tolerance and that GDNF may be a therapeutic target for improving β-cell mass.
GDNF; β-cells; enteric neurons; hyperglycemia; diabetes; apoptosis; PI-3-kinase; Akt; GFR1α
Progressive dysfunction of hypothalamic tuberoinfundibular dopaminergic (TIDA) neurons during normal aging is associated in the female rat with chronic hyperprolactinemia. We assessed the effectiveness of glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) gene therapy to restore TIDA neuron function in senile female rats and reverse their chronic hyperprolactinemia. Young (2.5 months) and senile (29 months) rats received a bilateral intrahypothalamic injection (1010 pfu) of either an adenoviral vector expressing the gene for β-galactosidase; (Y-βgal and S-βgal, respectively) or a vector expressing rat GDNF (Y-GDNF and S-GDNF, respectively). Transgenic GDNF levels in supernatants of GDNF adenovector-transduced N2a neuronal cell cultures were 25 ± 4 ng/ml, as determined by bioassay. In the rats, serum prolactin (PRL) was measured at regular intervals. On day 17 animals were sacrificed and neuronal nuclear antigen (NeuN) and tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) immunoreactive cells counted in the arcuate-periventricular hypothalamic region. The S-GDNF but not the S-βgal rats, showed a significant reduction in body weight. The chronic hyperprolactinemia of the senile females was significantly ameliorated in the S-GDNF rats (p< 0.05) but not in the S-βgal rats. Neither age nor GDNF induced significant changes in the number of NeuN and TH neurons. We conclude that transgenic GDNF ameliorates chronic hyperprolactinemia in aging female rats, probably by restoring TIDA neuron function.
aging; DA neurodegeneration; TIDA neurons; chronic hyperprolactinemia; GDNF; gene therapy
This study assessed the potential for functional and anatomical recovery of the diseased aged primate nigrostriatal system, in response to trophic factor gene transfer. Aged rhesus monkeys received a single intracarotid infusion of MPTP, followed one week later by MRI-guided stereotaxic intrastriatal and intranigral injections of lentiviral vectors encoding for glial derived neurotrophic factor (lenti-GDNF) or beta-galactosidase (lenti-LacZ). Functional analysis revealed that the lenti-GDNF, but not lenti-LacZ treated monkeys displayed behavioral improvements that were associated with increased fluorodopa uptake in the striatum ipsilateral to lenti-GDNF treatment. GDNF ELISA of striatal brain samples confirmed increased GDNF expression in lenti-GDNF treated aged animals that correlated with functional improvements and preserved nigrostriatal dopaminergic markers. Our results indicate that the aged primate brain challenged by MPTP administration has the potential to respond to trophic factor delivery and that the degree of neuroprotection depends on GDNF levels.
Macaque; MPTP; GDNF; gene transfer; Parkinson’s disease; aging
Clinical studies to date have failed to establish therapeutic benefit of glial cell-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) in Parkinson’s disease (PD). In contrast to previous non-clinical neuroprotective reports, this study shows clinically relevant and long-lasting regeneration of the dopaminergic system in rhesus macaques lesioned with 1-methy-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) 3–6 months prior to GDNF gene delivery (AAV2-GDNF). The observed progressive amelioration of functional deficits, recovery of dopamine and regrowth of fibers to the striatal neuropil, demonstrates that high GDNF expression in the putamen promotes restoration of the dopaminergic system in a primate model of advanced PD. Extensive distribution of GDNF within the putamen and transport to the severely lesioned substantia nigra, after convection-enhanced delivery (CED) of AAV2-GDNF into the putamen, indicates anterograde transport via striatonigral connections and is anticipated to occur in PD patients. Overall these data demonstrate non-clinical neurorestoration after putaminal infusion of AAV2-GDNF and suggest that clinical investigation in PD patients is warranted.
Glial cell-derived neurotrophic factor; Neuroregeneration; Gene delivery; Parkinson’s disease; Dopamine; Tyrosine Hydroxylase
To study the regulation of AUUUA-mediated RNA deadenylation and destabilization during Xenopus early development, we microinjected chimeric mRNAs containing Xenopus or mammalian 3′ untranslated region (3′-UTR) sequences into Xenopus oocytes, mature eggs, or fertilized embryos. We found that the AU-rich elements (ARE) of Xenopus c-myc II and the human granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor gene (GMCSF) both direct deadenylation of chimeric mRNAs in an AUUUA-dependent manner. In the case of the Xenopus c-myc II ARE, mutation of a single AUUUA within an absolutely conserved 11-nucleotide region in c-myc 3′-UTRs prevents ARE-mediated deadenylation. AUUUA-specific deadenylation appears to be developmentally regulated: low deadenylation activity is observed in the oocyte, whereas rapid deadenylation occurs following egg activation or fertilization. Deadenylation results in the accumulation of stable deadenylated RNAs that become degraded only following mid-blastula transition. We conclude that ARE-mediated mRNA deadenylation can be uncoupled from ARE-mediated mRNA decay and that AUUUAs directly signal deadenylation during Xenopus early development.
Background and Aims
In mammalian spermatogenesis, glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) is one of the major Sertoli cell-derived factors which regulates the maintenance of undifferentiated spermatogonia including spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs) through GDNF family receptor α1 (GFRα1). It remains unclear as to when, where and how GDNF molecules are produced and exposed to the GFRα1-positive spermatogonia in vivo.
Methodology and Principal Findings
Here we show the cyclical and patch-like distribution of immunoreactive GDNF-positive signals and their close co-localization with a subpopulation of GFRα1-positive spermatogonia along the basal surface of Sertoli cells in mice and hamsters. Anti-GDNF section immunostaining revealed that GDNF-positive signals are mainly cytoplasmic and observed specifically in the Sertoli cells in a species-specific as well as a seminiferous cycle- and spermatogenic activity-dependent manner. In contrast to the ubiquitous GDNF signals in mouse testes, high levels of its signals were cyclically observed in hamster testes prior to spermiation. Whole-mount anti-GDNF staining of the seminiferous tubules successfully visualized the cyclical and patch-like extracellular distribution of GDNF-positive granular deposits along the basal surface of Sertoli cells in both species. Double-staining of GDNF and GFRα1 demonstrated the close co-localization of GDNF deposits and a subpopulation of GFRα1-positive spermatogonia. In both species, GFRα1-positive cells showed a slender bipolar shape as well as a tendency for increased cell numbers in the GDNF-enriched area, as compared with those in the GDNF-low/negative area of the seminiferous tubules.
Our data provide direct evidence of regionally defined patch-like GDNF-positive signal site in which GFRα1-positive spermatogonia possibly interact with GDNF in the basal compartment of the seminiferous tubules.
Glial cell line derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) is present in adult gut although its role in the mature enteric nervous system is not well defined. The aim of the present study was to examine the role of GDNF as neuromodulator of the ascending phase of the peristaltic reflex. Colonic segments were prepared as flat sheets and placed in compartmented chambers so as to separate the sensory and motor limbs of the reflex. Ascending contraction was measured in the orad compartment and mucosal stroking stimuli (2-8 strokes) were applied in the caudad compartment. GDNF and substance P release were measured and the effects of GDNF and GDNF antibody on contraction and release were determined. Mice with reduced levels of GDNF (Gdnf+/-) and wild type littermates were also examined. GDNF was released in a stimulus-dependent manner into the orad motor but not caudad sensory compartment. Addition of GDNF to the orad motor but not caudad sensory compartment augmented ascending contraction and substance P release. Conversely, addition of GDNF antibody to the orad motor but not caudad sensory compartment reduced ascending contraction and substance P release. Similarly, the ascending contraction and substance P release into the orad motor compartment was reduced in Gdnf+/- mice as compared to wild type littermates. The results suggest that endogenous GDNF is released during the ascending contraction component of the peristaltic reflex where it acts as a neuromodulator to augment substance P release from motor neurons thereby augmenting contraction of circular muscle orad to the site of stimulation.
colon; enteric nervous system; gastrointestinal tract; motility; neurotrophins; neuropeptides
Direct gene transfer into neurons has potential for developing gene therapy treatments for specific neurological conditions, and for elucidating neuronal physiology. Due to the complex cellular composition of specific brain areas, neuronal type-specific recombinant gene expression is required for many potential applications of neuronal gene transfer. One approach is to target gene transfer to a specific type of neuron. We developed modified Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV-1) particles that contain chimeric glycoprotein C (gC) – glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) or brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) proteins. HSV-1 vector particles containing either gC – GDNF or gC – BDNF target gene transfer to nigrostriatal neurons, which contain specific receptors for GDNF or BDNF. A second approach to achieve neuronal type-specific expression is to use a cell type-specific promoter, and we have used the tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) promoter to restrict expression to catecholaminergic neurons or a modified neurofilament heavy gene promoter to restrict expression to neurons, and both of these promoters support long-term expression from HSV-1 vectors. To both improve nigrostriatal-neuron specific expression, and to establish that targeted gene transfer can be followed by long-term expression, we performed targeted gene transfer with vectors that support long-term, neuronal-specific expression.
Helper virus-free HSV-1 vector packaging was performed using either gC – GDNF or gC – BDNF and vectors that contain either the TH promoter or the modified neurofilament heavy gene promoter. Vector stocks were injected into the midbrain proximal to the substantia nigra, and the rats were sacrificed at either 4 days or 1 month after gene transfer. Immunofluorescent costaining was performed to detect both recombinant gene products and nigrostriatal neurons. The combination of targeted gene transfer with neuronal-specific promoters improved nigrostriatal neuron-specific expression (83 to 93%) compared to either approach alone, and supported long-term (1 month) expression at levels similar to those observed using untargeted gene transfer.
Targeted gene transfer can be used in combination with neuronal-specific promoters to achieve a high level of nigrostriatal neuron-specific expression. Targeted gene transfer can be followed by long-term expression. Nigrostriatal neuron-specific expression may be useful for specific gene therapy approaches to Parkinson's disease or for genetic analyses of nigrostriatal neuron physiology.
The enteric glia network may be involved in the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Enteric glia cells (EGCs) are the major source of glial-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF), which regulates apoptosis of enterocytes. The aim of the study was to determine the distribution of EGCs and GDNF during gut inflammation and to elucidate a possible diminished enteric glia network in IBD.
The expression of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) in colonic biopsies of patients with IBD, controls and patients with infectious colitis was detected by immunohistochemistry and Western blot. Tissue GDNF levels were measured by ELISA.
The expression of GFAP and GDNF in the mucosal plexus is highly increased in the inflamed colon of patients with ulcerative colitis (UC) and infectious colitis. Although the GDNF and GFAP content are increased in Crohn's disease (CD), it is significantly less. Additionally the non-inflamed colon of CD patients showed a reduced GFAP and no GDNF expression compared to controls and the non-inflamed colon of UC patients.
GFAP and GDNF as signs of activated EGCs are increased in the inflamed mucosa of patients with UC and infectious colitis, which underline an unspecific role of EGC in the regulation of intestinal inflammation. The reduced GFAP and GDNF content in the colon of CD patients suggest a diminished EGC network in this disease. This might be a part of the pathophysiological puzzle of CD.
Glial-derived neurotrophic factor (Gdnf) is required for morphogenesis of the enteric nervous system (ENS) and it has been shown to regulate proliferation, differentiation, and survival of cultured enteric neural crest-derived cells (ENCCs). The goal of this study was to investigate its in vivo role in the colon, the site most commonly affected by intestinal neuropathies such as Hirschsprung’s disease. Gdnf activity was modulated in ovo in the distal gut of avian embryos using targeted retrovirus-mediated gene overexpression and retroviral vector-based gene silencing. We find that Gdnf has a pleiotropic effect on colonic ENCCs, promoting proliferation, inducing neuronal differentiation, and acting as a chemoattractant. Downregulating Gdnf similarly induces premature neuronal differentiation, but also inhibits ENCC proliferation, leading to distal colorectal aganglionosis with severe proximal hypoganglionosis. These results indicate an important role for Gdnf signaling in colonic ENS formation and emphasize the critical balance between proliferation and differentiation in the developing ENS.
enteric nervous system; glial-derived neurotrophic factor; Gdnf; Ret; Hirschsprung’s disease; chick
The spinal cord of a 7-week-old female Wistar rat was hemi-transected at thoracic position 10 with a razor blade, and changes in glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) protein and mRNA expression levels in the spinal cord were examined. GDNF protein and mRNA expression levels were evaluated by enzyme immunoassay and reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction, respectively. Although GDNF is distributed in the healthy spinal cord from 150 to 400 pg/g tissue in a regionally dependent manner, hemi-transection (left side) of the spinal cord caused a rapid increase in GDNF content in the ipsilateral rostral but not in the caudal part of the spinal cord. On the other hand, injury-induced GDNF mRNA was distributed limitedly in both rostral and caudal stumps. These observations suggest the possibility that increased GDNF in the rostral part is responsible for the accumulation of GDNF that may be constitutively transported from the rostral to caudal side within the spinal cord. Although such local increase of endogenous GDNF protein may not be sufficient for nerve regeneration and locomotor improvement, it may play a physiological role in supporting spinal neurons including motoneurons.
glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF); spinal cord injury; enzyme immunoassay (EIA)
The proliferation and final density of Sertoli cells in the testis are regulated by hormones and local factors. Glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF), a distantly related member of the transforming growth factor-β superfamily, and its receptor subunits GDNF family receptor alpha 1 (GFRα1), RET tyrosine kinase, and neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM) have been reported to be expressed in the testis and involved in the regulation of proliferation of immature Sertoli cells (ISCs). However, the expression patterns of these receptor subunits and the downstream signaling pathways have not been addressed in ISCs.
In the present study, we have reported that the proliferation of cultured ISCs was significantly enhanced by GDNF. The receptor subunits GFRα1 and NCAM but not RET were expressed in ISCs, and the stimulatory effect of GDNF on the proliferation of ISCs was significantly reduced by anti-NCAM antibody blocking or siRNA that specifically targets NCAM mRNA. Additionally, the ERK1/2 inhibitor, PD98059, completely abolished the mitogenic effect of GDNF on ISCs.
GDNF stimulates the proliferation of ISCs via its receptor subunit NCAM and the consequent activation of the ERK1/2 signaling pathway.