Patient-derived pluripotent stem cells (PSC) directed to various cell fates holds promise as source material for treating numerous disorders. The availability of precisely differentiated PSC-derived cells will dramatically impact blood component and hematopoietic stem cell therapies, and should facilitate treatment of diabetes, some forms of liver disease and neurologic disorders, retinal diseases, and possibly heart disease. Although an unlimited supply of specific cell types are needed, other barriers must be overcome. This review of the state of cell therapies highlights important challenges. Successful cell transplantation will require optimizing the best cell type and site for engraftment, overcoming limitations to cell migration and tissue integration, and occasionally needing to control immunologic reactivity. Collaboration among scientists, clinicians, and industry is critical for generating new stem cell-based therapies.
Glioblastoma multiform (GBM) remains clinical indication with significant “unmet medical need”. Innovative new therapy to eliminate residual tumor cells and prevent tumor recurrences is critically needed for this deadly disease. A major challenge of GBM research has been the identification of novel molecular therapeutic targets and accurate diagnostic/prognostic biomarkers. Many of the current clinical therapeutic targets of immunotoxins and ligand-directed toxins for high-grade glioma (HGG) cells are surface sialylated glycoproteins. Therefore, methods that systematically and quantitatively analyze cell surface sialoglycoproteins in human clinical tumor samples would be useful for the identification of potential diagnostic markers and therapeutic targets for malignant gliomas. In this study, we used the bioorthogonal chemical reporter strategy (BOCR) in combination with label-free quantitative mass spectrometry (LFQ-MS) to characterize and accurately quantify the individual cell surface sialoproteome in human GBM tissues, in fetal, adult human astrocytes, and in human neural progenitor cells (NPCs). We identified and quantified a total of 843 proteins, including 801 glycoproteins. Among the 843 proteins, 606 (72%) are known cell surface or secreted glycoproteins, including 156 CD-antigens, all major classes of cell surface receptor proteins, transporters, and adhesion proteins. Our findings identified several known as well as new cell surface antigens whose expression is predominantly restricted to human GBM tumors as confirmed by microarray transcription profiling, quantitative RT-PCR and immunohistochemical staining. This report presents the comprehensive identification of new biomarkers and therapeutic targets for the treatment of malignant gliomas using quantitative sialoglycoproteomics with clinically relevant, patient derived primary glioma cells.
Vanishing white matter disease (VWM) is a genetic leukoencephalopathy linked to mutations in the eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2B (eIF2B). It is a disease of infants, children and adults, who experience a slowly progressive neurological deterioration with episodes of rapid clinical worsening triggered by stress and eventually leading to death. Characteristic neuropathological findings include cystic degeneration of the white matter with scarce reactive gliosis, dysmorphic astrocytes, and paucity of myelin despite an increase in oligodendrocytic density. To assess whether a defective maturation of macroglia may be responsible for the feeble gliosis and lack of myelin, we investigated the maturation status of astrocytes and oligodendrocytes in the brains of 8 VWM patients, 4 patients with other white matter disorders and 6 age-matched controls with a combination of immunocytochemistry, histochemistry, scratch-wound assays, Western blot and quantitative PCR. We observed increased proliferation and a defect in the maturation of VWM astrocytes. They show an anomalous composition of their intermediate filament network with predominance of the δ-isoform of the glial fibrillary acidic protein and an increase in the heat shock protein αB-crystallin, supporting the possibility that a deficiency in astrocyte function may contribute to the loss of white matter in VWM. We also demonstrated a significant increase in numbers of pre-myelinating oligodendrocyte progenitors in VWM, which may explain the co-existence of oligodendrocytosis and myelin paucity in the patients’ white matter.
Astrocytes; GFAPδ; Glia maturation; Olig2 cytoplasmic translocation; Oligodendrocyte progenitor cells; Vanishing white matter
Myelinating oligodendrocytes are induced from mouse embryonic fibroblasts by
transcription factor–mediated reprogramming.
Throughout life, new neurons arise from the ventricular zone of the adult songbird brain and are recruited to the song control nucleus HVC, from which they extend projections to its target, nucleus robustus of the arcopallium (RA). This process of ongoing parenchymal neuronal addition and circuit integration is both triggered and modulated by seasonal surges in systemic testosterone. Brain aromatase converts circulating testosterone to estradiol, so that HVC is concurrently exposed to both androgenic and estrogenic stimulation. These two signals cooperate to trigger HVC endothelial cell division and angiogenesis, by inducing the regionally-restricted expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), its matrix-releasing protease MMP9, and its endothelial receptor VEGFR2. The expanded HVC microvascular network then secretes the neurotrophic factor BDNF, which in turn supports the recruitment of newly generated neurons. This process is striking for its spatial restriction and hence functional specificity. While androgen receptors are broadly expressed by the nuclei of the vocal control system, estrogen receptor (ERα) expression is largely restricted to HVC and its adjacent mediocaudal neopallium. The geographic overlap of these receptor phenotypes in HVC provides the basis for a regionally-defined set of paracrine interactions between the vascular bed and neuronal progenitor pool, that both characterize and distinguish this nucleus. These interactions culminate in the focal attraction of new neurons to the adult HVC, the integration of those neurons into the extant vocal control circuits, and ultimately the acquisition and elaboration of song.
androgen; estrogen; testosterone; angiogenesis; neurogenesis; adult neurogenesis; VEGF; BDNF; neuroethology; songbird
Huntington's disease (HD) is a neurodegenerative disease characterized in part by the loss of striatopallidal medium spiny projection neurons (MSNs). Expression of BDNF and noggin via intracerebroventricular (ICV) delivery in an adenoviral vector triggers the addition of new neurons to the neostriatum. In this study, we found that a single ICV injection of the adeno-associated viruses AAV4-BDNF and AAV4-noggin triggered the sustained recruitment of new MSNs in both wild-type and R6/2 mice, a model of HD. Mice treated with AAV4-BDNF/noggin, or with BDNF and noggin proteins, actively recruited subependymal progenitor cells to form new MSNs that matured and achieved circuit integration. Importantly, the AAV4-BDNF/noggin-treated R6/2 mice showed delayed deterioration of motor function and substantially increased survival. In addition, squirrel monkeys given ICV injections of AAV4-BDNF/noggin showed similar addition of striatal neurons. Induced neuronal addition may therefore represent a promising avenue for disease amelioration in HD.
Adult neurogenesis; AAV4; subependyma; gene therapy; Huntington's disease
Treatment of beta2-adrenergic receptor agonists with myeloid cytokines, such as granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) has been reported to enhance stem/progenitor cell mobilization and proliferation in ischemic myocardium. However, whether the combination therapy of G-CSF and clenbuterol (Clen) contributes to improved left ventricular (LV) function remains uncertain. We investigated whether this combination therapy induced bone marrow–derived stem/progenitor cell mobilization, neovascularization, and altered LV function after acute myocardial infarction (MI).
Methods and Results
Following MI, rats were treated with single Clen, high-dose Clen, and G-CSF + Clen. We evaluated LV function and remodeling with the use of echocardiography in addition to hemodynamics 3 weeks after MI. Treatment with G-CSF + Clen increased (P < .05), compared with no treatment, LV ejection fraction 46 ± 3% vs 34 ± 2%, LV dP/dt 5,789 ± 394 mm Hg vs 4,503 ± 283 mm Hg, and the percentage of circulating CD34+ cells, appearing to correlate with improvements in LV function.
Combination therapy improved LV function 3 weeks after MI, suggesting that G-CSF + Clen might augment stem/progenitor cell migration, contributing to tissue healing. These data raise the possibility that enhancing endogenous bone marrow–derived stem/progenitor cell mobilization may be a new treatment for ischemic heart failure after MI.
Neovascularization; beta2-adrenergic receptor agonist
Human astrocytes are larger and more complex than those of infraprimate mammals, suggesting that their role in neural processing has expanded with evolution. To assess the cell-autonomous and species-selective properties of human glia, we engrafted human glial progenitor cells (GPCs) into neonatal immunodeficient mice. Upon maturation, the recipient brains exhibited large numbers and high proportions of both human glial progenitors and astrocytes. The engrafted human glia were gap junction-coupled to host astroglia, yet retained the size and pleomorphism of hominid astroglia, and propagated Ca2+ signals 3-fold faster than their hosts. Long term potentiation (LTP) was sharply enhanced in the human glial chimeric mice, as was their learning, as assessed by Barnes maze navigation, object-location memory, and both contextual and tone fear conditioning. Mice allografted with murine GPCs showed no enhancement of either LTP or learning. These findings indicate that human glia differentially enhance both activity-dependent plasticity and learning in mice.
glial progenitor cell; chimera; astrocyte; long-term potentiation; learning
Neonatal engraftment by oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs) permits the myelination of congenitally dysmyelinated brain. To establish a potential autologous source of these cells, we developed a strategy by which to differentiate human induced pluripotential stem cells (hiPSCs) into OPCs. From 3 hiPSC lines, as well as from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs), we generated highly enriched OLIG2+/PDGFRα+/NKX2.2+/SOX10+ hOPCs, which could be further purified using fluorescence-activated cell sorting. hiPSC OPCs efficiently differentiated into both myelinogenic oligodendrocytes and astrocytes, in vitro and in vivo. Neonatally engrafted hiPSC OPCs robustly myelinated the brains of myelin-deficient shiverer mice, and substantially increased the survival of these mice. The speed and efficiency of myelination by hiPSC OPCs was higher than that previously observed using fetal tissue-derived OPCs, and no tumors from these grafts were noted as long as 9 months after transplant. These results suggest the utility of hiPSC-derived OPCs in treating disorders of myelin loss.
glial progenitor cell; iPS cell; embryonic stem cell; neural stem cell; remyelination
Activated protein C (APC) is a protease with anticoagulant and cell-signaling activities. In the central nervous system, APC and its analogs with reduced anticoagulant activity but preserved cell signaling activities, such as 3K3A-APC, exert neuroprotective, vasculoprotective and anti-inflammatory effects. Murine APC promotes subependymal neurogenesis in rodents in vivo after ischemic and traumatic brain injury. Whether human APC can influence neuronal production from resident progenitor cells in humans is unknown. Here we show that 3K3A-APC, but not S360A-APC (an enzymatically inactive analog of APC), stimulated neuronal mitogenesis and differentiation from fetal human neural stem and progenitor cells (NPCs). 3K3A-APC’s effects on proliferation and differentiation were comparable to those respectively obtained with fibroblast growth factor and brain-derived growth factor. Its promoting effect on neuronal differentiation was accompanied by inhibition of astroglial differentiation. In addition, 3K3A-APC exerted modest anti-apoptotic effects during neuronal production. These effects appeared mediated through specific protease activated (PAR) and sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1PR) receptors, in that siRNA-mediated inhibition of PARs 1–4 and S1PRs 1–5 revealed that PAR1, PAR3 and S1PR1 are required for the neurogenic effects of 3K3A-APC. 3K3A-APC activated Akt, a downstream target of S1PR1, which was inhibited by S1PR1, PAR1 and PAR3 silencing. Adenoviral transduction of NPCs with a kinase-defective Akt mutant abolished the effects of 3K3A-APC on NPCs, confirming a key role of Akt activation in 3K3A-APC-mediated neurogenesis. Thus, APC and its pharmacological analogues, by influencing PAR and S1PR signals in resident neural progenitor cells, may be potent modulators of both development and repair in the human CNS.
Cardiac troponin levels help risk-stratify patients presenting with an acute coronary syndrome (ACS). Although they may be elevated in patients presenting with Non-ACS conditions, specific diagnoses and long-term outcomes within that cohort are unclear.
Methods and Results
Using the Veterans Affairs (VA) centralized databases, we identified all hospitalized patients in 2006 who had a troponin assay obtained during their initial reference hospitalization. Based on ICD-9 diagnostic codes, primary diagnoses were categorized as either ACS or Non-ACS conditions. Of a total of 21,668 patients with an elevated troponin level who were discharged from the hospital, 12,400 (57.2%) had a Non-ACS condition. Among that cohort, the most common diagnostic category involved the cardiovascular system and congestive heart failure (N=1661) and chronic coronary artery disease (N=1648) accounted for the major classifications. At one-year following hospital discharge, mortality in patients with a Non-ACS condition was 22.8% and was higher than the ACS cohort (Odds Ratio=1.39; 95%CI: 1.30–1.49). Despite the high prevalence of cardiovascular diseases in patients with a Non-ACS diagnosis, utilization of cardiac imaging within 90 days of hospitalization was low compared with ACS patients (Odds Ratio=0.25; 95%CI: 0.23–0.27).
Hospitalized patients with an elevated troponin level most often have a primary diagnosis that is not an acute coronary syndrome. Their long-term survival is poor and justifies novel diagnostic or therapeutic strategy-based studies to target the highest risk subsets prior to hospital discharge.
outcomes; troponins; non-ACS diagnosis; cardiac imaging; coronary artery disease
Because it lacks a lymphatic circulation, the brain must clear extracellular proteins by an alternative mechanism. The cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) functions as a sink for brain extracellular solutes, but it is not clear how solutes from the brain interstitium move from the parenchyma to the CSF. We demonstrate that a substantial portion of subarachnoid CSF cycles through the brain interstitial space. On the basis of in vivo two-photon imaging of small fluorescent tracers, we showed that CSF enters the parenchyma along paravascular spaces that surround penetrating arteries and that brain interstitial fluid is cleared along paravenous drainage pathways. Animals lacking the water channel aquaporin-4 (AQP4) in astrocytes exhibit slowed CSF influx through this system and a ~70% reduction in interstitial solute clearance, suggesting that the bulk fluid flow between these anatomical influx and efflux routes is supported by astrocytic water transport. Fluorescent-tagged amyloid β, a peptide thought to be pathogenic in Alzheimer’s disease, was transported along this route, and deletion of the Aqp4 gene suppressed the clearance of soluble amyloid β, suggesting that this pathway may remove amyloid β from the central nervous system. Clearance through paravenous flow may also regulate extracellular levels of proteins involved with neurodegenerative conditions, its impairment perhaps contributing to the mis-accumulation of soluble proteins.
Oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs) persist in human white matter, yet the mechanisms by which they are maintained in an undifferentiated state are unknown. Human OPCs differentially express protein tyrosine phosphatase receptor β/ζ (PTPRZ1), and its inhibitory ligand, pleiotrophin, suggesting the maintenance of an autocrine loop by which PTPRZ1 activity is tonically suppressed. PTPRZ1 constitutively promotes the tyrosine dephosphorylation of β-catenin, and thus β-catenin participation in TCF-mediated transcription. Using CD140a/PDGFRα-based FACS to isolate fetal OPCs from the fetal brain at gestational ages 16-22 weeks, we asked if pleiotrophin modulated the expansion of OPCs, and if so, whether this was effected through the serial engagement of PTPRZ1 and β-catenin-dependent signals, such as TCF-mediated transcription. Lentiviral shRNAi knockdown of PTPRZ1 induced TCF-mediated transcription, and substantially augmented GSK3β inhibition-induced TCF-reporter luciferase expression, suggesting dual regulation of β-catenin and the importance of PTPRZ1 as a tonic brake upon TCF-dependent transcription. Pharmacological inhibition of GSK3β triggered substrate detachment and initiated sphere formation, yet had no effect on either proliferation or net cell number. In contrast, pleiotrophin strongly potentiated the proliferation of CD140a+-sorted OPCs, as did PTPRZ1 knockdown, which significantly increased the total number of population doublings exhibited by OPCs before mitotic senescence. These observations suggest that pleiotrophin inhibition of PTPRZ1 contributes to the homeostatic self-renewal of OPCs, and that this process is mediated by the tonic activation of β-catenin/TCF-dependent transcription.
progenitor cells; β-catenin; Wnt signaling; pleiotrophin; PTPRZ1; PDGFRA; RPTPβ/ζ; CD140a; human; oligodendrocyte progenitor
The perivascular niche for neurogenesis was first reported as the co-association of newly generated neurons and their progenitors with both dividing and mitotically quiescent endothelial cells in restricted regions of the brain in adult birds and mammals alike. This review attempts to summarize our present understanding of the interaction of blood vessels with neural stem and progenitor cells, addressing both glial and neuronal progenitor cell interactions in the perivascular niche. We review the molecular interactions that are most critical to the endothelial control of stem and progenitor cell mobilization and differentiation. The focus throughout will be on defining those perivascular ligand-receptor interactions shared among these systems, as well as those that clearly differ as a function of cell type and setting, by which specificity may be achieved in the development of targeted therapeutics.
Oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs) persist in human white matter, yet the mechanisms by which they are maintained in an undifferentiated state are unknown. Human OPCs differentially express protein tyrosine phosphatase receptor β/ζ (PTPRZ1) and its inhibitory ligand, pleiotrophin, suggesting the maintenance of an autocrine loop by which PTPRZ1 activity is tonically suppressed. PTPRZ1 constitutively promotes the tyrosine dephosphorylation of β-catenin and, thus, β-catenin participation in T cell factor (TCF)-mediated transcription. Using CD140a/PDGFRα-based fluorescence-activated cell sorting to isolate fetal OPCs from the fetal brain at gestational ages 16–22 weeks, we asked whether pleiotrophin modulated the expansion of OPCs and, if so, whether this was effected through the serial engagement of PTPRZ1 and β-catenin-dependent signals, such as TCF-mediated transcription. Lentiviral shRNAi knockdown of PTPRZ1 induced TCF-mediated transcription and substantially augmented GSK3β inhibition-induced TCF-reporter luciferase expression, suggesting dual regulation of β-catenin and the importance of PTPRZ1 as a tonic brake upon TCF-dependent transcription. Pharmacological inhibition of GSK3β triggered substrate detachment and initiated sphere formation, yet had no effect on either proliferation or net cell number. In contrast, pleiotrophin strongly potentiated the proliferation of CD140a+-sorted OPCs, as did PTPRZ1 knockdown, which significantly increased the total number of population doublings exhibited by OPCs before mitotic senescence. These observations suggest that pleiotrophin inhibition of PTPRZ1 contributes to the homeostatic self-renewal of OPCs and that this process is mediated by the tonic activation of β-catenin/TCF-dependent transcription.
The diseases of myelin are among the most prevalent and disabling conditions in neurology. These diseases include both the vascular and inflammatory demyelinating disorders of adulthood, as well as the childhood leukodystrophies and cerebral palsy. These fundamentally glial disorders may be amenable to treatment by glial progenitor cells (GPCs), which give rise to astroglia and myelin-producing oligodendrocytes. Given the development of new methods for generating and isolating human GPCs, the myelin disorders may now be compelling targets for cell-based therapy. In addition, the efficient engraftment and expansion of human GPCs in murine hosts has led to the development of human glial chimeric mouse brains, which provides new opportunities for studying the species-specific roles of human glia in cognition, as well as in disease pathogenesis.
Astrocytes participate in all essential CNS functions, including blood flow regulation, energy metabolism, ion and water homeostasis, immune defence, neurotransmission, and adult neurogenesis. It is thus not surprising that astrocytic morphology and function differ between regions, and that different subclasses of astrocytes exist within the same brain region. Recent lines of work also show that the complexity of protoplasmic astrocytes increases during evolution. Human astrocytes are structurally more complex, larger, and propagate calcium signals significantly faster than rodent astrocytes. In this chapter, we review the diversity of astrocytic form and function, while considering the markedly expanded roles of astrocytes with phylogenetic evolution. We also define major challenges for the future, which include determining how astrocytic functions are locally specified, defining the molecular controls upon astrocytic fate and physiology and establishing how evolutionary changes in astrocytes contribute to higher cognitive functions.
Astrocyte; NG2 cell; Glia; Glia progenitor; Potassium buffering; Epilepsy; Calcium signaling; Purinergic receptors
Huntington’s disease (HD) is an inherited, relentlessly progressive neurodegenerative disease with an invariably fatal outcome. HD is inherited in an autosomal dominant fashion, and is characterized pathologically by the loss of cortical and striatal neurons, and clinically by involuntary choreiform movements accompanied by progressive cognitive impairment and emotional lability. The disorder is caused by an expanded cystosine adenine guanine (CAG) tri-nucleotide repeat encoding polyglutamine (polyQ) in the first exon of the Huntingtin gene. There is a correlation between the number of CAG repeats and disease onset, such that in patients with CAG repeat lengths of 36 to 60, disease symptoms typically manifest after 35 years of age, whereas CAG repeat lengths >60 yield the more severe juvenile form of the disease. Even though mutant huntingtin is expressed throughout the brain, it is characterized by the selective degeneration of medium spiny neurons of the caudate and putamen, which heralds more widespread neuronal degeneration with disease progression. The mechanisms of cell dysfunction and death in HD have been the subjects of a number of studies, which have led to therapeutic strategies largely based on the amelioration of mutant huntingtin-related metabolic impairment and cellular toxicity. Each of these approaches has aimed to delay or stop the preferential degeneration of medium spiny neurons early in the disease course. Yet, in later stages of the disease, after cell death has become prominent, cell replacement therapy (whether by direct cell transplantation or by the mobilization of endogenous progenitors) may comprise a stronger potential avenue for therapy. In this review, we will consider recent progress in the transplantation of fetal striatal cells to the HD brain, as well as emerging alternative sources for human striatal progenitor cells. We will then consider the potential application of gene therapy toward the induction of striatal neurogenesis and neuronal recruitment, with an eye toward its potential therapeutic use in HD.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s13311-011-0075-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Cell therapy; Neural transplants; Stem cells; Neurogenesis; Medium spiny neuron
The value of Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography stress myocardial perfusion imaging (SPECT-MPI) for detecting graft disease after coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG) has not been studied prospectively in an unselected cohort.
Radial Artery Versus Saphenous Vein Graft Study is a Veterans Affairs Cooperative Study to determine graft patency rates after CABG surgery. Seventy-nine participants agreed to SPECT-MPI within 24 hours of their coronary angiogram, one-year after CABG. The choice of the stress protocol was made at the discretion of the nuclear radiologist and was either a symptom-limited exercise test (n = 68) or an adenosine infusion (n = 11). The SPECT-MPI results were interpreted independent of the angiographic results and estimates of sensitivity, specificity and accuracy were based on the prediction of a graft stenosis of ≥70% on coronary angiogram.
A significant stenosis was present in 38 (48%) of 79 patients and 56 (22%) of 251 grafts. In those stress tests with an optimal exercise heart rate response (>80% maximum predicted heart rate) (n = 26) sensitivity, specificity and accuracy of SPECT-MPI for predicting the graft stenosis was 77%, 69% and 73% respectively. With adenosine (n = 11) it was 75%, 57% and 64%, respectively. Among participants with a suboptimal exercise heart rate response, the sensitivity of SPECT-MPI for predicting a graft stenosis was <50%. The accuracy of SPECT-MPI for detecting graft disease did not vary significantly with ischemic territory.
Under optimal stress conditions, SPECT-MPI has a good sensitivity and accuracy for detecting graft disease in an unselected patient population 1 year post-CABG.
Coronary artery bypass grafts; CABG; Coronary artery imaging; Cardiac catheterization/intervention
Malignant gliomas are aggressive brain tumors with limited therapeutic options, and improvements in treatment require a deeper molecular understanding of this disease. As in other cancers, recent studies have identified highly tumorigenic subpopulations within malignant gliomas, known generally as cancer stem cells. Here we demonstrate that glioma stem cells (GSCs) produce nitric oxide via elevated nitric oxide synthase-2 (NOS2) expression. GSCs depend on NOS2 activity for growth and tumorigenicity, distinguishing them from non-GSCs and normal neural progenitors. Gene expression profiling identified many NOS2-regulated genes, including the cell cycle inhibitor cell division autoantigen-1 (CDA1). Further, high NOS2 expression correlates with decreased survival in human glioma patients, and NOS2 inhibition slows glioma growth in a murine intracranial model. These data provide insight into how GSCs are mechanistically distinct from their less tumorigenic counterparts, and suggest that NOS2 inhibition may be an efficacious approach to treating this devastating disease.
Testosterone-induced singing in songbirds is thought to involve testosterone-dependent morphological changes that include angiogenesis and neuronal recruitment into the HVC, a central part of the song control circuit. Previous work showed that testosterone induces the production of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and its receptor (VEGFR2 tyrosine kinase), which in turn leads to an upregulation of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) production in HVC endothelial cells. Here we report for the first time that systemic inhibition of the VEGFR2 tyrosine kinase is sufficient to block testosterone-induced song in adult female canaries, despite sustained androgen exposure and the persistence of the effects of testosterone on HVC morphology. Expression of exogenous BDNF in HVC, induced locally by in situ transfection, reversed the VEGFR2 inhibition-mediated blockade of song development, thereby restoring the behavioral phenotype associated with androgen-induced song. The VEGFR2-inhibited, BDNF-treated females developed elaborate male-like song that included large syllable repertoires and high syllable repetition rates, features known to attract females. Importantly, although functionally competent new neurons were recruited to HVC after testosterone treatment, the time course of neuronal addition appeared to follow BDNF-induced song development. These findings indicate that testosterone-associated VEGFR2 activity is required for androgen-induced song in adult songbirds and that the behavioral effects of VEGFR2 inhibition can be rescued by BDNF within the adult HVC.
Experimental models of myelin disorders can be treated by the transplantation of oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs) into the affected brain or spinal cord. OPCs express gangliosides recognized by MAb A2B5, but this marker also identifies lineage-restricted astrocytes and immature neurons. To establish a more efficient means of isolating myelinogenic OPCs, we asked if FACS could be used to sort PDGFα receptor+ cells from fetal human forebrain, based on expression of the PDGFRα epitope CD140a. CD140a+ isolates were maintained as mitotic bipotential progenitors that could be instructed to either oligodendrocyte or astrocyte fate. Transplanted CD140a+ cells were highly migratory, and rapidly and robustly myelinated the hypomyelinated shiverer mouse brain, more efficiently than did A2B5-sorted cells. Microarray analysis of CD140a+ cells revealed their differential expression of CD9, as well as of PTN-PTPRZ1, wnt, notch and BMP pathway components, indicating the dynamic interaction of self-renewal and fate-restricting pathways in these cells.
oligodendrocyte progenitor; PDGF receptor; myelin; remyelination
The childhood leukodystrophies are characterized by neonatal or childhood deficiencies in myelin production or maintenance; these may be due to hereditary defects in genes for myelin maintenance, as in Pelizaeus-Merzbacher disease, or to enzymatic deficiencies resulting in substrate misaccumulation or misprocessing, as in the lysosomal storage disorders. Regardless of their respective etiologies, these disorders are essentially all manifested by a profound deterioration in neurological function with age. A congenital deficit in forebrain myelination is also noted in children with the periventricular leukomalacia of cerebral palsy, which yields a more static morbidity. In light of the wide range of disorders to which congenital hypomyelination or postnatal demyelination may contribute, and the relative homogeneity of oligodendrocytes and their progenitors, the leukodystrophies may be especially attractive targets for cell-based therapeutic strategies. As a result, glial progenitor cells, which can give rise to new myelinogenic oligodendrocytes, have become of great interest as potential vectors for the restoration of myelin to the dysmyelinated brain and spinal cord. In addition, by distributing throughout the neuraxis after perinatal graft, and giving rise to astrocytes as well as oligodendrocytes, glial progenitor cells may be of great utility in rectifying the dysmyelination-associated enzymatic deficiencies of the lysosomal storage disorders.