Biomedical Neuroscience Institute BNI

Santiago, Chile

Biomedical Neuroscience Institute BNI

Santiago, Chile
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Diaz E.,University of Chile | Diaz E.,Biomedical Neuroscience Institute BNI | Bravo D.,University of Chile | Rojas X.,University of Chile | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Comparative Neurology | Year: 2011

The habenular complex (HbCpx) is a phylogenetically conserved brain structure located in the epithalamus of vertebrates. Despite its fundamental role in decision-making processes and the proposed link between habenular dysfunction and neuropsychiatric conditions, little is known about the structural and functional organization of the HbCpx in humans. The goal of this study was thus to provide a first systematic morphologic and immunohistochemical analysis of the human HbCpx to begin dissecting its nuclear and subnuclear organization. Our results confirmed that the human HbCpx is subdivided into medial (MHb) and lateral (LHb) nuclei, each showing a large degree of intranuclear morphologic heterogeneity. Analysis of serially stained sections using a combination of morphologic and immunohistochemical criteria allowed the distinction of five subnuclei in both the MHb and LHb. Overall, the observed subnuclear organization of the MHb in humans resembles the organization of subnuclei in the MHb of rats. The shape, relative size, and intranuclear organization of the LHb, however, show significant differences. The contribution of the LHb to the entire HbCpx is about five times larger in humans than in rats. Noteworthy, a dorsal domain of the LHb that contains afferent myelinated fibers from the stria medullaris and shows GABA- B-R 1 immunoreactive cells, appears substantially enlarged in humans when compared to rats. This feature seems to account for a large part of the relative growth in size of the LHb in humans and opens the intriguing possibility of an increased influence of limbic and striatal afferents into the LHb of humans. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.


Mardones M.D.,Andrés Bello University | Andaur G.A.,Andrés Bello University | Varas-Godoy M.,University of Los Andes, Chile | Henriquez J.F.,Andrés Bello University | And 8 more authors.
Molecular Brain | Year: 2016

Background: In the adult hippocampus new neurons are continuously generated from neural stem cells (NSCs) present at the subgranular zone of the dentate gyrus. This process is controlled by Wnt signaling, which plays a complex role in regulating multiple steps of neurogenesis including maintenance, proliferation and differentiation of progenitor cells and the development of newborn neurons. Differential effects of Wnt signaling during progression of neurogenesis could be mediated by cell-type specific expression of Wnt receptors. Here we studied the potential role of Frizzled-1 (FZD1) receptor in adult hippocampal neurogenesis. Results: In the adult dentate gyrus, we determined that FZD1 is highly expressed in NSCs, neural progenitors and immature neurons. Accordingly, FZD1 is expressed in cultured adult hippocampal progenitors isolated from mouse brain. To evaluate the role of this receptor in vivo we targeted FZD1 in newborn cells using retroviral-mediated RNA interference. FZD1 knockdown resulted in a marked decrease in the differentiation of newborn cells into neurons and increased the generation of astrocytes, suggesting a regulatory role for the receptor in cell fate commitment. In addition, FZD1 knockdown induced an extended migration of adult-born neurons within the granule cell layer. However, no differences were observed in total dendritic length and dendritic arbor complexity between control and FZD1-deficient newborn neurons. Conclusions: Our results show that FZD1 regulates specific stages of adult hippocampal neurogenesis, being required for neuronal differentiation and positioning of newborn neurons into the granule cell layer, but not for morphological development of adult-born granule neurons. © 2016 Mardones et al.


Villalon A.,Biomedical Neuroscience Institute BNI | Villalon A.,University of Chile | Villalon A.,Diego Portales University | Sepulveda M.,Biomedical Neuroscience Institute BNI | And 9 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

The vertebrate habenulae (Hb) is an evolutionary conserved dorsal diencephalic nuclear complex that relays information from limbic and striatal forebrain regions to the ventral midbrain. One key feature of this bilateral nucleus is the presence of left-right differences in size, cytoarchitecture, connectivity, neurochemistry and/or gene expression. In teleosts, habenular asymmetry has been associated with preferential innervation of left-right habenular efferents into dorso-ventral domains of the midbrain interpeduncular nucleus (IPN). However, the degree of conservation of this trait and its relation to the structural asymmetries of the Hb are currently unknown. To address these questions, we performed the first systematic comparative analysis of structural and connectional asymmetries of the Hb in teleosts. We found striking inter-species variability in the overall shape and cytoarchitecture of the Hb, and in the frequency, strength and to a lesser degree, laterality of habenular volume at the population level. Directional asymmetry of the Hb was either to the left in D. rerio, E. bicolor, O. latipes, P. reticulata, B. splendens, or to the right in F. gardneri females. In contrast, asymmetry was absent in P. scalare and F. gardneri males at the population level, although in these species the Hb displayed volumetric asymmetries at the individual level. Inter-species variability was more pronounced across orders than within a single order, and coexisted with an overall conserved laterotopic representation of left-right habenular efferents into dorso-ventral domains of the IPN. These results suggest that the circuit design involving the Hb of teleosts promotes structural flexibility depending on developmental, cognitive and/or behavioural pressures, without affecting the main midbrain connectivity output, thus unveiling a key conserved role of this connectivity trait in the function of the circuit. We propose that ontogenic plasticity in habenular morphogenesis underlies the observed inter-species variations in habenular asymmetric morphology. © 2012 Villalón et al.


Ortiz R.,University of Chile | Ortiz R.,University of Santiago de Chile | Ortiz R.,Biomedical Neuroscience Institute BNI | Diaz J.,University of Chile | And 14 more authors.
Oncotarget | Year: 2016

Caveolin-1 (CAV1) is a scaffolding protein that plays a dual role in cancer. In advanced stages of this disease, CAV1 expression in tumor cells is associated with enhanced metastatic potential, while, at earlier stages, CAV1 functions as a tumor suppressor. We recently implicated CAV1 phosphorylation on tyrosine 14 (Y14) in CAV1-enhanced cell migration. However, the contribution of this modification to the dual role of CAV1 in cancer remained unexplored. Here, we used in vitro [2D and transendothelial cell migration (TEM), invasion] and in vivo (metastasis) assays, as well as genetic and biochemical approaches to address this question in B16F10 murine melanoma cells. CAV1 promoted directional migration on fibronectin or laminin, two abundant lung extracellular matrix (ECM) components, which correlated with enhanced Y14 phosphorylation during spreading. Moreover, CAV1-driven migration, invasion, TEM and metastasis were ablated by expression of the phosphorylation null CAV1(Y14F), but not the phosphorylation mimicking CAV1(Y14E) mutation. Finally, CAV1-enhanced focal adhesion dynamics and surface expression of beta1 integrin were required for CAV1-driven TEM. Importantly, CAV1 function as a tumor suppressor in tumor formation assays was not altered by the Y14F mutation. In conclusion, our results provide critical insight to the mechanisms of CAV1 action during cancer development. Specific ECM-integrin interactions and Y14 phosphorylation are required for CAV1-enhanced melanoma cell migration, invasion and metastasis to the lung. Because Y14F mutation diminishes metastasis without inhibiting the tumor suppressor function of CAV1, Y14 phosphorylation emerges as an attractive therapeutic target to prevent metastasis without altering beneficial traits of CAV1.

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