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Moreno-Bravo J.A.,University Miguel Hernandez | Martinez-Lopez J.E.,University Miguel Hernandez | Madrigal M.P.,University Miguel Hernandez | Kim M.,University of Nevada, Reno | And 5 more authors.
Brain Structure and Function | Year: 2016

The retroflex tract contains medial habenula efferents that target the hindbrain interpeduncular complex and surrounding areas. This tract displays a singular course. Initially, habenular axons extend ventralwards in front of the pretectum until they reach the basal plate. Next, they avoid crossing the local floor plate, sharply changing course caudalwards (the retroflexion alluded by the tract name) and navigate strictly antero-posteriorly across basal pretectum, midbrain and isthmus. Once they reach rhombomere 1, the habenular axons criss-cross the floor plate several times within the interpeduncular nuclear complex as they innervate it. Here we described the timing and details of growth phenomena as these axons navigate to their target. The first dorsoventral course apparently obeys Ntn1 attraction. We checked the role of local floor plate signaling in the decision to avoid the thalamic floor plate and bend caudalwards. Analyzing the altered floor and basal plates of Gli2 knockout mice, we found a contralateral projection of most habenular axons, plus ulterior bizarre navigation rostralwards. This crossing phenotype was due to a reduced expression of Slit repulsive cues, suggesting involvement of the floor-derived Robo-Slit system in the normal guidance of this tract. Using Slit and Robo mutant mice, open neural tube and co-culture assays, we determined that Robo1-Slit2 interaction is specifically required for impeding that medial habenular axons cross the thalamic floor plate. This pathfinding mechanism is essential to establish the functionally important habenulo-interpeduncular connection. © 2014, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Mecklenburg N.,University Miguel Hernandez | Mecklenburg N.,Max Delbruck Center for Molecular Medicine | Martinez-Lopez J.E.,University Miguel Hernandez | Moreno-Bravo J.A.,University Miguel Hernandez | And 4 more authors.
GLIA | Year: 2014

Growth differentiation factor 10 (Gdf10), also known as Bmp3b, is a member of the transforming growth factor (TGF)-ß superfamily. Gdf10 is expressed in Bergmann glial cells, which was investigated by single-cell transcriptional profiling (Koirala and Corfas, (2010) PLoS ONE 5: e9198). Here we provide a detailed characterization of Gdf10 expression from E14, the stage at which Gdf10 is expressed for the first time in the cerebellum, until P28. We detected Gdf10 expression in both germinal zones: in the ventricular zone (VZ) of the 4th ventricle as well as in the rhombic lip (RL). The VZ has been postulated to give rise to GABAergic neurons and glial cells, whereas the RL gives rise to glutamatergic neurons. Thus, it was very surprising to discover a gene that is expressed exclusively in glial cells and is not restricted to an expression in the VZ, but is also present in the RL. At postnatal stages Gdf10 was distributed equally in Bergmann glial cells of the cerebellum. Furthermore, we found Gdf10 to be regulated by Sonic hedgehog (Shh), which is secreted by Purkinje cells of the cerebellum. In the conditional Shh mutants, glial cells showed a reduced expression of Gdf10, whereas the expression of Nestin and Vimentin was unchanged. Thus, we show for the first time, that Gdf10, expressed in Bergmann glial cells, is affected by the loss of Shh as early as E18.5, suggesting a regulation of glial development by Shh. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Madrigal M.P.,University Miguel Hernandez | Moreno-Bravo J.A.,University Miguel Hernandez | Martinez-Lopez J.E.,University Miguel Hernandez | Martinez S.,University Miguel Hernandez | And 2 more authors.
Brain Structure and Function | Year: 2016

In embryonic development, the neurons that will constitute a heterogeneous nucleus may have distinct origins. The different components of these populations reach their final location by radial and tangential migrations. The Substantia nigra pars reticulata (SNR) presents a high level of neuronal heterogeneity. It is composed by GABAergic neurons located in the mes-diencephalic basal plate. These inhibitory neurons usually display tangential migrations and it has been already described that the caudal SNR is colonized tangentially from rhombomere 1. Our aim is to unveil the origin of the rostral SNR. We have localized a Nkx6.2 positive ventricular domain located in the alar midbrain. Nkx6.2 derivatives’ fate map analysis showed mainly a rostral colonization of this GABAergic neuronal population. We confirmed the mesencephalic origin by the expression of Six3. Both transcription factors are sequentially expressed along the differentiation of these neurons. We demonstrated the origin of the rostral SNR; our data allowed us to postulate that this nucleus is composed by two neuronal populations distributed in opposite gradients with different origins, one from rhombomere 1, caudal to rostral, and the other from the midbrain, rostral to caudal. We can conclude that the SNR has multiple origins and follows complex mechanisms of specification and migration. Our results support vital information for the study of genetic modifications in these extremely complex processes that result in devastating behavioral alterations and predisposition to psychiatric diseases. Understanding the development, molecular identity and functional characteristics of these diverse neuronal populations might lead to better diagnosis and treatment of several forms of neurological and psychiatric disease. © 2015, The Author(s).

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