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Plympton, United Kingdom

Gonzalez J.A.,Francis Crick Institute | Iordanidou P.,Francis Crick Institute | Strom M.,MRC NIMR | Strom M.,University College London | And 3 more authors.
Nature Communications

The lateral hypothalamus (LH) controls energy balance. LH melanin-concentrating-hormone (MCH) and orexin/hypocretin (OH) neurons mediate energy accumulation and expenditure, respectively. MCH cells promote memory and appropriate stimulus-reward associations; their inactivation disrupts energy-optimal behaviour and causes weight loss. However, MCH cell dynamics during wakefulness are unknown, leaving it unclear if they differentially participate in brain activity during sensory processing. By fiberoptic recordings from molecularly defined populations of LH neurons in awake freely moving mice, we show that MCH neurons generate conditional population bursts. This MCH cell activity correlates with novelty exploration, is inhibited by stress and is inversely predicted by OH cell activity. Furthermore, we obtain brain-wide maps of monosynaptic inputs to MCH and OH cells, and demonstrate optogenetically that VGAT neurons in the amygdala and bed nucleus of stria terminalis inhibit MCH cells. These data reveal cell-type-specific LH dynamics during sensory integration, and identify direct neural controllers of MCH neurons. Source

Bery A.,Institute Of Neurobiologie Alfred Fessard | Martynoga B.,MRC NIMR | Guillemot F.,MRC NIMR | Joly J.-S.,Institute Of Neurobiologie Alfred Fessard | Retaux S.,Institute Of Neurobiologie Alfred Fessard
Cerebral Cortex

We aimed to identify cis-regulatory elements that control gene expression in progenitors of the cerebral cortex. A list of 975 putative enhancers were retrieved from a ChIP-Seq experiment performed in NS5 mouse stem cells with antibodies to Sox2, Brn2/Pou3f2, or Brn1/Pou3f3. Through a selection pipeline including gene ontology and expression pattern, we reduced the number of candidate enhancer sequences to 20. Ex vivo electroporation of green fluorescent pProtein (GFP) reporter constructs in the telencephalon of mouse embryos showed that 35% of the 20 selected candidate sequences displayed enhancer activity in the developing cortex at E13.5. In silico transcription factor binding site (TFBS) searches and mutagenesis experiments showed that enhancer activity is related to the presence of Sox/Pou TFBS pairs in the sequence. Comparative genomic analyses showed that enhancer activity is not related to the evolutionary conservation of the sequence. Finally, the combination of in utero electroporation of GFP reporter constructs with immunostaining for Tbr2 (basal progenitor marker) and phospho-histoneH3 (mitotic activity marker) demonstrated that each enhancer is specifically active in precise subpopulations of progenitors in the cortical germinal zone, highlighting the heterogeneity of these progenitors in terms of cis-regulation. © The Author 2013. Source

Takada Y.,RIKEN | Naruse C.,Kanazawa University | Costa Y.,MRC NIMR | Shirakawa T.,Yokohama City University | And 12 more authors.

During meiosis, specific histone modifications at pericentric heterochromatin (PCH), especially histone H3 tri- and dimethylation at lysine 9 (H3K9me3 and H3K9me2, respectively), are required for proper chromosome interactions. However, the molecular mechanism by which H3K9 methylation mediates the synapsis is not yet understood. We have generated a Cbx3-deficient mouse line and performed comparative analysis on Suv39h1/h2-, G9a- and Cbx3-deficient spermatocytes. This study revealed that H3K9me2 at PCH depended on Suv39h1/h2-mediated H3K9me3 and its recognition by the Cbx3 gene product HP1γ. We further found that centromere clustering and synapsis were commonly affected in G9a- and Cbx3-deficient spermatocytes. These genetic observations suggest that HP1γ/G9a-dependent PCH-mediated centromere clustering is an axis for proper chromosome interactions during meiotic prophase. We propose that the role of the HP1γ/G9a axis is to retain centromeric regions of unpaired homologous chromosomes in close alignment and facilitate progression of their pairing in early meiotic prophase. This study also reveals considerable plasticity in the interplay between different histone modifications and suggests that such stepwise and dynamic epigenetic modifications may play a pivotal role in meiosis. © 2011. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd. Source

Pastore A.,MRC NIMR | Temussi P.,MRC NIMR
Journal of Physics Condensed Matter

Protein aggregation and misfolding have important implications in an increasing number of fields ranging from medicine to biology to nanotechnology and material science. The interest in understanding this field has accordingly increased steadily over the last two decades. During this time the number of publications that have been dedicated to protein aggregation has increased exponentially, tackling the problem from several different and sometime contradictory perspectives. This review is meant to summarize some of the highlights that come from these studies and introduce this topical issue on the subject. The factors that make a protein aggregate and the cellular strategies that defend from aggregation are discussed together with the perspectives that the accumulated knowledge may open. © 2012 IOP Publishing Ltd. Source

Redford P.S.,MRC NIMR | Boonstra A.,MRC NIMR | Boonstra A.,Erasmus Medical Center | Read S.,MRC NIMR | And 6 more authors.
European Journal of Immunology

IL-10 regulates the balance of an immune response between pathogen clearance and immunopathology. We show here that Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) infection in the absence of IL-10 (IL-10-/- mice) results in reduced bacterial loads in the lung. This reduction was preceded by an accelerated and enhanced IFN-γ response in the lung, an increased influx of CD4+ T cells into the lung, and enhanced production of chemokines and cytokines, including CXCL10 and IL-17, in both the lung and the serum. Neutralization of IL-17 affected neither the enhanced production of CXCL10 nor the accumulation of IFN-γ-producing T cells in the lungs, but led to reduced numbers of granulocytes in the lung and reduced bacterial loads in the spleens of Mtb-infected mice. This suggests that IL-17 may contribute to dissemination of Mtb. © 2010 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA. Source

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