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Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Meek S.,Roslin Institute | Wei J.,Roslin Institute | Sutherland L.,Roslin Institute | Nilges B.,Roslin Institute | And 4 more authors.
Stem Cells | Year: 2013

Stabilization of β-catenin, through inhibition of glycogen synthase kinase 3 (GSK3) activity, in conjunction with inhibition of mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase 1/2 (MEK) promotes self-renewal of naïve-type mouse embryonic stem cells (ESC). In developmentally more advanced, primed-type, epiblast stem cells, however, β-catenin activity induces differentiation. We investigated the response of rat ESCs to β-catenin signaling and found that when maintained on feeder-support cells in the presence of a MEK inhibitor alone (1i culture), the derivation efficiency, growth, karyotypic stability, transcriptional profile, and differentiation potential of rat ESC cultures was similar to that of cell lines established using both MEK and GSK3 inhibitors (2i culture). Equivalent mouse ESCs, by comparison, differentiated in identical 1i conditions, consistent with insufficient β-catenin activity. This interspecies difference in reliance on GSK3 inhibition corresponded with higher overall levels of β-catenin activity in rat ESCs. Indeed, rat ESCs displayed widespread expression of the mesendoderm-associated β-catenin targets, Brachyury and Cdx2 in 2i medium, and overt differentiation upon further increases in β-catenin activity. In contrast, mouse ESCs were resistant to differentiation at similarly elevated doses of GSK3 inhibitor. Interestingly, without feeder support, moderate levels of GSK3 inhibition were necessary to support effective growth of rat ESC, confirming the conserved role for β-catenin in ESC self-renewal. This work identifies β-catenin signaling as a molecular rheostat in rat ESC, regulating self-renewal in a dose-dependent manner, and highlights the potential importance of controlling flux in this signaling pathway to achieve effective stabilization of naïve pluripotency. © AlphaMed Press. Source

Escuin S.,University College London | Vernay B.,University College London | Vernay B.,Institute for Stem Cell Research | Savery D.,University College London | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Cell Science | Year: 2015

The cytoskeleton is widely considered essential for neurulation, yet the mouse spinal neural tube can close despite genetic and nongenetic disruption of the cytoskeleton. To investigate this apparent contradiction, we applied cytoskeletal inhibitors to mouse embryos in culture. Preventing actomyosin cross-linking, F-actin assembly or myosin II contractile activity did not disrupt spinal closure. In contrast, inhibiting Rho kinase (ROCK, for which there are two isoformsROCK1 and ROCK2) or blocking F-actin disassembly prevented closure, with apical F-actin accumulation and adherens junction disturbance in the neuroepithelium. Cofilin-1-null embryos yielded a similar phenotype, supporting the hypothesis that there is a key role for actin turnover. Co-exposure to Blebbistatin rescued the neurulation defects caused by RhoA inhibition, whereas an inhibitor of myosin light chain kinase, ML-7, had no such effect. We conclude that regulation of RhoA, Rho kinase, LIM kinase and cofilin signalling is necessary for spinal neural tube closure through precise control of neuroepithelial actin turnover and actomyosin disassembly. In contrast, actomyosin assembly and myosin ATPase activity are not limiting for closure. © 2015. Source

Voronov D.,Scripps Research Institute | Gromova A.,Scripps Research Institute | Liu D.,Scripps Research Institute | Zoukhri D.,Tufts University | And 3 more authors.
Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science | Year: 2013

PURPOSE. Lacrimal gland (LG) morphogenesis and repair are regulated by a complex interplay of intrinsic factors (e.g., transcription factors) and extrinsic signals (e.g., soluble growth/ signaling factors). Many of these interconnections remain poorly characterized. Runt-related (Runx) factors belong to a small family of heterodimeric transcription factors known to regulate lineage-specific proliferation and differentiation of stem cells. The purpose of this study was to define the expression pattern and the role of Runx proteins in LG development and regeneration. METHODS. Expression of epithelial-restricted transcription factors in murine LG was examined using immunostaining, qRT-PCR, and RT2Profiler PCR microarrays. The role of Runx transcription factors in LG morphogenesis was studied using siRNA and ex vivo LG cultures. Expression of Runx transcription factors during LG regeneration was assessed using in vivo model of LG regeneration. RESULTS. We found that Runx factors are expressed in the epithelial compartment of the LG; in particular, Runx1 was restricted to the epithelium with highest level of expression in ductal and centroacinar cells. Downregulation of Runx1 to 3 expression using Runx-specific siRNAs abolished LG growth and branching and our data suggest that Runx1, 2, and 3 are partially redundant in LG development. In siRNA-treated LG, reduction of branching correlated with reduction of epithelial proliferation, as well as expression of cyclin D1 and the putative epithelial progenitor cell marker cytokeratin-5. Runx1, Runx3, and cytokeratin-5 expression increased significantly in regenerating LG and there was modest increase in Runx2 expression during LG differentiation. CONCLUSIONS. Runx1 and 2 are new markers of the LG epithelial lineage and Runx factors are important for normal LG morphogenesis and regeneration. © The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, Inc. Source

Dimou L.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | Dimou L.,Institute for Stem Cell Research | Dimou L.,Synergy Systems | Gotz M.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | And 2 more authors.
Physiological Reviews | Year: 2014

The diverse functions of glial cells prompt the question to which extent specific subtypes may be devoted to a specific function. We discuss this by reviewing one of the most recently discovered roles of glial cells, their function as neural stem cells (NSCs) and progenitor cells. First we give an overview of glial stem and progenitor cells during development; these are the radial glial cells that act as NSCs and other glial progenitors, highlighting the distinction between the lineage of cells in vivo and their potential when exposed to a different environment, e.g., in vitro. We then proceed to the adult stage and discuss the glial cells that continue to act as NSCs across vertebrates and others that are more lineage-restricted, such as the adult NG2-glia, the most frequent progenitor type in the adult mammalian brain, that remain within the oligodendrocyte lineage. Upon certain injury conditions, a distinct subset of quiescent astrocytes reactivates proliferation and a larger potential, clearly demonstrating the concept of heterogeneity with distinct subtypes of, e.g., astrocytes or NG2-glia performing rather different roles after brain injury. These new insights not only highlight the importance of glial cells for brain repair but also their great potential in various aspects of regeneration. © 2014 the American Physiological Society. Source

Kronenberg G.,Charite - Medical University of Berlin | Gertz K.,Charite - Medical University of Berlin | Cheung G.,Max Delbruck Center for Molecular Medicine | Buffo A.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | And 5 more authors.
Stroke | Year: 2010

Background and Purpose- Although in vitro studies suggest that non-neurogenic regions of the adult central nervous system potentially contain multipotent parenchymal progenitors, neurons are clearly not replaced in most brain regions after injury. Here, in a well-established model of mild transient brain ischemia, we explored Olig2 antagonism and Pax6 overexpression as potential avenues to redirect endogenous progenitors proliferating in situ toward a neuronal fate. Methods- Retroviral vectors containing either Pax6 or a strong activator form of the repressor Olig2 (Olig2VP16), ie, a functionally dominant negative form of Olig2, were stereotaxically injected into the lateral striatum at 48 hours after 30 minutes middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAo)/reperfusion. Results- Retroviral modulation of fate determinants resulted in a significant number of infected cells differentiating into Doublecortin (DCX)-expressing immature neurons that were not observed after injection of a control virus. Whole-cell patch-clamp recordings in acute brain slices showed that the percentage of virus-infected cells with Na currents was increased by inhibition of the repressor function of Olig2 and by overexpression of Pax6. Furthermore, on retroviral transduction of fate determinants, we detected newly generated cells within the ischemic lesion that were capable of generating single action potentials and that received synaptic input. Conclusions- Taken together, these data show that resident glia in the striatum can be reprogrammed toward functional neuronal differentiation following brain injury. © 2010 American Heart Association, Inc. Source

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