280 research outputs found

    Dynamic Distribution of Histone H4 Arginine 3 Methylation Marks in the Developing Murine Cortex

    Get PDF
    Epigenetic modifications regulate key transitions in cell fate during development of the central nervous system (CNS). During cortical development the initial population of proliferative neuroepithelial precursor cells give rise to neurons and then glia in a strict temporal order. Neurogenesis and gliogenesis are accompanied by a switch from symmetric to asymmetric divisions of the neural precursor cells generating another precursor and a differentiated progeny. To investigate whether specific post-translational histone modifications define specific stages of neural precursor differentiation during cortical development I focussed on the appearance of two different types of histone arginine methylation, the dimethyl symmetric H4R3 (H4R3me2s) and dimethyl asymmetric H4R3 (H4R3me2a) in the developing mouse cortex.An immunohistochemical study of the developing cortex at different developmental stages was performed to detect the distribution of H4R3me2s and H4R3me2a modifications. I analysed the distribution of these modifications in: 1) undifferentiated neural precursors, 2) post-mitotic neurons and 3) developing oligodendrocyte precursors (OLPs) using lineage-specific and histone modification-specific antibodies to co-label the cells. I found that the proliferative neuroepithelium during the stage of mainly symmetric expansive divisions is characterised by the prevalence of H4R3me2s modification and almost no detectable H4R3me2a modification. However, at a later stage, when the cortical layers with post-mitotic neurons have begun forming, both H4R3me2a and H4R3me2s modifications are detected in the post-mitotic neurons and in the developing OLPs.I propose that the H4R3me2s modification forms part of the "histone code" of undifferentiated neural precursors. The later appearance of the H4R3me2a modifications specifies the onset of neurogenesis and gliogenesis and the commitment of the NSCs to differentiate. Thus, the sequential appearance of the two different H4R3 methylation marks may define a particular cellular state of the NSCs during their development and differentiation demonstrating the role of histone arginine methylation in cortical development

    Host Cell Egress and Invasion Induce Marked Relocations of Glycolytic Enzymes in Toxoplasma gondii Tachyzoites

    Get PDF
    Apicomplexan parasites are dependent on an F-actin and myosin-based motility system for their invasion into and escape from animal host cells, as well as for their general motility. In Toxoplasma gondii and Plasmodium species, the actin filaments and myosin motor required for this process are located in a narrow space between the parasite plasma membrane and the underlying inner membrane complex, a set of flattened cisternae that covers most the cytoplasmic face of the plasma membrane. Here we show that the energy required for Toxoplasma motility is derived mostly, if not entirely, from glycolysis and lactic acid production. We also demonstrate that the glycolytic enzymes of Toxoplasma tachyzoites undergo a striking relocation from the parasites' cytoplasm to their pellicles upon Toxoplasma egress from host cells. Specifically, it appears that the glycolytic enzymes are translocated to the cytoplasmic face of the inner membrane complex as well as to the space between the plasma membrane and inner membrane complex. The glycolytic enzymes remain pellicle-associated during extended incubations of parasites in the extracellular milieu and do not revert to a cytoplasmic location until well after parasites have completed invasion of new host cells. Translocation of glycolytic enzymes to and from the Toxoplasma pellicle appears to occur in response to changes in extracellular [K+] experienced during egress and invasion, a signal that requires changes of [Ca2+]c in the parasite during egress. Enzyme translocation is, however, not dependent on either F-actin or intact microtubules. Our observations indicate that Toxoplasma gondii is capable of relocating its main source of energy between its cytoplasm and pellicle in response to exit from or entry into host cells. We propose that this ability allows Toxoplasma to optimize ATP delivery to those cellular processes that are most critical for survival outside host cells and those required for growth and replication of intracellular parasites

    The genomes of two key bumblebee species with primitive eusocial organization

    Get PDF
    Background: The shift from solitary to social behavior is one of the major evolutionary transitions. Primitively eusocial bumblebees are uniquely placed to illuminate the evolution of highly eusocial insect societies. Bumblebees are also invaluable natural and agricultural pollinators, and there is widespread concern over recent population declines in some species. High-quality genomic data will inform key aspects of bumblebee biology, including susceptibility to implicated population viability threats. Results: We report the high quality draft genome sequences of Bombus terrestris and Bombus impatiens, two ecologically dominant bumblebees and widely utilized study species. Comparing these new genomes to those of the highly eusocial honeybee Apis mellifera and other Hymenoptera, we identify deeply conserved similarities, as well as novelties key to the biology of these organisms. Some honeybee genome features thought to underpin advanced eusociality are also present in bumblebees, indicating an earlier evolution in the bee lineage. Xenobiotic detoxification and immune genes are similarly depauperate in bumblebees and honeybees, and multiple categories of genes linked to social organization, including development and behavior, show high conservation. Key differences identified include a bias in bumblebee chemoreception towards gustation from olfaction, and striking differences in microRNAs, potentially responsible for gene regulation underlying social and other traits. Conclusions: These two bumblebee genomes provide a foundation for post-genomic research on these key pollinators and insect societies. Overall, gene repertoires suggest that the route to advanced eusociality in bees was mediated by many small changes in many genes and processes, and not by notable expansion or depauperation

    Can psychosocial and socio-demographic questions help identify sexual risk among heterosexually-active women of reproductive age? Evidence from Britain’s third National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (Natsal-3)

    Get PDF
    Background: Contraceptive advice and supply (CAS) and sexually transmitted infection (STI) testing are increasingly provided in primary care. Most risk assessment tools are based on sexual risk behaviours and socio-demographics, for use online or in specialist services. Combining socio-demographic and psychosocial questions (e.g. religious belief and formative experience) may generate an acceptable tool for targeting women in primary care who would benefit from intervention. We aimed to identify psychosocial and socio-demographic factors associated with reporting key sexual risk behaviours among women in the British general population. Methods: We undertook complex survey analysis of data from 4,911 hetero-sexually active women aged 16-44 years, who participated in Britain’s third National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (Natsal-3), a national probability sample survey undertaken 2010-2012. We used multivariable regression to examine associations between the available psychosocial and socio-demographic variables in Natsal-3 and reports of 3 key sexual behaviours: a) 2+ partners in the last year (2PP); b) non-use of condoms with 2+ partners in the last year (2PPNC); c) non-use of condoms at first sex with most recent sexual partner (FSNC). We adjusted for key socio-demographic factors: age, ethnicity and socio-economic status (measured by housing tenure). Results: Weekly binge drinking (6+ units on one occasion), and first sex before age 16 were each positively associated with all three sexual behaviours after adjustment. Current relationship status, reporting drug use (ever), younger age and living in rented accommodation were also associated with 2+ partners and 2+partners without condoms after adjustment. Currently being a smoker, older age and respondent ethnicity were associated with FSNC after adjustment for all other variables. Current smoking status, treatment for depression (last year), and living at home with both parents until the age of 14 were each associated with 1 or more of the behaviours. Conclusions: Reported weekly binge drinking, early sexual debut, and age group may help target STI testing and/or CAS among women. Further research is needed to examine the proportion of sexual risk explained by these factors, the acceptability of these questions to women in primary care and the need to customise them for community and other settings

    Bmp7 Regulates the Survival, Proliferation, and Neurogenic Properties of Neural Progenitor Cells during Corticogenesis in the Mouse

    Get PDF
    Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) are considered important regulators of neural development. However, results mainly from a wide set of in vitro gain-of-function experiments are conflicting since these show that BMPs can act either as inhibitors or promoters of neurogenesis. Here, we report a specific and non-redundant role for BMP7 in cortical neurogenesis in vivo using knockout mice. Bmp7 is produced in regions adjacent to the developing cortex; the hem, meninges, and choroid plexus, and can be detected in the cerebrospinal fluid. Bmp7 deletion results in reduced cortical thickening, impaired neurogenesis, and loss of radial glia attachment to the meninges. Subsequent in vitro analyses of E14.5 cortical cells revealed that lack of Bmp7 affects neural progenitor cells, evidenced by their reduced proliferation, survival and self-renewal capacity. Addition of BMP7 was able to rescue these proliferation and survival defects. In addition, at the developmental stage E14.5 Bmp7 was also required to maintain Ngn2 expression in the subventricular zone. These data demonstrate a novel role for Bmp7 in the embryonic mouse cortex: Bmp7 nurtures radial glia cells and regulates fundamental properties of neural progenitor cells that subsequently affect Ngn2-dependent neurogenesis

    Antibacterial activity of Thymoquinone, an active principle of Nigella sativa and its potency to prevent bacterial biofilm formation

    Get PDF
    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>Thymoquinone is an active principle of <it>Nigella sativa </it>seed known as "Habbah Al-Sauda" in Arabic countries and "Sinouj" in Tunisia. Bacterial biofilms tend to exhibit significant tolerance to antimicrobials drugs during infections.</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>The antibacterial activity of Thymoquinone (TQ) and its biofilm inhibition potencies were investigated on 11 human pathogenic bacteria. The growth and development of the biofilm were assessed using the crystal violet (CV) and the 2, 3-bis [2-methyloxy-4-nitro-5-sulfophenyl]-2H-tetrazolium-5-carboxanilide (XTT) reduction assay.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>TQ exhibited a significant bactericidal activity against the majority of the tested bacteria (MICs values ranged from 8 to 32 μg/ml) especially Gram positive cocci (<it>Staphylococcus aureus </it>ATCC 25923 and <it>Staphylococcus epidermidis </it>CIP 106510). Crystal violet assay demonstrated that the minimum biofilm inhibition concentration (BIC50) was reached with 22 and 60 μg/ml for <it>Staphylococcus aureus </it>ATCC 25923 and <it>Staphylococcus epidermidis </it>CIP 106510 respectively. In addition our data revealed that cells oxidative activity was influenced by TQ supplementation. In the same way, TQ prevented cell adhesion to glass slides surface.</p> <p>Conclusion</p> <p>The ability of TQ to prevent biofilm formation warrants further investigation to explore its use as bioactive substances with antibiofilm potential.</p

    Comparative Analysis of the Subventricular Zone in Rat, Ferret and Macaque: Evidence for an Outer Subventricular Zone in Rodents

    Get PDF
    The mammalian cerebral cortex arises from precursor cells that reside in a proliferative region surrounding the lateral ventricles of the developing brain. Recent work has shown that precursor cells in the subventricular zone (SVZ) provide a major contribution to prenatal cortical neurogenesis, and that the SVZ is significantly thicker in gyrencephalic mammals such as primates than it is in lissencephalic mammals including rodents. Identifying characteristics that are shared by or that distinguish cortical precursor cells across mammalian species will shed light on factors that regulate cortical neurogenesis and may point toward mechanisms that underlie the evolutionary expansion of the neocortex in gyrencephalic mammals. We immunostained sections of the developing cerebral cortex from lissencephalic rats, and from gyrencephalic ferrets and macaques to compare the distribution of precursor cell types in each species. We also performed time-lapse imaging of precursor cells in the developing rat neocortex. We show that the distribution of Pax6+ and Tbr2+ precursor cells is similar in lissencephalic rat and gyrencephalic ferret, and different in the gyrencephalic cortex of macaque. We show that mitotic Pax6+ translocating radial glial cells (tRG) are present in the cerebral cortex of each species during and after neurogenesis, demonstrating that the function of Pax6+ tRG cells is not restricted to neurogenesis. Furthermore, we show that Olig2 expression distinguishes two distinct subtypes of Pax6+ tRG cells. Finally we present a novel method for discriminating the inner and outer SVZ across mammalian species and show that the key cytoarchitectural features and cell types that define the outer SVZ in developing primates are present in the developing rat neocortex. Our data demonstrate that the developing rat cerebral cortex possesses an outer subventricular zone during late stages of cortical neurogenesis and that the developing rodent cortex shares important features with that of primates

    Isolation of Radial Glia-Like Neural Stem Cells from Fetal and Adult Mouse Forebrain via Selective Adhesion to a Novel Adhesive Peptide-Conjugate

    Get PDF
    Preferential adhesion of neural stem cells to surfaces covered with a novel synthetic adhesive polypeptide (AK-cyclo[RGDfC]) provided a unique, rapid procedure for isolating radial glia-like cells from both fetal and adult rodent brain. Radial glia-like (RGl) neural stem/progenitor cells grew readily on the peptide-covered surfaces under serum-free culture conditions in the presence of EGF as the only growth factor supplement. Proliferating cells derived either from fetal (E 14.5) forebrain or from different regions of the adult brain maintained several radial glia-specific features including nestin, RC2 immunoreactivity and Pax6, Sox2, Blbp, Glast gene expression. Proliferating RGl cells were obtained also from non-neurogenic zones including the parenchyma of the adult cerebral cortex and dorsal midbrain. Continuous proliferation allowed isolating one-cell derived clones of radial glia-like cells. All clones generated neurons, astrocytes and oligodendrocytes under appropriate inducing conditions. Electrophysiological characterization indicated that passive conductance with large delayed rectifying potassium current might be a uniform feature of non-induced radial glia-like cells. Upon induction, all clones gave rise to GABAergic neurons. Significant differences were found, however, among the clones in the generation of glutamatergic and cathecolamine-synthesizing neurons and in the production of oligodendrocytes

    Familial amyloid precursor protein mutants cause caspase-6-dependent but amyloid β-peptide-independent neuronal degeneration in primary human neuron cultures.

    Get PDF
    Although familial Alzheimer disease (AD)-associated autosomal dominant mutants have been extensively studied, little is known about the underlying molecular mechanisms of neurodegeneration induced by these mutants in AD. Wild-type, Swedish or London amyloid precursor protein (APP) transfection in primary human neurons induced neuritic beading, in which several co-expressed proteins, such as enhanced green fluorescent protein, red fluorescent protein (RFP)-tau and RFP-ubiquitin, accumulated. APP-induced neuritic beading was dependent on caspase-6 (Casp6), because it was inhibited with 5 μM z-VEID-fmk or with dominant-negative Casp6. Neuritic beading was independent from APP-mediated amyloid β-peptide (Aβ) production, because the APPM596V (APPMV) mutant, which cannot generate Aβ, still induced Casp6-dependent neuritic beading. However, the beaded neurons underwent Casp6- and Aβ-dependent cell death. These results indicate that overexpression of wild-type or mutant APP causes Casp6-dependent but Aβ-independent neuritic degeneration in human neurons. Because Casp6 is activated early in AD and is involved in axonal degeneration, these results suggest that the inhibition of Casp6 may represent an efficient early intervention against familial forms of AD. Furthermore, these results indicate that removing Aβ without inhibiting Casp6 may have little effect in preventing the progressive dementia associated with sporadic or familial AD

    Functional Dicer Is Necessary for Appropriate Specification of Radial Glia during Early Development of Mouse Telencephalon

    Get PDF
    Early telencephalic development involves transformation of neuroepithelial stem cells into radial glia, which are themselves neuronal progenitors, around the time when the tissue begins to generate postmitotic neurons. To achieve this transformation, radial precursors express a specific combination of proteins. We investigate the hypothesis that micro RNAs regulate the ability of the early telencephalic progenitors to establish radial glia. We ablate functional Dicer, which is required for the generation of mature micro RNAs, by conditionally mutating the Dicer1 gene in the early embryonic telencephalon and analyse the molecular specification of radial glia as well as their progeny, namely postmitotic neurons and basal progenitors. Conditional mutation of Dicer1 from the telencephalon at around embryonic day 8 does not prevent morphological development of radial glia, but their expression of Nestin, Sox9, and ErbB2 is abnormally low. The population of basal progenitors, which are generated by the radial glia, is disorganised and expanded in Dicer1-/- dorsal telencephalon. While the proportion of cells expressing markers of postmitotic neurons is unchanged, their laminar organisation in the telencephalic wall is disrupted suggesting a defect in radial glial guided migration. We found that the laminar disruption could not be accounted for by a reduction of the population of Cajal Retzius neurons. Together, our data suggest novel roles for micro RNAs during early development of progenitor cells in the embryonic telencephalon
    corecore