340 research outputs found

    OLIG2 neural progenitor cell development and fate in Down syndrome

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    Down syndrome (DS) is caused by triplication of human chromosome 21 (HSA21) and is the most common genetic form of intellectual disability. It is unknown precisely how triplication of HSA21 results in the intellectual disability, but it is thought that the global transcriptional dysregulation caused by trisomy 21 perturbs multiple aspects of neurodevelopment that cumulatively contribute to its etiology. While the characteristics associated with DS can arise from any of the genes triplicated on HSA21, in this work we focus on oligodendrocyte transcription factor 2 (OLIG2). The progeny of neural progenitor cells (NPCs) expressing OLIG2 are likely to be involved in many of the cellular changes underlying the intellectual disability in DS. To explore the fate of OLIG2+ neural progenitors, we took advantage of two distinct models of DS, the Ts65Dn mouse model and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) derived from individuals with DS. Our results from these two systems identified multiple perturbations in development in the cellular progeny of OLIG2+ NPCs. In Ts65Dn, we identified alterations in neurons and glia derived from the OLIG2 expressing progenitor domain in the ventral spinal cord. There were significant differences in the number of motor neurons and interneurons present in the trisomic lumbar spinal cord depending on age of the animal pointing both to a neurodevelopment and a neurodegeneration phenotype in the Ts65Dn mice. Of particular note, we identified changes in oligodendrocyte (OL) maturation in the trisomic mice that are dependent on spatial location and developmental origin. In the dorsal corticospinal tract, there were significantly fewer mature OLs in the trisomic mice, and in the lateral funiculus we observed the opposite phenotype with more mature OLs being present in the trisomic animals. We then transitioned our studies into iPSCs where we were able to pattern OLIG2+ NPCs to either a spinal cord-like or a brain-like identity and study the OL lineage that differentiated from each progenitor pool. Similar to the region-specific dysregulation found in the Ts65Dn spinal cord, we identified perturbations in trisomic OLs that were dependent on whether the NPCs had been patterned to a brain-like or spinal cord-like fate. In the spinal cord-like NPCs, there was no difference in the proportion of cells expressing either OLIG2 or NKX2.2, the two transcription factors whose co-expression is essential for OL differentiation. Conversely, in the brain-like NPCs, there was a significant increase in OLIG2+ cells in the trisomic culture and a decrease in NKX2.2 mRNA expression. We identified a sonic hedgehog (SHH) signaling based mechanism underlying these changes in OLIG2 and NKX2.2 expression in the brain-like NPCs and normalized the proportion of trisomic cells expressing the transcription factors to euploid levels by modulating the activity of the SHH pathway. Finally, we continued the differentiation of the brain-like and spinal cord-like NPCs to committed OL precursor cells (OPCs) and allowed them to mature. We identified an increase in OPC production in the spinal cord-like trisomic culture which was not present in the brain-like OPCs. Conversely, we identified a maturation deficit in the brain-like trisomic OLs that was not present in the spinal cord-like OPCs. These results underscore the importance of regional patterning in characterizing changes in cell differentiation and fate in DS. Together, the findings presented in this work contribute to the understanding of the cellular and molecular etiology of the intellectual disability in DS and in particular the contribution of cells differentiated from OLIG2+ progenitors

    Borders, Ethnicity and Trade

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    Do national borders and ethnicity contribute to market segmentation between and within countries? This paper uses unique and high-frequency data on narrowly-defined goods to gauge the extent to which a national border impedes trade between developing countries (Niger and Nigeria). Using a regression discontinuity approach, we find a significant price change at the national border, but one that is lower in magnitude than that found for industrialized countries. Yet unlike that literature, and in line with important characteristics of African economies, we investigate the role of ethnicity in mitigating and exacerbating the border effect. We find that a common ethnicity is linked to lower price dispersion across countries, yet ethnic diversity creates an internal border within Niger. The primary mechanism behind the internal border effect appears to be related to the role of ethnicity in facilitating access to credit in rural markets.

    Are Borders Barriers? The Impact of International and Internal Ethnic Borders on Agricultural Markets in West Africa

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    This paper addresses two important economic issues for Africa: the contribution of national borders and ethnicity to market segmentation and integration between and within countries. Market pair regression analysis provides evidence of higher conditional price dispersion for both a grain and a cash crop between markets separated by the Niger-Nigeria border than between two markets located in the same country. A regressiondiscontinuity analysis also confirms a significant price change at the international border. The international border effect is lower, however, if the cross-border markets share a common ethnicity. Ethnicity is also linked to higher price dispersion within Niger; we find a significant intranational border effect between markets in different ethnic regions of the country. This suggests that ethnic similarities diminishing international border effects could enhance international market integration, and ethnic differences could contribute to intranational market segmentation in sub-Saharan Africa. We provide suggestive evidence that the primary mechanism behind the internal border effect is related to the role of ethnicity in facilitating access to credit in agricultural markets. We argue that the results are not driven by differences in price volatility or observables across borders.Africa, border effects, agriculture, regression discontinuity design

    SUMO chain formation is required for response to replication arrest in S. pombe

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    SUMO is a ubiquitin-like protein that is post-translationally attached to one or more lysine residues on target proteins. Despite having only 18% sequence identity with ubiquitin, SUMO contains the conserved betabetaalphabetabetaalphabeta fold present in ubiquitin. However, SUMO differs from ubiquitin in having an extended N-terminus. In S. pombe the N-terminus of SUMO/Pmt3 is significantly longer than those of SUMO in S. cerevisiae, human and Drosophila. Here we investigate the role of this N-terminal region. We have used two dimensional gel electrophoresis to demonstrate that S. pombe SUMO/Pmt3 is phosphorylated, and that this occurs on serine residues at the extreme N-terminus of the protein. Mutation of these residues (in pmt3-1) results in a dramatic reduction in both the levels of high Mr SUMO-containing species and of total SUMO/Pmt3, indicating that phosphorylation of SUMO/Pmt3 is required for its stability. Despite the significant reduction in high Mr SUMO-containing species, pmt3-1 cells do not display an aberrant cell morphology or sensitivity to genotoxins or stress. Additionally, we demonstrate that two lysine residues in the N-terminus of S. pombe SUMO/Pmt3 (K14 and K30) can act as acceptor sites for SUMO chain formation in vitro. Inability to form SUMO chains results in aberrant cell and nuclear morphologies, including stretched and fragmented chromatin. SUMO chain mutants are sensitive to the DNA synthesis inhibitor, hydroxyurea (HU), but not to other genotoxins, such as UV, MMS or CPT. This implies a role for SUMO chains in the response to replication arrest in S. pomb

    Drosophila Neurotrophins Reveal a Common Mechanism for Nervous System Formation

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    Neurotrophic interactions occur in Drosophila, but to date, no neurotrophic factor had been found. Neurotrophins are the main vertebrate secreted signalling molecules that link nervous system structure and function: they regulate neuronal survival, targeting, synaptic plasticity, memory and cognition. We have identified a neurotrophic factor in flies, Drosophila Neurotrophin (DNT1), structurally related to all known neurotrophins and highly conserved in insects.By investigating with genetics the consequences of removing DNT1 or adding it in excess, we show that DNT1 maintains neuronal survival, as more neurons die in DNT1 mutants and expression of DNT1 rescues naturally occurring cell death, and it enables targeting by motor neurons. We show that Spa¨ tzle and a further fly neurotrophin superfamily member, DNT2, also have neurotrophic functions in flies. Our findings imply that most likely a neurotrophin was present in the common ancestor of all bilateral organisms, giving rise to invertebrate and vertebrate neurotrophins through gene or whole-genome duplications. This work provides a missing link between aspects of neuronal function in flies and vertebrates, and it opens the opportunity to use Drosophila to investigate further aspects of neurotrophin function and to model related diseases

    Reducing Implicit Racial Preferences: II Intervention Effectiveness Across Time

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    Implicit preferences are malleable, but does that change last? We tested 9 interventions (8 real and 1 sham) to reduce implicit racial preferences over time. In 2 studies with a total of 6,321 participants, all 9 interventions immediately reduced implicit preferences. However, none were effective after a delay of several hours to several days. We also found that these interventions did not change explicit racial preferences and were not reliably moderated by motivations to respond without prejudice. Short-term malleability in implicit preferences does not necessarily lead to long-term change, raising new questions about the flexibility and stability of implicit preferences. (PsycINFO Database Recor

    Right and left prefrontal transcranial magnetic stimulation at 1 Hz does not affect mood in healthy volunteers

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    BACKGROUND: Prefrontal repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) has been used to induce side-specific mood changes in volunteers and patients. To clarify inconsistencies between reports that used different stimulation frequencies, we conducted a controlled study with a low (1 Hz) frequency, comparing left with right-sided stimulation METHODS: Nineteen healthy volunteers received randomised left or right prefrontal rTMS at a frequency of 1 Hz and 100% of motor threshold in two sessions two weeks apart. RESULTS: There were significant improvements with TMS for performance in the digit symbol substitution and verbal fluency tests, but no change of mood on a number of measures. There was also a reduction of pulse rate after TMS. The only side-specific TMS-effect was on mean arterial pressure, which decreased pressure after left, but not after right prefrontal TMS. CONCLUSIONS: Apart from the unexpected and so far unreplicated effect on mean arterial pressure, there were no side-specific effects on mood in volunteers. It is unlikely that a simple laterality model of mood together with the assumed activating effect of higher and 'quenching' effect of lower stimulation frequency can account for the effects of TMS on mood