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Mol Neurobiol ; 55(7): 5962-5975, 2018 Jul.
Article En | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29128905

Several methods have been used to study the neuropathogenesis of Down syndrome (DS), such as mouse aneuploidies, post mortem human brains, and in vitro cell culture of neural progenitor cells. More recently, induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technology has offered new approaches in investigation, providing a valuable tool for studying specific cell types affected by DS, especially neurons and astrocytes. Here, we investigated the role of astrocytes in DS developmental disease and the impact of the astrocyte secretome in neuron mTOR signaling and synapse formation using iPSC derived from DS and wild-type (WT) subjects. We demonstrated for the first time that DS neurons derived from hiPSC recapitulate the hyperactivation of the Akt/mTOR axis observed in DS brains and that DS astrocytes may play a key role in this dysfunction. Our results bear out that 21 trisomy in astrocytes contributes to neuronal abnormalities in addition to cell autonomous dysfunctions caused by 21 trisomy in neurons. Further research in this direction will likely yield additional insights, thereby improving our understanding of DS and potentially facilitating the development of new therapeutic approaches.

Astrocytes/pathology , Down Syndrome/pathology , Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells/pathology , Neurogenesis , Neurons/pathology , Signal Transduction , Synapses/pathology , TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases/metabolism , Animals , Apoptosis , Astrocytes/metabolism , Cell Proliferation , Coculture Techniques , Humans , Mice , Neural Stem Cells/metabolism , Neural Stem Cells/pathology , Neurons/metabolism , Spheroids, Cellular/pathology
Hum Mol Genet ; 26(2): 270-281, 2017 01 15.
Article En | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28007906

Rett syndrome (RTT) is an X-linked neurodevelopmental disorder in which the MECP2 (methyl CpG-binding protein 2) gene is mutated. Recent studies showed that RTT-derived neurons have many cellular deficits when compared to control, such as: less synapses, lower dendritic arborization and reduced spine density. Interestingly, treatment of RTT-derived neurons with Insulin-like Growth Factor 1 (IGF1) could rescue some of these cellular phenotypes. Given the critical role of IGF1 during neurodevelopment, the present study used human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from RTT and control individuals to investigate the gene expression profile of IGF1 and IGF1R on different developmental stages of differentiation. We found that the thyroid hormone receptor (TRalpha 3) has a differential expression profile. Thyroid hormone is critical for normal brain development. Our results showed that there is a possible link between IGF1/IGF1R and the TRalpha 3 and that over expression of IGF1R in RTT cells may be the cause of neurites improvement in neural RTT-derived neurons.

Insulin-Like Growth Factor I/genetics , Methyl-CpG-Binding Protein 2/genetics , Receptors, Somatomedin/genetics , Rett Syndrome/genetics , Thyroid Hormone Receptors alpha/genetics , Cell Differentiation/genetics , Embryoid Bodies/metabolism , Humans , Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells/metabolism , Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells/pathology , Neurodevelopmental Disorders , Neuronal Plasticity/genetics , Neurons/metabolism , Neurons/pathology , Receptor, IGF Type 1 , Rett Syndrome/metabolism , Rett Syndrome/physiopathology , Spine/growth & development , Spine/pathology , Synapses/genetics , Synapses/pathology , Transcriptome/genetics
Brain Behav Evol ; 78(4): 302-14, 2011.
Article En | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-21985803

Brain size scales as different functions of its number of neurons across mammalian orders such as rodents, primates, and insectivores. In rodents, we have previously shown that, across a sample of 6 species, from mouse to capybara, the cerebral cortex, cerebellum and the remaining brain structures increase in size faster than they gain neurons, with an accompanying decrease in neuronal density in these structures [Herculano-Houzel et al.: Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2006;103:12138-12143]. Important remaining questions are whether such neuronal scaling rules within an order apply equally to all pertaining species, and whether they extend to closely related taxa. Here, we examine whether 4 other species of Rodentia, as well as the closely related rabbit (Lagomorpha), conform to the scaling rules identified previously for rodents. We report the updated neuronal scaling rules obtained for the average values of each species in a way that is directly comparable to the scaling rules that apply to primates [Gabi et al.: Brain Behav Evol 2010;76:32-44], and examine whether the scaling relationships are affected when phylogenetic relatedness in the dataset is accounted for. We have found that the brains of the spiny rat, squirrel, prairie dog and rabbit conform to the neuronal scaling rules that apply to the previous sample of rodents. The conformity to the previous rules of the new set of species, which includes the rabbit, suggests that the cellular scaling rules we have identified apply to rodents in general, and probably to Glires as a whole (rodents/lagomorphs), with one notable exception: the naked mole-rat brain is apparently an outlier, with only about half of the neurons expected from its brain size in its cerebral cortex and cerebellum.

Brain/cytology , Neurons/cytology , Rabbits/anatomy & histology , Rats/anatomy & histology , Sciuridae/anatomy & histology , Animals , Female , Male , Phylogeny , Species Specificity
Brain Behav Evol ; 76(1): 32-44, 2010.
Article En | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-20926854

What are the rules relating the size of the brain and its structures to the number of cells that compose them and their average sizes? We have shown previously that the cerebral cortex, cerebellum and the remaining brain structures increase in size as a linear function of their numbers of neurons and non-neuronal cells across 6 species of primates. Here we describe that the cellular composition of the same brain structures of 5 other primate species, as well as humans, conform to the scaling rules identified previously, and that the updated power functions for the extended sample are similar to those determined earlier. Accounting for phylogenetic relatedness in the combined dataset does not affect the scaling slopes that apply to the cerebral cortex and cerebellum, but alters the slope for the remaining brain structures to a value that is similar to that observed in rodents, which raises the possibility that the neuronal scaling rules for these structures are shared among rodents and primates. The conformity of the new set of primate species to the previous rules strongly suggests that the cellular scaling rules we have identified apply to primates in general, including humans, and not only to particular subgroups of primate species. In contrast, the allometric rules relating body and brain size are highly sensitive to the particular species sampled, suggesting that brain size is neither determined by body size nor together with it, but is rather only loosely correlated with body size.

Brain/cytology , Neuroglia , Neurons , Primates/anatomy & histology , Weights and Measures , Animals , Brain/metabolism , Cell Count/methods , Female , Isotopes/metabolism , Male , Phylogeny , Species Specificity