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Gene expression changes during cell differentiation are thought to be coordinated by histone modifications, but still little is known about the role of specific histone deacetylases (HDACs) in cell fate decisions in vivo. Here we demonstrate that the catalytic function of HDAC2 is required in adult, but not embryonic neurogenesis. While brain development and adult stem cell fate were normal upon conditional deletion of HDAC2 or in mice lacking the catalytic activity of HDAC2, neurons derived from both zones of adult neurogenesis die at a specific maturation stage. This phenotype is correlated with an increase in proliferation and the aberrant maintenance of proteins normally expressed only in progenitors, such as Sox2, also into some differentiating neurons, suggesting that HDAC2 is critically required to silence progenitor transcripts during neuronal differentiation of adult generated neurons. This cell-autonomous function of HDAC2 exclusively in adult neurogenesis reveals clear differences in the molecular mechanisms regulating neurogenesis during development and in adulthood.
Vertebrate myelin membranes are compacted and held in close apposition by three structural proteins of myelin, myelin basic protein, myelin protein zero (MPZ) and myelin proteolipid protein (PLP1/DMalpha). PLP1/DMalpha is considered to function as a scaffolding protein and play a role in intracellular trafficking in oligodendrocytes. In humans, point mutations, duplications or deletions of PLP1 are associated with Pelizaeus–Merzbacher disease and spastic paraplegia Type 2. PLP1 is highly conserved between mammals, but less so in lower vertebrates. This has led some researchers to question whether certain fish species express PLP1 orthologues at all, and to suggest that the function of PLP1/DMalpha in the central nervous system (CNS) may have been taken over by MPZ. Here, we review the evidence for the conservation of orthologues of PLP1/DMalpha in actinopterygian fishes and provide a comparison of currently available sequence data across 17 fish species. Our analysis demonstrates that orthologues of PLP1/DMalpha have been retained and are functionally expressed in many, if not all, extant species of bony fish. Many of the amino acids that, when mutated, are associated with severe CNS pathology are conserved in teleosts, demonstrating conservation of essential functions and justifying the development of novel disease models in species such as the zebrafish.
In well-differentiated primary cultures of mouse astrocytes, which express no serotonin transporter (SERT), the ‘serotonin-specific reuptake inhibitor’ (SSRI) fluoxetine leads acutely to 5-HT2B receptor-mediated, transactivation-dependent phosphorylation of extracellular regulated kinases 1/2 (ERK1/2) with an EC50 of ~5 μM, and chronically to ERK1/2 phosphorylation-dependent upregulation of mRNA and protein expression of calcium-dependent phospholipase A2 (cPLA2) with ten-fold higher affinity. This affinity is high enough that fluoxetine given therapeutically may activate astrocytic 5-HT2B receptors (Li et al., 2008, 2009). We now confirm the expression of 5-HT2B receptors in astrocytes freshly dissociated from mouse brain and isolated by fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) and investigate in cultured cells if the effects of fluoxetine are shared by all five conventional SSRIs with sufficiently high affinity to be relevant for mechanism(s) of action of SSRIs. Phosphorylated and total ERK1/2 and mRNA and protein expression of cPLA2a were determined by Western blot and reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Paroxetine, which differs widely from fluoxetine in affinity for SERT and for another 5-HT2 receptor, the 5-HT2C receptor, acted acutely and chronically like fluoxetine. One micromolar of paroxetine, fluvoxamine or sertraline increased cPLA2a expression during chronic treatment; citalopram had a similar effect at 0.1–0.5 μM; these are therapeutically relevant concentrations.
Although Na+,K+-ATPase-mediated K+ uptake into astrocytes plays a major role in re-establishing resting extracellular K+ following neuronal excitation little information is available about astrocytic Na+,K+-ATPase function, let alone mechanisms returning K+ to neurons. The catalytic units of the Na+,K+-ATPase are the astrocyte-specific α2, the neuron-specific α3 and the ubiquitously expressed α1. In the present work, Bmax and KD values for α1, α2 and α3 subunits were computed in cultured cerebro-cortical mouse astrocytes and cerebellar granule neurons by non-linear regression as high-affinity (α2, α3) and low-affinity (α1) [3H]ouabain binding sites, which stoichiometrically equal transporter sites. Cellular expression was also determined of the brain- and α1-β1 isoform-specific FDYX7, regulating Na+,K+-ATPase efficiency and K+-sensitivity. From ouabain-sensitive K+ uptake rates published by ourselves (Walz and Hertz, 1982) or others (Atterwill et al., 1985), Na+,K+-ATPase turnover was determined. Subunits α2 and α3 showed Bmax of 15–30 pmol/mg protein, with maximum turnover rates of 70–80/s. Bmax of the α1 subunit was low in neurons but very high in astrocytes (645 pmol/mg protein), where turnover rate was slow, reflecting expression of selectively expressed FXYD7, and binding was increased by K+. The role of these characteristics for K+ homeostasis are discussed.