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From dopamine nerve fiber formation to astrocytes

by Marschinke, Franziska, PhD

Abstract (Summary)
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease and characterized by the loss of dopaminergic (DA) neurons in the substantia nigra in the midbrain. The causes of the disease are still unknown. The most commonly used treatment is administration of L-DOPA, however, another possible treatment strategy is to transplant DA neurons to the striatum of PD patients to substitute the loss of neurons. Clinical trials have demonstrated beneficial effects from transplantation, but one obstacle with the grafting trials has been the variable outcome, where limited graft reinnervation of the host brain is one important issue to solve. To improve and control the graft DA nerve fiber outgrowth organotypic tissue cultures can be utilized. Cultures of fetal ventral mesencephalon (VM) have been used to investigate astrocytic migration and dopamine nerve fiber formations at different time points and under varying conditions to study how to control nerve fiber formation. The early appearing DA nerve fibers as revealed by tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) –immunoreactivity, form their fibers in the absence of glial cell bodies, are not persistent over time, and is called non-glial-associated TH-positive nerve fiber outgrowth. A monolayer of astrocytes guides a second persistent subpopulation of nerve fibers, the glial-associated TH-positive nerve fiber formation. Investigations of the interactions between the astrocytic migration and nerve fiber formations were made. In embryonic (E) day 14 VM cultures the mitosis of the astrocytes was inhibited with the antimitotic agent ?-D-arabinofuranoside. The results revealed decreased astrocytic migration, reduced glial-associated TH-positive outgrowth, and enhanced presence of the non-glial-associated TH-positive outgrowth in the cultures. Thus, astrocytes affect both the non-glial- and the glial-associated growths by either its absence or presence, respectively. The astrocytes synthesize proteoglycans. Therefore the nerve fiber formation was studied in VM or spinal cord cultures treated with the proteoglycan blockers chondroitinase ABC (ChABC), which degrades the proteoglycans, or methyl-umbelliferyl-?-D-xyloside (?-xyloside), which blocks the proteoglycan synthesis. ?-xyloside inhibited the migration of the astrocytes and the outgrowth of the glial-associated TH-positive nerve fibers in both VM and spinal cord cultures, whereas ChABC treatment had no effect in E14 VM or spinal cord cultures. E18 VM and spinal cord cultures were evaluated to investigate how the different developmental stages influence astrocytes and the two nerve fiber formations after 14 DIV. No nerve fiber formation was found in E18 VM cultures, while the non-glial-associated nerve fiber outgrowth was obvious as long and robust fibers in E18 spinal cord cultures. The astrocytic migration was similar in VM and spinal cord cultures. ?-xyloside and ChABC did not affect nerve fiber growth but astrocytic migration in E18 VM cultures, while no effects was found in the spinal cord cultures. However, the neuronal migration found in control cultures was abolished in both VM and spinal cord cultures after both ChABC and ?-xyloside. Neuroinflammation plays a critical role in the development of PD. Increased levels of the proinflammatory cytokine tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF?) are observed in postmortem PD brains and the levels of TNF? receptors on circulating T-lymphocytes in cerebrospinal fluid of PD patients are increased. The effects of TNF? were studied on E14 VM cultures. The outgrowth of the non-glial-associated TH-positive nerve fibers was inhibited while it stimulated astrocytic migration and glial-associated TH-positive nerve fiber outgrowth at an early treatment time point. Furthermore, blocking the endogenous levels of TNF? resulted in cell death of the TH-positive neurons. Furthermore, cultures of E14 mice with gene deletion for the protein CD47 were investigated. CD47 is expressed in all tissues and serves as a ligand for the signal regulatory protein (SIRP) ?, which promotes e.g migration and synaptogenesis. CD47-/- cultures displayed massive and long non-glial-associated TH-positive nerve fiber outgrowth despite a normal astrocytic migration and the presence of glial-associated TH-positive nerve fiber outgrowth. For the first time, it was observed that the non-glial-guided TH-positive nerve fiber outgrowth did not degenerate after 14 DIV. Taken together, there is an interaction between astrocytes and TH-positive nerve fiber formations. Both nerve fiber formations seem to have their task during the development of the DA system.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:Umeå universitet

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Doctoral Dissertation

Keywords:MEDICINE; Morphology, cell biology, pathology; Cell biology; MEDICINE; Morphology, cell biology, pathology; Morphology; Histology; Dopamine; dopaminergic neurons; astroglia; Neurology; neurologi

ISBN:978-91-7264-767-1

Date of Publication:01/01/2009

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