Congratulations to Caitlin!!! Her paper was accepted at Developmental Biology! This is the third "I am pleased to inform you..." email for the lab in as many months! I could really get used to this.
Loss of Shh Signaling in the Neocortex Reveals Heterogeneous Cell Recovery Responses from Distinct Oligodendrocyte Populations
The majority of oligodendrocytes in the neocortex originate from neural progenitors that reside in the dorsal forebrain. We recently showed that Sonic Hedgehog (Shh) signaling in these dorsal progenitors is required to produce normal numbers of neocortical oligodendrocytes during embryonic development. Conditional deletion of the Shh signaling effector, Smo, in dorsal progenitors caused a dramatic reduction in oligodendrocyte numbers in the embryonic neocortex. In the current study, we show that the depleted oligodendrocyte lineage in Smo conditional mutants is able to recover to control numbers over time. This eventual recovery is achieved in part by expansion of the ventrally-derived wild-type lineage that normally makes up a minority of the total oligodendrocyte population. However, we find that the remaining dorsally-derived mutant cells also increase in numbers over time to contribute equally to the recovery of the total population. Additionally, we found that the ways in which the dorsal and ventral sources cooperate to achieve recovery is different for distinct populations of oligodendrocyte-lineage cells. Oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPCs) in the neocortical white matter recover completely by expansion of the remaining dorsally-derived Smo mutant cells. On the other hand, mature oligodendrocytes in the white and gray matter recover through an equal contribution from dorsal mutant and ventral wild-type lineages. Interestingly, the only population that did not make a full recovery was OPCs in the gray matter. We find that gray matter OPCs are less proliferative in Smo cKO mutants compared to controls, which may explain their inability to fully recover. Our data indicate that certain populations of the dorsal oligodendrocyte lineage are more affected by loss of Shh signaling than others. Furthermore, these studies shed new light on the complex relationship between dorsal and ventral sources of oligodendrocytes in the developing neocortex.
Congratulations to Dr. Caitlin Winkler, our second PhD from the Franco Lab!!! Dr. Winkler successfully defended her PhD thesis, titled "Developmental Origins and Heterogeneity of the Neocortical Oligodendrocyte Lineage." Caitlin's PhD program was Cell Biology, Stem Cells and Development (CSD).
Congratulations to Mark!!! His paper was accepted at eNeuro! He's been working hard on this ever since he started in the lab a few years ago. When we first started we really had no idea where this was going to go, and we couldn't be happier with where Mark has taken it!
Csmd2 is a Synaptic Transmembrane Protein that Interacts with PSD-95 and is Required for Neuronal Maturation
Mutations and copy number variants of the CUB and Sushi multiple domains 2 (CSMD2) gene are associated with neuropsychiatric disease. CSMD2 encodes a single-pass transmembrane protein with a large extracellular domain comprising repeats of CUB and Sushi domains. High expression of CSMD2 in the developing and mature brain suggests possible roles in neuron development or function, but the cellular functions of CSMD2 are not known. In this study, we show that mouse Csmd2 is expressed in excitatory and inhibitory neurons in the forebrain. Csmd2 protein exhibits a somatodendritic localization in the neocortex and hippocampus, with smaller puncta localizing to the neuropil. Using immunohistochemical and biochemical methods, we demonstrate that Csmd2 localizes to dendritic spines and is enriched in the postsynaptic density (PSD). Accordingly, we show that the cytoplasmic tail domain of Csmd2 interacts with synaptic scaffolding proteins of the membrane-associated guanylate kinase (MAGUK) family. The association between Csmd2 and MAGUK member PSD-95 is dependent on a PDZ-binding domain on the Csmd2 tail, which is also required for synaptic targeting of Csmd2. Finally, we show that knock-down of Csmd2 expression in hippocampal neuron cultures results in reduced complexity of dendritic arbors and deficits in dendritic spine density. Knock-down of Csmd2 in immature developing neurons results in reduced filopodia density, whereas Csmd2 knock-down in mature neurons causes significant reductions in dendritic spine density and dendrite complexity. Together, these results point toward a function for Csmd2 in development and maintenance of dendrites and synapses, which may account for its association with certain psychiatric disorders.
Congratulations to Dr. Santiago Fregoso, our first PhD from the Franco Lab!!! Dr. Fregoso successfully defended his PhD thesis, titled "Transcriptional regulation of Cux2 in neural progenitors of the developing telencephalon: towards uncovering mechanisms of fate specification preceding neurogenesis." Santiago's PhD program was Cell Biology, Stem Cells and Development (CSD).