Articles by James H. Millonig in JoVE
Rapid Detection of Neurodevelopmental Phenotypes in Human Neural Precursor Cells (NPCs) Madeline Williams*1, Smrithi Prem*1, Xiaofeng Zhou1, Paul Matteson2, Percy Luk Yeung3, Chi-Wei Lu3, Zhiping Pang4, Linda Brzustowicz5, James H. Millonig2, Emanuel Dicicco-Bloom1 1Department of Neuroscience and Cell Biology, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, 2Center for Advanced Biotechnology and Medicine, Department of Neuroscience and Cell Biology, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, 3The Child Health Institute of NJ, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Services, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, 4The Child Health Institute of NJ, Department of Neuroscience and Cell Biology, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, 5Department of Genetics, Rutgers University Neurodevelopmental processes such as proliferation, migration, and neurite outgrowth are often perturbed in neuropsychiatric diseases. Thus, we present protocols to rapidly and reproducibly assess these neurodevelopmental processes in human iPSC-derived NPCs. These protocols also allow the assessment of the effects of relevant growth factors and therapeutics on NPC development.
Other articles by James H. Millonig on PubMed
The Orphan GPCR, Gpr161, Regulates the Retinoic Acid and Canonical Wnt Pathways During Neurulation Developmental Biology. Jun, 2015 | Pubmed ID: 25753732 The vacuolated lens (vl) mouse mutation arose on the C3H/HeSnJ background and results in lethality, neural tube defects (NTDs) and cataracts. The vl phenotypes are due to a deletion/frameshift mutation in the orphan GPCR, Gpr161. A recent study using a null allele demonstrated that Gpr161 functions in primary cilia and represses the Shh pathway. We show the hypomorphic Gpr161(vl) allele does not severely affect the Shh pathway. To identify additional pathways regulated by Gpr161 during neurulation, we took advantage of naturally occurring genetic variation in the mouse. Previously Gpr161(vl-C3H) was crossed to different inbred backgrounds including MOLF/EiJ and the Gpr161(vl) mutant phenotypes were rescued. Five modifiers were mapped (Modvl: Modifier of vl) including Modvl5(MOLF). In this study we demonstrate the Modvl5(MOLF) congenic rescues the Gpr161(vl)-associated lethality and NTDs but not cataracts. Bioinformatics determined the transcription factor, Cdx1, is the only annotated gene within the Modvl5 95% CI co-expressed with Gpr161 during neurulation and not expressed in the eye. Using Cdx1 as an entry point, we identified the retinoid acid (RA) and canonical Wnt pathways as downstream targets of Gpr161. QRT-PCR, ISH and IHC determined that expression of RA and Wnt genes are down-regulated in Gpr161(vl/vl) but rescued by the Modvl5(MOLF) congenic during neurulation. Intraperitoneal RA injection restores expression of canonical Wnt markers and rescues Gpr161(vl/vl) NTDs. These results establish the RA and canonical Wnt as pathways downstream of Gpr161 during neurulation, and suggest that Modvl5(MOLF) bypasses the Gpr161(vl) mutation by restoring the activity of these pathways.
Engrailed-2 (En2) Deletion Produces Multiple Neurodevelopmental Defects in Monoamine Systems, Forebrain Structures and Neurogenesis and Behavior Human Molecular Genetics. Oct, 2015 | Pubmed ID: 26220976 Many genes involved in brain development have been associated with human neurodevelopmental disorders, but underlying pathophysiological mechanisms remain undefined. Human genetic and mouse behavioral analyses suggest that ENGRAILED-2 (EN2) contributes to neurodevelopmental disorders, especially autism spectrum disorder. In mouse, En2 exhibits dynamic spatiotemporal expression in embryonic mid-hindbrain regions where monoamine neurons emerge. Considering their importance in neuropsychiatric disorders, we characterized monoamine systems in relation to forebrain neurogenesis in En2-knockout (En2-KO) mice. Transmitter levels of serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine (NE) were dysregulated from Postnatal day 7 (P7) to P21 in En2-KO, though NE exhibited the greatest abnormalities. While NE levels were reduced ∼35% in forebrain, they were increased 40 -: 75% in hindbrain and cerebellum, and these patterns paralleled changes in locus coeruleus (LC) fiber innervation, respectively. Although En2 promoter was active in Embryonic day 14.5 -: 15.5 LC neurons, expression diminished thereafter and gene deletion did not alter brainstem NE neuron numbers. Significantly, in parallel with reduced NE levels, En2-KO forebrain regions exhibited reduced growth, particularly hippocampus, where P21 dentate gyrus granule neurons were decreased 16%, suggesting abnormal neurogenesis. Indeed, hippocampal neurogenic regions showed increased cell death (+77%) and unexpectedly, increased proliferation. Excess proliferation was restricted to early Sox2/Tbr2 progenitors whereas increased apoptosis occurred in differentiating (Dcx) neuroblasts, accompanied by reduced newborn neuron survival. Abnormal neurogenesis may reflect NE deficits because intra-hippocampal injections of β-adrenergic agonists reversed cell death. These studies suggest that disruption of hindbrain patterning genes can alter monoamine system development and thereby produce forebrain defects that are relevant to human neurodevelopmental disorders.