Cortical myelin can be severely affected in patients with demyelinating disorders of the central nervous system. However, the functional implication of cortical demyelination remains elusive. In this study, we investigated whether cortical myelin influences cortical spreading depression (CSD).
During myelin formation, vast amounts of specialized membrane proteins and lipids are trafficked toward the growing sheath in cell surface-directed transport vesicles. Soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor (NSF) attachment proteins (SNAPs) are important components of molecular complexes required for membrane fusion. We have analyzed the expression profile and molecular interactions of SNAP-29 in the nervous system. In addition to its known enrichment in neuronal synapses, SNAP-29 is abundant in oligodendrocytes during myelination and in noncompact myelin of the peripheral nervous system. By yeast two-hybrid screen and coimmunoprecipitation, we found that the GTPases Rab3A, Rab24, and septin 4 bind to the N-terminal domain of SNAP-29. The interaction with Rab24 or septin 4 was GTP independent. In contrast, interaction between SNAP-29 and Rab3A was GTP dependent, and colocalization was extensive both in synapses and in myelinating glia. In HEK293 cells, cytoplasmic SNAP-29 pools were redistributed upon coexpression with Rab3A, and surface-directed trafficking of myelin proteolipid protein was enhanced by overexpression of SNAP-29 and Rab3A. Interestingly, the abundance of SNAP-29 in sciatic nerves was increased during remyelination and in a rat model of Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, two pathological situations with increased myelin membrane biogenesis. We suggest that Rab3A may regulate SNAP-29-mediated membrane fusion during myelination.
After peripheral nerve injury, axons regenerate and become remyelinated by resident Schwann cells. However, myelin repair never results in the original myelin thickness, suggesting insufficient stimulation by neuronal growth factors. Upon testing this hypothesis, we found that axonal neuregulin-1 (NRG1) type III and, unexpectedly, also NRG1 type I restored normal myelination when overexpressed in transgenic mice. This led to the observation that Wallerian degeneration induced de novo NRG1 type I expression in Schwann cells themselves. Mutant mice lacking a functional Nrg1 gene in Schwann cells are fully myelinated but exhibit impaired remyelination in adult life. We suggest a model in which loss of axonal contact triggers denervated Schwann cells to transiently express NRG1 as an autocrine/paracrine signal that promotes Schwann cell differentiation and remyelination.
Tumor dormancy refers to a critical stage in cancer development in which tumor cells remain occult for a prolonged period of time until they eventually progress and become clinically apparent. We previously showed that the switch of dormant tumors to fast-growth is angiogenesis dependent and requires a stable transcriptional reprogramming in tumor cells. Considering microRNAs (miRs) as master regulators of transcriptome, we sought to investigate their role in the control of tumor dormancy. We report here the identification of a consensus set of 19 miRs that govern the phenotypic switch of human dormant breast carcinoma, glioblastoma, osteosarcoma, and liposarcoma tumors to fast-growth. Loss of expression of dormancy-associated miRs (DmiRs, 16/19) was the prevailing regulation pattern correlating with the switch of dormant tumors to fast-growth. The expression pattern of two DmiRs (miR-580 and 190) was confirmed to correlate with disease stage in human glioma specimens. Reconstitution of a single DmiR (miR-580, 588 or 190) led to phenotypic reversal of fast-growing angiogenic tumors towards prolonged tumor dormancy. Of note, 60% of angiogenic glioblastoma and 100% of angiogenic osteosarcoma over-expressing miR190 remained dormant during the entire observation period of ? 120 days. Next, the ability of DmiRs to regulate angiogenesis and dormancy-associated genes was evaluated. Transcriptional reprogramming of tumors via DmiR-580, 588 or 190 over-expression resulted in downregulation of pro-angiogenic factors such as TIMP-3, bFGF and TGFalpha. In addition, a G-CSF independent downregulation of Bv8 was found as a common target of all three DmiRs and correlated with decreased tumor recruitment of bone marrow-derived CD11b+ Gr-1+ myeloid cells. In contrast, antiangiogenic and dormancy promoting pathways such as EphA5 and Angiomotin were upregulated in DmiR over-expressing tumors. This work suggests novel means to reverse the malignant tumor phenotype into an asymptomatic dormant state and may provide promising targets for early detection or prevention of cancer.
Oligodendrocytes, the myelin-forming glial cells of the central nervous system, maintain long-term axonal integrity. However, the underlying support mechanisms are not understood. Here we identify a metabolic component of axon-glia interactions by generating conditional Cox10 (protoheme IX farnesyltransferase) mutant mice, in which oligodendrocytes and Schwann cells fail to assemble stable mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase (COX, also known as mitochondrial complex IV). In the peripheral nervous system, Cox10 conditional mutants exhibit severe neuropathy with dysmyelination, abnormal Remak bundles, muscle atrophy and paralysis. Notably, perturbing mitochondrial respiration did not cause glial cell death. In the adult central nervous system, we found no signs of demyelination, axonal degeneration or secondary inflammation. Unlike cultured oligodendrocytes, which are sensitive to COX inhibitors, post-myelination oligodendrocytes survive well in the absence of COX activity. More importantly, by in vivo magnetic resonance spectroscopy, brain lactate concentrations in mutants were increased compared with controls, but were detectable only in mice exposed to volatile anaesthetics. This indicates that aerobic glycolysis products derived from oligodendrocytes are rapidly metabolized within white matter tracts. Because myelinated axons can use lactate when energy-deprived, our findings suggest a model in which axon-glia metabolic coupling serves a physiological function.
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