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Engineering and functional characterization of mouse embryonic stem cell lines optimized for differentiation into serotonergic neurons : Lmx1b transcription factor overexpression

Abstract : Pluripotent Embryonic Stem Cells (ESC) have the potential to develop into cells of the three germ layers and of the germ line. Therefore, they are used as a model to study the proliferation and differentiation mechanisms. The LIM homeodomain transcription factor Lmx1b is involved in the maintenance of the differentiated phenotype of midbrain dopaminergic neurons. And it has been also demonstrated to be a key factor in differentiation and maintenance of hindbrain serotonergic neurons generated in the Raphe Nuclei. Here, we explored the capacity of Lmx1b to direct differentiation of mouse ESC (mESC) into serotonergic neurons. In the first approach, stable ectopic expression of Lmx1b was achieved. First, the level of Lmx1b expression was found to strongly influence the capacity of mESC to accomplish neuronal differentiation. Then, analysis of lineage-specific differentiation markers showed an increase in serotonergic markers’ expression by contrast to dopaminergic or motor neurons markers. In the second approach, Lmx1b was over-expressed in mESC-derived neural precursors by an inducible system in order to mimic the physiological onset of Lmx1b expression. After induction, Lmx1b was found to be stably expressed throughout neuronal differentiation. Activation of Lmx1b expression in neuroepithelial colonies resulted in enhancement of serotonergic differentiation, consistently with the stable system results. The results of this work highlight the capacity of Lmx1b to promote the shift of mESC-derived neural precursors toward a serotonergic fate in vitro.
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https://tel.archives-ouvertes.fr/tel-00702074
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Virginie Dolmazon. Engineering and functional characterization of mouse embryonic stem cell lines optimized for differentiation into serotonergic neurons : Lmx1b transcription factor overexpression. Agricultural sciences. Université Claude Bernard - Lyon I, 2010. English. ⟨NNT : 2010LYO10111⟩. ⟨tel-00702074⟩

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