Cellules souches embryonnaires et neurales humaines : quand la PrP et l'APP "s'en mêlent" ou "s’emmêlent"

Abstract : The cellular Prion Protein (PrPc) is a ubiquitary protein mainly expressed in the central nervous system. It is particularly known for its conformational conversion in PrPSc in Prion diseases, which are proteinopathies such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD). AD is associated with extracellular deposits of aggregated beta-amyloid peptides (Aβ) derived from successive β- and the γ-secretase cleavages of the amyloid precursor protein (APP) expressed by neurons. PrPc and APP share some common functions and proteolytic pathways (α- or β-secretase), involving them in proliferation, differentiation, synaptogenesis and cellular survival. PrPc is involved in the regulation of proliferation and differentiation of many stem cells: adult neural (NSC), hematopoietic (HSC) and human embryonic (hESC). Several publications also show that PrP downregulates the cleavage of APP in Aβ and positively regulates the cleavage of APP in sAPPα suggesting an anti-amyloïdogenic role of PrPc. PrP could also act as a receptor of Aβ at the neuronal surface inducing LTP inhibition and synaptic alteration. In this context, the specific objectives of my thesis were:-Study of the expression of PrP, APP and its cleavage residues during neural induction of hESC in NSC and neuronal differentiation.-Impact of the modulation of PrP expression on APP cleavages as well as on stem cells properties (survival, proliferation, differentiation). 1. Neural induction of hESC in NSCFor this project, we have used Human Embryonic Stem Cells (hESC) for which the laboratory has an authorization from the “Agence de la Biomédecine”.For the neural induction, we have tested two protocols, the first one allows the obtention of neurospheres in suspension and then figures of “rosettes” composed of NSC, and a “monolayer” protocol that mimics the beginning of corticogenesis. An optimization of these protocols has been necessary (starting cell density, cell fixation methods to improve PrP detection). We have also determined the best conditions to analyze the expression of PrP, APP and its derived peptides (Aß, sAPPα/β). 2. Differentiation of NSCNSC derived from hESC were amplified and differentiated into neurons and/or astrocytes. Cells were characterized in particular by immunofluorescence and RT-qPCR for the expression of the major astrocytic (GFAP) and neuronal markers (BIII-tubulin, doublecortin, synaptophysin) and the progressive decrease of NSC markers. Again we have determined the best conditions for cell density and kinetic time points for our analysis.3. Modulation of PrPC expression We have used lentiviral vectors allowing the expression of an anti-PrP shRNA, human PrP and respective controls. To achieve this task, lentiviral transductions of hESC and NSC were optimized: cell density, size of the seeding culture wells or MOI of lentivirus. Finaly, samples collected allowed us to evaluate the impact of PrPc modulation on the APP cleavages as well as on stem cells properties (survival, proliferation, differentiation).
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Félicie Radreau. Cellules souches embryonnaires et neurales humaines : quand la PrP et l'APP "s'en mêlent" ou "s’emmêlent". Médecine humaine et pathologie. Université Montpellier, 2016. Français. ⟨NNT : 2016MONTT045⟩. ⟨tel-01514387⟩

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