Human and mouse spinal cord : a territory of diverse neural stem/progenitor cells, identification and functionality

Abstract : Over the last 10 years, JP Hugnot’s lab has been focusing on the different pools of progenitors and stem cells found in the adult spinal cord both in human and mouse. This is important to conduct this kind of research as the spinal cord is affected by several neurodegenerative diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and traumatic lesions for which there is no cure. In anamniotes such as Zebrafish, the spinal cord can regenerate after lesion due to endogenous progenitors/stem cells activation. So by investigating the presence and properties of such cells in mammals especially human, one could possibly harness those cells toward regeneration including neurons. We conducted RNA profiling to compare human vs mouse stem cell niche and lesioned vs non lesioned spinal cord mouse stem cell niche. This niche is particularly interesting as in anamniotes, radial ependymoglia cells located in this region are multipotent and can generate new motoneurons after lesion. And similar, albeit non identical, cells are present in mouse. In mammals, after lesion, these niche cells actively proliferate and migrate to generate mainly astrocytic cells and few oligodendrocytes which participate to the glial scar and regeneration by providing neurotrophic factor such as CNTF, HGF, and IGF-1. This niche contains at least 5 cell types and here a new dorsal cell type expressing Msx1 and Id4 transcription factors was identified. These results indicated that the adult spinal cord niche in mouse and human is a mosaic of cells with different developmental origin and maintaining high levels of neural developmental genes. Glial-neuronal interactions supporting and keeping neurons intact can be influence neurodegenerative diseases. One of these glial cells is the satellite oligodendrocyte or so called perineuronal satellite cells (PNCs). PNCs are tightly associated to the soma of large neurons and widely spread in the grey matter of the CNS both cortex and spinal cord. However the cellular properties and functional roles of these unmyelinating oligodendrocytes are not yet discovered. In this study, nestin-GFP positive cells are associated to neurons immunostained for neuronal nuclear antigen in both cortex and spinal cord. We identified PNCs as CNPase positive cells that are neither oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (PDGFRa) nor myelinating oligodendrocytes (MBP). These data suggest that PNCs might affect neuronal survival as well as the myelination process in demyelinating conditions. Also it could be implicated in neurodegenerative diseases such as multiple sclerosis and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis due to their interaction with motor neurons.
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Hussein Ghazale. Human and mouse spinal cord : a territory of diverse neural stem/progenitor cells, identification and functionality. Neuroscience. Université Montpellier, 2019. English. ⟨NNT : 2019MONTT012⟩. ⟨tel-02286017⟩

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