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|Title:||Neural Precursor Cell Biology in the Postnatal Fmr1-Knockout Mouse Hippocampus|
|Keywords:||Fragile X Syndrome;Neural Precursor Cells;Astrocytes;Fmr1-KO mice|
|Abstract:||The regulation of neural precursor cells (NPCs), which encompass neural progenitor and neural stem cells (NSCs), is fundamental for proper brain development and function. These cells are regulated by orchestrated signalling within their local environment. Aberrant aspects of cell proliferation, differentiation, survival, or integration have been linked to various neurological diseases including Fragile X syndrome (FXS)—a disorder characterized by intellectual and social changes due to the silencing of the gene encoding FMRP. The biology of hippocampal NPCs in FXS during early postnatal development has not been studied, despite high FMRP expression levels in the hippocampus at the end of the first postnatal week. In this thesis, the Fmr1-knockout (KO) mouse model was used to study hippocampal cell biology during early postnatal development. A tissue culture assay, used to study the effect of astrocyte-secreted factors on the proliferation of NSCs, indicated that astrocyte secreted factors from Fmr1-KO brains enhanced the proliferation of wild type, but not Fmr1-KO NSCs (Chapter 3). Next, the proliferation and cell cycle profiles of NPCs in vitro and in vivo studied with immunocytochemistry, Western blotting, and flow cytometry revealed decreased proliferation of NPCs in the Fmr1-KO hippocampus (Chapter 4). Finally, cells isolated from the P7 dentate gyrus and characterized by flow cytometry, showed a reduced proportion of NSCs and an increased proportion of neuroblasts—neuronal committed progenitors—in Fmr1-KO mice. Together, these results indicate that hippocampal NPCs show aberrant proliferation and neurogenesis during early postnatal development. This could indicate stem-cell depletion, increased quiescence, or a developmental delay in relation to lack of FMRP and uncovers a new role for FMRP in the early postnatal hippocampus. In turn, elucidating the mechanisms that underlie FXS will aid in the development of targeted treatments.|
|Appears in Collections:||Open Access Dissertations and Theses|
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