To systematically study somatic variants arising during development in the human brain across a spectrum of neurodegenerative disorders. In this study we developed a pipeline to identify somatic variants from exome sequencing data in 1461 diseased and control human brains. Eighty-eight percent of the DNA samples were extracted from the cerebellum. Identified somatic variants were validated by targeted amplicon sequencing and/or PyroMark® Q24. We observed somatic coding variants present in >10% of sampled cells in at least 1% of brains. The mutational signature of the detected variants showed a predominance of C>T variants most consistent with arising from DNA mismatch repair, occurred frequently in genes that are highly expressed within the central nervous system, and with a minimum somatic mutation rate of 4.25 × 10 per base pair per individual. These findings provide proof-of-principle that deleterious somatic variants can affect sizeable brain regions in at least 1% of the population, and thus have the potential to contribute to the pathogenesis of common neurodegenerative diseases.
Zinc finger protein (ZFP) transcription factors are essential for regulation of gene expression in the developing brain. We previously reported that Pb exposure perturbed the DNA-binding of ZFP such as Sp1 and Egr-1 in the cerebellum, which play critical role in CNS development. In this study, we focused on hippocampal Sp1 DNA-binding and mRNA expression in neonatal Pb-exposed animals. The expression pattern of an Sp1 target (NMDAR1) gene was also monitored. To study in vivo and in vitro competition between Pb and Zn, we supplemented animals with Zn, and examined the effects of both metals on hippocampal Sp1 DNA-binding and the DNA-binding of a recombinant Sp1 protein (rhSp1). Tissue metal analysis revealed that only the disposition of Pb in the brain but not its distribution in the blood was influenced by the presence of Zn. The developmental profile of Sp1 DNA-binding exhibited a peak on PND 15 which subsequently declined to adult levels. Consistent with earlier studies, Pb exposure produced premature peaks of Sp1 DNA-binding on PND 5 which later returned to adult levels. The basal and Pb-induced developmental patterns of Sp1 mRNA departed from its DNA-binding profiles. However, the expression patterns of the NMDAR1 gene were relative to Sp1 DNA-binding. Supplementation with zinc provided a protective effect on Pb-induced changes in Sp1 DNA-binding. Moreover, Pb and Zn directly interfered with the DNA-binding of rhSp1 in vitro. These data suggest that Pb and Zn can compete both in vivo and in vitro at the zinc finger domain of Sp1 with a consequential effect on Sp1 DNA-binding, subsequent gene expression and brain development.
Mesial temporal lobe epilepsy with hippocampal sclerosis (mTLE-HS) presents different clinical presentations from that with other lesions (OL). It is significant to investigate the neural mechanism underlying the different clinical presentations using neuroimaging study.Thirty mTLE patients with mTLE-HS, 30 mTLE patients with other lesions (mTLE-OL), and 30 age- and sex-matched healthy controls were involved. Amplitude of low-frequency fluctuation (ALFF) analysis-based resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and voxel-based morphometry (VBM) based morphometric MRI were employed to describing functional and structural imaging alterations in mTLE. Imaging parameters of ALFF and gray matter volume (GMV) were compared among groups and correlated with clinical variables and cognitive scores.For parameter of ALFF, both patient groups of mTLE-HS and mTLE-OL showed decrease in the frontal cortices relative to the healthy controls; mTLE-HS showed more decrease in the prefrontal and brain default regions relative to mTLE-OL. For GMV, both patient groups showed decrease in the frontal cortex, thalamus, and cerebellum; mTLE-HS showed more GMV decrease relative to the mTLE-OL, also mainly in the prefrontal and brain default regions. In both patient groups, the prefrontal regions showed negative correlation between GMV and epilepsy duration.This work revealed distinct alteration patterns of functional and structural brain organizations in mTLEs with different forms. MTLE-HS, despite with smaller lesion size of the pathological focus, presented more severe functional and structural damages in the extratemporal regions than mTLE-OL. The findings provided imaging evidence to support the proposal that mTLE-HS is a special epilepsy syndrome.
Iodine is a significant micronutrient. Iodine deficiency (ID)-induced hypothyroxinemia and hypothyroidism during developmental period can cause cerebellar dysfunction. However, mechanisms are still unclear. Therefore, the present research aims to study effects of developmental hypothyroxinemia caused by mild ID and hypothyroidism caused by severe ID or methimazole (MMZ) on parallel fiber-Purkinje cell (PF-PC) synapses in filial cerebellum. Maternal hypothyroxinemia and hypothyroidism models were established in Wistar rats using ID diet and deionized water supplemented with different concentrations of potassium iodide or MMZ water. Birth weight and cerebellum weight were measured. We also examined PF-PC synapses using immunofluorescence, and western blot analysis was conducted to investigate the activity of Neurexin1/cerebellin1 (Cbln1)/glutamate receptor d2 (GluD2) tripartite complex. Our results showed that hypothyroxinemia and hypothyroidism decreased birth weight and cerebellum weight and reduced the PF-PC synapses on postnatal day (PN) 14 and PN21. Accordingly, the mean intensity of vesicular glutamate transporter (VGluT1) and Calbindin immunofluorescence was reduced in mild ID, severe ID, and MMZ groups. Moreover, maternal hypothyroxinemia and hypothyroidism reduced expression of Neurexin1/Cbln1/GluD2 tripartite complex. Our study supports the hypothesis that developmental hypothyroxinemia and hypothyroidism reduce PF-PC synapses, which may be attributed to the downregulation of Neurexin1/Cbln1/GluD2 tripartite complex.
Iodine is essential for the synthesis of thyroid hormone. Iodine deficiency (ID)-induced hypothyroxinaemia and hypothyroidism during developmental period contribute to impairments of function in the brain, such as psychomotor and motor alterations. However, the mechanisms are still unclear. Therefore, the present research is to study the effects of developmental hypothyroxinaemia caused by mild ID and developmental hypothyroidism caused by severe ID or methimazole (MMZ) on dendritic growth in filial cerebellar Purkinje cells (PCs) and the underlying mechanisms. A maternal hypothyroxinaemia model was established in Wistar rats using a mild ID diet, and two maternal hypothyroidism models were developed with either severe ID diet or MMZ water. We examined the total dendritic length using immunofluorescence, and Western blot analysis was conducted to investigate the activity of microtubule-associated protein 2 (MAP2), stathmin and calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII). Hypothyroxinaemia and hypothyroidism reduced the total dendritic length of cerebellar PCs, decreased MAP2 and its phosphorylation, increased stathmin but reduced its phosphorylation and down-regulated the activity of CaMKII and its phosphorylation in cerebellar PCs on postnatal day (PN) 7, PN14 and PN21. Developmental hypothyroxinaemia induced by mild ID and hypothyroidism induced by severe ID or MMZ limit PCs dendritic growth, which may involve in the disturbance of MAP2 and stathmin in a CaMKII-dependent manner. It suggests a potential mechanism of motor coordination impairments caused by developmental hypothyroxinaemia and hypothyroidism.
Iodine deficiency (ID)-induced hypothyroxinemia and hypothyroidism during development result in dysfunction of the central nervous system, affecting psychomotor and motor function, although the underlying mechanisms causing these alterations are still unclear. Therefore, our aim is to study the effects of developmental hypothyroxinemia, caused by mild ID, and developmental hypothyroidism, caused by severe ID or methimazole (MMZ), on the proliferation of cerebellar granule neuron precursors (CGNPs), an excellent experimental model of cerebellar development and function. The sonic hedgehog (Shh) signaling pathway is essential for CGNP proliferation, and as such, its activation is also investigated here. A maternal hypothyroxinemia model was established in Wistar rats by administrating a mild ID diet, and two maternal hypothyroidism models were developed either by administrating a severe ID diet or MMZ water. Our results showed that hypothyroxinemia and hypothyroidism reduced proliferation of CGNPs on postnatal day (PN) 7, PN14, and PN21. Accordingly, the mean intensity of proliferating cell nuclear antigen and Ki67 nuclear antigen immunofluorescence was reduced in the mild ID, severe ID, and MMZ groups. Moreover, maternal hypothyroxinemia and hypothyroidism reduced expression of the Shh signaling pathway on PN7, PN14, and PN21. Our study supports the hypothesis that developmental hypothyroxinemia induced by mild ID, and hypothyroidism induced by severe ID or MMZ, reduce the proliferation of CGNPs, which may be ascribed to the downregulation of the Shh signaling pathway.
The nanos gene family was essential for germ line development in diverse organisms. In the present study, the full-length cDNA of a nanos1 homologue in A. sinensis, Asnanos1, was isolated and characterized. The cDNA sequence of Asnanos1 was 1489 base pairs (bp) in length and encoded a peptide of 228 amino acid residues. Multiple sequence alignment showed that the zinc-finger motifs of Nanos1 were highly conserved in vertebrates. By RT-PCR analysis, Asnanos1 mRNAs were ubiquitously detected in all tissues examined except for the fat, including liver, spleen, heart, ovary, kidney, muscle, intestines, pituitary, hypothalamus, telencephalon, midbrain, cerebellum, and medulla oblongata. Moreover, a specific polyclonal antibody was prepared from the in vitro expressed partial AsNanos1 protein. Western blot analysis revealed that the tissue expression pattern of AsNanos1 was not completely coincided with that of its mRNAs, which was not found in fat, muscle and intestines. Additionally, by immunofluoresence localization, it was observed that AsNanos1 protein was in the cytoplasm of primary oocytes and spermatocytes. The presented results indicated that the expression pattern of Asnanos1 was differential conservation and divergence among diverse species.
Adequate thyroid hormone is critical for cerebellar development. Developmental hypothyroidism induced by iodine deficiency during the perinatal period results in permanent impairments of cerebellar development with an unclear mechanism. In the present study we investigated effects of perinatal iodine deficiency and hypothyroidism on cerebellar cell apoptosis, doublecortin (Dcx) and reelin. Apoptosis is an essential part of neural development. Dcx and reelin are two important molecules involved in neuronal migration, structure, and development in cerebellum. Two developmental rat models were created by administering dam rats with either iodine-deficient diet or propylthiouracil (PTU, 5 ppm or 15 ppm)-added drinking water from gestational day (GD) 6 until postnatal day (PND) 28. TUNEL assay and protein levels of Dcx and reelin in cerebella were assessed on PND14, 21 and 28. Apoptotic cells were increased in the iodine-deficient and PTU-treated rats. Dcx protein levels in the cerebella of iodine-deficient and PTU-treated rats were significantly downregulated on PND14. Interestingly, iodine deficiency and PTU treatment upregulated the levels of Dcx protein on PND21 and 28. Reelin expressions in iodine-deficient and PTU-treated rats were significantly decreased on PND14 and 21. On PND28, reelin expressions of three treated groups were still lower than control group, although without significant difference. These findings may implicate alterations in cell apoptosis and levels of Dcx and reelin in the impairments of cerebellar development induced by developmental iodine deficiency and hypothyroidism.
Adequate thyroid hormone is critical for cerebellar development. Developmental hypothyroidism induced by iodine deficiency during gestation and postnatal period results in permanent impairments of cerebellar development with an unclear mechanism. In the present study, we implicate cerebellar caveolin-1 and synaptotagmin-1, the two important molecules involved in neuronal development, in developmental iodine deficiency, and in developmental hypothyroidism. Two developmental rat models were created by administrating dam rats with either iodine-deficient diet or propylthiouracil (PTU, 5 or 15 ppm)-added drinking water from gestational day 6 till postnatal day (PN) 28. Nissl staining and the levels of caveolin-1 and synaptotagmin-1 in cerebella were assessed on PN28 and PN42. The results show that the numbers of Purkinje cells were reduced in the iodine-deficient and PTU-treated rats. The upregulation of caveolin-1 and the downregulation of synaptotagmin-1 were observed in both iodine-deficient and PTU-treated rats. These findings may implicate decreases in the number of Purkinje cells and the alterations in the levels of caveolin-1 and synaptotagmin-1 in the impairments of cerebellar development induced by developmental iodine deficiency and hypothyroidism.
Neoplastic leptomeningeal disease (LMD) represents infiltration of the leptomeninges by tumor cells. Knowledge of the frequencies of locations of LMD on MRI may assist in early detection, help elucidate the process of leptomeningeal spread of cancer and understand how LMD affects the central nervous system. Our goal was to identify intracranial sites of neoplastic LMD predilection on MRI in patients with cytologically-proven LMD. The presence of FLAIR signal hyperintensity and T1-weighted post-contrast enhancement in the sulci of the supratentorial compartment and cerebellum and enhancement of the cranial nerves (CNs), basal cisterns, pituitary stalk, and ependymal surface of the lateral ventricles, as well as the presence of parenchymal metastasis were recorded. Within each imaging sequence, sites were ordered by prevalence and compared using McNemar's test. The study included 270 patients. Positive MRI findings were present in 185/270 (68.5%) patients. FLAIR signal hyperintensity was significantly more common (p≤0.003) in the cerebellum (n=96) and occipital lobe (n=92) relative to the other lobes. Leptomeningeal enhancement was also significantly more common (p≤0.009) in the cerebellum (n=82) and occipital lobe (n=67) relative to the other lobes. Enhancement was most commonly found involving CN VII/VIII and the ependymal surface of the lateral ventricles compared to other sites. Parenchymal metastases were present in 110 (40.1%) of the patients. In conclusion, neoplastic LMD predominantly involves the cerebellum and occipital lobes, CN VII/VIII, and the ependymal lining of the lateral ventricles. Parenchymal metastases are frequently present in patients with neoplastic LMD.
In mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (mTLE), the causal relationship of morphometric alterations between hippocampus and the other regions, that is, how the hippocampal atrophy leads to progressive morphometric alterations in the epileptic network regions remains largely unclear. In this study, a causal network of structural covariance (CaSCN) was proposed to map the causal effects of hippocampal atrophy on the network-based morphometric alterations in mTLE. It was hypothesized that if cross-sectional morphometric MRI data could be attributed temporal information, for example, by sequencing the data according to disease progression information, GCA would be a feasible approach for constructing a CaSCN. Based on a large cohort of mTLE patients (n = 108), the hippocampus-associated CaSCN revealed that the hippocampus and the thalamus were prominent nodes exerting causal effects (i.e., GM reduction) on other regions and that the prefrontal cortex and cerebellum were prominent nodes being subject to causal effects. Intriguingly, compensatory increased gray matter volume in the contralateral temporal region and post cingulate cortex were also detected. The method unraveled richer information for mapping network atrophy in mTLE relative to the traditional methods of stage-specific comparisons and structured covariance network. This study provided new evidence on the network spread mechanism in terms of the causal influence of hippocampal atrophy on progressive brain structural alterations in mTLE. Hum Brain Mapp 38:753-766, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.