Anatomy and Neuroscience - Research Publications

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    Birthdating of Myenteric Neuron Subtypes in the Small Intestine of the Mouse
    Bergner, AJ ; Stamp, LA ; Gonsalvez, DG ; Allison, MB ; Olson, DP ; Myers, MG ; Anderson, CR ; Young, HM (WILEY, 2014-02-15)
    There are many different types of enteric neurons. Previous studies have identified the time at which some enteric neuron subtypes are born (exit the cell cycle) in the mouse, but the birthdates of some major enteric neuron subtypes are still incompletely characterized or unknown. We combined 5-ethynynl-2'-deoxyuridine (EdU) labeling with antibody markers that identify myenteric neuron subtypes to determine when neuron subtypes are born in the mouse small intestine. We found that different neurochemical classes of enteric neuron differed in their birthdates; serotonin neurons were born first with peak cell cycle exit at E11.5, followed by neurofilament-M neurons, calcitonin gene-related peptide neurons (peak cell cycle exit for both at embryonic day [E]12.5-E13.5), tyrosine hydroxylase neurons (E15.5), nitric oxide synthase 1 (NOS1) neurons (E15.5), and calretinin neurons (postnatal day [P]0). The vast majority of myenteric neurons had exited the cell cycle by P10. We did not observe any EdU+/NOS1+ myenteric neurons in the small intestine of adult mice following EdU injection at E10.5 or E11.5, which was unexpected, as previous studies have shown that NOS1 neurons are present in E11.5 mice. Studies using the proliferation marker Ki67 revealed that very few NOS1 neurons in the E11.5 and E12.5 gut were proliferating. However, Cre-lox-based genetic fate-mapping revealed a small subpopulation of myenteric neurons that appears to express NOS1 only transiently. Together, our results confirm a relationship between enteric neuron subtype and birthdate, and suggest that some enteric neurons exhibit neurochemical phenotypes during development that are different from their mature phenotype.
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    Colonizing while migrating: how do individual enteric neural crest cells behave?
    Young, HM ; Bergner, AJ ; Simpson, MJ ; McKeown, SJ ; Hao, MM ; Anderson, CR ; Enomoto, H (BMC, 2014-03-26)
    BACKGROUND: Directed cell migration is essential for normal development. In most of the migratory cell populations that have been analyzed in detail to date, all of the cells migrate as a collective from one location to another. However, there are also migratory cell populations that must populate the areas through which they migrate, and thus some cells get left behind while others advance. Very little is known about how individual cells behave to achieve concomitant directional migration and population of the migratory route. We examined the behavior of enteric neural crest-derived cells (ENCCs), which must both advance caudally to reach the anal end and populate each gut region. RESULTS: The behavior of individual ENCCs was examined using live imaging and mice in which ENCCs express a photoconvertible protein. We show that individual ENCCs exhibit very variable directionalities and speed; as the migratory wavefront of ENCCs advances caudally, each gut region is populated primarily by some ENCCs migrating non-directionally. After populating each region, ENCCs remain migratory for at least 24 hours. Endothelin receptor type B (EDNRB) signaling is known to be essential for the normal advance of the ENCC population. We now show that perturbation of EDNRB principally affects individual ENCC speed rather than directionality. The trajectories of solitary ENCCs, which occur transiently at the wavefront, were consistent with an unbiased random walk and so cell-cell contact is essential for directional migration. ENCCs migrate in close association with neurites. We showed that although ENCCs often use neurites as substrates, ENCCs lead the way, neurites are not required for chain formation and neurite growth is more directional than the migration of ENCCs as a whole. CONCLUSIONS: Each gut region is initially populated by sub-populations of ENCCs migrating non-directionally, rather than stopping. This might provide a mechanism for ensuring a uniform density of ENCCs along the growing gut.