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Review
. 2012;814:9-22.
doi: 10.1007/978-1-61779-452-0_2.

Neurogenic Astrocytes and Their Glycoconjugates: Not Just "Glue" Anymore

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Free PMC article
Review

Neurogenic Astrocytes and Their Glycoconjugates: Not Just "Glue" Anymore

Dennis A Steindler. Methods Mol Biol. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

Cells with certain attributes of very immature astroglial cells and their radial precursors can act as stem and/or progenitor cells during developmental and persistent neurogenesis. Neural stem/progenitor cells both express and are affected by a variety of developmentally regulated macromolecules and growth factors, and such signaling or recognition molecules are being uncovered through extensive genomic and proteomic studies, as well as tested using in vitro/in vivo cell growth bioassays. Glycosylated molecules are appreciated as distinct signaling molecules during morphogenesis in a variety of tissues and organs, with glycoconjugates (glycoproteins, glycolipids, and glycosaminoglycans) serving as mediators for the interactions of cells with each other and their substrates, to confer growth and differentiation cues to precursor cells in search of identity. Neurogenic astrocytes and associated glycoconjugates, especially extracellular matrix molecules, are discussed in the context of neurogenesis and stem/progenitor cell growth, fate choice, and differentiation.

Figures

Fig. 1
Fig. 1
Immunofluorescence for the tenascin-C extracellular matrix (ECM) glycoprotein that is intensely expressed in both the periventricular subventricular zone (SVZ) of the lateral ventricle (main figure), as well as in neurospheres derived from a neurogenic astrocyte: the SVZ multipotent astrocytic stem cell (MASC) that is also immunostained for tenascin-C. There is a dense tenascin-C matrix surrounding cells of this cultured neurosphere (figure adapted from studies of Gates et al. (9) and Suslov et al. (62)).
Fig. 2
Fig. 2
MASCs and neurogenic astrocyte-inducible neurogenesis. MASCs in monolayer cultures from transgenic mice that constitutively express green fluorescent protein, GFP (see Zheng et al. (33, 34). Monolayers of SVZ cells can be inducibly differentiated into newborn neuroblasts. Inset, lower right: low levels of GFAP (green) are found in a subpopulation of underlying nestin+/A2B5+ (red) cells. The arrow points to a GFAPlow/A2B5+ cell (inset in figure adapted from Scheffler et al. (42)). Scale bar = 30 μm.
Fig. 3
Fig. 3
Expansion of primary neural cells as purified astroglial precursors, adult human neural progenitor cells (AHNPs) from the adult human temporal cortex. (a) High passage (>60 population doublings) cells express astrocyte markers GFAP, S100β, and glutamine synthetase. Cytoskeletal nestin (expressed in dividing cells, inset) is also present. Cells counter-stained with DAPI. (b) Voltage-clamp membrane recordings of these cells reveal prominent Na+ and minimal K+ channel activity. (c) AHNPs derived from temporal cortex and hippocampus continue logarithmic expansion throughout culture. (d) Hippocampal and temporal cortex cells maintain a stable gliotypic morphology throughout culture. (e) Both hippocampal and temporal cortex cells maintain an equivalent stable doubling rate throughout culture. Scale bars: 50 μm (GFAP), 100 μm (additional images) (a), 150 μm (d) (adapted from Walton et al. (35)).

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