Human brains are prone to neurodegeneration, given that endogenous neural stem/progenitor cells (NSPCs) fail to support neurogenesis. To investigate the molecular programs potentially mediating neurodegeneration-induced NSPC plasticity in regenerating organisms, we generated an Amyloid-β42 (Aβ42)-dependent neurotoxic model in adult zebrafish brain through cerebroventricular microinjection of cell-penetrating Aβ42 derivatives. Aβ42 deposits in neurons and causes phenotypes reminiscent of amyloid pathophysiology: apoptosis, microglial activation, synaptic degeneration, and learning deficits. Aβ42 also induces NSPC proliferation and enhanced neurogenesis. Interleukin-4 (IL4) is activated primarily in neurons and microglia/macrophages in response to Aβ42 and is sufficient to increase NSPC proliferation and neurogenesis via STAT6 phosphorylation through the IL4 receptor in NSPCs. Our results reveal a crosstalk between neurons and immune cells mediated by IL4/STAT6 signaling, which induces NSPC plasticity in zebrafish brains.
Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; Amyloid-β42; STAT6; inflammation; interlukin-4; neural stem cell; neuro-immune crosstalk; neurodegeneration; regeneration; zebrafish.
Copyright © 2016 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.