Issue 3, 4 | December 2018
In this study we examined the intersection of two molecular pathways both known to regulate dentate development – the Emx2 transcription factor and the Sonic Hedgehog (Shh) morphogenic scignaling pathway. We confirmed that Emx2 mutant mice have a markedly reduced dentate gyrus and studied evidence of changes in Shh signaling and Shh expression in these mutants. Our results indicate that loss of Emx2 affects the numbers and distribution of Gli+ ventrally derived dentate neural stem cells that are responsible for populating the perinatal dentate gyrus. Accompanying this, we find that Emx2 mutants have reduced expression of Shh in the amygdalo-hippocampal region. In addition, there are ectopic Shh responsive progenitors that fail to properly populate the dentate. Taken together our results indicate that Emx2 regulates dentate development in part by altering availability and signaling of Shh.
For many decades synaptic circuits have been associated solely with cell-cell neuronal connections represented by the presynaptic terminal, which releases a neurotransmitter, and the postsynaptic neuronal specialization, a site where the neurotransmitter can activate synaptic receptors. However, due to technical limitations these studies usually were linked only to the postsynaptic site. For a long while, the widespread techniques that rapidly advanced neurophysiology have been little used in understanding the way how Ca2+-dependent release of the excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate from neuronal axons can be measured directly. Only with the advance of live cell imaging, it became possible to detect internal Ca2+ dynamics in presynaptic boutons with the high temporal resolution.
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