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The fish species Astyanax mexicanus with its sighted and blind eco-morphotypes has become an original model to challenge vertebrate developmental evolution. Recently, we demonstrated that phenotypic evolution can be impacted by early developmental events starting from the production of oocytes in the fish ovaries. A. mexicanus offers an amenable model to test the influence of maternal determinants on cell fate decisions during early development, yet the mechanisms by which the information contained in the eggs is translated into specific developmental programs remain obscure due to the lack of specific tools in this emergent model. Here we describe methods for the generation of pescoids from yolkless-blastoderm explants to test the influence of embryonic and extraembryonic tissues on cell fate decisions, as well as the production of chimeric embryos obtained by intermorph cell transplantations to probe cell autonomous or non-autonomous processes. We show that Astyanax pescoids have the potential to recapitulate the main ontogenetic events observed in intact embryos, including the internalization of mesodermal progenitors and eye development, as followed with zic:GFP reporter lines. In addition, intermorph cell grafts resulted in proper integration of exogenous cells into the embryonic tissues, with lineages becoming more restricted from mid-blastula to gastrula. The implementation of these approaches in A. mexicanus will bring new light on the cascades of events, from the maternal pre-patterning of the early embryo to the evolution of brain regionalization.
Saturated fatty acids such as palmitic acid promote inflammation and insulin resistance in peripheral tissues, contrasting with the protective action of polyunsaturated fatty acids such docosahexaenoic acid. Palmitic acid effects have been in part attributed to its potential action through Toll-like receptor 4. Beside, resistin, an adipokine, also promotes inflammation and insulin resistance via TLR4. In the brain, palmitic acid and resistin trigger neuroinflammation and insulin resistance, but their link at the neuronal level is unknown. Using human SH-SY5Yneuroblastoma cell line we show that palmitic acid treatment impaired insulin-dependent Akt and Erk phosphorylation whereas DHA preserved insulin action. Palmitic acid up-regulated TLR4 as well as pro-inflammatory cytokines IL6 and TNFα contrasting with DHA effect. Similarly to palmitic acid, resistin treatment induced the up-regulation of IL6 and TNFα as well as NFκB activation. Importantly, palmitic acid potentiated the resistin-dependent NFkB activation whereas DHA abolished it. The recruitment of TLR4 to membrane lipid rafts was increased by palmitic acid treatment; this is concomitant with the augmentation of resistin-induced TLR4/MYD88/TIRAP complex formation mandatory for TLR4 signaling. In conclusion, palmitic acid increased TLR4 expression promoting resistin signaling through TLR4 up-regulation and its recruitment to membrane lipid rafts.
The mdx52 mouse model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is lacking exon 52 of the DMD gene that is located in a hotspot mutation region causing cognitive deficits and retinal anomalies in DMD patients. This deletion leads to the loss of the dystrophin proteins, Dp427, Dp260 and Dp140, while Dp71 is preserved. The flash electroretinogram (ERG) in mdx52 mice was previously characterized by delayed dark-adapted b-waves. A detailed description of functional ERG changes and visual performances in mdx52 mice is, however, lacking. Here an extensive full-field ERG repertoire was applied in mdx52 mice and WT littermates to analyze retinal physiology in scotopic, mesopic and photopic conditions in response to flash, sawtooth and/or sinusoidal stimuli. Behavioral contrast sensitivity was assessed using quantitative optomotor response (OMR) to sinusoidally modulated luminance gratings at 100% or 50% contrast. The mdx52 mice exhibited reduced amplitudes and delayed implicit times in dark-adapted ERG flash responses, particularly in their b-wave and oscillatory potentials, and diminished amplitudes of light-adapted flash ERGs. ERG responses to sawtooth stimuli were also diminished and delayed for both mesopic and photopic conditions in mdx52 mice and the first harmonic amplitudes to photopic sine-wave stimuli were smaller at all temporal frequencies. OMR indices were comparable between genotypes at 100% contrast but significantly reduced in mdx52 mice at 50% contrast. The complex ERG alterations and disturbed contrast vision in mdx52 mice include features observed in DMD patients and suggest altered photoreceptor-to-bipolar cell transmission possibly affecting contrast sensitivity. The mdx52 mouse is a relevant model to appraise the roles of retinal dystrophins and for preclinical studies related to DMD.
Neurons synaptically interacting in a conductive medium generate extracellular endogenous electric fields (EFs) that reciprocally affect membrane potential. Exogenous EFs modulate neuronal activity, and their clinical applications are being profusely explored. However, whether endogenous EFs contribute to network synchronization remains unclear. We analyzed spontaneously generated slow-wave activity in the cerebral cortex network in vitro, which allowed us to distinguish synaptic from nonsynaptic mechanisms of activity propagation and synchronization. Slow oscillations generated EFs that propagated independently of synaptic transmission. We demonstrate that cortical oscillations modulate spontaneous rhythmic activity of neighboring synaptically disconnected cortical columns if layers are aligned. We provide experimental evidence that these EF-mediated effects are compatible with electric dipoles. With a model of interacting dipoles, we reproduce the experimental measurements and predict that endogenous EF-mediated synchronizing effects should be relevant in the brain. Thus, experiments and models suggest that electric-dipole interactions contribute to synchronization of neighboring cortical columns.
The genetic regulatory network governing vertebrate gonadal differentiation appears less conserved than previously thought. Here, we investigated the gonadal development of Astyanax mexicanus Pachón cavefish by looking at primordial germ cells (PGCs) migration and proliferation, gonad histology, and gene expression patterns. We showed that PGCs are first detected at the 80% epiboly stage and then reach the gonadal primordium at 1 day post-fertilization (dpf). However, in contrast to the generally described absence of PGCs proliferation during their migration phase, PGCs number in cavefish doubles between early neurula and 8-9 somites stages. Combining both gonadal histology and vasa (germ cell marker) expression patterns, we observed that ovarian and testicular differentiation occurs around 65 dpf in females and 90 dpf in males, respectively, with an important inter-individual variability. The expression patterns of dmrt1, gsdf, and amh revealed a conserved predominant male expression during cavefish gonadal development, but none of the ovarian differentiation genes, i. e., foxl2a, cyp19a1a, and wnt4b displayed an early sexually dimorphic expression, and surprisingly all these genes exhibited predominant expression in adult testes. Altogether, our results lay the foundation for further research on sex determination and differentiation in A. mexicanus and contribute to the emerging picture that the vertebrate sex differentiation downstream regulatory network is less conserved than previously thought, at least in teleost fishes.
L’Homme et toutes les espèces animales possèdent la faculté de discriminer des sources sonores en présence de bruits environnementaux importants. Ces dernières années, de nombreuses études effectuées chez l’Homme ou l’animal, ont popularisé l’idée que cette capacité reposait essentiellement sur la robustesse des réponses du cortex auditif ; le réseau cortical supposé extraire la source sonore cible au milieu du flux sonore qui nous atteint à chaque instant. Paradoxalement, très peu de travaux ont été réalisés pour déterminer la robustesse des réponses sous-corticales à des sons de communication masqués par du bruit.