Stem cells are regulated by signals from their microenvironment, or niche. During Drosophila hematopoiesis, a niche regulates prohemocytes to control hemocyte production. Immune challenges activate cell-signalling to initiate the cellular and innate immune response. Specifically, certain immune challenges stimulate the niche to produce signals that induce prohemocyte differentiation. However, the mechanisms that promote prohemocyte differentiation subsequent to immune challenges are poorly understood. Here we show that bacterial infection induces the cellular immune response by modulating occluding-junctions at the hematopoietic niche. Occluding-junctions form a permeability barrier that regulates the accessibility of prohemocytes to niche derived signals. The immune response triggered by infection causes barrier breakdown, altering the prohemocyte microenvironment to induce immune cell production. Moreover, genetically induced barrier ablation provides protection against infection by activating the immune response. Our results reveal a novel role for occluding-junctions in regulating niche-hematopoietic progenitor signalling and link this mechanism to immune cell production following infection.
- Guy Tanentzapf
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Yukiko M Yamashita, University of Michigan, United States
© 2017, Khadilkar et al.
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Lineage reprogramming of resident glial cells to dopaminergic neurons (DAns) is an attractive prospect of the cell-replacement therapy for Parkinson’s disease (PD). However, it is unclear whether repressing polypyrimidine tract binding protein 1 (PTBP1) could efficiently convert astrocyte to DAns in the substantia nigra and striatum. Although reporter-positive DAns were observed in both groups after delivering the adeno-associated virus (AAV) expressing a reporter with shRNA or CRISPR-CasRx to repress astroglial PTBP1, the possibility of AAV leaking into endogenous DAns could not be excluded without using a reliable lineage-tracing method. By adopting stringent lineage-tracing strategy, two other studies show that either knockdown or genetic deletion of quiescent astroglial PTBP1 fails to obtain induced DAns under physiological condition. However, the role of reactive astrocytes might be underestimated because upon brain injury, reactive astrocyte can acquire certain stem cell hallmarks that may facilitate the lineage conversion process. Therefore, whether reactive astrocytes could be genuinely converted to DAns after PTBP1 repression in a PD model needs further validation. In this study, we used Aldh1l1-CreERT2-mediated specific astrocyte-lineage-tracing method to investigate whether reactive astrocytes could be converted to DAns in a 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) mouse model of PD. However, we found that no astrocyte-originated DAn was generated after effective and persistent knockdown of astroglial PTBP1 either in the substantia nigra or in striatum, while AAV ‘leakage’ to nearby neurons was easily observed. Our results confirm that repressing PTBP1 does not convert astrocytes to DAns, regardless of physiological or PD-related pathological conditions.
New findings cast doubt on whether suppressing the RNA-binding protein PTBP1 can force astrocytes to become dopaminergic neurons.