PhD thesis: a PhD thesis.
CELLULAR AND MOLECULAR STUDY OF SUBCORTICAL BAND HETEROTOPIA IN THE MOUSE MUTANT HECO
Université de Lausanne, Faculté de biologie et médecine
Faculté de biologie et de médecine Université de Lausanne UNIL - Bugnon Rue du Bugnon 21 - bureau 4111 CH-1015 Lausanne SUISSE
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The HeCo mouse model is characterized by a subcortical heterotopia formed by misplaced neurons normally migrating into the superficial cortical layers. The mutant mouse has a tendency to epileptic seizures. In my thesis project we discovered the mutated Eml1 gene, a member of the echinoderm microtubule-associated protein (EMAP) family, in HeCo as well as in a family of three children showing complex malformation of cortical development. This discovery formed an important step in exploring the pathogenic mechanisms underlying the HeCo phenotype. In vitro results showed that during cell division the EML1 protein is associated with the midbody and a mutated version of Eml1 highlighted an important role of the protein in the astral MT array during cell cycle. In vivo, we found that already at an early age of cortical development (E13), ectopic progenitors such as RGs (PAX6) and IPCs (TBR2) accumulate in the IZ along the entire neocortex. We demonstrated that in the VZ of the HeCo mouse, spindle orientation and cell cycle exit are perturbed. In later stages (E17), RG fibers are strongly disorganized with deep layer (TBR1) and upper layer (CUX1) neurons trapped within an ectopic mass. At P3, columns of upper layer neurons were present between the heterotopia and the developing cortex; these columns were also present at P7 but at lesser extent. Time lapse video recording (E15.5) revealed that the parameters characterizing the migration of individual neurons are not disturbed in HeCo; however, this analysis showed that the density of migrating neuron was smaller in HeCo. In conclusion, truncated EML1 is likely to play a prominent role during cell cycle but also acts on the cytoskeletal architecture altering the shape of RG fibers thus influencing the pattern of neuronal migration. The signal transduction between external cues and intracellular effector pathways through MTs may be secondary but sustains the heterotopia development and further studies are needed to clarify the impact of EML1 in progenitors versus post-mitotic cells.
HeCo, Subcortical band heterotopia, Upper-layer neurons, Layer II-IV neurons, Progenitors, Proliferation, Migration, Microtubules, Intermediate zone, Epilepsy.
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