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See detailAstrocytic and neuronal fate of mesenchymal stem cells expressing nestin.
Wislet-Gendebien, Sabine ULg; Wautier, Franz ULg; Leprince, Pierre ULg et al

in Brain Research Bulletin (2005), 68(1-2), 95-102

Classically, bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) differentiate in vivo or in vitro into osteocytes, chondrocytes, fibroblasts and adipocytes. Recently, it was reported by several groups that MSC can ... [more ▼]

Classically, bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) differentiate in vivo or in vitro into osteocytes, chondrocytes, fibroblasts and adipocytes. Recently, it was reported by several groups that MSC can also adopt a neural fate in appropriate in vivo or in vitro experimental conditions. However, it is unclear if those cells are really able to differentiate into functional neural cells and in particular into functional neurons. Some observations suggest that a cell fusion process underlies the neural fate adoption by MSC in vivo and first attempts to reproduce in vitro this neural fate decision in MSC cultures were unsuccessful. More recently, however, in several laboratories including ours, differentiation of MSC cultivated from adult rat bone marrow into astrocytes and neuron-like cells was demonstrated. More precisely, we stressed the importance of the expression by MSC of nestin, an intermediate filament protein associated with immaturity in the nervous system, as a pre-requisite to adopting an astrocytic or a neuronal fate in a co-culture paradigm. Using this approach, we have also demonstrated that the MSC-derived neuron-like cells exhibit several electrophysiological key properties classically devoted to neurons, including firing of action potentials. In this review, we will discuss the neurogenic potential of MSC, the factor(s) required for such plasticity, the molecular mechanism(s) underlying this neural plasticity, the importance of the environment of MSC to adopt this neural fate and the therapeutic potential of these observations. [less ▲]

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See detailFos Induction in the Japanese Quail Brain after Expression of Appetitive and Consummatory Aspects of Male Sexual Behavior
Tlemcani, O.; Ball, G. F.; D'Hondt, E. et al

in Brain Research Bulletin (2000), 52(4), 249-62

We investigated the expression of Fos, the protein product of the immediate early gene c-fos in the brain of male Japanese quail after they engaged in either appetitive or consummatory sexual behavior (i ... [more ▼]

We investigated the expression of Fos, the protein product of the immediate early gene c-fos in the brain of male Japanese quail after they engaged in either appetitive or consummatory sexual behavior (i. e., copulation). For 1 h, castrated males treated with testosterone were either allowed to copulate with a female or to exhibit a learned social proximity response indicative of appetitive sexual behavior. Control birds were either left in their home cage or placed in the experimental chamber but did not exhibit the appetitive sexual behavior because they had never learned it. Fos expression was studied with an immunocytochemical procedure in two sets of adjacent sections through the entire forebrain. These sections were immunolabelled with 2 different antibodies raised against a synthetic fragment corresponding to the 21 carboxy-terminal residues of the chicken Fos sequence. Contrary to the results of a previous study in which gonadally intact birds were used, Fos induction was observed neither in the medial preoptic nucleus nor in the nucleus intercollicularis in birds that had interacted for 1 h with a female. This may be related to a lower frequency of copulation in the testosterone-implanted birds than in intact birds, or to differences in the time the brains were collected after the birds engaged in sexual behavior between the two studies (60 min in this study, 120 min in the previous study). The performance of copulation and/or appetitive sexual behavior increased the number of Fos-immunoreactive cells in the ventral hyperstriatum, medial archistriatum, and nucleus striae terminalis. These increases were observed using both antibodies, although each antibody produced minor differences in the number of Fos-immunoreactive cells observed. Using one of the antibodies, but not the other, increases in Fos immunoreactivity were also observed in the nucleus accumbens and hyperstriatum after either copulation or appetitive sexual behavior. These differences illustrate how minor technical variations in the Fos immunocytochemical procedure influence the results obtained. These differences also show that Fos induction in a number of brain regions is observed after performance of consummatory (copulation) as well as appetitive (looking at the female) sexual behavior. This induction is, therefore, not related solely to the control of copulatory acts but, presumably, also to the processing in a variety of telencephalic association areas of stimuli originating from the female. The observation that increased Fos immunoreactivity is present in birds that had learned the response indicative of appetitive sexual behavior, and not in those that had not learned the behavior, further indicates that it is not simply the sight of the female that results in this Fos induction, but the analysis of the relevant stimuli in a sexually explicit context. Conditioned neural activity resulting from a learned association between the stimulus female and the performance of copulatory behavior may also explain some aspects of the brain activation observed in birds viewing, but not allowed to interact with, the female. [less ▲]

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See detailRegional Distribution and Control of Tyrosine Hydroxylase Activity in the Quail Brain
Baillien, M.; Foidart, Agnès ULg; Balthazart, Jacques ULg

in Brain Research Bulletin (1999), 48(1), 3-17

Tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) activity, the rate-limiting step in the synthesis of catecholamines, was quantified in the preoptic area-hypothalamus of adult male Japanese quail by a new assay measuring the ... [more ▼]

Tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) activity, the rate-limiting step in the synthesis of catecholamines, was quantified in the preoptic area-hypothalamus of adult male Japanese quail by a new assay measuring the tritiated water production from 3,5-[3H]-L-tyrosine. Maximal levels of activity were observed at a 20-25 microM concentration of substrate, with more than 50% inhibition of the activity being recorded at a 100 microM concentration. TH activity was linear as a function of the incubation time during the first 20 min and maximal at a pH of 6.0. TH was heterogeneously distributed in the quail brain with highest levels of activity being found (in decreasing order) in the mesencephalon, diencephalon, and telencephalon. Given the large size of the telencephalon, this is the brain area that contains, as a whole, the highest level of enzyme activity. TH inhibitors that have been well-characterized in mammals, such as 3-iodo-L-tyrosine and L-alpha-methyl-p-tyrosine (AMPT) completely inhibited the enzyme activity at a 100 microM concentration. In mammals, the accumulation of catecholamines exerts a negative feedback control on TH activity. Similar controls were observed in the quail brain. Two inhibitors of the DOPA decarboxylase that should lead to accumulation of DOPA depressed TH activity by 60% or more, and the inhibitor of the dopamine beta-hydroxylase, fusaric acid that should cause an accumulation of dopamine, suppressed 90% of the TH activity. The addition of exogenous DOPA, dopamine, or norepinephrine to the brain homogenates also strongly inhibited TH activity, independently confirming the feedback effects of the enzyme products on the enzyme activity. These data demonstrate that TH activity in the quail brain is heterogeneously distributed and acutely regulated, as it is in mammals, by the accumulation of its products and of the derived catecholamines. [less ▲]

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See detailEffects of Brain Testosterone Implants on Appetitive and Consummatory Components of Male Sexual Behavior in Japanese Quail
Riters, L. V.; Absil, Philippe ULg; Balthazart, Jacques ULg

in Brain Research Bulletin (1998), 47(1), 69-79

Aromatization of testosterone (T) into an estrogen is necessary for the activation of consummatory and appetitive sexual behavior in male Japanese quail. T action within the medial preoptic nucleus (POM ... [more ▼]

Aromatization of testosterone (T) into an estrogen is necessary for the activation of consummatory and appetitive sexual behavior in male Japanese quail. T action within the medial preoptic nucleus (POM) is necessary and sufficient to activate consummatory behavior, and some evidence suggests that POM might be involved in the control of appetitive behavior, but other brain regions, such as the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BST), an area that contains a dense population of aromatase-immunoreactive neurons, are also likely to be involved. This study was performed to assess the effects of stereotaxic T implants targeting either the POM or the BST on the activation of both components of sexual behavior in castrated male quail. Appetitive sexual behavior was measured by an acquired social proximity response in which a male will approach a window providing visual access to a female after the window has been repeatedly paired with physical access to a female and the possibility to freely interact with her. Rhythmic cloacal sphincter movements that are produced by the male when given visual access to a female were used as another measure of appetitive sexual behavior that does not appear to depend on sexual learning. The experiments confirmed that copulation is necessary for males to develop the social proximity response that is used to measure the appetitive sexual behavior. T implants in the POM activated both components of sexual behavior, suggesting that these components cannot be completely dissociated. In contrast, T implants located within the BST did not affect either component, but because implants in the BST did not activate copulatory behavior, these results do not preclude a role for BST in the expression of a previously acquired appetitive sexual behavior. [less ▲]

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See detailDistribution and Regulation of Estrogen-2-Hydroxylase in the Quail Brain
Balthazart, Jacques ULg; Stoop, R.; Foidart, Agnès ULg et al

in Brain Research Bulletin (1994), 35(4), 339-45

The anatomical distribution and endocrine regulation of the estrogen-2-hydroxylase activity were investigated in the brain of adult male and female Japanese quail. Significant levels of enzymatic activity ... [more ▼]

The anatomical distribution and endocrine regulation of the estrogen-2-hydroxylase activity were investigated in the brain of adult male and female Japanese quail. Significant levels of enzymatic activity were detected in all brain regions that were studied, but the highest levels were observed in preoptic and hypothalamic brain nuclei that are known to contain high levels of aromatase activity. These data are consistent with previous results suggesting that the placental aromatase is also responsible for the estrogen-2-hydroxylase activity. However, there is a marked sex difference and a control by T of aromatase activity in the quail brain, and no such difference in 2-hydroxylase activity could generally be detected except in the VMN. Further studies will be needed to know whether the previously published conclusions concerning the human placenta also apply to the brain. The present data are consistent with the idea that estrogens formed locally in the brain by testosterone aromatization could affect reproduction by interfering with the catecholaminergic transmission after being metabolized into catechol-estrogens. [less ▲]

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See detailEffects of Neurochemical Lesions of the Preoptic Area on Male Sexual Behavior in the Japanese Quail
Bailhache, T.; Surlemont, C.; Balthazart, Jacques ULg

in Brain Research Bulletin (1993), 32(3), 273-83

Two experiments were carried out during which the noradrenergic neurotoxin, 5-amino-2,4-dihydroxy-alpha-methylphenylethylamine (5-ADMP) was applied to the brain of quail in order to evaluate the role of ... [more ▼]

Two experiments were carried out during which the noradrenergic neurotoxin, 5-amino-2,4-dihydroxy-alpha-methylphenylethylamine (5-ADMP) was applied to the brain of quail in order to evaluate the role of the noradrenergic system in the control of male copulatory behavior. In the first experiment, the ICV injection of 5-ADMP slightly enhanced the sexual behavior observed in testosterone (T)-treated castrated male quail. This brings additional support to the notion that norepinephrine tonically inhibits male copulatory behavior in quail. In the second experiment, 5-ADMP implanted directly into the preoptic area disrupted the restoration by T of copulatory behavior in castrated quail and, at the same time, produced a brain lesion that partly destroyed the sexually dimorphic medial preoptic nucleus, a previously established site of T action on behavior. These lesions produced by a high (presumably too high) concentration of neurotoxin provided an independent confirmation of effects previously observed after electrolytic lesions. Correlation analyses also confirmed that the medial part of the POM just rostral to the anterior commissure is more closely associated with copulatory behavior and may, therefore, represent a key center for steroid action on this behavior. [less ▲]

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See detailPlasticity of Developing and Adult Dorsal Root Ganglion Neurons as Revealed in Vitro
Delree, P.; Ribbens, Clio ULg; Martin, Didier ULg et al

in Brain Research Bulletin (1993), 30(3-4), 231-7

We review recent data on the plasticity of dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons as revealed during cultivation in vitro. Some experiments on cultured developing DRG neurons and on adult DRG neurons in vivo ... [more ▼]

We review recent data on the plasticity of dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons as revealed during cultivation in vitro. Some experiments on cultured developing DRG neurons and on adult DRG neurons in vivo are also mentioned. Cultured developing and adult DRG neurons can be switched from an apolar to a multipolar phenotype by fetal calf serum or fibronectin. The effect is concentration dependent and occurs through an early modification of cell-substratum interaction. Adult DRG neurons synthesize and release within hours after injury TGF beta-1, which is a mitogen and a differentiation factor for Schwann cells. Finally, adult DRG neurons express in vitro neurotransmitters that are not expressed in vivo. This neurotransmitter plasticity can be modulated in vitro by some growth factors and in vivo by distal or proximal axotomy. [less ▲]

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See detailSyngeneic Grafting of Adult Rat Drg-Derived Schwann Cells to the Injured Spinal Cord
Martin, Didier ULg; Schoenen, Jean ULg; Delree, P. et al

in Brain Research Bulletin (1993), 30(3-4), 507-14

A subdural inflatable micro-balloon was used to induce closed traumatic contusion to adult rat spinal cord. This spinal cord injury model was associated with reproducible and graded neurological deficits ... [more ▼]

A subdural inflatable micro-balloon was used to induce closed traumatic contusion to adult rat spinal cord. This spinal cord injury model was associated with reproducible and graded neurological deficits and histopathological alterations. At various delays after injury, transplantations of syngeneic adult cultured dorsal root ganglion-derived Schwann cells were performed into the spinal cord lesion. The transplants were well integrated and reduced the microcystic posttraumatic cavitation as well as the gliosis. Schwann cells transplants were invaded by numerous regenerating neurites most of which, based upon their neurotransmitter contents, seem to originate from the dorsal root ganglion. [less ▲]

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See detailEffects of Alpha-Methyl-Para-Tyrosine on Monoamine Levels in the Japanese Quail: Sex Differences and Testosterone Effects
Balthazart, Jacques ULg; Foidart, Agnès ULg; Sante, P. et al

in Brain Research Bulletin (1992), 28(2), 275-88

Experiments were performed to obtain more information on the regulation by steroids of catecholaminergic systems in the brain of Japanese quail. Dose-response and time-response experiments were first ... [more ▼]

Experiments were performed to obtain more information on the regulation by steroids of catecholaminergic systems in the brain of Japanese quail. Dose-response and time-response experiments were first performed to determine optimal conditions for measuring turnover in the quail brain. The norepinephrine and dopamine turnover were then estimated in microdissected brain nuclei of birds that were either sexually mature or gonadectomized or gonadectomized and treated with testosterone. Two major facts that bear direct relationship with the control of masculine reproductive behavior were demonstrated. On one hand, the dopamine turnover in the medial preoptic nucleus, a sexually dimorphic brain structure which is critically implicated in the control of copulatory behavior was much higher in male than in female quail irrespective of the hormonal condition of the birds. On the other hand, norepinephrine concentrations appeared to be higher in several nuclei of the female brain by comparison with males. These sex differences might represent part of the causal factors that underlie the sex dimorphism in reproductive behavior in quail. [less ▲]

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See detailCopulatory Behavior Is Controlled by the Sexually Dimorphic Nucleus of the Quail Poa
Balthazart, Jacques ULg; Surlemont, C.

in Brain Research Bulletin (1990), 25(1), 7-14

The medial preoptic nucleus (POM) of the quail preoptic area is sexually dimorphic and testosterone sensitive. Stereotaxic implantation of needles filled with crystalline testosterone demonstrated that ... [more ▼]

The medial preoptic nucleus (POM) of the quail preoptic area is sexually dimorphic and testosterone sensitive. Stereotaxic implantation of needles filled with crystalline testosterone demonstrated that the POM is a critical site of steroid action in the control of copulatory behavior. Only implants located in the POM reliably restored the behavior in castrated birds. Implants around the nucleus weakly activated the behavior; those which were distant by more than 200 microns were totally inactive. Electrolytic lesions confirmed the role of the POM in the control of copulatory behavior. The percentage of the POM which was lesioned was highly correlated to the behavioral deficit while the absolute size of the lesion was not. Electrolytic lesions in or around POM also significantly decreased the volume of the nucleus suggesting that the afferents and efferents of the nucleus are required for its full development. The total volume of the POM was correlated with the sexual behavior of the birds. The morphological changes in POM observed following exposure to testosterone probably represent the signature of the behavioral effects of the steroid. The sexually dimorphic testosterone-sensitive POM is therefore an excellent animal model to study the brain-steroid interactions which mediate the activation of male reproductive behavior. [less ▲]

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