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Science. 2016 Feb 19;351(6275):849-54. doi: 10.1126/science.aab3103.

Neurons diversify astrocytes in the adult brain through sonic hedgehog signaling.

Author information

1
Centre for Research in Neuroscience, Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery, Brain Repair and Integrative Neuroscience Program, The Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre, Montreal General Hospital, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
2
Department of Psychiatry, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. McGill Group for Suicide Studies, Douglas Hospital, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
3
Molecular Biology of Neural Development, Institut de Recherches Cliniques de Montréal, Department of Medicine, University of Montreal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Department of Biology, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
4
Department of Psychiatry, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. McGill Group for Suicide Studies, Douglas Hospital, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Department of Human Genetics, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Douglas Hospital Research Institute, Verdun, Quebec, Canada.
5
Centre for Research in Neuroscience, Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery, Brain Repair and Integrative Neuroscience Program, The Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre, Montreal General Hospital, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. keith.murai@mcgill.ca.

Abstract

Astrocytes are specialized and heterogeneous cells that contribute to central nervous system function and homeostasis. However, the mechanisms that create and maintain differences among astrocytes and allow them to fulfill particular physiological roles remain poorly defined. We reveal that neurons actively determine the features of astrocytes in the healthy adult brain and define a role for neuron-derived sonic hedgehog (Shh) in regulating the molecular and functional profile of astrocytes. Thus, the molecular and physiological program of astrocytes is not hardwired during development but, rather, depends on cues from neurons that drive and sustain their specialized properties.

PMID:
26912893
DOI:
10.1126/science.aab3103
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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