The neocortex, the most recently evolved brain region in mammals, is characterized by its unique areal and laminar organization. Distinct cortical layers and areas can be identified by the presence of graded expression of transcription factors and molecular determinants defining neuronal identity. However, little is known about the expression of key master genes orchestrating human cortical development. In this study, we explored the expression dynamics of NR2F1 and SOX2, key cortical genes whose mutations in human patients cause severe neurodevelopmental syndromes. We focused on physiological conditions, spanning from mid-late gestational ages to adulthood in unaffected specimens, but also investigated gene expression in a pathological context, a developmental cortical malformation termed focal cortical dysplasia (FCD). We found that NR2F1 follows an antero-dorsallow to postero-ventralhigh gradient as in the murine cortex, suggesting high evolutionary conservation. While SOX2 is mainly expressed in neural progenitors next to the ventricular surface, NR2F1 is found in both mitotic progenitors and post-mitotic neurons at GW18. Interestingly, both proteins are highly co-expressed in basal radial glia progenitors of the outer sub-ventricular zone (OSVZ), a proliferative region known to contribute to cortical expansion and complexity in humans. Later on, SOX2 becomes largely restricted to astrocytes and oligodendrocytes although it is also detected in scattered mature interneurons. Differently, NR2F1 maintains its distinct neuronal expression during the whole process of cortical development. Notably, we report here high levels of NR2F1 in dysmorphic neurons and NR2F1 and SOX2 in balloon cells of surgical samples from patients with FCD, suggesting their potential use in the histopathological characterization of this dysplasia.

Dynamic expression of NR2F1 and SOX2 in developing and adult human cortex : comparison with cortical malformations / B. Foglio, L. Rossini, R. Garbelli, M.C. Regondi, S. Mercurio, M. Bertacchi, L. Avagliano, G. Bulfamante, R. Coras, A. Maiorana, S. Nicolis, M. Studer, C. Frassoni. - In: BRAIN STRUCTURE AND FUNCTION. - ISSN 1863-2653. - 226:4(2021), pp. 1303-1322. [10.1007/s00429-021-02242-7]

Dynamic expression of NR2F1 and SOX2 in developing and adult human cortex : comparison with cortical malformations

L. Avagliano;G. Bulfamante;
2021

Abstract

The neocortex, the most recently evolved brain region in mammals, is characterized by its unique areal and laminar organization. Distinct cortical layers and areas can be identified by the presence of graded expression of transcription factors and molecular determinants defining neuronal identity. However, little is known about the expression of key master genes orchestrating human cortical development. In this study, we explored the expression dynamics of NR2F1 and SOX2, key cortical genes whose mutations in human patients cause severe neurodevelopmental syndromes. We focused on physiological conditions, spanning from mid-late gestational ages to adulthood in unaffected specimens, but also investigated gene expression in a pathological context, a developmental cortical malformation termed focal cortical dysplasia (FCD). We found that NR2F1 follows an antero-dorsallow to postero-ventralhigh gradient as in the murine cortex, suggesting high evolutionary conservation. While SOX2 is mainly expressed in neural progenitors next to the ventricular surface, NR2F1 is found in both mitotic progenitors and post-mitotic neurons at GW18. Interestingly, both proteins are highly co-expressed in basal radial glia progenitors of the outer sub-ventricular zone (OSVZ), a proliferative region known to contribute to cortical expansion and complexity in humans. Later on, SOX2 becomes largely restricted to astrocytes and oligodendrocytes although it is also detected in scattered mature interneurons. Differently, NR2F1 maintains its distinct neuronal expression during the whole process of cortical development. Notably, we report here high levels of NR2F1 in dysmorphic neurons and NR2F1 and SOX2 in balloon cells of surgical samples from patients with FCD, suggesting their potential use in the histopathological characterization of this dysplasia.
BBSOAS; Cortical dysplasia; Human cortical development; NR2F1/COUP-TF1; SOX2; Transcription factors; Adult; Animals; COUP Transcription Factor I; Humans; Interneurons; Mice; Neocortex; Neurogenesis; Neurons; SOXB1 Transcription Factors
Settore MED/08 - Anatomia Patologica
Settore MED/40 - Ginecologia e Ostetricia
Settore BIO/05 - Zoologia
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2434/899745
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