Fine processes of Nestin-GFP-positive radial glia-like stem cells in the adult dentate gyrus ensheathe local synapses and vasculature.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

PubMedID: 27091993

Moss J, Gebara E, Bushong EA, Sánchez-Pascual I, O'Laoi R, El M'Ghari I, Kocher-Braissant J, Ellisman MH, Toni N. Fine processes of Nestin-GFP-positive radial glia-like stem cells in the adult dentate gyrus ensheathe local synapses and vasculature. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2016;.
Adult hippocampal neurogenesis relies on the activation of neural stem cells in the dentate gyrus, their division, and differentiation of their progeny into mature granule neurons. The complex morphology of radial glia-like (RGL) stem cells suggests that these cells establish numerous contacts with the cellular components of the neurogenic niche that may play a crucial role in the regulation of RGL stem cell activity. However, the morphology of RGL stem cells remains poorly described. Here, we used light microscopy and electron microscopy to examine Nestin-GFP transgenic mice and provide a detailed ultrastructural reconstruction analysis of Nestin-GFP-positive RGL cells of the dentate gyrus. We show that their primary processes follow a tortuous path from the subgranular zone through the granule cell layer and ensheathe local synapses and vasculature in the inner molecular layer. They share the ensheathing of synapses and vasculature with astrocytic processes and adhere to the adjacent processes of astrocytes. This extensive interaction of processes with their local environment could allow them to be uniquely receptive to signals from local neurons, glia, and vasculature, which may regulate their fate.