Advertisement

The Amyloid Precursor Protein (APP) Triplicated Gene Impairs Neuronal Precursor Differentiation and Neurite Development through Two Different Domains in the Ts65Dn Mouse Model for Down Syndrome*

      Intellectual disability in Down syndrome (DS) appears to be related to severe proliferation impairment during brain development. Recent evidence shows that it is not only cellular proliferation that is heavily compromised in DS, but also cell fate specification and dendritic maturation. The amyloid precursor protein (APP), a gene that is triplicated in DS, plays a key role in normal brain development by influencing neural precursor cell proliferation, cell fate specification, and neuronal maturation. APP influences these processes via two separate domains, the APP intracellular domain (AICD) and the soluble secreted APP. We recently found that the proliferation impairment of neuronal precursors (NPCs) from the Ts65Dn mouse model for DS was caused by derangement of the Shh pathway due to overexpression of patched1(Ptch1), its inhibitory regulator. Ptch1 overexpression was related to increased levels within the APP/AICD system. The overall goal of this study was to determine whether APP contributes to neurogenesis impairment in DS by influencing in addition to proliferation, cell fate specification, and neurite development. We found that normalization of APP expression restored the reduced neuronogenesis, the increased astrogliogenesis, and the reduced neurite length of trisomic NPCs, indicating that APP overexpression underpins all aspects of neurogenesis impairment. Moreover, we found that two different domains of APP impair neuronal differentiation and maturation in trisomic NPCs. The APP/AICD system regulates neuronogenesis and neurite length through the Shh pathway, whereas the APP/secreted AP system promotes astrogliogenesis through an IL-6-associated signaling cascade. These results provide novel insight into the mechanisms underlying brain development alterations in DS.
      Background: Individuals with Down syndrome suffer from mental retardation due to severe neurogenesis impairment.
      Results: Normalization of the triplicated gene APP expression restores neuronal maturation and differentiation in trisomic neuronal precursors.
      Conclusion: APP overproduction contributes to neurogenesis impairment in DS.
      Significance: APP signaling may be a target for therapeutic approaches aiming to improve brain development in DS.

      Introduction

      Down syndrome (DS)
      The abbreviations used are: DS
      Down syndrome
      APP
      amyloid precursor protein
      sAPP
      secreted APP
      AICD
      APP intracellular domain
      Shh
      Sonic Hedgehog
      qPCR
      quantitative PCR
      NPC
      neuronal precursors
      m.o.i.
      multiplicity of infection
      SAG
      benzo[b]thiophene-2-carboxamide,3-chloro-N-[4-(methylamino)cyclohexyl]-N-{[3-(4 pyridinyl)phenyl]methyl}-(9CI)
      GFAP
      glial fibrillary acidic protein
      ANOVA
      analysis of variance
      gp130
      glycoprotein 130
      Ptch1
      patched1
      Smo
      Smoothened.
      is a genetic pathology caused by triplication of human chromosome 21. Individuals with DS may have various medical problems, but intellectual disability is the unavoidable hallmark and the most invalidating aspect of this pathology with a notable impact on public health (
      • Roizen N.J.
      • Patterson D.
      Down's syndrome.
      ,
      • Rachidi M.
      • Lopes C.
      Mental retardation and associated neurological dysfunctions in Down syndrome. A consequence of dysregulation in critical chromosome 21 genes and associated molecular pathways.
      ). The major determinant of intellectual disability is considered to be the characteristically decreased brain size of individuals with DS. The hypocellularity observed in the primary visual cortex, primary somatosensory cortex, primary motor cortex, primary auditory cortex, and superior temporal gyrus of individuals with DS led to the hypothesis that proliferation deficits may underlie the typical hypocellularity of the DS brain (
      • Ross M.H.
      • Galaburda A.M.
      • Kemper T.L.
      Down's syndrome. Is there a decreased population of neurons?.
      ,
      • Schmidt-Sidor B.
      • Wisniewski K.E.
      • Shepard T.H.
      • Sersen E.A.
      Brain growth in Down syndrome subjects 15–22 weeks of gestational age and birth to 60 months.
      ). Consistently with this idea, recent evidence has shown a severe impairment of cellular proliferation in the ventricular germinal matrix and various structures of the hippocampal region and cerebellum of human fetuses with DS (
      • Contestabile A.
      • Fila T.
      • Ceccarelli C.
      • Bonasoni P.
      • Bonapace L.
      • Santini D.
      • Bartesaghi R.
      • Ciani E.
      Cell cycle alteration and decreased cell proliferation in the hippocampal dentate gyrus and in the neocortical germinal matrix of fetuses with Down syndrome and in Ts65Dn mice.
      ,
      • Guidi S.
      • Bonasoni P.
      • Ceccarelli C.
      • Santini D.
      • Gualtieri F.
      • Ciani E.
      • Bartesaghi R.
      Neurogenesis impairment and increased cell death reduce total neuron number in the hippocampal region of fetuses with Down syndrome.
      ,
      • Guidi S.
      • Ciani E.
      • Bonasoni P.
      • Santini D.
      • Bartesaghi R.
      Widespread proliferation impairment and hypocellularity in the cerebellum of fetuses with Down syndrome.
      ). This proliferation impairment is worsened by impaired cell fate specification with a reduction in neuronogenesis and an increase in astrogliogenesis (
      • Contestabile A.
      • Fila T.
      • Ceccarelli C.
      • Bonasoni P.
      • Bonapace L.
      • Santini D.
      • Bartesaghi R.
      • Ciani E.
      Cell cycle alteration and decreased cell proliferation in the hippocampal dentate gyrus and in the neocortical germinal matrix of fetuses with Down syndrome and in Ts65Dn mice.
      ,
      • Guidi S.
      • Bonasoni P.
      • Ceccarelli C.
      • Santini D.
      • Gualtieri F.
      • Ciani E.
      • Bartesaghi R.
      Neurogenesis impairment and increased cell death reduce total neuron number in the hippocampal region of fetuses with Down syndrome.
      ,
      • Guidi S.
      • Ciani E.
      • Bonasoni P.
      • Santini D.
      • Bartesaghi R.
      Widespread proliferation impairment and hypocellularity in the cerebellum of fetuses with Down syndrome.
      ). This evidence suggests that proliferation impairment and cell fate specification may be key determinants of intellectual disability in individuals with DS. Dendritic pathology is also a consistent feature and a possible substrate for mental retardation in DS. In children and adults with DS, there is a marked reduction in dendritic branching and spine density (
      • Becker L.E.
      Synaptic dysgenesis.
      ,
      • Takashima S.
      • Ieshima A.
      • Nakamura H.
      • Becker L.E.
      Dendrites, dementia, and the Down syndrome.
      ,
      • Takashima S.
      • Becker L.E.
      • Armstrong D.L.
      • Chan F.
      Abnormal neuronal development in the visual cortex of the human fetus and infant with Down's syndrome. A quantitative and qualitative Golgi study.
      ,
      • Schulz E.
      • Scholz B.
      Neurohistological findings in the parietal cortex of children with chromosome aberrations.
      ,
      • Prinz M.
      • Prinz B.
      • Schulz E.
      The growth of non-pyramidal neurons in the primary motor cortex of man. A Golgi study.
      ). The Ts65Dn mouse model of DS is one of the models that is most comparable to human DS both in terms of triplicated genes and phenotype (
      • Reeves R.H.
      • Irving N.G.
      • Moran T.H.
      • Wohn A.
      • Kitt C.
      • Sisodia S.S.
      • Schmidt C.
      • Bronson R.T.
      • Davisson M.T.
      A mouse model for Down syndrome exhibits learning and behaviour deficits.
      ). Similar to individuals with DS, the Ts65Dn mouse shows severe neurogenesis impairment in numerous brain regions (
      • Contestabile A.
      • Fila T.
      • Ceccarelli C.
      • Bonasoni P.
      • Bonapace L.
      • Santini D.
      • Bartesaghi R.
      • Ciani E.
      Cell cycle alteration and decreased cell proliferation in the hippocampal dentate gyrus and in the neocortical germinal matrix of fetuses with Down syndrome and in Ts65Dn mice.
      ,
      • Haydar T.F.
      • Nowakowski R.S.
      • Yarowsky P.J.
      • Krueger B.K.
      Role of founder cell deficit and delayed neuronogenesis in microencephaly of the trisomy 16 mouse.
      ,
      • Lorenzi H.A.
      • Reeves R.H.
      Hippocampal hypocellularity in the Ts65Dn mouse originates early in development.
      ,
      • Roper R.J.
      • Baxter L.L.
      • Saran N.G.
      • Klinedinst D.K.
      • Beachy P.A.
      • Reeves R.H.
      Defective cerebellar response to mitogenic Hedgehog signaling in Down syndrome mice.
      ,
      • Chakrabarti L.
      • Galdzicki Z.
      • Haydar T.F.
      Defects in embryonic neurogenesis and initial synapse formation in the forebrain of the Ts65Dn mouse model of Down syndrome.
      ) and less branched and less spinous dendrites (
      • Benavides-Piccione R.
      • Ballesteros-Yáñez I.
      • de Lagrán M.M.
      • Elston G.
      • Estivill X.
      • Fillat C.
      • Defelipe J.
      • Dierssen M.
      On dendrites in Down syndrome and DS murine models. A spiny way to learn.
      ,
      • Belichenko P.V.
      • Masliah E.
      • Kleschevnikov A.M.
      • Villar A.J.
      • Epstein C.J.
      • Salehi A.
      • Mobley W.C.
      Synaptic structural abnormalities in the Ts65Dn mouse model of Down Syndrome.
      ).
      The role played by different triplicated genes in brain developmental alterations in DS is scarcely elucidated. Recent findings demonstrate that the amyloid precursor protein (APP) plays a key role in normal brain development by influencing neural precursor cell proliferation, cell fate specification, and maturation (
      • Zhou Z.D.
      • Chan C.H.
      • Ma Q.H.
      • Xu X.H.
      • Xiao Z.C.
      • Tan E.K.
      The roles of amyloid precursor protein (APP) in neurogenesis. Implications to pathogenesis and therapy of Alzheimer disease.
      ), which suggests that triplication of this gene may compromise these processes in the DS brain. APP influences cell fate specification and neuronal maturation via two separate domains, the soluble secreted APP (sAPP) and the APP intracellular domain (AICD). sAPP promotes gliogenesis (
      • Zhou Z.D.
      • Chan C.H.
      • Ma Q.H.
      • Xu X.H.
      • Xiao Z.C.
      • Tan E.K.
      The roles of amyloid precursor protein (APP) in neurogenesis. Implications to pathogenesis and therapy of Alzheimer disease.
      ,
      • Baratchi S.
      • Evans J.
      • Tate W.P.
      • Abraham W.C.
      • Connor B.
      Secreted amyloid precursor proteins promote proliferation and glial differentiation of adult hippocampal neural progenitor cells.
      ,
      • Kwak Y.D.
      • Brannen C.L.
      • Qu T.
      • Kim H.M.
      • Dong X.
      • Soba P.
      • Majumdar A.
      • Kaplan A.
      • Beyreuther K.
      • Sugaya K.
      Amyloid precursor protein regulates differentiation of human neural stem cells.
      ), whereas AICD negatively modulates proliferation and maturation of neural precursors (
      • Zhou Z.D.
      • Chan C.H.
      • Ma Q.H.
      • Xu X.H.
      • Xiao Z.C.
      • Tan E.K.
      The roles of amyloid precursor protein (APP) in neurogenesis. Implications to pathogenesis and therapy of Alzheimer disease.
      ). APP is cleaved by three types of proteases, which are designated α-, β-, and γ-secretases and which may result in functionally distinct outcomes. The non-amyloidogenic APP processing pathway involves proteolytic cleavages exerted by α- and γ-secretases resulting in the generation of N-terminal sAPPα and C-terminal fragments including P3, CTF83, and the intracellular domain (AICD). The alternative amyloidogenic APP processing pathway involves proteolytic cleavages exerted by β- and γ-secretases resulting in the generation of sAPPβ and C-terminal fragments including Aβ, CTF99, and AICD.
      AICD has been shown to be involved in the transcriptional regulation of various genes (
      • Cao X.
      • Südhof T.C.
      A transcriptionally active complex of APP with Fe65 and histone acetyltransferase Tip60.
      ,
      • Jhoo J.H.
      • Kim H.C.
      • Nabeshima T.
      • Yamada K.
      • Shin E.J.
      • Jhoo W.K.
      • Kim W.
      • Kang K.S.
      • Jo S.A.
      • Woo J.I.
      β-Amyloid (1–42)-induced learning and memory deficits in mice. Involvement of oxidative burdens in the hippocampus and cerebral cortex.
      ), including patched1 (Ptch1) (
      • Müller T.
      • Meyer H.E.
      • Egensperger R.
      • Marcus K.
      The amyloid precursor protein intracellular domain (AICD) as modulator of gene expression, apoptosis, and cytoskeletal dynamics relevance for Alzheimer's disease.
      ). Recently, we demonstrated that neuronal precursors from the Ts65Dn mouse exhibit derangement of the Sonic Hedgehog (Shh) pathway due to an overexpression of Ptch1, its inhibitory regulator (
      • Trazzi S.
      • Mitrugno V.M.
      • Valli E.
      • Fuchs C.
      • Rizzi S.
      • Guidi S.
      • Perini G.
      • Bartesaghi R.
      • Ciani E.
      APP-dependent up-regulation of Ptch1 underlies proliferation impairment of neural precursors in Down syndrome.
      ). We found that Ptch1 overexpression was correlated to increased levels of AICD (
      • Trazzi S.
      • Mitrugno V.M.
      • Valli E.
      • Fuchs C.
      • Rizzi S.
      • Guidi S.
      • Perini G.
      • Bartesaghi R.
      • Ciani E.
      APP-dependent up-regulation of Ptch1 underlies proliferation impairment of neural precursors in Down syndrome.
      ), indicating that the APP/AICD system may underlie derangement of Shh signaling, and consequently, the proliferation defects that characterize the DS brain.
      Shh signaling appears to regulate not only neural progenitor cell division but also cell fate specification and neuronal maturation (
      • Sánchez-Camacho C.
      • Bovolenta P.
      Emerging mechanisms in morphogen-mediated axon guidance.
      ), suggesting that the APP/AICD-dependent derangement of the Shh pathway in the DS brain may underlie, in addition to proliferation impairment, defective cell fate specification and neuronal maturation. Moreover, increased levels of the sAPP fragment may also contribute to derangement of these processes (
      • Zhou Z.D.
      • Chan C.H.
      • Ma Q.H.
      • Xu X.H.
      • Xiao Z.C.
      • Tan E.K.
      The roles of amyloid precursor protein (APP) in neurogenesis. Implications to pathogenesis and therapy of Alzheimer disease.
      ) in the DS brain. The mechanisms underlying the several facets of brain development alterations in DS are largely unknown. Therefore, in the current study we exploited an in vitro model of neuronal precursor cells from the Ts65Dn mouse in order to dissect the APP-dependent molecular mechanisms underlying defective cell fate specification and neurite development.

      EXPERIMENTAL PROCEDURES

       Ts65Dn Mice Colony

      Female Ts65Dn mice carrying a segmental trisomy of chromosome 16 (
      • Reeves R.H.
      • Irving N.G.
      • Moran T.H.
      • Wohn A.
      • Kitt C.
      • Sisodia S.S.
      • Schmidt C.
      • Bronson R.T.
      • Davisson M.T.
      A mouse model for Down syndrome exhibits learning and behaviour deficits.
      ,
      • Davisson M.T.
      • Schmidt C.
      • Reeves R.H.
      • Irving N.G.
      • Akeson E.C.
      • Harris B.S.
      • Bronson R.T.
      Segmental trisomy as a mouse model for Down syndrome.
      ) were obtained from The Jackson Laboratory (Bar Harbor, ME) and maintained on the original genetic background by mating them to C57BL/6JEi x C3SnHeSnJ (B6EiC3) F1 males. Animals were karyotyped using real-time quantitative PCR (qPCR) as previously described (
      • Liu D.P.
      • Schmidt C.
      • Billings T.
      • Davisson M.T.
      Quantitative PCR genotyping assay for the Ts65Dn mouse model of Down syndrome.
      ) and using PCR with primers spanning the translocation breakpoint of extra chromosome 1716 (
      • Reinholdt L.G.
      • Czechanski A.
      • Kamdar S.
      • King B.L.
      • Sun F.
      • Handel M.A.
      Meiotic behavior of aneuploid chromatin in mouse models of Down syndrome.
      ). The animals had access to water and food ad libitum and were kept in a room with a 12:12-h dark/light cycle. Experiments were performed in accordance with the Italian and European Community law for the use of experimental animals and were approved by Bologna University Bioethical Committee. In this study all efforts were made to minimize animal suffering and to keep the number of animals used to a minimum.

       NPC Cultures

      Cells were isolated from the subventricular zone of newborn (postnatal day 2), euploid (n = 15), and Ts65Dn (n = 15) mice, and neurosphere cultures were obtained as previously reported (
      • Trazzi S.
      • Mitrugno V.M.
      • Valli E.
      • Fuchs C.
      • Rizzi S.
      • Guidi S.
      • Perini G.
      • Bartesaghi R.
      • Ciani E.
      APP-dependent up-regulation of Ptch1 underlies proliferation impairment of neural precursors in Down syndrome.
      ). Cells were cultured in suspension in DMEM/F-12 (1:1) containing B27 supplements (2%), FGF-2 (20 ng/ml), EGF (20 ng/ml), heparin (5 μg/ml), and antibiotics (penicillin, 100 units/ml; streptomycin, 100 μg/ml). Primary neurospheres (P1) were dissociated at day 7 using Accutase (PAA, Pasching, Austria) to derive secondary neurospheres (P2). Cell cultures were kept in a 5% CO2 humidified atmosphere at 37 °C.

       AICD Cloning and Lentiviral Production

      cDNA encoding human AICD was generated by PCR using pGFP C1 vector (BD Biosciences) containing GFP-AICD cDNA (
      • Raychaudhuri M.
      • Mukhopadhyay D.
      AICD Overexpression in Neuro 2A cells regulates expression of PTCH1 and TRPC5.
      ) as a template. The forward and reverse PCR primers were as follows: AICD, forward, 5′-CGGGATCCATGAAGAAGAAACAGTACACATCCATTC-3′, and reverse, 5′-CGGAATTCTAGTTCTGCATCTGCTCAAAGAA-3′. PCR products were ligated into the BamHI and EcoRI sites of FUGW (Addgene). Replication-incompetent lentivirus was produced from HEK293FT cells using Lipofectamine-mediated cotransfection (Invitrogen). Briefly, HEK293FT cells cultured in DMEM (high glucose) supplemented with 10% fetal bovine serum (FBS), 0.1 mm MEM non-essential amino acids, 1 mm sodium pyruvate (all from Invitrogen) were cotransfected with lentiviral packaging plasmid, pCMVdelta8.9, pseudotyping plasmid pVSVG, and lentiviral expression plasmid. Viral supernatant was collected 48 h after transfection, filtered through a 0.45-μm low protein binding PVDF filter (Millipore), and centrifuged at 20,000 rpm (rotor type 50.2 TI) for 3 h.

       In Vitro Differentiation and Treatments

      Neurospheres were dissociated into a single cell suspension and plated onto poly-l-ornithine-coated 24-well chamber slides at a density of 3 × 104 cells per well. Cells were cultured for 2 days in a DMEM/F-12 medium containing EGF (20 ng/ml), FGF (20 ng/ml), and 2% FBS and then transferred to a differentiation medium (EGF- and FGF-free plus 1% FBS) for 6 or 12 days. Every 2 days half of the medium was replaced with fresh differentiation medium. Treatments during in vitro NPC differentiation were performed as follows.

       Viral Particles Transduction

      NPCs were infected at day 1 post-plating with mouse APP shRNA and non-targeting shRNA control lentiviral particles (Santa Cruz Biotechnology), APP adenovirus particles (Vector Biolabs), and AICD lentiviral particles at different multiplicities of infection (m.o.i.). Twenty-four hours later the medium was replaced with a differentiation medium. We used the m.o.i. that gave an efficiency of transduction of around 50–60% at 24 h after infection. Efficiency of transduction was evaluated by infecting cells with either GFP adenovirus or GFP lentivirus particles and counting GFP-positive cells. To test whether the new differentiated neurons and astrocytes were equally infected, we evaluated the percentage of GFP positive cells labeled with either β-tubulin III or GFAP 6 days after infection. We found a similar percentage of new neurons and astrocytes expressing the GFP marker, indicating that there was not a lineage-related selectivity of infection.

       Silencing of Ptch1 Expression

      A phosphorothioate Ptch1 antisense oligonucleotide (
      • Trazzi S.
      • Mitrugno V.M.
      • Valli E.
      • Fuchs C.
      • Rizzi S.
      • Guidi S.
      • Perini G.
      • Bartesaghi R.
      • Ciani E.
      APP-dependent up-regulation of Ptch1 underlies proliferation impairment of neural precursors in Down syndrome.
      ) and a scrambled oligonucleotide, as a control, were added daily for 3 days after cell plating at the final concentration of 10 μm.

       Drugs

      The following drugs were administrated on alternate days: 1 μg/ml anti-Alzheimer precursor protein antibody clone 22C11 (catalog, MAB348, Millipore); 250 nm benzo[b]thiophene-2-carboxamide,3-chloro-N-[4-(methylamino)cyclohexyl]-N-{[3-(4 pyridinyl)phenyl]methyl}-(9CI) (SAG; Enzo life Science), 10 μg/ml cyclopamine hydrate (Sigma), 10 μm N-[N-(3,5-difluorophenacetyl)-l-alanyl]-S-phenylglycine t-butyl ester (Sigma).

       Immunocytochemistry and Analysis of Neurite Length

      For immunofluorescent staining, differentiated NPC cultures were paraformaldehyde-fixed and stained with antibodies against glial fibrillary acidic protein (1:400; GFAP mouse monoclonal, Sigma) and β-tubulin III (1:100; rabbit polyclonal, Sigma) or anti-oligodendrocytes (1:500; RIP mouse monoclonal, catalog MAB1580, Millipore) as primary antibodies and with mouse FITC-conjugated (1:200; Sigma), mouse Cy3-conjugated (1:200; The Jackson Laboratory), and rabbit Cy3-conjugated (1:200; The Jackson Laboratory) as secondary antibodies. Samples were counterstained with Hoechst 33258. Ten random fields from each coverslip were photographed and counted. The number of positive cells for each marker was referred to the total number of Hoechst-stained nuclei.
      Evaluation of neurite length was performed by using the image analysis system Image Pro Plus (Media Cybernetics, Silver Spring, MD). The average neurite length per cell was calculated by dividing the total neurite length by the number of cells counted in the areas.

       Western Blotting

      Total proteins from differentiated NCP cultures were obtained as previously described (
      • Contestabile A.
      • Fila T.
      • Bartesaghi R.
      • Ciani E.
      Cell cycle elongation impairs proliferation of cerebellar granule cell precursors in the Ts65Dn mouse, an animal model for Down syndrome.
      ). For measurement of sAPP, the medium was collected after 6 days of differentiation. The collected medium was centrifuged at 4000 × g for 10 min to remove the cellular debris, lyophilized, and resuspended in water plus PMSF (10 ml medium in 250 μl of water). Protein concentration was estimated using the Lowry method (
      • Lowry O.H.
      • Rosebrough N.J.
      • Farr A.L.
      • Randall R.J.
      Protein measurement with the Folin phenol reagent.
      ). An equal amount of proteins (50 μg from total protein extract and 300 μg from the medium) were subjected to electrophoresis on a 4–15% Mini-PROTEAN® TGX™ Gel (Bio-Rad) and transferred to a Hybond ECL nitrocellulose membrane (Amersham Biosciences). The following primary antibodies were used: anti-Ptch1 rabbit polyclonal (1:500; Abcam), anti-Alzheimer precursor protein A4 clone 22C11 mouse monoclonal (catalog, MAB348 1:500; Millipore), anti p-STAT3 rabbit polyclonal (1:1000; Cell Signaling), anti-STAT3 rabbit polyclonal (1:1000; Cell Signaling), and anti-GAPDH rabbit polyclonal (1:5000; Sigma). Serial dilutions of total NPC protein extracts (10–25-50–100 μg) were used to determine the linear detection range of the antibodies. Densitometric analysis of digitized images was performed with Scion Image software (Scion Corporation, Frederick, MD), and intensity for each band was normalized to the intensity of the corresponding GAPDH band.

       Quantitative Real Time PCR and Standard Reverse Transcription-PCR

      Total RNA was isolated from differentiated NPC cultures and the hippocampus of postnatal day 2 Ts65Dn and euploid mice of either sex from the same litter using the Illustra RNAspin Mini Isolation kit (GE Healthcare) according to the manufacturer's instructions. cDNA synthesis was achieved with 5.0 μg of total RNA using M-MLV Reverse Transcriptase (Promega) and oligo(dT)16 primers according to the manufacturer's instructions. We used the primers that gave an efficiency that was close to 100%. Real-time PCR was performed using a GoTaq® qPCR Master Mix kit (Promega) according to the manufacturer's instructions in an iQ5 real time PCR detection system (Bio-Rad). The primer sequences used are as follows: peptidylprolyl isomerase A (PPIA) (NM_008084, forward 5′-CACTGTCGCTTTTCGCCGCTTG-3′ and reverse 5′-TTTCTGCTGTCTTTGGAACTTTGTCTGC-3′; GLI-Kruppel family member GLI1 (NM_010296), forward 5′-CCAGAGTCCAGCGGTTCAAGAG-3′ and reverse 5′-GTGGCGAATAGACAGAGGTAGGG-3′; GLI-Kruppel family member GLI2 (NM_001081125), forward 5′-GTTCCAAGGCCTACTCTCGCCTG-3′ and reverse 5′-CTTGAGCAGTGGAGCACGGACAT-3′; achaete-scute complex homolog 1 Mash1 (NM_008553.4), forward 5′-CTTCAGCGGCTTCGGCTACAG-3′ and reverse 5′-GCGTCTCCACCTTGCTCATCTTC-3′; Hairy and Enhancer of split 1 Hes1 (NM_008235.2), forward 5′-GCTACCCCAGCCAGTGTCAAC-3′ and reverse 5′-TTCTTGCCCTTCGCCTCTTCTC-3′; glial fibrillary acidic protein GFAP (NM_001131020.1), forward, 5′-AAGGTTGAATCGCTGGAGGAGGAG-3′ and reverse, 5′-CCGCTGTGAGGTCTGGCTTGG-3′; signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 Stat3 variant 1, 2, and 3 (NM_213659.2, NM_213660.2, NM_011486.4), forward 5′-GCGGAGAAGCATTGTGAGTGAG-3′ and reverse 5′-CCAGACGGTCCAGGCAGATG-3′; interleukin 6 signal transducer glycoprotein 130 (gp130; NM_010560.3), forward 5′-GTGGGAAGGGCTACTGGAGTG-3′ and reverse 5′-TTGGTGGTCTGGATGGTCTGTC-3′; Janus kinase 1 (Jak1; NM_146145.2), forward 5′-CAGTCTGTATGGCGACATTCTCC-3′ and reverse 5′-TCCGTCTTGCTCCGTCTTGG-3′. APP and Ptch1 were previously described (
      • Trazzi S.
      • Mitrugno V.M.
      • Valli E.
      • Fuchs C.
      • Rizzi S.
      • Guidi S.
      • Perini G.
      • Bartesaghi R.
      • Ciani E.
      APP-dependent up-regulation of Ptch1 underlies proliferation impairment of neural precursors in Down syndrome.
      ). Standard curve experiments were performed to determine the percent amplification efficiency of each primer pair. Relative quantization was performed using the comparative CT method in which arithmetic formulas are used to obtain the same result as the one yielded by the relative standard curve method. The comparative CT method was used because the target gene and the reference control gene (GADPH) had similar amplification efficiency.

       sAPPα ELISA Assay

      Measurement of α-secretase-cleaved sAPPα in the conditioned medium was undertaken using a sensitive and mouse/rat sAPPα kit (Demeditec Diagnostics). The assay was performed according to the manufacturer's protocol. Briefly, 30 μl of conditioned medium samples were loaded in capture antibody (anti rodent APP; clone 597)-coated wells of the ELISA plate and incubated overnight at 4 °C. After several washes the wells were incubated with detection antibody (HRP-conjugated anti-rodent APP; clone 18) for 30 min at 4 °C. After additional washes, chromogen solution was added to each well and kept at room temperature for 30 min. The reaction was stopped by adding 1 n H2SO4, and colorimetric signals were recorded (450 nm) using a Model 550 microplate reader (Bio-Rad). A standard curve with known amounts of recombinant rodent sAPPα was also generated. sAPPα values were normalized by the total protein content of the conditioned medium samples and plotted as pg/mg of protein present in conditioned medium samples.

       Statistical Analysis

      Results are presented as the means ± S.E. Statistical significance was assessed by two-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) followed by Bonferroni's post hoc test or by the two-tailed Student's t test. A probability level of p < 0.05 was considered to be statistically significant.

      RESULTS

       Neuronal Precursor Cell Cultures from the Ts65Dn Mouse Exhibit Altered Cell Fate Specification and Reduced Neurite Length, Similar to the in Vivo Condition

      We previously reported that NPCs from the subventricular zone of Ts65Dn mice exhibited a defect in cell fate specification at the third passage (P3) in culture similar to that observed in vivo (
      • Trazzi S.
      • Mitrugno V.M.
      • Valli E.
      • Fuchs C.
      • Rizzi S.
      • Guidi S.
      • Perini G.
      • Bartesaghi R.
      • Ciani E.
      APP-dependent up-regulation of Ptch1 underlies proliferation impairment of neural precursors in Down syndrome.
      ). The number of neurons generated from trisomic NPCs was notably smaller compared with that from controls, and the number of astrocytes was larger (
      • Trazzi S.
      • Mitrugno V.M.
      • Valli E.
      • Fuchs C.
      • Rizzi S.
      • Guidi S.
      • Perini G.
      • Bartesaghi R.
      • Ciani E.
      APP-dependent up-regulation of Ptch1 underlies proliferation impairment of neural precursors in Down syndrome.
      ). To determine whether NPCs from Ts65Dn mice exhibit changes in fate acquisition related to the passage in culture, we compared the number of neurons (β-tubulin III-positive cells), astrocytes (GFAP-positive cells), and oligodendrocytes (RIP-positive cells) produced by Ts65Dn and euploid NPCs at the first two passages (P1, P2) after 6 days of differentiation. Consistent with previous evidence (
      • Kulbatski I.
      • Tator C.H.
      Region-specific differentiation potential of adult rat spinal cord neural stem/precursors and their plasticity in response to in vitro manipulation.
      ), we observed a passage-dependent reduction in the absolute number of differentiated cells (number of β-tubulin III plus GFAP-positive cells: P1 > P2) (Fig. 1A). However, the number of neurons generated from trisomic NPCs was smaller compared with that generated from controls (−50%; p = 7.5 × 10−6, two-tailed t test), and the number of astrocytes was larger (+55%; p = 4.3 × 10−6, two-tailed t test) at both P1 and P2 (Fig. 1A). These results suggest that trisomic NPCs have an intrinsic defect in cell fate specification that is independent from the passage in culture. At both passages, the total number of undifferentiated cells (cells that did not express markers of either cell lineage) was larger (+20%; p = 2.9 × 10−3, two-tailed t test) in Ts65Dn than in control NPCs (Neither; Fig. 1A), suggesting that the trisomic condition partially inhibits differentiation of NPCs. To verify whether the reduced number of differentiated cells generated by trisomic NPCs was due to a delay in the differentiation process, we evaluated the cellular fate after a prolonged time (12 days) of differentiation. We found that the relative number of neurons and astrocytes over total cell number after 12 days was similar to that observed after 6 days in both Ts65Dn and control NPC cultures (Fig. 1A), indicating that Ts65Dn NPCs had more undifferentiated cells even after 12 days in culture. This indicates that the reduced neuronal cell fate specification in trisomic NPCs was not due to a differentiation delay. No differences were found in the percentage of apoptotic cells between Ts65Dn and control cultures (data not shown), suggesting that the reduced neuronogenesis of trisomic NPCs was not attributable to an increased death of new generated neurons. At both P1 and P2 very few cells (0.5% at P1, p = 4.6 × 10−14; 1.2% at P2, p = 6.03 × 10−7, two-tailed t test) expressed RIP in control NPC cultures (Fig. 1B). In agreement with recent evidence in human trisomic NPCs (
      • Lu J.
      • Lian G.
      • Zhou H.
      • Esposito G.
      • Steardo L.
      • Delli-Bovi L.C.
      • Hecht J.L.
      • Lu Q.R.
      • Sheen V.
      OLIG2 overexpression impairs proliferation of human Down syndrome neural progenitors.
      ), we found that trisomic NPCs from Ts65Dn mice generated more oligodendrocytes (+30%; p = 0.0037, two-tailed t test) compared with control NPCs (Fig. 1B).
      Figure thumbnail gr1
      FIGURE 1Altered cell fate specification and reduced neurite length of NPCs from the Ts65Dn mouse. A, shown are the percentages of β-tubulin III-positive cells, GFAP-positive cells, and cells with an undetermined phenotype (Neither) after 6 days of differentiation (6d) or after 12 days of differentiation (12d). These cells derived from primary neurospheres (P1) or from secondary neurospheres (P2) of euploid (EU, n = 12) and Ts65Dn (TS, n = 10) mice. B, shown are percentages of RIP-positive cells after 6 days of differentiation in cultures of NPCs derived from primary neurospheres (P1) and from secondary neurospheres (P2) of euploid (n = 7) and Ts65Dn (n = 6) mice. C, shown are representative images of β-tubulin III positive neurons (red) after 6 days of differentiation (6d) and after 12 days of differentiation (12d) derived from primary (P1) neurospheres of euploid (n = 5) and Ts65Dn (n = 5) mice. D, shown is quantification of neurite length of differentiated neurons in NPC cultures from euploid (n = 12) and Ts65Dn (n = 10) mice. Values in A, B, and D are the means ± S.E. *, p < 0.05; **, p < 0.01; ***, p < 0.001 (two tailed t test).
      An assessment of neurite outgrowth revealed that neurons generated from trisomic NPCs were less differentiated compared with euploid neurons. β-Tubulin III-positive cells showed a 55% (p = 1.8 × 10−10, two-tailed t test) reduction in average neurite length in Ts65Dn versus control neurons (Fig. 1, C and D). As expected, after 12 days of differentiation, neurite length increased in both trisomic and control neurons. Importantly, trisomic neurons retained the same percentage of reduction in neurite length compared with controls (Fig. 1, C and D), indicating that the reduced differentiation of trisomic neurons was not due to a differentiation delay.
      These results indicate that cultures of differentiated NPCs are a suitable model for studying the mechanisms underlying neurogenesis impairment in DS because they exhibit impaired acquisition of a neuronal phenotype and neuronal maturation, similar to the in vivo condition (
      • Contestabile A.
      • Fila T.
      • Ceccarelli C.
      • Bonasoni P.
      • Bonapace L.
      • Santini D.
      • Bartesaghi R.
      • Ciani E.
      Cell cycle alteration and decreased cell proliferation in the hippocampal dentate gyrus and in the neocortical germinal matrix of fetuses with Down syndrome and in Ts65Dn mice.
      ,
      • Chakrabarti L.
      • Galdzicki Z.
      • Haydar T.F.
      Defects in embryonic neurogenesis and initial synapse formation in the forebrain of the Ts65Dn mouse model of Down syndrome.
      ,
      • Benavides-Piccione R.
      • Ballesteros-Yáñez I.
      • de Lagrán M.M.
      • Elston G.
      • Estivill X.
      • Fillat C.
      • Defelipe J.
      • Dierssen M.
      On dendrites in Down syndrome and DS murine models. A spiny way to learn.
      ,
      • Belichenko P.V.
      • Masliah E.
      • Kleschevnikov A.M.
      • Villar A.J.
      • Epstein C.J.
      • Salehi A.
      • Mobley W.C.
      Synaptic structural abnormalities in the Ts65Dn mouse model of Down Syndrome.
      ,
      • Contestabile A.
      • Fila T.
      • Bartesaghi R.
      • Ciani E.
      Cell cycle elongation impairs proliferation of cerebellar granule cell precursors in the Ts65Dn mouse, an animal model for Down syndrome.
      ,
      • Bianchi P.
      • Ciani E.
      • Contestabile A.
      • Guidi S.
      • Bartesaghi R.
      Lithium restores neurogenesis in the subventricular zone of the Ts65Dn mouse, a model for Down syndrome.
      ). In view of the high number of differentiated cells at P1, we used P1 cultures for the further steps of our study.

       APP/AICD-dependent Ptch1 Overexpression in Differentiated Neuronal Precursor Cell Cultures from the Ts65Dn Mouse

      We have recently demonstrated that neuronal precursors from the Ts65Dn mouse exhibited Shh pathway derangement due to overexpression of Ptch1 (
      • Trazzi S.
      • Mitrugno V.M.
      • Valli E.
      • Fuchs C.
      • Rizzi S.
      • Guidi S.
      • Perini G.
      • Bartesaghi R.
      • Ciani E.
      APP-dependent up-regulation of Ptch1 underlies proliferation impairment of neural precursors in Down syndrome.
      ). Ptch1 overexpression was due to increased levels of AICD, a transcription-promoting fragment of the trisomic gene APP. We first sought to establish whether these defects are retained in differentiated trisomic NPC cultures. We found that trisomic cultures exhibited overexpression of APP and Ptch1, both at RNA and protein levels (Fig. 2, A and B). To verify whether Ptch1 overexpression in trisomic cultures was APP-dependent, we reduced APP expression by using lentiviral-mediated RNA interference. At increasing m.o.i. (0.5, 2.5, and 5), APP expression in trisomic NPCs was progressively reduced (Fig. 2C). In parallel with the reduction in APP expression, there was a reduction in Ptch1 protein level (Fig. 2C). In contrast, in euploid NPCs a reduction in APP expression through RNA interference (m.o.i. 5.0) was not accompanied by a concomitant reduction in Ptch1 expression (Fig. 2D). This is in line with previous evidence showing that in euploid neurospheres AICD does not bind to the Ptch1 promoter (Trazzi et al. (
      • Trazzi S.
      • Mitrugno V.M.
      • Valli E.
      • Fuchs C.
      • Rizzi S.
      • Guidi S.
      • Perini G.
      • Bartesaghi R.
      • Ciani E.
      APP-dependent up-regulation of Ptch1 underlies proliferation impairment of neural precursors in Down syndrome.
      )), suggesting that AICD can modulate Ptch1 expression only when overexpressed. We next examined the effect of increased levels of APP on Ptch1 expression in euploid NPCs. After infection with recombinant adenoviruses containing the APP sequence, the increase in APP expression was paralleled by a concomitant increase in Ptch1 expression (Fig. 2D), confirming that high levels of APP cause an increase in Ptch1 expression.
      Figure thumbnail gr2
      FIGURE 2Ptch1 overexpression is mediated by the APP/AICD system in differentiated NPCs from Ts65Dn mice. A, shown is relative quantification by RT-qPCR of APP and Ptch1 expression in 6-day-differentiated NPCs derived from Ts65Dn (TS, n = 6) and euploid (EU, n = 6) mice, given as a percentage of the euploid condition. Values represent the mean ± S.E. *, p < 0.05; ***, p < 0.001 (two-tailed t test). B, shown is an example of Western blot analysis of APP and Ptch1 expression in 6-day-differentiated NPCs from euploid and Ts65Dn mice. C, shown is the effect of APP silencing on APP and Ptch1 expression in differentiating NPCs from Ts65Dn mice. NPCs from Ts65Dn mice (n = 5) were infected with APP shRNA lentiviral particles at increasing m.o.i. (0.5, 2.5, and 5.0). NPCs from euploid mice (n = 6) were used as a control. APP and Ptch1 protein levels were normalized by GAPDH content and are expressed as percentages of the euploid untreated condition (100%). Values are the means ± S.E. **, p < 0.01; ***, p < 0.001 as compared with the euploid condition; #, p <0.05; ##, p < 0.01 as compared with untreated trisomic samples (Bonferroni test after ANOVA). D, shown is the effect of APP or AICD overexpression and APP or AICD down-regulation on APP and Ptch1 expression in differentiating NPCs from euploid and Ts65Dn mice. NPCs from euploid mice (n = 5) were infected with APP shRNA lentiviral particles (m.o.i. 5) or APP adenovirus particles (m.o.i. 25) or AICD lentiviral particles. To inhibit AICD formation, NPCs from euploid (n = 4) and Ts65Dn (n = 6) mice were treated with the γ-secretase inhibitor N-[N-(3,5-difluorophenacetyl)-l-alanyl]-S-phenylglycine t-butyl ester (DAPT; 10 μm). APP and Ptch1 protein levels were normalized by GAPDH content and are expressed as percentages of the euploid-untreated condition (100%). Values are the means ± S.E. *, p < 0.05; **, p < 0.01; ***, p < 0.001 as compared with the euploid condition; ##, p < 0.01 as compared with untreated trisomic samples (Bonferroni test after ANOVA).
      To establish whether Ptch1 overexpression was mediated by AICD in differentiated trisomic cultures, we reduced AICD formation with N-[N-(3,5-difluorophenacetyl)-l-alanyl]-S-phenylglycine t-butyl ester, an inhibitor of γ-secretases. We found that this treatment down-regulated Ptch1 expression in trisomic NPCs (Fig. 2D), whereas, as expected (see above), it had no effect on Ptch1 expression in euploid NPCs (Fig. 2D). AICD overexpression increased Ptch1 expression in euploid NPCs (Fig. 2D), confirming the relationship between AICD levels and Ptch1 expression in trisomic NPCs.

       Normalization of APP Expression in Neuronal Precursor Cell Cultures from the Ts65Dn Mouse Restores Cell Fate Specification and Neurite Length

      The finding that APP (and Ptch1) overexpression is retained in differentiated trisomic cells supports the hypothesis that the defective differentiation of trisomic NPCs may be APP-dependent. We found that in trisomic NPC cultures, APP interference treatments significantly increased the number of neurons and reduced the number of astrocytes compared with untreated trisomic cultures (Fig. 3, A and C). At m.o.i. 2.5, the multiplicity of infection at which APP and Ptch1 expression in trisomic NPCs became similar to that of the euploid NPCs (Fig. 2C), cell fate specification of trisomic NPCs completely recovered (Fig. 3, A and C). APP overexpression in euploid cultures was accompanied by a reduction in the number of neurons and an increase in the number of astrocytes (Fig. 3, A and C). Taken together these data strongly suggest that APP overexpression underlies the aberrant cell fate specification that characterizes trisomic NPCs.
      Figure thumbnail gr3
      FIGURE 3Silencing of APP restores cell fate specification and neuronal morphology of NPCs from Ts65Dn mice. Trisomic NPCs were infected with APP shRNA lentiviral particles at an m.o.i. of 0.5 and 2.5. Euploid NPCs were infected with APP adenovirus particles (m.o.i. 25) or AICD lentiviral particles. A, representative double-fluorescence images of 6 day-differentiated NPCs immunopositive for β-tubulin III (red) and GFAP (green) are shown. EU, euploid; TS, Ts65Dn. B, magnification of β-tubulin III positive-cells is shown. Cell nuclei were stained using Hoechst dye (blue). C, percentages of β-tubulin III-positive cells, GFAP-positive cells, and cells with undetermined phenotype (Neither) in 6-day-differentiated NPC cultures from euploid (n = 4) and Ts65Dn (n = 6) mice. Data are given as the percentage of the euploid untreated condition (dashed line). Values represent the mean ± S.E. *, p < 0.05; **, p < 0.01; ***, p < 0.001 as compared with the euploid condition (Bonferroni test after ANOVA). D, shown is quantification of neurite outgrowth of β-tubulin III-positive cells from euploid (n = 4) and Ts65Dn (n = 6) NPCs. Values represent the mean ± S.E. ***p < 0.001 as compared with the euploid condition; #p < 0.05; ##, p < 0.01 as compared with untreated trisomic samples (Bonferroni test after ANOVA).
      To assess whether the APP-dependent defective differentiation of trisomic NPCs was due to AICD accumulation, we overexpressed AICD in euploid cultures. We found that AICD overexpression significantly decreased the number of neurons compared with untreated euploid cultures (Fig. 3, A and C). In contrast, the number of astrocytes did not undergo an increase (Fig. 3, A and C), suggesting that AICD/Ptch1 signaling in trisomic NPCs is responsible for the reduced neuronogensis but does not underpin increased astrogliogenesis.
      We next determined whether impaired neurite outgrowth in trisomic NPCs was also dependent on overexpression of the APP system. The addition of m.o.i. 0.5 and 2.5 APP shRNA lentiviral particles to trisomic NPC cultures induced a dose-dependent increase in neurite outgrowth (Fig. 3, B and D). Restoration of APP expression in trisomic NPCs (m.o.i. 2.5) brought about a complete recovery of neurite outgrowth (Fig. 3, B and D). Conversely, APP as well as AICD overexpression reduced neurite outgrowth in euploid cultures (Fig. 3, B and D), which is in line with the reduced neurite length found in trisomic NPCs.

       Shh Pathway Activation in Neuronal Precursor Cell Cultures from the Ts65Dn Mouse Restores Neuronogenesis and Neurite Length but Not Astrogliogenesis

      To determine whether derangement of the Shh pathway due to Ptch1 up-regulation underlies impaired cell fate specification in trisomic NPCs, we treated NPCs with SAG, an agonist for Smoothened (Smo) that relieves the inhibitory effect of Ptch1 on Smo (
      • Chen J.K.
      • Taipale J.
      • Young K.E.
      • Maiti T.
      • Beachy P.A.
      Small molecule modulation of Smoothened activity.
      ) (Fig. 4C). Although increased activation of the Shh pathway by SAG had no effect on the percentage of new neurons and astrocytes in euploid NPCs (Fig. 4A), in treated trisomic NPCs the percentage of new neurons was strongly enhanced (Fig. 4A, +98%; p = 0.00054, t test). In contrast, the number of astrocytes did not undergo a concomitant reduction, suggesting that a defective Shh pathway in trisomic NPCs is responsible for the reduced neuronogensis but does not underpin increased astrogliogenesis (Fig. 4A). Exposure of euploid NPCs to cyclopamine, an inhibitor of Smo, reduced the number of new neurons without affecting that of astrocytes (Fig. 4A). In contrast, treatment with cyclopamine did not reduce neuronogenesis in trisomic NPCs (Fig. 4A), which suggests a full inhibition of Smo due to Ptch1 overexpression. To gain further evidence that in trisomic NPCs the Shh pathway is functionally inactive due to Ptch1 up-regulation, we reduced Ptch1 expression by using an antisense oligonucleotide that restores Ptch1 overexpression in trisomic NPCs to euploid levels (
      • Trazzi S.
      • Mitrugno V.M.
      • Valli E.
      • Fuchs C.
      • Rizzi S.
      • Guidi S.
      • Perini G.
      • Bartesaghi R.
      • Ciani E.
      APP-dependent up-regulation of Ptch1 underlies proliferation impairment of neural precursors in Down syndrome.
      ). We found that although antisense treatment restored the number of new neurons in trisomic NPCs, with no effect on the number of astrocytes (Fig. 4A), it had no effect on the percentage of new neurons and astrocytes in euploid NPCs (Fig. 4A). In view of the role of the Shh pathway in neuronal maturation (
      • Hammond R.
      • Blaess S.
      • Abeliovich A.
      Sonic hedgehog is a chemoattractant for midbrain dopaminergic axons.
      ,
      • Sasaki N.
      • Kurisu J.
      • Kengaku M.
      Sonic hedgehog signaling regulates actin cytoskeleton via Tiam1-Rac1 cascade during spine formation.
      ), we sought to determine whether Ptch1 up-regulation also underlies reduced neurite length of trisomic NPCs. We measured neurite length of the new neurons after either activation of the Shh pathway by SAG or inhibition by cyclopamine. Although in euploid NPC cultures treatment with SAG had no effect on neurite length (Fig. 4B), in treated trisomic NPC cultures the neurite length of the new-generated neurons underwent a large increase (Fig. 4B). Conversely, inhibition of the Shh pathway by cyclopamine reduced neurite length in euploid neurons but had no effect on trisomic neurons (Fig. 4B). Although treatment with the antisense for Ptch1 completely restored neurite length in trisomic neurons (Fig. 4B), it had no effect on neurite length in euploid neurons (Fig. 4B).
      Figure thumbnail gr4
      FIGURE 4The Ptch1-mediated Shh pathway inhibition impairs neuronogenesis and reduces neurite length but not astrogliogenesis in NPCs from Ts65Dn mice. A, shown are the percentages of β-tubulin III- and GFAP-positive cells in 6-day-differentiated NPC cultures from euploid (EU; n = 8) and Ts65Dn (TS; n = 8) mice. NPCs were treated with SAG (250 nm), cyclopamine (CYC; 10 μg/ml), or Ptch1 antisense oligonucleotide (AS-Ptch1; 10 μm) throughout the entire differentiation period. Data are given as a percentage of the euploid untreated condition (dashed line). Values represent the mean ± S.E. *, p < 0.05; **, p < 0.01; ***, p < 0.001 (Bonferroni test after ANOVA). B, quantification of neurite outgrowth of β-tubulin III-positive cells from differentiated NPC cultures from euploid (n = 8) and Ts65Dn (n = 8) mice is shown. NPC cultures were treated as specified in A. Values represent the mean ± S.E. ***, p < 0.001 as compared with euploid condition; ##, p < 0.01 as compared with untreated trisomic samples (Bonferroni test after ANOVA). C, the diagram shows the Shh pathway, the inhibition exerted by Ptch1 on Smo, and the negative and positive effect exerted by cyclopamine and SAG, respectively, on Smo.
      The Gli transcription factors are mediators of Shh signaling and are transcriptionally regulated by it. Several studies have demonstrated that all Gli proteins have neurogenic properties (
      • Bai C.B.
      • Stephen D.
      • Joyner A.L.
      All mouse ventral spinal cord patterning by hedgehog is Gli-dependent and involves an activator function of Gli3.
      ,
      • Nguyen V.
      • Chokas A.L.
      • Stecca B.
      • Ruiz i Altaba A.
      Cooperative requirement of the Gli proteins in neurogenesis.
      ,
      • Brewster R.
      • Lee J.
      • Ruiz i Altaba A.
      Gli/Zic factors pattern the neural plate by defining domains of cell differentiation.
      ). We found that Gli1 and Gli2 were down-regulated (−66% and −40%; p = 0.00029 and p = 0.034, t test, respectively) in differentiated trisomic NPC cultures (Fig. 5A), whereas no differences in Gli3 expression were found between euploid and trisomic cultures (data not shown). In trisomic NPC cultures Gli1 and Gli2 expression was increased by SAG treatment (Fig. 5A). In contrast, in control cultures SAG treatment increased Gli1 expression but had no effect on that of Gli2 (Fig. 5A). Of the three family members, Gli2 had the strongest neurogenic properties (
      • Brewster R.
      • Lee J.
      • Ruiz i Altaba A.
      Gli/Zic factors pattern the neural plate by defining domains of cell differentiation.
      ,
      • Voronova A.
      • Fischer A.
      • Ryan T.
      • Al Madhoun A.
      • Skerjanc I.S.
      Ascl1/Mash1 is a novel target of Gli2 during Gli2-induced neurogenesis in P19 EC cells.
      ). It has recently been shown that Gli2 induces neuronogenesis but not gliogenesis in neuronal stem cells by positively regulating the expression of some neurogenic basic helix-loop-helix genes such as Mash1 (
      • Voronova A.
      • Fischer A.
      • Ryan T.
      • Al Madhoun A.
      • Skerjanc I.S.
      Ascl1/Mash1 is a novel target of Gli2 during Gli2-induced neurogenesis in P19 EC cells.
      ). Looking at the expression of Mash1, we found that it was down-regulated (-30%; p = 0.012, t test) in trisomic NPCs and that SAG treatment restored its expression (Fig. 5B). Consistent with the absence of effects on Gli2 expression, the expression of Mash1 was unaffected by SAG treatment in control NPC cultures (Fig. 5B). Looking at the expression of the astrocytic gene GFAP, we found that, consistent with immunohistochemistry data (Fig. 1A), GFAP expression was up-regulated in trisomic NPC cultures and that SAG treatment did not influence its expression (Fig. 5B).
      Figure thumbnail gr5
      FIGURE 5The expression of the Shh pathway targets Gli1, Gli2, and Mash1 is down-regulated in NPCs from TS65Dn mice. A and B, shown is relative quantification by RT-qPCR of Gli1 and Gli2 expression (A) or Mash1 and GFAP expression (B) in 6 day-differentiated NPCs from euploid (n = 9) and Ts65Dn (n = 7) mice. NPCs were treated with SAG (250 nm) throughout the entire differentiation period. Data are given as a percentage of the euploid condition. Values represent the mean ± S.E. *, p < 0.05; ***, p < 0.001 as compared with the euploid condition; #, p < 0.05; ###, p < 0.001 as compared with the untreated trisomic condition (Bonferroni test after ANOVA).
      Taken together, these results suggest that in trisomic NPCs, Shh pathway inhibition due to Ptch1 up-regulation impairs neuronogenesis and neurite length but not astrogliogenesis. This implies that APP overexpression affects astrogliogenesis through a different pathway(s).

       Increased Levels of sAPP in Neuronal Precursor Cell Cultures from the Ts65Dn Mouse Increase Astrogliogenesis

      It has been shown that treatment of NPCs with either sAPPα or sAPPβ increases the number of cells expressing the astrocytic marker GFAP (
      • Baratchi S.
      • Evans J.
      • Tate W.P.
      • Abraham W.C.
      • Connor B.
      Secreted amyloid precursor proteins promote proliferation and glial differentiation of adult hippocampal neural progenitor cells.
      ,
      • Kwak Y.D.
      • Brannen C.L.
      • Qu T.
      • Kim H.M.
      • Dong X.
      • Soba P.
      • Majumdar A.
      • Kaplan A.
      • Beyreuther K.
      • Sugaya K.
      Amyloid precursor protein regulates differentiation of human neural stem cells.
      ). This suggests that increased levels of sAPP, due to the triplication of APP, may be responsible for the increased astrogliogenesis that characterizes the trisomic condition. We first examined the levels of sAPP in the culture medium of euploid and trisomic differentiated cultures. We found that sAPP levels were notably higher in the medium of trisomic cultures than in that of euploid cultures (Fig. 6, A and B). To clear the effects of increased sAPP levels, we treated trisomic NPC cultures with an antibody (22C11) that, by cross-linking APP at the N-terminal domain (i.e. the domain belonging to sAPP), prevents the interaction of sAPP with numerous cell surface receptors (
      • Kwak Y.D.
      • Marutle A.
      • Dantuma E.
      • Merchant S.
      • Bushnev S.
      • Sugaya K.
      Involvement of notch signaling pathway in amyloid precursor protein induced glial differentiation.
      ). Treatment with increasing 22C11 concentrations proportionally reduced the number of GFAP-positive cells in trisomic NPC cultures, and at high doses it normalized the number of GFAP-positive cells to euploid levels (Fig. 6C). No effect was found on the number of neurons (Fig. 6C). To confirm that the increased astrogliogenesis in trisomic NPCs was due to increased sAPP levels and not to the APP/AICD/Shh system, we inhibited APP expression using APP shRNA treatment. We concomitantly inhibited the Shh pathway (using cyclopamine) to prevent activation of the Shh pathway due to the reduction of AICD levels. We found that treated trisomic NPC cultures underwent a decrease in the number of astrocytes with no changes in the number of neurons compared with untreated trisomic cultures (Fig. 6C). These findings demonstrate that increased levels of sAPP in trisomic NPCs specifically increase astrogliogenesis without influencing neuronogenesis.
      Figure thumbnail gr6
      FIGURE 6The APP/sAPP system mediates the increased astrogliogenesis of NPCs from Ts65Dn mice. A, a representative example of a Western blot shows the sAPP released in the culture medium of euploid and trisomic differentiated NPCs, trisomic differentiated NPCs treated with the 22C11 antibody against APP N terminus (1 μg/ml), and as a positive control, euploid (EU) NPCs infected with APP adenovirus particles (m.o.i. 25). The culture media containing sAPP were electroblotted and probed with the antibody 22C11 against APP N terminus. TS, Ts65Dn. B, levels of sAPPα were measured in the culture medium of differentiated NPCs from euploid (n = 6) and Ts65Dn (n = 4) mice using the ELISA technique. Euploid NPCs were either untreated or infected with APP adenovirus particles (m.o.i. 25). Quantification of sAPPα was performed as described under “Experimental Procedures.” Values are expressed as the percentages of untreated euploid NPCs. ***, p < 0.001 (Bonferroni test after ANOVA). C, NPC cultures from Ts65Dn mice (n = 6) were untreated or treated with increasing concentrations of anti-Alzheimer precursor protein antibody clone 22C11 at the indicated doses (0.05–1.0 μg/ml) or with APP shRNA lentiviral particles (m.o.i. 2.5) plus cyclopamine (CYC; 10 μg/ml). Histograms show the percentages of β-tubulin III- and GFAP-positive of 6-day-differentiated NPC cultures from Ts65Dn mice (TS) given as a percentage of the euploid-untreated condition (dashed line). Values represent the mean ± S.E. **, p < 0.01; ***, p < 0.001 (Bonferroni test after ANOVA). D, quantification of neurite outgrowth of β-tubulin III (βTubIII)-positive cells in NPC cultures from euploid (n = 6) and Ts65Dn (n = 6) mice and in cultures treated as specified in C from Ts65Dn mice (n = 5). Values represent the mean ± S.E. **, p < 0.01; ***, p < 0.001 (Bonferroni test after ANOVA).
      To determine whether the reduced neurite length of trisomic neurons was due to high sAPP levels, we treated trisomic NPC cultures with either increasing 22C11 concentrations or with APP shRNA plus cyclopamine. A comparison of treated with untreated trisomic NPC cultures showed no effect on neurite length (Fig. 6D), indicating that the APP/sAPP system does not impair neurite development.
      The structural property of the N-terminal domain of sAPPα indicates that secreted soluble APP may have a growth factor-like function by interacting with cell surface receptors (
      • Rossjohn J.
      • Cappai R.
      • Feil S.C.
      • Henry A.
      • McKinstry W.J.
      • Galatis D.
      • Hesse L.
      • Multhaup G.
      • Beyreuther K.
      • Masters C.L.
      • Parker M.W.
      Crystal structure of the N-terminal, growth factor-like domain of Alzheimer amyloid precursor protein.
      ). It has recently been shown that sAPPα overexpression may result in enhancement of the Notch pathway (
      • Fischer D.F.
      • van Dijk R.
      • Sluijs J.A.
      • Nair S.M.
      • Racchi M.
      • Levelt C.N.
      • van Leeuwen F.W.
      • Hol E.M.
      Activation of the Notch pathway in Down syndrome. Cross-talk of Notch and APP.
      ) as well as of the IL-6 cytokine-related pathway (
      • Kwak Y.D.
      • Dantuma E.
      • Merchant S.
      • Bushnev S.
      • Sugaya K.
      Amyloid-β precursor protein induces glial differentiation of neural progenitor cells by activation of the IL-6/gp130 signaling pathway.
      ), which are crucial for the acquisition of a glial phenotype (
      • Morrison S.J.
      • Perez S.E.
      • Qiao Z.
      • Verdi J.M.
      • Hicks C.
      • Weinmaster G.
      • Anderson D.J.
      Transient Notch activation initiates an irreversible switch from neurogenesis to gliogenesis by neural crest stem cells.
      ,
      • Bonni A.
      • Sun Y.
      • Nadal-Vicens M.
      • Bhatt A.
      • Frank D.A.
      • Rozovsky I.
      • Stahl N.
      • Yancopoulos G.D.
      • Greenberg M.E.
      Regulation of gliogenesis in the central nervous system by the JAK-STAT signaling pathway.
      ). To identify the mechanism(s) by which sAPP increases astrogliogenesis in trisomic NPCs, we examined gene expression of various molecules downstream from the Notch and IL-6 cytokine-related pathways. We found no differences between trisomic and euploid NPC cultures in the expression of Hes1 (Fig. 7A), the sAPP-dependent Notch effector involved in glial differentiation (
      • Kwak Y.D.
      • Marutle A.
      • Dantuma E.
      • Merchant S.
      • Bushnev S.
      • Sugaya K.
      Involvement of notch signaling pathway in amyloid precursor protein induced glial differentiation.
      ), suggesting the lack of involvement of the Notch pathway in increased astrogliogenesis in trisomic NPCs.
      Figure thumbnail gr7
      FIGURE 7The APP/sAPP system enhances astrogliogenesis in NPCs from Ts65Dn mice through the IL-6 cytokine-related pathway. A–C, shown is evaluation by RT-qPCR of the expression of HES1, gp130, JAK1, STAT3, and GFAP in NPC cultures from Ts65Dn (n = 6) and euploid (n = 6) mice. Trisomic NPC cultures were treated with anti-Alzheimer precursor protein antibody clone 22C11 (1 μg/ml). D, shown is a Western blot analysis of p-STAT3 expression in cultures from Ts65Dn (TS, n = 4) and euploid (EU, n = 4) mice. Trisomic NPC cultures were treated with the antibody 22C11 (doses, 0.5 and 1.0 μg/ml). Euploid NPCs were infected with APP adenovirus particles (m.o.i. 25). p-STAT3 levels were normalized to total SΤΑΤ3 content. Data in A–D are given as a percentage of the euploid untreated condition. Values represent the mean ± S.E. *, p < 0.05; **, p < 0.01 as compared with the euploid condition; #, p < 0.05; ##, p < 0.01 as compared with the untreated trisomic condition (Bonferroni test after ANOVA).
      Members of the IL-6 family of cytokines activate the signal-transducing receptor protein, gp130, and induce phosphorylation of Janus kinases (JAK) followed by activation of signal transducers and activators of transcription (STAT1 and STAT3). Then phosphorylated STAT3 translocates into the nucleus and stimulates target gene expression by interacting with the STAT3 binding element of target genes, including GFAP (see Fig. 9). JAK1 and gp130 belong to the transcriptional targets of STAT3, and consequently, the IL-6 cytokine-related pathway is efficiently modulated by an auto-regulatory positive loop (
      • Kwak Y.D.
      • Dantuma E.
      • Merchant S.
      • Bushnev S.
      • Sugaya K.
      Amyloid-β precursor protein induces glial differentiation of neural progenitor cells by activation of the IL-6/gp130 signaling pathway.
      ). We found that although STAT3 gene expression levels were similar in trisomic and control NPC cultures (Fig. 7B), gp130 and JAK1 levels were significantly up-regulated in trisomic cultures (Fig. 7C), indicating an increased IL-6 cytokine-related pathway activation in trisomic NPCs. To determine whether the increased activation of the IL-6 cytokine-related pathway in trisomic NPCs was dependent on increased levels of sAPP, we treated trisomic NPC cultures with the 22C11 antibody to inhibit sAPP interaction with target receptors. We found that treatment with 22C11 drastically reduced the expression of gp130 and JAK1 as well as that of GFAP (Fig. 7, B and C). The phosphorylation status of STAT3 is known to be crucial for its function (
      • Zhong Z.
      • Wen Z.
      • Darnell Jr., J.E.
      Stat3. A STAT family member activated by tyrosine phosphorylation in response to epidermal growth factor and interleukin-6.
      ). Although we did not observe a difference in the gene expression level of STAT3, we found that in trisomic NPCs the phosphorylation status of STAT3 was increased in comparison with euploid NPCs. Treatment with the 22C11 antibody dose-dependently suppressed this increase (Fig. 7D). A similar increase in STAT3 phosphorylation was observed in euploid NPCs infected with APP (Fig. 7D). The ensemble of these data suggests that increased sAPP levels hyperactivate the IL-6 cytokine-related pathway, thereby increasing astrogliogenesis.
      Figure thumbnail gr9
      FIGURE 9Alterations of APP-modulated pathways in neuronal precursor cells from Ts65Dn mice. The diagram shows APP triplication-dependent derangement of two key pathways involved in proliferation, cell fate specification, and neurite development. Excess of APP/sAPP in trisomic NPCs over-stimulates the IL-6 pathway, thereby inducing GFAP overexpression and enhancing astrogliogenesis. On the other hand, Ptch1 overexpression, induced by APP-derived AICD, inhibits the Shh pathway and results in down-regulation of the transcription factor Mash1, thereby reducing proliferation, neuronogenesis, and neurite development. sAPP, secreted N-terminal soluble fragment of APP.

       Inhibition of the Shh Pathway and Activation of the IL-6 Cytokine-related Pathway in the Trisomic Brain

      The results obtained here in trisomic cultures suggest that two distinct pathways mediate the reduced neuronogenesis and the increased astrogliogenesis of trisomic NPCs. To confirm the results obtained in vitro, we examined the activity of these pathways in the brain of the Ts65Dn mouse. We had previously obtained evidence that in the subventricular zone and hippocampal dentate gyrus of Ts65Dn mice Ptch1 had a higher expression compared with that in euploid mice (
      • Trazzi S.
      • Mitrugno V.M.
      • Valli E.
      • Fuchs C.
      • Rizzi S.
      • Guidi S.
      • Perini G.
      • Bartesaghi R.
      • Ciani E.
      APP-dependent up-regulation of Ptch1 underlies proliferation impairment of neural precursors in Down syndrome.
      ), suggesting derangement of the Shh pathway in these regions. Here, we analyzed the expression of the Shh-target pro-neuronal gene Mash1 in hippocampal homogenates from neonate (postnatal day 2) Ts65Dn and euploid mice. In Ts65Dn mice we found that, in parallel with the overexpression of the trisomic gene APP, there was a reduced expression of Mash1 (Fig. 8A). We additionally found an increase in the expression of JAK1 and gp130 as well as of GFAP (Fig. 8A) and in the phosphorylation status of STAT3 (Fig. 8B).
      Figure thumbnail gr8
      FIGURE 8Derangement of the Shh and IL-6 cytokine-related pathways in the hippocampus of Ts65Dn mice. A, shown is quantification by RT-qPCR of APP, Mash1, gp130 JAK1, and GFAP expression in the hippocampus of newborn (postnatal day 2) euploid (n = 7) and Ts65Dn (n = 6) mice. B, shown is Western blot analysis of p-STAT3 levels in the hippocampus of P2 euploid (Eu, n = 4) and Ts65Dn (Ts, n = 3) mice. p-STAT3 levels were normalized to total SΤΑΤ3 content. Data in A and B are given as a percentage of the euploid condition. Values represent the mean ± S.E. *, p < 0.05 (two-tailed t test).

      DISCUSSION

      This study shows that the triplicated gene APP is involved in both neuronogenesis and astrogliogenesis alterations in trisomic NPCs. Our results suggest that the AICD negatively regulates neuronogenesis and neurite length by inhibiting the Shh pathway, whereas the sAPP fragments increase astrogliogenesis via activation of the IL-6 cytokine-related pathway. These results provide novel insight into the mechanisms contributing to brain development alterations in DS.

       The APP/AICD-dependent Alteration of the Shh Pathway Impairs Neuronogenesis and Neuronal Maturation of Trisomic NPCs

      We have previously reported that increased levels of AICD derange the Shh pathway through Ptch1 overexpression and, hence, inhibit proliferation in trisomic NPCs (
      • Trazzi S.
      • Mitrugno V.M.
      • Valli E.
      • Fuchs C.
      • Rizzi S.
      • Guidi S.
      • Perini G.
      • Bartesaghi R.
      • Ciani E.
      APP-dependent up-regulation of Ptch1 underlies proliferation impairment of neural precursors in Down syndrome.
      ). We found here that Ptch1 up-regulation is also present in differentiated trisomic NPCs due to AICD overexpression and that the AICD/Ptch1 system negatively influences neuronogenesis and neurite outgrowth by inhibiting the Shh pathway. Importantly, Shh pathway activation, induced either by SAG or by the silencing of Ptch1 expression, restores neuronogenesis and neurite length but not astrogliogenesis. These results indicate that the Shh pathway selectively promotes neural progenitor cell differentiation into neurons. This is in agreement with a recent study showing that Shh activation, through carbamylated erythropoietin (CEPO), specifically enhances neuronogenesis and promotes neurite outgrowth (
      • Wang L.
      • Zhang Z.G.
      • Gregg S.R.
      • Zhang R.L.
      • Jiao Z.
      • LeTourneau Y.
      • Liu X.
      • Feng Y.
      • Gerwien J.
      • Torup L.
      • Leist M.
      • Noguchi C.T.
      • Chen Z.Y.
      • Chopp M.
      The Sonic hedgehog pathway mediates carbamylated erythropoietin-enhanced proliferation and differentiation of adult neural progenitor cells.
      ).
      Shh pathway activation leads to the breakdown of a large protein complex formed by Fused, Sufu, and Glis in the cytoplasm and releases the Gli transcription factors. The released Glis translocate into the nucleus, resulting in transcriptional activation of specific target genes, including the Glis themselves. Gli proteins (Gli1, Gli2, and Gli3) were recently shown to be involved during neurogenesis in vivo, creating a dynamic physical network (
      • Nguyen V.
      • Chokas A.L.
      • Stecca B.
      • Ruiz i Altaba A.
      Cooperative requirement of the Gli proteins in neurogenesis.
      ). Of the three family members, Gli2 had the strongest neurogenic properties (
      • Brewster R.
      • Lee J.
      • Ruiz i Altaba A.
      Gli/Zic factors pattern the neural plate by defining domains of cell differentiation.
      ,
      • Ruiz i Altaba A.
      Combinatorial Gli gene function in floor plate and neuronal inductions by Sonic hedgehog.
      ). In particular, it has been shown that overexpression of Gli2 induces neuronogenesis, but not gliogenesis in P19 EC cells, and increases the expression of the pro-neurogenic gene Mash1 (
      • Voronova A.
      • Fischer A.
      • Ryan T.
      • Al Madhoun A.
      • Skerjanc I.S.
      Ascl1/Mash1 is a novel target of Gli2 during Gli2-induced neurogenesis in P19 EC cells.
      ). We found here that two of the Gli proteins (Gli1 and Gli2) were down-regulated in differentiated trisomic NPCs and that treatment with an agonist of the Shh pathway (SAG) increased Gli1 and Gli2 expression. Evidence from microarray database analysis through the web-based NextBioTM software shows down-regulation of Gli2 in trisomy 21 and the Ts65Dn model, suggesting the involvement of this gene in the aberrant DS phenotype. Consistent with this hypothesis, our data suggest that down-regulation of Gli2 in trisomic NPCs may underlie neuronogenesis impairment. The finding that after Shh pathway activation Gli1 expression increased in control cultures without a concomitant increase in neuronogenesis makes it unlikely that Gli1 is responsible for neuronogenesis reduction in trisomic cells.
      Pro-neuronal basic helix-loop-helix transcription factors, including Mash1, promote neural progenitor cell differentiation into neurons (
      • Ma Q.
      • Sommer L.
      • Cserjesi P.
      • Anderson D.J.
      Mash1 and neurogenin1 expression patterns define complementary domains of neuroepithelium in the developing CNS and are correlated with regions expressing notch ligands.
      ). The present study shows that in trisomic NPCs, impairment of the Shh pathway was associated with down-regulation of Mash1 expression and that activation of the Shh signaling pathway restored Mash1 expression. This evidence suggests that a reduced expression of Glis and, hence, of Mash1 may underlie defective acquisition of a neuronal phenotype and impairment of neurite development in trisomic NPCs. This is in agreement with evidence showing that silencing of endogenous Mash1 suppresses Shh-promoted neuronal differentiation (
      • Wang L.
      • Zhang Z.G.
      • Gregg S.R.
      • Zhang R.L.
      • Jiao Z.
      • LeTourneau Y.
      • Liu X.
      • Feng Y.
      • Gerwien J.
      • Torup L.
      • Leist M.
      • Noguchi C.T.
      • Chen Z.Y.
      • Chopp M.
      The Sonic hedgehog pathway mediates carbamylated erythropoietin-enhanced proliferation and differentiation of adult neural progenitor cells.
      ).

       The APP/sAPP-dependent Alteration of the IL-6 Cytokine-related Pathway Impairs Astrogliogenesis of Trisomic NPCs

      The possibility that increased astrogliogenesis is due to APP overexpression in DS is supported by recent evidence showing that human neuronal precursors overexpressing APP exhibit increased GFAP and decreased MAP2 expression (
      • Lu J.
      • Esposito G.
      • Scuderi C.
      • Steardo L.
      • Delli-Bovi L.C.
      • Hecht J.L.
      • Dickinson B.C.
      • Chang C.J.
      • Mori T.
      • Sheen V.
      S100B and APP promote a gliocentric shift and impaired neurogenesis in Down syndrome neural progenitors.
      ). APP is a very complex molecule that is the source of numerous fragments with varying effects during brain development. In non-pathological situations, APP is predominantly cleaved by the α-secretase within the β-amyloid sequence to release a soluble form of APP, sAPP. sAPP is normally present in brain tissues and circulates in the cerebrospinal fluid (
      • Palmert M.R.
      • Podlisny M.B.
      • Witker D.S.
      • Oltersdorf T.
      • Younkin L.H.
      • Selkoe D.J.
      • Younkin S.G.
      The β-amyloid protein precursor of Alzheimer disease has soluble derivatives found in human brain and cerebrospinal fluid.
      ). A number of in vitro studies have attempted to shed light on the physiological functions of sAPP in the brain, showing that sAPP enhances synaptogenesis, neurite outgrowth, cell survival, adhesion, and proliferation of embryonic neural stem cells (
      • Mattson M.P.
      Cellular actions of β-amyloid precursor protein and its soluble and fibrillogenic derivatives.
      ,
      • Ohsawa I.
      • Takamura C.
      • Morimoto T.
      • Ishiguro M.
      • Kohsaka S.
      Amino-terminal region of secreted form of amyloid precursor protein stimulates proliferation of neural stem cells.
      ). In addition, recent in vitro and in vivo evidence shows that sAPP administration promotes astrogliogenesis (
      • Baratchi S.
      • Evans J.
      • Tate W.P.
      • Abraham W.C.
      • Connor B.
      Secreted amyloid precursor proteins promote proliferation and glial differentiation of adult hippocampal neural progenitor cells.
      ,
      • Kwak Y.D.
      • Brannen C.L.
      • Qu T.
      • Kim H.M.
      • Dong X.
      • Soba P.
      • Majumdar A.
      • Kaplan A.
      • Beyreuther K.
      • Sugaya K.
      Amyloid precursor protein regulates differentiation of human neural stem cells.
      ,
      • Kwak Y.D.
      • Dantuma E.
      • Merchant S.
      • Bushnev S.
      • Sugaya K.
      Amyloid-β precursor protein induces glial differentiation of neural progenitor cells by activation of the IL-6/gp130 signaling pathway.
      ). Our findings suggest that high levels of sAPP or cell surface-associated APP have a role in the increased astrocytic differentiation that characterizes trisomic NPCs. We found no effect of the APP/sAPP system on neuronogenesis or neurite length in trisomic NPCs, suggesting a specific role of sAPP as a gliogenic factor.
      The astrocyte differentiation process of NPCs appears to be tightly modulated by various extrinsic (e.g. leukemia inhibitory factor, ciliary neurotrophic factor, Notch, and bone morphogenetic proteins) and intrinsic (e.g. Ngn1, Ngn2, and DNA methylation) factors. A recent study has revealed that the IL-6/gp130 signaling pathway plays a pivotal role in astrocyte differentiation of NPCs (
      • Kwak Y.D.
      • Dantuma E.
      • Merchant S.
      • Bushnev S.
      • Sugaya K.
      Amyloid-β precursor protein induces glial differentiation of neural progenitor cells by activation of the IL-6/gp130 signaling pathway.
      ). Based on this evidence, it has been postulated that sAPP may affect the cell fate of neural precursor cells in DS via the activation of the IL-6/gp130 signaling pathway (
      • Kwak Y.D.
      • Dantuma E.
      • Merchant S.
      • Bushnev S.
      • Sugaya K.
      Amyloid-β precursor protein induces glial differentiation of neural progenitor cells by activation of the IL-6/gp130 signaling pathway.
      ). Our data confirm this suggestion, showing that increased levels of APP/sAPP in trisomic NPCs enhance the acquisition of an astrocytic phenotype via the activation of the IL-6/gp130 signaling pathway. Cross-talk of the Notch and JAK/STAT pathways in the induction of glial differentiation in NPCs through physical interaction between Hes1 and JAK2 has recently been reported (
      • Kwak Y.D.
      • Marutle A.
      • Dantuma E.
      • Merchant S.
      • Bushnev S.
      • Sugaya K.
      Involvement of notch signaling pathway in amyloid precursor protein induced glial differentiation.
      ,
      • Kamakura S.
      • Oishi K.
      • Yoshimatsu T.
      • Nakafuku M.
      • Masuyama N.
      • Gotoh Y.
      Hes binding to STAT3 mediates crosstalk between Notch and JAK-STAT signalling.
      ). It has been reported that treatment with exogenous sAPP induces glial differentiation of the human embryonal carcinoma cell line NT-2/D1 via the Notch signaling pathway (
      • Kwak Y.D.
      • Marutle A.
      • Dantuma E.
      • Merchant S.
      • Bushnev S.
      • Sugaya K.
      Involvement of notch signaling pathway in amyloid precursor protein induced glial differentiation.
      ). However, we did not find an sAPP-dependent Hes1 up-regulation in trisomic NPCs, suggesting that activation of the Notch signaling cascade is not involved in sAPP-induced glial differentiation in trisomic NPCs. This discrepancy may be due either to the different cellular system used, primary NPCs versus the NT-2/D1 cell line (
      • Kwak Y.D.
      • Marutle A.
      • Dantuma E.
      • Merchant S.
      • Bushnev S.
      • Sugaya K.
      Involvement of notch signaling pathway in amyloid precursor protein induced glial differentiation.
      ), and/or to different levels of sAPP accumulated in trisomic cultures in comparison with that added to the culture medium (
      • Kwak Y.D.
      • Marutle A.
      • Dantuma E.
      • Merchant S.
      • Bushnev S.
      • Sugaya K.
      Involvement of notch signaling pathway in amyloid precursor protein induced glial differentiation.
      ).
      When ligands such as leukemia inhibitory factor and ciliary neurotrophic factor bind to the IL-6 cytokine-related pathway receptors, subsequent phosphorylation of gp130, JAK, and STAT3 occurs. Then, phosphorylated STAT3 translocates into the nucleus and stimulates target gene expression by interacting with the STAT3 binding element of the target genes, such as GFAP. We found that the enhanced expression of gp130, JAK1, and GFAP in trisomic NPCs was restored by treatment with an antibody that recognizes the N-terminal region of APP (sAPP). This suggests that trisomy-dependent high levels of sAPP may exert their effects through the IL-6 cytokine-related pathway. In line with data obtained in trisomic NPC cultures, we found up-regulation of gp130 and JAK1 in vivo in neuronal precursors of Ts65Dn mice. Taken together the current results strongly suggest that in trisomic NPCs high levels of sAPP may activate the gp130/JAK/STAT signaling, and as a result, STAT3 may promote transcription of GFAP.

       Conclusions

      The formation of the mammalian nervous system takes place via a number of developmental steps, including cell proliferation, cell-fate decision, and postmitotic neuronal maturation. All these processes are compromised in the DS brain. The mechanisms underlying these defects are presently poorly understood. Previous work (
      • Trazzi S.
      • Mitrugno V.M.
      • Valli E.
      • Fuchs C.
      • Rizzi S.
      • Guidi S.
      • Perini G.
      • Bartesaghi R.
      • Ciani E.
      APP-dependent up-regulation of Ptch1 underlies proliferation impairment of neural precursors in Down syndrome.
      ) and current results suggest that APP triplication plays a role in the alteration of brain development in the Ts65Dn mouse model of DS.
      An important issue deals with the contribution of other triplicated genes in brain development and intellectual disability in DS. According to recent evidence, the Ts1Cje mouse model, which has a shorter chromosomal triplication that does not include APP, shows reduced proliferation and differentiation of neuronal precursor cells from the subventricular zone (
      • Hewitt C.A.
      • Ling K.H.
      • Merson T.D.
      • Simpson K.M.
      • Ritchie M.E.
      • King S.L.
      • Pritchard M.A.
      • Smyth G.K.
      • Thomas T.
      • Scott H.S.
      • Voss A.K.
      Gene network disruptions and neurogenesis defects in the adult Ts1Cje mouse model of Down syndrome.
      ) and behavioral impairment (
      • Belichenko P.V.
      • Kleschevnikov A.M.
      • Salehi A.
      • Epstein C.J.
      • Mobley W.C.
      Synaptic and cognitive abnormalities in mouse models of Down syndrome. Exploring genotype-phenotype relationships.
      ), similar to the Ts65Dn mouse. However, the Ts1Cje mouse shows spine and connectivity alterations (
      • Belichenko P.V.
      • Kleschevnikov A.M.
      • Salehi A.
      • Epstein C.J.
      • Mobley W.C.
      Synaptic and cognitive abnormalities in mouse models of Down syndrome. Exploring genotype-phenotype relationships.
      ) and reduction in cerebellar granule cell number (
      • Olson L.E.
      • Roper R.J.
      • Baxter L.L.
      • Carlson E.J.
      • Epstein C.J.
      • Reeves R.H.
      Down syndrome mouse models Ts65Dn, Ts1Cje, and Ms1Cje/Ts65Dn exhibit variable severity of cerebellar phenotypes.
      ) less severe than the Ts65Dn mouse. Interestingly a high resolution analysis of human segmental trisomies suggests that more than one mental retardation critical region of HSA21 exists (
      • Korbel J.O.
      • Tirosh-Wagner T.
      • Urban A.E.
      • Chen X.N.
      • Kasowski M.
      • Dai L.
      • Grubert F.
      • Erdman C.
      • Gao M.C.
      • Lange K.
      • Sobel E.M.
      • Barlow G.M.
      • Aylsworth A.S.
      • Carpenter N.J.
      • Clark R.D.
      • Cohen M.Y.
      • Doran E.
      • Falik-Zaccai T.
      • Lewin S.O.
      • Lott I.T.
      • McGillivray B.C.
      • Moeschler J.B.
      • Pettenati M.J.
      • Pueschel S.M.
      • Rao K.W.
      • Shaffer L.G.
      • Shohat M.
      • Van Riper A.J.
      • Warburton D.
      • Weissman S.
      • Gerstein M.B.
      • Snyder M.
      • Korenberg J.R.
      The genetic architecture of Down syndrome phenotypes revealed by high resolution analysis of human segmental trisomies.
      ). Thus, many different triplicated genes are likely to contribute to the brain and behavioral phenotype in DS. Triplication of different genes may culminate into similar effects by acting on multiple, intersecting/converging pathways. This may explain, for instance, why APP triplication affects but is not essential for some of the trisomic phenotypes. The development of a new mouse strain obtained by crossing APP transgenic with Ts1Cje mice may provide additional clues as to the role of APP on brain phenotype in the trisomic condition.
      Based on our present and previous findings we propose a model for the APP-mediated developmental defects in the Ts65Dn mouse (Fig. 9). These findings indicate that a common molecular denominator may be involved in the impairment of cell proliferation, cell fate specification, and neuronal maturation. These results may help to understand the complex pathophysiological mechanism of DS and give an indication to possible new therapeutic strategies.

      Acknowledgments

      We are grateful to Dr. D. Mukhopadhyay for kindly supplying the AICD plasmid.

      REFERENCES

        • Roizen N.J.
        • Patterson D.
        Down's syndrome.
        Lancet. 2003; 361: 1281-1289
        • Rachidi M.
        • Lopes C.
        Mental retardation and associated neurological dysfunctions in Down syndrome. A consequence of dysregulation in critical chromosome 21 genes and associated molecular pathways.
        Eur. J. Paediatr. Neurol. 2008; 12: 168-182
        • Ross M.H.
        • Galaburda A.M.
        • Kemper T.L.
        Down's syndrome. Is there a decreased population of neurons?.
        Neurology. 1984; 34: 909-916
        • Schmidt-Sidor B.
        • Wisniewski K.E.
        • Shepard T.H.
        • Sersen E.A.
        Brain growth in Down syndrome subjects 15–22 weeks of gestational age and birth to 60 months.
        Clin. Neuropathol. 1990; 9: 181-190
        • Contestabile A.
        • Fila T.
        • Ceccarelli C.
        • Bonasoni P.
        • Bonapace L.
        • Santini D.
        • Bartesaghi R.
        • Ciani E.
        Cell cycle alteration and decreased cell proliferation in the hippocampal dentate gyrus and in the neocortical germinal matrix of fetuses with Down syndrome and in Ts65Dn mice.
        Hippocampus. 2007; 17: 665-678
        • Guidi S.
        • Bonasoni P.
        • Ceccarelli C.
        • Santini D.
        • Gualtieri F.
        • Ciani E.
        • Bartesaghi R.
        Neurogenesis impairment and increased cell death reduce total neuron number in the hippocampal region of fetuses with Down syndrome.
        Brain Pathol. 2008; 18: 180-197
        • Guidi S.
        • Ciani E.
        • Bonasoni P.
        • Santini D.
        • Bartesaghi R.
        Widespread proliferation impairment and hypocellularity in the cerebellum of fetuses with Down syndrome.
        Brain Pathol. 2011; 21: 361-373
        • Becker L.E.
        Synaptic dysgenesis.
        Can. J. Neurol. Sci. 1991; 18: 170-180
        • Takashima S.
        • Ieshima A.
        • Nakamura H.
        • Becker L.E.
        Dendrites, dementia, and the Down syndrome.
        Brain Dev. 1989; 11: 131-133
        • Takashima S.
        • Becker L.E.
        • Armstrong D.L.
        • Chan F.
        Abnormal neuronal development in the visual cortex of the human fetus and infant with Down's syndrome. A quantitative and qualitative Golgi study.
        Brain Res. 1981; 225: 1-21
        • Schulz E.
        • Scholz B.
        Neurohistological findings in the parietal cortex of children with chromosome aberrations.
        J. Hirnforsch. 1992; 33: 37-62
        • Prinz M.
        • Prinz B.
        • Schulz E.
        The growth of non-pyramidal neurons in the primary motor cortex of man. A Golgi study.
        Histol. Histopathol. 1997; 12: 895-900
        • Reeves R.H.
        • Irving N.G.
        • Moran T.H.
        • Wohn A.
        • Kitt C.
        • Sisodia S.S.
        • Schmidt C.
        • Bronson R.T.
        • Davisson M.T.
        A mouse model for Down syndrome exhibits learning and behaviour deficits.
        Nat. Genet. 1995; 11: 177-184
        • Haydar T.F.
        • Nowakowski R.S.
        • Yarowsky P.J.
        • Krueger B.K.
        Role of founder cell deficit and delayed neuronogenesis in microencephaly of the trisomy 16 mouse.
        J. Neurosci. 2000; 20: 4156-4164
        • Lorenzi H.A.
        • Reeves R.H.
        Hippocampal hypocellularity in the Ts65Dn mouse originates early in development.
        Brain Res. 2006; 1104: 153-159
        • Roper R.J.
        • Baxter L.L.
        • Saran N.G.
        • Klinedinst D.K.
        • Beachy P.A.
        • Reeves R.H.
        Defective cerebellar response to mitogenic Hedgehog signaling in Down syndrome mice.
        Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2006; 103: 1452-1456
        • Chakrabarti L.
        • Galdzicki Z.
        • Haydar T.F.
        Defects in embryonic neurogenesis and initial synapse formation in the forebrain of the Ts65Dn mouse model of Down syndrome.
        J. Neurosci. 2007; 27: 11483-11495
        • Benavides-Piccione R.
        • Ballesteros-Yáñez I.
        • de Lagrán M.M.
        • Elston G.
        • Estivill X.
        • Fillat C.
        • Defelipe J.
        • Dierssen M.
        On dendrites in Down syndrome and DS murine models. A spiny way to learn.
        Prog. Neurobiol. 2004; 74: 111-126
        • Belichenko P.V.
        • Masliah E.
        • Kleschevnikov A.M.
        • Villar A.J.
        • Epstein C.J.
        • Salehi A.
        • Mobley W.C.
        Synaptic structural abnormalities in the Ts65Dn mouse model of Down Syndrome.
        J. Comp. Neurol. 2004; 480: 281-298
        • Zhou Z.D.
        • Chan C.H.
        • Ma Q.H.
        • Xu X.H.
        • Xiao Z.C.
        • Tan E.K.
        The roles of amyloid precursor protein (APP) in neurogenesis. Implications to pathogenesis and therapy of Alzheimer disease.
        Cell Adh. Migr. 2011; 5: 280-292
        • Baratchi S.
        • Evans J.
        • Tate W.P.
        • Abraham W.C.
        • Connor B.
        Secreted amyloid precursor proteins promote proliferation and glial differentiation of adult hippocampal neural progenitor cells.
        Hippocampus. 2012; 22: 1517-1527
        • Kwak Y.D.
        • Brannen C.L.
        • Qu T.
        • Kim H.M.
        • Dong X.
        • Soba P.
        • Majumdar A.
        • Kaplan A.
        • Beyreuther K.
        • Sugaya K.
        Amyloid precursor protein regulates differentiation of human neural stem cells.
        Stem Cells Dev. 2006; 15: 381-389
        • Cao X.
        • Südhof T.C.
        A transcriptionally active complex of APP with Fe65 and histone acetyltransferase Tip60.
        Science. 2001; 293: 115-120
        • Jhoo J.H.
        • Kim H.C.
        • Nabeshima T.
        • Yamada K.
        • Shin E.J.
        • Jhoo W.K.
        • Kim W.
        • Kang K.S.
        • Jo S.A.
        • Woo J.I.
        β-Amyloid (1–42)-induced learning and memory deficits in mice. Involvement of oxidative burdens in the hippocampus and cerebral cortex.
        Behav. Brain Res. 2004; 155: 185-196
        • Müller T.
        • Meyer H.E.
        • Egensperger R.
        • Marcus K.
        The amyloid precursor protein intracellular domain (AICD) as modulator of gene expression, apoptosis, and cytoskeletal dynamics relevance for Alzheimer's disease.
        Prog. Neurobiol. 2008; 85: 393-406
        • Trazzi S.
        • Mitrugno V.M.
        • Valli E.
        • Fuchs C.
        • Rizzi S.
        • Guidi S.
        • Perini G.
        • Bartesaghi R.
        • Ciani E.
        APP-dependent up-regulation of Ptch1 underlies proliferation impairment of neural precursors in Down syndrome.
        Hum. Mol. Genet. 2011; 20: 1560-1573
        • Sánchez-Camacho C.
        • Bovolenta P.
        Emerging mechanisms in morphogen-mediated axon guidance.
        Bioessays. 2009; 31: 1013-1025
        • Davisson M.T.
        • Schmidt C.
        • Reeves R.H.
        • Irving N.G.
        • Akeson E.C.
        • Harris B.S.
        • Bronson R.T.
        Segmental trisomy as a mouse model for Down syndrome.
        Prog. Clin. Biol. Res. 1993; 384: 117-133
        • Liu D.P.
        • Schmidt C.
        • Billings T.
        • Davisson M.T.
        Quantitative PCR genotyping assay for the Ts65Dn mouse model of Down syndrome.
        Biotechniques. 2003; 35: 1170-1174
        • Reinholdt L.G.
        • Czechanski A.
        • Kamdar S.
        • King B.L.
        • Sun F.
        • Handel M.A.
        Meiotic behavior of aneuploid chromatin in mouse models of Down syndrome.
        Chromosoma. 2009; 118: 723-736
        • Raychaudhuri M.
        • Mukhopadhyay D.
        AICD Overexpression in Neuro 2A cells regulates expression of PTCH1 and TRPC5.
        Int. J. Alzheimers Dis. 2011; 2011: 239453
        • Contestabile A.
        • Fila T.
        • Bartesaghi R.
        • Ciani E.
        Cell cycle elongation impairs proliferation of cerebellar granule cell precursors in the Ts65Dn mouse, an animal model for Down syndrome.
        Brain Pathol. 2009; 19: 224-237
        • Lowry O.H.
        • Rosebrough N.J.
        • Farr A.L.
        • Randall R.J.
        Protein measurement with the Folin phenol reagent.
        J. Biol. Chem. 1951; 193: 265-275
        • Kulbatski I.
        • Tator C.H.
        Region-specific differentiation potential of adult rat spinal cord neural stem/precursors and their plasticity in response to in vitro manipulation.
        J. Histochem. Cytochem. 2009; 57: 405-423
        • Lu J.
        • Lian G.
        • Zhou H.
        • Esposito G.
        • Steardo L.
        • Delli-Bovi L.C.
        • Hecht J.L.
        • Lu Q.R.
        • Sheen V.
        OLIG2 overexpression impairs proliferation of human Down syndrome neural progenitors.
        Hum. Mol. Genet. 2012; 21: 2330-2340
        • Bianchi P.
        • Ciani E.
        • Contestabile A.
        • Guidi S.
        • Bartesaghi R.
        Lithium restores neurogenesis in the subventricular zone of the Ts65Dn mouse, a model for Down syndrome.
        Brain Pathol. 2010; 20: 106-118
        • Chen J.K.
        • Taipale J.
        • Young K.E.
        • Maiti T.
        • Beachy P.A.
        Small molecule modulation of Smoothened activity.
        Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2002; 99: 14071-14076
        • Hammond R.
        • Blaess S.
        • Abeliovich A.
        Sonic hedgehog is a chemoattractant for midbrain dopaminergic axons.
        PLoS ONE. 2009; 4: e7007
        • Sasaki N.
        • Kurisu J.
        • Kengaku M.
        Sonic hedgehog signaling regulates actin cytoskeleton via Tiam1-Rac1 cascade during spine formation.
        Mol. Cell. Neurosci. 2010; 45: 335-344
        • Bai C.B.
        • Stephen D.
        • Joyner A.L.
        All mouse ventral spinal cord patterning by hedgehog is Gli-dependent and involves an activator function of Gli3.
        Dev. Cell. 2004; 6: 103-115
        • Nguyen V.
        • Chokas A.L.
        • Stecca B.
        • Ruiz i Altaba A.
        Cooperative requirement of the Gli proteins in neurogenesis.
        Development. 2005; 132: 3267-3279
        • Brewster R.
        • Lee J.
        • Ruiz i Altaba A.
        Gli/Zic factors pattern the neural plate by defining domains of cell differentiation.
        Nature. 1998; 393: 579-583
        • Voronova A.
        • Fischer A.
        • Ryan T.
        • Al Madhoun A.
        • Skerjanc I.S.
        Ascl1/Mash1 is a novel target of Gli2 during Gli2-induced neurogenesis in P19 EC cells.
        PLoS ONE. 2011; 6: e19174
        • Kwak Y.D.
        • Marutle A.
        • Dantuma E.
        • Merchant S.
        • Bushnev S.
        • Sugaya K.
        Involvement of notch signaling pathway in amyloid precursor protein induced glial differentiation.
        Eur. J. Pharmacol. 2011; 650: 18-27
        • Rossjohn J.
        • Cappai R.
        • Feil S.C.
        • Henry A.
        • McKinstry W.J.
        • Galatis D.
        • Hesse L.
        • Multhaup G.
        • Beyreuther K.
        • Masters C.L.
        • Parker M.W.
        Crystal structure of the N-terminal, growth factor-like domain of Alzheimer amyloid precursor protein.
        Nat. Struct. Biol. 1999; 6: 327-331
        • Fischer D.F.
        • van Dijk R.
        • Sluijs J.A.
        • Nair S.M.
        • Racchi M.
        • Levelt C.N.
        • van Leeuwen F.W.
        • Hol E.M.
        Activation of the Notch pathway in Down syndrome. Cross-talk of Notch and APP.
        FASEB J. 2005; 19: 1451-1458
        • Kwak Y.D.
        • Dantuma E.
        • Merchant S.
        • Bushnev S.
        • Sugaya K.
        Amyloid-β precursor protein induces glial differentiation of neural progenitor cells by activation of the IL-6/gp130 signaling pathway.
        Neurotox. Res. 2010; 18: 328-338
        • Morrison S.J.
        • Perez S.E.
        • Qiao Z.
        • Verdi J.M.
        • Hicks C.
        • Weinmaster G.
        • Anderson D.J.
        Transient Notch activation initiates an irreversible switch from neurogenesis to gliogenesis by neural crest stem cells.
        Cell. 2000; 101: 499-510
        • Bonni A.
        • Sun Y.
        • Nadal-Vicens M.
        • Bhatt A.
        • Frank D.A.
        • Rozovsky I.
        • Stahl N.
        • Yancopoulos G.D.
        • Greenberg M.E.
        Regulation of gliogenesis in the central nervous system by the JAK-STAT signaling pathway.
        Science. 1997; 278: 477-483
        • Zhong Z.
        • Wen Z.
        • Darnell Jr., J.E.
        Stat3. A STAT family member activated by tyrosine phosphorylation in response to epidermal growth factor and interleukin-6.
        Science. 1994; 264: 95-98
        • Wang L.
        • Zhang Z.G.
        • Gregg S.R.
        • Zhang R.L.
        • Jiao Z.
        • LeTourneau Y.
        • Liu X.
        • Feng Y.
        • Gerwien J.
        • Torup L.
        • Leist M.
        • Noguchi C.T.
        • Chen Z.Y.
        • Chopp M.
        The Sonic hedgehog pathway mediates carbamylated erythropoietin-enhanced proliferation and differentiation of adult neural progenitor cells.
        J. Biol. Chem. 2007; 282: 32462-32470
        • Ruiz i Altaba A.
        Combinatorial Gli gene function in floor plate and neuronal inductions by Sonic hedgehog.
        Development. 1998; 125: 2203-2212
        • Ma Q.
        • Sommer L.
        • Cserjesi P.
        • Anderson D.J.
        Mash1 and neurogenin1 expression patterns define complementary domains of neuroepithelium in the developing CNS and are correlated with regions expressing notch ligands.
        J. Neurosci. 1997; 17: 3644-3652
        • Lu J.
        • Esposito G.
        • Scuderi C.
        • Steardo L.
        • Delli-Bovi L.C.
        • Hecht J.L.
        • Dickinson B.C.
        • Chang C.J.
        • Mori T.
        • Sheen V.
        S100B and APP promote a gliocentric shift and impaired neurogenesis in Down syndrome neural progenitors.
        PLoS ONE. 2011; 6: e22126
        • Palmert M.R.
        • Podlisny M.B.
        • Witker D.S.
        • Oltersdorf T.
        • Younkin L.H.
        • Selkoe D.J.
        • Younkin S.G.
        The β-amyloid protein precursor of Alzheimer disease has soluble derivatives found in human brain and cerebrospinal fluid.
        Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 1989; 86: 6338-6342
        • Mattson M.P.
        Cellular actions of β-amyloid precursor protein and its soluble and fibrillogenic derivatives.
        Physiol. Rev. 1997; 77: 1081-1132
        • Ohsawa I.
        • Takamura C.
        • Morimoto T.
        • Ishiguro M.
        • Kohsaka S.
        Amino-terminal region of secreted form of amyloid precursor protein stimulates proliferation of neural stem cells.
        Eur. J. Neurosci. 1999; 11: 1907-1913
        • Kamakura S.
        • Oishi K.
        • Yoshimatsu T.
        • Nakafuku M.
        • Masuyama N.
        • Gotoh Y.
        Hes binding to STAT3 mediates crosstalk between Notch and JAK-STAT signalling.
        Nat. Cell Biol. 2004; 6: 547-554
        • Hewitt C.A.
        • Ling K.H.
        • Merson T.D.
        • Simpson K.M.
        • Ritchie M.E.
        • King S.L.
        • Pritchard M.A.
        • Smyth G.K.
        • Thomas T.
        • Scott H.S.
        • Voss A.K.
        Gene network disruptions and neurogenesis defects in the adult Ts1Cje mouse model of Down syndrome.
        PLoS ONE. 2010; 5: e11561
        • Belichenko P.V.
        • Kleschevnikov A.M.
        • Salehi A.
        • Epstein C.J.
        • Mobley W.C.
        Synaptic and cognitive abnormalities in mouse models of Down syndrome. Exploring genotype-phenotype relationships.
        J. Comp. Neurol. 2007; 504: 329-345
        • Olson L.E.
        • Roper R.J.
        • Baxter L.L.
        • Carlson E.J.
        • Epstein C.J.
        • Reeves R.H.
        Down syndrome mouse models Ts65Dn, Ts1Cje, and Ms1Cje/Ts65Dn exhibit variable severity of cerebellar phenotypes.
        Dev. Dyn. 2004; 230: 581-589
        • Korbel J.O.
        • Tirosh-Wagner T.
        • Urban A.E.
        • Chen X.N.
        • Kasowski M.
        • Dai L.
        • Grubert F.
        • Erdman C.
        • Gao M.C.
        • Lange K.
        • Sobel E.M.
        • Barlow G.M.
        • Aylsworth A.S.
        • Carpenter N.J.
        • Clark R.D.
        • Cohen M.Y.
        • Doran E.
        • Falik-Zaccai T.
        • Lewin S.O.
        • Lott I.T.
        • McGillivray B.C.
        • Moeschler J.B.
        • Pettenati M.J.
        • Pueschel S.M.
        • Rao K.W.
        • Shaffer L.G.
        • Shohat M.
        • Van Riper A.J.
        • Warburton D.
        • Weissman S.
        • Gerstein M.B.
        • Snyder M.
        • Korenberg J.R.
        The genetic architecture of Down syndrome phenotypes revealed by high resolution analysis of human segmental trisomies.
        Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2009; 106: 12031-12036

      Linked Article