Topic: 1.

NERVOUS DISORDERS

SYSTEM

DEVELOPMENT

&

DEVELOPMENTAL

Title: Spinal progenitors in the neonatal rat: intrinsic properties and their regulation by neurotransmitters Author(s): N. MARICHAL1, G. GARCÍA1, M. RADMILOVICH2, O. TRUJILLOCENÓZ1 & R.E. RUSSO1 Institute(s): 1INSTITUTO DE INVESTIGACIONES BIOLÓGICAS CLEMENTE ESTABLE, Neurofisiología Celular y Molecular, Montevideo, Uruguay, 2Facultad de Medicina, UdelaR, Histología y Embriología, Montevideo, Uruguay Text: The ependyma of the spinal cord retains cells with neural stem cells potential that react to injury with active proliferation. Understanding the biology of endogenous spinal progenitors will help developing new therapeutic strategies to treat spinal cord injury. However, little is known about the post-natal spinal precursor-like cells properties. The aim of this study was to determine the functional characteristics and the regulation by some neurotransmitters of putative precursor cells in the neonatal (P0-P5) rat spinal cord. Immunohistochemistry revealed in the ventral and dorsal poles of the central canal (CC) cells that expressed neural stem cell markers such as nestin and vimentin. These cells had the typical morphology of bipolar radial glia (RG), which is the neuronal progenitor cell during embryonic development. Patch-clamp whole-cell recordings in transverse spinal cord slices showed that RG appeared uncoupled and had voltage gated outward and inward currents. Outward currents had sustained and transient components that were blocked by tetraethylammonium and 4-aminopiridine respectively, suggesting the presence of delayed rectifier and A type K+ currents. Slow inward currents were insensitive to tetrodotoxin but abolished in free Ca2+ Ringer's solution, suggesting the involvement of Ca2+ channels. Pressure application of GABA at different membrane potentials induced currents that reversed around -60 mV. These GABA-induced currents were mediated by GABAA receptors because they were abolished by the selective GABAA receptor antagonist gabazine. On the other hand, glutamate produced an inward current that rectified strongly with no current flowing at depolarized potentials, suggesting a mechanism mediated by glutamate transporters. We conclude that cells with typical features of RG remain attached to the CC and display diverse active membrane properties that suggest different functional states or roles. Functional GABAergic signaling through GABA A receptors raises the possibility that this neurotransmitter may regulate cell proliferation and maturation as for progenitors in the brain. Keywords: 1. Spinal cord 2. progenitors 3. radial glia 4. patch clamp

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