White matter structure and myelin-related gene expression alterations with experience in adult rats

Sampaio-Baptista, C. et al. (2020) White matter structure and myelin-related gene expression alterations with experience in adult rats. Progress in Neurobiology, 187, 101770. (doi: 10.1016/j.pneurobio.2020.101770) (PMID:32001310) (PMCID:PMC7086231)

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White matter (WM) plasticity during adulthood is a recently described phenomenon by which experience can shape brain structure. It has been observed in humans using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and myelination has been suggested as a possible mechanism. Here, we set out to identify molecular and cellular changes associated with WM plasticity measured by DTI. We combined DTI, immunohistochemistry and mRNA expression analysis and examined the effects of somatosensory experience in adult rats. First, we observed experience-induced DTI differences in WM and in grey matter structure. C-Fos mRNA expression, a marker of cortical activity, in the barrel cortex correlated with the MRI WM metrics, indicating that molecular correlates of cortical activity relate to macroscale measures of WM structure. Analysis of myelin-related genes revealed higher myelin basic protein (MBP) mRNA expression. Higher MBP protein expression was also found via immunohistochemistry in WM. Finally, unbiased RNA sequencing analysis identified 134 differentially expressed genes encoding proteins involved in functions related to cell proliferation and differentiation, regulation of myelination and neuronal activity modulation. In conclusion, macroscale measures of WM plasticity are supported by both molecular and cellular evidence and confirm that myelination is one of the underlying mechanisms.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This work was supported by the Wellcome Trust (WT090955AIA and WT110027/Z/15/Z to H J-B). C S-B was the recipient of a FCT fellowship(SFRH/BD/43862/2008). The Wellcome Centre for Integrative Neuroimaging is supported by core funding from the Wellcome Trust (203139/Z/16/Z). AK and NS were funded by Cancer Research UK (C5255/A15935). This research was further supported by the Dutch Science Foundation (NWO) through VICI grant 453-04-002 (to P.D.W.) and VENI grant 451-09-025 (to M.R.).
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Sampaio Baptista, Dr Cassandra
Authors: Sampaio-Baptista, C., Vallès, A., Khrapitchev, A. A., Akkermans, G., Winkler, A. M., Foxley, S., Sibson, N. R., Roberts, M., Miller, K., Diamond, M. E., Martens, G. J.M., De Weerd, P., and Johansen-Berg, H.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology
Journal Name:Progress in Neurobiology
ISSN (Online):1873-5118
Published Online:27 January 2020
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 The Authors
First Published:First published in Progress in Neurobiology 187: 101770
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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