Insulin-like growth factor-1 is a radial cell-associated neurotrophin that promotes neuronal recruitment from the adult songbird edpendyma/subependyma.
In the adult songbird forebrain, neurons continue to be produced from precursor cells in the forebrain ependymal/subependymal zone (SZ), from which they migrate upon radial guide fibers. The new neurons and their radial cell partners may coderive from a common SZ progenitor, which may be the radial cell itself. On this basis, we asked whether radial cells might provide trophic support for the migration or survival of newly generated neurons. We focused upon the insulin-like growth factors (IGFs) IGF-1 and IGF-2, which have previously been shown to support the survival and differentiation of neural progenitor cells. We found that IGF-1 immunoreactivity was expressed heavily by adult zebra finch radial cells and their fibers, with little expression otherwise. IGF-2, in contrast, was expressed by parenchymal astrocytes and exhibited little radial cell expression. Despite their distinct distributions, IGF-1 and IGF-2 exerted similar trophic effects on finch SZ cells in vitro; both greatly increased the number of neurons migrating from explants of the adult finch SZ, relative to explants raised in low-insulin, IGF-1-deficient media. However, neither factor extended neuronal survival. These results suggest that in neurogenic regions of the adult avian forebrain, IGF-1 acts as a radial cell-associated neuronal differentiation and/or departure factor, which may serve to regulate neuronal recruitment into the adult brain.
Jiang, J; McMurtry, J; Niedzwiecki, D; Goldman, SA
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