Inducible and conditional deletion of extracellular signal-regulated kinase 5 disrupts adult hippocampal neurogenesis.
Recent studies have led to the exciting idea that adult-born neurons in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus may play a role in hippocampus-dependent memory formation. However, signaling mechanisms that regulate adult hippocampal neurogenesis are not well defined. Here we report that extracellular signal-regulated kinase 5 (ERK5), a member of the mitogen-activated protein kinase family, is selectively expressed in the neurogenic regions of the adult mouse brain. We present evidence that shRNA suppression of ERK5 in adult hippocampal neural stem/progenitor cells (aNPCs) reduces the number of neurons while increasing the number of cells expressing markers for stem/progenitor cells or proliferation. Furthermore, shERK5 attenuates both transcription and neuronal differentiation mediated by Neurogenin 2, a transcription factor expressed in adult hippocampal neural progenitor cells. By contrast, ectopic activation of endogenous ERK5 signaling via expression of constitutive active MEK5, an upstream activating kinase for ERK5, promotes neurogenesis in cultured aNPCs and in the dentate gyrus of the mouse brain. Moreover, neurotrophins including NT3 activate ERK5 and stimulate neuronal differentiation in aNPCs in an ERK5-dependent manner. Finally, inducible and conditional deletion of ERK5 specifically in the neurogenic regions of the adult mouse brain delays the normal progression of neuronal differentiation and attenuates adult neurogenesis in vivo. These data suggest ERK5 signaling as a critical regulator of adult hippocampal neurogenesis.
Pan, Y-W; Zou, J; Wang, W; Sakagami, H; Garelick, MG; Abel, G; Kuo, CT; Storm, DR; Xia, Z
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