Glial scaffold required for cerebellar granule cell migration is dependent on dystroglycan function as a receptor for basement membrane proteinsReport as inadecuate

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Acta Neuropathologica Communications

, 1:58

First Online: 06 September 2013Received: 29 August 2013Accepted: 02 September 2013


BackgroundCobblestone lissencephaly is a severe neuronal migration disorder associated with congenital muscular dystrophies CMD such as Walker-Warburg syndrome, muscle-eye-brain disease, and Fukuyama-type CMD. In these severe forms of dystroglycanopathy, the muscular dystrophy and other tissue pathology is caused by mutations in genes involved in O-linked glycosylation of alpha-dystroglycan. While cerebellar dysplasia is a common feature of dystroglycanopathy, its pathogenesis has not been thoroughly investigated.

ResultsHere we evaluate the role of dystroglycan during cerebellar development. Brain-selective deletion of dystroglycan does not affect overall cerebellar growth, yet causes malformations associated with glia limitans disruptions and granule cell heterotopia that recapitulate phenotypes found in dystroglycanopathy patients. Cerebellar pathology in these mice is not evident until birth even though dystroglycan is lost during the second week of embryogenesis. The severity and spatial distribution of glia limitans disruption, Bergmann glia disorganization, and heterotopia exacerbate during postnatal development. Astrogliosis becomes prominent at these same sites by the time cerebellar development is complete. Interestingly, there is spatial heterogeneity in the glia limitans and granule neuron migration defects that spares the tips of lobules IV-V and VI.

ConclusionsThe full spectrum of developmental pathology is caused by loss of dystroglycan from Bergmann glia, as neither granule cell- nor Purkinje cell-specific deletion of dystroglycan results in similar pathology. These data illustrate the importance of dystroglycan function in radial-Bergmann glia, not neurons, for normal cerebellar histogenesis. The spatial heterogeneity of pathology suggests that the dependence on dystroglycan is not uniform.

KeywordsDystroglycan Glia Cerebellum Development Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-2051-5960-1-58 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Author: Huy Nguyen - Adam P Ostendorf - Jakob S Satz - Steve Westra - Susan E Ross-Barta - Kevin P Campbell - Steven A Moore


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