Cartography of hevin-expressing cells in the adult brain reveals prominent expression in astrocytes and parvalbumin neurons

Abstract : Hevin, also known as SPARC-like 1, is a member of the secreted protein acidic and rich in cysteine family of matricellular proteins, which has been implicated in neuronal migration and synaptogenesis during development. Unlike previously characterized matricellular proteins, hevin remains strongly expressed in the adult brain in both astrocytes and neurons, but its precise pattern of expression is unknown. The present study provides the first systematic description of hevin mRNA distribution in the adult mouse brain. Using isotopic in situ hybridization, we showed that hevin is strongly expressed in the cortex, hippocampus, basal ganglia complex, diverse thalamic nuclei and brainstem motor nuclei. To identify the cellular phenotype of hevin-expressing cells, we used double fluorescent in situ hybridization in mouse and human adult brains. In the mouse, hevin mRNA was found in the majority of astrocytes but also in specific neuronal populations. Hevin was expressed in almost all parvalbumin-positive projection neurons and local interneurons. In addition, hevin mRNA was found in: (1) subsets of other inhibitory GABAergic neuronal subtypes, including calbindin, cholecystokinin, neuropeptide Y, and somatostatin-positive neurons; (2) subsets of glutamatergic neurons, identified by the expression of the vesicular glutamate transporters VGLUT1 and VGLUT2; and (3) the majority of cholinergic neurons from motor nuclei. Hevin mRNA was absent from all monoaminergic neurons and cholinergic neurons of the ascending pathway. A similar cellular profile of expression was observed in human, with expression of hevin in parvalbumin interneurons and astrocytes in the cortex and caudate nucleus as well as in cortical glutamatergic neurons. Furthermore, hevin transcript was enriched in ribosomes of astrocytes and parvalbumin neurons providing a direct evidence of hevin mRNAs translation in these cell types. This study reveals the unique and complex expression profile of the matricellular protein hevin in the adult brain. This distribution is compatible with a role of hevin in astrocytic-mediated adult synaptic plasticity and in the regulation of network activity mediated by parvalbumin-expressing neurons.
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Raphaële Mongrédien, Amaia Erdozain, Sylvie Dumas, Laura Cutando, Amaia Nuñez del Moral, et al.. Cartography of hevin-expressing cells in the adult brain reveals prominent expression in astrocytes and parvalbumin neurons. Brain Structure and Function, Springer Verlag, 2019, Epub ahead of print. ⟨10.1007/s00429-019-01831-x⟩. ⟨inserm-02008003⟩

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