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Resistance of subventricular neural stem cells to chronic hypoxemia despite structural disorganization of the germinal center and impairment of neuronal and oligodendrocyte survival

Authors d'Anglemont de Tassigny X, Sirerol-Piquer S, Gomez-Pinedo U, Pardal R, Bonilla S, Capilla-Gonzalez V, López-López I, De la Torre-Laviana J, Garcia-Verdugo JM, Lopez-Barneo J

Received 27 November 2014

Accepted for publication 27 March 2015

Published 8 June 2015 Volume 2015:3 Pages 15—33


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Prof. Dr. Roland Wenger

Xavier d'Anglemont de Tassigny,1,* M Salomé Sirerol-Piquer,2,3,* Ulises Gómez-Pinedo,4 Ricardo Pardal,1 Sonia Bonilla,1 Vivian Capilla-Gonzalez,2 Ivette López-López,1 Francisco Javier De la Torre-Laviana,1 José Manuel García-Verdugo,2,3 José López-Barneo1,3

1Medical Physiology and Biophysics Department, Institute of Biomedicine of Seville (IBiS), Virgen del Rocío University Hospital/CSIC/University of Seville, Seville, Spain; 2Cavanilles Institute of Biodiversity and Evolutionary Biology, University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain; 3Network Center of Biomedical Research on Neurodegenerative Diseases (CIBERNED), Spain; 4Laboratory of Regenerative Medicine, San Carlos Institute of Health Investigation, Madrid, Spain

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Abstract: Chronic hypoxemia, as evidenced in de-acclimatized high-altitude residents or in patients with chronic obstructive respiratory disorders, is a common medical condition that can produce serious neurological alterations. However, the pathogenesis of this phenomenon is unknown. We have found that adult rodents exposed for several days/weeks to hypoxia, with an arterial oxygen tension similar to that of chronically hypoxemic patients, manifest a partially irreversible structural disarrangement of the subventricular neurogenic niche (subventricular zone) characterized by displacement of neurons and myelinated axons, flattening of the ependymal cell layer, and thinning of capillary walls. Despite these abnormalities, the number of neuronal and oligodendrocyte progenitors, neuroblasts, and neurosphere-forming cells as well as the proliferative activity in subventricular zone was unchanged. These results suggest that neural stem cells and their undifferentiated progeny are resistant to hypoxia. However, in vivo and in vitro experiments indicate that severe chronic hypoxia decreases the survival of newly generated neurons and oligodendrocytes, with damage of myelin sheaths. These findings help explain the effects of hypoxia on adult neurogenesis and provide new perspectives on brain responsiveness to persistent hypoxemia.

Keywords: neural stem cells, chronic hypoxemia, subventricular germinal niche, ultrastructure, neuronal differentiation, oligodendrocyte survival

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