Publications by authors named "Ira Male"

5 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Hedgehog Signaling Regulates Neurogenesis in the Larval and Adult Zebrafish Hypothalamus.

eNeuro 2020 Nov-Dec;7(6). Epub 2020 Oct 26.

Department of Biology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 01003 MA.

Neurogenesis is now known to play a role in adult hypothalamic function, yet the cell-cell mechanisms regulating this neurogenesis remain poorly understood. Here, we show that Hedgehog (Hh)/Gli signaling positively regulates hypothalamic neurogenesis in both larval and adult zebrafish and is necessary and sufficient for normal hypothalamic proliferation rates. Hh-responsive radial glia represent a relatively highly proliferative precursor population that gives rise to dopaminergic, serotonergic, and GABAergic neurons. and transgenic reporter analyses revealed substantial heterogeneity in cell-cell signaling within the hypothalamic niche, with slow cycling Nestin-expressing cells residing among distinct and overlapping populations of Sonic Hh (Shh)-expressing, Hh-responsive, Notch-responsive, and Wnt-responsive radial glia. This work shows for the first time that Hh/Gli signaling is a key component of the complex cell-cell signaling environment that regulates hypothalamic neurogenesis throughout life.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1523/ENEURO.0226-20.2020DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7769882PMC
June 2021

Hedgehog signaling is necessary and sufficient to mediate craniofacial plasticity in teleosts.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2020 08 27;117(32):19321-19327. Epub 2020 Jul 27.

Department of Biology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003

Phenotypic plasticity, the ability of a single genotype to produce multiple phenotypes under different environmental conditions, is critical for the origins and maintenance of biodiversity; however, the genetic mechanisms underlying plasticity as well as how variation in those mechanisms can drive evolutionary change remain poorly understood. Here, we examine the cichlid feeding apparatus, an icon of both prodigious evolutionary divergence and adaptive phenotypic plasticity. We first provide a tissue-level mechanism for plasticity in craniofacial shape by measuring rates of bone deposition within functionally salient elements of the feeding apparatus in fishes forced to employ alternate foraging modes. We show that levels and patterns of phenotypic plasticity are distinct among closely related cichlid species, underscoring the evolutionary potential of this trait. Next, we demonstrate that hedgehog (Hh) signaling, which has been implicated in the evolutionary divergence of cichlid feeding architecture, is associated with environmentally induced rates of bone deposition. Finally, to demonstrate that Hh levels are the cause of the plastic response and not simply the consequence of producing more bone, we use transgenic zebrafish in which Hh levels could be experimentally manipulated under different foraging conditions. Notably, we find that the ability to modulate bone deposition rates in different environments is dampened when Hh levels are reduced, whereas the sensitivity of bone deposition to different mechanical demands increases with elevated Hh levels. These data advance a mechanistic understanding of phenotypic plasticity in the teleost feeding apparatus and in doing so contribute key insights into the origins of adaptive morphological radiations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1921856117DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7431006PMC
August 2020

Vegfc acts through ERK to induce sprouting and differentiation of trunk lymphatic progenitors.

Development 2016 10 12;143(20):3785-3795. Epub 2016 Sep 12.

Department of Molecular, Cell, and Cancer Biology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, 364 Plantation Street, Worcester, MA 01605, USA

Vascular endothelial growth factor C (Vegfc) activates its receptor, Flt4, to induce lymphatic development. However, the signals that act downstream of Flt4 in this context in vivo remain unclear. To understand Flt4 signaling better, we generated zebrafish bearing a deletion in the Flt4 cytoplasmic domain that eliminates tyrosines Y1226 and 1227. Embryos bearing this deletion failed to initiate sprouting or differentiation of trunk lymphatic vessels and did not form a thoracic duct. Deletion of Y1226/7 prevented ERK phosphorylation in lymphatic progenitors, and ERK inhibition blocked trunk lymphatic sprouting and differentiation. Conversely, endothelial autonomous ERK activation rescued lymphatic sprouting and differentiation in flt4 mutants. Interestingly, embryos bearing the Y1226/7 deletion formed a functional facial lymphatic network enabling them to develop normally to adulthood. By contrast, flt4 null larvae displayed hypoplastic facial lymphatics and severe lymphedema. Thus, facial lymphatic vessels appear to be the first functional lymphatic network in the zebrafish, whereas the thoracic duct is initially dispensable for lymphatic function. Moreover, distinct signaling pathways downstream of Flt4 govern lymphatic morphogenesis and differentiation in different anatomical locations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1242/dev.137901DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5087638PMC
October 2016

Vegfa signals through ERK to promote angiogenesis, but not artery differentiation.

Development 2016 10 30;143(20):3796-3805. Epub 2016 Aug 30.

Department of Molecular, Cell, and Cancer Biology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, 364 Plantation Street, Worcester, MA 01605, USA

Vascular endothelial growth factor a (Vegfa) is essential for blood vessel formation and can induce activation of numerous signaling effectors in endothelial cells. However, it is unclear how and where these function in developmental contexts during vascular morphogenesis. To address this issue, we have visualized activation of presumptive Vegfa effectors at single-cell resolution in zebrafish blood vessels. From these studies, we find that phosphorylation of the serine/threonine kinase ERK (pERK) preferentially occurs in endothelial cells undergoing angiogenesis, but not in committed arterial endothelial cells. pERK in endothelial cells was ectopically induced by Vegfa and lost in Vegfa signaling mutants. Both chemical and endothelial autonomous inhibition of ERK prevented endothelial sprouting, but did not prevent initial artery differentiation. Timed chemical inhibition during angiogenesis caused a loss of genes implicated in coordinating tip/stalk cell behaviors, including flt4 and, at later stages, dll4 ERK inhibition also blocked excessive angiogenesis and ectopic flt4 expression in Notch-deficient blood vessels. Together, these studies implicate ERK as a specific effector of Vegfa signaling in the induction of angiogenic genes during sprouting.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1242/dev.137919DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5087643PMC
October 2016
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