Human brains are prone to neurodegeneration, given that endogenous neural stem/progenitor cells (NSPCs) fail to support neurogenesis. To investigate the molecular programs potentially mediating neurodegeneration-induced NSPC plasticity in regenerating organisms, we generated an Amyloid-β42 (Aβ42)-dependent neurotoxic model in adult zebrafish brain through cerebroventricular microinjection of cell-penetrating Aβ42 derivatives. Aβ42 deposits in neurons and causes phenotypes reminiscent of amyloid pathophysiology: apoptosis, microglial activation, synaptic degeneration, and learning deficits. Aβ42 also induces NSPC proliferation and enhanced neurogenesis. Interleukin-4 (IL4) is activated primarily in neurons and microglia/macrophages in response to Aβ42 and is sufficient to increase NSPC proliferation and neurogenesis via STAT6 phosphorylation through the IL4 receptor in NSPCs. Our results reveal a crosstalk between neurons and immune cells mediated by IL4/STAT6 signaling, which induces NSPC plasticity in zebrafish brains.
Bhattarai, P., Thomas, A. K., Cosacak, M. I., Papadimitriou, C., Mashkaryan, V., Froc, C., … Kizil, C. (2016). IL4/STAT6 Signaling Activates Neural Stem Cell Proliferation and Neurogenesis upon Amyloid-β42 Aggregation in Adult Zebrafish Brain. Cell Reports, 17(4), 941–948. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2016.09.075