Histone H1 improves regeneration after mouse spinal cord injury and changes shape and gene expression of cultured astrocytes

Ralf Kleene, Gabriele Loers, Igor Jakovcevski, Bibhudatta Mishra, Melitta Schachner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: We have shown that histone H1 is a binding partner for polysialic acid (PSA) and that it improves functional recovery, axon regrowth/sprouting, and target reinnervation after mouse femoral nerve injury. Objective: Here, we analyzed whether histone H1 affects functional recovery, axon regrowth/sprouting, and target reinnervation after spinal cord injury of adult mice. Furthermore, we tested in vitro histone H1's effect on astrocytic gene expression, cell shape and migration as well as on cell survival of cultured motoneurons. Methods: We applied histone H1 to compressed spinal cord and determined functional recovery and number of fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP)- and neuron-glial antigen 2 (NG2)- positive glial cells, which contribute to glial scarring. Histone H1's effect on migration of astrocytes, astrocytic gene expression and motoneuronal survival was determined using scratch-wounded astroglial monolayer cultures, astrocyte cultures for microarray analysis, and motoneuron cell culture under oxidative stress conditions, respectively. Results: Histone H1 application improves locomotor functions and enhances monoaminergic and cholinergic reinnervation of the spinal cord. Expression levels of GFAP and NG2 around the lesion site were decreased in histone H1-treated mice relative to vehicle-treated mice six weeks after injury. Histone H1 reduced astrocytic migration, changed the shape of GFAP- and NG2-positive glial cells and altered gene expression. Gene ontology enrichment analysis indicated that in particular genes coding for proteins involved in proliferation, differentiation, migration and apoptosis are dysregulated. The up- and down-regulation of distinct genes was confirmed by qPCR and Western blot analysis. Moreover, histone H1 reduced hydrogen peroxide-induced cell death of cultured motoneurons. Conclusions: The combined observations indicate that histone H1 locally applied to the lesion site, improves regeneration after spinal cord injury. Some of these beneficial functions of histone H1 in vivo and in vitro can be attributed to its interaction with PSA-carrying neural cell adhesion molecule.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)291-313
Number of pages23
JournalRestorative neurology and neuroscience
Volume37
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology
  • Developmental Neuroscience

Keywords

  • Glial scar
  • astrogliosis
  • axonal regrowth
  • histone H1
  • locomotion
  • migration
  • mouse spinal cord injury
  • polysialic acid
  • regeneration
  • synaptic plasticity

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