Cell production and cell death in the generation of variation in neuron number

Richelle C. Strom, Robert Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

44 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Retinal ganglion cell numbers in adult mice vary from 40,000 to 80,000. Much of this variation and the prominent bimodality of strain averages are generated by allelic variants at the neuron number control 1 (Nnc1) locus on chromosome 11. The Nnc1 locus may modulate either ganglion cell production or the severity of ganglion cell death. Here we have determined what the relative contributions of these two processes are to variation in adult cell number by estimating total ganglion cell production in 10 strains of mice (A/J, BALB/cJ, BXD32, C57BL/6J, CAST/Ei, CARL/ChGo, CE/J, C3H/HeSnJ, DBA/2J, and LP/J). These strains have adult populations that range from 45,000 to 76,000 (data available at http://qtl.ml.org). We estimated cell production by counting ganglion cell axons after ganglion cell neurogenesis but before the onset of significant cell death. Total cell production ranges from 131,000 to 224,000, and most of the variation in adult ganglion cell number is explained by this significant variation in cell production. In contrast, the percentage of cell death is relatively uniform in most strains (~69% cell loss). The exceptions are BXD32, a strain that has an extremely high adult cell population, and Mus caroli (CARL/ChGo), a wild southeast Asian species that is distantly related to laboratory strains. In BXD32 and M. caroli, ~62% of the population dies. Our analysis indicates that substitutions of single alleles at the Nnc1 locus are responsible for production differences of ~8000 ganglion cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9948-9953
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Volume18
Issue number23
StatePublished - Dec 1 1998

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Cell Death
Ganglia
Neurons
Internal-External Control
Cell Count
Population
Chromosomes, Human, Pair 11
Retinal Ganglion Cells
Neurogenesis
Axons
Alleles

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

Cell production and cell death in the generation of variation in neuron number. / Strom, Richelle C.; Williams, Robert.

In: Journal of Neuroscience, Vol. 18, No. 23, 01.12.1998, p. 9948-9953.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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