Neural stem cells (NSCs) persist in defined brain niches, including the subventricular zone (SVZ), throughout adulthood and generate new neurons destined to support specific neurological functions. Whether brain diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS) are associated with changes in adult NSCs and whether this might contribute to the development and/or persistence of neurological deficits remains poorly investigated. We examined SVZ function in mice in which we targeted an MS-like pathology to the forebrain. In these mice, which we refer to herein as targeted EAE (tEAE) mice, there was a reduction in the number of neuroblasts compared with control mice. Altered expression of the transcription factors Olig2 and Dlx2 in the tEAE SVZ niche was associated with amplification of pro-oligodendrogenic transit-amplifying cells and decreased neuroblast generation, which resulted in persistent reduction in olfactory bulb neurogenesis. Altered SVZ neurogenesis led to impaired long-term olfactory memory, mimicking the olfactory dysfunction observed in MS patients. Importantly, we also found that neurogenesis was reduced in the SVZ of MS patients compared with controls. Thus, our findings suggest that neuroinflammation induces functional alteration of adult NSCs that may contribute to olfactory dysfunction in MS patients.
Vanja Tepavčević, Françoise Lazarini, Clara Alfaro-Cervello, Christophe Kerninon, Kazuaki Yoshikawa, José Manuel Garcia-Verdugo, Pierre-Marie Lledo, Brahim Nait-Oumesmar, Anne Baron-Van Evercooren