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Gely-Pernot A, Coronas V, Harnois T, Prestoz L, Mandairon N, Didier A, Berjeaud JM, Monvoisin A, Bourmeyster N, de Frutos PG, Philippe M, Benzakour O

An endogenous vitamin K-dependent mechanism regulates cell proliferation in the brain subventricular stem cell niche.

Stem Cells. 2012 Apr;30(4):719-31, PMID: 22290807

Neural stem cells (NSC) persist in the adult mammalian brain, within the subventricular zone (SVZ). The endogenous mechanisms underpinning SVZ stem and progenitor cell proliferation are not fully elucidated. Vitamin K-dependent proteins (VKDPs) are mainly secreted factors that were initially discovered as major regulators of blood coagulation. Warfarin ((S(-)-3-acetonylbenzyl)-4-hydroxycoumarin)), a widespread anticoagulant, is a vitamin K antagonist that inhibits the production of functional VKDP. We demonstrate that the suppression of functional VKDPs production, in vitro, by exposure of SVZ cell cultures to warfarin or, in vivo, by its intracerebroventricular injection to mice, leads to a substantial increase in SVZ cell proliferation. We identify the anticoagulant factors, protein S and its structural homolog Gas6, as the two only VKDPs produced by SVZ cells and describe the expression and activation pattern of their Tyro3, Axl, and Mer tyrosine kinase receptors. Both in vitro and in vivo loss of function studies consisting in either Gas6 gene invalidation or in endogenous protein S neutralization, provided evidence for an important novel regulatory role of these two VKDPs in the SVZ neurogenic niche. Specifically, we show that while a loss of Gas6 leads to a reduction in the numbers of stem-like cells and in olfactory bulb neurogenesis, endogenous protein S inhibits SVZ cell proliferation. Our study opens up new perspectives for investigating further the role of vitamin K, VKDPs, and anticoagulants in NSC biology in health and disease.


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