Release of stem cells from quiescence reveals gliogenic domains in the adult mouse brain

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Science  11 Jun 2021:
Vol. 372, Issue 6547, pp. 1205-1209
DOI: 10.1126/science.abg8467

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Gliogenesis in the adult mouse brain

Neural stem cells in the adult mouse brain can generate both neurons and glia. Exactly where each stem cell is positioned can determine what type of neurons it generates. Delgado et al. show that neural stem cells are also choosy about what sorts of glia they make and when (see the Perspective by Baldwin and Silver). Injury or selective deletion of platelet-derived growth factor receptor β (PDGFRβ) from the stem cells kicked them into overdrive and revealed their selectivity with respect to gliogenesis. An unusual type of glial progenitor cell, intraventricular oligodendrocyte progenitors, are found nestled between the cilia of ependymal cells derived from tight clusters of PDGFRβ-expressing stem cells.

Science, abg8467, this issue p. 1205; see also abj1139, p. 1151


Quiescent neural stem cells (NSCs) in the adult mouse ventricular-subventricular zone (V-SVZ) undergo activation to generate neurons and some glia. Here we show that platelet-derived growth factor receptor beta (PDGFRβ) is expressed by adult V-SVZ NSCs that generate olfactory bulb interneurons and glia. Selective deletion of PDGFRβ in adult V-SVZ NSCs leads to their release from quiescence, uncovering gliogenic domains for different glial cell types. These domains are also recruited upon injury. We identify an intraventricular oligodendrocyte progenitor derived from NSCs inside the brain ventricles that contacts supraependymal axons. Together, our findings reveal that the adult V-SVZ contains spatial domains for gliogenesis, in addition to those for neurogenesis. These gliogenic NSC domains tend to be quiescent under homeostasis and may contribute to brain plasticity.

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