In vivo fate analysis reveals the multipotent and self-renewal features of embryonic AspM expressing cells

Cinzia Marinaro, Erica Butti, Andrea Bergamaschi, Alessandro Papale, Roberto Furlan, Giancarlo Comi, Gianvito Martino, Luca Muzio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Radial Glia (RG) cells constitute the major population of neural progenitors of the mouse developing brain. These cells are located in the ventricular zone (VZ) of the cerebral cortex and during neurogenesis they support the generation of cortical neurons. Later on, during brain maturation, RG cells give raise to glial cells and supply the adult mouse brain of Neural Stem Cells (NSC). Here we used a novel transgenic mouse line expressing the CreER T2 under the control of AspM promoter to monitor the progeny of an early cohort of RG cells during neurogenesis and in the post natal brain. Long term fate mapping experiments demonstrated that AspM-expressing RG cells are multi-potent, as they can generate neurons, astrocytes and oligodendrocytes of the adult mouse brain. Furthermore, AspM descendants give also rise to proliferating progenitors in germinal niches of both developing and post natal brains. In the latter -i.e. the Sub Ventricular Zone- AspM descendants acquired several feature of neural stem cells, including the capability to generate neurospheres in vitro. We also performed the selective killing of these early progenitors by using a Nestin-GFP flox-TK allele. The forebrain specific loss of early AspM expressing cells caused the elimination of most of the proliferating cells of brain, a severe derangement of the ventricular zone architecture, and the impairment of the cortical lamination. We further demonstrated that AspM is expressed by proliferating cells of the adult mouse SVZ that can generate neuroblasts fated to become olfactory bulb neurons.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere19419
JournalPLoS One
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)


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