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Nestin expression defines both glial and neuronal progenitors in postnatal sympathetic ganglia

Authors

  • Huilin Shi,

    1. Department of Biochemistry and Cancer Biology, University of Toledo Health Science Campus, Toledo, Ohio 43614
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  • Hongjuan Cui,

    1. Department of Biochemistry and Cancer Biology, University of Toledo Health Science Campus, Toledo, Ohio 43614
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  • Goleeta Alam,

    1. Department of Biochemistry and Cancer Biology, University of Toledo Health Science Campus, Toledo, Ohio 43614
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  • William T. Gunning,

    1. Department of Biochemistry and Cancer Biology, University of Toledo Health Science Campus, Toledo, Ohio 43614
    2. Advanced Microscopy and Imaging Center, University of Toledo Health Science Campus, Toledo, Ohio 43614
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  • Andrea Nestor,

    1. Advanced Microscopy and Imaging Center, University of Toledo Health Science Campus, Toledo, Ohio 43614
    2. Department of Surgery, University of Toledo Health Science Campus, Toledo, Ohio 43614
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  • David Giovannucci,

    1. Advanced Microscopy and Imaging Center, University of Toledo Health Science Campus, Toledo, Ohio 43614
    2. Department of Neurosciences, University of Toledo Health Science Campus, Toledo, Ohio 43614
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  • Ming Zhang,

    1. Department of Anatomy and Structural Biology, University of Otago, Dunedin 9054, New Zealand
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  • Han-Fei Ding

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Biochemistry and Cancer Biology, University of Toledo Health Science Campus, Toledo, Ohio 43614
    • Department of Biochemistry and Cancer Biology, BHSB 461, University of Toledo Health Science Campus, 3035 Arlington Avenue, Toledo, OH 43614
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Abstract

Sympathetic ganglia are primarily composed of noradrenergic neurons and satellite glial cells. Although both cell types originate from neural crest cells, the identities of the progenitor populations at intermediate stages of the differentiation process remain to be established. Here we report on the identification in vivo of glial and neuronal progenitor cells in postnatal sympathetic ganglia, by using mouse superior cervical ganglia as a model system. There are significant levels of cellular proliferation in mouse superior cervical ganglia during the first 18 days after birth. A majority of the proliferating cells express both nestin and brain lipid-binding protein (BLBP). Bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) fate-tracing experiments demonstrate that these nestin and BLBP double-positive cells represent a population of glial progenitors for sympathetic satellite cells. The glial differentiation process is characterized by a marked downregulation of nestin and upregulation of S100, with no significant changes in the levels of BLBP expression. We also identify a small number of proliferating cells that express nestin and tyrosine hydroxylase, a key enzyme of catecholamine biosynthesis that defines sympathetic noradrenergic neurons. Together, these results establish nestin as a common marker for sympathetic neuronal and glial progenitor cells and delineate the cellular basis for the generation and maturation of sympathetic satellite cells. J. Comp. Neurol. 508:867–878, 2008. © 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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