A.P. and J.P.H. contributed equally to this work.
The Stem Cell Niche
Article first published online: 25 SEP 2009
Copyright © 2009 AlphaMed Press
Volume 27, Issue 11, pages 2722–2733, November 2009
How to Cite
Sabourin, J.-C., Ackema, K. B., Ohayon, D., Guichet, P.-O., Perrin, F. E., Garces, A., Ripoll, C., Charité, J., Simonneau, L., Kettenmann, H., Zine, A., Privat, A., Valmier, J., Pattyn, A. and Hugnot, J.-P. (2009), A Mesenchymal-Like ZEB1+ Niche Harbors Dorsal Radial Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein-Positive Stem Cells in the Spinal Cord. STEM CELLS, 27: 2722–2733. doi: 10.1002/stem.226
Author contributions: J.C.S., K.B.A. P.O.G., F.E.P., and C.R.: conception and design; D.O., J.C., L.S., H.K., A.Z., and A.P.: provision of study material; A.G.: collection and/or assembly of data; A.P. and J.V.: financial support; J.P. H.: conception and design, manuscript writing, final approval of manuscript.
Disclosure of potential conflicts of interest is found at the end of this article.
First published online in STEM CELLS EXPRESS September 25, 2009.
- Issue published online: 6 NOV 2009
- Article first published online: 25 SEP 2009
- Accepted manuscript online: 25 SEP 2009 12:00AM EST
- Manuscript Accepted: 8 SEP 2009
- Manuscript Received: 11 MAY 2009
- European Union FP6 “Rescue” STREP
- “Association Française contre les Myopathies” (Evry, France)
- Princess Grace of Monaco Fundation (Monaco)
- Neural stem cells;
- Spinal cord;
In humans and rodents the adult spinal cord harbors neural stem cells located around the central canal. Their identity, precise location, and specific signaling are still ill-defined and controversial. We report here on a detailed analysis of this niche. Using microdissection and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP)-green fluorescent protein (GFP) transgenic mice, we demonstrate that neural stem cells are mostly dorsally located GFAP+ cells lying ependymally and subependymally that extend radial processes toward the pial surface. The niche also harbors doublecortin protein (Dcx)+ Nkx6.1+ neurons sending processes into the lumen. Cervical and lumbar spinal cord neural stem cells maintain expression of specific rostro-caudal Hox gene combinations and the niche shows high levels of signaling proteins (CD15, Jagged1, Hes1, differential screening-selected gene aberrative in neuroblastoma [DAN]). More surprisingly, the niche displays mesenchymal traits such as expression of epithelial-mesenchymal-transition zinc finger E-box-binding protein 1 (ZEB1) transcription factor and smooth muscle actin. We found ZEB1 to be essential for neural stem cell survival in vitro. Proliferation within the niche progressively ceases around 13 weeks when the spinal cord reaches its final size, suggesting an active role in postnatal development. In addition to hippocampus and subventricular zone niches, adult spinal cord constitutes a third central nervous system stem cell niche with specific signaling, cellular, and structural characteristics that could possibly be manipulated to alleviate spinal cord traumatic and degenerative diseases. STEM CELLS 2009;27:2722–2733