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Keywords:

  • adenoviral transfer;
  • cerebral cortex;
  • corpus callosum;
  • morphogen

Abstract

Sonic hedgehog signaling is required for the maintenance of stem cell niches in the postnatal subventricular zone and the proliferation of neural progenitors in the mature hippocampus. We show here that delivery of Sonic hedgehog protein into the lateral ventricle of adult mice increases cell proliferation in the corpus callosum and cerebral cortex. In this latter area, the number of neural progenitors expressing the proteoglycan NG2 is enhanced 2 days after the injection. In both areas, mRNA up-regulation of the transcriptional target gene Patched was observed in cells expressing the oligodendroglial transcription factor Olig1. Twenty-six days following the adenovirus-mediated delivery of Sonic hedgehog into the lateral ventricle, newly generated cells in the cerebral cortex and in the corpus callosum are influenced towards the initial steps of oligodendrogenesis, as indicated by a 50% increase in the number of cells expressing the oligodendroglial marker DM20. Our experiments demonstrate that the number of oligodendrocyte precursor cells in the cerebral cortex and corpus callosum can be increased upon delivery of Sonic hedgehog proteins and highlight the potential capacity of the adult brain to mobilize a pool of premyelinating cells.