Specialized microenvironment, or neurogenic niche, in embryonic and postnatal mouse brain plays critical roles during neurogenesis throughout adulthood. The subventricular zone (SVZ) and the dentate gyrus (DG) of hippocampus in the mouse brain are two major neurogenic niches where neurogenesis is directed by numerous regulatory factors. Now, we report Akhirin (AKH), a stem cell maintenance factor in mouse spinal cord, plays a pivotal regulatory role in the SVZ and in the DG. AKH showed specific distribution during development in embryonic and postnatal neurogenic niches. Loss of AKH led to abnormal development of the ventricular zone and the DG along with reduction of cellular proliferation in both regions. In AKH knockout mice (AKH−/−), quiescent neural stem cells (NSCs) increased, while proliferative NSCs or neural progenitor cells decreased at both neurogenic niches. In vitro NSC culture assay showed increased number of neurospheres and reduced neurogenesis in AKH−/−. These results indicate that AKH, at the neurogenic niche, exerts dynamic regulatory role on NSC self-renewal, proliferation and differentiation during SVZ and hippocampal neurogenesis.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental Biology
- Cell Biology