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J Neurosci Res. 2009 Nov 15;87(15):3331-42. doi: 10.1002/jnr.22044.

N-cadherin mediates interaction between precursor cells in the subventricular zone and regulates further differentiation.

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  • 1Department of Neuroscience, The Black Family Stem Cell Institute, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York, USA.


Neurogenesis and cell differentiation in the brain continues throughout life. In the subventricular zone and rostral migratory stream, precursor cells contact each other. Cell-cell interactions mediated via adhesion molecules are no doubt involved in establishing and maintaining the neurogenic ability of these cells. Here, we demonstrate that N-cadherin plays important roles in forming cell clusters and in regulating cell differentiation. N-cadherin is abundantly expressed in chain migrating cells in the subventricular zone and rostral migratory stream but is down-regulated after cells exit these regions. We also show that neurosphere formation is inhibited via suppression of N-cadherin function and that N-cadherin expression is decreased after induction of neurosphere differentiation. Furthermore, we demonstrate that functional blockade of N-cadherin can enhance glial cell differentiation in explant cultures of precursors from the subventricular zone.

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