Send to

Choose Destination
J Neurosci. 2005 Nov 2;25(44):10064-73.

Olig transcription factors are expressed in oligodendrocyte and neuronal cells in human fetal CNS.

Author information

Department of Neuroscience, University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, Connecticut 06030, USA.


The transcription factors Olig1 and Olig2 are closely associated with the development of oligodendrocyte (OL) lineage in the vertebrate nervous system, but little is known about their role in the human developing CNS. To test the hypothesis that they contribute to initial OL specification in humans, we studied the expression of Olig1 and Olig2 in human fetuses at 5-24 gestational weeks (GW). Both transcription factors were present in well outlined regions of the ventral neuroepithelium at 5 GW, several weeks before oligodendrogenesis. Spatial differences in the expression of Olig1 and Olig2 along the neuronal axis suggest that they specify different subpopulations of progenitor cells. Olig1 was distributed rostrally, from the basal forebrain to the hindbrain, whereas Olig2 was also found in the ventral spinal cord. Furthermore, at 5 GW, Olig1 was coexpressed with vimentin, and Olig2 was coexpressed with a neuronal marker, microtubule-associated protein 2. With the progression of development at 15 GW, both proteins were present throughout the spinal cord and the ventricular-subventricular zone of the ganglionic eminences, whereas at midgestation (20 GW), they were also expressed in the telencephalic proliferative zones and the emerging white matter. Double-labeling studies revealed that early OL progenitor cells and radial glia expressed Olig1, whereas Olig2 was localized predominantly in mature OLs and a subset of neural progenitor cells and mature neurons. Thus, Olig1 and Olig2 transcription factors in the human CNS are important not only for differentiation of the OL lineage, but they may also have a role in neural cell specification.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire
Loading ...
Support Center