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Cell Stem Cell. 2007 Nov;1(5):515-28. doi: 10.1016/j.stem.2007.09.002.

In vivo fate analysis reveals the multipotent and self-renewal capacities of Sox2+ neural stem cells in the adult hippocampus.

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Laboratory of Genetics, The Salk Institute for Biological Studies, 10010 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA.


To characterize the properties of adult neural stem cells (NSCs), we generated and analyzed Sox2-GFP transgenic mice. Sox2-GFP cells in the subgranular zone (SGZ) express markers specific for progenitors, but they represent two morphologically distinct populations that differ in proliferation levels. Lentivirus- and retrovirus-mediated fate-tracing studies showed that Sox2+ cells in the SGZ have potential to give rise to neurons and astrocytes, revealing their multipotency at the population as well as at a single-cell level. A subpopulation of Sox2+ cells gives rise to cells that retain Sox2, highlighting Sox2+ cells as a primary source for adult NSCs. In response to mitotic signals, increased proliferation of Sox2+ cells is coupled with the generation of Sox2+ NSCs as well as neuronal precursors. An asymmetric contribution of Sox2+ NSCs may play an important role in maintaining the constant size of the NSC pool and producing newly born neurons during adult neurogenesis.

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