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J Neurosci. 2008 Dec 24;28(52):14074-86. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3188-08.2008.

Id2 is required for specification of dopaminergic neurons during adult olfactory neurogenesis.

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Norris Cotton Cancer Center, Dartmouth Medical School, Lebanon, New Hampshire 03756, USA.


Understanding the biology of adult neural stem cells has important implications for nervous system development and may contribute to our understanding of neurodegenerative disorders and their treatment. We have characterized the process of olfactory neurogenesis in adult mice lacking inhibitor of DNA binding 2(-/-) (Id2(-/-)). We found a diminished olfactory bulb containing reduced numbers of granular and periglomerular neurons with a distinct paucity of dopaminergic periglomerular neurons. While no deficiency of the stem cell compartment was detectable, migrating neuroblasts in Id2(-/-) mutant mice prematurely undergo astroglial differentiation within a disorganized rostral migratory stream. Further, when evaluated in vitro loss of Id2 results in decreased proliferation of neural progenitors and decreased expression of the Hes1 and Ascl1 (Mash1) transcription factors, known mediators of neuronal differentiation. These data support a novel role for sustained Id2 expression in migrating neural progenitors mediating olfactory dopaminergic neuronal differentiation in adult animals.

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