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Eur J Neurosci. 2010 Aug;32(4):523-37. doi: 10.1111/j.1460-9568.2010.07316.x.

Identification of a Chr 11 quantitative trait locus that modulates proliferation in the rostral migratory stream of the adult mouse brain.

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Centre for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics, Child and Family Research Institute, Department of Medical Genetics, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, V5Z 4H4, Canada.


Neuron production takes place continuously in the rostral migratory stream (RMS) of the adult mammalian brain. The molecular mechanisms that regulate progenitor cell division and differentiation in the RMS remain largely unknown. Here, we surveyed the mouse genome in an unbiased manner to identify candidate gene loci that regulate proliferation in the adult RMS. We quantified neurogenesis in adult C57BL/6J and A/J mice, and 27 recombinant inbred lines derived from those parental strains. We showed that the A/J RMS had greater numbers of bromodeoxyuridine-labeled cells than that of C57BL/6J mice with similar cell cycle parameters, indicating that the differences in the number of bromodeoxyuridine-positive cells reflected the number of proliferating cells between the strains. AXB and BXA recombinant inbred strains demonstrated even greater variation in the numbers of proliferating cells. Genome-wide mapping of this trait revealed that chromosome 11 harbors a significant quantitative trait locus at 116.75 +/- 0.75 Mb that affects cell proliferation in the adult RMS. The genomic regions that influence RMS proliferation did not overlap with genomic regions regulating proliferation in the adult subgranular zone of the hippocampal dentate gyrus. On the contrary, a different, suggestive locus that modulates cell proliferation in the subgranular zone was mapped to chromosome 3 at 102 +/- 7 Mb. A subset of genes in the chromosome 11 quantitative trait locus region is associated with neurogenesis and cell proliferation. Our findings provide new insights into the genetic control of neural proliferation and an excellent starting point to identify genes critical to this process.

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