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Mol Cell Neurosci. 2011 Jan;46(1):108-21. doi: 10.1016/j.mcn.2010.08.011. Epub 2010 Aug 31.

The T-box brain 1 (Tbr1) transcription factor inhibits astrocyte formation in the olfactory bulb and regulates neural stem cell fate.

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Instituto Cajal, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), Madrid, Spain.


The T-box brain 1 (Tbr1) gene encodes a transcription factor necessary for the maintenance and/or differentiation of glutamatergic cells in the olfactory bulb (OB) and cortex, although its precise function in the development of glutamatergic neurons is not known. Furthermore, Tbr1 has not been reported to regulate the formation of glial cells. We show that Tbr1 is expressed during the initial stages in the generation of glutamatergic mitral neurons from dividing progenitors in the E12.5 mouse OB. Retroviral-mediated overexpression of Tbr1 in cultured embryonic and adult OB stem cells (OBSC) produces a marked increase in the number of TuJ1(+) neurons (including VGLUT1(+) glutamatergic and GABA(+) neurons) and O4(+) oligodendrocytes. Moreover, transduction of Tbr1 inhibits the production of GFAP(+) astrocytes from both cultured OBSC and dividing progenitor cells in vivo. These results show that the expression of Tbr1 in neural stem and progenitor cells prevents them from following an astrocyte fate during OB development. Our findings suggest that the transduction of Tbr1 into neural stem cells could be useful to increase the production of neurons and oligodendrocytes in studies of neuroregeneration.

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