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Front Cell Neurosci. 2015 Mar 18;9:78. doi: 10.3389/fncel.2015.00078. eCollection 2015.

PPARβ/δ and PPARγ maintain undifferentiated phenotypes of mouse adult neural precursor cells from the subventricular zone.

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Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Faculty of Biological Sciences, Center for Aging and Regeneration, Pontifical Catholic University of Chile Santiago, Chile.
Laboratory of Stem Cells and Development, Faculty of Science, FONDAP Center for Genome Regulation, University of Chile Santiago, Chile.


The subventricular zone (SVZ) is one of the main niches of neural stem cells in the adult mammalian brain. Stem and precursor cells in this region are the source for neurogenesis and oligodendrogesis, mainly in the olfactory bulb and corpus callosum, respectively. The identification of the molecular components regulating the decision of these cells to differentiate or maintain an undifferentiated state is important in order to understand the modulation of neurogenic processes in physiological and pathological conditions. PPARs are a group of transcription factors, activated by lipid ligands, with important functions in cellular differentiation and proliferation in several tissues. In this work, we demonstrate that mouse adult neural precursor cells (NPCs), in situ and in vitro, express PPARβ/δ and PPARγ. Pharmacological activation of both PPARs isoforms induces proliferation and maintenance of the undifferentiated phenotype. Congruently, inhibition of PPARβ/δ and PPARγ results in a decrease of proliferation and loss of the undifferentiated phenotype. Interestingly, PPARγ regulates the level of EGFR in adult NPCs, concurrent with it is function described in embryonic NPCs. Furthermore, we describe for the first time that PPARβ/δ regulates SOX2 level in adult NPCs, probably through a direct transcriptional regulation, as we identified two putative PPAR response elements in the promoter region of Sox2. EGFR and SOX2 are key players in neural stem/precursor cells self-renewal. Finally, rosiglitazone, a PPARγ ligand, increases PPARβ/δ level, suggesting a possible cooperation between these two PPARs in the control of cell fate behavior. Our work contributes to the understanding of the molecular mechanisms associated to neural cell fate decision and places PPARβ/δ and PPARγ as interesting new targets of modulation of mammalian brain homeostasis.


EGFR; PPARβ/δ; PPARγ; SOX2; neural stem/precursor cells; subventricular zone

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