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Cell Fate Potential of NG2 Progenitors

Rebeca Sánchez-González, Ana Bribián, Laura López-Mascaraque
Scientific Reports2020
Determining the origin of different glial subtypes is crucial to understand glial heterogeneity, and to enhance our knowledge of glial and progenitor cell behavior in embryos and adults. NG2-glia are homogenously distributed in a grid-like manner in both, gray and white matter of the adult brain. While some NG2-glia in the CNS are responsible for the generation of mature oligodendrocytes (OPCs), most of them do not differentiate and they can proliferate outside of adult neurogenic niches. Thus, NG2-glia constitute a heterogeneous population containing different subpopulations with distinct functions. We hypothesized that their diversity emerges from specific progenitors during development, as occurs with other glial cell subtypes. To specifically target NG2-pallial progenitors and to define the NG2-glia lineage, as well as the NG2-progenitor potential, we designed two new StarTrack strategies using the NG2 promoter. These approaches label NG2 expressing progenitor cells, permitting the cell fates of these NG2 progenitors to be tracked in vivo. StarTrack labelled cells producing different neural phenotypes in different regions depending on the age targeted, and the strategy selected. This specific genetic targeting of neural progenitors in vivo has provided new data on the heterogeneous pool of NG2 progenitors at both embryonic and postnatal ages.
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