NG2 cells express the chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan NG2 and are a fourth type of glia distinct from astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, and microglia. NG2 cells generate oligodendrocytes but have also been reported to represent neuronal progenitor cells in the postnatal mouse subventricular zone (SVZ). We performed a detailed immunohistochemical analysis of NG2 cells in the mouse SVZ, rostral migratory stream (RMS), and olfactory bulb granule cell layer (OB GCL), which constitute a neurogenic niche in the postnatal forebrain. NG2 cells in the SVZ and RMS expressed the oligodendrocyte precursor cell antigen platelet-derived growth factor receptor-alpha but did not express antigens known to be expressed by neuronogenic cells in the SVZ, such as doublecortin, PSA-NCAM, beta-tubulin, Dlx2, or GFAP. More than 99.5% of the proliferating cells in the SVZ were NG2 negative. In the olfactory bulb, NG2 cells were found to generate primarily oligodendrocytes and a small number of astrocytes but not neurons. In the SVZ and RMS, NG2 cells were sparse and made up a much smaller fraction of the cells compared with the surrounding nonneurogenic parenchyma. Parenchymal NG2 cells were often located along the border of the SVZ and RMS. The abundance of NG2 cells increased in the distal parts of the RMS and especially in the OB GCL, where NG2 cell processes were seen in close proximity to many maturing interneurons. Our findings indicate that NG2 cells do not represent neuronal progenitor cells in the postnatal SVZ but are likely to be oligodendrocyte precursor cells.
Pubmed ID: 19058188 RIS Download
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