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High levels of Id1 expression define B1 type adult neural stem cells.

Defining the molecular identity of stem cells may be critical for formulating a rational strategy for the therapeutic intervention of stem cell dysfunction. We find that high expression of Id1, a dominant-negative helix-loop-helix transcriptional regulator, identifies a rare population of GFAP(+) astrocytes with stem cell attributes among the subventricular astrocytes in the adult brain. The rare, long-lived, and relatively quiescent Id1(high) astrocytes with morphology characteristic of B1 type astrocytes self-renew and generate migratory neuroblasts that differentiate into olfactory bulb interneurons. Cultured Id1(high) neural stem cells can self-renew asymmetrically and generate a stem and a differentiated cell expressing progressively lower levels of Id1, revealing an Id1 gradient in unperturbed cells of subventricular neurogenic lineages. Moreover, Id genes are necessary to confer self-renewal capacity, a characteristic of stem cell identity. We suggest that high expression of a single transcriptional regulator, Id1, molecularly defines the long-sought-after B1 type adult neural stem cells.

Pubmed ID: 19896442


  • Nam HS
  • Benezra R


Cell stem cell

Publication Data

November 6, 2009

Associated Grants

  • Agency: NIDCD NIH HHS, Id: F30DC008707
  • Agency: NCI NIH HHS, Id: R01 CA107429
  • Agency: NCI NIH HHS, Id: R01 CA107429-05
  • Agency: NIGMS NIH HHS, Id: T32GM07739

Mesh Terms

  • Adult Stem Cells
  • Animals
  • Antigens, Differentiation
  • Astrocytes
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Lineage
  • Cell Survival
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Inhibitor of Differentiation Protein 1
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Neurogenesis