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Regional astrocyte allocation regulates CNS synaptogenesis and repair.

Astrocytes, the most abundant cell population in the central nervous system (CNS), are essential for normal neurological function. We show that astrocytes are allocated to spatial domains in mouse spinal cord and brain in accordance with their embryonic sites of origin in the ventricular zone. These domains remain stable throughout life without evidence of secondary tangential migration, even after acute CNS injury. Domain-specific depletion of astrocytes in ventral spinal cord resulted in abnormal motor neuron synaptogenesis, which was not rescued by immigration of astrocytes from adjoining regions. Our findings demonstrate that region-restricted astrocyte allocation is a general CNS phenomenon and reveal intrinsic limitations of the astroglial response to injury.

Pubmed ID: 22745251


  • Tsai HH
  • Li H
  • Fuentealba LC
  • Molofsky AV
  • Taveira-Marques R
  • Zhuang H
  • Tenney A
  • Murnen AT
  • Fancy SP
  • Merkle F
  • Kessaris N
  • Alvarez-Buylla A
  • Richardson WD
  • Rowitch DH


Science (New York, N.Y.)

Publication Data

July 20, 2012

Associated Grants

  • Agency: Medical Research Council, Id: G0501173
  • Agency: Medical Research Council, Id: G0800575
  • Agency: NINDS NIH HHS, Id: R01 NS028478
  • Agency: NICHD NIH HHS, Id: R37 HD032116
  • Agency: Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Id:
  • Agency: Medical Research Council, Id:
  • Agency: Wellcome Trust, Id:

Mesh Terms

  • Animals
  • Astrocytes
  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factors
  • Brain
  • Brain Injuries
  • Cell Movement
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins
  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • Integrases
  • Luminescent Proteins
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Motor Neurons
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Proteins
  • RNA, Untranslated
  • Spinal Cord
  • Spinal Cord Injuries
  • Synapses
  • Transcription Factors
  • Transcription, Genetic