A study of primary neural stem cell differentiation in vitro, focusing on the Three Amino acid Loop Extension (TALE) homeobox transcription factors
Barber, Benjamin A.
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Neural stem cells are capable of self-renewal and multilineage differentiation into the main cell types of the central nervous system, which are the neurons, astrocytes, and oligodendrocytes. These properties make neural stem cells an attractive cell source for potential cell-based therapies; however, thoroughly describing their gene expression programs is required to predict their safety and efficacy. In this study, we reveal that mouse embryonic day (E14) forebrain-derived primary neural stem cells have an astrocytic gene expression profile. We show that the NOTCH and BMP signalling pathways exhibit transcription profiles that are specific to the proliferation and differentiation of this neural stem cell source. Finally, we report the expression patterns of the Hox and TALE family homeobox genes in the E14 forebrain, E14 forebrain-derived primary neural stem cells, and their differentiating progeny. Protein expression analysis suggests that PREP2 is involved in neural stem cell proliferation and neuronogenesis, and that MEIS1 is involved in astrocyte differentiation. This is the first report on the expression patterns of TALE genes in forebrain-derived NSC differentiated in vitro, which provides a starting point to investigate the role of TALE genes in forebrain neurogenesis.