The cortical hem lacks stem cell potential despite expressing SOX9 and HOPX

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Abstract

The adult dentate gyrus (DG) of rodents hosts a neural stem cell (NSC) niche capable of generating new neurons throughout life. The embryonic origin and molecular mechanisms underlying formation of DG NSCs are still being investigated. We performed a bulk transcriptomic analysis on mouse developing archicortex conditionally deleted for Sox9, a SoxE transcription factor controlling both gliogenesis and NSC formation, and identified Hopx, a recently identified marker of both prospective adult DG NSCs and astrocytic progenitors, as being downregulated. We confirm SOX9 is required for HOPX expression in the embryonic archicortex. In particular, we found that both NSC markers are highly expressed in the CH, while only weakly in the adjacent dentate neuroepithelium (DNE), suggesting a potential CH embryonic origin for DG NSCs. However, we demonstrate both in vitro and in vivo that the embryonic CH, as well as its adult derivatives, lack stem cell potential. Instead, deletion of Sox9 in the DNE affects both HOPX expression and NSC formation in the adult DG. We conclude that HOPX expression in the CH is involved in astrocytic differentiation downstream of SOX9, which we previously showed regulates DG development by inducing formation of a CH-derived astrocytic scaffold. All together these results suggest that both proteins work in a dose-dependent manner to drive either astrocytic differentiation in CH, or NSC formation in DNE. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

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