Prox1 Is Required for Oligodendrocyte Cell Identity in Adult Neural Stem Cells of the Subventricular Zone

Eva C Bunk, Gökhan Ertaylan, Felipe Ortega, Maria A Pavlou, Laura Gonzalez Cano, Athanasios Stergiopoulos, Shima Safaiyan, Sandra Völs, Marianne van Cann, Panagiotis K Politis, Mikael Simons, Benedikt Berninger, Antonio Del Sol, Jens C Schwamborn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Adult neural stem cells with the ability to generate neurons and glia cells are active throughout life in both the dentate gyrus (DG) and the subventricular zone (SVZ). Differentiation of adult neural stem cells is induced by cell fate determinants like the transcription factor Prox1. Evidence has been provided for a function of Prox1 as an inducer of neuronal differentiation within the DG. We now show that within the SVZ Prox1 induces differentiation into oligodendrocytes. Moreover, we find that loss of Prox1 expression in vivo reduces cell migration into the corpus callosum, where the few Prox1 deficient SVZ-derived remaining cells fail to differentiate into oligodendrocytes. Thus, our work uncovers a novel function of Prox1 as a fate determinant for oligodendrocytes in the adult mammalian brain. These data indicate that the neurogenic and oligodendrogliogenic lineages in the two adult neurogenic niches exhibit a distinct requirement for Prox1, being important for neurogenesis in the DG but being indispensable for oligodendrogliogenesis in the SVZ. Stem Cells 2016;34:2115-2129.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2115-2129
Number of pages15
JournalStem Cells
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2016


  • Prox1
  • Oligodendrocytes
  • Neural stem cells
  • Adult neurogenesis
  • OLIG2

Cite this

Bunk, E. C., Ertaylan, G., Ortega, F., Pavlou, M. A., Gonzalez Cano, L., Stergiopoulos, A., Safaiyan, S., Völs, S., van Cann, M., Politis, P. K., Simons, M., Berninger, B., Del Sol, A., & Schwamborn, J. C. (2016). Prox1 Is Required for Oligodendrocyte Cell Identity in Adult Neural Stem Cells of the Subventricular Zone. Stem Cells, 34(8), 2115-2129.