In vertebrates, interneurons of the olfactory bulb are continuously generated postnatally and throughout life at the subventricular zone of the forebrain. From there, the neuronal progenitors migrate tangentially in a typical chain-like structure to the olfactory bulb in which they differentiate as interneurons. We have used a mouse/chick xenograft strategy to explore the migration and differentiation potential of the mouse olfactory progenitors in a heterochronic and heterotypic environment. We compared the migration of primary cells derived from the subventricular zone of adult or newborn lateral ventricule with the behavior of in vitro amplified cells derived from the same structures. We show that in the chick environment, olfactory bulb progenitors from newborn brain tissue perform chain migration along the neural crest cell routes, whereas grafted neurosphere-derived-cells migrate as isolated cells. These results, together with in vitro observations, allow us to propose that neuronal chain migration is a community effect independent of environmental cues but which is closely regulated by the differentiation program of the cells. We established that the progenitor cells performing chain migration are already committed, while neurosphere-derived-cells are able to integrate and differentiate as components of the peripheral nervous system.
Copyright 2001 Academic Press.