The subventricular zone (SVZ) is a major neurogenic region in the adult brain. Cells from the SVZ give rise to two populations of olfactory bulb interneurons: the granule cells and periglomerular (PG) cells. Currently, little is known about the signaling pathways that direct these newly generated neurons to become either granule or PG neurons. In the present study, we used the nestin promoter and enhancer to direct expression of the tetracycline transactivator (tTA). We generated two independent strains of nestin-tTA transgenic animals and crossed founder mice from both lines to mice containing a tetracycline-regulated transgene (mCREB) whose expression served as a marker for the activity of the nestin-tTA transgene. mCREB expression occurred in a subset of proliferating cells in the SVZ and rostral migratory stream in both lines. Surprisingly, in both lines of nestin-tTA mice transgene expression in the olfactory bulb was limited to PG neurons and was absent from granule cells, suggesting that this nestin promoter construct differentiates between the two interneuronal populations. Transgene expression occurred in several subtypes of PG neurons, including those expressing calretinin, calbindin, GAD67, and tyrosine hydroxylase. These results suggest that a unique subset of SVZ precursor cells gives rise to PG, and not granule cells. The ability to express different transgenes within this subpopulation of neuronal precursors provides a powerful system to define the signals regulating the differentiation and survival of adult-generated neurons in the olfactory bulb.
Copyright 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.