SPARC is expressed by macroglia and microglia in the developing and mature nervous system

Dev Dyn. 2008 May;237(5):1449-62. doi: 10.1002/dvdy.21495.


SPARC (secreted protein, acidic and rich in cysteine) is a matricellular protein that is highly expressed during development, tissue remodeling, and repair. SPARC produced by olfactory ensheathing cells (OECs) can promote axon sprouting in vitro and in vivo. Here, we show that in the developing nervous system of the mouse, SPARC is expressed by radial glia, blood vessels, and other pial-derived structures during embryogenesis and postnatal development. The rostral migratory stream contains SPARC that becomes progressively restricted to the SVZ in adulthood. In the adult CNS, SPARC is enriched in specialized radial glial derivatives (Müller and Bergmann glia), microglia, and brainstem astrocytes. The peripheral glia, Schwann cells, and OECs express SPARC throughout development and in maturity, although it appears to be down-regulated with maturation. These data suggest that SPARC may be expressed by glia in a spatiotemporal manner consistent with a role in cell migration, neurogenesis, synaptic plasticity, and angiogenesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Astrocytes / cytology
  • Astrocytes / metabolism*
  • Central Nervous System* / cytology
  • Central Nervous System* / physiology
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Microglia / cytology
  • Microglia / metabolism*
  • Morphogenesis / physiology
  • Oligodendroglia / cytology
  • Oligodendroglia / metabolism*
  • Osteonectin / genetics
  • Osteonectin / metabolism*


  • Osteonectin