Meteorin is a chemokinetic factor in neuroblast migration and promotes stroke-induced striatal neurogenesis

J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2012 Feb;32(2):387-98. doi: 10.1038/jcbfm.2011.156. Epub 2011 Nov 2.


Ischemic stroke affecting the adult brain causes increased progenitor proliferation in the subventricular zone (SVZ) and generation of neuroblasts, which migrate into the damaged striatum and differentiate to mature neurons. Meteorin (METRN), a newly discovered neurotrophic factor, is highly expressed in neural progenitor cells and immature neurons during development, suggesting that it may be involved in neurogenesis. Here, we show that METRN promotes migration of neuroblasts from SVZ explants of postnatal rats and stroke-subjected adult rats via a chemokinetic mechanism, and reduces N-methyl-D-asparate-induced apoptotic cell death in SVZ cells in vitro. Stroke induced by middle cerebral artery occlusion upregulates the expression of endogenous METRN in cells with neuronal phenotype in striatum. Recombinant METRN infused into the stroke-damaged brain stimulates cell proliferation in SVZ, promotes neuroblast migration, and increases the number of immature and mature neurons in the ischemic striatum. Our findings identify METRN as a new factor promoting neurogenesis both in vitro and in vivo by multiple mechanisms. Further work will be needed to translate METRN's actions on endogenous neurogenesis into improved recovery after stroke.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Brain / pathology
  • Brain / physiopathology
  • Cell Survival
  • Chemotaxis
  • Corpus Striatum / cytology
  • Corpus Striatum / metabolism
  • Corpus Striatum / pathology
  • Corpus Striatum / physiopathology*
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / administration & dosage
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / genetics
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / metabolism*
  • Neurogenesis*
  • Neurons / cytology
  • Neurons / pathology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Recombinant Proteins / administration & dosage
  • Recombinant Proteins / genetics
  • Recombinant Proteins / metabolism
  • Stem Cells / cytology
  • Stroke / genetics
  • Stroke / metabolism
  • Stroke / pathology
  • Stroke / physiopathology*


  • Metrn protein, rat
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • meteorin protein, mouse