The neurogenic potential of the subgranular zone (SGZ) of the hippocampal dentate gyrus is likely to be regulated by molecular cues arising from its complex heterogeneous cellular environment. Through transcriptome analysis using laser microdissection coupled with DNA microarrays, in combination with analysis of genome-wide in situ hybridization data, we identified 363 genes selectively enriched in adult mouse SGZ. These genes reflect expression in the different constituent cell types, including progenitor and dividing cells, immature granule cells, astrocytes, oligodendrocytes and GABAergic interneurons. Similar transcriptional profiling in the rhesus monkey dentate gyrus across postnatal development identified a highly overlapping set of SGZ-enriched genes, which can be divided based on temporal profiles to reflect maturation of glia versus granule neurons. Furthermore, we identified a neurogenesis-related gene network with decreasing postnatal expression that is highly correlated with the declining number of proliferating cells in dentate gyrus over postnatal development. Many of the genes in this network showed similar postnatal downregulation in mouse, suggesting a conservation of molecular mechanisms underlying developmental and adult neurogenesis in rodents and primates. Conditional deletion of Sox4 and Sox11, encoding two neurogenesis-related transcription factors central in this network, produces a mouse with no hippocampus, confirming the crucial role for these genes in regulating hippocampal neurogenesis.
Keywords: Development; Hippocampus; Neurogenesis; Rhesus monkey; Subgranular zone; Transcriptome.