Lineage tracing reveals the hierarchical relationship between neural stem cell populations in the mouse forebrain

Sci Rep. 2019 Nov 27;9(1):17730. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-54143-9.


Since the original isolation of neural stem cells (NSCs) in the adult mammalian brain, further work has revealed a heterogeneity in the NSC pool. Our previous work characterized a distinct, Oct4 expressing, NSC population in the periventricular region, through development and into adulthood. We hypothesized that this population is upstream in lineage to the more abundant, well documented, GFAP expressing NSC. Herein, we show that Oct4 expressing NSCs give rise to neurons, astrocytes and oligodendrocytes throughout the developing brain. Further, transgenic inducible mouse models demonstrate that the rare Oct4 expressing NSCs undergo asymmetric divisions to give rise to GFAP expressing NSCs in naïve and injured brains. This lineage relationship between distinct NSC pools contributes significantly to an understanding of neural development, the NSC lineage in vivo and has implications for neural repair.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Asymmetric Cell Division
  • Cell Lineage*
  • Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein / genetics
  • Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Neural Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Neural Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Neurogenesis*
  • Octamer Transcription Factor-3 / genetics
  • Octamer Transcription Factor-3 / metabolism
  • Prosencephalon / cytology*
  • Prosencephalon / growth & development


  • Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein
  • Octamer Transcription Factor-3
  • Pou5f1 protein, mouse