Characterization of neurogenic niches in the telencephalon of juvenile and adult sharks

Brain Struct Funct. 2020 Mar;225(2):817-839. doi: 10.1007/s00429-020-02038-1. Epub 2020 Feb 15.


Neurogenesis is a multistep process by which progenitor cells become terminally differentiated neurons. Adult neurogenesis has gathered increasing interest with the aim of developing new cell-based treatments for neurodegenerative diseases in humans. Active sites of adult neurogenesis exist from fish to mammals, although in the adult mammalian brain the number and extension of neurogenic areas is considerably reduced in comparison to non-mammalian vertebrates and they become mostly reduced to the telencephalon. Much of our understanding in this field is based in studies on mammals and zebrafish, a modern bony fish. The use of the cartilaginous fish Scyliorhinus canicula (representative of basal gnathostomes) as a model expands the comparative framework to a species that shows highly neurogenic activity in the adult brain. In this work, we studied the proliferation pattern in the telencephalon of juvenile and adult specimens of S. canicula using antibodies against the proliferation marker proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA). We have characterized proliferating niches using stem cell markers (Sex determining region Y-box 2), glial markers (glial fibrillary acidic protein, brain lipid binding protein and glutamine synthase), intermediate progenitor cell markers (Dlx2 and Tbr2) and markers for migrating neuroblasts (Doublecortin). Based in the expression pattern of these markers, we demonstrate the existence of different cell subtypes within the PCNA immunoreactive zones including non-glial stem cells, glial progenitors, intermediate progenitor-like cells and migratory neuroblasts, which were widely distributed in the ventricular zone of the pallium, suggesting that the main progenitor types that constitute the neurogenic niche in mammals are already present in cartilaginous fishes.

Keywords: Evolution; IPC; Neurogenesis; Radial glia; Sharks; Telencephalon.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Fish Proteins / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Homeodomain Proteins / metabolism
  • Neural Stem Cells / metabolism*
  • Neurogenesis*
  • Neuroglia / metabolism
  • SOX Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Sharks / growth & development*
  • Sharks / metabolism
  • Telencephalon / growth & development*
  • Telencephalon / metabolism
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism


  • Fish Proteins
  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • SOX Transcription Factors
  • Transcription Factors