Mash1 specifies neurons and oligodendrocytes in the postnatal brain

Carlos M. Parras, Rossella Galli, Olivier Britz, Sylvia Soares, Christophe Galichet, James Battiste, Jane E. Johnson, Masato Nakafaku, Angelo Vescovi, François Guillemot

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

315 Scopus citations


Progenitors in the telencephalic subventricular zone (SVZ) remain mitotically active throughout life, and produce different cell types at embryonic, postnatal and adult stages. Here we show that Mash1, an important proneural gene in the embryonic telencephalon, is broadly expressed in the postnatal SVZ, in progenitors for both neuronal and oligodendrocyte lineages. Moreover, Mash1 is required at birth for the generation of a large fraction of neuronal and oligodendrocyte precursors from the olfactory bulb. Clonal analysis in culture and transplantation experiments in postnatal brain demonstrate that this phenotype reflects a cell-autonomous function of Mash1 in specification of these two lineages. The conservation of Mash1 function in the postnatal SVZ suggests that the same transcription mechanisms operate throughout life to specify cell fates in this structure, and that the profound changes in the cell types produced reflect changes in the signalling environment of the SVZ.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4495-4505
Number of pages11
JournalEMBO Journal
Issue number22
StatePublished - Nov 10 2004


  • Adult neurogenesis
  • Brain
  • Oligodendrogenesis
  • Transcription factor
  • Transplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


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