, Volume 136, Issue 5, pp 515-526
Date: 18 Sep 2011

Characterization and identification of Sox2+ radial glia cells derived from rat embryonic cerebral cortex

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During the central nervous system (CNS) development, radial glia cells (RGCs) play at least two essential roles, they contribute to neuronal production and the subsequent guidance of neuronal migration, whereas its precise distribution and contribution to cerebral cortex remains less understood. In this research, we used Vimentin as an astroglial marker and Sox2 as a neural progenitor marker to identify and investigate RGCs in rat cerebral cortex at embryonic day (E) 16.5. We found that the Sox2+ progenitor cells localized in the germinal zone (GZ) of E16.5 cerebral cortex, ~95% Sox2+ cells co-localized with Vimentin+ or Nestin+ radial processes which extended to the pial surface across the cortical plate (CP). In vitro, we obtained RG-like cells from E16.5 cerebral cortex on adherent conditions, these Sox2+ Radial glia (RG)-like cells shared some properties with RGCs in vivo, and these Sox2+ RG-like cells could differentiate into astrocytes, oligodendrocytes and presented the radial glia—neuron lineage differentiation ability. Taken together, we identified and investigated some characterizations and properties of Sox2+ RGCs derived from E16.5 cerebral cortex, we suggested that the embryonic Sox2+ progenitor cells which located in the cortical GZ were mainly composed of Sox2+ RGCs, and the cortex-derived Sox2+ RG-like cells displayed the radial glia—neuron lineage differentiation ability as neuronal progenitors in vitro.