Brain Structure and Function

, Volume 222, Issue 5, pp 2251–2270 | Cite as

Cell-type-specific expression of NFIX in the developing and adult cerebellum

  • James Fraser
  • Alexandra Essebier
  • Richard M. Gronostajski
  • Mikael Boden
  • Brandon J. Wainwright
  • Tracey J. HarveyEmail author
  • Michael PiperEmail author
Original Article


Transcription factors from the nuclear factor one (NFI) family have been shown to play a central role in regulating neural progenitor cell differentiation within the embryonic and post-natal brain. NFIA and NFIB, for instance, promote the differentiation and functional maturation of granule neurons within the cerebellum. Mice lacking Nfix exhibit delays in the development of neuronal and glial lineages within the cerebellum, but the cell-type-specific expression of this transcription factor remains undefined. Here, we examined the expression of NFIX, together with various cell-type-specific markers, within the developing and adult cerebellum using both chromogenic immunohistochemistry and co-immunofluorescence labelling and confocal microscopy. In embryos, NFIX was expressed by progenitor cells within the rhombic lip and ventricular zone. After birth, progenitor cells within the external granule layer, as well as migrating and mature granule neurons, expressed NFIX. Within the adult cerebellum, NFIX displayed a broad expression profile, and was evident within granule cells, Bergmann glia, and interneurons, but not within Purkinje neurons. Furthermore, transcriptomic profiling of cerebellar granule neuron progenitor cells showed that multiple splice variants of Nfix are expressed within this germinal zone of the post-natal brain. Collectively, these data suggest that NFIX plays a role in regulating progenitor cell biology within the embryonic and post-natal cerebellum, as well as an ongoing role within multiple neuronal and glial populations within the adult cerebellum.


NFIX Cerebellum External granular layer Granule neuron 



We thank Luke Hammond and Daniel Matthews for technical assistance. This work was supported by a National Health and Medical Research Council project Grant (1057751 to MP), a Cancer Council Queensland Grant (MP), an Australian Research Council Grant (DP160100368 to MP), and NYSTEM Grants (C026714, C026429, and C030133 to RMG). MP was supported by a fellowship (Australian Research Council Future Fellowship; FT120100170). JF and AE were supported by Australian Postgraduate Awards.

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Conflict of interest


Supplementary material

429_2016_1340_MOESM1_ESM.docx (4 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 4122 kb)


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The School of Biomedical SciencesThe University of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia
  2. 2.The School of Chemistry and Molecular BioscienceThe University of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia
  3. 3.Institute for Molecular BioscienceThe University of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia
  4. 4.Queensland Brain InstituteThe University of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia
  5. 5.Department of Biochemistry, Program in Genetics, Genomics and Bioinformatics, Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life SciencesState University of New York at BuffaloBuffaloUSA

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