ZFIN ID: ZDB-PUB-200826-10
Ascl1 Balances Neuronal versus Ependymal Fate in the Spinal Cord Central Canal
Di Bella, D.J., Carcagno, A.L., Bartolomeu, M.L., Pardi, M.B., Löhr, H., Siegel, N., Hammerschmidt, M., Marín-Burgin, A., Lanuza, G.M.
Date: 2019
Source: Cell Reports   28: 2264-2274.e3 (Journal)
Registered Authors: Hammerschmidt, Matthias, Löhr, Heiko, Siegel, Nicol
Keywords: Ascl1, CSF-cN, CSF-contacting neurons, central canal, ependymocytes, late neurogenesis, neural progenitor, neuron specification, spinal cord, transcription factor
MeSH Terms:
  • Animals
  • Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factors/genetics
  • Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factors/metabolism*
  • Ependyma/cytology
  • Ependyma/metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Neurogenesis*
  • Neurons/cytology
  • Neurons/metabolism*
  • Spinal Cord/cytology
  • Spinal Cord/embryology
  • Spinal Cord/metabolism
  • Zebrafish
PubMed: 31461644 Full text @ Cell Rep.
Generation of neuronal types at the right time, location, and number is essential for building a functional nervous system. Significant progress has been reached in understanding the mechanisms that govern neuronal diversity. Cerebrospinal fluid-contacting neurons (CSF-cNs), an intriguing spinal cord central canal population, are produced during advanced developmental stages, simultaneous with glial and ependymal cells. It is unknown how CSF-cNs are specified after the neurogenesis-to-gliogenesis switch. Here, we identify delayed Ascl1 expression in mouse spinal progenitors during the gliogenic phase as key in CSF-cN differentiation. With fate mappings and time-controlled deletions, we demonstrate that CSF-cNs derive from Ascl1-expressing cells and that Ascl1 triggers late neurogenesis in the amniote spinal cord. Ascl1 abrogation transforms prospective CSF-cN progenitors into ependymocytes. These results demonstrate that late spinal progenitors have the potential to produce neurons and that Ascl1 initiates CSF-cN differentiation, controlling the precise neuronal and nonneuronal composition of the spinal central canal.