Dysregulation of Kruppel-like factor 4 during brain development leads to hydrocephalus in mice

Song Qin, Menglu Liu, Wenze Niu, Chun Li Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Kruppel-like factor 4 (KLF4) is involved in self-renewal of embryonic stem cells and reprogramming of somatic cells to pluripotency. However, its role in lineage-committed stem cells remains largely unknown. Here, we show that KLF4 is expressed in neural stem cells (NSCs) and is down-regulated during neuronal differentiation. Unexpectedly, enhanced expression of KLF4 reduces self-renewal of cultured NSCs and inhibits proliferation of subventricular neural precursors in transgenic mice. Mice with increased KLF4 in NSCs and NSCs-derived ependymal cells developed hydrocephalus-like characteristics, including enlarged ventricles, thinned cortex, agenesis of the corpus callosum, and significantly reduced subcommissural organ. These characteristics were accompanied by elevation of GFAP expression and astrocyte hypertrophy. The ventricular cilia, vital for cerebrospinal fluid flow, are also disrupted in the mutant mice. These results indicate that downregulation of KLF4 is critical for neural development and its dysregulation may lead to hydrocephalus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21117-21121
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number52
StatePublished - Dec 27 2011


  • Ependymal cilia
  • Neurogenesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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