In vivo reprogramming of astrocytes to neuroblasts in the adult brain

Wenze Niu, Tong Zang, Yuhua Zou, Sanhua Fang, Derek K. Smith, Robert Bachoo, Chun Li Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

262 Scopus citations

Abstract

Adult differentiated cells can be reprogrammed into pluripotent stem cells or lineage-restricted proliferating precursors in culture; however, this has not been demonstrated in vivo. Here, we show that the single transcription factor SOX2 is sufficient to reprogram resident astrocytes into proliferative neuroblasts in the adult mouse brain. These induced adult neuroblasts (iANBs) persist for months and can be generated even in aged brains. When supplied with BDNF and noggin or when the mice are treated with a histone deacetylase inhibitor, iANBs develop into electrophysiologically mature neurons, which functionally integrate into the local neural network. Our results demonstrate that adult astrocytes exhibit remarkable plasticity in vivo, a feature that might have important implications in regeneration of the central nervous system using endogenous patient-specific glial cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1164-1175
Number of pages12
JournalNature cell biology
Volume15
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology

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