The basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor Olig2 is critical for reactive astrocyte proliferation after cortical injury

Ying Chen, Darryl K. Miles, ThaoNguyen Hoang, Jian Shi, Edward Hurlock, Steven G. Kernie, Q. Richard Lu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

66 Scopus citations


The mechanisms underlying the formation of the glial scar after injury are poorly understood. In this report, we demonstrate that after cortical injury Olig2 is upregulated in reactive astrocytes coincident with proliferation of these cells. Short-term lineage tracing studies with glial subtype-restricted transgenic reporter lines indicate that Olig2-expressing cells in the astroglial but not the oligodendroglial lineage are the essential source of reactive astrocytes. In addition, cortical Olig2 ablation results in a decrease in proliferation of reactive astrocytes in response to injury. Cell-type-specific mutagenesis indicates that Olig2 ablation in GFAP+ astrocytes and their precursors rather than in neuronal or oligodendroglial cells is responsible for the reduction of reactive astrocyte proliferation. Thus, our studies suggest that Olig2 is critical for postinjury gliosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10983-10989
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number43
StatePublished - Oct 22 2008



  • Conditional knock-out mice
  • Cortical injury
  • Olig2
  • Proliferation
  • Reactive astrocytes
  • bHLH transcription factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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