BAVARIAN RESEARCH ASSOCIATION FOR ADULT NEURONAL STEM CELLS
Impact of Sox proteins on adult oligodendrogenesis in the normal and lesioned spinal cord
Field of work:Targeted programming or reprogramming of stem cells
The efficient generation of new myelin-forming oligodendrocytes is a prerequisite for treatment of demyelinating diseases and regeneration in CNS lesions, and adult NG2-positive glia may be as good a source of oligodendrocytes as adult neural stem cells. NG2-positive glia are the most frequent proliferative precursor cell population in the adult CNS. They are highly related to embryonic oligodendrocyte precursors and give rise to myelinating oligodendrocytes throughout life. We have shown over the past years that transcription factors of the Sox protein family are important regulators of embryonic oligodendrocyte precursors and oligodendrocyte generation. Here, we will determine which Sox proteins are expressed in adult NG2-positive glia and to use conditional gene deletion strategies in the mouse to analyze how Sox proteins influence the properties of this precursor cell population. Additionally, we will analyze the oligodendrocyte forming potential of NG2-positive cells in transplantation experiments and optimize it by genetic alterations of the Sox gene expression pattern. Our studies on NG2-positive cells may unravel novel therapeutic concepts for remyelination and regeneration after CNS injury.