The role of neuregulin-ErbB4 interactions on the proliferation and organization of cells in the subventricular zone

H. T. Ghashghaei, Janet Weber, Larysa Pevny, Ralf Schmid, Markus H. Schwab, Kevin C K Lloyd, David D. Eisenstat, Cary Lai, E. S. Anton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

137 Scopus citations


Coordinated regulation of neuronal progenitor differentiation in the subventricular zone (SVZ) is a fundamental feature of adult neurogenesis. However, the molecular control of this process remains mostly undeciphered. Here, we investigate the role of neuregulins (NRGs) in this process and show that a NRG receptor, ErbB4, is primarily expressed by polysialylated neural cell adhesion molecule immature neuroblasts but is also detected in a subset of GFAP+ astroglial cells, ependymal cells, and Dlx2+ precursors in the SVZ. Of the NRG ligands, both NRG1 and -2 are expressed by immature polysialylated neural cell adhesion molecule neuroblasts in the SVZ. NRG2 is also expressed by some of the GFAP+ putative stem cells lining the ventricles. Infusion of exogenous NRG1 leads to rapid aggregation of Dlx2+ cells in the SVZ and affects the initiation and maintenance of organized neuroblast migration from the SVZ toward the olfactory bulb. In contrast, the infusion of NRG2 increased the number of Sox2 and GFAP+ precursors in the SVZ. An outcome of this NRG2 effect is an increase in the number of newly generated migrating neuroblasts in the rostral migratory stream and GABAergic interneurons in the olfactory bulb. The analysis of conditional null mice that lack NRG receptor, ErbB4, in the nervous system revealed that the observed activities of NRG2 require ErbB4 activation. These results indicate that different NRG ligands affect distinct populations of differentiating neural precursors in the neurogenic regions of the mature forebrain. Furthermore, these studies identify NR62 as a factor capable of promoting SVZ proliferation, leading to the formation of new neurons in vivo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1930-1935
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number6
StatePublished - Feb 15 2006


  • Adult neurogenesis
  • Rostral migratory stream
  • Schizophrenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • General


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