2009 Volume 42 Issue 1 Pages 1-8
In intact adult mammalian brains, there are two neurogenic regions: the subependymal zone and the subgranular layer of the hippocampus. Even outside these regions, small numbers of proliferating precursors do exist. Many studies suggest that the majority of these are oligodendrocyte precursors that express NG2, a chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan, and most of the residual proliferating cells seem to be endothelial cells. However, it is still unclear whether NG2-immunonegative proliferating precursors are present, because previous studies have neglected their possible existence. In this study, we systematically analyzed the phenotypes of the proliferating cells in the intact adult rat cortical gray matter. We improved our techniques and carefully characterized the proliferating cells, because there were several problems with identifying and quantifying the proliferating cells: the detection of NG2-expressing cells was dependent on the fixation condition; there were residual proliferating leukocytes in the blood vessels; and two anti-NG2 antibodies gave rise to different staining patterns. Moreover, we used two methods, BrdU and Ki67 immunostaining, to quantify the proliferating cells. Our results strongly suggest that in the intact adult cerebral cortical gray matter, there were only two types of proliferating cells: the majority were NG2-expressing cells, including pericytes, and the rest were endothelial cells.