The generation of various subtypes of neurons and glial cells at the right time and place is crucial for the proper development of the vertebrate CNS. Although the mechanisms and factors for the regulation of neuronal diversity in the CNS have been well studied, the mechanisms regulating the sequential production of neuronal and glial cells from neural precursors remain poorly understood. This study shows that Tcf3, a member of the Lef/Tcf family of proteins, is required to inhibit the premature oligodendroglial fate specification of spinal cord precursors using the transgenic zebrafish, which expresses a dominant repressor form of Tcf3 under the control of a heat-shock inducible promoter. In addition, the data revealed that Tcf3 function in oligodendroglial fate specification is mediated independently of canonical Wnt signaling. Altogether, these results show a novel function for Tcf3 in regulating the timing of oligodendroglial fate specification in the spinal cord.
Keywords neurogenesis – oligodendrocytes – spinal cord – Tcf3 – zebrafish
Molecules and Cells