Identification of proliferative progenitors associated with prominent postnatal growth of the pons

Robert A. Lindquist, Cristina D. Guinto, Jose L. Rodas-Rodriguez, Luis C. Fuentealba, Matthew C. Tate, David H. Rowitch, Arturo Alvarez-Buylla*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


The pons controls crucial sensorimotor and autonomic functions. In humans, it grows sixfold postnatally and is a site of paediatric gliomas; however, the mechanisms of pontine growth remain poorly understood. We show that the murine pons quadruples in volume postnatally; growth is fastest during postnatal days 0-4 (P0-P4), preceding most myelination. We identify three postnatal proliferative compartments: ventricular, midline and parenchymal. We find no evidence of postnatal neurogenesis in the pons, but each progenitor compartment produces new astroglia and oligodendroglia; the latter expand 10- to 18-fold postnatally, and are derived mostly from the parenchyma. Nearly all parenchymal progenitors at P4 are Sox2 + Olig2 +, but by P8 a Sox2 a' subpopulation emerges, suggesting a lineage progression from Sox2 + aearlya to Sox2 a' alatea oligodendrocyte progenitor. Fate mapping reveals that >90% of adult oligodendrocytes derive from P2-P3 Sox2 + progenitors. These results demonstrate the importance of postnatal Sox2 + Olig2 + progenitors in pontine growth and oligodendrogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number11628
JournalNature communications
StatePublished - May 18 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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