Differential neuronal and glial expression of nuclear factor I proteins in the cerebral cortex of adult mice

Kok Siong Chen, Lachlan Harris, Jonathan W.C. Lim, Tracey J. Harvey, Michael Piper, Richard M. Gronostajski, Linda J. Richards, Jens Bunt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


The nuclear factor I (NFI) family of transcription factors plays an important role in the development of the cerebral cortex in humans and mice. Disruption of nuclear factor IA (NFIA), nuclear factor IB (NFIB), or nuclear factor IX (NFIX) results in abnormal development of the corpus callosum, lateral ventricles, and hippocampus. However, the expression or function of these genes has not been examined in detail in the adult brain, and the cell type-specific expression of NFIA, NFIB, and NFIX is currently unknown. Here, we demonstrate that the expression of each NFI protein shows a distinct laminar pattern in the adult mouse neocortex and that their cell type-specific expression differs depending on the family member. NFIA expression was more frequently observed in astrocytes and oligodendroglia, whereas NFIB expression was predominantly localized to astrocytes and neurons. NFIX expression was most commonly observed in neurons. The NFI proteins were equally distributed within microglia, and the ependymal cells lining the ventricles of the brain expressed all three proteins. In the hippocampus, the NFI proteins were expressed during all stages of neural stem cell differentiation in the dentate gyrus, with higher expression intensity in neuroblast cells as compared to quiescent stem cells and mature granule neurons. These findings suggest that the NFI proteins may play distinct roles in cell lineage specification or maintenance, and establish the basis for further investigation of their function in the adult brain and their emerging role in disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2465-2483
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Comparative Neurology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Aug 1 2017


  • NFIA
  • NFIB
  • NFIX
  • RRID: AB_10608433
  • RRID: AB_10712361
  • RRID: AB_1854421
  • RRID: AB_1854424
  • astrocyte
  • cerebral cortex
  • cortex
  • glia
  • hippocampus
  • microglia
  • neuron
  • nuclear factor I
  • oligodendrocyte


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