Notch-regulated oligodendrocyte specification from radial glia in the spinal cord of zebrafish embryos

Ho Kim, Jimann Shin, Suhyun Kim, Justin Poling, Hae Chul Park, Bruce Appel

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38 Scopus citations


During vertebrate neural development, many dividing neuroepithelial precursors adopt features of radial glia, which are now known to also serve as neural precursors. In mammals, most radial glia do not persist past early postnatal stages, whereas zebrafish maintain large numbers of radial glia into adulthood. The mechanisms that maintain and specify radial glia for different fates are still poorly understood. We investigated formation of radial glia in the spinal cord of zebrafish and the role of Notch signaling in their maintenance and specification. We found that spinal cord precursors begin to express gfap+, a marker of radial glia, during neurogenesis and that gfap cells give rise to both neurons and oligodendrocytes. We also determined that Notch signaling is continuously required during embryogenesis to maintain radial glia, limit motor neuron formation and permit oligodendrocyte development, but that radial glia seem to be refractory to changes in Notch activity in postembryonic animals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2081-2089
Number of pages9
JournalDevelopmental Dynamics
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2008


  • Motor neuron
  • Notch
  • Oligodendrocyte
  • Radial glia
  • Spinal cord
  • Zebrafish transgenic


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