Thrombospondin 1 (TSP1), an oligomeric matrix protein, is known for its antiangiogenic activity. Recently, TSP1 has been shown to regulate synaptogenesis in the developing brain. In this study, we examine another role of TSP1 in the CNS, namely, in proliferation and differentiation of neural progenitor cells (NPCs). We found that adult mice deficient in TSP1 exhibit reduced proliferation of NPCs in vivo [13,330±826 vs. 4914±455 (mean±SE wt vs. TSP1-/-); P<0.001, Student's t test] and impaired neuronal differentiation (1382±83 vs. 879±79; P<0.001). In vitro, NPC obtained from adult TSP1-/- mice display decreased proliferation in BrdU assay (48±8 vs. 24±3.5%; P<0.01) and decreased neuronal fate commitment (8±0.85 vs. 4.6±0.5%; P<0.05) in contrast to wild-type NPCs. Both proliferation and neuronal differentiation deficits are remediable in vitro by exogenous TSP1. Notably, conditioned medium from TSP1-/- astrocytes, unlike that from control astrocytes, fails to promote neurogenesis in wild-type NPCs, suggesting that TSP1 is one of the key molecules responsible for astrocyte-induced neurogenesis. Our data demonstrate that TSP1 is a critical participant in maintenance of the adult NPC pool and in neuronal differentiation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1925-1934
Number of pages10
JournalFASEB Journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2010


  • Adult neurogenesis
  • Extracellular matrix proteins
  • Neural progenitor cells
  • Oligodendrogenesis


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