Cell type-specific expression of NFIX in the developing and adult cerebellum

JM Fraser1, A Essebier2, K Mutemi1, RM Gronostajski5, M Boden2, BJ Wainwright3, TJ Harvey1 and M Piper1,4

  1. The School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Queensland
  2. The School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences, University of Queensland
  3. The Institute for Molecular Bioscience, University of Queensland
  4. Queensland Brain Institute
  5. Department of Biochemistry, Program in Genetics, Genomics and Bioinformatics, Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences, State University of New York at Buffalo

Transcription factors from the Nuclear Factor One (NFI) family have been shown to play a central role in regulating neural progenitor cell differentiation within the embryonic and postnatal brain. NFIA and NFIB, for instance, promote the differentiation and functional maturation of granule neurons within the cerebellum. Mice lacking Nfix in all cells exhibit delays in the development of neuronal and glial lineages within the cerebellum, but the cell type-specific expression of this transcription factor remains undefined. We have examined the expression of NFIX, in conjunction with various cell type-specific markers, within the developing and adult cerebellum using co-immunofluorescence labelling and confocal microscopy. Embryonically, NFIX was expressed by progenitor cells within the rhombic lip and ventricular zone. Postnatally, progenitor cells within the external granule layer, as well as migrating and mature granule neurons, expressed NFIX. Within the adult cerebellum, NFIX displayed a broad expression profile, and was evident within granule cells, Bergmann glia and interneurons, but not within Purkinje neurons. Furthermore, transcriptomic profiling of cerebellar granule neuron progenitor cells showed that multiple splice variants of Nfix are expressed within this germinal zone of the postnatal brain. Collectively, these data suggest that NFIX plays a role in regulating progenitor cell biology within the embryonic and postnatal cerebellum, as well as an ongoing role within multiple neuronal and glial populations within the adult cerebellum.