The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience

Fgf10-expressing tanycytes add new neurons to the appetite/energy-balance regulating centers of the postnatal and adult hypothalamus.

PMID 23554498


Increasing evidence suggests that neurogenesis occurs in the postnatal and adult mammalian hypothalamus. However, the identity and location of the putative progenitor cells is under much debate, and little is known about the dynamics of neurogenesis in unchallenged brain. Previously, we postulated that Fibroblast growth factor 10-expressing (Fgf10(+)) tanycytes constitute a population of progenitor cells in the mouse hypothalamus. Here, we show that Fgf10(+) tanycytes express markers of neural stem/progenitor cells, divide late into postnatal life, and can generate both neurons and astrocytes in vivo. Stage-specific lineage-tracing of Fgf10(+) tanycytes using Fgf10-creERT2 mice, reveals robust neurogenesis at postnatal day 28 (P28), lasting as late as P60. Furthermore, we present evidence for amplification of Fgf10-lineage traced neural cells within the hypothalamic parenchyma itself. The neuronal descendants of Fgf10(+) tanycytes predominantly populate the arcuate nucleus, a subset of which express the orexigenic neuronal marker, Neuropeptide-Y, and respond to fasting and leptin-induced signaling. These studies provide direct evidence in support of hypothalamic neurogenesis during late postnatal and adult life, and identify Fgf10(+) tanycytes as a source of parenchymal neurons with putative roles in appetite and energy balance.