Chitinase-like protein 3: A novel niche factor for mouse neural stem cells

Jun Namiki, Sayuri Suzuki, Shinsuke Shibata, Yoshiaki Kubota, Naoko Kaneko, Kenji Yoshida, Ryo Yamaguchi, Yumi Matsuzaki, Takeshi Masuda, Yasushi Ishihama, Kazunobu Sawamoto, Hideyuki Okano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The concept of a perivascular niche has been proposed for neural stem cells (NSCs). This study examined endothelial colony-forming cell (ECFC)-secreted proteins as potential niche factors for NSCs. Intraventricle infusion with ECFC-secreted proteins increased the number of NSCs. ECFC-secreted proteins were more effective in promoting NSC self-renewal than marrow stromal cell (MSC)-secreted proteins. Differential proteomics analysis of MSC-secreted and ECFC-secreted proteins was performed, which revealed chitinase-like protein 3 (CHIL3; also called ECF-L or Ym1) as a candidate niche factor for NSCs. Experiments with recombinant CHIL3, small interfering RNA, and neutralizing antibodies demonstrated that CHIL3 stimulated NSC self-renewal with neurogenic propensity. CHIL3 was endogenously expressed in the neurogenic niche of the brain and retina as well as in the injured brain and retina. Transcriptome and phosphoproteome analyses revealed that CHIL3 activated various genes and proteins associated with NSC maintenance or neurogenesis. Thus, CHIL3 is a novel niche factor for NSCs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2704-2717
Number of pages14
JournalStem cell reports
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Dec 13


  • Neurogenesis
  • choroid plexus
  • endothelial cell
  • endothelial colony forming cell
  • ependymal cell
  • retinal tip cell
  • self-renewal
  • ventricular-subventricular zone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Genetics
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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