Nestin enhancer requirements for expression in normal and injured adult CNS

Clas B. Johansson, Carina Lothian, Magnus Molin, Hideyuki Okano, Urban Lendahl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)


The nestin gene is expressed in many CNS stem/progenitor cells, both in the embryo and the adult, and nestin is used commonly as a marker for these cells. In this report we analyze nestin enhancer requirements in the adult CNS, using transgenic mice carrying reporter genes linked to three different nestin enhancer constructs: the genomic rat nestin gene and 5 kb of upstream nestin sequence (NesP/acZ/3), 636 bp of the rat nestin second intron (E/nestin:EGFP), and a corresponding 714 bp region from the human second intron (Nes714tk/lacZ). NesP/acZ/3 and E/nestin:EGFP mice showed reporter gene expression in stem cell-containing regions of brain and spinal cord during normal conditions. NesP/acZ/3 and E/nestin:EGFP mice showed increased expression in spinal cord after injury and NesP/acZ/3 mice displayed elevated expression in the periventricular area of the brain after injury, which was not the case for the E/nestin:EGFP mice. In contrast, no expression in adult CNS in vivo was seen in the Nes714tk/lacZ mice carrying the human enhancer, neither during normal conditions nor after injury. The Nes714 tk/lacZ mice, however, expressed the reporter gene in reactive astrocytes and CNS stem cells cultured ex vivo. Collectively, this suggests a species difference for the nestin enhancer function in adult CNS and that elements outside the second intron enhancer are required for the full injury response in vivo.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)784-794
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of neuroscience research
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2002 Sept 15


  • Astrocyte
  • CNS injury
  • Neurogenesis
  • Spinal cord
  • Stem cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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