Pleiotropic Hes-1 Concomitant with its Differential Activation Mediates Neural Stem Cell Maintenance and Radial Glial Propensity in Developing Neocortex

Sivadasan Bindu Dhanesh1, Chandramohan Subashini1, Paul Ann Riya1, Vazhanthodi Abdul Rasheed1, and Jackson James1

Cereb Cortex. 2017 Aug 1;27(8):3943-3961. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhw207.


Notch signaling pathway and its downstream effector Hes-1 are well known for their role in cortical neurogenesis. Despite the canonical activation of Hes-1 in developing neocortex, recent advances have laid considerable emphasis on Notch/CBF1- independent Hes-1 (NIHes-1) expression with poor understanding of its existence and functional significance. Here, using reporter systems and in utero electroporation, we could qualitatively unravel the existence of NIHes-1 expressing neural stem cells from the cohort of dependent progenitors throughout the mouse neocortical development. Though Hes-1 expression is maintained in neural progenitor territory at all times, a simple shift from Notch-independent to -dependent state makes it pleiotropic as the former maintains the neural stem cells in a non-dividing/slow-dividing state, whereas the latter is very much required for maintenance and proliferation of radial glial cells. Therefore, our results provide an additional complexity in neural progenitor heterogeneity regarding differential Hes-1 expression in the germinal zone during neo-cortical development.