Retinoic acid regulates postnatal neurogenesis in the murine subventricular zone-olfactory bulb pathway

Tsu Wei Wang, Helen Zhang, Jack M. Parent*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

83 Citations (Scopus)


Neurogenesis persists throughout life in the rodent subventricular zone (SVZ)-olfactory bulb pathway. The molecular regulation of this neurogenic circuit is poorly understood. Because the components for retinoid signaling are present in this pathway, we examined the influence of retinoic acid (RA) on postnatal SVZ-olfactory bulb neurogenesis. Using both SVZ neurosphere stem cell and parasagittal brain slice cultures derived from postnatal mouse, we found that RA exposure increased neurogenesis by enhancing the proliferation and neuronal differentiation of forebrain SVZ neuroblasts. The RA precursor retinol had a similar effect, which was reversed by treating cultures with the RA synthesis inhibitor disulfiram. Electroporation of dominant-negative retinoid receptors into the SVZ of slice cultures also blocked neuroblast migration to the olfactory bulb and altered the morphology of the progenitors. Moreover, the administration of disulfiram to neonatal mice decreased in vivo cell proliferation in the striatal SVZ. These results indicate that RA is a potent mitogen for SVZ neuroblasts and is required for their migration to the olfactory bulb. The regulation of multiple steps in the SVZ-olfactory bulb neurogenic pathway by RA suggests that manipulation of retinoid signaling is a potential therapeutic strategy to augment neurogenesis after brain injury.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2721-2732
Number of pages12
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Jun
Externally publishedYes


  • Neural stem cell
  • Neuronal migration
  • Retinoid signaling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology


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