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Doublecortin (Dcx) is a microtubule-associated protein expressed by migrating neuroblasts in the embryo and in the adult subventricular zone (SVZ). The adult SVZ contains neuroblasts that migrate in the rostral migratory stream (RMS) to the olfactory bulbs. We have examined the distribution and phenotype of Dcx-positive cells in the adult mouse SVZ and surrounding regions. Chains of Dcx-positive cells in the SVZ were distributed in a tight dorsal population contiguous with the RMS, with a separate ventral population comprised of discontinuous chains. Unexpectedly, Dcx-positive cells were also found outside of the SVZ: dorsally in the corpus callosum, and ventrally in the nucleus accumbens, ventromedial striatum, ventrolateral septum, and bed nucleus of the stria terminalis. Dcx-positive cells outside the SVZ had the morphology of migrating cells, occurred as individual cells or in chain-like clusters, and were more numerous anteriorly. Of the Dcx-positive cells found outside of the SVZ, 47% expressed the immature neuronal protein class III beta-tubulin, 8% expressed NeuN, a marker of mature neurons. Dcx-positive cells did not express molecules found in astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, or microglia. Structural and immunoelectron microscopy revealed that cells with the ultrastructural features of neuroblasts in the SVZ were Dcx+, and that clusters of neuroblasts emanated ventrally from the SVZ into the parenchyma. Our results suggest that the distribution of cells comprising the walls of the lateral ventricle are more heterogeneous than was thought previously, that SVZ cells may migrate dorsally and ventrally away from the SVZ, and that some emigrated cells express a neuronal phenotype.

Original publication




Journal article


J Neurosci Res

Publication Date





282 - 295


Animals, Cell Movement, Female, Immunohistochemistry, Lateral Ventricles, Male, Mice, Microtubule-Associated Proteins, Neurons, Neuropeptides, Nucleus Accumbens, Stem Cells, Tissue Distribution