Localization of epidermal growth factor receptors and putative neuoblasts in human subependymal zone

Cynthia Shannon Weickert, Maree J. Webster, Sarah M. Colvin, Mary M. Herman, Thomas M. Hyde, Daniel R. Weinberger, Joel E. Kleinman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

104 Scopus citations


Studies in rodents and monkeys suggest that neuronal precursor cells continue to exist and differentiate well into adulthood in these species. These results challenge the long held assumption that neurogenesis does not occur in the postnatal human brain. We examined the rostral subependymal zone (SEZ) of postnatal human brain for expression of cell phenotypic markers that have been associated with neuronal precursors and neuroblasts in rodent brain. We found epidermal growth factor receptor (EGF-R) mRNA and protein to be expressed in infant, teen, young adult, and adult human SEZ. Some SEZ cells expressed the polysialic acid form of neural cell adhesion molecule (PSA-NCAM), characteristic of migrating neuroblasts, as well as class III β- tubulin and Hu protein, characteristic of neuroblasts and early neurons. These neuroblast-like cells were negative for glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), 2',3'-cyclic nucleotide 3'-phosphohydrolase (CNPase), and vimentin, suggesting that they were not differentiating as glia. Our results show that neuroblast-like cells exist in the human SEZ and support the theory that SEZ of postnatal human brain has neurogenic potential.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)359-372
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Comparative Neurology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 31 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • CNPase
  • Class III β-tubulin
  • Hu
  • Neu N
  • Neurogenesis
  • Precursor
  • Subventricular zone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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