Hes6 is a member of the hairy-enhancer of split homolog (Hes) family of transcription factors and interacts with other Hes family genes. During development, Hes genes are expressed in neural stem cells and progenitor cells. However, the role of Hes6 in adult hippocampal neurogenesis remains unclear. We therefore investigated the effects of Hes6 on adult hippocampal neurogenesis, by comparing Hes6 knockout and wild-type mice. To this end, we immunostained for markers of neural stem cells and progenitor cells (nestin), proliferating cells (Ki67), post-mitotic neuroblasts and immature neurons (doublecortin, DCX), mature neuronal cells (NeuN), and astrocyte (S100β). We also injected 5-bromo-2′-deoxyuridine (BrdU) to trace the fate of mitotic cells. Nestin- and Ki67-positive proliferating cells did now show any significant differences between wild and knockout groups. Hes6 knockout negatively affects neuroblast differentiation based on DCX immunohistochemistry. On the contrary, the ratio of the BrdU and NeuN double-positive cells did not show any significance, even though it was slightly higher in the knockout group. These results suggest that Hes6 is involved in the regulation of neuroblast differentiation during adult neurogenesis, but does not influence integration into mature neurons.
- Adult neurogenesis
- Neuronal differentiation