Neural Stem Cells

NSCs primarily differentiate into neurons, astrocytes, and oligodendrocytes, depending on environmental cues.

Collectively, markers against neural stem cells (NSCs) represent a robust tool in basic research and advanced regenerative medicine. Studies focused on differentiation toward specific neural lineages are supported by changes in the expression levels of specific markers, which can help to identify the presence of neural stem cells. Nestin and SOX2 are two commonly utilized markers for NSCs. Other markers expressed at the cell surface are ABCG2, FGFR1 and Frizzled-9. NSCs differentiate into neurons, oligodendrocytes and astrocytes (see schematic in figure 1). Each class of stem cells has specific markers. Tables 1-4 contain a list of selected NSC markers available from Atlas Antibodies.


The neurons (nerve cells) are electrically responsive cells that communicate and transfer the nerve signal via synapses within the central nervous system and in the periphery. All neurons fall into various functional classes according to their neurochemical characteristics. An example of neuronal marker in human and rodent brain is show in figure 2.


Astrocytes comprise the principal glial cell population in the central nervous system. These cells derive from divergent populations of progenitor cells in the neuroepithelium of the evolving central nervous system. Astrocytes play various functional roles in the brain, such as the secretion or absorption of neural transmitters, ion homeostasis and maintenance of the blood–brain barrier. An example of astroglial marker in human and rodent brain is show in figure 3.


Oligodendrocytes are glial cells found inside the CNS and spinal cord. The main function of these cells is to constitute the insulating myelin sheaths located among the neuronal axons. Oligodendrocytes produce different growth factors, such as BDNF and GDNF, thus supplying neurons with trophic assistance.

NSCs in the Adult Mammalian Brain

Neural progenitor stem cells (NSCs), in the adult mammalian brain, play a key role in developing brain plasticity throughout life.1When adult NSCs were originally identified, it was thought they merely serves as a regenerative source for new neurons. However, cumulative evidence suggests that the main function of endogenous adult NSCs is to furnish the brain with an extra layer of plasticity, via both direct and indirect mechanism.2

Adult somatic stem cells offer homeostatic support to the maintenance of tissue organization. Regulation of gene expression by transcription factors is one fundamental mechanism that controls adult NSCs.3Although apparently without synapse, NSCs express functional receptors and can communicate with multiple neurotransmitters.4-5 In the adult mammalian brain, there are two significant neurogenic of endogenous NSCs: the subventricular zone (SVZ) lining the lateral ventricles and the subgranular zone (SGZ) within the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus.

Enhanced Validation

In addition to the extensive validation and characterization always performed, Atlas Antibodies conduct application specific enhanced validation. Enhanced validation offers increased security of antibody specificity in a defined context.

The enhanced validation follows the guidelines proposed by the International Working Group for Antibody Validation (IWGAV). Enhanced validation consists of five conceptual pillars for antibody validation, to be used in an application-specific manner: genetic validation, orthogonal validation, validation by independent antibodies, recombinant expression validation and, migration capture MS validation.

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