Sox-2 is expressed by glial and progenitor cells and Pax-6 is expressed by neuroblasts in the human subventricular zone.
Transcription factors (TFs) are responsible for the specification and fate determination of cells as they develop from progenitor cells into specific types of cells in the brain. Sox-2 and Pax-6 are TFs with key functional roles in the developing brain, although less is known about TFs in the rudimentary germinal zones in the adult human brain. In this study we have investigated the distribution and characterization of Sox-2 and Pax-6 in the human subventricular zone (SVZ). Sox-2 immunoreactivity showed a nuclear labeling pattern and colocalised on GFAP immunoreactive cells as well as on bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU)-positive cells, whereas Pax-6 immunoreactivity was detectable in the nucleus and the cytoplasm of SVZ cells and colocalised with PSA-NCAM-positive progenitor cells. Thus, our data surprisingly reveal that these TFs are differentially expressed in the adult human SVZ where Sox-2 and Pax-6 specify a glial and neuronal fate, respectively.