Identification of c-Kit receptor as a regulator of adult neural stem cells in the mammalian eye: Interactions with Notch signaling

Ani V. Das, Jackson James, Xing Zhao, Jörg Rahnenführer, Iqbal Ahmad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

55 Scopus citations


Neural stem cells are present in specific regions of the adult central nervous system (CNS). Recent evidence suggests that the ciliary epithelium (CE), a CNS derivative, in the adult mammalian eye, harbors a quiescent population of neural stem cells. Here, we report the identification of c-Kit signaling as one of the regulators of adult CE neural stem cells in vitro. c-Kit receptors are expressed in proliferating adult CE neural stem cells and colocalized with neural progenitor markers. Perturbation of c-Kit signaling influences the self-renewal and differentiation of CE neural stem cells, thus demonstrating the role of c-Kit signaling in the maintenance of these cells. In addition, we observed an influence of c-Kit-mediated signaling on the expression of Notch1, another critical regulator of neural stem cells. Our observations suggest that, given the importance of preservation of a stem cell pool for generating different cell types at different times, multiple signaling pathways act in concert for the maintenance of neural stem cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)87-105
Number of pages19
JournalDevelopmental Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 1 2004



  • Ciliary epithelium
  • Neural stem cells
  • Notch1
  • c-Kit receptor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology

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