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Stem Cells International
Volume 2016, Article ID 9695827, 13 pages
Research Article

Comparative Microarray Analysis of Proliferating and Differentiating Murine ENS Progenitor Cells

Institute of Clinical Anatomy and Cell Analysis, University of Tübingen, Österbergstrasse 3, 72074 Tübingen, Germany

Received 15 May 2015; Accepted 12 July 2015

Academic Editor: Kodandaramireddy Nalapareddy

Copyright © 2016 Peter Helmut Neckel et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Postnatal neural progenitor cells of the enteric nervous system are a potential source for future cell replacement therapies of developmental dysplasia like Hirschsprung’s disease. However, little is known about the molecular mechanisms driving the homeostasis and differentiation of this cell pool. In this work, we conducted Affymetrix GeneChip experiments to identify differences in gene regulation between proliferation and early differentiation of enteric neural progenitors from neonatal mice. We detected a total of 1333 regulated genes that were linked to different groups of cellular mechanisms involved in cell cycle, apoptosis, neural proliferation, and differentiation. As expected, we found an augmented inhibition in the gene expression of cell cycle progression as well as an enhanced mRNA expression of neuronal and glial differentiation markers. We further found a marked inactivation of the canonical Wnt pathway after the induction of cellular differentiation. Taken together, these data demonstrate the various molecular mechanisms taking place during the proliferation and early differentiation of enteric neural progenitor cells.