Sahara S, Kodama T, Stevens CF (2020) A common rule governing differentiation kinetics of mouse cortical progenitors.Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 117: 15221-15229
The balance between proliferation and differentiation of stem cells and progenitors determines the size of an adult brain region. While the molecular mechanisms regulating proliferation and differentiation of cortical progenitors have been intensively studied, an analysis of the kinetics of progenitor choice between self-renewal and differentiation in vivo is, due to the technical difficulties, still unknown. Here we established a descriptive mathematical model to estimate the probability of self-renewal or differentiation of cortical progenitor behaviors in vivo, a variable we have termed the expansion coefficient. We have applied the model, one which depends only on experimentally measured parameters, to the developing mouse cortex where the expansive neuroepithelial cells and neurogenic radial glial progenitors are coexisting. Surprisingly, we found that the expansion coefficients of both neuroepithelium cells and radial glial progenitors follow the same developmental trajectory during cortical development, suggesting a common rule governing self-renewal/differentiation behaviors in mouse cortical progenitor differentiation.