Neuronal Progenitors in the Adult Brain: From Development to Regulation

Christian Mirescu, Elizabeth Gould

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Cell proliferation occurs in the adult brain, as does neurogenesis, and cells that give rise to neurons and glia in vivo and in vitro have been identified in the adult central nervous system (CNS). Studies have identified cells with stem cell–like properties in the adult mammalian brain. The bulk of evidence suggests that these cells exhibit characteristics of glial cells, a finding that may elucidate basic mechanisms of neurogenesis and make isolating stem cells a more tractable problem. This chapter reviews the evidence that neural stem cells exist in the adult brain. It also discusses the factors that determine whether these cells divide and, if so, what is the fate of their progeny. The production of new neurons in the adult brain has been shown to be regulated by growth factors, neurotransmitters, and hormones. A more detailed understanding of the potential interactions among these modulators of adult neurogenesis may enable the controlled manipulation of neuron production in the damaged brain. Numerous neurological conditions are associated with the loss of neural cells. The key advantage of transplanting cell lines is that they can be genetically engineered, allowing for customization depending upon the specific disease. As an understanding of the factors that regulate stem cell proliferation and neurogenesis in the adult brain deepens, the development of methods directed at repairing the damaged brain through transplantation of cultured cells, or through induction of endogenous neurogenesis in selected neuronal populations, may lead to novel therapeutic strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEssentials of Stem Cell Biology, Second Edition
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9780123747297
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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