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J Neurosci. 2002 Mar 1;22(5):1784-93.

Adult rodent neurogenic regions: the ventricular subependyma contains neural stem cells, but the dentate gyrus contains restricted progenitors.

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  • 1Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, University of Toronto, Toronto M5S 1A8, Canada. raewyn.seaberg@utoronto.ca


Neurogenesis persists in two adult brain regions: the ventricular subependyma and the subgranular cell layer in the hippocampal dentate gyrus (DG). Previous work in many laboratories has shown explicitly that multipotential, self-renewing stem cells in the subependyma are the source of newly generated migrating neurons that traverse the rostral migratory stream and incorporate into the olfactory bulb as interneurons. These stem cells have been specifically isolated from the subependyma, and their properties of self-renewal and multipotentiality have been demonstrated in vitro. In contrast, it is a widely held assumption that the "hippocampal" stem cells that can be isolated in vitro from adult hippocampus reside in the neurogenic subgranular layer and represent the source of new granule cell neurons, but this has never been tested directly. Primary cell isolates derived from the precise microdissection of adult rodent neurogenic regions were compared using two very different commonly used culture methods: a clonal colony-forming (neurosphere) assay and a monolayer culture system. Importantly, both of these culture methods generated the same conclusion: stem cells can be isolated from hippocampus-adjacent regions of subependyma, but the adult DG proper does not contain a population of resident neural stem cells. Indeed, although the lateral ventricle and other ventricular subependymal regions directly adjacent to the hippocampus contain neural stem cells that exhibit long-term self-renewal and multipotentiality, separate neuronal and glial progenitors with limited self-renewal capacity are present in the adult DG, suggesting that neuron-specific progenitors and not multipotential stem cells are the source of newly generated DG neurons throughout adulthood.

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