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Cytometry A. 2009 Jan;75(1):38-53. doi: 10.1002/cyto.a.20666.

Novel perspectives of neural stem cell differentiation: from neurotransmitters to therapeutics.

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  • 1Departamento de Bioquímica, Instituto de Química, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.

Abstract

In the past years, many reports have described the existence of neural progenitor and stem cells in the adult central nervous system capable of generating new neurons, astrocytes, and oligodendrocytes. This discovery has overturned the central assumption in the neuroscience field, of no new neurons being originated in the brain after birth and provided the fundaments to understand the molecular basis of neural differentiation and to develop new therapies for neural tissue repair. Although the mechanisms underlying cell fate during neural development are not yet understood, the importance of intrinsic and extrinsic factors and of an appropriate microenvironment is well known. In this context, emerging evidence strongly suggests that glial cells play a key role in controlling multiple steps of neurogenesis. Those cells, of particular radial glia, are important for migration, cell specification, and integration of neurons into a functional neural network. This review aims to present an update in the neurogenesis area and highlight the modulation of neural stem cell differentiation by neurotransmitters, growth factors, and their receptors, with possible applications for cell therapy strategies of neurological disorders.

PMID:
18988295
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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