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Dev Neurobiol. 2011 Aug;71(8):680-9. doi: 10.1002/dneu.20882.

Expression and actions of transcription factors in adult hippocampal neurogenesis.

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  • 1Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98101, USA.


Neurogenesis in the adult brain, a process once thought to be essentially absent, has now been demonstrated to occur throughout adult mammalian life within several brain regions. Adult neurogenesis normally occurs only within the subventricular zone (SVZ) bordering the lateral ventricles and the subgranular zone (SGZ) of the hippocampal dentate gyrus (DG). Neurogenic progenitors within these regions produce distinct neuron types, with progenitors in the SGZ giving rise to glutamatergic neurons that populate the DG granule cell layer and those within the SVZ producing neurons destined for the olfactory bulb. In this review, we highlight recent research on transcription factor expression and function during adult hippocampal neurogenesis. In this regard, recent evidence indicates that adult neurogenesis replicates important aspects of progenitor cell development in the embryonic brain. Specifically, work from our laboratory and others indicates that transcription factor cascades active in progenitor cells during neurogenesis in the embryonic cerebral cortex are also activated in adult hippocampal progenitor cells, where they play an important role in determining neuronal fate and regulating progenitor cell proliferation and maintenance. These findings suggest that conserved transcription factor cascades regulate genetic programs that delineate progenitor cell lineages and control progenitor cell proliferation and differentiation.

Copyright © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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