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Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2005 Oct;15(5):514-20.

Glial influences on neural stem cell development: cellular niches for adult neurogenesis.

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Institute for Cell Engineering, Departments of Neurology and Neuroscience, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.


Neural stem cells continually generate new neurons in very limited regions of the adult mammalian central nervous system. In the neurogenic regions there are unique and highly specialized microenvironments (niches) that tightly regulate the neuronal development of adult neural stem cells. Emerging evidence suggests that glia, particularly astrocytes, have key roles in controlling multiple steps of adult neurogenesis within the niches, from proliferation and fate specification of neural progenitors to migration and integration of the neuronal progeny into pre-existing neuronal circuits in the adult brain. Identification of specific niche signals that regulate these sequential steps during adult neurogenesis might lead to strategies to induce functional neurogenesis in other brain regions after injury or degenerative neurological diseases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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