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Cell Res. 2009 Jun;19(6):672-82. doi: 10.1038/cr.2009.56.

Adult neural stem cells in the mammalian central nervous system.

Author information

1
Institute for Cell Engineering, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA. dma2@jhmi.edu

Abstract

Neural stem cells (NSCs) are present not only during the embryonic development but also in the adult brain of all mammalian species, including humans. Stem cell niche architecture in vivo enables adult NSCs to continuously generate functional neurons in specific brain regions throughout life. The adult neurogenesis process is subject to dynamic regulation by various physiological, pathological and pharmacological stimuli. Multipotent adult NSCs also appear to be intrinsically plastic, amenable to genetic programing during normal differentiation, and to epigenetic reprograming during de-differentiation into pluripotency. Increasing evidence suggests that adult NSCs significantly contribute to specialized neural functions under physiological and pathological conditions. Fully understanding the biology of adult NSCs will provide crucial insights into both the etiology and potential therapeutic interventions of major brain disorders. Here, we review recent progress on adult NSCs of the mammalian central nervous system, including topics on their identity, niche, function, plasticity, and emerging roles in cancer and regenerative medicine.

PMID:
19436263
PMCID:
PMC2738865
DOI:
10.1038/cr.2009.56
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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