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J Stem Cells. 2010;5(1):23-31. doi: jsc.2010.5.1.23.

Immunological control of adult neural stem cells.

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Neuroscience Laboratory, Psychology School, University of Colima, Colima, Mexico 28040.


Adult neurogenesis occurs only in discrete regions of adult central nervous system: the subventricular zone and the subgranular zone. These areas are populated by adult neural stem cells (aNSC) that are regulated by a number of molecules and signaling pathways, which control their cell fate choices, survival and proliferation rates. For a long time, it was believed that the immune system did not exert any control on neural proliferative niches. However, it has been observed that many pathological and inflammatory conditions significantly affect NSC niches. Even more, increasing evidence indicates that chemokines and cytokines play an important role in regulating proliferation, cell fate choices, migration and survival of NSCs under physiological conditions. Hence, the immune system is emerging is an important regulator of neurogenic niches in the adult brain, which may have clinical relevance in several brain diseases.

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