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Curr Pathobiol Rep. 2018;6(1):71-77. doi: 10.1007/s40139-018-0158-x. Epub 2018 Jan 16.

Mechanisms of Pathology-Induced Neural Stem Cell Plasticity and Neural Regeneration in Adult Zebrafish Brain.

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1German Centre for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) Dresden, Helmholtz Association, Arnoldstrasse 18, 01307 Dresden, Germany.
2Center for Regenerative Therapies Dresden (CRTD), TU Dresden, Fetscherstrasse 105, 01307 Dresden, Germany.


Purpose of the Review:

The purpose of this study is to review the current knowledge on the damage-induced molecular programs that underlie the regenerative ability in zebrafish brain.

Recent Findings:

Neural stem cells are the reservoir for new neurons during development and regeneration of the vertebrate brains. Pathological conditions such as neurodegenerative diseases hamper neural stem cell plasticity and neurogenic outcome in humans, whereas adult zebrafish brain can enhance proliferation and neurogenic capacity of its neural stem cells despite the incipient pathology. Evidence suggests that zebrafish uses damage-induced molecular programs to enable neural stem cells to efficiently initiate regeneration. Since this aptitude may be harnessed for regenerative therapies in human brain, understanding the molecular programs regulating neural stem cell proliferation and quiescence in zebrafish is of utmost importance for clinical efforts.


Specific molecular programs that are different than those in the homeostatic conditions regulate adult zebrafish neural stem cell plasticity and the regenerative capacity after injury and neurodegeneration. These programs can serve as candidates for stem cell-based regenerative therapies in humans.


Adult zebrafish brain; Induced plasticity; Neural stem cell; Neurodegeneration; Neurogenesis; Regeneration

Conflict of interest statement

Compliance with Ethical StandardsThe author declares that there is no conflict of interest.This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by the author.

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