Send to

Choose Destination
J Neurosci. 2019 Apr 10;39(15):2810-2822. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2730-18.2019. Epub 2019 Feb 8.

Cell Kinetics in the Adult Neurogenic Niche and Impact of Diet-Induced Accelerated Aging.

Author information

Department of Preclinical Research, BioChron LLC, Worcester, Massachusetts 01605.
Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts 02118.
Department of Physics, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut 06269.
Department of BioMedical Informatics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115.
Harvard Stem Cell Institute, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138.
Institute for Theoretical Atomic, Molecular & Optical Physics, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138, and
Department of Preclinical Research, BioChron LLC, Worcester, Massachusetts 01605,


Neurogenesis in the adult brain, a powerful mechanism for neuronal plasticity and brain repair, is altered by aging and pathological conditions, including metabolic disorders. The search for mechanisms and therapeutic solutions to alter neurogenesis requires understanding of cell kinetics within neurogenic niches using a high-throughput quantitative approach. The challenge is in the dynamic nature of the process and multiple cell types involved, each having several potential modes of division or cell fate. Here we show that cell kinetics can be revealed through a combination of the BrdU/EdU pulse-chase, based on the circadian pattern of DNA replication, and a differential equations model that describes time-dependent cell densities. The model is validated through the analysis of cell kinetics in the cerebellar neurogenic niche of normal young adult male zebrafish, with cells quantified in 2D (sections), and with neuronal fate and reactivation of stem cells confirmed in 3D whole-brain images (CLARITY). We then reveal complex alterations in cell kinetics associated with accelerated aging due to chronic high caloric intake. Low activity of neuronal stem cells in this condition persists 2 months after reverting to normal diet, and is accompanied by overproduction of transient amplifying cells, their accelerated cell death, and slow migration of postmitotic progeny. This combined experimental and mathematical approach should allow for relatively high-throughput analysis of early signs of pathological and age-related changes in neurogenesis, evaluation of specific therapeutic targets, and drug efficacy.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Understanding normal cell kinetics of adult neurogenesis and the type of cells affected by a pathological process is needed to develop effective prophylactic and therapeutic measures directed at specific cell targets. Complex time-dependent mechanisms involved in the kinetics of multiple cell types require a combination of experimental and mathematical modeling approaches. This study demonstrates such a combined approach by comparing normal neurogenesis with that altered by diet-induced accelerated aging in adult zebrafish.


adult neurogenesis; aging; cell kinetics; mathematical modeling; neurogenesis; zebrafish

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center