Discerning Neurogenic vs. Non-Neurogenic Postnatal Lateral Ventricular Astrocytes via Activity-Dependent Input.
Throughout development, neural stem cells (NSCs) give rise to differentiated neurons, astrocytes, and oligodendrocytes which together modulate perception, memory, and behavior in the adult nervous system. To understand how NSCs contribute to postnatal/adult brain remodeling and repair after injury, the lateral ventricular (LV) neurogenic niche in the rodent postnatal brain serves as an excellent model system. It is a specialized area containing self-renewing GFAP(+) astrocytes functioning as NSCs generating new neurons throughout life. In addition to this now well-studied regenerative process, the LV niche also generates differentiated astrocytes, playing an important role for glial scar formation after cortical injury. While LV NSCs can be clearly distinguished from their neuroblast and oligodendrocyte progeny via molecular markers, the astrocytic identity of NSCs has complicated their distinction from terminally-differentiated astrocytes in the niche. Our current models of postnatal/adult LV neurogenesis do not take into account local astrogenesis, or the possibility that cellular markers may be similar between non-dividing GFAP(+) NSCs and their differentiated astrocyte daughters. Postnatal LV neurogenesis is regulated by NSC-intrinsic mechanisms interacting with extracellular/niche-driven cues. It is generally believed that these local effects are responsible for sustaining neurogenesis, though behavioral paradigms and disease states have suggested possibilities for neural circuit-level modulation. With recent experimental findings that neuronal stimulation can directly evoke responses in LV NSCs, it is possible that this exciting property will add a new dimension to identifying postnatal/adult NSCs. Here, we put forth a notion that neural circuit-level input can be a distinct characteristic defining postnatal/adult NSCs from non-neurogenic astroglia.
Adlaf, EW; Mitchell-Dick, A; Kuo, CT
Volume / Issue
Start / End Page
Pubmed Central ID
International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)