Neuronal Activity-Dependent Control of Postnatal Neurogenesis and Gliogenesis.
The addition of new neurons and oligodendroglia in the postnatal and adult mammalian brain presents distinct forms of gray and white matter plasticity. Substantial effort has been devoted to understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms controlling postnatal neurogenesis and gliogenesis, revealing important parallels to principles governing the embryonic stages. While during central nervous system development, scripted temporal and spatial patterns of neural and glial progenitor proliferation and differentiation are necessary to create the nervous system architecture, it remains unclear what driving forces maintain and sustain postnatal neural stem cell (NSC) and oligodendrocyte progenitor cell (OPC) production of new neurons and glia. In recent years, neuronal activity has been identified as an important modulator of these processes. Using the distinct properties of neurotransmitter ionotropic and metabotropic channels to signal downstream cellular events, NSCs and OPCs share common features in their readout of neuronal activity patterns. Here we review the current evidence for neuronal activity-dependent control of NSC/OPC proliferation and differentiation in the postnatal brain, highlight some potential mechanisms used by the two progenitor populations, and discuss future studies that might advance these research areas further.
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