The evidence that new neuron addition takes place in the mammalian brain throughout adult life has dramatically altered our perspective of the potential for plasticity in the adult CNS. Although several recent reports suggest a latent neurogenic capacity in multiple brain regions, the two major neurogenic niches that retain the ability to generate substantial numbers of new neurons in adult life are the subventricular zone (SVZ) lining the lateral ventricles and the subgranular zone (SGZ) in the hippocampal formation. The discovery of adult neurogenesis has also unveiled a novel therapeutic target for the repair of damaged neuronal circuits. In this regard, understanding the endogenous mechanisms that regulate adult neurogenesis holds promise both for a deeper understanding of this form of structural plasticity, as well as the identification of pathways that can serve as therapeutic targets to manipulate adult neurogenesis. The purpose of the present review is to discuss the regulation of adult neurogenesis by neurotransmitters and to highlight the relevance of these endogenous regulators as targets to modulate adult neurogenesis in a clinical context.
Keywords: Neuronal progenitors, stem cells, hippocampus, olfactory bulb, neuropeptide, neurodegeneration, depression, subgranular zone, dentate gyrus