Identifying Endogenous Neural Stem Cells in the Adult Brain In Vitro and In Vivo: Novel Approaches

Author(s): Maria Adele Rueger, Andreas Androutsellis-Theotokis

Journal Name: Current Pharmaceutical Design

Volume 19 , Issue 36 , 2013

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In the 1960s, Joseph Altman reported that the adult mammalian brain is capable of generating new neurons. Today it is understood that some of these neurons are derived from uncommitted cells in the subventricular zone lining the lateral ventricles, and the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus. The first area generates new neuroblasts which migrate to the olfactory bulb, whereas hippocampal neurogenesis seems to play roles in particular types of learning and memory. A part of these uncommitted (immature) cells is able to divide and their progeny can generate all three major cell types of the nervous system: neurons, astrocytes, and oligodendrocytes; these properties define such cells as neural stem cells. Although the roles of these cells are not yet clear, it is accepted that they affect functions including olfaction and learning/memory. Experiments with insults to the central nervous system also show that neural stem cells are quickly mobilized due to injury and in various disorders by proliferating, and migrating to injury sites. This suggests a role of endogenous neural stem cells in disease. New pools of stem cells are being discovered, suggesting an even more important role for these cells. To understand these cells and to coax them to contribute to tissue repair it would be very useful to be able to image them in the living organism. Here we discuss advances in imaging approaches as well as new concepts that emerge from stem cell biology with emphasis on the interface between imaging and stem cells.

Keywords: Endogenous, neural stem cells, imaging, positron emission tomography, brain.

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Article Details

Year: 2013
Page: [6499 - 6506]
Pages: 8
DOI: 10.2174/1381612811319360010
Price: $65

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PDF: 37