Fate specification in the adult brain – lessons for eliciting neurogenesis from glial cells

Authors

  • Jovica Ninkovic,

    Corresponding author
    1. Helmholtz Centre Munich German Research Centre for Environmental Health (GmbH), Institute for Stem Cell Research, Neuherberg/Munich, Germany
    2. Medical Faculty, Physiological Genomics, University of Munich, Munich, Germany
    • Helmholtz Centre Munich German Research Centre for Environmental Health (GmbH), Institute for Stem Cell Research, Neuherberg/Munich, Germany.
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  • Magdalena Götz

    1. Helmholtz Centre Munich German Research Centre for Environmental Health (GmbH), Institute for Stem Cell Research, Neuherberg/Munich, Germany
    2. Medical Faculty, Physiological Genomics, University of Munich, Munich, Germany
    3. Munich Cluster for Systems Neurology (SyNergy), Munich, Germany
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Abstract

In the adult mammalian brain, neurogenesis is restricted to few regions, while gliogenesis continues in a wide-spread manner. Here we discuss our knowledge of extrinsic and intrinsic factors regulating neuro- and gliogenesis in the adult brain and propose a model of fate specification identifying the states of easiest transition between glio- and neurogenesis, highlighting the unique mechanisms stabilising the neural stem cell state. The model also encompasses the fate alterations achieved by direct reprogramming, and hence addresses a novel avenue for repair, namely eliciting neurogenesis from glial cells outside the neurogenic niches.

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