Neural stem cells (NSCs) in the subventricular zone (SVZ) continuously generate olfactory bulb interneurons in the adult rodent brain. Based on their ultrastructural and antigenic properties, NSCs, transient amplifying precursor cells, and neuroblasts (B, C, and A cells, respectively) have been distinguished in mouse SVZ. Here, we aimed to identify these cell types in rat SVZ ultrastructurally and at the light microscopy level, and to determine the antigenic properties of each cell type using gold and fluorescence immunolabeling. We found astrocytes with single cilia (NSCs, correspond to B cells) and neuroblasts (A cells). We also observed mitotic cells, ependymal cells, displaced ependymal cells, and mature astrocytes. In contrast, transient amplifying precursor cells (C cells) were not detected. The NSCs and neuroblasts had epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and platelet-derived growth factor receptor alpha (PDGFRα) expressed on the ciliary apparatus and were the only cell types incorporating the proliferation marker BrdU. Throughout mitosis, EGFR and PDGFRα were associated with the microtubule of the mitotic spindle. Ependymal and displaced ependymal cells also expressed EGFR and PDGFRα on their cilia but did not incorporate BrdU. Our findings indicate that the NSCs in adult rat SVZ give rise directly to neuroblasts. During mitosis, the NSCs disassemble the primary cilium and symmetrically distribute EGFR and PDGFRα among their progeny. © 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.