Neural stem cells in the developing and adult brains

Authors

  • Qiuhao Qu,

    1. Department of Neurosciences, Center for Gene Expression and Drug Discovery, Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope, Duarte, California
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  • Yanhong Shi

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Neurosciences, Center for Gene Expression and Drug Discovery, Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope, Duarte, California
    • Center for Gene Expression and Drug Discovery, Department of Neurosciences, Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope, 1500 E. Duarte Rd, Duarte, CA 91010.
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Abstract

Neural stem cells exist in the mammalian developing and adult nervous system. Recently, tremendous interest in the potential of neural stem cells for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases and brain injuries has substantially promoted research on neural stem cell self-renewal and differentiation. Multiple cell-intrinsic regulators coordinate with the microenvironment through various signaling pathways to regulate neural stem cell maintenance, self-renewal, and fate determination. This review focuses on essential intracellular regulators that control neural stem cell maintenance and self-renewal in both embryonic brains and adult nervous system. These factors include the orphan nuclear receptor TLX, the high-mobility-group DNA binding protein Sox2, the basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor Hes, the tumor suppressor gene Pten, the membrane-associated protein Numb, and its cytoplasmic homolog Numblike. The aim of this review is to summarize our current understanding of neural stem cell regulation through these important stem cell regulators. J. Cell. Physiol. 221: 5–9, 2009. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc

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