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Keywords:

  • Subventricular zone;
  • Neural stem cells;
  • Radiation;
  • Lysolecithin;
  • Oligodendrogenesis;
  • Brain Damage;
  • Demyelinating diseases

Abstract

Radiation is a common tool in the treatment of brain tumors that induces neurological deficits as a side effect. Some of these deficits appear to be related to the impact of radiation on the neurogenic niches, producing a drastic decrease in the proliferative capacity of these regions. In the adult mammalian brain, the subventricular zone (SVZ) of the lateral ventricles is the main neurogenic niche. Neural stem/precursor cells (NSCs) within the SVZ play an important role in brain repair following injuries. However, the irradiated NSCs' ability to respond to damage has not been previously elucidated. In this study, we evaluated the effects of localized radiation on the SVZ ability to respond to a lysolecithin-induced demyelination of the striatum. We demonstrated that the proliferation rate of the irradiated SVZ was increased after brain damage and that residual NSCs were reactivated. The irradiated SVZ had an expansion of doublecortin positive cells that appeared to migrate from the lateral ventricles toward the demyelinated striatum, where newly generated oligodendrocytes were found. In addition, in the absence of demyelinating damage, remaining cells in the irradiated SVZ appeared to repopulate the neurogenic niche a year post-radiation. These findings support the hypothesis that NSCs are radioresistant and can respond to a brain injury, recovering the neurogenic niche. A more complete understanding of the effects that localized radiation has on the SVZ may lead to improvement of the current protocols used in the radiotherapy of cancer. Stem Cells 2014;32:59–69