Concise Review: Quiescent and Active States of Endogenous Adult Neural Stem Cells: Identification and Characterization§

Authors

  • Ya-Zhou Wang,

    Corresponding author
    1. Cellular and Molecular Biology Laboratory, Institute of Neurosciences, School of Basic Medicine, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi'an, China
    2. Department of Cell Biology and Human Anatomy, Institute for Pediatric Regenerative Medicine, Shriners Hospital for Children, University of California-Davis, Sacramento, California, USA
    • Institute of Neurosciences, Fourth Military Medical University, 169 West Changle Road, Xi'an 710032, China
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    • Telephone: (86) 29-84779090; Fax: (86∥ 29-83246270

  • Jennifer M. Plane,

    1. Department of Cell Biology and Human Anatomy, Institute for Pediatric Regenerative Medicine, Shriners Hospital for Children, University of California-Davis, Sacramento, California, USA
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  • Peng Jiang,

    1. Department of Cell Biology and Human Anatomy, Institute for Pediatric Regenerative Medicine, Shriners Hospital for Children, University of California-Davis, Sacramento, California, USA
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  • Chengji J. Zhou,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Cell Biology and Human Anatomy, Institute for Pediatric Regenerative Medicine, Shriners Hospital for Children, University of California-Davis, Sacramento, California, USA
    • Room 602B, Shriners Institute for Pediatric Regenerative Medicine, 2425 Stockton Blvd., Sacramento, California 95817, USA
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    • Telephone: 916-453-2268; Fax: 916-453-2288

  • Wenbin Deng

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Cell Biology and Human Anatomy, Institute for Pediatric Regenerative Medicine, Shriners Hospital for Children, University of California-Davis, Sacramento, California, USA
    • Room 653B, Shriners Institute for Pediatric Regenerative Medicine, 2425 Stockton Blvd., Sacramento, California 95817, USA
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    • Telephone: 916-453-2287; Fax: 916-453-2288


  • Author contributions: Y.-Z.W.: conception, manuscript writing, financial support; J.M.P. and P.J.: conception, manuscript writing; C.J.Z.: conception, manuscript writing, financial support; W.D.: conception, manuscript writing, financial support, final approval of manuscript.

  • Disclosure of potential conflicts of interest is found at the end of this article.

  • §

    First published online in STEM CELLSEXPRESS April 19, 2011

Abstract

The adult mammalian central nervous system (CNS) lacks the capacity for regeneration, making it a highly sought-after topic for researchers. The identification of neural stem cells (NSCs) in the adult CNS wiped out a long-held dogma that the adult brain contains a set number of neurons and is incapable of replacing them. The discovery of adult NSCs (aNSCs) stoked the fire for researchers who dream of brain self-repair. Unfortunately, the quiescent nature and limited plasticity of aNSCs diminish their regenerative potential. Recent studies evaluating aNSC plasticity under pathological conditions indicate that a switch from quiescent to active aNSCs in neurogenic regions plays an important role in both repairing the damaged tissue and preserving progenitor pools. Here, we summarize the most recent findings and present questions about characterizing the active and quiescent aNSCs in major neurogenic regions, and factors for maintaining their active and quiescent states, hoping to outline an emerging view for promoting the endogenous aNSC-based regeneration. STEM CELLS 2011;29:907–912

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