A persistent cycling cell population in the normal adult human brain is well established. Neural stem cells or neural progenitors have been identified in the subventricular zone and the dentate gyrus subgranular layer (SGL), two areas of persistent neurogenesis. Cycling cells in other human normal brain areas, however, remains to be established. Here, we determined the distribution and identity of these cells in the cortex, the white matter and the hippocampal formation of adult patients with and without chronic temporal lobe epilepsy using immunohistochemistry for the cell cycle markers Ki-67 (Mib-1) and minichromosome maintenance protein 2. Rare proliferative neuronal precursors expressing the neuronal antigen neuronal nuclei were restricted to the SGL. In contrast, the oligodendrocyte progenitor cell markers Olig2 and the surface antigen NG2 were expressed by the vast majority of cycling cells scattered throughout the cortex and white matter of both control and epileptic patients. Most of these cycling cells were in early G1 phase, and were significantly more numerous in epileptic than in non-epileptic patients. These results provide evidence for a persistent gliogenesis in the human cortex and white matter that is enhanced in an epileptic environment.