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Keywords:

  • brain ischaemia;
  • glutamate;
  • neural progenitor cells (NPCs);
  • neurogenesis;
  • neurorepair;
  • neurotransmitters

Brain ischaemia and reperfusion produce alterations in the microenvironment of the parenchyma, including ATP depletion, ionic homeostasis alterations, inflammation, release of multiple cytokines and abnormal release of neurotransmitters. As a consequence, the induction of proliferation and migration of neural stem cells is redirected towards the peri-infarct region. The success of new neurorestorative treatments for damaged brain implies the need to describe with greater accuracy the mechanisms in charge of regulating adult neurogenesis, under both physiological and pathological conditions. Recent evidence demonstrates that many neurotransmitters, glutamate in particular, control the subventricular zone (SVZ), thus being part of the complex signal network that exerts a remarkable influence on the production of new neurones. Neurotransmitters provide a link between brain activity and SVZ neurogenesis. Therefore, a deeper knowledge of the role of neurotransmitters systems, such as glutamate and its transporters, in adult neurogenesis, may prove a valuable tool to be utilized as a neurorestorative therapy in this pathology.