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Keywords:

  • Neuroimmune;
  • Neural stem cell;
  • Autoimmunity;
  • Stromal-derived factor-1;
  • Neural differentiation

Abstract

Neural stem/progenitor cells are known to exist in the intact spinal cord, but the presence of newly formed neurons during adulthood has not been documented there to date. Here, we report the appearance of newly formed neurons under normal physiological conditions. These neurons are immature, express a GABAergic phenotype, and are primarily located in the dorsal part of the spinal cord. This localization appeared to be mediated by stromal-derived factor-1/CXC-chemokine receptor-4 signaling in the dorsal region. The extent of spinal cord neurogenesis was found to be greatly influenced by immune system integrity and in particular by myelin-specific T cells. These observations provide evidence for in vivo spinal cord neurogenesis under nonpathological conditions and introduce novel mechanisms regulating adult spinal cord plasticity.

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