The Glial Nature of Embryonic and Adult Neural Stem Cells

The Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regeneration Medicine and Stem Cell Research, Department of Neurology, University of California, San Francisco, California 94143-0525, USA.
Annual Review of Neuroscience (Impact Factor: 22.66). 08/2009; 32:149-84. DOI: 10.1146/annurev.neuro.051508.135600
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Glial cells were long considered end products of neural differentiation, specialized supportive cells with an origin very different from that of neurons. New studies have shown that some glial cells--radial glia (RG) in development and specific subpopulations of astrocytes in adult mammals--function as primary progenitors or neural stem cells (NSCs). This is a fundamental departure from classical views separating neuronal and glial lineages early in development. Direct visualization of the behavior of NSCs and lineage-tracing studies reveal how neuronal lineages emerge. In development and in the adult brain, many neurons and glial cells are not the direct progeny of NSCs, but instead originate from transit amplifying, or intermediate, progenitor cells (IPCs). Within NSCs and IPCs, genetic programs unfold for generating the extraordinary diversity of cell types in the central nervous system. The timing in development and location of NSCs, a property tightly linked to their neuroepithelial origin, appear to be the key determinants of the types of neurons generated. Identification of NSCs and IPCs is critical to understand brain development and adult neurogenesis and to develop new strategies for brain repair.

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Available from: Arnold R Kriegstein, Dec 16, 2014
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    • "While the generation of new neurons is obvious in two main regions in mammals, the neurogenic potential in adult teleost fish is spectacular in many proliferative areas. This continuous production of new neurons in adulthood is notably supported by the persistence and abundance of radial glial cells (RGCs) [17] [24], known in mammals to serve as neural " stem " cells during embryonic neurogenesis [25] [26]. Fish are also distinguished by their remarkable potential to regenerate their CNS from mechanical and chemical injuries by replacing damaged neurons such as shown in the cerebellum, the telencephalon and olfactory bulbs, the retina [27] [28] [29] [30] [31] [32]. "
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    • "In addition to these novel ventricular niche sites, nestinþ neural progenitor cells in the parenchyma of the cerebral cortex, substantia nigra, amygdala, striatum, etc. have been reported to generate neurospheres and to be capable of giving rise to neurons and glia in culture and after injury or growth factor infusion in vivo (Benraiss et al., 2001; Bernier et al., 2002; Chmielnicki et al., 2004; Collin et al., 2005; Emsley et al., 2005; Gould et al., 1999b; Jiang et al., 2001; Kriegstein and Alvarez-Buylla, 2009; Magavi et al., 2000; Mohapel et al., 2005; Park et al., 2006; Pencea et al., 2001a; Ponti et al., 2008; Teramoto et al., 2003; Van Kampen and Robertson, 2005; Zhao et al., 2003). However, as no niche structure has been demonstrated to house these cells, and since many of the usual niche relationships to ventricles and leaky vessels are absent, their role in adult brain homeostasis and reconstitution remains unclear and a topic for continued exploration. "
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    • "Neural stem cells (NSCs) exist in both the embryonic and postnatal mammalian brain. In the embryonic cortical ventricular zone (VZ) and adult ventricular-subventricular zone (V-SVZ), NSCs are glial cells that can both self-renew and differentiate to yield intermediate progenitors that divide once or more before producing migratory young neurons (Kriegstein and Alvarez-Buylla, 2009). The production of proper numbers of neuronal progenitors from NSCs is a key aspect of brain development , and defects at this stage of the neurogenic lineage may underlie a number of human developmental disorders (Lui et al., 2011). "
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