Aging of the Subventricular Zone Neural Stem Cell Niche

Department of Physiology and Neurobiology
Aging and Disease (Impact Factor: 3.07). 02/2011; 2(1):49-63.
Source: PubMed


The persistence of an active subventricular zone neural stem cell niche in the adult mammalian forebrain supports its continued role in the production of new neurons and in generating cells to function in repair through adulthood. Unfortunately, with increasing age the niche begins to deteriorate, compromising these functions. The reasons for this decline are not clear. Studies are beginning to define the molecular and physiologic changes in the microenvironment of the aging subventricular zone niche. New revelations from aging studies will allow for a more thorough understanding of which reparative functions are lost in the aged brain, the progression of niche demise and the possibility for therauptic intervention to improve aging brain function.

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Available from: Joanne Conover
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    ABSTRACT: Neural stem cells persist in the adult mammalian brain through life. The subventricular zone is the largest source of stem cells in the nervous system, and continuously generates new neuronal and glial cells involved in brain regeneration. During aging, the germinal potential of the subventricular zone suffers a widespread decline, but the causes of this turn down are not fully understood. This review provides a compilation of the current knowledge about the age-related changes in the neural stem cell population, as well as the fate of the newly generated cells in the aged brain. It is known that the neurogenic capacity is clearly disrupted during aging, while the production of oligodendroglial cells is not compromised. Interestingly, the human brain seems to primarily preserve the ability to produce new oligodendrocytes instead of neurons, which could be related to the development of neurological disorders. Further studies in this matter are required to improve our understanding and the current strategies for fighting neurological diseases associated with senescence.
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