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Adult neurogenesis and its promise as a hope for brain repair

Lois, Carlos and Kelsch, Wolfgang (2014) Adult neurogenesis and its promise as a hope for brain repair. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 8 . Art. No. 165. ISSN 1662-4548. PMCID PMC4060954. doi:10.3389/fnins.2014.00165.

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After the pioneer report by Joseph Altman of adult neurogenesis (AN) in mammals in 1962, the phenomenon of AN was “rediscovered” some 20 years later, first in songbirds and then in mammals. Since the 1990s, interest in AN was fueled by the hope that it could lead to the treatment of neurological deficits by grafting these neurons or their progenitors into brain areas affected by disease or injury. Unfortunately, after 20 years of intense research efforts there is no clear indication that AN can be harnessed for the repair of brain circuits. We argue that the exuberant optimism regarding the potential application of AN for brain repair was misguided by the belief that neurons and their precursors had extensive developmental plasticity. Many of the experiments investigating the potential of AN for brain repair were inspired by the idea that neuronal precursors would be able to adapt, and easily change their developmental fate to replace the lost neurons. However, research during the last 20 years has shown that, in most cases, the fate of neurons is strongly determined and that it rarely changes. Understanding the mechanisms that control neural cell fate may allow for the engineering of adult stem cells so that they can give rise to neurons with properties appropriate for the host circuit to be repaired. The lack of phenotypic flexibility of neuronal progenitors may eventually prove to be advantageous, as this may provide a high degree of predictability (and safety) in the properties of reprogrammed cells. We suggest that AN is still a useful model to understand how neurons integrate into adult brain circuits, and that brain repair will require a thorough understanding of the genetic programs that control neuronal fate and neuronal migration.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription CentralArticle
Lois, Carlos0000-0002-7305-2317
Kelsch, Wolfgang0000-0002-3470-8125
Additional Information:© 2014 Lois and Kelsch. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms. Received: 02 April 2014; Accepted: 30 May 2014; Published online: 17 June 2014. Conflict of Interest Statement: The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.
Subject Keywords:neurogenesis, synapses, brain repair, regeneration, brain circuitry
PubMed Central ID:PMC4060954
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20180926-162248650
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Official Citation:Lois C and Kelsch W (2014) Adult neurogenesis and its promise as a hope for brain repair. Front. Neurosci. 8:165. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2014.00165
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:89983
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:26 Sep 2018 23:27
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 00:40

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