The Role of eNSCs in Neurodegenerative Disease
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Recent progress in biology has shown that many if not all adult tissues contain a population of stem cells. It is believed that these cells are involved in the regeneration of the tissue or organ in which they reside as a response to the natural turnover of differentiated cells or to injury. In the adult mammalian brain, stem cells in the subventricular zone and the dentate gyrus may also play a role in the replacement of neurons. A positive beneficial response to injury does not necessarily require cell replacement. New findings suggest that some populations of endogenous neural stem cells in the central nervous system may have adopted a function different from cell replacement and are involved in the protection of neurons in diverse paradigms of disease and injury. In this article, we will focus on the immature cell populations of the central nervous system and the signal transduction pathways that regulate them which suggest new possibilities for their manipulation in injury and disease.