The neural stem cell niche defines a zone in which stem cells are retained after embryonic development for the production of new cells of the nervous system. This continual supply of new neurons and glia then provides the postnatal and adult brain with an added capacity for cellular plasticity, albeit one that is restricted to a few specific zones within the brain. Critical to the maintenance of the stem cell niche are microenvironmental cues and cell-cell interactions that act to balance stem cell quiescence with proliferation and to direct neurogenesis versus gliogenesis lineage decisions. Ultimately, based on the location of the niche, stem cells of the adult brain support regeneration in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus and the olfactory bulb through neuron replacement. Here, we provide a summary of the current understanding of the organization and control mechanisms of the neural stem cell niche.
KeywordsNeural stem cell niche Neurogenesis Neural stem cell Neural progenitors Aging
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