Neural Stem Cells

  • Yoko Arai
  • Wieland B. Huttner
  • Federico Calegari


Neural stem cells are the source of all neurons, astrocytes and oligodendrocytes of the central nervous system. While the vast majority of neural stem cells are consumed during embryonic development, a subpopulation persists in specialized regions of the adult mammalian brain where addition of cells, notably neurons, ­continues throughout life. The significance and physiological role of adult neurogenesis are still debated but it is generally believed that neural stem cells may be used to establish novel therapies for certain neural pathologies. In this chapter we describe the main features of neural stem cells during embryonic development and adulthood as well as the key mechanisms known to influence their proliferation versus differentiation. We then discuss the current views on the function of adult neurogenesis and the first attempts to use neural stem cells in therapy. Since the focus of this book is on regenerative medicine, we will mainly describe neural stem cells of mammalian organisms and briefly mention studies on other phyla only if particularly relevant.


Neural Stem Cell Neural Progenitor Ependymal Cell Adult Neurogenesis Ventricular Zone 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.







basic helix-loop-helix


bone morphogenic protein




cyclin-dependent kinase


central nervous system


CBF1/RBPJk/Supplessor of hairless/Lag1


DNA methyltransferases




epidermal growth factor


fibroblast growth factor 2


γ-aminobutyric acid


histone acetylases


histone deacetylases


hypoxia-inducible factor Iα


interkinetic nuclear migration






notch receptor


neural stem cells


retinoic acid


subgranular zone


sonic hedgehog


sub-ventricular zone


ventricular zone


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Copyright information

© Springer Netherlands 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yoko Arai
    • 1
  • Wieland B. Huttner
    • 1
  • Federico Calegari
    • 2
  1. 1.Max-Planck-Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and GeneticsDresdenGermany
  2. 2.Center for Regenerative TherapiesTechnische Universität Dresden, c/o: Max-Planck-Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and GeneticsDresdenGermany

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