Proliferation and differentiation characteristics of neural stem cells during course of cerebral cortical histogenesis

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Recent advancements in the research field of stem cell biology have enabled the realization of regenerative medicine in various systems of the body, including the central nervous system. However, fundamental knowledge regarding how neural stem cells divide and generate young neurons in mammals, especially in vivo, is still inadequate. In this article, we shall summarize the concept of cell cycle/division of neural stem cells that generate projection neurons in the murine cerebral cortex. We shall also review the molecular mechanisms that modulate the critical parameters related to the cell cycle regulatory mechanisms, with special reference to the cell cycle regulatory protein p27Kip1, an inhibitor of progression of the cell cycle at the G1 phase. A better understanding of the mechanisms controlling cell cycle progression is expected to contribute to the development of novel strategies to increase the efficiency of neural cell/tissue production, both in vivo and in vitro.

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