Development and aging of a brain neural stem cell niche

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Abstract

In the anterior forebrain, along the lateral wall of the lateral ventricles, a neurogenic stem cell niche is found in a region referred to as the ventricular-subventricular zone (V-SVZ). In rodents, robust V-SVZ neurogenesis provides new neurons to the olfactory bulb throughout adulthood; however, with increasing age stem cell numbers are reduced and neurogenic capacity is significantly diminished, but new olfactory bulb neurons continue to be produced even in old age. Humans, in contrast, show little to no new neurogenesis after two years of age and whether V-SVZ neural stem cells persist in the adult human brain remains unclear. Here, we review functional and organizational differences in the V-SVZ stem cell niche of mice and humans, and examine how aging affects the V-SVZ niche and its associated functions.

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