Embryonic stem cells that derive from the inner cell mass of the blastocyst induce a variety of tissues and form the central nervous system. The cells that differentiate into neural progenitor cells exist on the ventricular zone of the embryonic brain and produce neuronal and glial cells during the developmental period. Although neurogenesis-the generation of new neuronal cells-has been thought to terminate after the embryonic stage, it has recently been found that neural progenitor cells exist in parts of the adult brain, namely the subventricular zone and the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus. Furthermore, it has been suggested that glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP)-positive cells are capable of trans-differentiating to give rise to neural progenitor cells in the adult brain. In the processes of cell growth, neural progenitor cells derived from GFAPpositive cells express a variety of cell-specific markers such as nestin, polysialylated neural cell adhesion molecule (PSA-NCAM), and others. In addition, the proliferation rate of neural progenitor cells and expression level of cell markers during cell growth is altered by various conditions such as increases in mitotic activity related to exercise, environmental enrichment, and ischemic insult, whereas decreases in cell proliferation are related to aging and stress. This chapter describes recent research on the function of neural plasticity-related molecules and discusses their role in adult neurogenesis.
|Title of host publication
|Progress in Cell Growth Process Research
|Nova Science Publishers, Inc.
|Number of pages
|Published - 2008