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Neurogenesis in the adult mammalian CNS

Brian Scott brians at interlog.com
Sun Nov 21 00:50:14 EST 1999


J&M Godesky wrote:
> 
> Hello,
> 
>         I'm an undergraduate at the University of Pittsburgh preparing a short
> paper on the research being done by Gage, Gould, and others on the
> possibility of neurogenesis in the adult mammalian brain, specifically
> the hippocampus.  What's the general idea about this stuff?
> 
> Gratefully,
> Jason Godesky

Hello Jason,

What are you specifically asking?  There are lots of good review
articles on the subject of adult hippocampal neurogenesis out there. 
Evidence for adult neurogenesis in the hippocampus of rodent has been
around since the sixties but only recently have things really taken
off.  With the discovery of neurogenesis in the hippocampus of adult
humans by Kempermann and Gage it seems to have taken on greater
importance.  Neurogenesis also persists in the adult ventricular regions
and has been studied here in much more detail than the hippocampus.  

I saw a talk yesterday by Dr. Derek van der Kooy which described stem
cells in the adult retina which can generate retinal neuronal and glial
cells.  All these adult stem/precursor cells are very interesting but I
think the hippocampal ones are the most interesting because of their
potential role in learning and memory.  Elizabeth Gould recently gave a
talk here at the University of Toronto just before her Science paper
came out showing newly generated neurons in the association cortex of
monkeys.  She seems to believe that neurogenesis may be important for
learning, which is why it's associated with areas thought to be
important for learning.    

There's also debate as to whether the hippocampus really has stem cells
or more restricted precursor cells.  Fred Gage has presented evidence
supporting stem cells in the adult hippocampus but I think the
ventricular stem cell people are skeptical.  

Anyway, it's an interesting topic with lots to discuss.

Good luck.

Brian

-- 
Brian Scott           |     Institute of Medical Science &
brians at interlog.com   |  Bloorview Epilepsy Research Programme
                      |        University of Toronto
                      |           Toronto, Canada




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