Notching up neural stem cell homogeneity in homeostasis and disease
Paper URL: Frontiers in Neuroscience
Adult neural stem cells (NSCs) are perceived as a homogeneous population of cells that divide infrequently and are capable of multi-lineage differentiation. However, recent data revealed that independent stem cell lineages act in parallel to maintain neurogenesis and provide a cellular source for tissue repair. In addition, even within the same lineage, the stem and progenitor cells are strikingly heterogeneous including NSCs that are dormant or mitotically active. We will discuss these different NSC populations and activity states with relation to their role in neurogenesis and regeneration but also how these different stem cells respond to aging. NSCs depend on Notch signaling for their maintenance. While Notch-dependence is a common feature among NSC populations, we will discuss how differences in Notch signaling might contribute to adult NSC heterogeneity. Understanding the fate of multiple NSC populations with distinct functions has implications for the mechanisms of aging and regeneration.