About this Research Topic
Brain plasticity refers to the ability of the brain to change and adapt continuously. In particular, the molecular and cellular modifications that occur as a consequence of brain damage have been of great interest in the field of neurobiology. The evidence of an increase in neurogenesis triggered by different types of brain injury in the subventricular zone and in the dentate gyrus as well as in the striatum of rodents, poses a fascinating question: to what extent do neurons born in response to damage contribute to the structural and functional reorganization of the brain?
This question is still under debate and even when adult constitutive hippocampal neurogenesis in humans has been recently challenged, the potential impact of new neurons in the reorganization of brain circuits following damage is paramount to our understanding of neurorepair.
There is evidence showing that neurons intrinsically born after damage survive, migrate towards the lesion area, achieve maturation, and display synaptic integration. Yet, our knowledge of the functional properties of neurons that are born after injury within and outside the canonical neurogenic niches and their potential impact on circuit reorganization and on behavioral recovery is still building up.
On the other hand, the essential role of glia in physiological and pathology has been increasingly underscored despite new functions and properties being unveiled in normal and clinical conditions. Astroglia, microglia and neural stem cells can act in parallel changing the neurogenesis/gliogenesis balance during brain damage or degeneration. Thus, one of the ultimate goals in the field is to unveil whether new neurons and glia contribute to brain repair and functional recovery and to find mechanisms enhancing this supportive role to initiate the proliferative response of stem cells.
Research in cell signaling and cell fate reprogramming, as well as in pharmacological strategies that target different steps in gliogenesis and neurogenesis are opening new scopes in the field of neurorepair. Further research into the causal links between neurogenesis and gliogenesis in functional reorganization will provide a better understanding of the role of endogenous and reprogrammed cells in circuit repair and reorganization.
This Research Topic aims to build up knowledge on the mechanisms involved in the generation and transformation of new neurons and glia as a result of damage and, in the potential of intrinsic and induced neuro and gliogenesis in the process of neurorepair after brain injury.
The topic is focused but not limited to the following themes in the context of brain damage:
-Constitutive and experimentally induced neurogenesis and gliogenesis through in vivo and in vitro methodologies
-Stem cell activation mechanisms and glial transformation
-Cell signaling following damage and cell fate reprogramming
- Neurogenesis and gliogenesis’ contribution to functional reorganization
This Research Topic may contain original research articles, as well as comments, hypothesis, and reviews providing an overview of endogenous and induced neurogenesis, gliogenesis and cell fate programming in the context of brain repair.
Keywords: Brain Lesion, Astrocyte, Progenitor Cells, Cell-fate conversion, lineage reprogramming
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