About this Research Topic
Cytogenesis in the adult brain (the generation of new neurons and glia) depends on the existence of a reservoir of somatic stem neural stem cells (NSCs). These adult NSCs bide in specialized microenvironments, called ‘neurogenic niches’, where their proliferation is actively kept in check by several molecular cues in a deeply regulated quiescent state. Over the last few decades, many efforts have been made to unravel the regulators that rule NSCs maintenance, proliferation and differentiation, discovering countless factors, either intrinsic to the NSCs or essential to the niches, even systemic to the whole organism. To this end, several methodologies have been implemented to study NSCs in vivo or to prospectively isolate them from their niches and dissect them at the molecular level. Also, some very creative strategies have been designed to pry on their mode of division, and thus disclose the basis of their self-perpetuation. However, many questions remain unanswered.
The aim of the current Research Topic is to cover the ongoing effort to identify and characterize the intricate network of factors that maintain adult neural stem cells and regulate their complex biology, along with the different strategies and experimental approaches being developed to study them. Adult neural stem cells are specified during development, their niche is assembled during the early postnatal stage and their activity regulated throughout life declining with age. Thus, the scope of this Research Topic will not be restricted to adulthood, but also developmental/postnatal studies are welcome. Finally, the study of the process of aging as one of the major regulators of adult neurogenesis, as well as neurogenesis in pathological situations will also be the focus of this Research Topic.
Areas to be covered in this Research Topic may include (but are not limited to):
- Original research papers that explore/identify intrinsic, niche or systemic factors capable of regulating NSCs biology such as their activation status (quiescence vs. proliferation), differentiation and maintenance. As specified above, the scope is not restricted to adulthood, but also developmental/postnatal studies are welcome.
- Original research papers exploring the effects of aging and/or pathological situations on NSCs biology or the neurogenic niches.
- Methodological papers describing new or updated classical techniques that can be employed to the study of NSCs (in vivo and/or in vitro) and apply to any of the above.
- Review and mini-review papers covering any of the previous topics.
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.