About this Research Topic
In normal development, cell identity is progressively restricted along a specific lineage, leading to terminally differentiated cells that contribute to tissue structure and function. In many tissues, cell turnover for normal homeostasis or repair response is fueled by a population of resident stem/progenitor cells whose progeny continue to recapitulate the lineage specification sequence throughout life. However, the adult CNS has restricted stem/progenitor cell populations and there is little cell turnover and limited repair. For neuronal populations, neurogenesis in the adult mammalian brain appears to be spatially restricted to certain regions. Glial populations are less restricted in regard to cell turnover, but nevertheless have limitations in achieving terminal differentiation that contributes to repair.
Repairing CNS injury by grafting exogenous cells to replace lost or dysfunctional neurons or glia has been a major investigative focus. An alternative strategy is recruiting endogenous CNS cells and engineering their fate to produce needed neurons or glia. Both of these strategies require appropriate tools to achieve terminal fate engineering and identification of the suitable cell population upon which to focus these efforts. With the advance of cellular reprogramming approaches, first to a pluripotent state and more recently to direct lineage reprogramming, it has now become possible to induce lineage respecification in progenitor cells or terminally differentiated cells. The capacity to lineage reprogram has been investigated both in vitro and directly in vivo and an understanding is emerging of the mechanisms and conditions regulating successful transition to directed terminal differentiation state. The goal of this Special Topic, Engineering Adult Neurogenesis and Gliogenesis, is to summarize the current state of the art in neural engineering through original research reports and reviews to foster continued advancement of this field.
Subjects for open call for submissions:
Direct reprogramming of cell lineage
- In vitro lineage respecification
- In vivo reprogramming
Directing terminal differentiation of lineage restricted progenitors
- Adult neurogenic niches
- Adult glial progenitor cells
Neuronal and glial cell fate specification of ESCs and iPSCs
- Regulating in vitro lineage specification
- Terminal differentiation following CNS engraftment