About this Research Topic
During the development of the nervous system, the production of hundreds of subtypes of neurons and glial cells relies upon the relatively fast generation, amplification, specification and differentiation of neural progenitors and neural stem cells (NSCs). Surprisingly, this strategy is retained to some extent in certain niches in the adult nervous system throughout lifetime under physiological conditions, although it is very restricted in comparison to embryonic neurogenesis, both in number and subtypes of neural cells generated. Furthermore, damage to the neural tissue is also capable in certain animal models and circumstances to trigger the neurogenesis process leading to regeneration.
Many of the signalling cascades governing the neurogenesis and circuit formation during embryogenesis are harnessed both into adult neurogenesis and in regeneration processes in the adult brain. However, the regulation of those signalling cascades is substantially different in the postembryonic context. Thus, the progression from neural progenitors to differentiated new neurons has to be tightly controlled with new cell properties or states emerging in the adult brain neural progenitors such as the ability to enter quiescence. In addition, newly born neurons differentiate and have to establish their connections in an already functional network where the signals that were used to guide circuit formation during development are no longer present.
Understanding the mechanisms of neurogenesis and of the precise wiring appears fundamental in attempts to promote the recovery of functional neuronal circuits in pathological conditions.
This Research Topic aims to highlight the signalling pathways and molecular players that are regulating the process of neurogenesis, from the regulation of the balance of the different neural progenitors to the generation of neuronal diversity and to their integration into circuits. We welcome articles focused in the different postembryonic niches as well as in situations of enhanced neurogenesis associated to regeneration following trauma. We are interested in all animal models and the exploration of interspecies differences that may account for the differences in neural regeneration potential.
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