Neural stem cells (NSCs) persist in the subventricular zone lining the ventricles of the adult brain. The resident stem/progenitor cells can be stimulated in vivo by neurotrophic factors, hematopoietic growth factors, magnetic stimulation, and/or physical exercise. In both animals and humans, the differentiation and survival of neurons arising from the subventricular zone may also be regulated by the trophic factors. Since stem/progenitor cells present in the adult brain and the production of new neurons occurs at specific sites, there is a possibility for the treatment of incurable neurological diseases. It might be feasible to induce neurogenesis, which would be particularly efficacious in the treatment of striatal neurodegenerative conditions such as Huntington’s disease, as well as cerebrovascular diseases such as ischemic stroke and cerebral palsy, conditions that are widely seen in the clinics. Understanding of the molecular control of endogenous NSC activation and progenitor cell mobilization will likely provide many new opportunities as therapeutic strategies. In this review, we focus on endogenous stem/progenitor cell activation that occurs in response to exogenous factors including neurotrophic factors, hematopoietic growth factors, magnetic stimulation, and an enriched environment. Taken together, these findings suggest the possibility that functional brain repair through induced neurorestoration from endogenous stem cells may soon be a clinical reality.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biomedical Engineering
- Cell Biology