The Adult Ventricular-Subventricular Zone (V-SVZ) and Olfactory Bulb (OB) Neurogenesis

Daniel A Lim, Arturo Alvarez-Buylla
Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Biology 2016 May 2, 8 (5)
A large population of neural stem/precursor cells (NSCs) persists in the ventricular-subventricular zone (V-SVZ) located in the walls of the lateral brain ventricles. V-SVZ NSCs produce large numbers of neuroblasts that migrate a long distance into the olfactory bulb (OB) where they differentiate into local circuit interneurons. Here, we review a broad range of discoveries that have emerged from studies of postnatal V-SVZ neurogenesis: the identification of NSCs as a subpopulation of astroglial cells, the neurogenic lineage, new mechanisms of neuronal migration, and molecular regulators of precursor cell proliferation and migration. It has also become evident that V-SVZ NSCs are regionally heterogeneous, with NSCs located in different regions of the ventricle wall generating distinct OB interneuron subtypes. Insights into the developmental origins and molecular mechanisms that underlie the regional specification of V-SVZ NSCs have also begun to emerge. Other recent studies have revealed new cell-intrinsic molecular mechanisms that enable lifelong neurogenesis in the V-SVZ. Finally, we discuss intriguing differences between the rodent V-SVZ and the corresponding human brain region. The rapidly expanding cellular and molecular knowledge of V-SVZ NSC biology provides key insights into postnatal neural development, the origin of brain tumors, and may inform the development regenerative therapies from cultured and endogenous human neural precursors.

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