Light shed on the coordination of neural stem cell activation

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Scientists have successfully performed 3D visualization and spatial and temporal distribution analysis of neural stem cell activation in the adult brain of a zebrafish vertebrate model. Their findings demonstrate for the first time that activation events for these cells are coordinated in time and space. In particular, these results may help improve our understanding of regulation processes triggered during brain tumor formation.
In all adult vertebrates, neural stem cells can be recruited to produce new neurons in the brain. However, little is known about these so-called "activation" processes.

Scientists at the Institut Pasteur, CNRS, and Tel Aviv University working in collaboration with the École Polytechnique and INRAE have successfully performed 3D visualization and spatial and temporal distribution analysis of neural stem cell activation in the adult brain of a zebrafish vertebrate model.

Their findings demonstrate for the first time that activation events for these cells are coordinated in time and space. In particular, these results may help improve our understanding of regulation processes triggered during brain tumor formation. These findings are published in the April 5, 2021 issue of the journal Cell Stem Cell.

Stem cells, which are found in many adult organs in vertebrates including humans, are capable of proliferating and differentiating to generate new functional cells. For instance, stem cells in the brain (neural stem cells) produce new neurons in adulthood. Most of the time, neural stem cells are in a dormant state known as "quiescence." In order to produce neurons, they must therefore first activate and then divide. This activation stage is crucial: it is a prerequisite for stem cell recruitment and is also critical to their survival (cells that activate…
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