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Adult neurogenesis is the formation of functional, mature neurons from neural stem cells in specific brain regions in adults. In these regions, new neurons are generated throughout life and integrated into established neuronal circuits.
In this Review, Anacker and Hen explore how regulation of dentate gyrus function by adult hippocampal neurogenesis may link the memory and mood functions of the hippocampus. They also examine the potential of targeting such regulation for mood disorders.
The functions of semaphorins in the adult brain are poorly understood. Here the authors show that Sema7A carries out stage-specific functions in the adult hippocampus via differential receptor usage; in progenitor cells, Sema7A inhibits proliferation via acting on PlexinC1, whereas in adult-born neurons, it promotes dendrite growth through β1-integrins.
How are quiescent adult neural stem cells (NSCs) generated during development? A study now identifies a reserve population of p57-expressing, slowly dividing embryonic neural progenitors that later give rise to adult NSCs.
The proliferation of NSCs in the adult SVZ is controlled by a set of neurons expressing choline acetyltransferase, identifying a mechanism connecting brain activity to neurogenesis in the adult mammalian brain.