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State of the art: subventricular zone neurogenic niche

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Figure 1
Function and morphology of the subventricular zone

An axial section highlights the morphology of the subventricular zone (magnified image; LV, lateral ventricle). Stem cells (B) give rise to new stem cells or to transit amplifying cells (C), both cell types embrace a population of immature neurons (neuroblasts, A) that are destined to migrate towards the olfactory bulb (OB) via the rostral migratory stream (RS) (Synowitz, 2006).

Neural stem and precursor cells of the adult brain contribute to plasticity in the hippocampus and may provide a cellular source for brain repair (Kazanis, 2009). However, the stem cell niches may also be the point of origin for glioma. My MDC-colleagues and I have previously established that endogenous neural precursor cells (NPCs) from the subventricular zone (SVZ, figure) migrate towards experimental glioma. Recently we found that NPCs release bone morphogenetic protein (BMP; a factor known to control neurogenesis in the SVZ), which serves as a paracrine tumor suppressor in the CNS by inducing differentiation of glioma stem cells.

1. Kazanis, I. (2009). The subependymal zone neurogenic niche: a beating heart in the centre of the brain: how plastic is adult neurogenesis? Opportunities for therapy and questions to be addressed. Brain 132, 2909-2921.