Orchestrating transcriptional control of adult neurogenesis

Genes Dev. 2012 May 15;26(10):1010-21. doi: 10.1101/gad.187336.112.


Stem cells have captured our imagination and generated hope, representing a source of replacement cells to treat a host of medical conditions. Tucked away in specialized niches, stem cells maintain tissue function and rejuvenate organs. Balancing the equation between cellular supply and demand is especially important in the adult brain, as neural stem cells (NSCs) in two discrete regions, the subgranular zone (SGZ) of the dentate gyrus and the subventricular zone (SVZ) next to the lateral ventricles, continuously self-renew and differentiate into neurons in a process called adult neurogenesis. Through the interplay of intrinsic and extrinsic factors, adult neurogenic niches ensure neuronal turnover throughout life, contributing to plasticity and homeostatic processes in the brain. This review summarizes recent progress on the molecular control of adult neurogenesis in the SGZ and SVZ, focusing on the role of specific transcription factors that mediate the progression from NSCs to lineage-committed progenitors and, ultimately, the generation of mature neurons and glia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Cell Survival
  • Dentate Gyrus / cytology
  • Dentate Gyrus / embryology*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental*
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Neural Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Neurogenesis / genetics*
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Transcription, Genetic*


  • Transcription Factors