Neural stem/progenitor cells in Alzheimer's disease

Yale J Biol Med. 2016 Mar 24;89(1):23-35. eCollection 2016 Mar.


Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most prevalent neurodegenerative disease and a worldwide health challenge. Different therapeutic approaches are being developed to reverse or slow the loss of affected neurons. Another plausible therapeutic way that may complement the studies is to increase the survival of existing neurons by mobilizing the existing neural stem/progenitor cells (NSPCs) - i.e. "induce their plasticity" - to regenerate lost neurons despite the existing pathology and unfavorable environment. However, there is controversy about how NSPCs are affected by the unfavorable toxic environment during AD. In this review, we will discuss the use of stem cells in neurodegenerative diseases and in particular how NSPCs affect the AD pathology and how neurodegeneration affects NSPCs. In the end of this review, we will discuss how zebrafish as a useful model organism with extensive regenerative ability in the brain might help to address the molecular programs needed for NSPCs to respond to neurodegeneration by enhanced neurogenesis.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; Amyloid-beta-42; human; induced plasticity; mouse; neural stem/progenitor cell; zebrafish.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / metabolism*
  • Alzheimer Disease / pathology
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Neural Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Neural Stem Cells / metabolism*
  • Neurogenesis / physiology
  • Peptide Fragments / metabolism
  • Zebrafish


  • Amyloid beta-Peptides
  • Peptide Fragments
  • amyloid beta-protein (1-42)