The role of neuro-epithelial-like and radial-glial stem and progenitor cells in development, plasticity, and repair

Prog Neurobiol. 2018 Nov;170:99-114. doi: 10.1016/j.pneurobio.2018.06.004. Epub 2018 Jun 11.


Neural stem and progenitor cells (NSPCs) are the primary source of new neurons in the brain and serve critical roles in tissue homeostasis and plasticity throughout life. Within the vertebrate brain, NSPCs are located within distinct neurogenic niches differing in their location, cellular composition, and proliferative behaviour. Heterogeneity in the NSPC population is hypothesized to reflect varying capacities for neurogenesis, plasticity and repair between different neurogenic zones. Since the discovery of adult neurogenesis, studies have predominantly focused on the behaviour and biological significance of adult NSPCs (aNSPCs) in rodents. However, compared to rodents, who show lifelong neurogenesis in only two restricted neurogenic niches, zebrafish exhibit constitutive neurogenesis across multiple stem cell niches that provide new neurons to every major brain division. Accordingly, zebrafish are a powerful model to probe the unique cellular and molecular profiles of NSPCs and investigate how these profiles govern tissue homeostasis and regenerative plasticity within distinct stem cell populations over time. Amongst the NSPC populations residing in the zebrafish central nervous system (CNS), proliferating radial-glia, quiescent radial-glia and neuro-epithelial-like cells comprise the majority. Here, we provide insight into the extent to which these distinct NSPC populations function and mature during development, respond to experience, and contribute to successful CNS regeneration in teleost fish. Together, our review brings to light the dynamic biological roles of these individual NSPC populations and showcases their diverse regenerative modes to achieve vertebrate brain repair later in life.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Central Nervous System / growth & development
  • Central Nervous System / physiology
  • Ependymoglial Cells / physiology*
  • Epithelial Cells / physiology*
  • Nerve Regeneration / physiology*
  • Neural Stem Cells / physiology*
  • Neuronal Plasticity / physiology*
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Zebrafish