Mitochondria as central regulators of neural stem cell fate and cognitive function

Nat Rev Neurosci. 2019 Jan;20(1):34-48. doi: 10.1038/s41583-018-0091-3.


Emerging evidence now indicates that mitochondria are central regulators of neural stem cell (NSC) fate decisions and are crucial for both neurodevelopment and adult neurogenesis, which in turn contribute to cognitive processes in the mature brain. Inherited mutations and accumulated damage to mitochondria over the course of ageing serve as key factors underlying cognitive defects in neurodevelopmental disorders and neurodegenerative diseases, respectively. In this Review, we explore the recent findings that implicate mitochondria as crucial regulators of NSC function and cognition. In this respect, mitochondria may serve as targets for stem-cell-based therapies and interventions for cognitive defects.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / cytology
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology*
  • Cognition / physiology*
  • Cognition Disorders / metabolism
  • Cognition Disorders / pathology
  • Humans
  • Mitochondria / metabolism*
  • Neural Stem Cells / cytology
  • Neural Stem Cells / metabolism*
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / metabolism
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / pathology
  • Neurogenesis / physiology