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, 27 (1), 15-24

Regulation of Neural Stem Cell Fate by Natural Products


Regulation of Neural Stem Cell Fate by Natural Products

Hyun-Jung Kim. Biomol Ther (Seoul).


Neural stem cells (NSCs) can proliferate and differentiate into multiple cell types that constitute the nervous system. NSCs can be derived from developing fetuses, embryonic stem cells, or induced pluripotent stem cells. NSCs provide a good platform to screen drugs for neurodegenerative diseases and also have potential applications in regenerative medicine. Natural products have long been used as compounds to develop new drugs. In this review, natural products that control NSC fate and induce their differentiation into neurons or glia are discussed. These phytochemicals enable promising advances to be made in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.

Keywords: Antioxidative; Cell fate; Differentiation; Neural stem cells; Neurogenesis; Neuroprotection.

Conflict of interest statement


The author declares that there is no conflict of interest.


Fig. 1.
Fig. 1.
Schematic illustration of cells that can produce neurons and glia. Neural stem cells (NSCs) or neural progenitor cells (NPCs) can be derived from the fetus, embryonic stem cells (ESCs), and induced pluripotent stem cells (IPSCS). NSCs/NPCs proliferate in the presence of mitogens and can differentiate into neurons, astrocytes, or oligodendrocytes with the appropriate stimuli and/or in the presence of natural products.
Fig. 2.
Fig. 2.
Possible signal transduction mechanisms of natural products for induction of neurogenesis other than anti-oxidative effects and anti-inflammatory effects. Extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERKs), Protein kinase A (PKA), Akt, WNT/β-catenin, PKC and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) pathways/signals are involved in the neuroprotection and neurogenesis of natural products listed in this review.

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