Adult-derived hippocampal progenitors generate neurons, astrocytes, and oligodendrocytes in vitro and following grafting into the adult brain. Although these progenitors have a considerable capacity for in vitro self renewal, it is not known if each lineage is generated by separate committed precursors or by multipotent stem cells. By genetic marking, we have followed individual cells through the process of proliferative expansion, commitment, and differentiation. All three lineages are generated by single marked cells and the relative proportions of each lineage can be strongly influenced by environmental cues. Differentiation is accompanied by a characteristic progression of lineage-specific markers and can be potentiated by retinoic acid, elevated cyclic AMP, or neurotrophic factors. The ability to genetically mark and clone normal diploid hippocampal progenitors provides the first definitive evidence that multipotent neural stem cells exist outside of the adult striatal subventricular zone and supports the hypothesis that FGF-2-responsive neural stem cells may be broadly distributed in the adult brain.