Using a novel suspension culture approach, previously undescribed populations of neural precursor cells have been isolated from the adult mouse brain. Recent studies have shown that neuronal and glial precursor cells proliferate within the subependymal zone of the lateral ventricle throughout life, and a persistent expression of developmentally regulated surface and extracellular matrix molecules implicates cell-cell and cell-substrate interactions in the proliferation, migration, and differentiation of these cells. By using reagents that may affect cell-cell interactions, dissociated adult brain yields two types of cell aggregates, type I and type II spheres. Both sphere types are proliferative, and type I spheres evolve into type II spheres. Neurons and glia arise from presumptive stem cells of type II spheres, and they can survive transplantation to the adult brain.