Neurogenesis is the process by which neurons are generated from neural stem and progenitor cells.
This process is most active during pre-natal development, however new neurons are also continually produced throughout adulthood. This occurs in the regions of the brain known as the hippocampus and subventricular zone (SVZ).
Research is being carried out to identfy the mechanisms of SVZ neural stem/progenitor cell (NSPC) maintenance, cell-fate specification and differentiation, with a view to using these cells in the field of regenerative medicine.
This confocal micrograph displays a neurosphere assay, where postnatal SVZ NSPCs are grown in a culture dish and the various types of brain cells produced are analyzed.
The SVZ NSPCs differentiated into three major types of cells: neurons (white), astrocytes (green) and oligodendrocytes (red), detected by specific antibody labeling.