Hypothalamic regulation of regionally distinct adult neural stem cells and neurogenesis

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Science  15 Jun 2017:
DOI: 10.1126/science.aal3839

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Neural stem cells (NSCs) in specialized niches in the adult mammalian brain generate neurons throughout life. NSCs in the adult mouse ventricular-subventricular zone (V-SVZ) exhibit a regional identity, and depending on their location, generate distinct olfactory bulb interneuron subtypes. Here we show that the hypothalamus, a brain area regulating physiological states, provides long-range regionalized input to the V-SVZ niche and can regulate specific NSC subpopulations. Hypothalamic proopiomelanocortin (POMC) neurons selectively innervate the anterior ventral V-SVZ and promote the proliferation of Nkx2.1+ NSCs and generation of deep granule neurons. Accordingly, hunger and satiety regulate adult neurogenesis by modulating the activity of this hypothalamic-V-SVZ connection. Our findings reveal that neural circuitry, via mosaic innervation of the V-SVZ, can recruit distinct NSC pools allowing on-demand neurogenesis in response to physiology and environmental signals.

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