Neural Stem Cells

MicroRNA regulation of adult neural stem cells

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Science  06 Sep 2019:
Vol. 365, Issue 6457, pp. 996-997
DOI: 10.1126/science.365.6457.996-b

Neuroscientists are keen to tap into the brain's reservoir of neural stem cells to treat age-associated cognitive decline, neurodegeneration, and other illnesses. In the mouse brain, quiescent stem cells in the central subependymal zone are poised to produce new neuroblasts during adulthood. Lepko et al. have linked mobile microRNA signals to regulation of stem cell quiescence. Low amounts of neurogenic fate determinants can be expressed in the stem cells as RNA but are not translated into proteins. Analysis of posttranscriptional regulation fingered the microRNA miR-204, which is abundant in the brain, as the block on the stem cells. The source of miR-204 was the choroid plexus, which delivered miR-204 into the cerebrospinal fluid and, from there, to the neural stem cells. Thus, at the blood–brain interface, the choroid plexus is ready to integrate external, systemic signals with demands for adult brain neurogenesis.

EMBO J. 10.15252/embj.2018100481 (2019).

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