Spinal cord neural stem cells heterogeneity in postnatal development
Neural stem cells are capable of generating new neurons during development as well as in the adulthood and represent one of the most promising tools to replace lost or damaged neurons after injury or neurodegenerative disease. Unlike the brain, neurogenesis in the adult spinal cord is poorly explored and the comprehensive characterization of the cells that constitute stem cell neurogenic niche is still missing. Moreover, the terminology used to specify developmental and/or anatomical CNS regions, where neurogenesis in the spinal cord occurs, is not consensual and the analogy with the brain is often unclear. In this review, we will try to describe the heterogeneity of the stem cell types in the spinal cord ependymal zone, based on their origin and stem cell potential. We will also consider specific animal in vitro models that could be useful to identify “the right” stem cell candidate for cell replacement therapies.
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