Microvascular circulation creates a supporting niche for neurogenesis through the secretion of angiocrine factors. The emerging concept that energy balance and metabolic status play a role in the modulation of stem cells suggests that oxygen delivery by nearby capillary vascular beds could also regulate neurogenesis. Blood vessel formation and neuron production proceed in a coordinated fashion in the developing cerebral cortex, providing a unique opportunity to test the possibility that oxygen supply regulates cell fate decisions in neurogenic niches. The interesting study by the Carmeliet laboratory yields evidence that this is indeed the case and identifies HIF‐1α as the central element.
See also: C Lange et al (May 2016)
All neurons in the central nervous system (CNS) derive from a pseudostratified neuroepithelium that lines what will later become the cerebral ventricles and the central canal of the spinal cord. In the telencephalon, the onset of neurogenesis at around embryonic (E) days E9.5–E10.5 coincides with the acquisition of glial features by neuroepithelial cells. Radial glia (RG) are elongated cells with thin cytoplasmic extensions spanning the entire thickness of the developing brain parenchyma; however, their cell bodies are retained next to the ventricular lumen, where they divide. As neurogenesis progresses RG gradually switch from expansion to asymmetrical differentiative divisions to self‐renew and generate neuronally committed progeny, which includes either a neuron that migrates away to populate the growing cortical plate or a basal progenitor (BP), which allocates to the immediately adjacent subventricular zone to act as a restricted neuronal progenitor (Florio & Huttner, …
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