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Adult neurogenesis represents a unique form of plasticity in the dentate gyrus requiring the presence of long-lived neural stem cells (LL-NSCs). However, the embryonic origin of these LL-NSCs remains unclear. The prevailing model assumes that the dentate neuroepithelium throughout the longitudinal axis of the hippocampus generates both the LL-NSCs and embryonically produced granule neurons. Here we show that the NSCs initially originate from the ventral hippocampus during late gestation and then relocate into the dorsal hippocampus. The descendants of these cells are the source for the LL-NSCs in the subgranular zone (SGZ). Furthermore, we show that the origin of these cells and their maintenance in the dentate are controlled by distinct sources of Sonic Hedgehog (Shh). The revelation of the complexity of both the embryonic origin of hippocampal LL-NSCs and the sources of Shh has important implications for the functions of LL-NSCs in the adult hippocampus. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Guangnan Li, Li Fang, Gloria Fernández, Samuel J Pleasure. The ventral hippocampus is the embryonic origin for adult neural stem cells in the dentate gyrus. Neuron. 2013 May 22;78(4):658-72

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PMID: 23643936

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