Adult neurogenesis in mammals was rediscovered over twenty years ago and has generated a huge amount of interest as a developmental biology system to study stem cells, proliferation, fate determination and migration. It has also raised hope that these cells may be harnessed to help repair brain injury and disease. Indeed subependymal zone (SEZ) progenitors actively migrate to brain injuries and help replace dead cells and provide protective trophic support. Whereas human neurogenesis after infancy is quite minimal it seems to increase after most degenerative brain diseases. I will argue that more post mortem examination of human neurogenesis is needed. I will also present data from my laboratory that has shown the epidermal growth factor receptor and galectin-3 both modulate migration of SEZ cells. These and other molecular mechanisms may be manipulated to increase the reparative response. We are examining SEZ migration with 2-Photon time-lapse microscopy a technique which allows high temporal spatial resolution of dynamic events. This is helping us discern the natural history of these fascinating tissue specific stem and progenitor cells. We believe this is essential for the field to develop their potential clinical use.


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  • Received: 05 March 2012
  • Accepted: 29 March 2012
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