Células madre neurales en el cerebro adulto: factores extrínsecos
e intrínsecos que regulan su auto-renovación y diferenciación
The principal investigator (Dr. Eva Porlan) is a beneficiary of the Ramón y Cajal program, and has established a novel and independent line of research in the CBMSO, since 2016. This line focuses on the study of intrinsic and extrinsic factors that regulate the quiescence-proliferation switch and the mode of division of mammalian adult neural stem cells (NSC), and how these factors contribute to the maintenance of NSCs in their natural dwelling reservoirs, the neurogenic niches. The subependymal zone (also known as the subventricular zone) is the most prolific neurogenic niche in adult rodents, where residing stem cells generate large numbers of immature neurons that migrate into the olfactory bulb, where they differentiate into different types of interneurons. In a society of demographic change like is our own, a research challenge is the search for druggable targets to mobilize NSCs at their endogenous niches in order to activate stem cells that are mainly quiescent to divide and generate differentiated and functional progeny. This strategy holds promise to promote regenerative responses in physiological ageing, brain lesions or similar pathological situations, and appears as a very attractive venue for the future of cell replacement therapies. We are currently exploring the potential of targets whose biological activity are susceptible of pharmacological modulation for enhancing NSC transition into proliferation and neurogenic output, both during homeostasis and in damage-regeneration paradigms in the adult brain.