New neurons and glial cells are continuously generated throughout life, not only at the embryonic and neonatal stages. Recent studies using experimental animals indicate that several regions of the adult brain have the capacity to regenerate injured neural tissues. In collaboration with researchers at other laboratories in NIPS, we have been studying the mechanisms for cell migration and regeneration in the postnatal brain. Our group aims to study the endogenous repair mechanisms in the brain and develop a new strategy to promote neuronal and glial cell regeneration after injury.
RhoA activity in migrating new neurons. (a,b) FRET imaging of RhoA acticity in cultured migrating new neurons. RhoA is activated at the proximal region of the leading process. (c, d) Effect of Gmip on the RhoA activity in new neurons. The RhoA activity at the proximal leading process is significantly decreased by overexpression of Gmip, and increased by knockdown of Gmip.
(From Ota et al., Nat. Commun. 5:4532, 2014)
Vascular regulation of adult neurogenesis in the ventricular-subventricular zone (V-SVZ) under physiological and pathological conditions. Neural stem cells (blue) continuously generate new neurons (red) that migrate towards the olfactory bulbs in the normal condition. These new neurons can also migrate towards injured regions using the blood vessel scaffold (pink).
(From Sawada et al., Front. Neurosci. 8:53, 2014)
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