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Division of Neural Development & Regeneration


Mechanisms and functional significance of neurogenesis in the postnatal brain
Endogenous regenerative mechanisms of injured brain and new therapies for brain diseases

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.



Fig.1. Neuroblasts(red) migrate toward a lesion through a meshwork of processes from a single astrocyte(blue), as shown by serial block-face scanning electron microscopy (SBF-SEM) (Kaneko et al., Sci.Adv 2018).


2020sawamoto-2.jpgFig.2. High-resolution three-dimensional images of migratory neuroblasts generated by serial block-face scanning electron microscopy. Each neuroblast possesses either a pair of centrioles (green), or a basal body (green) with a non-extended or extended primary cilium (pink). The localization and orientation of the primary cilium are altered depending on the mitotic state, saltatory migration, and deceleration of neuroblasts. Nucleus, Golgi apparatus, and mitochondria are shown in yellow, orange, and blue, respectively.
 (Matsumoto et al., J Neurosci 2019).


Selected publications

* C. Nakajima et al., Postnatal neuronal migration in health and disease. Curr Opin Neurobiol 66: 1-9 (2021)
* M. Akter et al., Dynamic changes in the neurogenic potential in the ventricular-subventricular zone of common marmoset during postanal brain development. Cerebral Cortex 30: 4092-4109 (2020)
* M. Matsumoto et al., Dynamic changes in ultrastructure of the primary cilium in migrating neuroblasts in the postnatal brain. J Neurosci 39: 9967-9988 (2019)
* N. Kaneko, et al., New neurons use Slit-Robo signaling to migrate through the glial meshwork and approach a lesion for functional regeneration. Sci Adv 4: eaav0618 (2018)
* H. Jinnou, et al., Radial glial fibers promote neuronal migration and functional recovery after neonatal brain injury. Cell Stem Cell 22: 128-137 (2018)
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