IMAGE OF THE MONTH: The finite nature of brain regeneration
ON THE COVER!
The finite nature of brain regeneration. Image by Jeannie Chin.
In normal mice, neurogenesis occurs throughout life and decreases as the animals age. Neurogenesis begins with the proliferation of neural stem cells (at the top of the hourglass), continues with the production of intermediary cells such as progenitor cells (dropping down to the bottom), and ends with new neurons being born (at the bottom of the hourglass).
Dr. Jeannie Chin and her colleagues show in this issue of Cell Reports a mechanism that they propose may integrate contradicting findings regarding whether neuroregeneration increases, decreases or does not change in Alzheimer’s disease. The researchers showed that the finite hippocampal neural stem cell pool is prematurely depleted by spontaneous seizures that occur in mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease. Seizures also occur in patients with the condition and may play important roles in brain (dys)function.
You can read our interview with Dr. Chin and first author Chia Hsuan Fu in From the Labs.
The Chin lab uses a multi-disciplinary approach that combines biochemistry, molecular biology, in vivo physiology and behavioral paradigms to link cellular alterations and molecular and network mechanisms to memory deficits in mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease and identify therapeutic entry points for the treatment of this neurodegenerative disease.
Dr. Jeannie Chin is associate professor of neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine.
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