Recent studies have revealed that the adult mammalian brain has the capacity to regenerate some neurons after various insults. However, the precise mechanism of insult-induced neurogenesis has not been demonstrated. In the normal brain, GFAP-expressing cells in the subventricular zone (SVZ) of the lateral ventricles include a neurogenic cell population that gives rise to olfactory bulb neurons only. Herein, we report evidence that, after a stroke, these cells are capable of producing new neurons outside the olfactory bulbs. SVZ GFAP-expressing cells labeled by a cell-type-specific viral infection method were found to generate neuroblasts that migrated toward the injured striatum after middle cerebral artery occlusion. These neuroblasts in the striatum formed elongated chain-like cell aggregates similar to those in the normal SVZ, and these chains were observed to be closely associated with thin astrocytic processes and blood vessels. Finally, long-term tracing of the green fluorescent-labeled cells with a Cre-loxP system revealed that the SVZ-derived neuroblasts differentiated into mature neurons in the striatum, in which they expressed neuronal-specific nuclear protein and formed synapses with neighboring striatal cells. These results highlight the role of the SVZ in neuronal regeneration after a stroke and its potential as an important therapeutic target for various neurological disorders.
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