Throughout life, neural stem cells (NSCs) in the adult hippocampus persistently generate new neurons that modify the neural circuitry. Adult NSCs constitute a relatively quiescent cell population but can be activated by extrinsic neurogenic stimuli. However, the molecular mechanism that controls such reversible quiescence and its physiological significance have remained unknown. Here, we show that the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p57 kip2 (p57) is required for NSC quiescence. In addition, our results suggest that reduction of p57 protein in NSCs contributes to the abrogation of NSC quiescence triggered by extrinsic neurogenic stimuli such as running. Moreover, deletion of p57 in NSCs initially resulted in increased neurogenesis in young adult and aged mice. Long-term p57 deletion, on the contrary, led to NSC exhaustion and impaired neurogenesis in aged mice. The regulation of NSC quiescence by p57 might thus have important implications for the short-term (extrinsic stimuli-dependent) and long-term (age-related) modulation of neurogenesis.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)