Neural stem cells (NSCs) have the ability to self-renew and give rise to neurons and glial cells (astrocytes and oligodendrocytes) in the mammalian central nervous system. This multipotency is acquired by NSCs during development and is maintained throughout life. Proliferation, fate specification, and maturation of NSCs are regulated by both cell intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Epigenetic modification is a representative intrinsic factor, being involved in many biological aspects of central nervous system development and adult neurogenesis through the regulation of NSC dynamics. In this review, we summarize recent progress in the epigenetic regulation of NSC behavior in the embryonic and adult brain, with particular reference to DNA methylation, histone modification, and noncoding RNAs.
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