Beyond New Neurons: The Secretory Role of Adult Hippocampal Stem and Progenitor Cells

Seminar | March 12 | 9-10:30 a.m. | 445 Li Ka Shing Center

 Dr. Liz Kirby, Assistant Professor at OSU

 Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills

In the adult mammalian hippocampus, resident neural stem and progenitor cells give rise to new, highly plastic neurons. A great deal of research has focused on the role of these new neurons in supporting hippocampal memory function and injury response. However, our recent work shows that undifferentiated neural stem and progenitor cells also have functional relevance by secreting soluble proteins. This novel, secretory role for stem and progenitor cells in the adult brain may be particularly important for understanding the hippocampal response to insults such as seizure, trauma and stroke. This talk will highlight our findings the functional relevance of neural stem and progenitor cell-derived growth factors and neuroprotection from excitotoxicity in the hippocampus. I will also discuss the implications of these findings for therapeutic approaches to hippocampal injury and the functional role of adult neurogenesis as a whole.