In contrast to mammals, salamanders and teleost fishes can efficiently repair the adult brain. It has been hypothesised that constitutively active neurogenic niches are a prerequisite for extensive neuronal regeneration capacity. Here, we show that the highly regenerative salamander, the red spotted newt, displays an unexpectedly similar distribution of active germinal niches with mammals under normal physiological conditions. Proliferation zones in the adult newt brain are restricted to the forebrain, whereas all other regions are essentially quiescent. However, ablation of midbrain dopamine neurons in newts induced ependymoglia cells in the normally quiescent midbrain to proliferate and to undertake full dopamine neuron regeneration. Using oligonucleotide microarrays, we have catalogued a set of differentially expressed genes in these activated ependymoglia cells. This strategy identified hedgehog signalling as a key component of adult dopamine neuron regeneration. These data show that brain regeneration can occur by activation of neurogenesis in quiescent brain regions.
- Adult neurogenesis
- Neuronal stem cell