Adult neurogenesis, involving the generation of functional neurons from adult neural stem cells (NSCs), occurs constitutively in discrete brain regions such as hippocampus, sub-ventricular zone (SVZ) and hypothalamus. The intrinsic structural plasticity of the neurogenic process allows the adult brain to face the continuously changing external and internal environment and requires coordinated interplay between all cell types within the specialized microenvironment of the neurogenic niche. NSC-, neuronal- and glia-derived factors, originating locally, regulate the balance between quiescence and self-renewal of NSC, their differentiation programs and the survival and integration of newborn cells. Extracellular Vesicles (EVs) are emerging as important mediators of cell-to-cell communication, representing an efficient way to transfer the biologically active cargos (nucleic acids, proteins, lipids) by which they modulate the function of the recipient cells. Current knowledge of the physiological role of EVs within adult neurogenic niches is rather limited. In this review, we will summarize and discuss EV-based cross-talk within adult neurogenic niches and postulate how EVs might play a critical role in the regulation of the neurogenic process.
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