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Newly Generated and Non-Newly Generated “Immature” Neurons in the Mammalian Brain: A Possible Reservoir of Young Cells to Prevent Brain Aging and Disease?

1
Neuroscience Institute Cavalieri Ottolenghi (NICO), 10043 Orbassano, Italy
2
Department of Veterinary Sciences, University of Turin, 10095 Torino, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
J. Clin. Med. 2019, 8(5), 685; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm8050685
Received: 12 April 2019 / Revised: 10 May 2019 / Accepted: 13 May 2019 / Published: 15 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ageing and Neurodegeneration in the Retina and Brain)
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Abstract

Brain plasticity is important for translational purposes since most neurological disorders and brain aging problems remain substantially incurable. In the mammalian nervous system, neurons are mostly not renewed throughout life and cannot be replaced. In humans, the increasing life expectancy explains the increase in brain health problems, also producing heavy social and economic burden. An exception to the “static” brain is represented by stem cell niches leading to the production of new neurons. Such adult neurogenesis is dramatically reduced from fish to mammals, and in large-brained mammals with respect to rodents. Some examples of neurogenesis occurring outside the neurogenic niches have been reported, yet these new neurons actually do not integrate in the mature nervous tissue. Non-newly generated, “immature” neurons (nng-INs) are also present: Prenatally generated cells continuing to express molecules of immaturity (mostly shared with the newly born neurons). Of interest, nng-INs seem to show an inverse phylogenetic trend across mammals, being abundant in higher-order brain regions not served by neurogenesis and providing structural plasticity in rather stable areas. Both newly generated and nng-INs represent a potential reservoir of young cells (a “brain reserve”) that might be exploited for preventing the damage of aging and/or delay the onset/reduce the impact of neurological disorders. View Full-Text
Keywords: brain aging; brain structural plasticity; adult neurogenesis; brain reserve; cognitive reserve; doublecortin; immature neurons brain aging; brain structural plasticity; adult neurogenesis; brain reserve; cognitive reserve; doublecortin; immature neurons
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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La Rosa, C.; Ghibaudi, M.; Bonfanti, L. Newly Generated and Non-Newly Generated “Immature” Neurons in the Mammalian Brain: A Possible Reservoir of Young Cells to Prevent Brain Aging and Disease? J. Clin. Med. 2019, 8, 685.

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