Munich Cluster for Systems Neurology

Breadcrumb Navigation


Press Release: New insights into the regeneration process of the zebrafish brain

SyNergy member Magdalena Götz and further scientists at Helmholtz Zentrum München (HMGU) have succeeded for the first time to directly observe stem cells in the brain of a vertebrate by means of live imaging. The observation of processes in the intact and injured brain led to an astonishing finding: Neurons are generated both by direct conversions of stem cells into postmitotic neurons and via intermediate progenitors amplifying the neuronal output. The study revealed changes in the behavior of stem cells underlying generation of additional neurons during regeneration, as the researchers reported in the journal "Science".



Photo: Neural stem cells (green) in the Telencephalon of an adult Zebrafish
Source: HMGU

By means of live cell imaging, single stem cells were observed in intact and injured brains of adult zebrafish. The data show that adult neural stem cells (aNSCs) do not continually give rise to new neurons over a long period, as is often assumed, but do so only in a limited number. The direct conversion mode without cell division ultimately depletes the pool of aNSCs. This finding contradicts the current consensus of researchers that aNSCs give rise to many new neurons, which then later can be integrated as needed into the respectively required function in the neuronal network.

Press release of the Helmholtz Zentrum München

Mittels live imaging, der In-vivo-Beobachtung lebender Zellen, wurden einzelne Stammzellen in intakten und verletzten Gehirnen adulter Zebrafische beobachtet. Die Daten zeigen: Neurale Stammzellen liefern nicht über längere Zeit immer wieder neue Nervenzellen, wie vielfach angenommen, sondern nur eine begrenzte Anzahl. Zudem wird der Pool an Stammzellen verbraucht, indem diese sich ohne jede Teilung direkt in Neuronen umwandeln. Dieser Befund widerspricht der bisherigen Ansicht, neurale Stammzellen würden sehr viele neue Neuronen bilden, die dann zu einem späteren Zeitpunkt je nach Bedarf in der jeweils benötigten Funktion in das Nervennetz eingebaut würden.

Pressemeldung des Helmholtz Zentrums München