Laboratory of Neural Plasticity, University of Zurich
Neural stem cells (NSCs) generate new neurons throughout life in distinct regions of the mammalian brain. Adult neurogenesis is important for tissue homeostasis and physiological brain function, and disturbed neurogenesis has been associated with diseases such as major depression and epilepsy. A tight regulation of NSC quiescence and proliferation is crucial to ensure life-long neurogenesis and prevent exhaustion or uncontrolled growth of the stem cell pool. What regulates this delicate balance is not fully understood. We are interested in how cellular metabolism is influencing NSC activity and how metabolic programs change between quiescent and proliferating NSCs and their differentiating progeny. We have recently shown that de novo lipogenesis is crucial for proper NSC proliferation and integration and have identified the protein Spot14 as a novel functional marker for the most quiescent NSC population in vivo. We are currently studying how Spot14 is keeping NSCs quiescent through the regulation of lipid metabolic pathways.
Host: Prof. Lluis Fajas
1. Knobloch, M. & Jessberger, S. Perspectives on adult neurogenesis. European Journal of Neuroscience 33, 1013–1017 (2011).
2. Knobloch, M. et al. Metabolic control of adult neural stem cell activity by Fasn-dependent lipogenesis. Nature 493, 226–230 (2013).
3. Knobloch, M. et al. SPOT14-Positive Neural Stem/Progenitor Cells in the Hippocampus Respond Dynamically to Neurogenic Regulators. Stem Cell Reports 3, 735–742 (2014).