How to generate new neurons in the brain

Some areas of the adult brain contain quiescent, or dormant, neural stem cells that can potentially be reactivated to form new neurons. However, the transition from quiescence to proliferation is still poorly understood.

A team led by Jean-Claude Martinou, Emeritus Professor in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology and Marlen Knobloch, Associate Professor at UNIL, has discovered the importance of cell metabolism in this process and identified how to wake up these neural stem cells and reactivate them. Biologists succeeded in increasing the number of new neurons in the brain of adult and even elderly mice.

These results, promising for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, have been published in the journal Science Advances on March 1st, 2023.

Read the UNIGE press release.

Newly produced neurons (red) in the dentate gyrus with cell nuclei (blue) and a marker for immature neurons (green). © Knobloch Lab – UNIL

2 Mar 2023