Xiang Gao, Grigori Enikolopov, and Jinhui Chen
Recent evidence shows that traumatic brain injury (TBI) regulates proliferation of neural stem/progenitor cells in the dentate gyrus (DG) of adult hippocampus. There are distinct classes of neural stem/progenitor cells in the adult DG, including quiescent neural progenitors (QNPs), which carry stem cell properties, and their progeny, amplifying neural progenitors (ANPs). The response of each class of progenitors to TBI is not clear. We here used a transgenic reporter Nestin-GFP mouse line, in which QNP and ANP cells are easily visualized and quantified, to determine the targets of the TBI in the DG. We examined changes in proliferation of QNPs and ANPs in the acute phase following TBI and found that QNPs were induced by TBI insult to enter the cell cycle whereas proliferation of ANPs was not significantly affected. These results indicate that different subtypes of neural stem/progenitor cells respond differently to TBI insult. Stem cell activation by the TBI may reflect the induction of innate repair and plasticity mechanisms by the injured brain.