Neurogenesis in the adult hippocampus may play important roles in learning and memory, and in recovery from injury. As recent findings suggest, the perturbance of homocysteine/folate or one-carbon metabolism can adversely affect both the developing and the adult brain, and increase the risk of neural tube defects and Alzheimer's disease. We report that dietary folic acid deficiency dramatically increased blood homocysteine levels and significantly reduced the number of proliferating cells in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus in adult mice. In vitro, the perturbance of one-carbon metabolism repressed proliferation of cultured embryonic multipotent neuroepithelial progenitor cells and affected cell cycle distribution. Our results suggest that dietary folate deficiency inhibits proliferation of neuronal progenitor cells in the adult brain and thereby affects neurogenesis.
- Neuronal progenitor cells
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