This chapter examines the potential of endogenous stem cells to contribute to functional repair of the human central nervous system (CNS). The observation that endogenous stem cells can be recruited to generate new neurons following lesion is highly exciting and reinforces ones efforts to develop strategies that aim at harnessing endogenous stem cells for repair of the adult CNS. The molecular mechanisms that control adult neurogenesis are poorly understood. There are multiple growth factors, hormones, and neurotransmitters implicated in the regulation of neurogenesis, based on their ability to influence proliferation, differentiation, and survival of neural stem cells in vitro and in vivo. Their potential to affect the behavior of neural stem cells in vivo, these factors and their receptors might represent candidate molecules and targets, respectively, for the recruitment of endogenous stem cells for CNS repair. Furthermore, new neurons and glial cells generated in some CNS regions following injury suggests a potential for self-repair in the adult CNS by cell replacement from endogenous stem cells.
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