Regulation of adult hippocampal stem cells by niche signals


  • Dr Francois Guillemot

    The Francis Crick Institute

Project summary

Hippocampal stem-cell activity decreases with age, contributing to the degradation of spatial memory and affective behaviours in older rodents. New neurons are also added to the hippocampus in adult humans and these adult-born neurons are thought to contribute to hippocampal functions. It is thought that a reduction in stem-cell activity might therefore contribute to the cognitive impairments associated with human ageing, neurodegenerative pathologies and mood disorders. Dr Guillemot aims to better understand the mechanisms responsible for the vulnerability of these adult hippocampal stem cells to pathologies and old age, and in particular whether different subsets of stem cells are differentially affected by ageing. Better understanding of these mechanisms will serve as a foundation for further research into treatments against cognitive decline in patients and will also help develop strategies to improve the capacity of the brain to self-repair.