Neurogenesis persists in the adult subventricular zone (SVZ) of the mammalian brain. During aging, the SVZ neurogenic capacity undergoes a progressive decline, which is attributed to a decrease in the population of neural stem cells (NSCs). However, the behavior of the NSCs that remain in the aged brain is not fully understood. Here we performed a comparative ultrastructural study of the SVZ niche of 2-month-old and 24-month-old male C57BL/6 mice, focusing on the NSC population. Using thymidine-labeling, we showed that residual NSCs in the aged SVZ divide less frequently than those in young mice. We also provided evidence that ependymal cells are not newly generated during senescence, as others studies suggest. Remarkably, both astrocytes and ependymal cells accumulated a high number of intermediate filaments and dense bodies during aging, resembling reactive cells. A better understanding of the changes occurring in the neurogenic niche during aging will allow us to develop new strategies for fighting neurological disorders linked to senescence.
- Ependymal cells
- Neural stem cells
- Subventricular zone
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience