Subventricular zone (abbreviated form: SVZ) is a paired brain structure situated throughout the lateral walls of the lateral ventricles. Along with the subgranular zone of dentate gyrus, subventricular zone serves as a source of neural stem cells in the process of adult neurogenesis. It harbors the largest population of proliferating cells in the adult brain of rodents(1,2,3), monkeys (4,5,6,7,8,9) and humans(10,11). Neurons generated in SVZ travel to the olfactory bulb via the rostral migratory stream.
Four cell types have been described in the SVZ:
- ciliated ependymal cells (type E) facing the lumen of the ventricle, whose function is to circulate the cerebrospinal fluid;
- proliferating type A neuroblasts, expressing PSA-NCAM, Tuj1, and Hu, and migrating in "chains" toward the olfactory bulb (OB);
- slowly proliferating type B cells expressing nestin and GFAP, and unsheathing migrating type A neuroblasts
- actively proliferating type C cells or "transit amplifying progenitors" expressing nestin, and forming clusters interspaced among chains throughout the SVZ
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